healing auto-immune disease, by someone who’s been there #1

Posted on February 5th, 2010
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked how I manage my autoimmune disease I could buy a small island. I’m happy with my two-bed flat, so I’ll share my experience and tips and philosophies on it all here for free.*
healing auto-immune disease: wear good red socks for this long journey!

healing auto-immune disease: wear good red socks for this long journey!

I’ve been promising this for ages: a rundown of what I’ve done to get on top of my Hashimoto’s (hypoactive thyroid disease), and to throw in some advice from practitioners I’ve turned to for help (check out naturapth Angela Hywood’s healing eating tips here).

A few things first:

* If you don’t have auto-immune disease, you’ll still find this interesting. IMO, auto-immune suffereers are the proverbial canaries down the mineshaft. Our symptoms are signals of what our lifestyles are doing to all of us, a reflection of the over-toxic, hyper-adrenal, sugary, sleep-deprived, anxious lives we’re living. Again, IMO, Auto-immune disease types have particularly sensitive systems – for a whole range of reasons (hereditary, trauma-related) – and so we tip over the edge more easily.  The rest of the world should see us as nifty warning beacons and heed our lifestyle tips!

* The below is advice I’d give to myself, if I could go back two years, to avoid the very bumpy journey I’ve had to ride toward a better understanding of the disease. I’m not giving advice to anyone else. Really, I aim only to inspire you to ask questions and find what works for you. And that’s the thing – there is no one cause or fix. Also – and this is the blessing – in the searching for your own answers, you come to learn a lot of really important stuff about yourself…that you’ve wanted to find out for a long time. Which is why you got sick…. More on this below. Finally, I refer directly to Hashimotos, but much of the thinking applies equally to other AI diseases.

* Feel free to send me your tips and I’ll post them as well.

OK, so here goes. I’ll do it as a Q and A for ease.

What’s this autoimmune caper about?

Autoimmune disease is a condition that sees the body attack its own cells, resulting in a colourful array of diseases, including Crohns and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s said to be among the top ten causes of death for women under 65. This “about thyroid” site gives more detail.

I first got the condition at 21 in the form of Graves disease (a hyperactive thyroid). Thirteen years later (at the end of 2007) it switched to Hashimotos (an underactive thyroid). It often goes this way. A bit like a star that burns too brightly and eventually implodes.

Did I get fat?

I put on 12kg in a matter of months. Which was hard, given not long after I was plonked on a national TV show with 4.5 million Australians watching. Thankfully it was a show about food. And my co-hosts were chubby! I’ve lost about 3kg since then.

To be sure, Hashimotos is not a kind disease to the female ego. Other charming symptoms: my hair thinned, my nails flaked off to the nail pit, and I got to a point where I couldn’t walk. I’d stand and fall over. Oh, yes, and I got depressed. And inflamed. I HATE the inflammation. On “thyroidy” days, my right side swells up and tingles. My lips feel like they’re burning. I still get this when I overdo things (don’t sleep enough, do a little too much exercise or eat certain foods); it’s like a little red flag that tells me be to back off and look after myself. I also still get very tired some days and find it hard to move about. Again. Helpful red flag.

I also lost all my female hormones and my periods stopped for about a year, which caused a bunch of other issues (brittle bones and, oooooh, mood fluctuations), and got me real worried I’d never be able to have kids.

The weirdest symptom?

I lost the outer third of my eyebrows (weird, but quite common). I now have to pencil them in. And I have a really good eyebrow shaper who corrals them into shape (Gee in Double Bay 0404 034 312).

the resulting inflammation can make for big hands and feet

the resulting inflammation can make for big hands and feet

The weirdest little theory I’ve developed?

That AI tends to strike A-type people who push themselves too hard. A lot of fitness instructors and Gen X intelligent, successful women get it. I often ask AI sufferers if they agree with the idea that they knew they were cruising for some sort of bruising health collapse. They all say, yes.  Just a little observation…

The first step?

A blood test, which found my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels were off the richter scale, which indicates my poor little system was frantically trying to jolt my thyroid into action (by stimulating it with TSH to produce thyroid hormones), not realising it had shut up shop. TSH levels are meant to be between 0.5 and 2.5 (or thereabouts; there’s a lot of discussion on this topic). Mine were at 85.

GPs can do this test for you. You then book into see an endocrinologist. I was put on Thyroxin. I’m going to say it bluntly: endos are good for getting the basic tests done and issuing prescriptions. But most, I’ve found, are so Western in their thinking that they don’t want to help further. It’s not in their interest to. They have a pill they can give you, which is meant to abate the symptoms, so don’t bother to look at what’s causing the lack of hormones in the first place. There are no concrete answers, so they don’t like to help you delve because the lack of certainty makes them uneasy. The apply a Band-aid only. This is my experience only, of course.

Thyroxin or T3/T4?

There is much debate about whether it’s better to take straight thyroxin or a version that breaks down T4 into T3. The former is produced by the big pharmaceutical companies. Ergo, you’ll find most doctors and endos will push this course. The latter you have to get made up by a compound chemist and a lot of doctors remain skeptical about its worth. The inclusion of T3 in the compound version is because not all people with hypothyroidism can convert T4 effectively to T3 (which you need for thryoid balance), largely because when you’re so adrenally exhausted and your immune system is under pressure you just can’t. (Nutritionist Sally Joseph explained all this to me; she’ll be posting her thoughts here next week). Which brings me to my next point.

The second step?

Research and ask questions. Fact is, no one really knows what causes AI and how to fix it. So you have to develop a wellness plan for yourself. That is, develop a robust interest in managing your health, and all the practitioners you encounter, by reading, asking questions and trying out different approaches. I love GPs and I love herbalists… and the rest. But, boy, they’re a recalcitrant bunch; they rarely agree. Take it as given that it’s your job to coordinate them and their conflicting wisdoms to develop a routine best for you. Annoying. But true. I’d really recommend taking notes and keeping a wellness diary. I didn’t, but wish I had.

What does my wellness plan look like?

Um, soup. Or maybe an onion. Or a matted ball of string that I’m gradually unknotting by gently loosening it around the edges, bit by bit. No one thing on it’s own works. It’s been more of a shifting of all my lifestyle habits. But here’s one tip to take on:

Don’t do dramatic shifts – they don’t suit our constitutions and make AI worse. Keep it soft, kind, gradual.

Which brings me to another really vital point:

If I could send a note to myself two years ago, it would say:

Dearest Sarah,  Please, please be kind to yourself. It’s your abrupt, impatient, push-yourself-to-limits approach that landed you here in the first place. Healing will come when – and as – you learn to be kinder and gentler to yourself. This is good news. It’s time to treat yourself well. From Me. x

OK, so why did I get AI?

I’ve arrived at a point where I know with all my heart I got AI because I needed to. Yes!  I was burn out and over myself. But I couldn’t stop (drinking coffee, knocking back half a bottle of wine each night, working 15-hour days, enduring the nastiest breakup in Christendom, not sleeping, striving and climbing higher because I didn’t think I was enough on my own…). It was a habit I was scared to break. I really wanted to live a different way. But I was worried that if I slowed down, everything would unravel.

So I was forced to.

My body ground to a halt so I couldn’t go any further until I’d woken up. It collapsed in a heap, effectively saying to me, “Well, if you won’t stop, I will. And I’ll collapse right here, in the middle of everything and prevent you from going any further down this path until you get a grip of yourself”.

The lifestyle changes I’ve had to make have changed my life. I’m happy these days. And clear. And for this I’m glad.

So I’m grateful?

Hell, yes.

How do I eat now?

* The first approach to work for me was alakalising my system. The western lifestyle has too much acid propping it up; too much sugar, alcohol, coffee, red meat and stress. Now consider this: cancer and autoimmune disease can’t survive in a system that’s been de-acidified, or alkalised. So it’s simple: cut out as much acid as is doable – wheat, dairy, potatoes, tomatoes, booze, too much tofu etc and eat lots of green veggies.

* I no longer drink coffee and I’ve cut my red wine consumption down to two glasses a week or so (in keeping with my belief about not doing anything harsh or abrupt…moderation is key)

* That said, eliminating refined sugar altogether really works. I’m not very good at it. One technique that helps is opting for products with coconut water and agave nectar. Ask in health food stores. If you live in Sydney, check out Suvaren Cafe. They have heaps of info on alkalising foods and all their stuff is sugar-free. Their website has heaps of info, too.

* I eat gluten-free. It’s easy. This chick – Shauna James Ahern of Gluten-Free Girl - has a great blog and Twitter with recipes and tips.

* I eat organic produce where possible. For a list of foods that are best to buy organic, go here. I find eating organic also makes me a more mindful eating (mostly cos the stuff costs a bomb…you don’t want to waste any enjoyment), which goes back to my description of the process as an intertwined process.

But the best technique ever?

Meditation. As one instructor said to me, just meditate. Don’t ask what comes next. Just meditate.  I kid you not, since meditating for the past six months, twice a day for 20 minutes, my hormones levels (previously depleted to zip) have returned to normal. If you live in Sydney, I can really recommend Tim Brown. I’d tried meditating techniques for 17 years, but it had never stuck. Tim teaches TM style and has set up a great community where we meet weekly and talk about good, meaningful stuff. I now meditate, effortlessly, daily.

Exercise?

Next, I learnt to exercise less. Yes, less! Or at least less forcibly. Over-exercising causes a lot of “rusting” of our bodies. We don’t get told this. More exertion = more oxygen = more “rust”. I used to run a lot. Now I walk and do yoga and swim.

Sleep much?

Oh, gosh, you should. I did a sleep retreat at Gwinganna in Queensland and learnt how cell damage is repaired during sleep, but only once our bodies have attended to detoxing the crap we’ve put in it during the day. Ergo, put less crap in, and get at least 7-8 hours sleep so that the cell repair cycle has time to do it’s thing. When I don’t sleep, the next day my body is so inflamed.

What about gut stuff?

Many practitioners agree that autoimmune problems stem from – or at least can be healed from – the intestinal tract. My gut tends to agree with this. An alkalizing diet helps; so do psyllium husks, slippery elm powder and probiotics; so does eating my dinner slowly and mindfully so I don’t overtax my stomach. Angela Hywood from Tonic will talk about this in a later post.

Am I now fixed?

Well, what do you mean by fixed? I’m further along in my Great Undoing Of My Old Ways. Some days I feel great. The next I’m flaccid as a soggy lettuce leaf. It’s a constant journey, that’s frustrating but rewarding at the same time. My periods have returned (acupuncture helped with this), however.

I’ve come to accept the weight gain as part of my overall shift to a softer, gentler way of life. Rounded edges fit the picture better.

I have afternoon naps sometimes.

I know myself better…it took this illness to drag me kicking and screaming to this point. But it’s where I wanted to go. I tend to take the bumpy path on most things.

By way of a final word of advice: don’t take my word for it. Take your own and take control. Oh, and be kind to yourself. Always be kind.

And check out the posts next week from some experts….

* I throw this in as extra: If you seek a GP open to alternative techniques, scroll the list of practitioners certified by the Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine.

* I’ve updated this post for those of you who caught it earlier this week.

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  • http://www.bodyincredible.com Kat Eden

    I don’t think there’s many ‘in the spotlight’ people out there who’d share so candidly about a topic so personal. For that reason alone, this was quite a read. But I particularly liked what you wrote about the way our ‘go-go-go’ lives eventually lead to breakdown. I think that if we’re not careful, there’s a lot of us out there who are sooner or later going to pay the price for ignoring our health.

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    mate, you’ve inspired me to write a little more on that very issues. I’m going to update things now x

    [Reply]

    sarah Reply:

    Hey Sarah,

    Your website and article are both amazing, really inspiring. I share some of your symptoms and have done for the past 4 months, but I have no idea what the problem is with my body. My periods have stopped for 5 months, I have had a hormone test recently and am yet to see the results, and I get brain fog if over tired, some days I feel absolutely fine and others I have zero energy and feel sluggish, it’s really crazy and I have no idea what’s causing it. How did you first realise you might have auto immune and what were the first tests you had to find out what the problem was?

    [Reply]

    Aisha Reply:

    Thankyou for sharing your story.

    I too suffered graves not knowing for 3 years, i then became hypothyroid and now have to take thyroxine for the rest of my life.

    I 100 percent agree with this disease you have to change your whole life I too would drink 3 coffees a day , be over stressed , worked out like crazy , and had little sleep. Also a better diet with out sugar, and gluten free really helps ..

    I sill have days were i feel exhausted. And i wish there was a alternative to the medication but with out my doctors say i will die .

    I would love to hear anyones else story on this

    Jane Reply:

    Hi Sarah – thanks for sharing your journey- I’ve got Grave’s at the moment and am gradually coming right – you’ve reminded me that i really HAVE to make those changes to my lifestyle – no one else can do it for me. Will be heading by to my hypnotherapist for a top up on relaxations techniques and throwing out the coffee machine!
    Jane – Orewa, NZ

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    Lyndal Reply:

    Hi there,

    Great blog about AI, I have a few questions for this does this apply to someone with Hepatitis C Auto Immune?
    My friend has just started taking Steroids for AI for the liver and I am not too sure about this as the Alfred hospital was indecisive about whether he had AI in the first place and it was agreed by 2 doctors to place him on AI steroids.

    Would this be a different road or are all AI the same and can follow the same diet approach etc.

    Would love to hear back from you soon.

    [Reply]

    felicity Reply:

    Hi, how bizare that my fingers have led me to stumble across your website.

    I was only diagnosed last week with hypothyrodism- hashimoto’s. I have had a few other health issues in the past and I must be slow to learn with another challenge ahead!!! Me as usual present atypical symptoms but looking forward to righting all the hormones in my body and finding out more information. Glad to read about your experience, it has given me something to think about!

    Thanks, Felicity

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    ann Reply:

    I have just been diagnosed with hashimoto’s auto immune thyroiditis. went to see a Endocrinologists today total waste of time. Tomorrow back to the naturapath cannot wait to start on some medication. Hoping to get my energy back plus my life. All I can do now is educate myself.

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    Crystal Reply:

    Thank you, this was one of the more detailed and up front post I have read. I have Hashimotos and have come close twice now to dying. every part of my body shut down. I deal with so many issues but the one that causes the most pain is in my muscles. They are always so tight and stinging or numb.my neck tightens and shoulders and upper back and then I get migraines, and even had rainbow colors and waves in my eyes. I have changed my diet, but I cant work away from home. I never know what will happen. Can I get social security or some kind of help?

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    ann Reply:

    I don’t think so until a illness actually appears as a medical condition. Like the Endo said ” you have Hashimoto auto immune disease and somewhere a infection but you look quite well, and your thyroid is just a little high. So in the meantime time I walk around like a Zoombie and at work blame it on a blondie moment. My naturepath told me on Saturday that she can get rid of Hashimoto – I am now gluten free, compound of herbs which smell amazing. I have worked in the medical industry for 30 years. You must read and educate yourself and the one mainthing listen to your body it is very important. See if the doctor will document your conditions down on paper and honestly give it ago. Best of Luck

    [Reply]

  • http://www.mindfulorganics.com Ginny Simon

    Glad to hear you have taken control by choosing organic! I hope many more people learn from you and are inspired to take on a positive, proactive approach to handling auto-immune and many other diseases. Recognizing that what we put into our bodies will affect how it functions- is something most people have seemed to have forgotten. Thanks for sharing your story!

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    my pleasure! x

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  • lulubrownskin

    Thank-you Sarah for sharing, well, such an intimate journey!

    Being kind to yourself…ahhhh…so simple yet we find THAT so incredibly hard to do! What’s with that?!

    Similarly with meditation, we know that it WORKS yet we get more & more comfy in this KNOWLEDGE rather than just simply jumping in & doing it!

    BUT, reminders are the new elixir, so merci beaucoup for another loving reminder to “Take Action”! [my word of the year by the way - see Christane Kane's blog]

    Breathe, be kind to yourself, sleep! & eat well, WITH total enjoyment……going back to the basics is a beautiful [& healing] thing :)

    [Reply]

  • Tania

    Thanks so much for the insight Sarah, your words have come at just the right time for me. I have just been given Thyroxine for Hypothyroidism, after my TSH levels continued to be under watch for the past year. Although they have gone down from 56 to 10.2 they are still out of the normal range. I have only been on the meds for ten days but at the moment am not seeing that much of an improvement. But thanks to your post I have now learnt that I have been leaving everything for the medication to do and , through no ones fault but my own, havent done anything myself to treat myself…until now!

    I so understand what you are saying when you describe your “thyroid” days. I havent really experienced some of your own symptoms but some days I literally feel like I am death warmed up, I cannot do anything, absolutely nothing except lay on my couch and feel despressed because I feel so crap. Its the worst…hopefully those days will be behind me now.

    I now understand that I shouldnt leave it all to the medication to fix me…it is up to me to do it! Thanks for your inspiring post, its taught me alot and made things alot clearer.

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    Tania, I hear you!!! And, yes, it’s actually empowering once you realise that the change is necessary and that making small shifts is best. Easy does it!
    Take care… xxx

    [Reply]

  • http://www.stylingyou.com.au Nikki Parkinson

    I had Hashimotos about 9 years ago and since then it’s been a rollercoaster of frustration and small wins. I have been on a combo of Thyroxine and Tetroxine for most of that time (except when pregnant with my third child – you can’t take tetroxine during pregnancy and the extra bonus in pregnancy is that the baby doesn’t have a thyroid gland for first 3 months, so it takes your hormones – and yes, I put on more weight in first trimester than rest of pregnancy put together!!). My body has actually built up a resistance to thyroxine. There is one place in Australia that can test this and luckily my GP knew about this and includes it in my twice yearly tests. My endo was not helpful at all. When I said I was struggling to lose weight, he told me not to eat! I left in tears and have never been back.

    So, are you on any medication – or are you able to manage it through lifestyle?

    It’s such a struggle for me to lose/maintain weight that I’d be super scared to stop. Currently seeing a naturopath who’s got me taking extra zinc/selenium to help thyroid function. I’ve also come to the same conclusion as you about strenuous exercise – after punishing my body with 4 months of personal training last year – with no shift on scales and me just getting sick every month – I’m doing walking and yoga this year.

    Thanks for sharing your story – seriously, some days you think you’re dealing with this all by yourself. Nice to know you’re not.

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    Hey Nikki, I’ll see if the guest posters next week can help you further…

    [Reply]

  • Chris

    Dear Sarah,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. My son has been on the AI merry-go-round since 2005. It surfaced during this final year at school making the HSC an interesting journey.(He did amazingly well btw, on honours list twice :)) ) While others celebrated schoolies, binge drinking and the like, he spent 8 weeks in hospital.(in 3 stints) Now in 2010 he still sees a specialist, although now only three monthly, and is constantly monitored. He has lost all his school friends, they all got on with their lives, and he was left behind to manage his.

    The drugs he was on/is on have also ballooned his weight by 25 kilos. He doesn’t drive as his L”s expired in the middle of the drama. He lacks energy and motivation to get moving most days. Admittedly so do I .. some days are just too hard!

    I will have him ready your article, thank you so much, you are an inspiration.

    [Reply]

  • Travis

    Thanks sarah. Another amazing artacle

    [Reply]

  • Sarah

    Chris, I send lots of good thoughts to your son. Must be very tough for a guy his age….REALLY tough. It will make him tougher and more of a man in the long run. I’m sure of it. I reckon he’d benefit from a mentor. Where do you live? If I can think of a great guy who’s been on a tough ride, I”ll let you know. Paul Briggs, a boxer who was one of the mentors on the Contender is really good with this stuff. Keep an eye out for him.

