Updated: Mar 24
My first exposure to the alternative healthcare field was through a wonderful Naturopath. I finally felt like someone was listening to my symptoms and giving me more insight into why I suddenly was so tired, brain-fogged, bloated and gassy.
If you haven’t read Part I of my Blog Post about how my symptoms of feeling chronically unwell started you can read the first part of my story here
My Naturopath was a pro-problem-solver. I finally felt like I had met someone who listened and paid attention to ME, as an individual with unique and believable symptoms. She guided me through an in-depth process of really examining my unique symptom patterns. We began with testing for food sensitivities. As it turns out, I had MANY, and I completely changed my diet overnight. For three months I eliminated all of the foods I was sensitive to while we healed my gut with digestive support supplements.
As a result of these changes, I experienced:
Significant weight loss - I was the skinniest I had been in my life eating whole foods, avoiding processed foods and my individual food sensitivities and best of all I wasn’t even trying to lose weight
A complete elimination of colds and flus - I didn’t get an actual cold for about 2 years and realized the frequent colds I got before was my body trying to communicate that my immune system was weakened
Improved elimination - I realized that it was not “normal” before
An improvement in my gas and bloating - these symptoms became more manageable still left me uncomfortable on a daily basis
These were great changes but my energy level was still very low, my brain fog seemed to only get worse and my stomach was in discomfort daily.
NO ANSWERS FOR MY SYMPTOMS:
I knew there was still a missing piece. As with many of the clients I see, many people would have felt amazing implementing these changes alone. Over the next few years I went to multiple doctors, naturopaths and alternative healthcare providers. I got functional and traditional testing done for Celiac, SIBO, Lyme Disease, and other gut infections, to name a few.
I was receiving no significant or concrete answers and this was having a severe impact on my emotional health. I felt like I was going crazy as all my tests would come back “normal”. I knew there was nothing normal about what I was experiencing and I hid most of what I was feeling from friends and family as there was no medical “reason” to explain my symptoms.
A few years after the onset of my symptoms I started developing low grade fevers that continued for about 12 months. I would constantly feel like I was coming down with the flu. At this point doctors were throwing out the “C” word and testing me for things like HIV, which was terrifying! Yet again … every single test I got came back negative. I was more frustrated then ever and hardly making it through my days, I just couldn’t enjoy my life anymore!
At one point after a cold, I experienced hand trembling and heart palpitations, and my research kept pointing me towards a thyroid condition. I knew I had thyroid nodules (from an ultrasound) but was told that this wouldn’t cause my symptoms.
THE MISSING PIECE OF MY THYROID TESTS:
My thyroid levels had been “tested” before (at the time I did not know that they weren’t running the full set of tests) but I asked for a repeat test.
I received some alarming results and saw an endocrinologist who completed a FULL thyroid test, including antibodies (which is key!! Why had no other doctors done such a comprehensive test in the past?), and told me I had an autoimmune condition called Hashimotos thyroditis - meaning my immune system was attacking my thyroid (WHAT?!!).
I felt like I FINALLY had the explanation of why I had been feeling so awful for all these years! One of my antibody levels was so high (>1000 when normal is <35) which demonstrated the severity of my condition.
The Doctor told me there was nothing I could do, that my thyroid would deteriorate and I’d need to be on medication for the rest of my life, as there was no medical treatment for the autoimmune part of the disease.
This made no sense – my immune system is dysregulated and attacking the thyroid, so how was taking thyroid meds going to fix what was going on with my immune system?! My problem solving skills kicked in …
WHAT PROVED MOST HELPFUL FOR MY SYMPTOMS?
Shortly after the diagnosis I also started to experience bouts of low mood, racing thoughts and anxiety, and I started to gain weight, without changing my diet or exercise routine. At this point I knew a bit about autoimmunity in the alternative medical world and knew improving gut health was one of the pillars to improving autoimmune diseases.
I tried various diets such as Paleo, Autoimmune Paleo, anti-candida, some version of low-FODMAPS/GAPS, anti-candida and the approach from Medical Medium (Anthony William). What helped me the most was:
Autoimmune Paleo diet helped me to reset my symptoms when I was at particularly low moments in the past
Going 100% gluten-free ALL of the time improved my energy and eliminated my brain fog (I made this decision after my Gastroenterologist told me that in sensitive individuals it could impact symptoms up to 6 months and my own research kept pointing to gluten being a necessary thing to eliminate with autoimmune conditions)
Avoiding processed foods and white sugar
Incorporating some of the principles taught by Medical Medium into my daily diet
I’ve also learned about the importance of energy and spirituality and how my mindset influenced my body. I stopped identifying myself as a “victim” , realized that things were not happening to me but FOR me and took control back of my MIND and body! I learned that there are different energetic frequencies, with the frequency of LOVE being the highest vibration and the most healing one. I knew I was frequently in a negative mindset and I wanted to change that so I started to meditate, journal, get more in tune with my own emotions then I ever have been, and heal those parts of myself that were carrying old traumas and hurts.
I learned that the throat is connected with an energetic center in the body associated with expression and communication. I really could resonate with this as I grew up in a family where we didn’t “talk about our feelings” yet I have always been a sensitive person and have suppressed a lot over the years. Working to release stored emotions has been a key part in my healing and it’s helped me tremendously.
PIECEING IT ALL TOGETHER: USING MY HEALTH CRISIS TO HELP OTHERS
Through my personal healing journey, I have been able to keep my thyroid levels within
range WITHOUT MEDICATION, my energy levels are the best they’ve been in many years and my thyroid nodules went away, to my doctors surprise.
I knew that many women were struggling with fatigue, weight gain, low moods, hair loss, digestive issues and more and I knew I had to share this powerful knowledge with them. I completed my education at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and became a Holistic Nutritionist where I deepened my knowledge of the healing power of foods and the connection between the mind, body and spirit.
My own health challenges allowed me to learn invaluable lessons and discover what a huge difference food and healthy lifestyle can make in how we feel day-to-day, both physically and emotionally. I now work with clients hand-in-hand to create a customized plan to overcome hypothyroid/ Hashimoto’s symptoms that are making it challenging to enjoy life. Everyone of us is unique (hence why one approach doesn't work for everybody) and a customized plan is required for your unique symptoms and lifestyle. My top priority is to help you implement changes that are sustainable for your lifestyle, which may look very different for two clients with the same diagnosed condition or undiagnosed set of symptoms.
Think I may be a good fit to help you? Book a FREE 20 min info session with me on this page.