This success story was originally posted in February of 2015, based on personal experience provided by Lisa Marchese, author of Autoimmune Disease: The Clean Eating Cookbook. I have since developed new articles and resources for Hashimoto’s that might be helpful for you. For the latest information on diet, please visit the following:
- Why Balancing Blood Sugar is Vital for Hashimoto’s Health
- 11 Strategies to Overcome Hashimoto’s Fatigue
- Strategies to Overcome Anxiety with Hashimoto’s
- How to Lose Weight With Hashimoto’s
- Is Gluten the Root Cause of Your Thyroid Condition?
- Top 10 Thyroid Tests and How to Interpret Them
- Food Sensitivities and Hashimoto’s
- Hashimoto’s Food Pharmacology: Nutrition Protocols and Healing Recipes to Take Charge of Your Thyroid Health
Autoimmune Disease: The Clean Eating Cookbook
Lisa Marchese is the author of a new cookbook, Autoimmune Disease: The Clean Eating Cookbook. She has been able to put her Hashimoto’s into remission through clean eating! I had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Marchese, and I am so grateful that she is sharing her story with all of us!
Lisa suffered from severe symptoms for six years before she got her life back. Fatigue was at the top of the list, and she could not walk from room to room without help. Her thyroid was swollen, she was dizzy, became hypoglycemic, was freezing even when it was 90 degrees outside, had terrible anxiety, a hyperactive nervous system, headaches, muscle and joint pains, panic attacks and could lose and gain the same 20 pounds in a matter of weeks! Nausea, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome and of course sadness were daily struggles.
Tell me about the beginning of your journey with Hashimoto’s…
Lisa Marchese: First off, thank you, Dr. Wentz, for the opportunity in getting my story out there, you are doing great things. I think so many suffer in silence and like you, it is my goal to let others know they are not alone and that it is OK to have hope.
I was dealing with both undiagnosed gluten issue and Hashimoto’s, and had a lot of symptoms! I had no idea what was going on with me, and neither did the many doctors, specialists and holistic doctors I saw. They ran tests, and each told me that nothing was wrong, and instead just handed me a script for anxiety medication (which I choose not to take)… until I finally found a doctor that listened and believed me.
My thyroid was the first thing he noticed- it was the size of a LEMON. He ran numerous tests, including thyroid antibody tests (he was the first doctor to do so), and that was how he found I had Hashimoto’s.
Despite all of my symptoms, my TSH was always in the “normal” range, between 1-2, and all of my other labs, including T4 & T3, were in the normal range as well. As a result of this, we felt medication was not the way to go, and although my doctor was extremely caring and desperately wanted to help me, he did not know how to guide me.
Q&A WITH LISA MARCHESE
IW: Tell me about when you decided to take charge of your health…
LM: I knew for me medications were not the way to go and decided that I was not going to give up on myself. I wanted to get my life back. I had always been a very active person. I was a runner, volunteered at my kids’ schools, ran school programs, worked, laughed all the time, and just loved life before my health troubles started.
People used to call me the “Energizer Bunny” because I just never stopped. My mom was a huge support, and on my worst days, she would not let me give up. I believe I get my drive and determination from her. I had two little kiddies that needed their mom back, and I wanted my life back!!
IW: How did you get your life back?
LM: For me I was lucky, diet change and supplements made the biggest difference. Going gluten free and dairy free dropped my antibodies back into the normal range within 6 months!
I also found a good naturopathic doctor and asked her to run an IgG food test on me. I then pulled the foods out of my diet that showed up on that test. For me, it was banana, eggs, dairy (which I was already avoiding), pineapple and cranberries.
Removing those foods got rid of the terrible headaches I had been getting, along with the muscle pain I had been dealing with.
IW: How do you feel now?
LM: I am blessed to say great!!! As long as I stay “clean.”
I went back to school and became a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, wrote a cookbook Autoimmune Disease The Clean Eating Cookbook, started an FB page (Autoimmune Disease Clean Eating And You) to offer support to anyone suffering from any form of autoimmune issues.
My goal was and is to offer hope, support, and comfort from someone who gets it and lives it. But best of all, I can live my life again!!! The only downside if you will, is now that I am balanced out I cannot eat the same portions I once could. Clean whole foods or not, if you eat too much you will gain weight!!! Lol, So I am learning that all over again….
IW: How long did your journey take from initial symptoms to diagnosis, feeling better and remission?
LM: It took me six years from day one of symptoms to diagnosis. Then about a year of hard work and dedication to my health to feel better. But honestly, the road still continues, I have new challenges pop up as I grow and my body changes, and I am always setting new goals for myself.
IW: What is your advice for other Hashimoto’s patients?
LM: One simple rule, but yet the hardest one when you are in that place of despair, fatigue, and the unknown…..NEVER give up on yourself, find support, you are NOT alone, and please know there is hope!
I had heard about the food and Hashimoto’s connection in 2010 but did not take action until January 2011. I thought about making the change for almost a year before taking action. I was so skeptical, and I hope that sharing stories like this will inspire you. Finally, in 2011, my New Year’s resolution was to take charge of my health, and I am so glad that I did!!
People with autoimmune conditions often react to many types of proteins like gluten, dairy, soy, and sometimes even seeds, nuts, grains, and eggs. Removing these foods from the diet is very helpful for the autoimmune condition, but extremely difficult to implement, as these foods make up the bulk of the standard American diet.
I struggled with finding something to eat when I first adopted this type of diet, and although there were plenty of wonderful Paleo cookbooks on the market, most of them relied heavily on nuts, seeds, and eggs.
Lisa’s cookbook fills that gap.
The recipes she created are all free of these reactive proteins, tasty, and easy to implement! No need for a professional chef or fancy equipment either!
Lisa made most of the recipes in a $20 blender! An excellent book for someone who is just starting on their journey or for someone who is looking for more fun recipe ideas. My favorites were the peach pie (although I used apples), chocolate shake and crab cakes.
I hope Lisa’s story inspires you to take on some lifestyle changes in the New Year! You’ll be glad that you did, and Lisa’s book will make clean eating easier 🙂
Here is Lisa’s book, Autoimmune Disease: The Clean Eating Cookbook
PS. You can also download a free Thyroid Diet Guide, 10 Thyroid friendly recipes, and the Nutrient Depletions and Digestion chapter for free by going to www.thyroidpharmacist.com/gift. You will also receive occasional updates about new research, resources, giveaways and helpful information.
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