I know it is a strange title but it is really the truth for me and I think we are finally on the right path! I have been blogging for over 10 years now about my journey with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and the challenges we all have with the lack of understanding and acknowledgment in the conventional medicine model. Just giving us a pill and sending us on our way, not listening to our symptoms, making us out to be hypochondriacs, and leaving us to feel helpless, has been the subject matter of the bulk of my posts in the past. After all, if the test results are in the “normal” range but we feel anything but normal, it’s not our thyroid and must be all in our head! (At least that is what we were told, and still are in conventional medicine most of the time!) About 3 years ago, I found Functional Medicine. I was delighted that someone out there acknowledged my symptoms as truly being associated with Hashimoto’s after all (yeah, finally) after close to 20 years of suffering without any help from conventional medicine. I cried when I was actually listened to for the first time and cried a bit harder when my symptoms were validated. Getting tested for gluten sensitivities and other food sensitivities brought me to the beginning of a huge turning point. I realized I had not truly gone gluten-free at that point, as I had attempted a few years earlier. My journey in this area and links to these references including my whole 8 part and free gluten-free series is here. Then about 2 years ago I was fortunate enough to add the GAPS Diet to my protocol and I finally got relief beyond that which I was getting from just eliminating gluten alone. Now I was getting more help but needed other lifestyle adjustments. Some of these came from my Functional Medicine doctor’s help and some from great books along the way. But THIS YEAR has been the most exciting because it has brought all these pieces to the Hashimoto’s “puzzle” out into the open by several free online events. All can be purchased if you missed them but if you cannot afford to go back and own the previous ones, I have good news! Things are about to get better. Another event is on its way! September 15th through the 22nd (2014) begins another FREE event! People with Hashimoto’s deal with a collection of confusing, chronic and uncomfortable low-thyroid symptoms that aren’t necessarily resolved with medication. That’s because Hashimoto’s affects all systems and the roots link back to your digestive function, your adrenal reserves, your genetic propensity and more. You can learn to manage your symptoms and thrive with Hashimoto’s but you need the pivotal information from the leaders in the field to take you there! If you’re ready to take back your health and thrive with Hashimoto’s, it’s time to enroll in the free Hashimoto’s Institute and dive into the wealth of information. Dr. Alan Christianson (the physician), Dr. Izabella Wentz (the pharmacist) and Andrea Nakayama (the nutritionist) are world-class experts who focus much of their time on thyroid and autoimmune conditions, like Hashimoto’s. They’ve joined forces and combined their clinical experience with the latest emerging research. They’ve gathered over 24 of the top experts in thyroid health to bring you the most cutting-edge Hashimoto’s information. You’ll hear from experts like: Dr. Datis Kharazzian Chris Kresser Sarah Ballantyne Dr. Tom O’Bryan Donna Gates Dr. Deanna Minich . . . and 20+ others Hashimoto’s is not merely a thyroid disorder. It’s your health. Your life. Get inspired and empowered during the Hashimoto’s Institute. You can also click the banner at the end of this post to get to this event. I will be posting the daily topics on the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group page so if you have not “liked” this page yet, make sure you do and I will keep you in the loop for each day’s topics. __________________________________ And finally, this year I found my favorite personal help so far. I have had more relief to my overall health than anything prior through a weight loss and blood sugar balancing supplement which has changed my life. So I made a brand new blog where my story is on the front page there, for those who are interested in that option. I would love for you to join me and see if it can help you too! I have a separate and private FB support group for those who decide to try it through my link there. You may contact me over on my other blog for that info. The bottom line is that this year has been a year of breakthrough in the community. Things I paid dearly for in years past are now free to the public and it has been so fulfilling to watch. I am so thrilled we have choices now and I believe it will get even better and better as time goes on because it will not be long before conventional medicine has to take another look at their inadequate treatment as we help them see we need other interventions. Many of us want health insurance to cover these breakthrough interventions so more of us can afford to have access to these fantastic natural doctors. At the end of this year I will write my “reflections from this year” post as usual, however, when I sum up the year this time, it will include the most helpful options I have ever been able to report. It is all happening so quickly. Finally, inadequate treatment of Hashimoto’s Thyroidtis is being recognized as something conventional medicine needs to acknowledge and address! My dream is that next year, we will be hearing of conventional medicine joining efforts with the natural community, so that we can use both together as needed, and are not ridiculed by conventional medicine for choosing natural options along with medication when necessary. If only conventional […]
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. […]