    [Reply]

  • Sarah

    PS, in one of my Sunday Life posts I write about him…

    [Reply]

  • Chris

    Thank you Sarah you are too kind!
    I will read your Paul Briggs article.
    Knowing others are going through a similar experience makes such a big difference. The more of these stories people have access to the better. It helps us mums as well !! Yes he will be a better man in the long run, i have no doubt, in fact he already is. The next step for him is working out what to do with his life, and where and how to start doing, and managing it.
    The journey can be long and lonely and this is why i appreciate so much that you have shared your story.
    A mentor is probably a good idea, we live in country NSW, so probably not as accessible here as in the city. I will inquire from his GP next check up.
    Thank you for your caring thoughts Sarah, it means a lot
    Chris
    PS a girl called Natalie, from Melbourne writes this blog
    http://www.lemon-butter.blogspot.com/
    she has an amazing story!

    [Reply]

  • http://miss-abi.blogspot.com Abi

    Wow, I don’t believe I had ever heard of this disease before I read your previous article . This is such an eye-opener! Sarah, you’re an incredibly brave and kind individual for sharing such a difficult and personal experience. But I’m sure it feels rewarding as you have helped a few people along the way. I wish you well, and hope you continue on this journey without overdoing it! All the best x

    [Reply]

  • http://www.lifebeautylaughter.blogspot.com Laura

    Hi Sarah,
    Thank you so much for your honest and informative article.
    I know that you’re not a doctor but in your opinion do you think that medication is necessary or can hypothyroidism be healed purely through lifestyle changes? I’d be really interested to know what you and your guest bloggers think!
    Laura x

    [Reply]

  • LizzyBee

    This goes for anyone suffering from a chronic illness – always rely on the fact that you know your body better than anyone. For myself (different AI illness), I found that medication helped my symptoms but at the same time kept me from getting better. I would never recommend to anyone that they stop their medication. I only gave it a shot as I was at my wit’s end as to what my next step should be.I was in a fortunate position where I could drop out of life, sort myself out by trying every possible treatment, and then slowly rejoin life.

    The gifts/lessons I’ve been sent through having an AI: insight as to what’s important in this world, humility from knowing I can’t control everything, proof that even through tears I am able to make myself and others laugh, comfort that life will tell you when you’re doing it wrong, and true knowledge that when you speed up your own drip to get out of clinic sooner you get an ice cream headache.

    [Reply]

    Cilla Reply:

    “..The gifts/lessons I’ve been sent through having an AI: insight as to what’s important in this world, humility from knowing I can’t control everything, proof that even through tears I am able to make myself and others laugh, comfort that life will tell you when you’re doing it wrong, and true knowledge that when you speed up your own drip to get out of clinic sooner you get an ice cream headache…”

    luv that, so true…

    [Reply]

  • http://peoplewearclothes.wordpress.com enna.

    Thanks so much for this post. I have Crohn’s, and while I’m managing my symptoms with traditional medicine, I’ve been trying to reach out into a more lifestyle-based management plan. It’s so encouraging to be reminded that a proper diet and sleep really do help, and they’re worth pursuing.

    As much as chronic illness is a pain in the ass, I have to agree: it’s one of the best things that has happened to me.

    [Reply]

  • http://littlelioness.net Fiona

    thank you for sharing that.

    [Reply]

    lise Reply:

    I agree with Christen about rebounding as exercise. I’ve had a few years of being below par with my health, and increasing weight no matter what I did regarding exercise. My sinus was a huge problem and led to headaches and a numbness in my head. I’m menopausal, so don’t have any more of those symptoms. I was at my wits end and after reading Donna Gates Body Ecology, everything fell together. I’ve had my mini trampoline about three months ago, but it’s been such a great form of exercise. I actually smile when I think of doing it, and after Donna Gate’s words on the bellicon mini trampoline, I would recommend it as exercise to anyone with health problems like ours. Like Christen, I put my health as a priority and paid a lot for my bellicon, but i’m so glad I did. I don’t stick rigidly to Body Ecology now, but i’m religious about my daily exercise because it feels right. Lise

    [Reply]

  • Christen

    Hi Sarah

    I seem to be on a similar healing journey to the one you described. For the past 2 years, I have been feeling fatigued and depleted, suffering migraines and experiencing severe night sweats. With my 40th birthday looming, my doctor suggested that I was experiencing the symptoms of early menopause. I started investigating such conditions as adrenal fatigue and was considering bio-identical hormone therapy.

    After suffering a big set-back in my personal life, I decided to make my health a priority. It’s been about 4 months now, and the changes to my mood, outlook and energy levels have been enormous. Like you I have found moderation is key – my days of excess (too much or too little of anything) are behind me now. Previously I was used to judging myself harshly and putting myself last. These days I consciously work at thinking only kind, loving and encouraging thoughts.

    I’ve eliminated the ‘trash’ from my life – in terms of TV, tabloids and junkfood. I shop daily at my fresh food market. I’ve cut right back on caffeine, sugar and refined grains. I drink more water and eliminated alcohol completely (I was never a big drinker). I’m a huge convert to fish oil supplements and I’ve started taking extra zinc and B supplements since I eat minimal meat proteins.

    I begin each day with my own whey protein and berry smoothie and enjoy a relaxing meditation session in the bath before my kids wake each morning. I practised pilates more than 10 years ago, but found it difficult to keep up once my kids came along. I have recently discovered another form of exercise that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE – and I don’t consider myself a sporty person at all.

    I bought an expensive bellicon rebounder (basically a mini-trampoline) and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever purchased. I’m not a ‘morning person’ but when I stumble out of bed I hop onto my rebounder, pump up the music and 40 minutes later, after bouncing and dancing I feel totally invigorated. My body and posture have improved (although I’m naturally slim), my skin is more toned and glowing and that stubborn patch of cellulite is clearing. I’ve tried gyms and treadmills before and for me they are a form of slow punishment.

    I know I sound like an infomercial but if you investigate the benefits of rebounding you will see there are so many proven benefits, especially in relation to cleansing toxins from the lymph system. That was my main motivation for trying rebounding because I noticed my body had started changing shape – feeling softer and ‘squishier’ (which I put down to hormonal imbalance). I just wanted to share my excitement with you because I’m shocked what a difference it’s made to my core strength. I feel more alive and vital than I have in years. And for the first time ever I’m exercising daily – no excuses needed. I only ever aim for a minimum of 10 minutes but 40 minutes just flies by.

    I think when you make the effort to slow down and listen to your body, it guides you in the right direction. Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.louloulovesyou.com loulou

    Hi,

    Great article Sarah,
    I also have Hashimotos which arrived just as I had recovered from four very debilitating years of Fibromyalgia (which I managed to beat through diet, supplements, natural therapies). I’ve been toying with the idea of writing about my illness for a while and it was great to read this especially from someone younger and in a slightly similar business (I’m 29 and run my own lingerie compny), since these conditions seem to be something that are less talked about in younger people, or maybe we just aren’t speaking about it enough?!
    Thank you for taking the time to put out some useful information out there, which has also reminded me not to slack off on looking after myself!

    Loulou xo

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    I’m flattered you say I’m “younger”! I presume you don’t mean “than you”. (I’m 36). x

    [Reply]

    asha Reply:

    Hi i too have fibromyalgia. and am finding you blog amazing. i would love to find a blog likeyours but about fms . i am going to try some off the things . as i have 2 small kids and need to be healthy . were all on journey. its just nice to know im not the only suffering with an auto immunue disease. Not that i wish this upon anyone.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.sigsyintokyo.blogspot.com Sarah EF

    This is a wonderful post and speaks volumes. Thank you for sharing.
    I had a similar experience last year, when my neck totally seized and I was in chronic pain.
    As a result, I started acupuncture, slowed down, took half a day off work until Christmas and most importantly, started saying ‘no’ to things.
    I just ate 3 pieces of shortbread, so this was a good reminder to lay off the refined sugar and hit the fruit!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.tonicaustralia.com.au Angela Hywood

    I work closely with the GP’s at ANCEM (Australian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine). and I urge you to find an integrative open minded medical doctor as a part of your wellness team.

    Finding a doctor who understand Thyroid Health is about MORE than just Thyroxine is a MUST!

    I attended a recent lecture in Brisbane by an Australian thyroid Guru, Dr John Lee MD. The lecture was entitled “Man cannot live on Thyroxine alone” – he discussed the critical roles of adequate vitamin D and Iron to enable your thyroid hormones (synthetic or natural) to work effectively. It is also well known that Vitamin D deficiency is closely linked to auto immune disease.

    Have your levels checked out.

    Angela Hywood ND.

    [Reply]

    John Tebbutt Reply:

    Check out the this website Google Marshall Protocol Knowlage Base. Regarding hard to find bacteria causing diseases including thyriod and a treatment they say works and a different view on Vitamin d .Worth a Look.

    [Reply]

  • Ceridwen

    Phew what a relief it was to read this! I was recently diagnosed with Hashimtoto’s and am all at sea with the what, where, and who’s of it. Thanks for the explanation and to everyone for feedback.

    I think I was going downhill for a while before I had some blood tests that showed the havoc of Hashimoto’s .

    All these things were going weird. My knee swelled up – I thought it was jetlag. My digestive system was moving at a snail’s pace – I thought it was allergies. My cycle was on a ‘choose your own adventure’ setting – I thought it was the pill, or Lord give me strength, early menopause. I was putting on weight – I thought it was from giving up cigarettes. I was sleepy all the time – I thought it was depression. I was crying everyday, howling in my room like an overgrown emo – I thought it was delayed grief over a gnarly breakup I’d been through a year previously. And on it went…. A reason for everything. And the tired-er, sadder, more lethargic, and dim I became, the more double shot coffees I drank and less proper food I ate. I’d already given up alcohol a few years ago (moderation is as much a mystery as pure physics to me) but in a fit of subsequent virtuosity replaced water with diet coke.

    Over the past three months, since my diagnosis, there have been HUGE changes. I am on thyroxin and saw a dietitian who devised a food plan that has me eating breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. I have let go of recreational sugar (all types, as I said moderation and me don’t mix), artificial sweeteners and diet coke. I am down to one coffee a day and am drinking water (still ew, but).

    So far so good… The fog is clearing and I am out and about more, though I still feel sleepy. Really sleepy… am hoping this will shift soon. I don’t cry as much and my skin, mood swings and enjoyment of social activities is loads better. I don’t miss the sugar as much as I thought I would but cutting down my coffee is HELL.

    Having said all that I would like to say how grateful I am that it is Hashimoto’s I have. It has a way cool name for a start. And for a second it is relatively manageable. As illness’ go – I could do a whole lot worse.

    [Reply]

  • Sarah

    love, love, love everyone’s comments. Ceridwyn, that stuff you say about “thinking it’s something different” is so true. It’s so misdiagnosed…and look at the litany of symptoms… EVERYTHING that we ALL suffer. But somehow we get it all and magnified. As I say, we’re the canaries down the mineshaft.
    I get the swollen leg thing – my right foot and right hand. Weird. And sometimes my knees just give way. Anyone else?

    [Reply]

  • http://www.louloulovesyou.com loulou

    hehe, yes I meant ‘younger’ in the general sense :) but you’re still young!

    The thing that actually made my specialist realize it was Hashimotos for sure was because I was breaking out in Hives every single night for about a year, I thought I was going mad / was allergic to about 100 different things, until I casually mentioned ‘Oh I keep getting hives’ and he goes ‘Oh that is a major symtom’ and I thought HURRAH! .

    There are a million and one weirdo symptoms. I’m just going in for my annual blood tests, a little early as I have a new one where after breakfast in the morning my hands go numb and tingly (!), I thought oh I should get to the doctor but then thought actually it’s probably thyroid connected and I should get a check up!

    Ceridwen – In regards to diet, I’m a lot more slack than I was with my Fibromyalgia, BUT when I was ill with that I followed a very strict Anti Candida diet (I reccommend a woman called Erica White to look into) and it literally took me from being unable to walk to being half functioning and I 100% believe that it was not having sugar and I think caffine and stimulants that made the difference, so stick with it! having said that, once I was better I did start to eat it again, but I’m trying to kick that habit now because i still notice I get odd symptoms if I over sugar myself.

    xx

    [Reply]

  • Tania

    I’m curious…just reading everyone else’s comments…my legs ache alot, at night I have to massage them myself, they tend to have a constant dull ache in the muscles, (I know I am sounding stupid here, lol), but just wondering if there could be any connection to my thryoid problems??

    [Reply]

    Kris Reply:

    Hi Tania. Very late reply to your post I know.
    Yes, achy joints and muscles can be a symptom of thyroid disease, however it can also be associated to other illnesses including fibromyalgia. If I were you I would discuss this with your doctor just to be sure :)

    [Reply]

    SPARKIE Reply:

    Hi Kris and Tania,
    aching joints and muscles were the symptoms that first took my cousin to the doctor, she thought she had inherited her mother’s Rheumatoid Arthritis! but it was a good old clapped out Thyroid, luckily for her Levothyroxine seemed to get rid of the symptoms.
    By contrast, I have always felt that my joints and muscles have been worse over the 5 years that I have taken mainly Levothyroxine with some Liothyronine (T3) for the last year. T3 improved mental fog considerably, I was supposed to break a 20mcg tablet and take 5mcg twice a day. OK, if you want to lick the powder and bits off the worktop! So I just took 10mcg once a day. This not the best solution since T3 releases all at once into the system and only lasts about 8 hours. I am looking into getting slow- release T3, hopefully soon at my first visit to an endo. I predict his response will be a wonderful combination of arrogance and ignorance, I hope I can keep a straight face,correct predictions can be entertaining! If the Endo survives the T3 questioning, I think a request for T2 (Di-iodothyronine) as well as slow – release T3 may put him over the edge!
    I digress, back to the joint /muscle pains- mainly in bed in my right leg and lower back which I damaged many years ago in an accident. These pains waken me up most nights, turning over is painful, getting comfortable is harder. I can hardly get my right sock on , laced shoes are impossible. I also have pain during the day but moving about helps to keep it at bay. I am sure all my finger joints becme swollen and arthritic- looking with occasional pain after I started taking Levothyroxine, but it is hard to prove, as it is of insidious onset.
    About 3 weeks ago, I forgot to take my tablets away with me and experienced a fast and definite inprovement in joint and muscle pain so I didn’t take them for about another week to see if the effect continued , and it did. I did not want my cholesterol and blood pressure to increase again, so I just took 20mcg Liothyronine per day as one tablet, (no Levothyroxine ) and it gave me a constant headache, a symptom I very rarely get. I then split the dose 10mcg, twice per day and the headache went. Around this time I found the excellent Townsend Letter(2007) on Hypothyroidism describing in detail differing treatment combinations and how to substitute T3 for T4, I don’t think my endo had got it correct. I decided to replace the 150mcg of Levothyroxine with 50mcg Levothyroxine and 25mcg Liothyronine, not ideal but the joint /muscle pains are still much improved, but not quite so good as with no Levothyroxine. and I think I feel generally a bit better, but I know I could feel much better than I do now. I hope this info may have been of some use.
    Best wishes, Sparkie.

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    Hi Tania
    I have hashimotos. I get a lot of muscle cramps and pain, I tore both my calf muscles and spent 3 months at physio to get them sorted in the end my physio did deep muscle acupuncture and I finally got some relief from that. I also suffer joint pain,swelling,dry skin,hair thinning(not badly thank fully) weight that I can’t seem to move, flakey nails,mood swings, tiredness, intollerence to cold and a few other things including the memory going on leave from time to time!!!. I am on thyroxacine 100mg a day, have changed docs and the new doc has put me on Vit D as its very low and iron suppliment, am waiting for everything to start to kick in :). So NO you don’t sound stupid at all, its all part n parcel. Good luck and hope you get some improvement :) Jen

    [Reply]

  • http://www.girlfriday.ca Anile

    Wow – just read your post, followed a link from Gluten-Free Girl on Twitter. I have had ulcerative colitis for fifteen years and I couldn’t agree more with all the things you said. Meditation is definitely a hurdle I need to cross because I believe it would help me enormously. I have cut out wheat and most dairy, but with my uc as you can imagine I have had to cut out all kinds of “good” foods too. Sleep, gentle exercise, probiotics, psyllium husks and slippery elm powder are all dailies for me. I still struggle to feel well and it’s a full-time job, but I am grateful for the very healthy life changes I have had to make. Keep it up and I will be checking the rest of your blog! Take care!

    [Reply]

  • Ian

    Wonderful Sarah how your bravery in being so revealing has created a dialogue that is transforming lives…well done on both counts.

    I’m constantly amazed how many people I come across now who are struggling with some auto-immune disorder – gluten and coeliac disease being the most prominent. Good friends of mine, a family of 5, have all been effected by it to some degree whilst Jenny, my sister, has just been diagnosed with a gluten allergy but she thinks it’s likely to be basic coeliac.

    But what is so wonderful about this dialogue is the hope (and joy even) that is being expressed by tackling the matter head-on, making adjustments (some quite major) to one’s lifestyle and stepping out confidently in life.

    Congratulations to you all for your bravery under some really tough situations. The emotional, spiritual & physical strain on you and your loved ones has no doubt been significant – but keep at it – your lives are “bigger” as a result and you are impacting others around you so positively. Well done.

    [Reply]

  • Marjorie

    It sounds to me like you need an Igenex lab test for Lyme disease and a Lyme literate MD to read the results when it come back – you have lots of the symptoms. I know it is not recognized in Oz but Lyme is there.. the typical Lyme test is unreliable so use Igenex labs and get a test kit from California.

    [Reply]

  • http://photographicjourneys.net debora

    Thank you Sarah for your openess and honesty. My daughter has celiac and now has a new AI that has thrown her a curve ball. So all the shared information can be a great encourgament.

    [Reply]

  • http://gillstannard.com.au Gill Stannard

    What a wonderful, wise, honest article. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. As a naturopath I agree with everything you’ve said, so much so I’m suggesting clients, AI or not, read this too.

    Keep up the good work, your body wants you to be well and am sure is so relieved that you are listening.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.living-with-celiac.com Yael Savitz

    HI Sarah
    Thanks for the lovely article. Nice to know that all of us with thyroid problems the world over feel the same way!
    I have Hashimotos Thyroid and Celiac Disease ( recently diagnosed). Coming off gluten for me has been an amazing journey and I feel so much better.
    I have a weird reaction of having a very under-active thyroid but having a reaction to the thyroid meds that gives me the symptoms of an overactive thyroid ( heart palpitations, sweats, dizziness) so I am on a beta blocker ( inderal) to help me stay on the medication and get my thyriod levels up.

    Please check out my blog at http://www.living-with-celiac.com and keep up the great blog.

    [Reply]

  • My life more ordinary

    Hi Sarah – as a patient with a rare autoimmune illness (autoimmune autonomic neuropathy, for those really interested) I am grateful to you for raising the profile of these illnesses. However, my gratitude is tempered by some of your comments, and those others have made in response. I know you acknowledge the role of gentics and other factors, but you ultimately attribute your illness to a “need” to get sick. I know that for me, and many others, this has nothing to do with it – I was actually leading a healthy and well-balanced life before I got sick and it appears to have been something as simple as a common cold that “turned on” the genes that made my immune system attack my own body. Patients with these illnesses, which are often underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed as mental illness, are filled with enough self-doubt as it is. I have been cripplingly ill for almost four years (I now study only part-time as full-time uni was too much for me to manage) and the idea that my personality or lifestyle may have brought this upon me is devestating and something it has taken a long battle with myself to overcome. I also struggle with some of the advice that you give about managing autoimmune illness. Although I believe in, and try to live, a balanced and healthy lifestyle, to state that these illnesses can be healed from the gut is a gross misrepresentation. In my case, a team of specialists and a carefully managed medication regime are a necessity to keep me well – before I found these doctors and pills I was kept busy trying all sorts of lifestyle modification that did nothing. Also, I think that you fail to give doctors due credit – although I have seen my share of bad doctors, those I have stuck with, in a range of specialities, are compassionate people who have gone far beyond shoving me out the door with a prescription – lifestyle modification is key to their suggestions, however it is all tailored to me and my condition (for example, any aerobic exercise it out and a high salt diet in, which runs completely counter to the conventional wisdom on a healthy lifestyle).

