Why Organic?

If you’ve been reading through my “Meal Time” posts, you may be wondering why I bother to specify if something was organic.  Here’s some background info on that…

I learned that I had thyroid disease when I was in college.  My levels at the time were neither hypo or hyper, but I had a lump on my thyroid that they took a biopsy of (hello, needles in my neck) and thankfully found to be benign.  In an attempt to shrink that lump while supporting further stabilization of my thyroid levels, I was placed on a synthetic thyroid medication (synthroid).

I used to see an endocrinologist, but when I got married and moved a few states away (almost 10 years ago), I never did find a new endo.  I asked my g.p. about it, but she felt that she was capable of tracking my thyroid and that the local endocrinologist was backed up and not able to see new patients anytime soon.

I think that things were fine those first years of marriage.  My hormones certainly fluctuated what with being pregnant 3 times in about 5 years, but I look back at pictures and see that I looked pretty energetic and was wearing clothes that certainly don’t fit me anymore…even after Little One was born.

I think that the turning point was after I stopped nursing Little One.  I just don’t think I’ve felt “myself” in the past couple years.  For instance, the spring a year after he was weaned I caught a cold that I couldn’t shake for…more than 2 months.  I was wiped out.  Last year I got strep throat and couldn’t even sit up, I was so weak.  Taking a few steps to visit the restroom sapped every remaining bit of strength.  When I finally got in to the dr., the heart rate alarms started beeping when they checked me after just walking down the hall from the waiting room.  None of these things seem very normal, to me.

Then there’s the fact that I just don’t feel energetic much of the time and feel like I need 8-9 hours of sleep at night plus a nap 2-4 times a week.  That’s impractical.  When I got a cold early on this school year, again I felt wiped out for weeks and had to make sleep a major priority.  I knew that my going back to teaching had necessitated quite a transition that could be taking more out of me, but I just wasn’t convinced that everything was right, physically.  I couldn’t help but wonder if my thyroid was doing as well as it should be.

I am very thankful for my morning exercise friends.  We started meeting three mornings a week at 5:30 a.m.  It was nice to have the accountability, but it was even nicer to get to know that group of ladies.  I have so much respect and appreciation for each one of them…but that’s another story altogether.  The point is that three of the five of us meeting have thyroid issues, and know of enough other people who also have thyroid troubles that it got us wondering why? 

One of my exercise friends works in the medical field and has quite a bit of knowledge about thyroid function.  She has explained to me that it’s entirely possible that I feel my best at a lower range, even if my levels are within the “normal” range.  I sometimes read the information on Dr. Mercola’s website and have found information confirming that concept.  Also, I’ve heard in a few different places lately that using synthetic thyroid hormone alone isn’t enough support for my thyroid.

Many of my workouts this summer were designed by celebrity Jillian Michaels.  I really like her workouts–they feel great!  On a whim, I checked out her book entitled, “Master Your Metabolism” and was a bit surprised to hear her affirm different things I’ve been wondering about…like that preservatives and pesticides have a role in how our endocrine systems function.  They seem to reprogram our cells how to function (poorly).

Eager to feel better and stop gaining weight (despite the fact that I’ve been working out harder than ever), I got a copy of Jillian’s “Master Your Metabolism” cookbook and have experimented with some of the recipes.  I buy whatever I can from the organic section.  I try to watch for things on sale or manager’s special and buy them then.  I’m hopeful that it will make a difference in how everyone in my family feels, but we do need to be mindful of costs.  I should see what I can do to get the best prices possible, such as by looking into a food co-op or purchasing a portion of a cow.  I’d love to know if anyone in my area has experience with such methods.

I’ve been mindful of trying to minimalize consumption of foods with preservatives for years, but I’m more committed to it now.  When we go to the grocery store, I get as much as I can from the small “natural foods” section.

I hope to share a couple of my new favorite recipes soon.  Please feel free to share yours, or any other tips/resources you may have!

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2 Responses to Why Organic?

  1. Jen says:

    Hi Janna,
    The whole thyroid thing is interesting and frustrating. I’m hypo and am on synthroid. After first being diagnosed it took a year for my endo to get me on the right dosage for me. Your friend who said that some people feel better with their TSH below normal is spot on, at least for me. I’m on 75 mcg and that’s currently where I feel the best and most energized. Good luck with your quest!

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