In my last post, I mentioned how this year has been ground breaking for Hashimoto’s sufferers. The reason I call this year “ground-breaking” is not so much because the information is all new, but rather it is being delivered, for the first time, to the masses. It is not stagnant either, as this information is continuously being added to, as science and our own experiences cause it to become more and more fine-tuned. You and me finally get to have access to information that, in the past, was only available through intense digging into books, medical journals, or for those who could afford it, doctors who have been trained in these fields and were able to get this information to their patients. Yes, before this year, we have had the benefit of books like Dr. Kharrazian’s “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Labs Are Normal,” and Dr. Izabella Wentz’ book, “Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause” in hard copy and eBook form, as well as other good resources I’ve highlighted along the way. But now, sufferers who have been challenged in having the time, brain power, or energy to do this research by reading, are finally getting it in forms that are easier to find, digest, and take action with! Last week we had the Hashimoto’s Institute that was free to our community, now available for purchase through this link. The perfect example of another resource is this interview with Dr. Redd from RedRiver Health & Wellness (or on Facebook here), on the Television show “The Younger You” with Troy Thompson on September 18, 2014, which I am highlighting below in this post today. This information was so practical and had so much in one 20 minute episode, that I felt the need to get this out to everyone possible. In this interview, Dr. Redd answers our practical, yet often left unanswered, questions by conventional medicine. And as I said in my last post featuring Dr. Redd, he comes to the rescue once more by answering these questions in visual form and with clarity: What exactly IS Hashimoto’s? What are the symptoms? What are the important tests to get? What are the common triggers to autoimmune flares? What can help with the symptoms? Why isn’t the pill (thyroid supplement) helping enough? When is it necessary to remove the thyroid? What is the best diet for the thyroid? Is it possible to feel better? Plus many more! Join Dr. Redd as he helps us understand what types of interventions can make a huge difference in our symptoms. I know this because I am a product of these interventions and they do help! I hope you are able to watch this excellent show from the beginning to the end because this information is not easy to find in one place and even more importantly, in 20 minutes! This is especially helpful if Hashimoto’s is all new to you or you are just now trying to find more natural, and I must insert here, more effective, treatment protocols than just a thyroid pill! Here’s to our continued healing journey!
Hashimotos Thyroiditis: Wouldn’t it be Nice if Treatment Success was Based on our Symptom Relief? Dr. Redd Comes to the Rescue!
Having a Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Facebook Support Group brings up many questions about what is going wrong with the standard of care in conventional medicine for us as Hashi’s patients. Why are we not getting well? Why are we feeling like the best thing to do might be to just cut out that stupid thyroid, or give up altogether? Why doesn’t anyone understand? My blog is meant to be a resource for as many people as possible so I often post a variety of ways to get help that I particularly believe in or have experienced as profitable, from diet, to Functional Medicine, to finding out if you are gluten sensitive and resources that will help you with that research. Well, in this post, I asked Dr. Redd, founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center to answer some of these questions for us. I am thrilled to present his responses in video form below. There are two videos. Before each one, I will cover the questions you will get answered. Recently, on our Facebook Support Group page, there was some discussion about why some of us function just fine while others are severely debilitated. This turned into a time where I needed to intervene, because some were not able to comprehend how in the world you can have the same “disease,” yet it cause so many different symptoms and in such differing severity. I am sad to say that some of the comments were uncaring and harsh when those who were truly suffering were asking for compassion and help. This question has been the source of much contention over many months and this is why I asked Dr. Redd to help us understand this and I am also hoping it gives us more compassion for those who are hurting worse that we are, as well as justification for those who are struggling much worse. He also explains why just taking out the thyroid may not be the best answer. And IF we decide to have our thyroid removed, does this mean our autoimmune disease is also removed? Please listen to Dr. Redd as he explains why this is happening: So you may be thinking after watching the above video, “Well, thank you very much but how do I address this autoimmune disease then?” Fortunately for us, Dr. Redd took the time to explain the process of detective work that sometimes needs to be done in order to find those triggers, imbalances and additional deterrents to getting well. What is the cascade of events causing our flare ups? Why is it so hard to control? What are the answers? The following video will hopefully address this as simply as possible for us and help us understand why conventional medicine is not dealing with the real source of the problem. Why don’t they address our quality of life when we go in to the doctor and our TSH is normal? If you are like me, and you’ve had this happen many times in your journey, they really do make you feel like a hypochondriac. I’m sorry, but I’m done with that. I had to leave conventional medicine and move into the world of natural and Functional Medicine (Dr. Redd practices this type of medicine) in order to feel understood and justified. Yes, there is out of pocket expense to get help like this, but if we are not being helped in conventional medicine, at this time, I really don’t know of any other way. I am grateful that doctors like these Functional Medicine doctors have taken the time to acknowledge our pain and suffering and it would not be fair to think they shouldn’t be paid for this very detailed and difficult troubleshooting path they must help us through. So, I thank Dr. Redd for helping us understand our condition better and applaud him for his hard work in providing a practice that will give more of us a chance to feel better. In light of this post, when interacting with other sufferers, let’s all remember that our symptoms could be very different. We all need a place to feel safe and understood, especially when we can be suffering so severely. Let’s reach out to the hurting ones among us and help them feel heard without judgment. This is the reason I developed this blog and Facebook Support Group. There was a time in my life that there was not one person anywhere that seemed to understand my illness, but that was 20 years ago. We have much more help now thanks to professionals like Dr. Redd and other specialized doctors in his center. If you would like to find out more about RedRiver Health and Wellness Center, you can find them here and you can follow them Facebook where you can see customer testimonials, tips, and other great articles to help you along your way. It doesn’t matter if you live in the area or not. Dr. Redd takes patients all over the world and offers a FREE initial consultation via either phone or Skype! If you would like to look for other Functional Medicine doctors in your area, there are searches here and here, but please always get references and consult with these doctors before moving forward to make sure they are a good fit for your particular needs. Here’s to our continued healing journey.
