How to deal with AutoImmune Disease: Hypothyroid Mum tackles constipation!

Posted on June 19th, 2014

You might call me a coward for handing this particularly sticky subject over to someone else to cover. I promise it’s not shame. It’s more that this particular blogger – Dana Trentini at Hypothyroidmom.com – has done such a great job of covering it that it made sense. OK? Dana lost her unborn baby to hypothyroidism and set out on a mission to build awareness on the topic. Her blog tackles all the fun tricky stuff. Like constipation.

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Image via Favim.com

The interesting thing is that, in hindsight, it was her constipation that signalled her thyroid disorder and Dana’s big message today is that if you have chronic constipation you need to get your thyroid tested. And you need to get on top of your constipation. Her suggestion comes with a warning – at 33, following her Dad’s colon cancer diagnosis (routine colonoscopies are not advised until we’re over 50), she went in for a colonoscopy herself. They found a huge polyp, diverticulosis pouches in the wall of her colon and an internal haemorrhoid, all caused by lifelong constipation, all caused by thyroid issues. Although which comes first is hard to say. For me, it doesn’t too much matter as the management plan is the same for both.

While we’re talking about me… I, too, suffer from the same affliction and was lucky enough to undergo a colonoscopy last year that found – and removed – a cancerous polyp. I now know I need to test for (and tackle) this health issue. It’s pretty much the last frontier of my ongoing management of my thyroid issues. I’ll write more on this soon, just as I’ve promised to write more on my menstrual issues. All of which will definitely help my dating prospects!! For now, some wisdoms from the most cerebrally unclogged Dana…

The hypothyroidism and constipation connect

Constipation is one of the classic signs of an under-active thyroid. Without enough thyroid hormones many of the body’s functions slow down. Muscles line the digestive tract, including the small and large intestines. Theses muscles contract to move the stool through the intestine to the rectum. Hypothyroidism can weaken the contraction of these muscles causing the stool to move too slowly.

Looking back I’ve suffered from hypothyroidism symptoms including chronic constipation ever since I can remember. When I landed in the emergency room during a vacation from severe constipation, my thyroid was NOT tested. Even when my colon Read more

Looking after yourself

Posted on May 8th, 2014

No really. Do you? Look after yourself? I often don’t. I learned the other night that it’s a Capricorn thing (being a bad self looker-afterer).

Image via imgur.com

Image via imgur.com

The same night, the same person – one lovely Lou Androlia – shared that while she suffers from Hashimotos (and previously fibromyalgia, another autoimmune disease), she doesn’t get too many flares these days because she doesn’t get anxious too often. Anxiety and lack of sleep cause the biggest flares, we both agreed.

How come, I asked?

“Because I’m really good at looking after myself,” she said. Not smugly, just matter-of-factly (probably because she’s a Scorpio with Taurus in her sign…?!) This part of the conversation struck me and I went home elevated by it. Yes, looking after myself!

Before I go on, some context. I hooked up with Lou in Primrose Hill after she commented on Instagram under my shot taken just outside her house as I rode home from a yoga class at Fierce Grace yoga school (yes, more on this later). I recognized her handle. I knew she’d followed me for a long time and so I replied to her, on a whim, on my last night in London, asking if she’d like to meet up for a drink. She did (want to). So we did (meet up) an hour later. She was unmissable. She has flaming orange hair that just works a treat.

So it turns out Lou knows Gabby Bernstein. In fact, the last time they met up for an impromptu drink (after meeting online, too), Lou shared with Gabby that she might like to try my IQS 8 Week Program, which Gabby did.

So it was you who got Gabby onto it!?

The loops tightened. And tightened further. Turns out, too, she’s friends with Gala Darling. Who’s also friends with Read more

Does quitting sugar heal autoimmune disease?

Posted on January 15th, 2014

This is actually a post I’ve been busting to write for a while. And I really rather like that I’m finally writing it in Thyroid Awareness Month. As many of you know, I first quit sugar because of my autoimmune (AI) disease. I have Hashimotos. And a big part of why I’ve stuck to the sugar-free program is that it’s made such a damn big difference.

Image via inspirationlush.com

Image via inspirationlush.com

So the simple answer is this: Quitting sugar has had the biggest impact on my AI, more so than my medication or any other medical fix (and, trust me, I’ve tried everything). In the past three years, I’ve been able to better manage my AI, but also – yes – heal and reverse the damage.

  • I have zero thyroid antibodies now.
  • I’m on the most minimal dosage of thyroxin.
  • My hormone levels have fallen back into the right range (more on this soon!).

It’s taken years to get to this point. I put it down to the massive change to my diet that quitting sugar precipitated. And to breaking the clusterf*ck cycle that autoimmune disease invariably locks you into.

But why? And how? Let me explain…

Warning: Like most of my AI and thyroid posts this is a long one. And as I always remind people, even if you don’t have an AI, you’ll probably find it helpful because the advice I share relates to all of us. Or you probably have a loved one who has an AI…please share this with them.

Sugar mucks up your gut

Blood sugar imbalances inflame the digestive tract, causing leaky gut (literally, a perforated gut lining). In turn, leaky gut triggers the development of AI. Toxins are able to pass through the perforations into the bloodstream triggering an autoimmune reaction as our antibodies head out to attack the foreign invaders. These little antibody soldiers can then get confused and head off to attack parts of our bodies, such as the thyroid.  Gluten, for instance, has a very similar molecular structure to the thyroid gland.

Sugar causes inflammation

The process above obviously creates inflammation, which compromises immune function. In addition, sugar compromises the ability of our white Read more