After my last visit with my traditional endocrinologist, I resolved to try something different. I looked around for another endocrinologist, but all the ones around here follow the same protocol -- I was never able to connect with my old friend from the gym to find out who she was working with. Traditional endocrinologists treat Hashimoto's with Synthroid, increasing the dose as the patient's thyroid starts to die off.
I decided to go more woo-woo. I got the name of an MD/acupuncturist/functional medicine doctor. I decided I would do what she suggested even if I didn't think it would work. I had tried the traditional way and wanted to try something different.
I wasn't surprised when she suggested I go gluten- and dairy-free. I had read enough blog posts and listened to enough podcasts to know that this is pretty standard. She did a bunch of tests and it turned out that my Synthroid dose was so high that it completely suppressed my thyroid, so we lowered it a bit. I'm also taking Vitamin D because even in the summer, with all my outdoor training, I had a sub-optimal D level. I can't imagine how low it gets in the winter.
She also wanted me to give up coffee for three months, which I am doing. I thought that would be harder than it is. I can have tea, and sometimes I do, but it doesn't hype me up like coffee, so I don't really care if I have it or not. I have also been getting acupuncture once a week.
The only thing I notice, but it's a big thing, is that after a hard training session I don't feel a lot of aches and pains the next day. I might have sore muscles, but my joints don't hurt.
I haven't really been tempted to cheat on the gluten -- gluten-free stuff is not that hard to find. I miss the dairy more, and did ask -- and get the go-ahead -- to try some non-cow milk. Traditional Romano cheese is made with sheep's milk, so when I have gluten-free pasta, I can have some cheese on it.
Mostly, though, going gluten-free has changed the way I eat. Most junk food has either gluten or dairy in it, so I skip a lot of things that I didn't need to eat anyway. I have lost about 5 pounds in the few weeks without making any other major changes to my eating habits. Just eliminating those two things has helped me feel a lot better. That makes it easy to say no to those foods. I never felt like I had a lot of willpower, but this is relatively easy for me.
I'm not anxious to add a lot of other restrictions. My current lifestyle doesn't make it easy for me to plan all of my food ahead, and it's hard enough to find food out that fits these limitations.