    [Reply]

  • Kirsten

    Tania – re your leg problems, I seem to have exactly the same problem & I suffer from Hashimotos too.
    Am like you, wondering if there is a connection…

    Also thanks to you Sarah for posting a couple of great blog entries. It’s been really helpful and good to know there are other people out there going through the same thing.

    [Reply]

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  • http://www.lemon-butter.blogspot.com Natalie

    Hey Sarah,

    I have/had CFS, another (bastard of an) autoimmune disease and have been dealing with it since 2005. Mia Freedman let me write about it on her site here;
    http://www.mamamia.com.au/weblog/2009/11/guest-post-what-its-like-to-live-with-chronic-fatigue-syndrome.html
    ..which, if you’re interested, is the quickest way to learn about my journey.

    I read a lot of what you write and both agree with and relate to heaps of it. You’re one of those people where I always think, if I met, we’d just agree with everything and constantly be chanting, “Yes, EXACTLY” to eachother in coversation. Love reading your stuff.

    Great article, keep up the fantastic work! x

    [Reply]

  • Olivia

    Sarah,
    It seems like an amazing coincidence that I have stumbled upon this article.
    I have just turned 20 and was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroidism.
    Apart from the fantastic tips above, is there anything else you would recommend? I assume that the advice would probably be quite similar, but is there anything else that you wish someone had told the 21 year old you when you were first diagnosed?
    Also, I was interested when you said that you learnt to exercise less – what do you regard as being too much exercise?
    Thank you for your honest account of your experiences – they provide so much more insight than doctors or specialists can provide.

    [Reply]

  • Christen

    Yes I’m intrigued by these ‘exercise less’ comments as well. How do you know when it’s too much?

    I’ve signed up at the gym several times throughout the years but instead of feeling energized I left feeling stressed and depleted. I’m naturally very fit and active, preferring to walk everywhere, however I never found an exercise that felt ‘right’ until I discovered the mind-body connection of pilates.

    When my kids came along, it was more difficult to incorporate pilates into my lifestyle. Now that I’ve discovered the joys of rebounding, I’ve finally found something else that just ‘clicks’ and feels instinctively and effortlessly right for me.

    How are you determining your maximum energy output – is it length of time, intensity, amount of sweating or puffing – or are you simply slowing down to ‘tune in’ to your body’s signals? I’m curious…

    [Reply]

  • michelle

    Hi Sarah,

    Reading your story i couldnt help having small chuckles to myself, as it felt like i was reading my own diary! I was diagnosed with Hashimotos thyroiditis when i was 24. I am now 30, with a beautiful 4 year old son. I never thought i would be able to have children as the first thing my endocrinologist told be was that i had the metabolism of a 95 year old woman and my child would end up with brain damaged and severe learning dissabilities.

    At the age of 24 it was the last thing i was expecting to hear, and so too was my fiance at the time and he ended up leaving me telling me i couldnt give him the family he wanted, and his parents thought it was the best thing. Looking back now, i am glad this has happened, as i now feel blessed with my life and the amazing partner and son i share it with.

    In the beginning it tool serveral visits to various doctors to finally test my thoyroid. I use to sleep my whole weekends away,… usually about 16 hours straight. The doctor who finally tested me, was surprised i was not in a coma! After the initial shock, and settling my into my life on my own (within 3 weeks of finding out) i knew it was time to look after me, and to put myself first. I walked everywhere. I tried to go to the gym, but after each intensive workout, i would come down with a bad cold, my muscles were so sore it took atleast a week till they recovered, so i realised it just wasnt for me. Walking was the best form of excercise, plus gave me a time to clear my thoughts. Food was another important thing. I would suffer with severe stomach cramps and terrible (i hate to say this!!) wind! I cut out all bread, pasta, rice, cakes etc. I eat fruit salad for breakfast, youghurt for morning tea, a green salad for lunch, another youghut in the afternoon and meat and veg/salad for dinner. Within the first 6 months, i lost 8 kilos and had so much energy i felt like i was 19 again, and didnt realise how bad i had been feeling.

    6 years on, i do struggle with my body sometimes, but as soon as the systems come back, i know exactly why… its my diet!

    I hope to be able to read more of your journey on this blog, and any tips or advise is great to hear, as keeping your body and mind happy is an ever adjusting process!

    Thanks again for a great read :o)

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    Wow, this is so interesting. I can’t believe the doctor told you that alarming stuff about your fertility. So narrow! I’m exactly the same with exercise. I just CAN’T push mushelf anymore. It hurts and I get sick, too. I’ve had one thing after another after another. The wind thing…me, too. But since I’ve cut out gluten and sugar…alll happy!!!

    [Reply]

  • Joy H

    Hi Sarah

    You have been a great inspiration to me. I have been suffering with
    hashimotos for over 12 years and just recently have had to increase my
    medication due to all the symptoms you know so well. I would like to
    add that I just recently noticed that I also had restless leg syndrome
    and I don’t know if this is coincidence with my Hashimotos flaring up
    again but I’ve starting taking magnesium for my restless leg Syndrome
    and have read that Magnesium is a great supplement for Hashimotos as
    well. So I have just started to feel a little more human with my
    medication increase and magnesium intake. Not sure if any of your blog
    followers with hashimotos are aware of this?? I love reading your
    blog. Cheers Joy

    [Reply]

    Marilyn Reply:

    I have been taking thyroxine 15 yrs for hypothyroidism.7wks ago I woke with blood shot eye,bad headache,Bp 179/119 night tremors which continued with nausea ,headaches,pins & needles in arms skin burning.All tests have come back normal.I stopped thyroxine Bp settled & took Magnesium plus valerian which as allowed me to get 6 straight hours of sleep.I have very little tingling now.

    [Reply]

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  • Edwina May

    Sarah, I think there are many of us out there who can fully relate to your thyroid experience. I too suffered burn out and had to give up a full time job to try to restore my health. After years of suffering depression, fatigue, aches and pains, sore eyes, etc. etc. I was finally diagnosed by an iridologist who suggested I see my GP for a blood test for thyroid function. Sure enough I was underactive. I have been diagnosed with Hashimotos and after no success with Oroxine I consulted a doctor/therapist who prescribed T3 in the form of slow release tertroxin compounding capsules. Obviously I have had to have the dosage of bot T4 and T3 adjusted over the years, and I still have some of the symptoms. As you rightly say it is up to each of us who suffer autoimmune conditions to pace our lives and be kind to ourselves. We realise that we have this condition and we will have it for life, but it’s up to us to explore ways to improve our lives in any way we can to reduce the unpleasant symptoms. Good luck to all with thyroid conditions – live happy, healthy lives and be good to yourselves.

    [Reply]

  • Bec

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have just been recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s after at least 12 months of symptoms and thinking I was going crazy. I’ve been taking Oroxine for 2 and 1/2 weeks now so its early days. I have done quite a bit of research and have decided to go gluten free and as organic as I can. I can totally relate to your theory of the personality type that gets AI’s. I am married with 2 girls, I went back to uni and completed a degree and then had a total career change and now work shift work in the medical field. I’ve also had some major personal stresses in my life recently. Some days the thought of running away and living somewhere by the sea is so tempting. I’ve taken your advice and have started a wellness diary. I’m looking forward to getting some energy back and have accepted that I have to slow down and be good to myself.

    Thanks again! xxx

    [Reply]

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  • Daniel

    Hi Sarah,

    Great post and great comments. I have had thyroid and other autoimmune symptoms for a while now and thankfully I’m starting to get a hold of it. I have been studying nutrition for a couple of years now but I think it’s when your not well that you learn the most – not just about nutrition but about health in general.

    I’ve started adopting some of the practices of the Hippocrates Heath Institute (Palm Beach Florida) i.e loads of veggies, getting enough sun (vit D) and getting energetic treatments such as accupuncture etc. I recommend people jump on youtube and just search hippocrates health institute there’s some good videos but it needs to be taken somewhat with a grain of salt and I believe slowly integrated into lifestyle. Sorry if I sound like a salesman I have no affiliation with Hippocrates whatsoever.

    I came up with an idea a couple of days ago which I thought might be helpfull creating an
    ENERGY INVENTORY ie writing down things which improve your energy and things which drain your energy eg
    DRAINERS may be negative person Joe, bad water, too much pizza, negative self thoughts, spending too much time on computers ( creating sore eyes, stiff body), not enough sleep
    ENERGY IMPROVERS may be friend Kara (really positive so try to spend more time with her), veggie juices, walking, meditation, rebounding etc
    You could really go deep into it and the more sick you are the more important delving deep would be.
    Anyway its just a little idea I had

    I wish everyone the best of health!
    and remember to EAT GREEN & LIVE CLEAN

    (veggies contain phytochemicals that can help repair DNA damage especially sprouts such as wheatgrass, sunflower sprouts and barleygrass in raw form/juiced – powdered form not nearly as powerfull)

    [Reply]

    SPARKIE Reply:

    Hi,
    weight problems seem to be a “biggy” for nearly everyone with Hypothyroidism, apparently according to the Townsend Letter(2007) 0n the TPA-UK website, T2 -Diiodothyronine has the biggest effect of all the thyroid hormones on the mitochondria of every cell and also the “brown fat” both of which are responsible for burning off energy.

    Therefore perhaps if we start trying to drag the endos into prescribing T2 we may end up with slyph-like hypothyroid people with a damn sight more energy than they have now. Can you hear their outcry? IT HASN’T BEEN TESTED, the GMC won’t allow it and other such drivel. But, ironically, I believe you can buy T2 on the Internet, a boon to the anarchists amongst us.

    Has anyone tried T2 ? I would be very interested to know.

    Best wishes, Sparkie.

    [Reply]

  • Ange

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for sharing your story. The more info there is out there about AI conditions, the better. I can completely relate to your sentiments about running ourselves into the ground. Before 2005, I was a very healthy, happy person. However after pursuing a PhD and working 60-80 hours a week (no holidays either) whilst still maintaining a social and home life my body completely crashed. I have had a weird bout of thyroid issues (no TSH but T3 and T4 fine – felt like hypo to me, fortunately it sorted itself out after a year), surgery for infertility issues, and finally diagnosed with celiac disease (this *only* took 2 years to figure out!). I believe the stress of my PhD tipped me over the edge. In the industry I am in, slowing down was not an option – it is very competitive. Unfortunately I was too sick to complete it (well, my supervisor would not support me cutting my hours back nor did he believe I was sick, but thats another story). My only wish is that people would be more understanding and supportive. I can see that I am very sensitive to our modern lifestyle, but most seem to be able to tolerate it – if only others could understand we are not built so strong! I used to be an A-type – now I am happy to work part-time and pursue my hobbies on the side and stay healthy. I also used to run but now only walk (this is a good metaphor for my life in general). Thanks again for getting the message about AI out there – its not an ideal life to have AI conditions, but it sure makes us stronger people who know what the really important things in life are. At the end of the day, my health meant so much more than the title “Dr” to me, and I never thought I’d feel that way pre-AI.

    [Reply]

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  • Kate

    Thank you so much for sharing this information… that can take months for an individual to find out.
    My health has been terrible and I’ve felt frustrated by my trips to the gp. I feel inspired by your posting. Best wishes to you.

    [Reply]

  • Claire

    Goodness me…
    I don’t know why sometimes we don’t listen to our bodies – even after facing the extremes of AI last year (loss of the large intestine) – I have kept pushing the lifestyle because I didn’t want to feel like my life had changed dramatically (duh?!).
    The AI has just remanifested somewhere else now – chronic arthritis – and honestly my head just kept saying to push through it. I’m young(ish) and I’m certainly not going to go down without a fight. Yet your blog just told me I was going about it the wrong way. And boy, did it make sense. I think I knew in the back of my head I was ignoring the big issue in front of me – but as you know – sometimes it just takes that lightbulb moment. Thanks Sarah – I’ll investigate now a different way – I know rest is important (proven) but I’ll now look at my diet (rich in acidity) and become proactive instead of reactive.
    Good for you and thanks.

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    Claire, this makes me sooooooo happy. If I can encourage just a handful of people to look at the REASON they got unwell, and to make adjustments, my time on this planet has been worthwhile. Yes, rest is key. And it’s quite wonderful to do.

    [Reply]

  • Carmen

    Hi Sarah,

    I know it’s been a while since you posted anything on Hashimoto – I was told I have it about a month ago and found this post so helpful. I just want to know more, are you writing more follow up posts on this? I still feel a little in the dark about it.

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    stay tuned today…Claire Hooper posts!

    [Reply]

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  • Jessica

    Hi Sarah,
    I’m not sure why i never thought to look you up before. I read an article a while ago in a magazine about your illness, but it never occured to me to check if you had a blog. I’m very glad to have found you and read this article.
    I have been having hormomal problems for about 10 years and this year has been the worst year of all. My doctor diagnosed me with “estrogen dominance” years ago and i use to take Depo (contraceptive pill) to increase my progesterone levels, however this year i decided to again try something different, a bio-identical progesterone, and it basically did nothing. Nothing i take seems to increase my progesterone level, it will sustain my symptoms but not increase the progesterone. I’m now seeing a naturopath (who has put me on Vitex) as well as my doctor to try and fix this problem that affects my day to day life.
    I’m just about at the end of my rope with it all and considering going back on the Depo, because i have tried alternative therapies before and they didn’t work, but after reading your article i’m wondering if there is a connection.
    I think the most annoying part about this condition for me is no one can tell me where the estrogen has come from, how is it that one day everything is fine and the next i start getting what feels like PMS then, within a month im 5kgs heavier, struggling to stay awake, craving sweets like a pre-schooler, and have no control over my emotions.
    Hopefully i will find my answer soon & i wish you all the best with your health Sarah.

    [Reply]

  • Monica

    Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for your article. Are you taking any thyroid medication at the moment?

    I was diagnosed with Graves about 10 yrs ago and removed my thyroid almost 4yrs ago. I wish I hadn’t listen to the endo, but not much I can do now. I think I flactuated between hyper and hypo then and now I know that I had also adrenal problems.

    Anyway, because of this, I have learned a lot, like the effects of stress and worry, and had to change my diet and try to stay positive and not worry so much!! I eat gluten free and try to eat less cakes and buscuits hehe..still can’t totally give them up!
    I’m working on trying to do some gentle exercise daily… it’s hard because I have some muscle weakness and get fatigue. But I know that by not doing any exercise I will not help my condition. So will start to do some. I had to totally slow down. I’m not working at the moment and trying to make myself better.
    I’m finding it hard to get into meditation… but will look into it more after reading your article.

    thyroid diseases are not as simple as the GPs and some Endos think. It not only affects your metabolism but your emotions in a big way. Having apathy & depression is not fun, and it’s due to the thyroid!! Also, usually when you have thyroid autoimmune diseases, it can affect other glands like ovaries and adrenals. I wish I had gone to a holistic/enviro doc back then.

    [Reply]

  • http://twitter.com/LMSperling Lynette

    Hi Sarah,

    What a fantastic, refreshing and honest article about thyroid disease. I also have Hashi’s, and have since developed celiac disease and pernecious anemia (both AI).

    The only thing I can add based on my experience (apart from Endo’s are only interested in patients with diabetes and seem to know little about thyroids), is that Dr’s should also test for Free T3 and Free T4, as well as TSH when running blood tests. The ‘Free’ levels are the actual levels of thyroid hormone circulating in your blood stream, as TSH is only a measure of the hormone your pituatary gland produces.

    This was important for me as I seem to be one those who have an issue at the cellular level converting T4 to T3 (I now take a combo T4/T3), but when I was on straight T4 my TSH was really low (indicating my thyroid was overactive), when in fact my Free T4 levels were very high (indicating overactive) but my Free T3 levels (the most important one and was very underactive), were extremely deficient.

    In other words my TSH does not give an accurate indiciation of what is happening with my thyroid and I was actually at my worst when I started treatment on T4 and my TSH was low (falsely indicating overactive).

    By the time I was diagnosed and treated my adrenals were almost completely fatigued as well. It took two years from first going to the Dr to get treatment. In this time I saw two GP’s and two Endo’s before I stumbled upon a GP who had an interest in thyroid disease. Out of necessity I was forced to learn a lot about my thyroid and now wouldn’t waste my time consulting with another Endo or a GP with little interest in thyroid disease.

    My quality of life has improved 100% and I found limiting processed foods has contributed significantly to finally feeling this good.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.njtosiemreap.wordpress.com Leigh

    I have Celiac’s (diagnosed two years ago), so I know all about eating gluten-free. It’s interesting to see what other tips you have. I’m in a position where I’ve had to roll-back a lot of my activity. I moved to Cambodia six months ago and in the last month have had 3 parasites. It’s been a dreadful and dreary month. I’m certain that I’m more susceptible because of the Celicac’s. Trying to relearn how to take care of myself. Am also excited to check out how to alkalize my diet. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

  • http://wellwomanblog@wordpress.com Megan

    Hi Sarah

    Just reading this post, thank you so much for sharing. I have the same condition and have been working with Sally Joseph for 10 years – she is amazing. It is refreshing to hear from someone like yourself speaking honestly and openly about this debilitating condition. It does help people, probably more than you know, and you are doing an amazing thing.

    Thank you.
    Be well
    Megan xx

    [Reply]

  • http://www.sublimezen.com.au rachel

    Thank you, perhaps the wake up call I needed. I push myself to the limit in every aspect of my life & get only an average of 4 hours sleep per night. My mum recently died from breast cancer & I often quietly question the universe, if that too is my fate. I know it is if I keep going like I am.
    I owe it to myself, not just my 2 beautiful boys & my beautiful mum, to change my life before it’s too late.
    Thank you again
    Rachel

    [Reply]

  • http://www.redsuedekitten.com Melita

    What a wonderful thing to come across! I was listening to one of Gill Stannard’s RRR pod-casts on women’s hormones, and she spoke of your website and recommended reading it. So glad I did. About 6 years ago, thanks to the persistence of my naturopath, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Blood test confirmed this, and though the level of my TSH was only around 6.5, my symptoms were awful. For the previous 4 years or so I’d gradually put on 15 kilos, got depressed, iron-deficient, etc. I put it down to vegetarianism at the time, but now I’m not so sure. My naturopath put me on the most wonderful herbal thyroid supplement, Thyrotone, made by Metagenics. She also told me to cut out all soy and goitrogenic foods (cauli, turnips, brussels sprouts, parsnips). Within 6 weeks I lost 10 kilos. I wasn’t dieting or exercising any more than usual, but the weight just dropped off. I started eating meat again, which also helped me feel much better and more energised. Within another 3-4 months I lost a further 5 kilos. I felt fantastic. My thyroid levels completely returned to normal, and at one point even went over active. I’m wondering now if this might be a red flag for Hashimoto’s?

