Gluten-Free: The road to recovery

Just when I’ve gotten to a place where I am not struggling with having Celiac’s Disease, LIFE (yes I’ve capitalized it) has kicked me up side the head!  Now don’t get me wrong I am incredibly grateful, as I am up walking around most days, hold down a great job, fabulous clients and manage to travel quite often.  But with having more than one autoimmune disease (let’s count them:  Fibromyalgia, Celiac’s Disease & Sjogren’s disease), there is always some concern something else might crop up and it has!

I’ve been putting on weight rapidly lately over the last 6 months.  Yes I know I get to eat out at some of the finest establishments here in Austin and when I travel I don’t hold back (why would you), but the weight gain didn’t make any sense even with what I had been eating.  Plus I’ve been having other symptoms that were not consistent with the other autoimmune syndrome/diseases.

So I recently went in to see my internist, whom by the way is amazing! Dr. Lydia Wolf is an internist at Seton and she takes the time out to work with you, she really listens. Going back into see her again after my initial concerns at a previous appointment 3+ months ago, we readdressed the issues and she’s sending me to see an endocrinologist for testing – For what you ask?  Cushing’s Disease.

I’m keeping a positive outlook, but it’s highly likely that my tests will come back positive due to the (1) symptoms I am having and (2) due to the more than 20+ spinal injections I’ve had due having multiple herniated disks out from the eight car accidents.  What is so concerning to me about Cushing’s? A few things:

  1. The spinal injections I’ve had over the years due to the eight car accidents may have caused the new diagnosis (What’s a gal to do though?  The injections were necessary for me to just even get up and walk around, to be able to function on a basic level).  The injections were steroid’s, of which Cortisol is a main ingredient.
  2. The treatment options:  Obviously reduction of the Corticosteroids is a no brainer!  But the other treatments are (1) Surgery (and yes our pituitary glad is located in the brain – now that’s a fun surgery), and (2) Six weeks of Radiation and/or Chemotherapy. There is also the removal of the adrenal glands (which sit at the atop your kidneys, but this is a last resort. (3) Medications: There is a regiment of medications that are given before surgery to minimize the risks of surgery and also to reduce the production of cortisol in the body.

I’m 41 years old and have already been through many major medical treatments/surgeries.  I’m not ready to pony up to the table for more at this point.   Growing up my mother working for the head medical director of Kaiser Hospital in Fontana, CA for 20+ years and having been through so much due to my car accidents the last few years, I’ve started looking into holistic and homeopathic medicine/treatments, as the body is an amazing wonder in the way that it can heal itself in lieu of pumping it full of medications.  I’ve also just started back to school to study nutrition and get my health coach certification, so in some ways this is perfect timing. I haven’t been wanting to take more medications as clearly loading my body up with medications/treatments has gotten me to this place with a possible diagnosis of Cushing’s Disease.

For now my plan is to reduce any stress (ha!) and/or at least take a good swing at reducing it by doing the following:

  • Taking yoga twice a week (this is provided by my employer so I should take advantage of it).
  • Eat appropriately:  Obviously eating gluten-free is the rule here, but also removing all refined sugar’s from my diet (Amy Green I am going to tap you as a resource on this as it’s such a struggle for me).  Also eating foods that are rich in  Vitamin D (Eggs, Fish, Mushrooms). Incorporate more raw food into my daily eating regimen.
  • Nurturing the body:  Getting a massage every other week, walking Town Lake, swimming (gentle exercise on the body).
  • Having a good support system in place:  I’ve just got the best family ever and some really great friends who’ve been so amazing thus far – Thank you so much!

So life is a journey and I just have to keep my head above water, laugh along the way and enjoy all the little moments!

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