OK, it’s been a while since I’ve done an auto-immune post (for those new here, you can find the backlog of AI posts here). But I’m going to start up a bit of a series again. For reasons I feel it’s worth explaining.

photo via Colin Hill flickr

NOTE: For anyone who DOESN’T have an AI…

1. be damn glad

2. you’ll still very much find these posts helpful.

Any tips that help an AI disease are tips that go to the absolute heart of good health and top living.

What I share is only good, fundamental, well, ways to live the good, good life.

3. feel free to forward this link to a friend who does have an AI. I think they’ll like you more for it.

So, my update. My hashimotos has gone a little haywire over the past few months. As a result I’ve had to pull back on a few commitments (you might have noticed…my book, my column) and I’ve been digging deeper into some of the craziness going on, trying out some new techniques, like going paleo and talking to folk like Chris Kresser and Nora Gedgaudas. I’m starting to get some traction in my understanding if not my health.

I know some of you have asked: how BAD do you actually get. You’re not being rude. My friends and family have to ask the same because when I’m BAD, I go M.I.A. So they don’t really see thyroidy me. It’s hard for them to get it. I kind of exit stage left when I’m BAD, not so much due to shame (tho’ that does have a bit to do with it), but because when I’m “thyroidy” I simply can’t face the world. Dark, cool rooms. Not moving. That’s pretty much the spectrum.

On days like this I revert to this intentional resting technique.

When I made the decision to pull back and recalibrate a few months ago I was unable to function 4-5 days a week. It had been about one day a fortnight previously – which I could deal with. But the uggggh days crept up on me. I almost didn’t notice. Until I did.

Unable to function? Alright. Unable to walk down from my bedroom (the light, the noise…and my legs and heart struggle to carry me), unable to sleep (because my head buzzes), unable to go to the toilet (and I mean EVER…like nothing at all…too much information???? …oh well).

I ache. I get foggy of head. Talking on the phone… even thinking about talking on the phone… hurts to my very core. My limbs get all puffed up, and my face. And everything burns. My period has stopped. My skin breaks out. I fall over a lot.

Imagine the worst hangover you’ve ever had. Double it. Add in PMT. And a head cold. And that’s almost it.

But you still flit about doing things, you say, how? I get asked this a lot, sometimes it’s an accusation. Which I understand. My answer: When I have to appear in public, I rev myself up on adrenalin to get through. Then crash when I got home. Not a good way to live. But you do what you have to.

Also, I have good days. And on these good days I feel invincible and I skip ecstatically back to the Sarah I used to be and I surf and sometimes I run and I head out for a good dinner. And I’m just so bloody grateful to feel normal again. If I play it right, I’m good (if I don’t overdo it, if I eat well that day and get enough sleep). Otherwise I crash. It’s a price I pay.

But you do everything right these days… what gives? I’ve stopped using the adrenalin so often and it’s all caught up on me. I’ve become more mindful of burning my adrenals and so things are unraveling, as they need to. You know how you get a cold on the first day of your holiday… it’s like that. I’ve been getting more relaxed and real with life… and so my body is like, “hey, we can finally dump this shit and really let Sarah know how we’re feeling”.

Finding my sweet spot, modulating… it’s baffling. For me and for those around me. If you know someone with AI you probably know what I mean – we seem full of contradictions. But understand what’s going on is crazy and complex!!!

So you can see why I’m FIRED UP about getting to the bottom of the craziness. To find the best way to live with my condition – to modulate for life. I’ve had this intent for a few years now, but the intent has become pointier.

That’s the grand thing about having an AI:

If you’re not living true and good, it will come and belt you into shape a bit…steer you such that you have no choice but to go to the pointy end of things.

And get real.

And this is the other grand thing: in the wash-up, you realise your AI is your gift. Like for me… and tell me if you don’t think this is pretty cool…

Communicating stuff that counts is what I’ve always wanted to do. Since I was a kid.

Because of my AI, I’ve had to pare my work back to blogging and writing ebooks (they allow me to work sporadically).

But I’m realising now, in the wash-up, blogging and writing ebooks are EXACTLY perfect mediums for me to communicate stuff that counts.

Ergo, my AI steered me. Perfectly.

I’m FIRED UP about getting well. About sorting through the criss-crossy issues that define AI. Finding the best help, and working out for myself the best path to wellness – because, honestly, I CAN NOT FIND A SINGLE PRACTITIONER IN AUSTRALIA WHO GETS WHAT GOES ON for people like me (and, please, if you’ve found someone, please share…I’ve tried Facebook support sites and groups OS… nada). This is a really common complaint and I get emails every day from people frustrated down to their tired toes with the sorry state of endocrinology and mainstream medicine. (You’re not alone! It’s not you! It’s them!).