    However, Metagenics stopped making Thyrotone in about 2007, and didn’t come up with a replacement. I was put on a much simpler formulation, ThyroCo (Mediherb?) around mid 2007. I don’t think this supplement was as effective, and gradually noticed bad things starting to happen again: gradual weight gain, all manner of hormonal problems (heavy periods, fibroids, sore and itchy breasts, mid cycle pain)… all still around today. The last 2.5 years have been hell.

    I saw my naturopath for 6 months, believing the problem was purely down to oestrogen excess, but none of her advice or herbs helped at all. I’ve also developed extreme joint pain over the last 3 years. While there may be mechanical issues in my knees, it doesn’t really explain the mystery of my knee pain, which came on literally overnight and wasn’t caused by any injury or trauma. While I’ve had treatment by physios and masseurs and have done loads of stretching and exercises, my knees are still not better.

    I’ve had enormous levels of stress the past few years: my Dad had early-onset Alzheimer’s, was put in a nursing home, and recently developed cancer and passed away in April. I had my thyroid levels tested in May, and again they were underactive: only ever so slightly, but the highest level I’d had in years. Even so, the doctor won’t treat it yet, and I’m not sure I want to use conventional medicine anyway.

    I’m starting to believe that the thyroid imbalance is at the core of all of my health problems, that and stress; that the thyroid imbalance has led to imbalance of female hormones and probably contributes to my joint pain.

    I’ve recently started taking the new thyroid formula made by Metagenics for hypothyroid, Thyrobalance, in the hope it will be as good as the old Thyrotone. It’s early days, but we’ll see…

    Am also thinking of going to see naturopath Gill Stannard about diet and other lifestyle changes. I’ve got a referral to an endocrinologist but am not too thrilled about Western medicine and attitudes of practitioners.

    Anyway, a long story here, but it’s really great to read about your journey Sarah and your dietary advice in particular really interests me. It’s also nice to have a chance to discuss and share these things – it’s a pretty lonely road and most doctors are fairly unsympathetic.

    Melita

    [Reply]

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  • matty

    howdy,

    inspiring read, and I can empathise with a lot said. I’m a 35 yo guy and after partying heavily for a long time etc – I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis about 10 years ago. At first i couldnt, or didn’t want to change my ways. I have come to terms with it a long time ago after a few blips – ie putting on 15-20kgs from the medication. This made it tough as it was a visible reminder everyday in the mirror.

    Sometimes you just have to cop it on the chin.

    Its in remission now.
    cheers
    Matty

    [Reply]

  • Selena

    Sarah,
    Thank-you very much for sharing your story with us and posting this good information. I am 29 years old and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in April this year.
    I tend to agree with your hypothesis about AI striking people who push themselves too hard. I have always been a very driven person who has pushed myself to be a high achiever. I also have some good friends who are successful women (they will know who they are when they see this post!) who have health concerns, not hashimotos, but other AI conditions.
    I first came upon your site in May and it has been a great help to me. I am getting better but still have high antibodies and a restricted diet, so your recipes are great!
    I like your wise advice of being gentler and kinder to oneself, but am also struggling with the prospect that I may need to sacrifice my current demanding employment position to seek alternate career ambitions. The ‘red flag’ is certainly there and I am just in the process of finding out what to best transition to.
    Thanks again very much for sharing, I relate closely to this post and it brings a certain level of comfort in unsettling times.

    [Reply]

  • Lisa

    Great and informative post.
    I was wondering if Loulou could give me a bit more info on how she got on top of her Fibromyalga?
    My mom suffers from it, not terribly as some people do but enough for it to be a problem.
    Thanks so much!!

    [Reply]

  • http://www.gemister.com/ gemlina

    I seem to be on a similar healing journey to the one you described. For the past 2 years, I have been feeling fatigued and depleted, suffering migraines and experiencing severe night sweats. With my 39th birthday looming, my doctor suggested that I was experiencing the symptoms of early menopause. I started investigating such conditions as adrenal fatigue and was considering bio-identical hormone therapy.

    [Reply]

  • http://mydarlinglemonthyme.wordpress.com/ Emm

    Wow, Ok so I’m really sorry for spam commenting you!!! BUT as I said I’m new on your site and the more I’m reading the more I love what I’m seeing! Your story sounds VERY similar to mine, my food intolerances are really just my bodies way of saying “hang on and minute, I’m over this fast paced life, slow down and look after yourself!” I’m really loving your blog and can’t stop reading, glad to hear your life is getting better and better by the day xx

    [Reply]

    Sarah

    Sarah Reply:

    the intolerance…it says it all, really, doesn’t it. It’s saying our system is fed up.

    [Reply]

  • Mia

    I recently read that Hashimoto’s can be misdiagnosed as bipolar disorder, due to the extreme mood swings and the presence of mania. That explains SO much about a year period where I thought I was going crazy. I wish I knew that then, and more people talked about this!!

    [Reply]

    Shah Reply:

    HI Mia, My son, who is aged 19, had symptoms of psychosis. Psychiatrists have diagnozed him schezophrenia paranoid. you notes above made me to think about Hashimoto’s disease. If I want a second opinion, who are the best specialists, I mean, ENT specialists, or medical or psychiatrists. Please do send me an email with more information. it would be nice of you.

    [Reply]

    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    Shah, this comment was written several years ago, and it turns out I was in fact quite ill. Trust your psychiatrist. If you don’t, seek a second opinion from a different psychiatrist. Specialists go through years and years of training for a reason, don’t trust your son’s health to annonymous commenters on blogs.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.ahealthyview.com michele chevalley hedge

    HI Sarah, I would like to email you the most comprehsive info you will find out hashi.
    I am a natropathic nutritionist who did my final research paper on this topic.
    I think you will really like it and scratch your head wondering why no one has told you some of these things.
    I am not a fraud, Iam a published author, speaker, cleanse retreat facilitor at Gaia, and normal everyday chick who loves my job. Let me know where I can send you this info.
    Cheers, Michele Chevalley Hedge

    [Reply]

  • http://locaformocha.wordpress.com/ cha

    Hi Sarah!

    When I first stumbled upon your website a few months ago, I thought, whoa, at least my condition is managed well by thyroxine (I was taking thyroxine for hypothyroidism since I was 16). I didn’t realise that the same medication was the one exacerbating my current medical condition: because 7 weeks ago my diagnosis changed from hypothyroidism to Graves’disease, an autoimmune disorder where the thyroid produces an excess of thyroid hormones.

    That explained my excessive weight loss, thinning hair, weak nails, mood swings and depleted energy levels. Last Christmas I was fitted with a blood pressure monitor to take a 24-hour reading of my BP, which was on high everytime I go to my GP for a check-up. When the results came back they said not to worry (although my blood pressure was consistently high for the 24 hours) they said I’m just stressed from work, blah blah, we’ll check again, maybe you are just stressed when you are in a doctor’s clinic. When I take long walks or go up and down stairs I can feel my heart beating wildly and my hands shake. And sometimes I just feel the palpitations even when I am sitting down and not active.

    The diagnosis late in June shed light to the symptoms I have: my palpitations, low energy: falling asleep right at the dining table, thinning hair, were all due to my body in overdrive with thyroid hormones while at the same time I have been taking the thyroxine all along. I have stopped taking thyroxine for 6 weeks before the diagnosis was given me, and when I stopped my medication, it took a while for the symptoms to settle and I can now see that my hair is on the healthier side again and my energy level is now getting better. My doctor asked me to wait a few more weeks before he puts me on anti-thyroid medication while he asked me to refrain from eating any iodine-rich food (sushi, seaweed which I love, iodised salt which we use at home). That was exactly the opposite when I had hypothyroidism that I have to eat an iodine-rich diet.

    I am now so worried that my eyes will bulge out (as is common with Graves), and have been so stressed about it now that I feel my eyes having pressure and itchy all day long, as soon as I wake up. I hope this is nothing and just an allergy sort, but yeah, I’m going to see my GP tomorrow and mention this.

    I read that this condition can also be mistaken for a bipolar disorder, which I felt sometimes I suffer from, where one minute I feel I have the grandest of ideas and cannot sleep while I dream all sorts of wonderful things to do and feel really great about myself and was able to stay awake for more than 24 hours and keep going, to suddenly feeling very low and unmotivated and uninterested in doing anything at all). I have just started a blog because at one point I thought about the worst and I will be told that my time is up, and it is not. I am at the low ebb at the moment but I’m pretty sure I will pick up again…. my merry-go-round continues, I think I really need to hurry my endocrinologist into treating me.

    [Reply]

  • http://writingistheanswer.blogspot.com sarah

    Thanks so much Sarah, as a 25 yr old with a newly diagnosed overactive thyroid i have felt completely in the dark. Ofcourse the specialist didn’t mention a thing about possible causes- other than to say my body attacked my thyroid. He reccomended Milo at night to help me sleep instead of my passionflower herbal tea. I normally try to limit sugar. But what is one to do when they don’t know anything about their condition and they want to be well- take a specialist’s advice. So glad I’ve discovered your story, it’s also inspirational to see you so successful and appearing so vibrant (saw you on GNW last night). It gives me great hope. Thank you thank you! x

    [Reply]

  • http://janine.com janine

    I suffered a post viral syndrome where I had pain and crushing tiredness for over a year. I literally felt like I was dying! I was the same high achieving non stop individual. It wasn’t until I pulled back the reins did I get better. Now I do less, and feel better and happier than ever before.

    [Reply]

  • Gita

    Hi Sarah, thanks for your blog. It’s so good to have someone share their story about Hashimoto’s. It is obviously needed as the responses to your blog show.
    I’m 70, was diagnosed 10 years ago, and (surprisek, surprise) so too my children.
    It has been a bit of a roller coaster, but we are all functioning well (T3, as well asT4 and many other supplements, especialy Vit D and zinc – amazing so many Australians are deficient in Vit D today.)
    Can I recommend http://www.drlowe.com to you. This (American) fellow surely knows what he is talking about. He specialises in thyroid and fibromyalgia and his website is exdtemely comprehensive. Mind you, many (if not most) endocrinologists don’t agree with him, but then, in my experience, your average endocrinologist does not do much for a lot of us with thyroid problems.
    I was so fed up with not getting good treatment, then I read John Lowe’s website. I found a doctor here who was able to follow Lowe’s treatment protocol and improvement began. We all still need tweaking on a 3 or 4 monthly basis, and the hormones etc are a bit on the expensive side, but being able to fully function, physically and mentally, is such a blessing. It’s only when those functions have been impaired that one can appreciate the difference.

    [Reply]

    Ian Reply:

    Hi Gita,

    I have just recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and have just started taking Thyroxine vi Oroxine.

    I was fascinated by your response to Sarah and the reference in your message to “all functioning well”. I am interested to know the extent to which someone with Hashimoto’s can live a “normal” life and/or whether the condition can be reversed and the thyroid gland repaired.

    I will certainly look up Dr Lowe’s website.

    I would appreciate your comments on the above.

    Regards, and all the best,

    Ian

    [Reply]

  • justine

    Hi Sarah

    Wow thanks everyone for all the stories and info…so interesting. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos a few years ago under some very unusual circumstances. I was striving…doing, non-stop and unable to sit still. Running from whatever i couldnt face in my past and present. Coffee, alcohol and sugar played a big role.

    I was in a dead-end uncommited relationship, depressed and unable/fearful to move forward. Unbeknown to me i had fallen pregnant (i was 42) and only found that out when i was mis-carriaging, and to cut a long story short had numerous blood tests and came back as having Hashimotos. I was also diagnosed with depression and fibroids.

    Now on Thyroxine, but after reading this i will investigate a more natural way to control this condition thru diet and mindful meditation.

    Thanks again.xx

    [Reply]

  • Jem

    My friend just sent me this link and it’s made my day. Have just started treatment for hypothyroidism (my TSH levels were 400, would you believe!). I’ve been wanting to know more but not sure where to turn. so thanks for helping me out.

    [Reply]

  • E

    This is lovely to read. I have chronic fatigue syndrome and I A lot of what you wrote resonated with my own experiences. You seem to have come further down the path of acceptance and change in 2 years than I have in 6, but we’re both getting there. :) All the best.

    [Reply]

  • Gravesian from Perth

    Hashi is a long journey to find that balance in life. Thanks for sharing. In Perth, you can find information on thyroid at http://www.thyroidwa.com/: Non-profit, run by autoimmune sufferers.

    [Reply]

  • Jeani

    I also have been recently diagnosed with hashi’s and am wondering if anyone else feels better in cold weather, as my symptoms come back in warm weather. I am in bali at the moment working and it seems here i feel the worst, maybe it has something to do with foreign bacteria and stress on the body but I dont know. Has anyone else had this experience?

    [Reply]

  • Andrea

    As I read your story I felt like you had been living my life for the past 3 years. I, too, was trying to be “superwoman”, exercised hard and worked hard. One night I sat in bed going over papers for work the next day, suddenly I had a tingling in my shoulder that shot down my arm and into my face. I thought I was have a stroke but it went away right away. Two days later my face was completely numb on the left side and I had developed a tremor in my left index finger and thumb. Unlike others I lost weight, but I had the hair loss/brittle nails/panic attacks and all the other lovely symptoms that go with an underactive thyroid

    Anyway, to make this short – after initial blood tests I was found to be “hypothyroid” and my MRI showed leisions on my brain. Synthroid took away some of the symptoms but my dosage changes every 3 months as I bounce between too little and too much. Two neuros suspected MS because of the leisions and told me I would have to live with it. I asked if my thyroid was causing the problem and was told “no”. I had a lot of nerve problems and the hardest thing for me to deal with, was having problems with my calf muscles, it made it hard to walk. I finally quit my job, moved to a small town in a different province and decided my “working” life was over. It was the best thing to happen to me, my file moved to another neuro and the first thing he said was “have you not been tested for Hashimoto’s, in severe cases it can cause leisions on the brain”, gave me Gabapentin for the nerve problems along with B12. Everything is pretty much back to normal – I am also back to full time work after only being off work for 7 months, I just make sure not to push myself like before. I already had one warning!!! I am going to alter my diet based on your tips and see how that works. Thanks again for sharing your story it meant a lot to me.

    [Reply]

  • edith

    Sarah, I’ve done the swing from hyper to hypo (quite dramatically). The info from the Prof. endo I consulted was grossly inadequate and inaccurate. I think you are quite right that this is not something we are cured of, it is something we manage. I am going to try de-acidfying myself. I also do TM-style meditation but lately I have been both stiff and sore in calf muscles and other joints and nervous and having fast heart beats.(which I think is contradictory). It is quite right you cannot leave it up to the doctors, as they are lost in the general and lose the individual. Also they don’t see us as interesting as we are just trying for an optimal life, we are not about to die from it…. (their job description is to save lives…) Thanks.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.thyroidwa.com John Boyd

    Sarah,

    I’ve just become aware of this site and am really impressed.

    I’m the convenor of thyroidwa a not-for-profit group here in Perth and have been the convenor for the past four years, i’m 68 years old. At our regular meetings and presentations we hear all the stories that your readers write about. All of our committee members are thyroid disease sufferers and have had some terrible journeys. Mine was thyroid cancer so am now fully conversant with that journey

    Our role is to help/advise/put sufferers in touch with medical practitioners/look at alternatives
    and we have been successful in achieving these goals.

    There is very little information about this disease from the Health Department or other professional bodies in Western Australia.

    We are in the process of moving the group from interested people to an incorporated body so we can attract funding to enlarge our reach (particularly country areas) and provide more
    information. It is a hard road making the move.

    One item I would like to mention and I have only just become aware of is if you are a thyroid
    sufferer (particularly Graves) you must read a book called Sweet Poison by Janet Starr Hull or go to the website of The Aspartame Consumer Safety Network. The author linked her Graves
    disease with the use of Aspartame (the sweetner used in diet products and is everywhere). This is a very important read!

    If any of your readers are in WA and need help/advice please do not hesitate to contact us, we are quite happy to answer queries from anywhere in Australia.

    Cheers – John

    [Reply]

    JulZi Reply:

    John,
    I quickly checked out your website and it looks great. Excellent resources and links.
    I will be going back for more.
    This is another sign of some really good work going on in W.A., as The W.A. ME/CFS site
    is one of the best I have seen. Looks like the folks in W.A. are leading the way with some
    of this information. Thankyou.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.ahealthyview.com michele chevalley hedge

    I never heard back from you on my Evidence Based Medicine Hashimoto’s.
    I am happy to hear your thoughts.. the good the bad and the ugly.
    Cheers,
    Michele Chevalley Hedge
    Naturopathic Nutritionist from A Healthy View

    [Reply]

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  • lisa

    this sounds a lot like mercury poisoning to me. i had 63 autoimmune symptoms until i had my mercury dental amalgams removed.

    [Reply]

    Ian Reply:

    hi lisa,

    did your autoimmune symptoms include hypothyroidism? and if so, has it since reversed?

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards,

    Ian

    [Reply]

  • Elisa

    Sarah, I was diagnosed with AI (ulcerative colitis) three years ago – and I too have since gone on an amazing journey to get to know me again – and meditation, too, was key! (Meditation is an effortless, amazing, natural part of life for me now! So far removed from my previous life where “busy, busy”, “no time to stop” and “must be over-productive” were my mantras!) So much of what you have said resonates with me. I am so grateful to read your story – thank you so much for sharing.
    Kindest regards, Elisa

    [Reply]

  • JulZi

    Hi Sarah.
    I have Hashi’s, for about 11 years, as well as CFS.
    My Q to you, is , have you been able to get off the thyroid medication,
    or do you find you still need to take the thyroxine etc?
    I have improved over years, with both natural and medical support,
    but I want to get off medication and to be able to manage naturally.
    I am delighted to find your blog.
    I read your Sunday Life column every week.

    JulZi.

    [Reply]

    Ian Reply:

    Hi JulZi,

    I have the same question. Is it possible to get off the medication? Did Sarah reply to you?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Ian

    [Reply]

    JulZi Reply:

    Hi Ian,
    I didn’t get a reply from Sarah on that question. I take natural/ nutritional support as well as thyroid meds (T4 and T3) … but I really want to get off the meds. I’d love to hear if you have managed to as well. The endocrinologist I saw early on in the diagnosis told me I would need to remain on medication indefinitely and looked at me like I was nuts when I asked about the option of not doing that.

    cheers,

    JulZi

    [Reply]

    Mia Reply:

    I was actually off my for an entire year after seeing a kinesiologist. Now take 50mcg which is more than enough for me, whereas before the kinesiologist I was on 125mcg and still hypothyroid. Even without medication now, my thyroid is only very borderline low, but I dont like to mess around too much with these things!

    A lot of people think kinesiology is wacky hippy pseudo science, I know because I was one of them – my sister studies it and she started practising on me. That is the only way I would have known about it. Quite literally overnight things started to change, and within 3 months I was able to cut back on the medication.

    My endocrinologist cant explain it, and I am usually loathe to share this story because people start ranting about how weird/fake alternative health is. However, I know that all my endocrinologist could offer me is the idea of pills for life, and I dont see how trying something different could hurt? It definitely worked for me, I would recommend anyone try it who was suffering thyroid disease.

    Ian Reply:

    Hi Julzi,

    Thankyou for your reply. I have only been on the medication for two days so it is early days yet. I will keep you informed.

    I was also interested to read Mia’s story and yes it is encouraging. Sounds like we all have an aversion to pills!

    Ian

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  • JulZi

    Mia,
    I don’t think kinesiology is whacky at all. I’m very much into alternative health and healing therapies, and worked in natural health myself for years (in bodywork), but I still got CFS and thyroid disease. (I was doing too much in the two years before, and several consequetive stressful life experiences happened at the time). It was my health that got me into alternative health initially, when I was much younger, after chronic EBV- long stories…

    Interesting, a lot of people I met in alternative health professional circles came to it through being unwell and getting nowhere with orthodox medicine. Not all, but a lot. (BTW I also now think orthodox med has it’s place and has helped me too, but it has limitations).

