As a 20 plus year “veteran” of Hashimoto’s and with 10 years of interaction with the Internet thyroid community, I feel I can really say “I know your pain.” Although I have healed quite a bit in the last two years, I have no trouble remembering and sometimes reliving the symptoms that used to be my common, day-to-day life with Hashi’s before I got the help I so desperately needed. After giving up gluten which really marked the beginning of my more accelerated healing, I found a world of new food choices and this has really helped me with my transition to gluten-free and nutrient dense food. As I write this post, I am enjoying a handful of beautiful blueberries. These types of moments have given me some simple pleasures that have replaced my previous sugar gluten laden and nutrient destroyers. This has nothing to do with this post but just thought I’d “set the mood” a bit and give you a little glimpse of one of my newfound favorite foods. In order to show you why I know your pain and exactly where I’ve come from, here are just some of the symptoms I had on a regular basis before I started the GAPS Diet a couple of years ago (by the way, this list is long and although many people without Hashi’s will look at this with disbelief, I know my Hashi friends will believe me so I am going to list as many of the symptoms as possible): No particular order but here it goes (* = these are symptoms that can come back with triggers like gluten, or are now very minimal – bold means they are gone or significantly reduced so much I don’t consider them current symptoms): *brain inflammation as a result of food sensitivities and leaky gut triggering autoimmunity (no, I haven’t been tested so I cannot be sure on this – regardless – it was the symptom), *bloated stomach after eating, upper stomach pain after eating, pounding in the upper stomach (like blood rushing to the area) after eating, *racing heart after eating, *racing heart at bedtime, *dizziness, *unsteady gait, weight gain for no reason even after eating only one small meal a day, heavy “bones,” terrible debilitating eye pain that came in cycles and spasms, numbness in arms while sleeping, twitching before falling asleep (always explained this as an electrical charge), throat pain and inflammation, chronic recurring infections and colds, *extreme cold extremities, feeling like I have the flu, no energy at all, *lack of concentration, *lack of motivation, *severe anxiety and feelings of “doom,” lost words (which made me feel I was losing more than words, this accounted for loss of time and relationships), headaches/migraines that brought me to the emergency room, brain fog that felt like cotton in my head, disorientation, terrible short-term memory loss, inability to explain my own thoughts, allergies to everything, chronic acute asthma needing nebulizer treatments daily, breathing problems aside from asthma, irregular heart beats, *skipped heart beats, *eye floaters, extremely dry hands in the winter, dizziness in the car, motion sickness while just sitting on a chair that barely moved, light sensitivity (I had to leave restaurants due to the lighting which made me sick feeling), *chemical sensitivities (terrible), loss of small motor skills at times, GERD so bad I could not lay flat in bed for hours at night, *insomnia, *exercise induced fast heart rate (within seconds of the beginning of exercising), chest discomfort, body wide inflammation, fingers too inflamed to wear my wedding ring, foot pain when walking, joint pain at night, feeling like I am going to pass out when I laughed hard from the pressure that went into my head (boy am I glad that symptom is gone – imagine having to control your laughter all the time!), *pressure in head during any exertion or bending over that gave me the same feelings, and an obvious blood sugar imbalance that caused me to be extremely irritable before meals and happy after them which also included terrible mood swings throughout the day. And believe me when I say I have not covered all of them here! (I talk about some of these symptoms in my one year update after starting the GAPS Diet here.) All the above symptoms caused me to never plan to be at any social event. My life had to be on a spontaneous basis and based on whether I could function at all that day or not. Often, even if I did make it somewhere, I would have to go home shortly after due to some trigger while I was there (food, environment, exercise, etc.). Need I go on? I can! But I won’t. Although sometimes I think I should. I’ll tell you why in the next paragraph. The reason I sometimes think I should go on is that on my Facebook Support Group page I get questions every day about others feeling “weird” symptoms and wonder if anyone else has them. As you can see from the list above, you can understand why my common response is, yes, many people have that symptom! Why? Because we are dealing with a system wide problem. We are not dealing with the thyroid (although indirectly we are because our body needs thyroid hormone to function properly in almost every function and organ of the body). But what we are really dealing with is the foundational root problem of Hashimoto’s disease; which is not the thyroid. We are dealing with an autoimmune condition which has triggered the progressive destruction of the thyroid. There is a huge difference! It’s kind of like trying to fix a broken object while someone else continues to beat on it. You need to either address the attacker or remove the object. Unfortunately, with autoimmune disease, you cannot remove your whole body! You need to address the attacker or you will never make progress! Fast forward two years now in March of 2014, I can report that few of these symptoms are left on a regularly basis; some are completely gone. […]
