i am seeing results!


I wanted to update on the huge progress I have made since early January and talk about some things I have learnt. This will probably lead to a more detailed blog post once I got all my doctors visits and lab work done.

First let me summarize my most recent problems again: Fall of last year (2012)I started seeing problems.

My second postpartum period was much more painful then the one before and instead of regulating and getting better, my periods got worse. In detail (and no, I am not gonna say it is TMI, we are all grown ups ;),- my cycle was really long, over 35 days when usually I had my period every 28 or 29 days. During ovulation AND my actual period I suffered from the worst pain I have ever had during a period. It was intense lower back and body pain, it felt like back labor (birth) pains. The rest of my body was also aching and I was unable to stay pain killer free.
Even then, I usually had to lay down and sleep it off. I also had bad period cramps, and the blood was almost black and very dry and thick...my period lasted for up to ten days, in which I would not really bleed. Just had that weird black spotting that faded to brown.



Aside from that, my skin was one of the first things to go bad. Just before the return of my period I started breaking out a bit more, but nothing crazy. It then got worse every month too, peaking in December/ January. My skin did not look as good in general. I looked a little like someone had let the air out and I often had dark circles under my eyes. My acne really turned into something I had never experienced. Big pimples on the side of my cheeks. That used to be the clearest part of my face! I also had some near my mouth. Since most of my acne was concentrated to the same areas, I concluded it was hormonal acne. But would it settle?

In October I also first noticed hair loss. At first it was only a few hairs more than normal, and I was unsure if it was really hair loss, or if it was a coincidence. I started taking prenatal vitamins again and it was not noticeable anymore. But the days where I would suddenly lose a bigger amount of hair (I roll my shed hair into little balls to compare) became more frequent. In November I lost a slightly increased amount on most days. I was not too worried then and suspected that my diet was lacking something. So I made sure to eat a variety of different things. But the amount of hair I lost continued to increase. When I lost hair in 2009, it started the same way. In Summer of 2009 I had dealt with on and off small sheds, and by October I was actively shedding hamsters. Back then my problem was mostly caused by my pituitary gland and a pituitary tumor was found at the brain. However, that tumor shrank and my Prolactin levels normalized...but,could it be back?

Other problems I had: Fatigue, weight loss, dark under eye circles, carpal tunnel and joint pains, feeling cold, dry skin, low breastmilk supply, sluggish, brain fog, heart palpitations and chest pain, low libido. I made an appointment with my doctor to get my thyroid and prolactin levels tested, since all my symptoms are typical for thyroid and/or hormone related problems. I also started looking into my diet. Like I mentioned before, a Paleo Diet has helped me feel better than ever, but I am not usually the diet type, so I was worried I might have made some mistakes.

Luckily I had taken notes occasionally using the iPhone app MyFitnessPal to track calories (because I was wanting to gain weight). I was so focused on calories though, that I just piled up on foods, that I thought would make me fatter faster. I did not gain any weight, despite of eating up to 3700 cals a day, so I stopped worrying about it and tried not to force weight gain. I looked at the app entries and a really cool feature that the app has is that it breaks down the nutrients and tells you how much % of fat, carbs and protein you eat. My breakdown looked like this:

83% fat
9% carbohydrates
9% protein

My jaw dropped...Then, the second thing I noticed is that my carb intake and sugar intake(fructose from fruits and veggies) had went down significantly. Before switching to a full on Paleo Diet, I was probably eating 270g of carbs a day. In spring and summer of 2012 I went from 150 to 90 and the dropped to 70g, and by the end of the year I was eating 25-60g a day. This is what you call a low carb diet. Not very low carb, but low enough to possibly throw my body off after having eaten 270g of carbs for most of my life. How did I end up on low carb? I never knew I was eating low carb. I don't know much about diet, I just recently started learning about what foods to avoid, but I had not looked into things like the amount of carbs, protein, Vitamin A,C, iron or Polyunsaturated fats I take in...One thing I did is I ditched carrots and sweet potatoes, because I had gotten tired of them and trying so hard to gain weight. And "pouf!" just like that my carbs where gone!

