Experiments

Back in July I started an experiment related to an auto-immune disease called Hashimoto’s that I inherited from my mother. The disease is common among light skinned and blond haired women of European descent. Mothers pass it on. It was diagnosed rather late in life and rather surprised – I had never heard of the disease and had none of the associated symptoms. I didn’t notice any difference before and after the diagnosis was made and after taking the pills to up the performance of my thyroid.

Tessa turned me on to some books written by a pharmacist who also had the disease and made the relief of her and others’ severe symptoms her life’s work. I learned that there are some foods that exacerbated her symptoms. My goal was not to alleviate symptoms, since I had none, but rather to get off the medication. I started a four-month experiment, first by removing gluten from my diet – gluten is a known inflammatory agent.  When tests were done after three months there was no difference from a year earlier – some values had gone up a bit and some down. So much for the gluten, though it has been nice to support Tessa for whom gluten is turning out to be really a bad thing.

Then I started another experiment, with the doctor’s consent, to stop taking the thyroid medicine altogether. Again, I noticed no difference. But when my bloodwork results came in today both my primary physician and endocrinologist told me to immediately get back on those pills; the values were wildly out of range, in the wrong direction.  That ended the four month experiment and I am back where I started.

Now I am starting a new experiment, also to get off medication, this time off the statin I am taking for high cholesterol. With about 17 pounds lost and on a daily exercise regime I am wondering whether I still need the medication. With the doctor’s consent I pushed the pill bottle to the back of the shelf, until early February when bloodwork will tell me whether I can continue without or need to get back.

The last experiment is to get off the Neurontin for my ankle zings and prickles. I have started a treatment of cupping – the creation of space in the mass of scar tissue in my left ankle – a dense mass that my overexcited foot nerves can’t seem to penetrate. The first treatment was encouraging – increased mobility and range of motion, less pain.

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