Recently I took my daughter (who also has Hashimoto’s) to our HMO for a regular check-up. As we asked for the test for thyroid antibodies, we got the regular reply, “Once you have antibodies, you will always have them.” But we still asked if we could please get the test anyway. Surprisingly, we were humored. Here’s the problem – if you are in a system that is only treating for your TSH numbers, why would you expect them to do anything else? Even diagnosing Hashimoto’s is a difficulty for them. Why? Because they don’t have a way to treat you with drugs, so why bother diagnosing you? And if you already are diagnosed, why keep beating a dead horse? They see this as a progressive condition that will eventually kill your thyroid. Why watch the destruction? Just accept it! We are living in a world that looks to drugs for all our health concerns. Can you imagine…..? In fact, now that I think of this, it doesn’t have to be imagined. We go on eating all the sugar we want when we have Diabetes as long as the doctor continues to increase our dosage of medication, with whatever it is they have decided to give you to “treat” your Diabetes. But is that drug improving your condition? No. It’s managing the symptoms. If, however, you decided to lay low on the sugar, fruit, grains and other foods that raise your blood sugar levels and your levels naturally lower to the point that you don’t need that side effect laden drug, you are not only improving your condition, but you are preventing complications (long term) while staying away from drugs that will give you side effects that will also need to be “treated.” And the cycle continues with each malady you come to your conventional doctor for. One road attempts to stop the “bleeding” at the root, and the other perpetuates the condition to the point of introducing a variety of new conditions due to a worsening of your condition as well as introducing you to drug induced new problems, which then need their own treatments. I know this. I managed my own mother’s roller-coaster drug induced complications with other drugs as her doctors continued to push new drugs for “preventative” reasons that would have more side-effects; and on and on it went. This toxicity in the body is way too hard on it and many times very unnecessary! I got off of this roller-coaster for my own health about 10 years ago and will never look back! I am not saying there is no place for necessary medications to treat issues that are either not able to be addressed by diet (like thyroid hormone at times) or sometimes, we need to use these medications on our way to reversing the underlying imbalances our body needs to repair. There are many ways to seek health naturally, and what I have found is that due to so many personalities, needs, and situations out there, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach as you attempt to find your own road to healing. There are some resources I highly recommend for this task of finding your particular healing path. These resources can significantly reduce your research time by getting you straight to protocols that have worked for thousands of sufferers. I will list a few of the many resources. First up, we have Izabella Wentz, a Pharmacist and Hashimoto’s patient. This combination gave her incredible insights and access to lab testing that we normally don’t have at our own fingertips. Her experience and conclusions have been recorded in her fantastic book here on Amazon, my affiliate partner, or in eBook form here for immediate access. There is also a great video explaining her book’s focus below: And there is the fantastic new book which focuses on all autoimmune disease and lifestyle interventions which have been proven to help thousands of sufferers and the reasons behind these interventions. This one is incredible for those of you who, like me, are interested in the science behind these changes before jumping on the “bandwagon” diets and lifestyle changes some people are doubtful about. In the author’s own words, here is a tour of The Paleo Approach, by Sarah Ballantyne, which is now available on Amazon.com here: The Paleo Approach is a book I have been waiting months for and will be a constant resource for me as I continue my healing journey! Having these books in your library will be invaluable as you heal because autoimmune disease is complicated and needs fine tuning along the way. An absolutely fabulous interview with Sarah on The Balanced Bites podcast is here. And for a focus of nutrition and building up yours stores of energy lost through deficiencies caused by stress, lack of nutrition, and others, Jeanette, who I introduced last week, has a new book out that is filled with the science behind these deficiencies, how to test for them, and how to address them. Jeanette solved her own health problems which resulted in practical paralysis by using the methods in her book. She shares her journey and insights on her website and in her book here. And of course, the focus of my treatment protocol which I have been using for almost 2 years now with fantastic results, the GAPS Diet which has changed my life and brought a ton of healing to my body. Below you will find a video explaining the basis of this diet (which I used as my jump-start into the diet) and this post describes my healing journey while using this protocol after the first year. I am now moving towards my two year annivesary and I still love this approach. There are more of these fantastic resources in my resource area, but I felt lead to bring these to your attention today. So, let’s not blame our doctors. They are doing their job. They are providing pharmaceutical approaches to your health concerns, providing […]
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Autoimmune and hormone imbalance …. Is testing failing to identify the cause?