    I have had some kinesiology sessions at various times, and found them to be great. But I haven’t got off meds. Maybe they missed something. Your post has me deciding to have some more sessions. It’s the money that gets me with treatments though. Everything costs so much and I haven’t been working because of health issues.

    That’s great that you got down to the 50mcg. There is hope yet. Thanks for that encouragement.
    Cheers,
    JulZi.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.ShelbyThyroidAnswers.com Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC

    I have received specialized training in handling the many cases of thyroid disorder symptoms from Best Selling Author, Dr. Datis Kharrazian, who wrote; “Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests are Normal”. Attending and receiving certification at his Mastering the Thyroid program along with in-depth tutelage in Dr. Kharrazian’s methods of functional endocrinology, functional neurology, functional immunology, functional blood chemistry analysis and neurotransmitters and brain function afford me a special understanding of the relevant inter-relationships that can contribute to thyroid disorder symptoms. Indeed in many cases the causes of the various thyroid malfunction symptoms can be identified and corrected with a combination of specific supplementation, diet and lifestyle changes as well as Brain Based Therapy. Learn more at http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/Shelby-Township-Thyroid-Answers

    [Reply]

  • chrissy

    Thankyou so much for your thoughts, I feel I am not alone. I began feeling unwell around 1989 and for approx 3 years i constantly kept saying to my doctor ‘something is wrong in my body’. He kept telling me I had a virus go home take panadol and rest. Well not an easy thing to follow when your trying to raise children on your own, have to work and keep house etc.. I went to visit my sister who I hadnt seen in years and couldnt believe what I saw, she had put on so much weight, had fatigue and could barely lift her arms and legs. Her husband had to do the housework mostly. She told me she had hashimotos and took a long while to find out. We talked and i realised maybe I had it to. Went home and booked in to see a lady doctor who was recommended after talking with her, telling her about my sister she tested me and bingo yes I had Hashimotos too.

    Once I was replaced on the right dose of oroxine I started to feel a whole lot better. I remember once trying to read a book or a newspaper and get to the end of the article and didnt remember a word of what I had just read…(brain fog I think they call it). I remember trying to cross the busy road and feeling like I wasnt going to make it across in time before being run over or something..just no energy..it was horrible.

    Ok that done thought wow put my life back on track..Then in 2004 after a fall I ended up having surgery on my back. 2007 another fall tore the tendons in my shoulder, more surgery..long painful recovery and physio…late 2oo7 started feeling fatigue, soreness, trouble standing, walking and generally unwell… my arms and legs were paining and sore to touch. the slighest knock against me or my grandchildren even sitting on my legs was excrutiating. My physio commented that something was wrong she couldnt get the muscles to release. I had acupuncture to no effect.. ASked the GP after many weeks of this if I could see a specialist , sent me to a rhematologist…thank god for ‘Mano’ what a wonderful man…just him lightly touching me on the arms , neck, back and legs hurt so much. Told me blood tests dont show up anything but purely clinical diagnosis would be done…. possibilities were spondylarthritis, psioratic arthritis, fybromyalgia etc….thats a starting point he said… so after a couple of visits and keeping a diary of my symptoms and days a clinical diagnosis of psioratic athritis and fybromyalgia combined to make me feel this way.

    I rarely drive my car these days..i have periods that come over me quite suddenly of fatigue and I just have to go to sleep, sometimes for 20 minutes sometimes for hours. a trip to the shops for half an hour or so results in me having to go to bed for the afternoon. I cant walk for more than abut an hour these days…I have learnt a long the way to do a small task every day…one day i do the vacumming, one day i do the washing and peg out, one day i mop the floors, one day i change and make the bed…
    my whole lifestyle has changed…

    I am on antidepressent ..the rheumatologist said they have found that these can be used for other things than depression..small dose only…he has given me but it helps me cope. i take predisolone now as the pain and soreness got so bad particularly in my arms that I couldnt even lift a glass of water, a bowl, a plate of food, the kettle etc my whole arm would shake.

    I take oroxine for the hashimotos…

    I take panadol osteo for the arthritis pain

    and at night I am on a strong pain killer my doctor has to get an authority to prescribe for me. Otherwise I cant sleep.
    I hate taking medication, but its a necessary evil these days.

    Family History:. I am one of eight children. We lost our parents when we were young.. No family history is known which makes it hard…
    The family problems in order of children are numbered below.
    1. Diane – Type 2 diabetes, Osteoarthritis
    2. Marilyn – Arthritis
    3. Robyn. – Psioratic Arthritis, Hashimotos, enlarged heart, Sjorgens disease, Liver problem
    4. Robert (dec) died of sarcoidosis
    5. Me – Hashimotos, type 2 diabetes, psioratic arthritis, fybromyalgia,irritable bowel/diverticulitis, high blood pressure
    6. Graeme – myathenia gravis
    7. Michael – Hashimotos, Crohns, Stomach ulcer, heart problem
    8. Greg – Back problems only – no sign of the illnesses yet the rest of us have

    all this in one family ..my sisters heart specialist cannot belive such a strong present of autoimmune illnesses in one family..never seen it before.

    but hey there are people worse off I am sure…I have days when I sit and cry with the chronic pain but I do have better days not good ones like i once had ….but better days when I can actually do things.

    chrissy

    [Reply]

    Shona Reply:

    You poor darling! Thinking of you XX

    [Reply]

  • Ian

    Hi Sarah,

    I was interested to read your comment after you started meditation you found “that my hormones levels (previously depleted to zip) have returned to normal”

    May I ask, are you referring to the hormones produced in the thyroid or other hormones. If you are not referring to thyroid hormones, what impact has the meditation had on your thyroid hormones (if that is the right word..) eg. TSH, T2, T4 etc.

    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Ian

    [Reply]

  • Sheila

    Hi Sarah,
    My hypothyroidism seems similar to your with TSH 60 and T4 under 0.05 so basicly barely functioning. You are one of the only people I have found that has a burning mouth/lips from time to time. I suffer on and off from this too sometimes for days on end, you mention that certain food stuffs can trigger this for you – what are they? I have so far not found any pattern to mine but this might help.
    Great website
    Many Thanks
    Sheila

    [Reply]

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  • http://www.thefeedlot.blogspot.com Emily Howard

    Hi Sarah
    I have only had time to read this post, but look forward to reading the rest of your related posts. I have severe eczema, and I recognise your journey… ezcema is another disease which has the ability to knock the strongest and seemingly healthiest of people flat. There are varying causes, and just when you think you’ve figured it out, everything changes and you’re back where you started. I’ve tried GPs, dermatologists, natural therapists, diets, atopic solutions, online searches, and hormonal trials… the search continues!
    Thank you for writing so honestly about your AI, but also for writing so positively. Often these topics are approached in a way that leaves you feeling helpless and sad. I have to say you’ve inspired me to keep going, be more diligant in my findings, and you’v that no matter how rotten some days can be, it could always be worse…
    Cheers!
    Ems x

    [Reply]

  • Chrissie

    Hi Sarah
    I’ve just been my physio and he told me that his wife heard you speak about AI. I am just coming out of another painful relapse of Crohn’s disease. I felt better when I read your story. Not so alone I guess.I also have Diverticulitus so whilst I need fibre in one area of the colon it really is not good for another. I wanted to ask if you have heard of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I am pretty down at the moment and need to be proactive

    [Reply]

  • tracy

    sarah…before you were diagnosed did you feel flat, dull, morbid and that you could just not bear to spend another day feeling like this? i just want to cry at how dull i have become….i have not yet been diagnosed but i am pretty certian i have AI as my mother has hashimotos and the past two years are increasingly unbearable. i have been sent to three specialists who all agree it’s not in my head but i am a mystery due to the test results. i left work 3 months ago so i can concentrate on getting on top and getting a diagnosis – i work on my 100 year old house on the good days and potter on the bad days and the terrible days i stay in bed!! it’s frustating when the mind is willing but the flesh is not.

    [Reply]

  • Calbiry

    Interesting post and a very personal one. It was good to hear your take on thyroid disease and your symptoms.
    Personally, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at 23, though it had been present for a lot longer than that. And I don’t believe it was due to any lifestyle factors but rather heredity (my paternal grandmother has it). I take thyroxine every day now and I lost 18kg in the first six months of taking it. Now I don’t really pay it any attention, except as an excuse not to eat soy.

    [Reply]

  • Patricia

    Wow!! I stumbled across this site while looking for “soy free” breads. It’s so great to read something written by someone here in Australia as normally it’s articles by people in America. Thank you for sharing your Hashi’s experience as i can totally relate. It took me 9 yrs for someone to take me seriously and believe me when i felt like i was falling apart. If it wasn’t for the net and healthboards, i believe i still would be struggling to get help. Instead, i learnt from others, then found myself a Trichologist to find answers on my hair shedding. The Trichologist discovered i had the Hashi’s, whilst GP’s and an Endo told me my thyroid was “fine”.

    I know any number of things can lead to Hashi’s, but i tend to agree totally with your article, but the bit i agree on the most is how AI diseases appear to hit those who strive so hard, expect 100% of themselves (yet not of those around them) and we are usually not quiters, even if it’s going to kill us. This lifestyle isn’t good for our digestion, hormones and our adrenals, which in turn affect our thyroid hormones. One viscious cycle.

    [Reply]

  • Marianne

    Having just read this week’s Sunday Life article the sentence ‘ I know I got sick a while back to learn humility’ made me stop and look for your website. Thanks for telling your story here. I’ll be showing my husband to help him understand the journey I’ve been on the past couple of years. I certainly am no follower of new age thoughts or touchy feely views of wellness and caring for myself. I LIKE being very busy. I like being able to cope. But, I have had to stop, and take a totally different perspective on my world, which is meaning I am saying no and I am taking a little more care – just a little – baby steps. Thanks!

    [Reply]

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  • Mel

    Sarah, thanks so much for sharing your ongoing journey. It has really hit home for me. I’ve had Grave’s Disease (hyperactive thyroid) for the past five years and it’s been a real roller coaster. Usually hyperactive sufferers lose masses of weight and find it hard to put weight on. I’m one of the 20% who gain weight. After only a few months I had gained an extra 15kg. Mid last year I had such a bad toxic overload from the disease I had to stop work for 2 months. Then taking up the advice of my specialist to take the radio-active iodine treatment to ablate my thyroid. Felt fantastic afterwards for a couple of months but now it is all flaring up again. I’m at my wits end. So I’m heeding your advice to be kind to myself and start looking at alternative solutions. To start working on the underlying problem which is AI.

    Your theory of A-type people who drive themselves hard being more likely to suffer at some point with AI is very interesting. I’m one of those people and whenever my health has stabilised over the past five years I’ve gone full force into exercise. I love to run, do weights and push myself physically. Then I’d crash and burn again. So your theory rings very true for me. I need to start taking things slower and more gently. There’s much I need to learn and I can see that my journey to a new way of living is only just beginning. Thanks so much for your advice and the links to others who I can also learn from. Good luck with your journey.

    [Reply]

  • steve ninnes

    Thanks Sarah.

    I have had this for 6 years. And have slowly made me better. It is a hard road, as we need to re learn so much. Thanks for your time in writing this.

    It is good, really good. And in just knowing you had it, and grow with it, is nice.

    Steve

    [Reply]

  • Heather

    Thank you so much for this post. You have said so poignantly what I wish I could say to people. My journey was much like yours, and I am slowly healing. The key word being slow.
    Thanks so much.
    I will continue to follow your blog!

    [Reply]

  • http://spiderflower.blogspot.com/ virginia

    What an inspiring post especially for those of us who might feel alone in suffering from this sometimes isolating condition. Not just because the physical symptoms can sometimes be hard for others to believe but the psychological impact is just as tiring. You have put your journalist investigative talents to good use and will surely help thousands of others out there struggling with a myriad of inexplicable symptoms. I was wondering if Wilson’s syndrome could be a possibility as usually adrenal fatigue/failure and thyroid problems go hand in hand?

    [Reply]

  • http://www.reallifefitness.com.au Rachel

    Hi Sarah
    I’m so glad I have found your blog. We seem to have gone through some very similar experiences which has also led me to changing the way I do things. I feel that what I have gone through is such a blessing and I have now started writing about it myself. Like you I feel the need to share and get my message out there as to inspire people on their own journey to health. There is no one cure fixes all or no one diet or no one rule – it is all about the journey and each piece comes into our lives at exactly the right time. I love that I’m finding all new resources throughout your blog that will continue to help me on my journey as I believe it is never over. Thank you x

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    Couldn’t have said it better…x

    [Reply]

  • Hweimeen

    Hi Sarah,
    My girlfriend, E came across your blog and immediately thought of fellow-auto-immune sufferer, yours truly. I want to thank you, just as I thank E for reminding me that my health is more important than anything else plus I should keep working on readjusting my lifestyle – my boyfriend is also pleased. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.roger.id.au Roger

    Have you looked into the paleo diet? http://paleodietlifestyle.com/
    http://thepaleodiet.com/about/

    The Paleo Diet the world’s healthiest diet, is based on the simple understanding that the best human diet is the one to which we are best genetically adapted. It is supported by documented scientific evidence and by real-life improvements, even triumphs, of people winning their personal health battles.

    [Reply]

    julianne Reply:

    I too have Hashimotos. When discovered – in a general checkup, my TSH was a little high, antibodies in the 1000′s but no symptoms.
    I’ve been playing with diet to see what helps me the most.

    I found the auto-immune version of the paleo diet – which I did as a strict trial for 30 days, made a big improvement – to the point where my TSH got down to normal levels, and I felt really well.

    I’ve written about it here http://paleozonenutrition.com/2011/07/20/my-30-day-strict-alcohol-free-auto-immune-paleo-diet/

    [Reply]

  • Kate

    Hi Sarah,

    This is a fantastic post, such informative and educational discussion! I’m a fellow IIN’er : ) and have a couple of clients with Hashimotos that I’ve forwarded your post onto and I’m sure will give them inspiration and confidence in taking responsibility for their health.

    Have you actually cured yourself of Hashimotos or are you managing your symptoms? I understand it’s probably a long healing process and may take years. What supplements and foods have been key for you?

    Thank you & for making this such a positive and public discussion!

    Warmly, Kate

    [Reply]

  • spaxissecoike

    Divert ease me to beget pool

    [Reply]

  • Emma

    Hi Sarah,

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing all this stuff. It is so very heartening to hear that you’re not the only one that knows what it is to feel these symptoms! I was diagnosed with CFS about 7 months ago, and have been on the journey of ‘discovery’ and listening to my body – a completely new experience. My neck aches from nodding so much throughout your post…I love your suggestions and I am going to try to implement a few and see how they suit me.

    I have only really discovered that sleep, (much) less excercise, meditation and no gluten or dairy are winners for me. I too was a ‘two speed’ person, excercise fan, workaholic, nothing-less-than-perfect-is-good-enough, allocating too much of my time-pie for everyone else and leaving nothing for me…or feeling guilty when I did. I too feel lucky to have been ‘stopped’ by this condition to check myself, and the way I was living my life…and listen to the little whispers from within :)

    Thank you and congratulations on being such an inspiration to clearly so many people.

    Emma

    [Reply]

    Nicky Reply:

    Hi Sarah & Emma,

    Emma – I have tapped directly into your post because I too am a CFS sufferer. I was diagnosed 2 years ago and congratulate you for finding such a positive headspace in such a short time. It took me a while to process and find peace with this condition but once I did the journey, while still difficult, has brought many gifts … I used to race through life thinking I was doing all the right things for myself and yet here I was asking my mind and body to take on the world. My whole outlook was forced to shift but this feels like the real me now. While my days still involve one step at a time, and I haven’t been able to work since my diagnosis, my body is stronger and we are becoming friends :). I wish you all the best with your ‘journey of discovery’ – while incredibly confronting at the start it can become ridiculously clichéd and beautiful!

    Sarah – I grabbed a hold of your story and strength while in the throes of my initial dark place 2 years ago. You helped me connect with my condition, my options and my true self. Thank you for being such an inspiration and sharing your journey … actually I nearly feel like I should apologise for not thanking you earlier!!

    One last thing that you may both be interested in … assuming you haven’t found it already … is a Chinese philosophy called Qigong. It is a beautiful energy healing practice. My body really started to turn a corner once I included it in my new recipe for life.

    Nicky x

    [Reply]

    Emma Reply:

    Hi Nicki,

    Great to hear that my little comment has helped and given you some positivity – it’s amazing how much difference hearing similar stories and positive takes on things can make.

    I completely agree, it really is a very different journey to get used to but I do feel lucky in a funny way that I’ve discovered this new way of life – one that is kind to my body! I’m so sorry to hear that you haven’t been able to work, and I sincerely hope that your steady progress continues so that you are able to work again soon.

    I think I was very lucky to catch the condition so early that my progress has been relatively fast, though I’m still not able to excercise or really have much of a social life, but thankfully I can work, though have been very lucky to find a job working from home which allows for some flexibility for naps on bad days :)

    I have been working with Chinese herbal medicine and I have found it to be really effective, I shall certainly look into Qigong. I can highly recommend Isabel Peace practitioner (chinese medicine and acupuncture) at Your Health in Manly if you’re local to Sydney.

    I wish you all the luck, light and energy for your recovery and thanks for your reply – I think every little bit of support we all receive helps us to be positive and get better xx

    Sarah, thanks again for posting something so thought provoking, personal and helpful for so many people, and I hope you’re feeling tip-top currently :) xx

    [Reply]

    Nicky Reply:

    Thanks so much for the recommendation of Isabel Peace Emma. I have heard that Your Health in Manly is great. Unfortunately I’m not local to Sydney anymore – part of my challenge. I had to move home, to country NSW, when I was diagnosed – it was also a blessing for the early stages of my recovery. But I’ll definitely look into her.

    The Qigong Master that I work with is also a Chinese herbalist. A wonderful, beautiful man. You feel better just being around him due to his nurturing energy :). He’s based in Chatswood – google Tiandi Qigong to read a little more about him if you’re keen. While it is a lifestyle adaptation it’s also a very gentle practice similar to thai chi – perhaps it would be ideal for you if you’re not able to exercise much. I love it and my ability to exercise it really limited.

    I’m so pleased that you were able to recognise the red flags early on and you have some flexibility with your working day. Yay you :) … hopefully your social life re-emerges with time.

    Thanks for your reply and words of support. I completely agree with regard to hearing similar stories. While you don’t want other people to be struggling you hope that they find the same light, reason and clarity for why their body has spoken up.

