Life with Hashimoto's
Where it all began...
Last year, when I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I felt exhausted, overwhelmed and hopeless.
I showed up to my appointment and felt eager to hear my lab results and find out what was wrong. I had just been diagnosed with PCOS, but my doctor wanted to do more tests.
I still remember how tired and drained I felt at the appointment. It was after work and my eyes were heavy. I told him that I had to record the appointment because I couldn’t remember anything, and I would go home and forget everything he told me if I didn’t.
He told me that I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, a MTHFR gene mutation, and adrenal fatigue. That was a mouthful, wasn’t it? My two main concerns were, how did this happen and what can I do to get better?
How I found out I had Hashimoto's:
1. Fatigue. Ever since middle school, I was always tired. Not just the, “I had a long week.” tired, but the draining, eyes feel heavy, I haven’t slept in days kind of tired. I had Lyme’s Disease twice as a child, and I never felt the same after that. I went to my primary care physician multiple times seeking help, but he assured me that “it was just my body” and I required that much sleep. Honestly, who requires 12+ hours of sleep to function? I don’t know anyone who sleeps that much at night, besides my dog.
2. Weight trouble. Despite following an intense training program and eating a balanced diet, I still had trouble with my weight. I could gain weight just by looking at a brownie... in fact I probably just gained a pound from typing the word brownie.
3. Stress & anxiety. I was always stressing. Whether it was over a test, a bad grade, a social event, or a decision as small as which shoes I should wear, I was always stressed out to the point where it was exhausting.
4. Frequent infections/getting sick often. Whether it was a sinus infection, an ear infection or a virus, I was somehow always sick with something. When I moved home from college, I had a whole bin of medicine that looked similar to a CVS pharmacy. I had leftover antibiotics, because eventually I became immune to them and they stopped working, every cold medicine, you name it, I had it.
I had so many strange symptoms. I began breaking out in rashes, and just dealing with weird things that didn’t make sense. I knew something was off and I just didn’t know what.
My Treatment Plan:
During my appointment with my doctor, he told me the treatment plans and assured me that this would take some time. He prescribed me Nature Throid, and various other supplements to support my thyroid, gut, and adrenals.
He suggested that I eliminate gluten and follow an anti-inflammatory diet.
My doctor was very helpful. He took the time to explain all of my conditions and answered any questions that I had. I was at the point where I didn’t care what I had to do to get better; I just wanted to get better. If he told me to jump off a bridge and I’ll wake up feeling better, I honestly would have jumped off the bridge.
If you read my PCOS post, then you know that I am not a fan of masking symptoms. I like to get to the bottom of things, and figure out what’s causing it. I was so happy that my doctor was on the same page as me.
I made the decision not to see an endocrinologist and to stick with this doctor. I knew if I went to the endocrinologist, I would be disappointed with the treatment options, and I really just didn’t have time for that. I knew what I wanted to accomplish, and I was going to do it.
There is no cure for Hashimoto’s, but you can reverse it to where you become symptom free and just manage it. My next mission began! I was determined to reverse my Hashimoto’s.
After the initial ‘Why is this happening to me, my life sucks,” period, I began my mission. I began reading blogs online and I ordered my first book, Hashimoto’s: The Root Cause by Izabella Wentz. I listened to podcasts with my mom and became educated on Hashimoto’s.
While there are a lot of treatment options, and everyone is different, this is the plan I am following that works best for me:
1. I take Nature Throid. I started at the lowest dosage and am now at 65 mg. I take this every morning, on an empty stomach with 32oz of warm lemon water.
2. I followed the Autoimmune Paleo diet for around 6 months. When I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s my doctor advised me to cut out gluten. Me being me, I didn’t just cut out gluten, but I opted to follow the Autoimmune Paleo diet. This is similar to the Paleo diet, but more restrictive. The purpose of this diet is to eliminate any inflammatory foods, that aren’t good for your immune system. These foods are eliminated:
Alcohol & caffeine
Beans & legumes
Nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, goji berries, ashwaganda, paprika & other nightshade spices)
Seaweed & other sea vegetables
Sugars (honey, maple syrup, agave)
Canned food & processed foods
Fall nuts and seeds (except coconut)
3. Journaling. I kept a journal where I recorded what I ate, and how I felt for the first 60 days. The purpose of this is to figure out if certain foods are causing issues
4. Manage stress. Some stress relief techniques I practice are:
Epsom salt baths
5. Getting rid of home and personal care products that contain endocrine disruptors that can worsen hormone imbalances
6. Sleep. I make sure to always get enough sleep. Everyone is different, and I personally need 8 hours of sleep to feel my best
7. Say no. I’m so bad at saying no. I’ve learned to say no to things that I don’t want to do, or things that don’t make me happy
Where am I today?
While I’m feeling 10x better than I used to, I’m still working towards my goal of reversing Hashimoto’s.
It’s been a year since I was diagnosed, and I’m still on my mission. While I’m not in complete remission yet, I feel like a brand new person compared to how I was feeling. I don’t breakout in rashes everyday, I don’t sleep for 12+ hours and feel exhausted, I don’t suffer from brain fog and have to record everything.
What are some ways you’ve treated your Hashimoto’s? I'd love to hear from you!
My favorite Hashimoto’s resources:
My favorite books: