Against the Grain With Invisible Issues

I have always been different from those around me. I was the heavy girl in school—the girl who kept to herself and loved to read. I was never one to bring attention to myself. This was my comfort. Blending in and becoming unseen. I never wanted to rock the boat, so I always did what was asked and followed the rules. This has been something that now, as an adult, I still do until now.

My invisible issues

With my wonderful genetics and health comes lots of small invisible issues. Things others would not notice without really trying. Honestly, things I and my doctors didn't notice as well. It can be those small unseen things that can cause the most damage to one's physical and mental health.

When I was 21, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease. This came after having my daughter, working really hard to better my health, and seeing little come of it. I was eating right, working out, and doing all the things you are told to do. I started to notice my weight increase instead of decrease. I went to the doctor and got my first of many diagnoses.

I thought this wouldn't be that bad, take a pill and be cured right? Wrong, for me anyway. One thing that hid for years was my gut's inability to absorb things the way they should, whether food or medication. To be honest we still don't understand why but it is what it is. This has led me to be where I am today.

Small changes have helped my IBS

To me, that just means listening to what my body says. For 14 years of being diagnosed with Hashimoto's, I have tried every trick and diet possible to bring my weight down and have watched it do the opposite of what it should. All the fad diets, workouts, gym memberships, and medication has not helped, but I will not give up just yet! I cannot and refuse to give in that easily.

Small changes can really make a difference. I have seen and heard the wonders of eating a Keto diet. For me, though, it is just not something I can do. I realized this once I really started listening to my body. My gut hates meat. It doesn't seem to matter what animal it comes from to my stomach. It just doesn't like it and makes me feel awful.

Listening to my body

So, what do you do when you have pretty severe IBS-D, an inability to eat meat, and a disease that constantly makes you gain weight you may ask? For me, it was simple. Do what your body allows. I have been working on finding a way of eating that helps minimize flares, but at the same time is healthy.

Never give up

It is not easy by no means and takes tons of dedication and work, but I am finally figuring out my body. Vegetables, which seem to be a big flare for most, aren't as bad for me. Meat and dairy alternatives have been a lifesaver. Somedays, I just want to give in and give up but seeing the small changes keep me from that.

Never give up. One saying I keep reminding myself is, "you have made it through all your hardest days." Slow down and listen. It may not be what is the norm or what is recommended for you but if it works for you, sometimes it's worth the try.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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