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Have you ever had someone tell you that you are wasting your time? Or that you were spinning your wheels?
You know that you are onto something, but you can’t seem to get anyone to listen to you?
I can’t count how many times my doctors gave me an exasperated look when discussing my ideas on healing my thyroid. Or dismissed my symptoms completely.
Sometimes doctors don’t have all the answers.
When I finally switched to a functional medicine doctor, she was the first person to tell me she was willing to take the ride with me to reverse my Hashimoto’s disease.
Great! I was elated. She had heard stories of remission from Hashimoto’s disease, but had never had anyone try to do it. And she told me there were no case studies for her to follow.
However, the fact that she was willing to take the journey with me was a major step forward. Finally, someone believed me!
Also, I can’t thank my husband enough for his support. He switched his diet with me when I needed to make big changes. How would you feel if your partner (and family cook!) decided they were suddenly going gluten free? Big change! I was very lucky that he was supportive through the expense of my supplements and switching to a functional medicine doctor- one that did not take insurance.
It has been an expensive road to say the least. I am hoping that sharing my experience can relieve some of that burden for others.
IMPORTANT RESOURCES FOR HEALING HASHIMOTO’S
I cured my Hashimoto’s disease even though none of my medical doctors believed that I could. It is important to share my story so that other people can know that it is possible.
It is definitely not easy, but it is completely possible to stop your body from attacking your thyroid.
A wonderful resource for healing from Hashimoto’s is Izabella Wentz’s book, HASHIMOTO’S THYROIDITIS: LIFESTYLE INTERVENTIONS FOR FINDING AND TREATING THE ROOT CAUSE . She is a pharmacist who is trying to bring awareness to the ability to heal from Hashimoto’s.
This book is a must read for understanding the possible root causes of Hashimoto’s. I highly recommend ordering it. Reading it was one of the very first steps I took when I began to heal my thyroid.
Another book that helped me on my journey is AUTOIMMUNE: THE CAUSE AND THE CURE by Annesse Brockely and Kristin Urdiales. This book focuses on autoimmune diseases as a whole and is broken into two parts.
Part one of the book is very technical in explaining how the body begins to breakdown into autoimmune disease and the second part tells you how to recover from it. Even if you don’t get through the first part- the second part is the most important!
This book was pivotal in helping me understand how different foods impact your gut bacteria and how to restore the balance in your gut. It is also full of wonderful resources to find the foods that you need.
MY AUTOIMMUNE THYROID JOURNEY
Originally, I wrote these 8 posts as a series because I wanted to tell the entire story as it unfolded for me. I wanted to share what worked and what didn’t.
This is a summary post of my journey to absolutely link these posts together for you. Let me share my story.
I have summarized each post below- please click the links to read the detailed version if you would like the full story. I am proof that it is possible. Your health is worth it!
My Struggle With Hashimoto’s Disease
This is where my story begins. Here is where I gave birth to my first little girl and initially developed all the awful symptoms that come with Hashimoto’s disease. My doctor told me I was normal with my first set of labs, but eventually was willing to test me again. After the second test, she sent me to an endocrinologist to be treated.
This is where I finally received my diagnosis after being sick for 9 months.
Next, I discovered all the tests that can give you the full picture of how your thyroid is performing. It pretty overwhelming at first! In this post I try to explain what each test means and why it is import to the bigger picture. You can even read my results.
It was very necessary for me to understand these tests because they would later tell me if my thyroid was actually healing.
After figuring out the all the test for your your thyroid, it is also important to know you have a choice in the type of medication you take. Many doctors don’t give you a choice. In my case, my Endocrinologist at the time was very reluctant to let me have a say in the type of medication I chose to take. However, she eventually gave in and the medication I choose gave me more energy and proved to be a better answer.
When we were ready to get pregnant with baby #2, my Endocrinologist forced me to switch my medication to levothyroxine. Sadly, I agreed. Looking back, I can see this was not the best choice for me. After giving birth to my second little girl, I finally switched to a functional medicine doctor. She had me start taking supplements to replenish my depleted vitamin levels, you can read about this in 9 Supplements To Take To Heal From Hashimoto’s. Six months later, my thyroid practically stopped working altogether from the postpartum Hashimoto’s flare that follows pregnancy and my doctor had to put me on FULL thyroid replacement.
My TG and TPO antibodies spiked and suddenly the medication could no longer mask my symptoms. I was an absolute mess! My blood sugar was all over the place, I developed insomnia, and I couldn’t quite shake the exhaustion any longer.
I was desperate for a different answer. I eventually googled “Hashimoto’s remission” and I found several success stories online. These stories talked about how they were able heal their Hashimoto’s by changing their diet and lifestyle. I was floored! Almost every story I read mentioned the problem with gluten and the importance of following a gluten free diet.
My Recovery From Hashimoto’s Disease
Next, I talk about the importance of going gluten free and why gluten is connected to autoimmune disease. After beginning a gluten free diet, my thyroid antibodies dropped tremendously! And my energy returned. This was exciting to say the least. Some people are able to completely heal just by removing gluten from their diets. Sadly, it took more work for me since I had already been sick for 3 years at this point.
Everyone who has Hashimoto’s disease has some form of a leaky gut. Here I talk more about what a leaky gut is and how it can progress into autoimmunity. Slowly, your body stops being able to break down food particles and they “leak” into your bloodstream where your immune system attacks them. This is how food intolerances are developed. In order to heal, you must determine these food intolerances and avoid them.
Now that I knew I was the proud owner of a leaky gut, I needed to help my body heal. I changed my diet to a sort of modified paleo diet for 4 months, avoided gluten and grains, and also avoided several foods intolerances I had developed. It was hard, but it was worth it. I also started to add in foods that would restore the good bacteria in my gut. Foods like homemade kefir (made from kefir grains), unpasteurized sauerkraut, and raw milk. You can learn more about these foods in My 5 Favorite Gut Boosting Foods.
One month after going gluten free, when I started to work on healing my leaky gut. My thyroid began to work again and I started to slowly drop back my medication while working with my functional medicine doctor. Over 7 months, I was able to continually drop it back until I was able to stop taking it completely.
For so long, I was unsure that would ever happen! It was such a relief to have my body working as it should. It wasn’t perfect (or optimal), but my thyroid levels were all “normal”. I will say that my free T3 was definitely not optimal. And my body still had some healing to do, even while being off medication.
WHERE AM I TODAY WITH HASHIMOTO’S?
I have been off medication now for 6.5 months and my free T3 has progressively gotten better. Don’t get me wrong- it is painfully slow. But your body doesn’t heal overnight.
At the rate my free T3 is increasing, it seems it will still take me another 6 months to a year to get to optimal. Being patient is really hard right now because my weight tends to follow my free T3.
My thyroid antibodies currently are 18 IU/mL and still decreasing. I hope to get them to be <2 IU/mL in the coming months. My TPO antibodies have continued to drop as my thyroid continues to heal. And in order to heal, your thyroid needs stimulation from your pituitary gland (TSH) which was my motivation to get off my medication if I was able.
If you still would like more information about healing Hashimoto’s disease please read 7 Steps to Heal From Hashimoto’s. I really want others to know that you have more control than you think. Hashimoto’s disease is frustrating and exhausting, but you can get to a better place!
I Refuse To Bribe You.
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