Many of you probably know this about me already, but for those who don’t, I have spent the last 10 years interacting on my forums, website, blog and Facebook page for one specific purpose; to share our journeys and hopefully learn from each other. That’s why this post is so special to me. I would like to formally introduce Jeanette Elisha-Elliss who resides in the UK and has been joining in on discussion more frequently on our Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group Facebook page.
Dr. Tom O’Bryan, creator of the world-changing event last November “A Grain of Truth: The Gluten Summit”, has put together a FREE, follow-up webinar about diagnosing gluten-related disorders. That, in itself, is enough to get us incredibly excited for this event! But what is the next step? See the video below for details where you will discover how many resources are available online for FREE before the event! CLICK THIS LINK TO REGISTER FOR FREE: “Now That You Know, Where Do You Go?” is a 90-minute webinar that will guide you though a conversation with your healthcare professional, identifying answers to such questions as: What tests should I take to see if I have a disorder? Could it be gluten? Or dairy? Or another food triggering symptoms? How do I order tests? What if I’m outside of the U.S.? When should I take the tests? How do I interpret the results? What if my results come back positive for a gluten-related disorder? Do I really need to take nutrition? If so, for how long? DATES: January 30, 10:00 A.M. U.S. EST – February 2, midnight U.S. EST LENGTH: 90-minute audio with video REGISTRATION: FREE! You don’t want to miss this FREE, online event available from January 30 – February 2! CLICK THIS LINK TO REGISTER FOR FREE This information is invaluable to our healing journey! Please don’t miss this opportunity! I will see you there! And if you missed The Gluten Summit, you can still purchase the full digital package below:
Many with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis are aware that taking gluten out of their diet can be a huge first step to healing. But for a large percentage of those people, there are so many questions left unanswered. Questions like: What tests should I take to see if I have a disorder? How do I convince my doctor to order the tests? Could it be gluten? Or dairy? Or another food triggering symptoms? When should I take the tests? How do I get them? How do I interpret the results? What if my results come back positive for a gluten-related disorder? What testing options are available outside of the U.S.? These and many more of these types of question will be answered in Dr. O’Bryan’s upcoming webinar as the follow-up to the Gluten Summit. Now That You Know, Where Do You Go? is the next step in our journey and it is also FREE! Just register for free and you will get all this invaluable information and the emails leading up to the event scheduled from January 30 – February 2! I am so excited about this opportunity. I feel like I am being lead down the exact road I have been attempting to forge all by myself for months, but now I have incredible experts to lead the way! Join me for this FREE webinar to learn what the next steps in your personal journey might be. This is the important part. Not everyone will take the same route, so this webinar will cover the step-by-step instructions for as many paths as possible! You will need to figure out which path is best for you because there is no cookie cutter approach to the right one! For those who have already been through the Gluten Summit, you will gain knowledge on how to implement the steps needed to move forward in your journey. For those who have not seen it, you will have a fantastic opportunity to review the most important material for free through this webinar! You don’t want to miss this FREE, online event available from January 30 – February 2! Register Now! And if you missed The Gluten Summit and would like to purchase the whole digital package to review before this next webinar, you can still do that now! This is the most valuable information I have ever had in one place on gluten. I am so glad I have it. Here’s the wrap up video from the Summit in case you missed it which includes Dr. O’Bryan’s touching story on why he is so committed to getting this message out! Click here to purchase the digital package!