Hearing you have an autoimmune disease can instill fear and confusion. “Wait! Isn’t cancer an autoimmune disease? Am I going to die from this? The questions abound and most main stream doctors have few, if any answers. Take a pill if your thyroid is bad enough to show up in blood test, suffer till it does, seems to be the main stream approach. That was not good enough for me. I am sharing my story because I found more relevant information from others with Hashimoto’s than from any doctor I know. And I have relevant information that others have not yet shared. My miracle ASEA!
I am winning the Battle with my Autoimmune Disease
This is my story of how I am dealing with Hashimoto's Disease.
Want more information about ASEA? Check out my site at http://bunni.teamasea.com
My Battle with Autoimmune Disease
This is my story
I am here with you today because I realized I have some important information to share. I am not an expert in Autoimmune Disease I am a sufferer….NO I am a conqueror! I have Hashimoto’s Disease and my story is a long one, I am sure yours is as well. I have suffered from symptoms since I was a child many would come and go only to return again. I was able to discern that stress exaggerated my symptoms by my mid-twenties. By that time I had been diagnosed with IBS, or as I like to call it “we don’t know what to tell you because we don’t have a clue”. I had undergone every test available in the early nineties and that is the best the Doctors could come up with. I had a great doctor at that time too by the way, something that has seldom happened since. So I gave up and lived with the many symptoms that no medicine seemed to help. At that time the list was shorter intolerance to cold (cold bottom was terrible!), exhaustion, irritability, excruciating bowel pain, constipation, reproductive issues, and painful menstrual cycles. I am sure there were more but those are the ones I remember most. Back then I was never over 110 lbs and ate anything and everything without ever gaining a pound. The only thing that really got to me was infertility issues, which I was able to overcome with medication and the bowel pain, which I was able to distinguish got worse with stress. Life went on.
In my early thirties I went through a divorce, was at my lowest weight (possibly a swing in hormones due to the many changes in my life) and albeit under a lot of stress, raised my boys on my own. It was a different kind of stress and being out of an abusive relationship allowed my bowel issues to get better. As I look back I wonder if the need to make inexpensive home cooked meals more may have helped a lot too! Again life went on and I was doing well. When I was 35 I had a tubal reversal and gained 10 lbs that week. The extra 10lbs never went away and I gradually put on more weight as the years continued. Following the surgery my menstrual cycles were more reminiscent of miscarriages (I discovered this as I was trying to get pregnant and lost one). I finally carried to term and had my last child when I was 37. Three months after she was born I was down to 122 lbs, my highest non pregnancy weight at that time. I focus on my weight because this is where I can see the visible changes the most, not because it is the worse part of this disease.
In 2010 my husband joined the Army and we moved across country. I left my oldest son with his father to complete his last two years of school, leaving him was heart breaking and I still miss him every day. I left my parents, extended family, all of my friends, and all of my support system. I packed my house by myself because my husband was away at basic training, a heart break as well as he was missing out on all of our daughters firsts. He came home for 2 months, long enough to move us to Texas and then deploy for a year. So there I was with my 12 year old son and 11 month old daughter alone in a city I knew little about, with no support system and no job for the first time in 25 years. It was very stressful, it took me 8 months to find a job and more stress was to come trying to manage it all while my husband was still half way across the world in a war zone. I gained 10 lbs. I had a list of symptoms 3 pages long at this point and went to my doctor crying that I felt like I was slowly dying and begged for her help. She diagnosed me with Endometriosis and her treatment helped a lot. But I still had a ton of issues that went unaddressed because she just didn’t know what to say or how to fix it all. Due to the insistence of my boss I went to the ENT to request hearing aid as I had trouble hearing most of my life. It was there that I was told I had and enlarged thyroid and the ultrasounds began. I had a goiter with nodules. My sister had her thyroid removed and cancer was found in 4 places just before i learn this. A biopsy was not recommended because the type of nodules I had would automatically return with a questionable result. I was given the option of having my thyroid removed due to the goiter, nodules and family history. I chose instead to “watch it” for changes. The nodules slowly grew and my list grew as well. I got lucky and was put on Armour thyroid when synthroid made me worse all mt tests said I was in normal range this whole time. The Armour helped my fatigue. I began getting treatment from pain specialists for a bulging disk in my neck. It was not bad enough for surgery however many days I had very little movement due to the pain. Driving a car was excruciating and my job the required driving for at least 8 hours a day. The pain specialists started with steroid injection which just added to my list of complaints by the 4th injection I had a major reaction and it was decided I would need to stop.