Now, I don't want to say low carb is the devil! Some people benefit from a low carb diet. But it hugely depends on your body and what diseases you have or are likely to develop genetically. My "Achilles heel" would be hormone related issues -> thyroid -> antibodies. One reason I got on a Paleo diet is to reduce the antibodies that grains can cause. But, low carb diets can aggravate another problem, -the thyroid and hormones.
Example:
http://drcate.com/going-low-carb-too-fast-may-trigger-thyroid-troubles-and-hormone-imbalance/ http://wellnessmama.com/4352/is-low-carb-healthy/

Under 70g of carbs, you are in a state called "Ketosis", which is similar to what bears do when they hibernate through the winter. But I wasn't planning to hibernate all of a sudden! From what I have collected, low carb can affect the thyroid, the function of the liver, and in turn your hormones go out of whack. I will summarize this with more detailed info to explain what actually happens scientifically, but it is a lot, so bear with me and let me just keep explaining what even happened ;).

My tests:
Well, my thyroid came back problematic, my TSH was raised. Also my liver enzymes were very elevated. My former GP wanted to put me on 25 mcg of levothyroxine, thyroid medication. I did not take the medication, and it is not because I am suicidal. Let me explain,...the meds she wants to give me likely won't solve my problem. Just suppress the TSH and my anti bodies a bit. I have been on synthetic thyroid before, and it was so wrong for me that it actually caused me more symptoms, and very weird frizzy hair growth (some may remember the old posts). That is a sure sign something was wrong. It also never lowered my antibodies much.
My TSH would get way too low before the anti bodies were down all the way.

Through www.stopthethyroidmadness.com, I learned some important facts about thyroid medication. Synthetic thyroid medication does not work because it is T4 only medication, but it does not do a good job at regulating all levels. Before synthetic hormones, thyroid disorders were treated with natural thyroid, which is basically just animal thyroid made into a supplement. Because it is natural to the body, it works far better than the synthetic brands. The philosophy behind natural thyroid is "like cures like"...and although that may sound like witchcraft, there is actually truth to it. Same goes for liver...liver eaten benefits the liver and heart is good for the heart. Natural medicine is far more powerful than drug companies like to acknowledge.

I made an appointment with an actual Endocrinologist to have my thyroid looked at. My doctor only looked at my TSH and wanted to put me on meds before further evaluating the situation! What a big mistake that could have been and I am sure many people suffer from doctors making mistakes like this. I decided to see another GP. He tested my thyroid again and a possible lack of vitamins (none found). He also tested my liver because the test done in early January showed my liver enzymes were elevated. The results were not good really. My liver enzymes were very elevated, as well as the antibodies. But when we tested again a week later, they were much lower.
My liver enzymes could be raised for a number of reasons, but one that seems likely is that with all my hormonal problems, thyroid etc., my liver has not been functioning as well. There could have been too many toxins and it could have been working too sluggish. Now that I am detoxing it, the levels seem to be going down again. I have been tested two more times since then, and the levels continue to drop and were almost normal last check up. Interestingly, the function of the liver can also be affected by low carb diets.

My thyroid came back more normal again. My TSH dropped from almost 5 in January, to just over three, and my latest results (you might want to sit down now), were COMPLETELY normal! My TSH was 2.2 in mid February, something I have never seen since I was told I had Hashis (T3 and T4 were normal too, TSH had been my biggest problem).
In 2010 my TSH used to be as high as 8. I am also taking my temperature daily and it is well in the normal range (36.5-36.9 C/ over 98.5 F). When you are Hypothyroid, your body temperature is usually lower than normal...which I used to have. I remember getting around 97F in 2010.

Another ultrasound of my thyroid was also done. It was normal for the first time also. The technician explained I have little scars and holes from a while back, but at this time my thyroid is a normal size (not small like many hashi thyroids) and working normally, producing enough hormones! And if that wasn't enough, my liver and all other organs looked picture perfect! You can imagine I was thrilled receiving good news for once.

Progress with supplements, hair loss, skin problems


I have taken notes these past weeks. I started the herbal supplements(DIM (diindolylmethane) milk thistle, burdock root and vitex), around mid January. Skin changes Only a few days later I already started noticing changes. For a few days my skin felt warm and flushed. It even looked a little flushed. I then began to see my skin clearing up and it started feeling VERY soft. It has not felt like that since I was 14 I think! (although it is not as clear as back then :)....yet? lol) My skin continued to clear up, slowly but steadily. The clusters on my cheeks disappeared and the big, painful pimples healed. I would still break out a little, but really just a little! That is pretty much how my skin is now...better, but not normal yet. I am planning to add calcium D glucarate, which is normally taken with DIM to fix my skin and PMS even more.
Considering that the supplements supposedly take 3 months to show effects, I am happy with the result I got after less time.