I’m FIRED UP + COMMITTED to sharing everything I learn with all of you here. I’m lucky. As a journo I can get access to the best experts in the world. So it’s my responsibility to take full advantage of this privilege and then share all that I learn.

I’m going to kick off next tomorrow with a post on a treatment I’ve been getting that really does work wonders. If you’ve tried some different techniques, or if you have general AI questions, or if there’s a treatment/approach/whatever that you’d like to know more about…pen your thinking below…

In wellness,


Have your say, leave a comment.

  • guest

    I would also like to know about the script you take that is working. I have had Hashimoto’s for 3 years (was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism for a year). The physical symptoms like bad acne explosions, losing my long hair, those really depress me the most. I am used to sleeping for 10-12 hrs every single day, so I am always broke and don’t get much done, can’t hold a full-time job, can only freelance. I take bioidentical hormones and supplements after working with 5+ different doctors/naturopaths/nutritionists/specialists. Endo’s do NOT know anything, they never helped me. Friends in the healthcare industry have abandoned me because they didn’t understand what I was going thru and just thought I was whiny and tired because that was who I was. Diet has helped the most, so I plan on starting my own blog dedicated to what I have learned by working with all these various people. Please share — its the only way. I am still trying to find something that will cure the acne which is the thing that really destroys my ability to leave the house. Any tips?

    • C. L.

      Have you considered it might be a food allergy? I am allergic to dairy which took me about 2 yrs to figure out, even now if i have, say, a third of a homebaked cookie made with butter, i break out pretty bad all over my upper body, even in strange places like the crease of my elbow, and it takes 3-4 weeks to go away just because of that one cookie. Soy does the same thing to me.

  • ZB

    Ohhh.. I had some unusual thyroid results. I think it was because I eat so little carbs / or maybe my body just has a hard time burning protein and fat. Either way low carb makes my metabolism “run cold”.

    Just a suggestion: use a pressure cooker and make lots of stews. That’s what I’ve been doing lately and it helps strengthen and energise me. We have a shot digestive system as you would know..

  • Bizarley

    I have been told by the Docs that I may have an AI but they’re not too sure. As I read this mid pants-and-sofa weekend (used bimonthly to recover from adrenal powered excitement) the reason why I want to hide just for two days is becoming clear. I think you may have convinced me the Docs are onto something. Finally.

  • Shari

    Can you please help me:( trying to find someone in Perth that understand my hashimotos

    • Evelyn

      Did you get an answere Shari – my daughter and I also live in perth and am sick of Drs who have no idea and think an anti depressant will solve our issues !

  • Jen Holland

    Hi Sarah, I have recently been diagnosed with Coeliac Disease, and I have been reading your posts regarding your particular AI and I can relate! I find explaining to people why I am ok one minute and then crashing the next very difficult, and fraught with ‘judgement’!!

    Following a GF diet, and occasionally suffering from cross contamination attacks due to people not really understanding that the surverity of the response increases the longer you avoid the immune trigger (gluten), is a hard thing to explain to non AI peeps! It’s funny how everyone turns into a (Google/I heard this from a friend etc.) Doctor the minute you say you’re a Coeliac!!

    Anyway, the reason I am writing, is I have found a great Doctor that specialises in Food Intollerances. I don’t know if she can help you, but happy to PM her details to you if you are interested. She is based in Melbourne. Cheers, Jen x

  • Melissa

    Hi Sarah,
    A BIG THANK YOU!! For all the research you are doing.
    After reading your blog and others comments ” I am not alone”!
    My hashimotos has destroyed my active, happy, healthy life.
    I found your blog by complete accident.
    Through trial and error I came to the conclusion that the only person who could help me with my hashimotos was me.
    Sending out good health and happy days to my fellow suffers.
    Thank you for sharing your stories.
    It has given me hope to not give up.

  • KookaBurra33

    Hi Sarah. I live in Queensland, Australia and reluctantly had my thyroid removed some years ago due to cancer – I now take thyroxine daily (levels managed by blood tests) yet suffer from many of the symptoms you describe. I have felt unsupported by the medical profession (many whom I’ve felt have taken the Hippocritic Oath instead of the Hippocratic Oath). I have felt most blessed through reading and following suggestions found on your website and similar and send an enormous thank you to you for saving my sanity.

  • Vicster

    Thanks Sarah, for your honest and real accounts of your AI. Most of theses illnessese are real and ghastly, but the good news is that they are resolvable. If you look for Amy Meyers website, you will receive all the information and support you need to get your health back on track. I stumbled across her website in desperation for answers that unfortunately Western Medicine DO NOT have, let alone care about!!!
    I do not work for DR Meyers, nor am I associated with her, but was soooo happy to see someone out there gets it… and cares. Her program takes alot of dedication and commitment, but, as the saying goes……’if you dont make time for your health now, you better make time for illness later!!!!!
    I choose health!!