At 17 my life came to a halt with symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I fluctuated often between hyper and hypothyroid symptoms with periods of insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks and weight loss to months later sleeping 15 hours a day, gaining weight, losing hair and feeling extremely tired all the time. This lasted for 6 years, going to doctors without getting any answers for my symptoms.
As a young adult this disease had a negative impact on my self esteem, education, career and friendships.
I experienced severe stomach pains, bloating, fatigue and struggled with anxiety and depression. I became addicted to sugar and unhealthy carbs for “energy” to get through the day.
After 7 trips to my doctor for worsening symptoms, I finally received an antibody test that showed Hashimoto’s. I was relieved to have an answer and thought medication would reduce my symptoms. However, while trying to optimize medication dosages, I still experienced hyper and hypothyroid symptoms and I slowly felt worse over the next 5 years.
I worked with 8 different Endocrinologists over the years, looking for one that would listen to me and treat my symptoms, not just the lab results. During this process I became my own health advocate! I tracked my symptoms, mood, food and thyroid levels/dosages and began to uncover what worked for my body through this data.
I gained knowledge in reading & interpreting lab results and connecting my thyroid levels, symptoms and mood with the food I was eating. With several years of data, certain patterns emerged that showed me nutrition and consistent action towards a healthier lifestyle were key to my improved health – something doctors had never mentioned during all my years of thyroid treatment!
I began a holistic approach to healing with functional medicine by doing an elimination diet that removed gluten and dairy. Prior to this I had no cooking experience. It was a huge barrier for me, but I learned to make simple, easy meals that were gluten and dairy free. This was very different from the usual fast food or frozen meals.
Within a few months, my daily stomach pains went away, inflammation was reduced, I had more energy and less brain fog. I was able to exercise again and lost 25 pounds on a whole foods, gluten free diet. I experienced the power of nutrition and functional healing. I’ve maintained that weight loss and now cook the majority of my meals at home.
For several years I tracked my food intolerances and experimented with diet plans including Paleo, AIP, Low FODMAP and SIBO diet. I learned to be consistent with my exercise, practiced mindfulness activities, reduced stress with yoga and worked on building my self-esteem through mind/body exercises & cognitive behavioral therapy.
I requested further testing from a Naturopathic Doctor for gut issues, which revealed a severe case of SIBO and Candida overgrowth.
I made all of my food at home on a specific diet plan and committed to an herbal regimen that helped successfully eradicate the bacteria and yeast overgrowth after a year.
By listening to my body’s symptoms and being my own health advocate, I was able to heal my body. Through this process I designed Mindful Thyroid – Create Your Healthy Life Program that uses a holistic approach to create the healthy life you deserve!