I was nervous when I went to the doctor for the next blood test. I felt a bit better and my resting heart rate had dropped considerably. That gave me hope. On the other hand, I was unsure how much change I could expect in blood test results in 8 weeks.
My heart was pounding fast when the doctor called to share the results. There was improvement. A big relief. And then, soon after, the realization that there are no quick wins. While my thyroid indicators had improved a lot, the change in antibodies (=improvement in autoimmune disease) was smaller than I anticipated. Nevertheless, improvement was there, and my little experiment was allowed to continue.
I reviewed my ‘battle plan’ and introduced some additional supplements to my diet. This is when I really started to feel that my condition was improving. My skin turned from grey to something that looked alive. I had more energy than before. Stress continued to fade away. Gradually, my stomach got better. I realized how unwell I was before. I had gotten used to feeling how I was feeling before and took that as normal. Seeing improvements, I allowed myself to reintroduce some of the ‘probably safe’ foods back to my diet. I felt hopeful and excited and thought that the hardest part is over.
And then, mid-April, my hair started to fall out. Every time I washed, brushed, or when I ran fingers through my hair, it was handfuls that came off. Having very long hair did not help. It was awful. And it went on for a bit more than 2 months. I was surprised I had anything left, but in reality, I do not think others noticed that my hair got thinner. In medical terms, it is called telogen effluvium. It happens when a stressful event (like illness, pregnancy, loss of someone) in your life triggers 30-50% of your hair to go into the telogen (resting) phase at the same time. This phase lasts for 3 months, after which the hair falls out.
In June, I went to the doctor for another blood test. This time, I was certain of further improvement and indeed, the blood test also confirmed it. While certain things are still above the norm, medical intervention is not necessary at the moment. For me, this still means that the adventure continues. Having researched the topic in-depth, I am hopeful that I can improve it even further. The next blood test will be in November/December. In the meantime, I allow myself a bit more flexibility when it comes to food and drinks.
I am doing well and am happy with the progress, even though it was slower than I imagined. I was not being realistic at the start and wanted everything too fast. It has not been an easy journey, and it took a lot of energy to keep performing and smiling through all of this. I am still making peace with the fact that I will probably never introduce some foods back and some only in small amounts. But so far, it has all been worth it. My body is stronger, I no longer need supplements, I feel good, I have energy and I learned to listen to my body.