PMS changes
I tend to break out more during ovulation, but when I ovulated in January, my PMS was already less bad. A little back pain, but not nearly as bad as in December. Right now I am ovulating again (until the 14th) and I feel no pain! I also noticed cervical mucus, which is a good sign as far as fertility goes. I also had my first normal period since starting the supplements.

I am AMAZED (!!!) at how much better it was. Almost completely normal. I had slight PMS, a back ache only the day before. But I was able to carry on with my day and did not have to be in bed. That was the only pain. I had NO cramps, I did not feel sick in any other way. My period started ON TIME, after only 28 days (short cycle = more fertile). The first day I had spotting, the second day a normal amount of fresh red blood. No black, crusty, weird, thick blood and spotting! I am looking forward to next month.
I can also happily say that my dark circles are gone!

Weight gain

I finally gained weight! I went from 45 to 50kg (99.2- 110.2 lbs). I also don't lose it as easily anymore. Even if I eat a bit less on certain days. Compare the pictures from last year to now. It is weird my face looked so thin, or rather gaunt. Like someone had let out the air. Because my weight was at least for my body type not extremely low and I had been that weight before, like since I started Youtubing and blogging with a rounder face. I will post some pictures of my body in tight clothing and you will see what I mean! I think my thin face was partly related to toxins, hormones and maybe unwanted "fat" loss, rather than "weight" loss. It also did not last very long.



Hair loss changes 

((No, it did not stop. But I am shedding less. Much less than in the beginning actually. In the morning I comb out an almost normal amount, but during the day I continue to lose more than normal. Sometimes I have days where I shed a lot more. I also lose a still too big amount during a wash. But overall the number has decreased v e r y slowly.)) Edit: I have been losing a normal amount of hair for over a week. Fingers crossed!
First time I noticed changes was one week after starting the supplements, also after raising Vit. D 3. Then the number lowered again after I started increasing my carb intake to 90g. When I increased it even more, to above 120g, I lost even less hair. Right now I am eating about 150-170g of carbs. I don't want to go too high, so I am carefully testing. I really don't want to go lower again though either. Current hair loss routine: - Comb out hair balls every morning - Wash every 4 days to avoid large build up of shed hair - Shampoo on scalp only wash (SANTE Family Glanz Shampoo). Water on my ends. - Monthly trims as usual, I have trimmed a tiny bit more the last two times - Wear my hair up in a style that lets me forget about the hair loss - I wear my own knit hats and calorimetry headbands a lot on bad hair days.
I have continued to trim my hair monthly. Maybe a bit too generous a few times, but I am still at tailbone length and have not lost more than a half inch in length. Lately I have been feeling like I can see the hemline bettering again. But it is hard to say if it is just straighter or really thicker. I will try to post comparison pictures for the past months soon. I also took videos of my hair during the shed phase. I have to say that the thickness I had gained, served as a nice reserve and my hair loss is mostly only noticeable when looking at my braid or buns etc., but I had enough thickness left to not have my hair go very transparent.



I posted this later than intented, but I was waiting on more results and progress. It was well worth the wait. I have most things sorted out. I told you this strategy was better and it really is!
Pictures of my doctors results are to follow in another post. As you can see I have a ton of pics in this one already!

10 comments:

  1. Do you think it's possible to take only one or two of those supplements instead of all of them and still see results?? I don't really have a hair loss problem, but my skin is acne-prone...
    Keep posting, I love reading your blog :)
    (more videos too!!!!!)
    Love from Canada!

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  2. Gute BesserungEmi! Ich haba uch Hashimoto, ist echt was fieses mit den SD Erkrankungen. Liebste Grüße!

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  3. Hi Emi!!!
    when you started talking about dark undereye circles and acne, I thought "Surely there's something wrong with the liver"... and it looks like I guessed right ^^
    I'm glad the hair loss and thyroid and acne are all getting better :) and have you thought of taking something else to help you detox, like turmeric pills or something similar?
    The pictures are really beautiful! Love from Italy :)

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  4. Hi Kurandera,

    yes I am looking into more supplements to make sure I fully detox. One of the most potent seems to be calcium d glucarate combined with DIM. I have also taken Dong Quai in the past to help balance my hormones (first time I lost hair) and I might have another look at it. I haven't looked into tumeric yet, but I will read about it, thank you!