My husband was medically retired and money got tight. It was shortly after that I came across a product that was my miracle. I started taking ASEA to alleviate the chronic pain in my neck and back. The first few days I noticed I had a lot more energy and by week 3 my chronic pain was gone. I took the ASEA sporadically as I continued to work full time, carry a full time student status at college, and care for my family. My stress level was higher than ever but a lot of my symptoms were less noticeable. My mood was much better; I didn’t get after the kids as much. My energy was better but I was pushing myself to the limit everyday working 8 to 10 hours and then had hours of homework and taking care of kids when I got home. I realized in month 5 that I had stopped taking my thyroid meds and felt better than ever physically. I felt so good I was giving testimonials at the ASEA seminars. I was still only taking the ASEA when I remembered though which was not every day as it is supposed to be taken. In January of 2014 I had an issue with occipital neuralgia and was put on a lot of pain meds, mostly heavy narcotics. I could not drive while taking the pain meds and I could not leave my bed without them. My ASEA associate questioned if I had increased my dose to help and I had to admit I had not taken any in weeks. I started taking a double dose and was feeling better in a matter of days, however to get a doctors release the pain specialists recommended burning the nerves which we did, it honestly made me feel worse. It took 4 months to get the release to go back to work and my employer did not hold my position.
During the 4 months of recovery I had time to do a lot of thinking and realized I just could not do everything for everyone anymore and be healthy. Thankfully my husband was onboard and we downsized our life considerable to allow me to stay home until I complete my master’s degree. That has helped considerably! At my annual checkup I admitted to no longer taking my thyroid medication because the ASEA had me feeling so much better. Because my nodules had continued to grow my primary care physician became alarmed and sent me to a new endocrinologist as my original doctor was no longer able to see me. The new endo wanted to biopsy, I explained what I had been previously told. She explained that the size of the nondual combined with my age would make waiting longer a bad idea if it was cancer. My doctor insisted that I take my Thyroid meds as my THS was red flagged as well. Odd because I actually felt good, I was still gaining weight though. I was 149 lbs now, 10 lbs more that my top weight with all my pregnancies so I was freaking out about it! I agreed to start back on my thyroid meds. I cut back on my ASEA because both at the same time made me feel like it was too much. In the meantime my endo questioned if I had my antibodies check. I assumed not because I had no idea what she was talking about (although I do remember my primary care not wanting to let me go home due to high white count at one point, not sure if that is related). So she had my labs draw and they came back at 111 on a scale of 1-9. My doctor relocated before the results came back so there was a moment of confusion about the results meaning I could have cancer (I had no idea what she was testing for I guess!) When I finally got the news that it was Hashimoto’s I was confused but the new doctor was not answering any questions. Her response to my weight was that I should cut back to 1200 calories a day (more than I was consuming at the time!) I was mad. So I did my research to determine what exactly Hashimoto’s was. Now I had something concrete to work with. I found a lot of Hashi’s stories and suggestions online and I have instituted most of them.
The best thing I have done for myself to date has been ASEA which has helped in more ways than I can list. In addition to the above mentioned benefits I find if I take some before bed I sleep straight through the night and wake feeling refreshed while if I forget to take it I wake repeated throughout the night. It is redox signaling molecules which are naturally in every cell of our body but as we get older they start to diminish so adding them back in allows the cells to help or replace themselves. It is reported to raise glutathione by over 500%. If you want more information or to try ASEA for yourself you can get information and product at http://bunni.teamasea.com.
Another important thing that helped was cutting back on my stress. A great friend and mentor taught me that NO is a complete sentence! I am blessed to be in a position to take a nap if I need one now. Yes this is still foreign to me so I am still getting used to it but I have to admit when I am feeling down or reacting to a food I reintroduce getting enough rest and destressing helps me bounce back so much better.
The Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) I am not an expert so I recommend checking out Pinterest which was where I found a ton of information. There are also several books available in regard to the AIP. Some are available below. I can share some of my results of using the AIP. Initially it looked impossible but I jumped in with both feet and I have to admit I did not even want to cheat on this because it was not a diet but a way to save myself from a lifetime of misery. The first week of the AIP I dropped 10 lbs. I lost another 5 lbs by week 4. More than weight I have dropped several pants sizes in the first few months due to the inflammation being reduced. I know this because one of my reintroductions caused me to go up 3 sizes in one day! Of course once I removed it from my diet I went back down within a few days. I felt amazing!
Other additions I have incorporated is Himalayan Sea Salt. I love salt and have always used a lot of it so switching to a healthier version was easy. I honestly didn’t think too much of it until I ran out for about a week. This was in my elimination phase of the AIP so I was not reintroducing and the salt was the only change. I felt awful by the end of the week. I got some more and within a couple days I felt fine again! Not a lab tested result but I believe in what my body tells me.
I also have had a lot of success by adding Vitamin D. When I was pregnant and not doing well my OBGYN suggested 8000mg per day, no not a typo! It helped then and it helps now. I take at least 1000 mg per day. It helps with depression as well as just an overall better feeling for me.
Magnesium has been another wonder pill for me. I have suffered migraines since I was a child, as an adult I started suffering from leg cramps that would wake me throughout the night. I found that 250 mg of magnesium everyday made the leg cramps stop and Magnesium helps my migraines more than any RX from a doctor I have ever tried!
I also added many of the supplements recommended in the AIP. I am just so happy to have finally found some ways to help myself! I would love to hear your stories or any ideas you have had success with! I would love to work with a naturopath or functional medical doctor as I am hearing they are great at figuring out what is causing the Hashimoto’s and treating the underlying cause however their services are not covered by insurance in most cases. If any of you know any in the Austin Texas area that do take insurance let me know!!!