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Path to Healing Part 2 – Release & Replenish

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Hello Beautiful Readers! Welcome back for part 2 of my healing process working with my brilliant new doctor. Here is a link to part one if you have not yet read it.

Due to my particular set of symptoms and circumstances, I was (fortunately) tested for levels of minerals and heavy metals. Since I have been a vegetarian for 21 years, I was not too surprised when the tests revealed zinc and iron deficiencies. I have also done my best (to the point of obsession) to eat a diet rich in the nutritional spectrum but deep down, I think I knew that wasn’t completely possible after my initial hypothyroid diagnosis. The tests also showed a very high level of cadmium in my body. Cadmium?!? Really? Like from batteries? Wowza. Now the super crazy thing about cadmium is that is doesn’t show up very well in blood tests so the fact that it showed up as high on mine was kinda alarming. Heavy metal toxicity and mineral deficiencies seems to go hand in hand. Certain minerals seem to curtail the havoc that heavy metals can wreak. These minerals include zinc, iron, selenium, calcium and magnesium. Zinc is particularly helpful in protecting the body against cadmium absorption. At least the results were consistent.

So I got these results with mixed emotions. I was very relieved to learn about the heavy metal toxicity since there was no way my little-engine-that-could thyroid was ever going to properly function without addressing this major issue. The other side of the cadmium coin was that I would finally have to address my vegetarian diet. I will share my experience with this in part three of this three-part post. Anyway, the zinc and iron were pretty easy fixes – just another few pills in my overstuffed pill case. The heavy metal chelation needed to be handled with great care since detoxification is physically and emotionally challenging. It is dangerous if done wrong. Also, chelation (what pulls the metals out of the body) can remove important vitamins and minerals out as well. The chelating agents do not discriminate – their job is to simply flush. Luckily I am blessed to find an incredible doctor with lots of experience healing people (an important quality in a doctor). He determined the best route for me would be a long-term, low and steady dose of DMSA (the chelating agent) partnered with higher dosages of vitamins and minerals. The entire process would take six months.

As I tend to often do, I came up with a written plan. This plan was designed to supplement my detox to assist the metals in finding their way out and to make the experience as easy on me as possible. I was not feeling very well at the time and I was nervous how hard this was going to be. I scheduled a few colonics, spent time in a far-infrared sauna and hung out in the steam room at the gym. I made myself green juices of celery, cucumber, lemon, ginger and cilantro (tastes better than it sounds). Cilantro is supposed to help remove heavy metals. I ate spinach every day (still do – I LOVE it!) since spinach is a powerful liver cleanser and metals can build up here. I drank a buckets of liquids and popped a ton of vitamin C. I spent time in silence, visualizing my healthy clean body. I cried when I needed to and I leaned on my wonderful family for support (thanks guys).

I am now 4 1/2 months into my 6-month protocol and I am feeling soooo much better. I will be retested for just about everything in a month or so. Of course I still have the usual tough “thyroidy” times but it is different now. I am able to see actual healing going on. There is no doubt that my system is learning to function again. I am happy and excited to keep on healing. Yahoo! I am grateful to be on this path, grateful to be working with this doctor, grateful for the amazing online thyroid community that we are all a part of.

And while we are on the subject of our amazing community, the ThyroidChange petition calling for better care fo thyroid patients has over 8000 signatures! Please take a moment to sign if you haven’t done so already. Also, Carol Gray, the Crazy Thyroid Lady has written a new book which I have no doubt will be both hilarious and helpful. I just picked up my copy and can’t wait to read it.

Sending you love and thoughts of vibrant health.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.zenthyroid.com/2013/01/21/path-to-healing-part-2-release-replenish/

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  1. Elaine

    It is inspiring to know after such a rough road, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. You give voice to those who are quietly following a similar journey. Thank you.

  2. Sonia Farlen

    Do you think it is still neccessary for a person to take supplements or pills to recover from zinc deficiency or even iron deficiency. According to what I’ve read from this article http://products.mercola.com/zinc-supplements/ that it is still much better to solve this kind of nutritional deficiencies by eating foods rich in it which is much better than taking any supplement at all. What are your insights about this?

    1. Mikelle

      Hi Sonia~ Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate you taking the time to post the link to the article and ask your question. I believe that each person has a different path to health and that those paths can change throughout one’s life. For much of my adult life, I tried to eat foods that would provide me with a complete nutritional spectrum. Admittedly, I was even dogmatic about that at times. I thought for sure that I could get everything that I needed from foods alone…and as a vegetarian with a thyroid problem! I did OK for a long time until I got very sick in 2011. When I was tested for minerals and metals six months ago, it was clear that I needed to supplement just to get myself back to a functioning state. I wasn’t even absorbing the nutrients from my food. My mineral deficiencies were resulting in a heavy metal toxicity to worsen which was impeding my already struggling thyroid. So, my answer to you is based on my own personal experience. I am grateful that a blood test was able to identify the minerals that I needed to supplement with and now am looking forward to soon returning to a healthy state where my body will be able to absorb enough nutrition from food alone.

      By the way, I notice that the article you reference does advertise for Dr. Mercola’s zinc supplement at the bottom. I am not familiar with his brand of supplements. I have been using Thorne based on the recommendation of my doctor and am very pleased with how well they work. They are easy to digest and seem to really work.

      Sending you wishes for wonderful health and happiness, Sonia!

  3. AutoImmune Girl

    That is great news. I’m still working to get to the point of even being able to test for heavy metals. My Dr. feels my body isn’t strong enough for the challenge yet. I’m glad you can tell there is healing going on and that your body is functioning much better. I believe I’ll be there one day too.
    AutoImmune Girl recently posted…This is Not Sugar and Spice and Everything NiceMy Profile

    1. Mikelle

      Hi AutoImmune Girl~ Thanks for your comment. I have no doubt that you will be there very soon! I truly admire your battle for your health – your blog is an incredible resource. You have been through so much. Yesterday I received the results of my 6-month follow up test for metals and minerals. After 6 months of detox, my cadmium is still high but definitely lower. However, I now have high mercury. I am about to embark on a new round of detox, this time getting EDTA and DMSA intraveniously. I am surprised about the results because I am feeling better. I am thinking though that my new thyroid meds (Naturethroid) are the reason for feeling better, rather than the detox. Anyway, I will post about my next round of detox. In the meantime, I will be thinking of you feeling better 🙂

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