    Louisa
    Danke dir! Es ist wirklich eine unangenehme, langsam vorranschreitende Krankheit. Aerzte sagen immer man kann gar nichts machen ausser Medikamente schlucken, was aber zum Glueck so nicht ganz richtig ist. SD Probleme haben ja auch einen Grund, man hat es nicht einfach so. Man hat eine Veranlagung dafuer und durch bestimmte Dinge im Leben kann diese aktiviert werden. Oft sind es mehrere Bereiche des Koerpers die nicht richtig arbeiten, und somit SD Probleme auch um vielfaches verschlimmern koennen. Da es eine Autoimmunkrankheit ist, heisst Inflammation, war meine Entgiftungskur da ein guter Gedanke. Ich hoffe in Zukunft noch mehr zu SD Erkrankungen schreiben zu koennen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Unknown

    It really depends on which part of your body is not functioning properly. Acne is mostly caused by two things: 1. toxins trying to escape from your body through your skin. 2. hormone related problems that can even be related to your body not detoxing well, glands not working right or organs not doing their job.
    It really is one BIG mess. Try finding the needle in the haystack.
    You could try just taking a few of these supplements and see how it goes. It depends on how bad the problems are a bit too. DIM can be taken by itself, is often recommended with Calcium D glucarate. The herbs can be found combined in one pill, but I was unable to find that here in Europe. Luckily, they are not all that pricey. To know if you would like to use or not use them, you need to know what they can do for you. I posted more detail in one of my previous posts, but in short: Milk thistle detoxes the liver = no more toxins trying to escape from your skin, burdock root cleanses the blood = no more toxins circulating in your blood stream, vitex helps ptuitary gland function = no more acne related to P. gland malfunction. It is all a possibility.
    A good way to start is getting a few tests done. Low Vitamin D3 can also cause acne and hair loss. I am taking 10000 IU because my body has trouble absorbing it (thyroid can do that). Let me know if you have any more questions.

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  6. It's so nice to see you are starting to feel a bit better. You do look healthier as well, and you have a beautiful baby!

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  7. hello EMI
    HOW R U
    i have read through your blog and was extremely amazed at how u recovered from ur hair loss problem.....really amazing!.m really proud to know that there is sumone out there who has fought n achieved results for hairloss :)
    i just needed ur advice to know wether the paleo diet uve mentioned about wud help me recover from my hairloss.
    my hairloss began after i started using the rocaccutane for my acne.My acne was pretty bad so had no choice but to use this med.since then my hairloss hasnt stopped.i finished using accutane a year ago and since then havnt seen any signs of cure .
    i never had any kind of hair problems ,my hair has always been great with no signs of hairloss but now my hair has becum half the volume it used to be :(( n m afraid it mite go to quarter...:(
    cud u please fill me in with any other remedies if not the paleo diet ...it wud be really helpful :)
    waiting eagerly to know..

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    Replies
    1. Hi!
      All types of accutane are very dangerous and should be avoided at all cost. There are other ways of fixing acne. The most common ways would be - balancing hormones, change of diet, improving digestion, treatment of facial yeast. I have done all of them. Medications like Roaccutane or Accutane influence your body's function in more than one way, and ALL of these can cause hair loss. So it is a bit like finding a needle in a hay stack.Your liver could have taken damage, there is a connection to Crohn's disease and IBD. It impairs Vitamin D and Calcium absortion. I would start with an overall health check and then go from there. Paleo might help speed up natural healing but some things may need a doctor. I posted a list a little back, causes of hair loss. Take a look so you know what you could get tested.Maybe something as simple as Vit. D supplements or iron can already fix it, but you need to know your levels. Good luck and feel free to ask more questions!

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  8. Thanks alot for the advice!...i will surely do some testing followed by the paleo...
    will update soon :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Did you know you can create short links with Shortest and make cash for every visitor to your short links.

    ReplyDelete

 

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Emi

Emi
32 yr old slave to a toddler and Medieval Lady from Frankfurt am Main, Germany -"that which is beautiful isn't always good, but that which is good is always beautiful."

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