Archive for September 19th, 2011

September 19, 2011

The Triple H Threat Can Still Happen To Vegetarians

by jem614

By Jessica Michael

Recently our office provided us a free health screening with nurses consultation (as well as a nifty gift) so that everyone in our company can start on a healthier path.  I went on Thursday to get my blood taken so they could do an analysis of the things that needed to change in my lifestyle.  I’m happy to report that as a vegetarian, I have excellent results on almost all the tests.  However, there was one thing that concerned me.  I do have low levels of blood sugar as well as a very high thyroid panel (healthy range is .450 to 4.50 and mine is 6.130).

I’ve always had a hard time keeping my blood sugar normal.  While not diabetic, I experience frequent bouts of hypoglycemia (very low blood sugar) which is related to Hyperinsulinemia, a over production of insulin to combat sugar in the blood.  This tends to make me tired, hungry and angry all at the same time (think PMS times 10).  It’s not a fun experience and makes it difficult to have energy to exercise or make good choices when I eat (though as a vegetarian I am 75% better than before).  Hypothyroidism also comes with difficulty losing weight.  Last year when training for the 13.1 race, I didn’t even lose a pound though I was working out sometimes five days a week for hours at a time.  At the time I didn’t know I was experiencing Hypothyroidism, I thought it was just because I wasn’t eating the perfect combination of foods.

After a conversation with a friend last week who cut out sugar because she has PCOS (also something I struggle with) and my test results this week, I’m realizing that something has to change drastically.  The only real cure for Hypothyroidism is losing weight (go figure).  The only way to lose weight is to eat whole grains, greens, and good protein as well as exercising regularly.  I will not be a pill popper if it’s not absolutely necessary.

I’m telling you all this because I think it’s important for everyone, men and women, to  re-evaluate how you’re living.  We never realize the consequences of what we put in our mouth until it’s too late.  Either the scale hits you with a horrific number or the doctor hits you with a horrific diagnosis.  As vegetarians we can tend to think we’re just fine because we’ve cut out meat but vegetarians can be just as unhealthy as carnivores.

I’m going to change the way I eat, I promise myself that I will not be as cavalier about the way I take care of my body as I used to be.   I can’t promise that I’ll be perfect but I’ll certainly do everything I can to make sure I’m responsible for a healthier future.  I’m switching sugars for low sugar fruits like apples and berries; white flours and starches for whole grains; and cutting the coffee (OMG did I just say that?).

If you’re looking for a change as well, join me as I take the journey to cut out sugar (including high sugar fruits), processed white flour products, excess fats and carbs like potatoes.  It’s going to be a hard road, fraught with struggles and strife but I’m so ready to take charge of my health.  I hope you are too!

For more information on Hypothyroidism which is connected to Hyperinsulinemia and Hyopoglycemia, check out these great resources and schedule an appointment with your doctor!

http://thyroid.about.com/cs/dietweightloss/a/losingweight.htm

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hypothyroidism-topic-overview

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