    Take care – sending you lots of healing thoughts & energy x

  • Donna

    Hi all
    I am interested in this topic and what worked for others in dealing with my own condition. I have a rare AI condition called “Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid”. It’s a kind of blistering disease, where big, red painful blisters erupt in the mouth, eyes, genitals, nose, esophagus. Like most AI’s there’s no known treatment except topical cortisone, and, if severe, immunosuppressant drugs. My illness, fortunately, has not progressed past oral blisters–that is, I have not had any in my eyes, or “down there” or in my throat. That said, when I get them, they can make it almost impossible to eat.
    I was curious about Sarah’s and other’s experience because I suppose all AI diseases could come from, or at least be made worse by, our lifestyle choices etc, and I wondered if there was any one underlying theory behind them.
    My biggest problem is I am addicted to non-sugar sweeteners, particularly stevia and saccharine, and use them a lot. (ok, much, too much). Other than that, my diet is virtually grain-free, low fat (I don’t have a gall bladder anymore, so I can’t digest much in the way of fat), and I also have very sensitive blood sugar, so it’s low in carbs all round. I drink one coffee a day and I confess, wine every night. Other than that, my diet is packed with vegetables and protein.
    I’m interested to hear if anyone things all AI’s have similar origins and could be treated similarly.
    thank you
    cheers
    Donna

    [Reply]

  • http://www.hortcouture.com.au angela

    Sarah,
    Like all before me ‘thank you’ for sharing so freely, candidly and honestly. It is with a lump in my throat that I write this comment as I don’t feel so alone anymore. Reading everyone else’s comments along with your post makes me feel less ‘crappy’ and confirms that ‘it’s not all in my head’. For so many years I’ve fought my body and hated it for what it wouldn’t let me do. I now realise I need to learn to love it and be patient with it. It is hard though at times when you’re considered “the difficult one”, the “fussy eater”, or “the always tired” one. I even have friend’s who think I am this way to be trendy! Apparently paying $8 for a loaf of bread is somehow trendy!

    I’m still confirming why exactly my body is this way, through an endless amount of tests and dead-ends that leave you questioning ‘is it really all in my head?’ Hence why I was so relieved to find your blog and read your posts re: AI. You give me hope that I may still find the answers to all the questions my body leaves me asking. And more so, showing me I’m certainly not alone feeling this way.

    To health & wellbeing! xo

    [Reply]

  • http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/blog Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC

    A couple of tests that are very helpful are Enterolab #11 which is a gene test to see if you have the genes (HLA-DQB1) that predispose you to gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. In addition Cyrex Labs Array #3 is very helpful. You can react to over 15 components of wheat and this test measures them all. These tests (and others) allow me to quickly discover the triggers to my patients autoimmune conditions.

    Keep loving your body and learn as much as you can. Diet and lifestyle changes and specific nutritional supplementation can help your immune system get back into balance.

    Yours for Vibrant Health and Prosperity

    [Reply]

  • Sheree

    Hi Sarah,

    Excellent read. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and Graves in 2008. I worked with meds, natural hormones, diet, meditation and myself. All my levels got to “normal” so I thought I was okay. Then of course… I ignored “it” and within 6 months am back to square one.

    Healing will come when – and as – you learn to be kinder and gentler to yourself.

    These words from you brought tears. This is where I need to focus more it seems.

    Many thanks,
    Sheree

    [Reply]

  • http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/blog Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC

    The BIGGEST key in any autoimmune process is to come to an understanding that the end organ being targeted (thyroid for Hashi and Grave’s) isn’t the real problem. Rather the out of balance immune system and WHAT is triggering the immune system to be out of balance IS the real culprit that must be handled to get back into a healing mode. To get the immune system into balance, specialized testing is needed to root out the triggers causing issues and then diet and lifestyle changes along with targeted nutritional supplementation is required too. I am dealing with AI attack on my body as well and I specialize in helping others too – and since I am in the journey – knowing what works is a great advantage. Keep up the great work!

    [Reply]

  • JER0EN R0LAND

    Hi Sarah. i have a year ago heavy headache, i think it worst, headache can be blockade of circulation of blood to the head and neck. I say aways, Doctor Can you fix me up? , No! It’s so worst, My doctor says that I need glasses. I know there is more wrong in my neck.

    [Reply]

  • Lynne

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s last November, but realise that I have had this condition or at least it was developing for some years previously. I spent months of late nights trying to find what seemed like the most logical explanation and way to help it. That led me to the GAPS diet, which I began to try out from last November. I am now following it in a more serious way; it is actually a gut detoxification, seeding and refeeding programme that takes quite some work to implement, especially in the beginning. However, it has certainly put paid to all my most serious and handicapping symptoms fairly quickly (permanent anal fissure that was so painful I could hardly get out of bed or move any more, total exhaustion, increasing no of allergies to all sorts of things, acute hayfever, problems sleeping). I am now slowly working through the intriacies of the programme (2 years or so recommended time). I have to say I am feeling pretty good on it already though, lots of energy and the anal fissure, which even an operation could not fix, seems well and truly gone. I sleep very well and allergies are reducing. Well, at the least I would recommend reading the book by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride. She based her research for this on her search for a cure for her son’s autism, but found the diet very suited for people with autoimmune disease. The book is a result of her research and makes for very fascinating reading. It certainly put so many pieces of the puzzle into the right place for me. Good luck to everyone seeking help for this horrible condition.

    [Reply]

  • http://tobeydeys.wordpress.com/ Tobey Deys

    Hello Sarah,

    This morning, I found your blog. This is a wonderful post; I haven’t the time to read through all of the great comments so may be repeating points ;-)

    How kind of you to share your journey! One thing that stood out to me is: “OK, so why did I get AI? … I got AI because I needed to.” How conscious! Although I can’t imagine your challenges, I can empathize with that thought. About 25 years ago, I was going full-tilt boogie (it was insane!) – then one day, I broke my leg. What should have been a minor accident shattered my fibula & ankle and snapped my tibia in half. I almost lost my lower leg. A gifted doctor, three surgeries, titanium plates and pins, eight months in casts, and years in rehab and I’m cycling and snowboarding. I’m left with some pain, a scar and awareness. It took me a while but I too realized I ‘needed’ this to happen. A rather dramatic push off of the path I was taking – but it worked.
    My dearest friend suffered with AI for years before she was diagnosed – I’ve watched her challenged and frustrated by it (and will be sending your blog to her).
    Your insights into diet and healing are brilliant – I’m working toward gluten-, dairy-, and meat-free and the clean energy already is amazing (still working on the ‘must sleep more’ … I allow myself naps, too).
    Sarah – thank you for such an intimate glimpse into your life – very much appreciated and I send you my best. I’ll be following your thoughts! – peace

    [Reply]

  • http://svasti.wordpress.com/ Svasti

    Thank you, thank YOU for this post. I’ve jus tbeen diagnosed with hypothyroidism and it’s a whole new world. Luckily, I’m a yoga teacher and so yoga and meditation are already a part of my life, and it doesn’t sound like the changes I’ll have to make will be that radical for me. However, it’s wonderful to have advice that works from someone who’s been through it all. :)

    [Reply]

  • Jonathan

    great blog. As an AI sufferer its funny that you say what you did – since of all people a psychic told me that I developed an AI so I could slow down and examine what I was doing and where I was headed…

    [Reply]

  • Pingback: Go Gluten Free For A Month And Feel Fantastic: | Rejuvenation Lounge

  • Pingback: Go Gluten Free For A Month And Feel Fantastic: | Rejuvenation Lounge

  • Michelle

    Just want to put in a word here for Multiple Sclerosis and the tens of thousands of Australian women and men who have it.
    It is an autoimmune disorder, as well as a demyelinating one.
    The total number of people with MS in Australia alone is over 20,000. Those who are diagnosed.
    Diagnosis is very difficult – there is no way of diagnosing MS. It is called “Diagnosis By Exclusion NBE (No Better Explanation)”. True!
    Three out of every four people diagnosed are women.
    The incidence increases by 7% each year.
    The total financial cost annually is close to $2 billion dollars.

    [Reply]

  • Paula

    Um, I’m new here. But can I just say, I LOVE YOU! I only just met you, but I already know I love you.

    Thank you for sharing this. I myself had to change my ways to figure out how to heal myself from my own hormonal imbalance nightmare. I’m battling hypothyroidism, insulin resistance, and poly-cystic ovary syndrome (all this hormonal deficient crap goes hand in hand!). I’m doing much better now, but as you know, health is not really about arriving at a destination or crossing a finish line. Wellness is an ongoing process, a “journey” as they say :) I’m glad to have found you along my path.

    [Reply]

    Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC Reply:

    A common denominator for hypothyroidism, PCOS and insulin resistance is gluten sensitivity with concomitant excessive carbohydrate intake. The increased insulin and cortisol affects the 17,20 lyase enzymes in the ovaries which in turn over-convert estrogen into testosterone.

    Success strategy: Eat vegetables, protein and stone fruits (those with pits) and certain specific nutrients to reduce immune system dysregulation such as omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D3 among others.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.facebook.com/manicorganics amanda

    Reading everyone’s posts makes me realise how much our crazy lifestyle in this modern world really wreaks havoc on our immune systems and that western medicine’s treatment principles are flawed.
    four years ago my broken immune system crashed and systemic candida took over due to my lifestyle that is so common to everyone, acidic foods, alcohol, coffee, dairy, wheat, one too many parites, and one too many rounds of anti-biotics and prescription drugs.
    i started getting brain-fog, insomnia, digestive disorders, every bug going round i got, thrush, depression, irregular periods, no energy, dizziness, the list goes on.
    it took many months of visits to my GP getting mis-diagnosed and more scripts written before they finally did a test for systemic candida.
    then more rounds of scripts that made me feel worse – no mention of diet or lifestyle by the GP either.
    after 3 months it dawned on me there was no point in going to see a GP!
    so i began my journey of research – thank god for the web! and seeing naturopaths. what really worked for me and i’m sure would help many AI sufferers was mega-doses of vitamin c infusions 3 x a week (18g – 30g), vitamin b shots – VitaCentre in Edgecliff provide this awesome treatment along with chelation (heavy metal detox), mega-doses of pro-biotis (up to 500 billion), colonics, acupuncture, an alkalising diet, garlic, coconut oil, alkaline water, apple cider vinegar, fermented supergreens and lacto fermented vegetables – see donna gates body ecology diet on the web. also food combining principles worked well for me too – no grains with proteins and grains should only be quinoa, buckwheat or millet.
    follow the 80/20 rule on the plate – 80% veges, 20% protein.
    and some good quality supplements such as fish oil, multi, adrenal support, calcium and magnesium.
    oh and rest, yoga, walks by the beach. i used to be such a gym junkie but as we’ve all learnt, high impact exericse just adds more stress to our already fragile bodies.

    [Reply]

  • Libby Gore

    Hi Sarah
    Thanks for sharing your story; it was great to see you at the Happiness and its causes session in Brisbane last week it was great to have someone like you hosting as it spoke volumes; I’ve started reading all of your blogs etc and feeling inspired and motivated.

    I wonder if you have seen the but you don’t look sick site? if not the link is below. It goes to the spoon theory which has helped many of my friends and family understand greatly what I go through; we often speak of spoons now and it makes me feel even more support than before.

    the changes we face with invisible diseases are different to those who can show how they hurt. I think Christine’s site helps communicate the issues well.

    anyway I’m sure you have more than enough reading to do on a daily basis i thought perhaps you would see this and share with others who might benefit.

    all the best; Libby

    http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory-written-by-christine-miserandino/

    [Reply]

  • witchwhite

    May I kindly suggest that you are not grateful for the illness itself; that you are grateful for being in the position to maintain your lifestyle through an already established flexible career, rather than end up losing your house, your income, being dependant on a meagre pension, or worse, the dole, and possibly abusive family/ partners. That you are grateful to be able to afford alternative health therapies and expensive diets, rather than a lack of energy, time and finances, and the extra stress spirally your health further down. That you are grateful to live in a time where your particular illness is picked up quickly and easily by simple blood tests, and not misdiagnosed as neurasthenia or hysteria as it would be 100 years ago, or misdiagnosed as mental illness, or completely dismissed, as happens now. That you are grateful to have no dependants or family who rely on you and are worse off for your ill health. May I kindly request a modicum of sensitivity for those who are not able to embrace their illness as a lifestyle change, and a lend of your position of influence to prevent, cure disease (toxins, research etc.) and decry how those with illness are treated…
    Or not, you’re the sick one. You’re one lucky gal, you’ve been taken down by a terrible illness in the prime of your life but with resources not available to most of us. I do admire your attitude, thanks for the blog. P.S. I’m hoping to get less narky upon practising meditation and other suggestions.

    [Reply]

  • http://discombobula.blogspot.com Sue

    I suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome for 6+ years. I can so relate to this post and everything you’ve written in it. It is a privileged position in some way, for your body to go haywire to the extent that you can actually feel what our lifestyles are doing to us. I will never, ever forget what it all felt like, and it’s made me so much more careful to care for myself, and for our earth. So many of the things you have discovered healthful and healing and helpful have also been for me (I think I’d rate meditation as number one as well. And oh, how deep everything goes when you slow down!

    Bless ya, Sarah. May you continue to improve :)

    [Reply]

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  • Sarah

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for sharing your story and suggestions. I also have been diagnosed with Hashimoto 6 years ago.

    I have been on a roller for the last 5 years. I find the following very helpful;

    * Vegan diet (free from meat and dairy = allergies)
    * Gluten free diet
    * No coffee or coke
    * No processed foods
    * No strong chemicals at home
    * Alkalising water
    * Fresh organic foods
    * Massage 1x week
    * Yoga 1x week
    * Walking 2x week
    * Pure water (Fluoride & chlorine free)
    * Corrrect Breathing technique

    All the best to fellow sufferers….

    x Sarah

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  • Carien

    WELL! What a wonderful surprise to find you so down to earth and open, Sarah. And I’m shocked to see so many young ones are sharing these Hashimoto symptoms that I’ve discovered in myself only these last six months or so, and I’m 65. I’m pretty healthy. No friends or family could understand why I was “so crook”, let alone myself, and I have to say that my hair loss (dry, lost its curl as well as fallout), loss of public hair and underarms!!!, together with brain fog is what drove me to the docs. Vanity always wins, my daughter reckons. One doc said hyper, the other said hypo so I went to my friend who is a natural hygienist in Sydney (Arcadia Health Clinic), who suggested I was on the verge of serious automimmune disease. I fasted under care at the clinic (i.e. detoxing), learned about my chronic stress and adrenal overdosing, and have been putting off the thyroxine prescription for now five months. I was fortunate to find a doctor prepared to give me acupuncture, but he still wants me to take the thyroxine. Like you Sarah, my first TSH test count was 84, and as soon as I started eating fruit and veges again, supported with fish and seaweed it went down to 72. (In four weeks). Since my fast however I’ve had two blood tests both in the 90s. Obviously not enough meditation, exercise and that vital sun (Vit D). Am addressing these at the moment and hopefully I can get into some good regimes before another test, and that that will prove the case.
    However I am pleased to read from your bloggers that it is possible to help the T3 to T4 conversion (or is it T4 to T3?) You can see a bit of brain fog here at the end of the day and a too-busy week. So that’s another experiment to explore.
    Thank you all.
    It’s a relief to hear you, read you and discover there are real people on the planet really aware of how much lifestyle and food affects our body/mind/beings.
    In the love that lives us, with my dancing shoes now on,
    Thanks

    [Reply]

  • Carrie

    I am SOOOOO glad to have found your blog. I am a fellow blogger, with dreams of writing SOMETHING someday that gets published. Your path and mind sound SO eerily similar, its uncanny. I will definitely be following you and learning from your bumpy path because I too, tend to go the hard way first. Thank you. Thank you so much for sharing your life and experiences.

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  • erinsy

    im confused about claire hoopers bit? where is it?

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  • Pingback: “how I healed my thyroid with food”: my fun chat with top chef’s Andrea Beaman | Sarah Wilson

  • http://www.minilening.org Minilening

    Just wanted to say:
    Respect!

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  • Mel Travis

    Hi Sarah,
    I just read an article in a Gold Coast magazine while up here on holiday (resting!) You write so well. I have battled a similar journey/self discovery and now on the other side I am much happier and healthier as a result. It’s really wonderful to read of your journey and know that there is a community of people that understand. Makes the journey less lonely.
    Also, spiritually I feel that if we all nurtured ourselves better (loved ourselves) then energetically there would be more love in the world. More love of Mother Nature, one another, communities etc. You are a leader in the general notion of love!
    Keep looking after yourself,
    Mel

    [Reply]

  • Sharon

    I’m totally in shock. I’ve been thinking I’ve been a little bit crazy all these years. Diagnosed in 2000 – no one I’ve seen to date has given me as much information as I’ve just read in this post. Thank you.

    [Reply]

  • Elizabet

    Hi Sarah,
    I am regular reader of your articles in Sunday Life, and it’s the only article which I read on the weekends with busy schedule. So I have been a fan of you and today I have come across your blog with the topic on the AID.
    Thank you for shearing your Tyroid malfunction experience with the rest of us.
    I have been suspicious on my thyroid function for 14 years and only 2 months ago I have been diagnosed with auto immune thyroids. So lately I have read a lot on the net about diets and other people experiences.
    I am now of sugar & gluten free diet and regular taking thyroxine supplement.

    The main reason I am writing to you is the method I have been exposed to come this diagnosis was with CEM(complementary & ecological medicine) with Pauline Rose (Crows nest). They use a “Physiospect” which analyzes the functional state of organs and tissues in order to discover physiological disorders and to define the characteristics of pathology.
    I highly recommend this service to people in need.

    Take care
    Elizabet

    [Reply]

  • Katrina

    HI Sarah, thank you!!

    I just read up on your blog about underactive Thyroid. That’s me I have finally hit the brick wall as such and am finally starting to relax and be kind to myself! I love your note to yourself about being nice to you because I am finally realizing I need to be kinder and not exercise 100% intensity 6 days a week.

    Thanks again, now its time to get on track!

    [Reply]

  • Meg

    I just read your blog and can’t believe the similarities between the triggers of your AI disease & and mine. I have ulcerative colitis. My eyebrows even stopped growing too. One of mine, the outer third disappeared. Freaky coincidence or AI symptom? Also I have many inflamed days. Oh, I also get chronic sinusitis & psoriasis. Lots of inflammation you see. It manifests itself a lot thru my skin & nose. Anyway I’ve had colitis since I was 26 y.o, I am know 41. Prior to that since 19 I had Irritable bowel syndrome. Good news is with conventional medicine, anti inflammatory meds that is and herbal medicine I have stunned my gastroenterologist. I did a 2 mth liver cleanse. By taking the sandra Cabot tablets and eating lots of liver friendly foods. I wasn’t strict about it though. Plus I regularly drank dandelion leaf tea ( a liver tonic). I take turmeric capsules, which are anti inflammatory. I also take fish oil caps. In the past I have used aloe Vera juice also. I think the combination of these, but especially cleaning my liver, made a difference. I also changed my diet. I removed dairy, wheat as much as possible. I don’t bloat anymore. I don’t have coeliacs, but am lactose intolerant. When I eat casseroles with tomato paste I get really acidy & get sick. That sucks when u have a Greek heritage! Anyway I never sleep enough, which explains why my cells don’t repair properly. My psoriasis is the first thing to flair up, then my nose, then my gut. Back to my specialist. When I had a colonoscopy in June this year, he told me that he had to rethink my diagnosis, because my colitis had improved dramatically. Only the last 10cm of my large intestine showed scarring

    [Reply]

  • Meg

    I accidentally pressed enter before I had a chance to tell you that the rest of my previously scarred intestine had healed & showed no signs of scarring. This is what stunned my doctor. Anyway thank you for validating my symptoms as AI symptoms. And for giving me extra tips, like the food & sleep-cell repair therapy. Great blog!

    [Reply]

  • Heather

    My, I wish I had found you years ago. I have crohns and it took a decade to diagnose. The clean eating us a struggle because of my issues with fiber. I’d love to know your take on that. I’ll be back and reading more. Thank you!!! Heather

    [Reply]

  • tammy

    hi sarah, i found reading this very interesting, i have hoshi and have had it for 12 yrs os or more i also have about 4 more auto immune diseases and one they cant figure out it absalutely hard but as for weight you guys can lose it 33 kilos in 8 months kate morgan highly recommend it its eassy and they told me i couldnt lose weight and the vitamins in it make you feel better .

    all the best guys
    tammy

    [Reply]

  • Trish

    Hi there

    I have had Hashimoto’s for about 10-12 years and in the last 3 years have developed chronic urticaria. I scratch myself so badly I bleed, constantly, but can’t stop. The itch is like the sting from millions of mosquito bites all in one small patch.

