Updated: Jan 16, 2018
If you have been following my story, you know that my journey with Hashimotos began long before diagnosis. My hope in this is that by sharing my story, I can reach someone that has also been struggling and that they know there is hoping in reversing the disease.
As a young child, I was in and out of the hospital with severe asthma and developed many ear, throat and sinus infections. My asthma was controlled by a combo of several steroidal medications together (which I am still on). By the time I was a teen, it was normal for me to pop a z-pack (antibiotic) and continue as normal. I had a very stressful childhood and adolescence. I had a severe sugar addiction and a really unhealthy relationship with food. My weight fluctuated up and down quite a lot and in my 20s I tried to "get skinny". I yo-yo dieted and lifted without knowing what I was doing. I continued getting sick; strep throat, sinusitis, yeast infections, you name it. They knew me at the local Urgent Care.
I had many unresolved childhood issues and anger that I never dealt with, but also many systemic symptoms that continued getting worse and worse. I had the most severe cystic acne you can imagine, very severe mood imbalances, I didn't sleep, I didn't eliminate regularly and it went on like this for years. I just sloughed it off as that's just how life was for me.
I started to develop extreme anxiety and became very depressed. I started seeking help. I must have seen over a dozen different Drs who either said I had PMS, it was all in my head, or I was too young to have anything hormonal wrong with me. They started me on several anti-anxiety & anti-depressant drugs. I took them no questions asked since my own father was a physician and I didn't know differently.
I was so lost during that time. I had a very stressful job, I had dropped out of school and continued feeling worse and worse. The meds made me feel numb, more depressed and even suicidal. I kept reaching out to the Drs letting them know and they kept saying, you need to give it time. Finally I said, this isn't right, flushed them all down the toilet and said FUCK IT!
I suffered a tragedy in my early 20s. I had a traumatic miscarriage after not knowing I was even pregnant. It was after that where I really spiraled downhill. I seemed to have more and more symptoms, my skin was worse than ever, moods were all over the place, I ate a lot of junk and ballooned up to 215lbs. I became very withdrawn from my social circle and it wasn't until I had to be at a family members wedding and saw myself on video where I said, "GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER SELF!"
I put in HARD work. I educated myself on how to properly lift and workout as well as how to eat healthier. I used Body for Life as my resource. I dropped a significant amount of weight and went from 215 to 155 & 13% Body fat. Sure I was fitter, but my skin was still jacked, my moods were intense, stress & anxiety consumed me. I developed more chronic symptoms and started talking to my family about it. Turned out that I had a family history of Thyroid disease. Even armed with that info, I was shot down by every doctor. Finally one "tested" my thyroid and my TSH was normal, so they dismissed me as being crazy and sent me on my way.
One day, I started to gain weight out of no where. I was eating so healthy-measuring all of my food precisely and working out 6 days a week. So I thought, fuck I guess I need LESS calories and more gym. I got to a point where I was in the gym for 4-6 hours every day and consuming 1200 or less calories. It worked...for a while anyway.
I started gaining weight AGAIN! I wasn't eating much and I was in the gym daily. I would be sick every month but still went to the gym for fear of gaining another pound. I started searching again for a Dr. By this time, someone had mentioned a functional doctor (same education as an MD but specializes in finding the root cause). He looked at my history and immediately gave me an in-depth thyroid/hormone panel. BING! I had Hashimotos disease. I wasn't fucking crazy, all of those narrow-minded Drs were.
I also found a fitness coach that educated me on the damage I had done to my metabolism, the extremes of too much working out and not enough food created metabolic damage. The road to recovery was a long 2 years and it fucking sucked! It was simply working out less and eating more-a lot more. Which caused more weight gain. It was a really trying time for me.
I had also started natural hormone replacement (armour thyroid-a pig hormone) and had a very bad reaction. The Dr then put me on synthroid and kept increasing the dose until my thryoid numbers started to level out. I started having heart palpitations, sleeping less than before and I kind of lost faith in this Doctor. So on went my search for the best endochrinologist in Las Vegas. After several more, I found one. He took me off of all meds and said that he would treat each symptom separately. Trusting the rest of the city, I gave it shot, stuck it out through some of the worse side effects I had ever experienced. He kept telling me to stick it out, so I did, even though I was stopping along the road to vomit, having horrible panic attacks and such a piss poor quality of life.
Once again, I said ENOUGH! I quit him like a bad habit when I was told that I wasn't "trying" hard enough! SAAAAY WHAAAT? Boy, bye!
I found a Dr that was a hormone specialist as well as treated autoimmune diseases such as mine, she was really helpful and caring. I had reversed the metabolic damage. All was good, except for the fact that I was simply managing the disease. I also not only have 1 stressful job, but own several businesses which is unreal stress. I still had awful symptoms, sure they were reduced a little but they were there. I just knew there had to be a different, a better way.
Upon looking for Thyroid-friendly Diets, I stumbled on Lyzabeth Lopez, who was a Holistic Nutritionist and master trainer. I had already gut out gluten but started learning more and more from her. I started training with her program and tweaked some things with my work outs. I stopped injuring myself by activating my muscles properly. I started doing things she recommended, like an elimination diet and a sugar cleanse. I started researching more and more, and wanted to learn more natural ways to treat my symptoms.
BOOM! Then I got the Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. Heartbroken for a minute, I decided to decline the Drs suggestions of adding more medications to the mix. I just knew there was a better way, I knew there HAD to be something that I could do to fix this all of this naturally.
I'm kind of a balls to the wall type of person, so I decided to enroll myself in school. I wanted to learn as much as possible. In 2017 I became a Holistic Nutrition Coach and was on my way to becoming a Practitioner. I also decided to enroll in some Functional medical courses at A4M. I started learning that most of my issues, autoimmune issues, started in my damaged Gut Flora. I was born with a compromised immune and gut microbiome but my childhood, adolescent and adult history really destroyed it.
I started to learn that YES! I would be able to reverse my autoimmune diseases. Remission WAS a possibility.....But, it was up to me.
I became very overwhelmed at the seemingly daunting task. What if I mess up? What if I'm not strong enough? What if this doesn't work? I allowed myself a last free-for-all for an entire month! I still worked out and ate healthy for the most part but I also drank alcohol, ate gluten, dairy, corn-all things I am intolerant to. I started having massive RA attacks, asthma attacks and obvious hormonal imbalances. I was debilitated with pain, that of course I pushed through, (that's who I am) but would cry in agony every night.
The decision was clear. I knew what I had to do. Game the fuck on! Starting January 8th, 2018 (yes, recently), I started to detox my body. I knew that stress was also a major if not the biggest component to my diseased state. I also started to eliminate the stressors that I could from my life, people, saying yes to everything, setting unrealistic standards for myself (---still working on that!)
I just know that I will one day, very soon, I will be healthy!
Are you with me? Let's GO!
Brianna, Holistic Healing Fit Club