In January of 2020, I found out that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that damages the Thyroid gland. Basically a fancy way of saying that your immune system is attacking your own thyroid. I wish I could say I was shocked or surprised by this diagnosis, but that’s not really the truth.
In fact, for years I had symptoms which I would call odd or abnormal, but was made to feel a little crazy when doctors told me that my thyroid levels were normal or that I must just be experiencing normal postpartum symptoms. Let me back up for a little bit. My long list of symptoms included things like Anxiety, hair loss, brain fog, extreme fatigue, weight fluctuation, inability to lose weight despite efforts, inflammation, joint pain, etc. I would explain this to my doctors over the years and I would always hear the same response. “You just have anxiety” or “You just had a baby” or “Your hormones are just trying to get back to normal”. Enter my frustration. Deep down I knew something was off with my body. I felt it. But for the longest time, I just shrugged it off and thought that maybe this was just how I was supposed to feel.
After my third baby was getting older, yes it took me that long to truly get serious about this, I started to get the urge to look into alternative methods of figuring out what was going on. I needed to find someone that would listen to me. I contacted a natural practitioner and started communicating with her about what was going on. She agreed to see me and start diving into what I was feeling. For those that are curious her name is, Wendy Shuff and her practice is Live Simply Well. She has been amazing and has truly partnered with me on this healing journey.
Long story short, we got to the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s after a full thyroid blood panel was run along with some other helpful scans. I say this because all of those years requesting blood work and labs, I never knew to ask for the FULL thyroid panel to get an entire picture of what was going on or to have someone look at it through a holistic lens. I am not a medical professional, but I have learned enough from my own journey to now know that not all thyroid labs are created equally.
Once I got the official diagnosis, I went into full-on research mode and jumped right in. The day I found out I was actually headed to a retreat to meet a bunch of amazing women whom I had never met before. The entire drive up I listened to an audiobook by Dr. Izabella Wentz, “Hashimoto’s Protocol”. I had literally just found out and was diving into ways to heal. I made a decision right then and there that I would not let this define me or break me.
Do I have moments of defeat? Have I felt that my body must just be failing me? YES. Absolutely, yes. Even in this healing process, I have moments when I feel like I am doing all the right things and not seeing the “results” or “changes” that I would like to see. That’s when I have to remind myself that it’s healing a process. A journey. And it will not happen overnight.
There have been a lot of things I have done since the diagnosis in terms of changes to help support my thyroid. Diet, exercise, supplements, thyroid medication, and stress reduction techniques. But the biggest thing that has been contributing to my healing has been mindset and resilience. You see, I don’t really understand the word NO. I don’t easily give up. It’s not in my nature to throw in the towel when things get hard. And things do get hard. Don’t get me wrong. Do I ever complain and self wallow? Yep. Just ask my husband. He hears it the most. HAHA! But I usually find a way to pull myself out of that place and get a little bit stronger each time.
Am I healed? No. Am I on the path to healing? Yes. Do I know what the magic potion is for healing? No. But with the support of my practitioner, my family, and my friends, I will get there. If you are on your own healing journey or you maybe suspect that something is off in your own body, the biggest piece of advice I can give to you is…ADVOCATE for yourself and for your health. You are the one that knows your body. You live in it. Find someone that will listen to you and treat you as a whole.
As I learn more about my body and my healing journey, I will continue to post about it and share what has been helping me. In hopes that someone out there will be helped by it. After all, autoimmunity is affecting over 23.5 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Yours in Health,