    Recently small lumps have developed on my neck.

    I’m tired, but can’t sleep, miserable, can’t concentrate very long, very very forgetful, and lacking any libido whatsoever.

    I’ve always thought that I will have to heal thyself!! because the GPs, as you say, think it’s all too hard so they give you more tablets, in this case anti histamines (taking 4-6 telfast per day- and still not working!). Allergy specialist now advises to go on an elmination diet, eating meat, lettuce, celery, shallots, and a few other things, then gradually introduce other food groups.

    However, it’s nice to know there are other people out there with the same problems, or similar, all from thyroid disease. A Qld naturophath/therapist said he has never known so many women to have thryoid disease. What’s causing it? The go-go-go lifestyle fits, but doesn’t effect everyone.

    Sorry I’m rambling.

    Thanks for your website, I feel a bit more inspired!!!!
    Trish

    [Reply]

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  • http://theiquitsugar Roz Adlley

    my name is roz.. ive just been told i have hashimotos.. ive never heard of it before but now im finding out its quite common.. i went to the doctors to check my ovaries as i had a hysterectomy at the age of 29, i am now 46 so i thought a checkup was needed, when the doctor seen me, she said i may have diebetes as my belly was enlarged and she said i needed to lose 25kg. yeah she told me polietly that i was fat.. well the truth hit me in the face. so she done more tests, cholesterol thyroid etc. when i seen her today and she put her hand on mine in concern and told me that my thyroid was so low i could fall into a coma if im not treated asap. she has run more tests and checked my heart on the machine that i was wired up to, i also had a ultrasound on my thyroid today. so now im seeking information. i do sleep well, i eat organic foods, real foods, i walk daily, i meditate too.. and i drink purified water and my shower has a purifer too. i dont eat take a ways but i do like my wine

    [Reply]

    Fran Reply:

    Hi Roz, i am in the same boat as you and eagerly wait on a response. My doctor has not treated me with any medication. I am going to ask for a referral to a specialist which is how i stumbled across this site. I need a specialist in melbourne. Can anyone suggest a specialist please.i also have a nodule on a goitre. Do you think doctor should have referred me on ? Thanks,Fran

    [Reply]

  • Kez

    Oh my gosh Sarah, I love your site! I am sitting here in agony, every joint in my body is aching right now, I”ve had hashimotos for about 4 years and it has been fairly stable, going to gym, working full time, caring for two elderly parents who don’t live together, the closest lives 35mins from my home, one is an amputee in a wheel chair…two weeks ago I had an argument with my boss, I left work feeling ill (20mins prior to closing) and quit after he harrassed me about this…talk about burn out! In my heart of hearts I know I will probably suffering some form of AI right now(awaiting test results Thurs) I have a rash, agonizing joint inflammation and I feel dreadful, but before I go to sleep I will go back to some yoga, do some meditation and take a fresh start on my life!! I was meant to read your blog thank you!

    [Reply]

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  • http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/blog Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC

    To help heal from Hashimoto’s along with other autoimmune illnesses one must understand the triggers that can contribute to the demise of proper immune system function. A common trigger is gluten and cross reaction to other non-gluten foods secondary to gut barrier defects. There are highly specialized tests that can help you discover these triggers, which HAVE to be removed so healing can begin. I discuss this topic and and offer solutions that work on my blog. Consider subscribing to get regular updates. Sarah has done a fantastic job of bringing this subject into the open. There are lots of doctors who can help, and they need to be on the forefront of the subject of neuroimmunity. I know a lot about all this because, I too have autoimmune illness secondary to gluten intolerance because of having gluten and celiac genes. My ongoing healing journey is similar to many of you.

    [Reply]

  • Kaz Mitchell

    Thanks Sarah. I’ve just been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, which I’ve obviously had for years! As of today, I’m going gluten-free – which is not so hard as my partner is Coeliac. I’ve been reading Datis Kharrazian’s Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? I would recommend it to anyone interested in finding out more about Hashimoto’s. Next thing I’m going to do is find myself a GP with alternative methods here in Melbourne. If anyone reading this can recommend one, I’d be very grateful.

    All the best, Kaz

    [Reply]

    Danette Reply:

    Hi Kaz

    Hopefully you have found yourself a good GP by now, but if not I can recommend Dr Robert Hanner @ Your Health in Brighton. http://www.yourhealth.com.au/select-alternative-doctor-natural-medicine-melbourne-vic.php I see him just for my thyroid. A great naturopath who I’ve found helpful with general wellbeing and my Hashi’s is Carrie Werner and her website is: http://www.yournaturalpath.com.au

    Wishing you well.
    Danette

    [Reply]

  • Kate

    Hi Sarah,

    I cried reading this post as I now understand that Ihave lived nearly half my life , living only half a life. My ‘lazy’ thyroid was first discovered nearly 20 years ago after suffering from Glandular Fever for over 12 months. I was told then that it would recitfy itself once I was well again.
    My second child was born 2.5 years ago and after 6 months of irractic behaviour and oushing through life I was ‘sent’ to the GP by my husband who thought that I was suffering from Post Natal Depression. Thank Gid for my GP because he did blood tests ‘just in case’ my results returned with my TSH levels at 432!! My doctor said he was surprised I was standing…I am now too.
    My journey to wellness is begining again this time without sugar and with some help from you. It is wonderful to read your journey and others. I have felt very alone in this illness that has claimed many friendships, as no one really understands.

    Thank you…perhaps it’s true life really does begin at 40!

    Kate

    [Reply]

  • Karen Cahill

    Dear Sarah,I too am a hashi sufferer,12yrs now,I am at my wits end I have never been sicker or fatter and I have recently returned from sydney where I thought I was finally seeing a GP who specialises in thyroids,only to be turned away at her door and told that her assistant was supposed to contact me to cancel,obviously she didnt!I live 5hrs drive from sydney, I have travelled so many times only to be dissapointed with the various endos etc who cannot help me!All I want is to be allowed to try either natural or T3 but no one is willing to prescribe it for me! Does any one know a specialist who is willing to?
    Karen

    [Reply]

  • Katrina

    Hi. I live 4 hours from Sydney, in the mid western region and i would love to find an understanding doctor and specialist. Went to doctor last week to say i felt like i did before starting on medication thinking maybe i needed a higher dose (Hashi). Her reply was your last blood test was on the high side, then asked me about Hyper symptoms. I could have slapped her. Do they not listen to you, they seem to rely on only the blood test. Argh so frustrating. Sorry about the rant. Anyway i received a text from new blood test to say still high reduce medication again. Zombie here i come.
    Katrina

    [Reply]

  • Eileen Hughes

    Hi Sarah, Have just found you site, didn’t know that so many people realized they have hashimotos, most doctors don’t talk about it, and don’t like doing T3 and T4 tests, I was cinfirmed 11 years ago, but I was way off track about 10 years before that, I have 2 daughters, 1 grandaughter and a niece also confirmed, over the last 6 months I have changed my eating hadits and cleansing my body, have lost 16.5 kg and 8”off my waist. and have had the first perfect blood result in 11 years. and feel like my like is back. Please do a lots of research on what other people have done, and what works for them may not work for you, but give it a go, and listen to your own body. by the way I have gone off all medication when I choose to change my eating and cleansing program. Good Luck, Eileen

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  • Katrin Helmreich

    Hi Sarah, I’m trying (in vain) to find the repeat video blog you did last week relating to your experiences with Integrative Nutrition. I missed it when it was originally scheduled and would really like to see it. Please advise where I can find it. Just tried scanning your FB posts, with not luck. Many thanks. Katrin Helmreich (Hobart, Australia)

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  • Amy

    HI Sarah –
    I just wanted to let you know how inspired I have been to start managing my Hashimoto’s myself, and not just ignore it and take the drugs blindly. I have had Hashimoto’s for about three years, and was told from the very beginning by an Endo that there was nothing I could do about it and I just need to take drugs for the rest of my life. So I did just that.

    But recently, I’ve been feeling like the rollercoaster is getting too much, and a recent blood test found my Thyroxine dose was all wrong. I feel like I’m back to the beginning again.

    I actually cried when I read your symptom of loosing one third of your eyebrows – I have that! And I never realised that had anything to do with AI. Through that realisation, I’ve realised that maybe a lot more things in my life can be contributed to this disease than I thought. And now I want to do something about it.

    Thank you so much. I will not be going back to another Endo for more drugs-only advice, but will now be looking for more information and wholistic answers. And I will be kind to myself.

    [Reply]

  • Linda

    So glad I found this site. I have Hashi’s only discovered when I changed doctors a couple of years ago – so who knows how long I have had it. I am still taking thyroxin but it may be adjusted down next time I go. I have a GP who is also holistic and was absolutely wrapped when I told her last time I was trying to go sugar free and more organic where possible. I have been watching the gluten and lactose for a couple of years now as I now things work better for me without them. A bit reluctant to give up the coffee yet but will cut back. Anyway I’ll keep reading and learning. Thank you.

    [Reply]

    Janie Brownlee Reply:

    I have really enjoyed reading all of the blogs. I find that no one have the autoimmune disease that I have,. I have polymyosis (weaken of the muscles.) Please if anyone have any advice for me please e-mail me at the above address. Trying every day to give up sugar. Need much prayer.

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  • Evelyn

    Sarah, I have rhuematoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis and this is the first time I did a search on auto immune disease. Just by chance I clicked on your website. I am so glad I read your article, I experienced and still experience so many of the effects of ai. I searched for years to find out what I had but no one put an emphasis on ai. I am going to be making some changes. I just started swimming this past January and I still go for walks on my good days. I know it damages me to walk fast or run. I’m excited at trying new things. I’m on medication but I recently lost 70 pounds just getting off some of the medications. I still swell horribly and I love tomatoes:( but I’m going to take your suggestions and see what happens. Thank you so much for opening my eyes. I’m forever grateful.

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  • http://godtohavehope.blogspot.com HC

    Thanks for the article; however, you need to look into mycoplasma, viral overload, Lyme, methylation pathways, Candida, mold, etc., if you really want full healing of your AI disease. It is a lot moore compicated than what was expressed here. Best to you!

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  • http://www.yourhealthandtechfriend.com conny jancilak

    I’m sleepy; got up early to work – … thank you so much for sharing your experience, strength and hope regarding autoimmune. I’m grateful to have found your blog. You are doing some very good work and have come a good distance. You’re doing a good thing for people in sharing this. Conny

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  • Luka

    Hi,
    I just watched the 60 minutes episode on sugar and its toxicity to the human body. I was following up on this web site. You mentioned, you have hashimotos disease. My brother has the same and has been pulling his hair out trying to find the right balance of thyroid pills to keep it under control. Was wondering if you could advise if your change in lifestyle means you no longer have tomtake the pills?

    regards,
    Luka

    [Reply]

  • Leah Anargyros

    Thank you so much Sarah for sharing your story with us!! I have been to so many doctors, naturopaths, dietitians, sports doctors etc to try and find a way to get my period back! Now, I will give an acupuncturist a go. Fingers crossed!!
    Leah
    xx

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  • vicki

    Thank you Sarah and everyone eles for all your stories and making me feel that im not alone. for the past 20yrs i have been misdiagnoised with major depression/cyclathymia . Very lucky im even here. For years i have been telling doctors that every “edisode” has occured two days before a period has started. No doctor thought to check my thyroid. 20 yrs of taking medication that never really worked and is always being changed. Finally i found a doctor (just by chance) that did blood test specific for thyroid. YAY I have been on thyroxine for 5 weeks now and although iknow this only the begining, just the thought that getting out of bed will actually mean having enough energy to stay up for more that a few hours. Very impressed with my 4 children(21,18,16,14)that have taken the time to read the information that the doctor printed and also for reading this site. It has made them understand that 1. their mum is NOT crazy 2.you know your body better than anybody so keep asking and searching for answers if you feel your not being heard.Again thank you everyone and thankyou Sarah for the light being shined on AI

    [Reply]

  • paul nicodemus

    Awesome …….great stories…great information….i’m a big fan of Dr ray peat and he has some different ideas about sugar…….what is your take on his diet recommendations Sarah?

    [Reply]

  • Danette

    Hi Sarah

    I’ve just discovered your blog – fabulous info and a great forum for sharing. I was pleased to read your info re meditation. I’ve had Hashimoto’s for nearly 7 years and battled with weight and fatigue for years despite eating healthily. On the advice of my naturopath and doctors I would go to the gym and work out like a made woman, but the worked up sweat only resulted in extra fatigue and no decline on the dreaded scales! I discovered yoga four years ago and have now graduated as a yoga teacher. Half way through my teacher training my weight started to drop off and i cannot put it down to anything else except my increased practice of breathwork. I’m now teaching yoga in Melbourne to others with chronic illness. I’d encourage anyone reading this post, please take the time to nurture yourself by remembering to breathe throughout your day – learn the practice of deep yogic breath and relaxation. It will make such a difference to your overall health & vitality… and, my medication is on its way down at long last…woohoo!!!!

    I look forward very much to reading more of your valuable articles.

    [Reply]

    Ian Reply:

    Hi Danette,

    Yes I also have been diagnosed with Hashimotos, and while it does not bother me much at all I have had an intuition that the science of yogic breathing could really help with boosting the immune system and reducing the need for medication. My subjective experience is that various methods of yogic breathing do boost energy and some practices balance the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems and hence keep the body “in balance”. While I have practised yogic breathing or pranayama for many years (on and off), having heard of your experience, I would like to make a more prolonged effort at keeping up the practice. It will be interesting to see the results!

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Hi Danette,

    Your note really resonated with me. I have recently recovered from CFS (wooohooooooo!) and no matter the exercise that I do the weight doesn’t seem to shift. It seems to me that my body is still trying to find it’s ‘balance’ – my metabolism is most definitely chugging along very slowly. Interestingly I went to see a Qigong master a couple of weeks ago for a wonderful treatment. He felt that my breath work needed a lot of attention and thought the lack of it had no doubt contributed to my CFS. So now I am learning to breath properly (filling my stomach not my lungs, is that in contradiction to yoga practise?) and tho’ it’s early days I too hope it may help me on a number of levels. The quest for perfect health is now at large!
    During the height of my illness I worked with a fantastic yoga instructor who created a sequence for me that I would do at home. I’ve been living interstate during my recovery but have recently returned to Melbourne and am now eager to start attending yoga classes (the sequence has started to get a little tiresome!). Are you only working with people with chronic illnesses? I wondered where abouts you were based in Melbourne.

    Many thanks,
    Amy

    [Reply]

  • Cas Allan

    Hi Sarah,

    Your writing was like reading about myself apart from the eyebrow loss. I went through Graves Disease, TSH was 36 (thankfully not 85 omgosh!) and the theory was that a very stressful pregnancy and awful relationship was the cause. I lost 30 kgs in 10 weeks from when my son was born. I looked like an Ethopian refugee, skin and bone. I could not get out of bed and I was at times being spoon fed. My body had collapsed as yours did. Thankfully I found a very good GP who sent blood for testing for Ross River Fever, I had lived in a tropical area, Brucelosis, I had worked with cattle and Thyroid. It was my thyroid that had given up working. As a secondary ailment and thought to be caused because I was a smoker, I got thyroid eye disease where my eyes started to bulge and one eventually turned down. 30 years and several eye operations later I still have aching eyes at times. My turned down eye had to have the lower muscles detached and artificial muscles formed. As a consequence my eyes are straight however one will not look upwards.

    I have only recently discovered that my headaches and stomach troubles are caused by eating products with wheat as an ingredient. A friend recommended Spelt bread and this has been successful so far. I have also found Spelt breakfast cereal in Coles.

    I tend to get upset by many little things but I have found that some people around me tend to egg me on to explode about silly things. I am learning to walk away and not associate with these people who find me to be their entertainment. I agree with you Sarah, this AI disease requires constant vigilance as symptoms and coping methods change constantly.

    My university studies, rather than being stressful are a good grounding for me to be organised but not in such a rigid way as to make me feel ill.

    [Reply]

  • John

    Hi,
    Our family experience shows that Hashimotos is a hereditary disease. My two brother and two sisters have it.

    I understand that Hashimotos can also develop in people without a family history. The real indicator of Hashimotos is not TSH levels but rather the presence of the antibody. The disease can have an early onset without driving TSH levels out of range. This concept is not accepted by many doctors who stick with the point of view that if your TSH is not out of range then you don’t have it.

    This is especially cruel for kids. I believe that some symptoms develop as the disease develops. My daughter was diagnosed at age 3 with antibody levels that were out of range however her TSH did not exceed the acceptable range.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.missfoodwise.com Regula @ Miss foodwise

    I’m so glad a friend send me the link to your blog.
    Two months ago I got diagnosed with autoimmune illness.
    I’ve been weak since I was born, suffering from chronic bronchitis but I’ve been really ill for 5 years now. My GP didn’t find anything so after years I went to an endocrinologist.
    I still don’t know which kind of AI I have exactly as I have to wait 6 months to see the doctor and get more tests. There are only a few endocrinologists in Belgium and they all have a huge wait list. The doctor told me a lot of his patients commit suicide and I am not surprised if you have to wait 6 months every time to see him and get more answers.
    Anyways, I’m keeping it short cos you are a busy lady and have worries enough of your own.
    Looking forward to reading your blog.
    Regula

    [Reply]

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  • http://leukandc.com Raquel

    Wow is all I can say, I love your approach to your new way of being Sarah.
    I have been through a lot of interesting medical challenges and I am still often stopped by some universal force to make sure I take a step back and listen to my body and slow down.
    I love your note to yourself and also your approach to giving up sugar.
    I will be a continuous visitor to your page.
    Thanks
    Raquel

    [Reply]

  • judith

    you are an awesome woman and i thoroughly enjoy receiving your blogs every week. i’m actually surprised when they come and read them immediatly.
    thank you for your candidness. your moxie and your brave heart.

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  • Prachi

    How have I only now discovered this blog?!

    I have RA/Lupus/whoknowswhat! and have recently been diagnosed with it. And swear to god, it’s sucking the life out of me. Autoimmune disorders make no sense and the fact that doctors who are supposed to be experts have no more clue than I do on the subject leaves me a little helpless and baffled.

    Instead of venting and ranting, I’m just gonna say that I loved reading such a reassuring blog post and am yet to browse thru rest of your posts, but I especially had to stop and comment because of your remark on how you feel like you had to get this in order to get your life together! That your body kinda snatched the reins and forced you to change your ways. I don’t exactly know how I got to where I am, but I do know that half my ailment is because of being dissatisfied in myself. I have always known that. But have been too stubborn to do anything about it.

    Well, thanks for sharing your personal observations and expert advice. Like a straw to clutch at.

    [Reply]

  • Angela

    Hi Sarah and all, I have had a long personal battle with Lupus, diagnosed in 2006 through too much work, alcohol, smoking, stress and bad food. I’ve done a complete 360 and through changing my lifestyle to pretty much 100% wholefoods + yoga combined with a handful of other things and a number of supplements I’m almost completely healed. Still working to improve and rebalance my hormones and still trying to fix this annoying Raynaud’s Phenomena which occurs with a change of temperature, turning my fingers white and bloodless for a short length of time (thankfully only short periods, due to my work with nutrition and various supplements, many people suffer for a long time during an attack).