While searching on the internet, trying to find answers, how many times have you seen these types of results? “Watch out for ‘biological dentistry’, it’s quackery!” “Stay away from Functional Medicine doctors! They are not ‘real’ doctors!” “Alternative medicine doctors are all quacks!” “NEVER, NEVER, diagnose or treat yourself” (it’s not really YOUR body anyway, right?) “Diet cannot reverse any condition, it can only be a helpful aid to conventional medicine.” I used to believe most of the lies above. I used to be so scared to step out and research for myself due to the intimidation of conventional medicine or these Internet “warnings.” Before I found a way to get better, and as you will hear in my story during my podcast interview at GNOWFLINS recently, conventional medicine will not listen to you if you still have symptoms, yet your TSH is “in range.” To them, there is only ONE RIGHT way to deal with Hashimoto’s. But guess what? It is not the right way! It is only treating one symptom of the root problem. For the root, well, they could care less if your thyroid is being destroyed and not to mention, modern science is suggesting that this destruction can be minimized or even prevented! And do they tell us that we need the proper amount of thyroid hormone (not just TSH) for almost every function of the body which is why we have so many symptoms? No, let’s just keep doing what we’re doing, even though you are feeling worse. Does this make sense? Not to the ones suffering! Let’s take a look at each of these untruths and how getting past these misconceptions helped me. Please also allow me to insert a disclaimer at the end of each section lest you think I am not also putting a “blanket statement” out there that the above statements have absolutely no truth to them. Watch out for “biological dentists”, it’s quackery! Let’s see. In my early 20’s I was given about 6 additional mercury amalgam fillings by my, then trusted, dentists. About 20 years, an autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, and severely high mercury levels later, I had them removed and many of my symptoms immediately were helped. Coincidence? I think not. Scientifically proven? Well, some say yes but I will leave that to your research. All I know is that they were removed and I felt better! My follow-up mercury test is incredible. My symptoms are what matters to me. If you are the kind who wants to wait for conventional medicine to catch up with the science, you might have about a 17 year wait time until you get the treatment you need! I wasn’t willing to wait that long. Disclaimer: Although I believe there are some absolutely life saving biological dentists out there, I also caution you to do your research before hiring anyone to work on your teeth and that also goes for the dentists that your insurance plan covers. Here’s a link to some possible leads for biological dentists in your area, however, as with all links I provide on this blog, I highly recommend you get references and check out the track record of anyone you hire. Stay away from Functional Medicine doctors! They are not “real” doctors! As seen here in this interview with Dr. Kharizzian by Mary Shomon, he says: Dr. Kharrazian: The doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree is equal in hours to the doctor of medicine (MD) degree, with almost identical programs the first two years. The programs diverge, however, in the second half. During this time, the DC program focuses on diet, nutrition, and spinal manipulation, while the MD program emphasizes the study of pharmacology. (For full interview, compliments of About.com, see it here.) If you don’t think this is enough education, that is your choice. If conventional medical school has less than one week of nutritional education, do you think we should trust them for that area of our lives? Not me. I think I would like to go to someone who has more thoroughly studied the effects of diet on the body. If I want medication (and sometimes this is necessary), I will go to conventional doctors since this is their specialty. But I want to have the choice, don’t you? I think both should be covered by insurance! Disclaimer: I have heard my share of stories about either outrageously priced Functional Medicine doctors, or that their patients did not feel they were helped by their protocol. I truly believe, just like in conventional medicine, that you need to “shop” around for a doctor who fits your needs and respects you as an active partner in your own treatment. Anyone who doesn’t listen to your needs, conventional, functional, or otherwise, is not a good fit for a partner in your care (in my humble opinion). Alternative medicine doctors are all quacks! The very first glimmer of hope I had was from an Alternative Medicine doctor! After 10 years of suffering in the conventional model that would not listen to my symptoms and the relationship to my autoimmune condition that THEY diagnosed, I was forced to find help outside of the system. My story in-depth is in podcast form here. No one can tell me I was wrong to look elsewhere. I went through enough in conventional medicine to tell me I was not going to be heard. This needs to stop. I hope our voices will be heard. Disclaimer: Not all the Alternative Medicine doctors I have tried have been the best fit for me. Some worked too similarly to conventional medicine which attempted to demean me as a partner in my own treatment protocol. Some depended too much on a certain protocol that they either pushed or partnered with, causing them to care more about the treatment they promoted, over my particular needs. If you are wise, you will strive to pick this out at a consultation before you hire them as your physician. As I said above, you […]
As I look back over my 20 plus years of my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis diagnoses, I see a blur of wasted time. For me, the time wasn’t wasted because I ignored the evidence of lifestyle interventions that can significantly help people with Hashimoto’s (see Izabella’s Wentz’ book Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause or for immediate access, the eBook is here). No, I am innocent on this one because these discoveries were not understood well at that time. Nor was Dr. Kharrazian’s book out then either!
I am taking a break from my month long “Let’s Go Gluten Free Series” in order to bring this blog back to “ground zero.” Ground Zero on this blog has always been a search for the root cause of Hashimoto’s. Anyone who has been following me for the last 9-10 years has come away with the understanding that I have always felt we would find the root cause….one day! Well, that day is on its way faster than ever!
I get this question all the time on my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group Facebook page. I had hoped to do a quick post on this before now, but better late than never. I am not an expert on what a Functional Medicine doctor is but I will give you my experience as a patient and then I will link to you the experts who can tell you the technical details. To give you a hint about my experience with a Functional Medicine approach, let me make it real simple: A Functional Medicine doctor equaled a functional person for me. That’s the bottom line!