From Exhausted to Exhilarated: My Hashimoto’s Story
By Jessica Stroud
When I was pregnant with my first child I felt tired, but not like the tired other pregnant women were describing. I felt so tired I could hardly get out of bed, hardly read my “how to be a good mom” books, hardly eat enough before I would be sick again, and hardly enough to care. My OB told me it was normal to be “sleepy” and as a side note kept upping my thyroid meds with each monthly visit. After my daughter was born, I still felt tired, but I figured all new moms did. I assumed it was normal to be too fatigued to lift my arms up high enough to rock my baby to sleep. I didn’t want to be dramatic, so I didn’t mention it. My OB took me off thyroid meds and sent me on my merry way.
A few months later I met an amazing chiropractor who was treating my daughter for torticollis. Dr. Meyers took one look at me, and how tired I was, and openly hinted that I might need some help. I went to see her three times for adjustments before she told me that she suspected I had Hashimoto’s disease. I got blood work done, to confirm, and it came back (with flashing neon lights) positive for Hashimoto’s. She explained Hashimoto’s and that I had a non-functioning thyroid, which is unfortunate since your thyroid regulates your metabolism and effects many aspects of your body, including energy. My own body was attacking my thyroid until it couldn’t perform its job anymore, leaving me listless and fatigued. I still didn’t fully understand, so she recommended a Hashimoto’s specialist she thought I should see. That day.
Working with Dr. Meyers (my Hashimoto’s guru) has changed my life. I started a new eating lifestyle that excludes gluten, dairy, corn and soy and includes supplements like “Adaptocrine” that helps my adrenal glands “speak” to my pituitary gland, hypothalamus and thyroid more fluidly, vitamin D which thyroid patients are seriously lacking in, iron supplements, probiotics, fish oil, “Adrena stim” to help my adrenal glands and others. She explained that I had to balance out my hormones, my stress, my eating habits and my thyroid medication to keep inflammation down so that my body had a chance to put the guns down (that are pointed at myself) and relax, allowing my thyroid to be able to do at least part of its job.
I thought cutting cheese and bread out of my life would be so monstrous that I wouldn’t be able to manage it. But after the initial period of kicking my cravings, and learning how to grocery shop in a completely new way, I felt great. I felt better than great. I felt like an entirely new person. I had suffered chronic migraines my whole life and realized that it was, in huge part, due to my diet. I now had more energy and less headaches and my thyroid was finally showing up to work.
When my daughter was nine months old I started to feel a little tired again and I was really disappointed. I thought that maybe all my hard work wasn’t paying off after all. After I realized I was expecting baby number two instead, Dr Myers and I worked together throughout my pregnancy (and the following one) to make sure my thyroid behaved itself and I have never looked back. I am in the midst of training for my first full marathon and have more energy than I did in my twenties.
Hashimoto’s is, unfortunately, a very common disease that can have a huge array of symptoms. The thyroid is an immensely important part of your body and it needs to be checked regularly to make sure it is working for you. If you do find yourself diagnosed with it, don’t panic because with the right diet, medication and supplement plan everything can be put to right and you might even end up better than before.
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