This is the last day I, Shauna McCoy, will eat meat, eggs, or dairy products for the next year. The reason is that I have been diagnosed with Grave’s Disease and Hyperthyroidism, and against the will of my endocrinologist, I want to keep my Thyroid. According to western medicine, the only answer to my problem is “Killing my Thyroid” through radiation or surgery. I have “Killing my Thyroid” in quotations because that is a direct quote from my endocrinologist, who will remain unnamed. For whatever reason, I very strongly do not agree with that statement. I believe my thyroid is a vital organ and I want to keep it. So I am going to do whatever is necessary in order to do so… basically my last hope is a Vegan diet, and tomorrow is Day 1.
Let me say that I have been Vegan before, from 2006 to 2008 I did not eat any animal products whatsoever. But I lived in Los Angeles where there are a plethora of amazingly delicious Vegetarian/Vegan restaurants and it was incredibly easy to be Vegan and satisfied. In November of 2008 I moved to Sedona, Arizona where there were 2 vegan restaurants, and I started to get bored. I soon after met my boyfriend Colin, who is a serious meat eater, and by 2010 I was eating hamburgers, sushi, ribs, wings, bacon… you get the point. We moved to Phoenix in October 2010 and have been here ever since.
I started feeling ill in May of 2011. I was getting overheated, sometimes so overheated I would throw up. Sometimes the throwing up wouldn’t stop for days. I was sweating all the time, like dripping sweating, sweating at night, during the day, basically all the time. I had no energy, at my worst I could barely walk a block without having to sit down. I went to the doctor and they did tests, found nothing wrong with me, said I probably had an infection and gave me antibiotics. I didn’t get better. At the time I was waiting tables, had no insurance, and just kept hoping that whatever was wrong with me would just go away. But I just got worse, I started and quit 4 different jobs. I went to doctor after doctor and didn’t get better. After a year and half of this horribleness, my father suggested I get my thyroid checked. So I had blood work done again and whaddyaknow, I was severely hyperthyroid, my numbers were off the chart. I didn’t want to go on thyroid medication so I tried seeing a Naturopath. I took a bunch of herbs and unfortunately didn’t get much better. A few months later I bit the bullet and started seeing an endocrinologist, and started the thyroid meds. Due to my hyper-metabolism I had gotten down to about 110 lbs (I am 5’4″). When I started the medicine, within a month I was up to 126 lbs, at 2 months I was 137 lbs. The weight just kept piling on, I was hardly eating, and I was freaking out. My endocrinologist took me off the medicine in March 2013… as soon as I stopped taking it, the weight started coming off and my metabolism kicked back in. Unfortunately my other symptoms started coming back as well. My endocrinologist dropped me from care because I refused to take her medical advice to kill my thyroid. My Naturopath didn’t know what to do and told me to go back on the medication. I didn’t want to do any of those and decided to get a third opinion.
This pretty much brings us to the present. My mother helped me to find a man named Anthony William who is a self-proclaimed “Medical Medium.” He is not actually a doctor and his way of forming a diagnosis is a bit “out there”, but I am also a bit “out there” so how he was going to go about helping me made sense to me. In a nut-shell, he told me that my thyroid is out of whack due to a virus in my system that is attacking it, the Epstein-Barr virus. The only way to kill the virus is by reinforcing my immune system with specific supplements, and a vegan diet. So this is why I am writing this blog, to track my progress and hopefully save my thyroid.
I am actually pretty excited to Go Vegan again, I just watched the movie “Forks over Knives” on Netflix and it helped give me the motivation I needed to get started. I won’t get into it other than that it focuses on the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and if you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. My specific diet is a little more complex though, along with avoiding animal products I am also supposed to avoid corn, gluten, and soy. My goal is also to cut out caffeine and alcohol. The grains I can eat are limited, so are nuts, seeds, oils, and beans. According to Anthony, this is a High (natural) Sugar/Low Fat diet. I am supposed to eat as much fruit as possible, have raw fruits and veggies during the day, and limit cooked vegetables to nighttime.
This is not going to be easy. The past 2 days I gorged on meat and ice cream and let myself have a last hoorah. This picture shows the last non-vegan meal I will cook for the next year – Baked Garlic-Ginger Chicken Wings (they were absolutely finger-smacking delicious btw). When the year is up, if I am healthy technically I don’t have to continue on the diet, but if I feel as great as I hope I am going to feel, I may stay on it. Only time can tell, right? I know the title of my blog isn’t necessarily true – yet – I may have jumped the gun a little, but I do believe that a year from now, it’s going to be true. I’m sure I can save my thyroid, and I’m going to prove it.