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. […]
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:
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 […]
This thought came to my mind the other day while preparing my staple food for the week. Is the GAPS Diet (or other similar diets like the SCD Diet or Paleo-ish type diets) too restrictive for someone with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis? Let’s put this into perspective first. Here are just a few of the symptoms that I no longer suffer from after incorporating a version (my personalized version based on food sensitivities and other factors) of the GAPS Diet: Indigestion so bad I could not lay down for hours at night or the symptoms would be so intense I would be up anyway fighting them. Instead I tried to sleep on 4-5 pillows to prop me up into a position that was almost upright! In the end, I still couldn’t sleep like this so I missed hours and hours of rest for this reason. Food sensitivities so bad I would feel as if I would pass out and drop into a coma (brain inflammation). I would get dizzy, have severe fast heart rate, my eyes would feel like they would roll back into their sockets, bloated stomach for hours into the night, and then multiple bathroom trips while the toxins worked themselves out of my system. There were more than a handful of nights I was unsure if I would wake up in the morning after many hours of severe symptoms. All this happened sometimes HOURS after eating the culprits so the connection wasn’t always very easy to figure out. Severe weight gain while eating just one meal a day most of the time. Eye pain so bad my husband had to gently push on my eyes with the palm of his hand to help relieve the pain and pressure. This came at the same time as brain inflammation where it seemed there was little blood flow to the left side of my brain (one doctor had confirmed this through testing). Now I understand this is a common symptom of gluten sensitivity and inflammation in the brain. Let’s take a short break from my list to see this phenomenon as described by Dr. Thomas O’Bryan: Blood sugar imbalances causing irritability before meals and then relief after. Also, my days were filled with roller-coaster highs and lows and erratic body temperature. Severe cognitive problems – short-term memory problems and fogginess, depression, inability to think through and speak sentences on a regular basis, etc. Digestion problems that seemed to be part of my every meal’s outcome. Palpitations, stomach bloating, sluggishness, and just overall not feeling like the food has nourished me at all, sometimes felt like it was “sitting” in my digestive tract for more than 24 hours. Days upon days of dysfunction – not being able to commit to a single activity in advance because I would “never know how I would feel” when that day arrived. Most of the time, I had to forego pre-planned events because I was unable to function well enough to go. Thyroid antibodies well over 9,000. Missed opportunities and severed relationships – I could not take advantage of life’s opportunities or keep up to date with old friends or treasured close friends. I was so absorbed with feeling awful, I became unable to connect with the world around me. Plus so many more – I can’t possibly write them all down. You can see some of my before and after symptoms in this post too but they are somewhat the same as I’ve written above.Okay, compare the above list to the list of the perceived “inconveniences” of The GAPS Diet: Cook my own food (our grandparents would get a kick out of that statement I think!) Avoid gluten at all costs! (See my “Let’s Go Gluten Free Series” for how to be sure you are 100% gluten-free) Find organic, fresh and local produce through Farmer’s Markets or grocery store options that give me the best nutrition possible and the least amount of toxins. Plan ahead for the week (another statement our grandparents might laugh at). Plan to eat at home or bring food with me when I travel – restaurant eating is very difficult when avoiding the common allergens and sensitivities. I have actually found that I thoroughly enjoy sitting at the tables in front of stores like Whole Foods or small restaurants with others (at first I felt left out) that have paid for their food there. I savor my superior food now and love that I feel much better than those around me after eating. It used to be quite the opposite! Learn to sleep on a schedule – healing happens rapidly with a good sleeping pattern. A night or two of sleepless or restless nights can bring some of the symptoms back, but not the worst ones. Reduce stress – simplify life. Minimize stress by not over-committing or making unrealistic expectations of myself. I try to accept current circumstances with the decision to do what I can to change things but accept the things I cannot change. This is sometimes easier said that done but the motivation to do this now is worth the health benefits it brings. Use other lifestyle interventions to enhance healing as outlined in books like Izabella Wentz’ book on Hashimoto’s (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause also in eBook form here.) This book is a HUGE help in where to start and how to get immediate help through interventions other than a pill and often much more effective! One road was moving me into utter devastation. The other is moving me into better health and a much better quality of life! Would you rather spend some extra time in the kitchen while feeling good or spend time in bed, or worse, feeling bad? I think you can understand why I am very happy with the EASE of The GAPS Diet compared to the utter MISERY of my prior lifestyle! So, do you think The GAPS Diet is too restrictive? I suppose it is a matter of perspective. Important note: If you are […]