My Battle With Graves Disease, part 6

How i feel

Since my last blog about graves disease i kept check on how i feel and how much i weigh. Feeling agitated and losing weight (and not sleeping well) are primary indicators something is up.

So far so good, despite COVID-19 being around. My weight has been rather stable, between 96 and 98 kg. Most of the time i felt fine, no trembling hands or feeling rushed all the time, no fast or pounding heartbeat.

I did however have a short period of stress, mostly due to work. And the way i feel when i have stress is similair to graves symptoms. Sleeping less well, chest a bit tight, not able to relax. And because i can’t always tell the difference, it adds a bit to the stress. But i always fall back to my weight as an indicator and trembling hands. So if they are stable, so am i….sort of. If i’m not sure i can always get tested but then you’re too late of the test is ‘positive’.

The other positive thing is that i’m now medicine free for 1 year. I’m however a bit sceptical, the last time i went without medicine was almost 2 years and the disease came back. I try not to think about it but i have to be aware of it.

Results

I wanted to share the last 2 rounds of results (sorry, it’s Dutch but you get the gist of it) from the past half year.

TSH

Free T4

As you can see (and if you know what you see), the results, epecially the last two, were very good. Moslty because my TSH value is a bit higher. I have one more test coming up this year and after that i’m ‘fired’ (again) from seeing the endicrinologist. Then it’s just checking bloodwork twice a year.

Intermittent fasting

As you may have guessed from my previous related blogs i’m a big proponent of trying to eat as healthy as possible (but still enjoy it) and have a healthy gut. I cut out gluten and dairy (cow) products. All because that is most likely causing the disease, triggering the immune-system due to a leaky gut as a result of gluten and traces of food entering your body.

So when i read about intermittent fasting my curiosity was peaked. I won’t go into what it is and all the benefits (both alleged and backed by science and research). There’s tons of sites and youtube video’s covering this topic. The main reason i wanted to try is to give my gut more time to rest and heal. We have adopted a certain eating pattern that, as hypothesized, is not fitting our biology. And because we eat a lot and can eat at any time we don’t give our body, especially our gut, time to rest. It is busy digesting and not resting, or healing.

I was also wondering about the link between auto-immune diseases and intermittent fasting, and potential benefits. I’ve found a few resources that cover that topic and all mention that it can help reduce inflammation. So this implies not eating for a longer period, say 16 hours, helps your body heal and can reduce triggers for inflammation.

These are just a few sources so always be critical of them but intermittent fasting seems to have the research on it’s side. I’ve been trying it for a month now, trying to do 3 or 4 days a week 16/8 (16 hour not eating, 8 hours where i can eat). I’m not reducing the amount of food yet to keep up my bodyweight but i might experiment with that a bit, as long as i don’t loose too much weight.

I found the experience quite positive, when i get up i simply don’t eat yet. Just some water and tea. Even when i work out in the morning, i don’t eat and i have to say it seems to work a bit better. I don’t feel more tired working out (crossfit), quite the opposite, i seem to have a bit more energy.

What i do experience, since i’m still eating the same amount that breakfast and lunch are close together so i usually eat a bit less at lunch. The other tough part is to not eat after 18:00. I would like to have a small snack sometimes but i can resist the urge. So far so good and i’ll keep this part of my arsenal.

My suggestion, read about it, try it and see for yourself how it feels for you. Who knows…you might discover something. Never stop learning.

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