This success story was originally posted in July of 2016, based on personal experience provided by one of my readers. I have since developed new articles and resources for Hashimoto’s that might be helpful for you. For the latest information on TOPIC, please visit the following:
- How to Lose Weight with Hashimoto’s
- Which Thyroid Medication is Best?
- Pregnancy Announcement
- The Power of Nutrition: Using Food Pharmacology to Heal Hashimoto’s
- Can Vegan Diets Help Hashimoto’s?
- Is Gluten the Root Cause of Your Thyroid Condtion?
I had the privilege to chat with Karen, a woman who displays such courage and bravery in her everyday life. Karen’s journey has been one of heartbreak and joy, and it was such an honor to speak with her. I hope you find her story as inspiring and encouraging as I did.
Here is Karen’s Story
“My journey with Hashimoto’s has been a roller coaster of life altering emotions and events. I’ve experienced heartbreak as well as so much joy. There is no magic pill to get healthy, but I made very hard changes and did the work. I pray my journey can encourage others and that you can get healthy too!
Stubborn weight gain…
My mom initially thought I had Hashimoto’s 5-6 years ago, and I thought that sounded crazy! But after my husband and I got home from Paris, I’d gained 6 pounds! I was very bloated, so I began a strict diet and workout routine, but the weight would not come off.
I knew something was wrong, so I went to the doctor. I knew it was Hashimoto’s based on research I’d done, but my doctor never said those words officially. My TPO > 600 so the doctor prescribed Synthroid and sent me home. I was on Synthroid, had a private trainer and a gym membership, but the weight would still not come off.
I’ve learned that when the body in stress mode, it’s unable to release fat. I took myself off Synthroid and Thytrophin PMG. I’d been a vegetarian for three years and realized that a lot of meat substitutes have gluten in them. But I loved pizza and fought going gluten-free.
My first pregnancy…
My husband and I decided to get pregnant, so I went to the doctor because I knew antibodies could be harmful to a baby. The visit revealed that my TPO antibodies were 2210, and there were also nodules, but the doctor said there is “nothing I can do for you because your thyroid is still good.” So I left the doctor feeling a bit discouraged and joined a Facebook support group.
We got pregnant in late July, but when we went in October for our 3-month sonogram, we found out we had what the doctors called a missed miscarriage. It was devastating. The doctor asked me to release the little one naturally because a D&C could create scar tissue and make it harder to get pregnant again. It was honestly the darkest time in my life. It took two weeks to release the little one, and those were the worst two weeks of my life.
The life change…
After that, I decided to go gluten free, organic, free range and made sure everything I put in my body was clean. I started working out, but exercising too much, so I cut back and began interval training. My workouts consisted of 20 minutes per day plus stretching. I also made time for meditation and prayer. By March I’d lost 10 pounds, which let me know I was on the right track. My body was releasing fat without me even trying!
During that time I was under so much stress. My father had major surgeries; my aunt was dying of cancer, she passed away in April. Plus, I found out I was pregnant!
My second pregnancy…
I chose not to think about the negative and instead chose to pray, meditate and eat well. I knew God put this little one in my womb, and I chose to enjoy the pregnancy. Two weeks later, I broke my foot and had to slow down. It was a good thing because I’d been so busy with life. It’s so important for us to stop and take time for us.
My first pregnancy, I craved sour cream and onion potato chips with pickles and a few bananas, but the second time around I didn’t have any cravings. I think it’s because my body was balanced this time around. I ate bone broth and molasses every morning during my pregnancy, which is especially helpful if you have leaky gut. Though it was a difficult pregnancy, my thyroid stabilized, and I gained a total of 25 pounds. Within two days after I had my daughter, I was within 2 pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight!
Today, I feel good! But let me tell you, having a baby is another level of exhaustion! I take care of myself by eating organic and free-range, 100% of the time and though it costs more, it’s so worth it. I treat myself to gluten-free chocolate cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory now and then.
Life is busy these days but five days out of the week I start out with a smoothie. I use almond milk, spinach, lecithin, oatmeal (for breastfeeding), black garlic and nutritional yeast, turmeric and minerals (selenium, magnesium, chromium, zinc), bananas, beets or raisins for taste. It’s so important to have enough zinc, especially if you want to get pregnant. I also take NAC, DHEA. Organic diet costs more, but it’s so worth it!
I work from home four days a week. But when I have to go to work, I prepare my food the day before and take lunch with me.
There is so much to be thankful for!
The last time I was tested I was still at 900, which was during pregnancy, but I’m having done tests again soon. Now I receive acupuncture regularly and spend time meditating and praying each morning. Gluten-free was life changing — I felt so different within a day. Being gluten-free gave me energy, cleared my skin, and I felt better emotionally! Seriously, gluten-free was the game changer for me.
I don’t take any pharmaceutical medication. My medicine is my food, plus I take one Thytrophin PMG. I put it under my tongue and let it dissolve. It absorbs better into the thyroid. I’ve been doing this for about two years, and it does seem to have a direct effect on my thyroid. [Note from Dr. Izabella — this is not the path for everyone, some people require thyroid medications and greatly benefit from using them. Please talk to your doctor about optimal thyroid treatment for you].
My first endocrinologist put me on the Synthroid, and told me I could only eat 800 calories per day! I’m so glad I didn’t settle for that diagnosis. By choosing to eat better, my body began healing itself. My broken foot even healed itself without medical intervention. And I have beautiful and healthy baby girl!
My advice for those wanting to get pregnant would be to get as healthy as possible before you’re pregnant. Trying to change during pregnancy can be difficult. Get healthy in your thinking because your body often follows what your mind thinks.
My husband has been so supportive throughout the process. I became a vegetarian because of him, but after seeing how great I feel, he’s not a vegetarian anymore! We knew each other and dated for 15 years and are now celebrating seven years of marriage. He’s wonderful. I’m so thankful we are both healthy now, so we can be the best parents we can be to our little girl.
This will be your own personal journey. There might be a pill that could get you better, but find what works for you. Your health comes down to what food you are eating, how you look at life and exercise.
You have to do the work.
I hope to own a wellness center one day and use the knowledge I’ve learned to help others on their journeys to wholeness. Staying emotionally balanced, getting massages regularly and taking a naturopathic approach to life will greatly benefit your health. You can do this!”
Karen’s story is so inspiring. It makes me cry over her loss and rejoice in her triumphs all at the same time. Something so powerful transpires when people unite and celebrate health victories. The impact your story can have on someone can be life changing.
P.S. If you are inspired by Karen’s story and looking for another resource to guide you to a healthy pregnancy, Dana Trentini (Hypothyroid Mom) and Mary Shomon, have just come out with a guide on pregnancy with thyroid disease (I’m featured in there as well). Check it out on Amazon!
P.P.S. Email subscribers will get the first announcement and sneak peek of my Thyroid Documentary for free, months before it’s available to the public. I keep my website and Facebook page for official updates and tailored to research articles, while on Instagram, I post things from everyday life, health hacks and sneak peeks of my upcoming projects. 🙂