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!
My husband has put up with a lot due to my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis over the years. We’ve been married 20 years now and I was diagnosed with Hashi’s only a couple years after we were first married. Neither one of us knew the impact this condition would have on our lives, especially since the doctor told me a little pill would take care of me for the rest of my life and I would live “normally” regardless of my thyroid destruction (my story here). Little did we know we would face together a complete “melt down” of my system including years of thinking it was “all in my head” until recent medical breakthroughs exposing the reality of my condition began to unfold over the last 2-3 years. I have Functional Medicine to thank for the help I found in my life and today, I am introducing my husband’s perspective on this journey. I want to thank Michael Wentz, who is Hashimoto’s Husband, for his wonderful video and Izabella Wentz for her incredible contribution through her new book, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause (see my book review post here for details). This book, if it were available when I was first diagnosed, would have changed the course of my life. It outlines the very journey to better health I have taken over the last 2 years and is allowing me to fine tune my healing journey from where I am now. And now, I would like to introduce to you my wonderful husband and support, Adrian.
There are many things that go through the mind as you learn of your new diagnoses of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. However, what I have found is that these questions don’t go away after a year, or two, or three. In fact, I’m over 20 years now with Hashimoto’s and the confirmation that this is a “journey” as described in my previous post here, is still at the forefront of my mind. But for those who are relatively new to this condition, perhaps it is appropriate to help clear up some of these questions a bit. We have all kinds of areas to address when it comes to an autoimmune disease. At the top of my head there is everything including diet, exercise, hormone imbalance, insulin levels, food sensitivities, emotional issues, brain fog, thyroid medication, supplementation, gluten sensitivity awareness, and many, many more areas. It took a while for me to realize that the best way to deal with Hashimoto’s was a whole body approach. It’s like a full scale “goose chase” to do anything different.
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!
In this post, I have decided to compose a guide to help those who have recently been diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis but have not yet gone through the “detective” process of sorting out which symptoms are from Hashi’s and which are from other sources. This step was crucial for me in understanding my disease. I hope these simple steps will help someone else: Take inventory of stimulants and chemicals in your diet. Hashimoto’s can be positively influenced by a healthy diet. Consider what you are currently eating. Keep a journal for a week (or even a month!) and spot the culprits that might be there. Some of the more obvious ones are caffeine, sugar and preservatives. I react strongly to all three of these. It took me many years to realize what a significant burden those “foods” were to my health. The first two abuse the adrenal glands and cause all types of imbalance. Preservatives can cause further stress to the brain (especially Aspartame!). Greatly reduce or eliminate your intake of these substances. Once this step is done, it will be easier to monitor the symptoms coming from your disease and those coming instead from food sensitivities or reactions. The best way to learn how to navigate around these culprits is to consider this online eCourse on Traditional food preparation (If this article has been of help to you, clicking the link provided also helps support this blog!). Thank you! This course has been the single greatest help so far in my healing and more classes are added weekly, giving you a wealth of information to learn at your leisure.