    I’m looking at doing the Integrative Nutrition course to become a health coach and assist others battle chronic illness, it is my feeling that it will enable me to be that one person to provide direction amongst the mind, body and spirit therapies available, plus the various medical options, diets, nutritional and other health needs which no other course provides. I’m alreaday a trained yoga teacher and will look to add more formal Australian recognised studies down the track, maybe the advanced diploma of naturopathy or the master of wellness that one of your other commenters on your IIN post mentioned.

    Anyway, just wanted to say hello and thanks for sharing your experience, I find it heartening, 6 years ago I couldn’t find any information on beating autoimmune diseases online but that is changing and I’d like to be a part of it and help others overcome them without the drugs and other ineffective therapies prescribed by doctors and specialists more concerned about getting patients in and out the door.

    [Reply]

  • http://www.behealthylivewellcooking.weeblycom BeccaE

    Thank you so much for doing this. I too have endured years of my own experimental process. I’ve teetered back and forth with the same issues you described. I, however, was told my thyroid levels were fine (though never told exact numbers). The symptoms persist, and the more my environment (aka job, location, dietary culture, etc) changes, the more difficult it is to maintain a renewed lifestyle.

    I appreciate all of your information and look forward to reading more!

    [Reply]

  • Cathie

    Hi Sarah
    Came across your site and thought I would let you know about some recent ‘discoveries’ i have made in my quest to become ‘healed’ from Hashimotos. I agree with you about healing the gut and there is a particular regime called the ‘Specific Carbohydrate diet’ which is mostly geared towards Crohns, IBD and IBS issues – however the information within this is VERY RELEVANT for autoimmune sufferers. One of, or perhaps the biggest issue is GRAINS – all sorts, not just the GF ones. The problem is the LECTIN which is found in most foods but how it impacts particularly on the body when grains are ingested. The SCD’ers have plenty of information online for anyone wanting to check this out. The Paleo’s already know about the problems with grains which is why they steer away from them. I have begun a liver, kidney and intestinal cleanse which I am doing for 6 weeks (grain, fruit, nut free) and following with the SCD for as long as I can handle it after which I intend to follow the Paelo lifestyle. Giving up grains is not my idea of fun – I LOVE RICE in particular – but I love feeling healthy even more as I love to ride my bike long distances. Most days I feel pretty good but can see room for improvement and have already noticed differences having been on the cleanse for nearly two weeks and off grains for 5. For anyone serious about wanting to shove that autoimmune disease into remission (or in some cases of autoimmune such as celiacs, completely healing ) then i really recommend researching this area. It may not suit everyone but all you can do is try! In my experience (and I’ve spent over 10 years trying to find a ‘cure’) many doctors still don’t have a good handle on interpreting the thyroid test results. It’s so important to find a good doctor that focuses on this area and keeps up to date with the latest research – makes a big difference.
    I hope everyone here gets the help they deserve!

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  • Zoe

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with Hashimotos at the age of 17. I’m now 28. When I was tested my TSH level was over 600. I know this sounds unbelievable and the doctor also didn’t believe it, so he retested thinking the lab had made a mistake. The same number was returned, no mistake.

    The thing is, he put me straight on thyroxine and I was never referred to an endocrinologist. Ever. I asked to be referred and was told i didn’t need it.

    I’ve had gut issues for as long as i can remember and the doctor has treated it totally separately but now I’m thinking it might be related. Thanks for getting me thinking.

    Do you have any good contacts for natural therapy, massage ect for WA? I struggle to find higher welfare meat products and organic food in Perth.

    ZH

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    May I highly recommend a book which answers all the questions about thyroid and associated disorders (including stomach problems which, by the way, go hand in hand with hypothyroidism!!).

    I have been hypothyroid for 40 years – I now take porcine desiccated thyroid,
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  • Jennywren

    Ah life journeys, don’t you love ‘em?! I developed Hashimoto’s after having my child 6 years ago (misdiagnosed as post-natal depression) and, after a nasty bout of gastro 2 years later, added rheumatoid arthritis to my repertoire. Last Christmas, working at a break-neck pace as a food journo, I collapsed and woke to the RA having spread to every joint in my body. Yeah, I get it…STOP!! So I cut my workload in half and am deep in the process of getting to the bottom of all this. I’m being gentler to myself now, as my body is in such a very delicate state. I have run the GP/specialist gauntlet too over the years, and have now found a very lovely naturopath and massage therapist who are both teaching me how to nurture myself. Hmm, and your new book has just landed on my desk..don’t you just love the Universe? :) Good luck on your journey, Sarah, and thank you for helping me with my own. x

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  • http://www.gfblog.com.au Katie

    Hey Sarah, I completely agree with your theory about auto immune disease particularly in the part where you said ” you were cruis’n for a bruisin” I felt the same in my life and got diagnosed with severe low iron, and had to go to a gluten free lifestyle… I feel now it was the best thing that could have happened to me….
    I now eat, vegetables, no sugar, no processed foods, once a week I have an old fashioned breakfast ( bacon, eggs, mushrooms, no toast and some coffee), but otherwise during the week, I move 20 minutes a day, I have a small business and do craft items, and candle making and I relax more… Hey, I had a corporate job 15 hour days and people treating me like sh#T, so now it does not happen. I have lost weight and am mostly balanced in life, I would like some more mmmeeee time, and would like to take up an interest, but mostly ok. I am glad I read your article and glad you are content in your lot…keep it up.

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  • Iain wright

    Firstly, let me apologise for spending a lifetime criticising all those “new age hippies and health whingers” as I misguidedly saw them. You have every right to view me with distain as I now understand how we have been systematically destroying our bodies with a self abusive lifestyle. After reading your stories, I think without reservation you are extremely brave. I admire your ability to fight this insidious foe.I am a young workaholic x-gen. For 15 years I worked 60 hour weeks but I still never thought I was doing enough. I had several occasions where I couldn’t move because it felt like a sumo wrestler was sitting on my chest. I went to the ER, got ECG and was pleased to be told “nothing wrong”. So I increased my pace and my coffee intake to 20- 25 cups a day. I never slept much at all because of the palpitations and generally being wired all the time. Sometimes I raved all night with caffeine and vodka drinks. My body tried to warn me over and over before it finally broke. I know most of you suffer from no fault of your own but in my case it was all self inflicted. I had some issues which led me to abuse my body, with the delusion I was unbreakable with the impunity of some genetic advantage. My body started to attack my tummy lining till it was ulcerative. Still, I ignored all the mucous and blood, and cramps for years. My body realised it would have to attack my vanity to get my attention. Then I got skin hypersensitivity. my skin now goes all red and lumps up when I eat or do something it doesn’t like. Permanent white patches started to appear over my body as my immune system attacked my skin. I also have eczema and allergies for the first time in my life. I have stopped ignoring my body now and I am implementing moderation and healing regime. My body will stop attacking when I finally get it right and treat this perfect gift the way I should have from the start.

    [Reply]

    Vahe Reply:

    Hey I’m reading all this wishing i had time to write my whole story myself. I have great respect for these forums. Quickly i just wanted to say I have a few of your symptoms and instead of coffee i smoke lots of Marijuana both of those cause heart palpitations. But it is more then that also constipation too a day after colon hydrotherapy my heart pappitations and chest pains( feel like impending heart attack) went away immediatly then back after not as much probably because my colon is not removing garbage as good.

    Anyway the big take away here is it is clear that your liver and maybe gall bladder need help and are not working well. If you fix this you will fix bassically all your problems because the liver is the problem fixer or a better analagy it is a filter that is full of dust right now and just needs to be cleaned so it can continue cleaning.

    Skin problems are tell tale signs of liver issues

    Good news is you can completely restore your liver for cheap through Liver and Gall Bladder flushes which are completly safe as long as done right (check Andreas Mortiz tons great of free info) it just takes some time and you have to follow through until all your stones are gone. but this is something that will give you a new lease on life. Reverse allergies, skin diffuculties and basically eliminate your chances of any chronic illness because your body is not accumulating toxins it is dealing with them.

    Email me if you want to talk more. Good luck everybody!! I honor and salute all those who are putting themselves first and restoring their health!!!!

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  • Dale

    Hi. I am a 51 year old Australian male. I have had ongoing issues for several years relating to an undiagnosed autoimmune disease that may be Lupus or similar. What i have found is that most of us are better off staying away from the Medical practioners. I have been lied too and on many occassions hindered from healing by this so called profession. I personaly believe that the whole medical fraterinty are either trained wrong or just plain stupid. As the old saying goes,’ stay away from doctors, they will kill you’. You can heal yourself from research and dedication. Ironicaly two things the medical clowns have no understanding. Best wishes to all of you.

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  • carolina

    Hi I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s thyroiditis 2 years ago i’m 25 now and was put on thyroxin.
    About a month ago after checking with other doctors to confirm my results I was told to do a routinely echo-thyroid so I did and now my thyroid has nodules! Should I be worried about that!
    I live in Lebanon in the middle east and doctors here really suck I’m sad to say this but it’s true! My cycle is really messed up now I’m having my period now like every 10 days!
    Oh and I have PCOS
    My doctor told me today that hypnotherapy will help me solve all these problems and I’m so confused! Somedays I really feel I want to be sick and just die already and I get toooo depressed…I don’t know what to do :s

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  • Candy

    Hi, I was diagnosed with graves, (hyper) 2 years ago… I used to walk 7 kilometers 4 days a week and do weights and fat burning 5 days a week for one hour and a half.. I think I had suffered with graves for about 2 years before being diagnosed.
    At the beginning I lost a lot of weight which was good… Then I stopped exersicing for 2 years and I put on 15 kilos and I never ate much… I felt tired.
    At the moment I have got my energy back, my graves has disappeared so I’ve been in remission for 6 months…
    I eat healthy and two small meals a day as I am trying to loose the weight I’ve gained…
    I find exersicing is a lot harder now and I’m not sure if it’s my thyroid that has recently been giving me a high pulse reading,.. I’ve cut out coffee and monitor it daily..
    I can write so much although it will take me so long..
    I would like to say exersise is good although you don’t have to go so hard at it.. I’ve lost 8 kilos and trying to loose another 15kg.
    I eat soups for winter and salads summer..
    I try and eat fruit and love steamed veggies. I don’t eat much meat, bread or potatoes.
    Sushi is a no no for hyper thyroid.. No seaweed..
    I was feeling faint alot of times although I think it was because I wasn’t eating much so I can burn more calories..

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  • http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/blog Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC

    Dear concerned reader,

    Only the blood is kept at the pH range of 7.35-7.45 via the buffer systems. Saliva,Interstitial fluid, stomach ph and small intestine pH and colon ph and other areas of the body have varying levels of acidity and can be influenced by diet.

    Several buffer systems are important:
    1. the bicarbonate buffer system
    2.the phosphate buffer system
    3. the protein buffer system

    They work like first, second and third gearing in a vehicle. One needs to consume plenty of alkaline ash vegetables and fruits to give the buffer systems a reserve, so they can do their job properly, otherwise the body will steal from “Peter to pay Paul” and, for example use calcium from the bones as a buffer substance instead of sodium for the bicarbonate buffer system.

    A very good source of information on this important health topic is Dr. M.T. Morter’s book, Your Health, Your Choice.

    Best regards,
    Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC

    [Reply]

  • http://www.helpmychronicpain.com/blog Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, DC

    Dear Concerned Reader,

    I see you prefer to use ad hominem attacks, and are unwilling at the same time to reveal your true identity. As well, you appear to lag in your knowledge about various health care professionals’ education. Recall that the medical profession is the much younger than other health care disciplines and they don’t have a monopoly on science backed treatment methods.

    Doctors of chiropractic specialize in a part of health care as do doctors of dentistry, doctors of optometry, doctors of veterinary medicine and doctors of naturopathy (among others). All earn the doctorate title to their specific discipline.

    Theses specialized disciplines are part of the broader scope of medicine and if the students, who chose their career paths, were like me, they entered into their chosen career path, not as a result of a lack of academic prowess, but rather by choice.

    I chose the world’s largest drug-less health care profession because I did not want to prescribe medicine. There are already so many doctors prescribing medicines. In the USA the medical profession has the dubious distinction of having adverse drug reactions as the source of the 4th leading cause of preventable deaths.[1] Over the last 30 years of my practice, hundreds of patients have come to me after all that medical care had to offer, failed.

    Does this mean that I am against medical care? No, is my resounding answer, because the medical profession has a lot to offer. I have many MD friends and I use MD’s as the need arises. Do I think the medical profession is the be all and end all of health care? Also a resounding no is my answer. If it were, then the statistics regarding chronic disease would be diminishing.

    Many people with Hashimoto’s and other autoimmune illness are shuffled from MD to MD and only receive medication for their symptoms, rather than a in depth look at causative factors that can be mitigated with diet, specific nutritional support, lifestyle changes and assorted modalities of treatment that the medical profession is not versed at providing.

    To revisit the pH concept and whether eating certain foods can impact it, the answer is yes, if we are talking about salivary, intestinal, urinary and interstitial fluids. Blood pH is, as you correctly stated maintained within the strict parameters of 7.35 to 7.45. Again I would urge readers who want to learn more, pick up Dr. M.T. Morter’s book, Your Health, Your Choice.

    Is pH control a cure-all for cancer and autoimmune diseases? Again, I would say no. There are many, many causative factors that have to individually be assessed and addressed. Alkalinity may very well be one of those factors for some sufferers.

    So, Concerned Reader, hopefully your bigotry regarding professions other than your beloved medical doctor based one is exposed for that it is.

    In the words of Dr. BJ Palmer, DC, “enuf said”

    Dr. Karl R.O.S. Johnson, D.C

    1. Committee on Quality of Health Care in America: Institute of Medicine. To err is human: building a safer health system. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000. 2Lazarou J, Pomeranz B, Corey PN. Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: A meta-analysis of prospective studies. JAMA 1998;279:1200–1205. 3Gurwitz JH, Field TS, Avorn J, McCormick D, Jain S, Eckler M, et al. Incidence and preventability of adverse drug events in nursing homes. Am J Med 2000;109(2):87–94.

    NOTE:
    For a lay person, this article and the ones it links to are excellent reading regarding the dangers that exist in medicine today: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/04/death-by-medicine-an-update.aspx

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  • Julie

    I find it interesting that the “Concerned Reader”‘s follow-up post has been deleted. I happened to read it yesterday and planned to return to find out Dr Karl’s response only to see it has been removed (I expected not by the Concerned Reader himself). For someone throwing accusations of bigotry around, is it not somewhat hypocritical to remove a reasonably well argued case that challenged your views? Perhaps you disagree with his arguments, but that shouldn’t be a reason for removing a comment. If you truly believe in people being able to access ALL the information, than that should include both mainstream medicine and the allied health approaches, and the arguments put forward by both proponents. Including education about how to judge the value of information resources and the quality of their research. It is incredibly unlikely that the readers on this website will agree with the Concerned Readers views, based purely on the fact that they frequent this site, but they should be prepared to at least spend some time contemplating his arguments (or those of others that challenge their values), at the very least so that they can reassess where they stand on the issue based on a broader framework then they had before.

    Disappointed in this reaction from people I would expect to be more open to ideas.

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  • cheeky

    oh do grow up karl…i wouldn’t see you as a doctor due to your immature response…

    [Reply]

  • Bel Passmore

    I was diagnosed a few years ago with hypothyroid disease. TSH levels were 200 it took nearly 6mths to bring these levels down to an acceptable level. I take high dosage medication and never have i been recommended to take such simple steps as you write. I find this blog very inspiring! I have kicked the coffee habit now to do the 8 week challenge. Many Thanks for sharing such private parts of your life and inspiring people to make a change for the better

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  • Bo Jangles

    I’ve been able to cure my vitiglio, hashimotos, varicocele..I think it comes down low selenium(high iodine low selenium causes hypo) and or low iodine causing hypothyroidism. 60 years ago we had an intake of 6mg of iodide per day-you could see people treated for asthma taking 1-2 grams(1-2,000,000,000 micrograms) per day for a year. Now the “safe” upper limit is 1mg and with an RDA of 150 micrograms and the average intake has dropped drastically(and the number of people hypo. So you’re probably drinking 1000-2000 micrograms of flouride from your water supply(with a little chlorine for flavoring). which is the most active halogen and probably the most active element in existence–but your 300 micrograms of iodine(Im assuming you take a multivitamin) of the second least reactive halogen is going to successfully compete for uptake? Did I mention your bread and mountain dew have bromine in them too? Japan has the longest lived fittest people in the world..highest iodine intake, no flouridated water. I took some high dose iodine (6mg)that made my urine smell of chlorine..googled iodine smelly urine and found out I wasn’t the only one. Endos.yeah they don’t know anything, not even current research. Lets play chase the crazy blood tests with ineffective T4, while ignoring patient symptoms. I read a book written 40 years ago, its given me better advice than 95% of modern doctors.

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  • Bo Jangles

    You need T3 in there as well otherwise everyhting will be out of whack.

    [Reply]

  • Shae

    Fav post! My levels were minus 523… Through diet I managed to heal myself and in 6 months I am in the happy level zone. I looked as if I had liver cancer (very yellow).

    Sending so much love to everyone healing themselves.

    Thanks Sarah x

    [Reply]

  • helen

    Hi

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  • helen

    Hi Sarah, great post. I was diagnosed with graves after having my baby age 30 (common after pregnancy) I was very anxious and lost 4 stone.. After a few yrs it got worse although this time I put on weight! I had radioactive iodine which didnt work so had my thyroid removed (surgeon cut my vocal cord!) 4 yrs ago.

    I discovered I had coeliac disease 2 yrs ago (didnt have typical symptoms of low weight, diarrhoea etc; my symptoms exhaustion, itchy rash scalp and brain fog…there is a high correlation between thyroiditis and coeluac so get tested BEFORE going gluten free. Also, look at adrenal function and yes sleep more and do yoga etc. This should also improve your T3 from creating too much RT3 .
    If you have coeliac disease then take digestive enzymes along with probiotics and you will prob need iron, calcium, b12 and vit d supplements for a while. You may also be intolerant to dairy until your villi is healed. For thyroid health take a good multi vit including selenium and zinc. Thanks for info, wish id had it years ago :(

    [Reply]

  • Tracey Francis

    Dear Sarah

    This is a desperate plea to help me. I know you are not a doctor. I’ve been told after having over $1200(thanks Sullivan & nicolaides ) in blood test bills that I have a auto immune disease BUT THEY can’t tell me which one! Today I went back to the doctor after researching your condition as I have a few symptoms. I asked the doctor was it possible if I had a thyroid condition & he didn’t like it and said that I had had so many tests and was tested for that. at the end I asked him for a printout of my blood test results. Now I searched for tsh and there hasn’t been anything done-could it come under a different name? I’ve tried googling and to no avail. I’m looking for a good specialist name to be referred to in Brisbane who specialises in Auto Immune Disease? Can anyone please help me urgently? as I’m not happy with the response I got from the doctor I saw today( he saw me in hospital as I had a car accident & the blood work identify an auto immune disease which I was told I had 2 years ago by my gp but until more symptoms came up, not to worry and it was dismissed). This doctor reluctantly said he would refer me to a rhemulogist but I don’t have any of those symptoms and think it would be a waste of time! And money! Can anyone recommend a good gp in Brisbane or who I should be seeing? I have a copy of my blood tests for the last 2 years. Should I see an encrologist (I know I’ve mispelt the word). My email is yecart31@gmail.com. He put me on a steroid, pregiscone which I just feel is a band aid, he is tapering me off this-I’ve come down from 80mg in hospital to 10mg at present, but I had blood tests done Monday and my I’ve still got several areas marked as high! Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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