So as you know, I have been living with Hashimoto’s and leaky gut for quite a number of years.
Well, more specifically, my symptoms have had a name for the last 4-5 years, but these lovely symptoms have been a part of my life for a hell of a lot longer than that.
The journey hasn’t been easy (and it still isn’t), however I’m eternally grateful for the progress I have made so far, and for the unexpected change in direction my life has taken.
I thought I might take the time to share with you where I started, what I changed in my life and where I currently am.
To preface - I am by no means in perfect health right at this moment in time, but by gosh, I’ve come a long long way. Toot toot!
Where I started from
Bloating | Excessive bloating almost 24 hours a day. Some nights I couldn’t sleep on my tummy due to the discomfort and pain.
Fatigue | It took all my strength to drag myself into work each day and put on a smile, so my evenings (as you can imagine) were spent curled in a ball. Socialising? Forget it!
Sleep | Even though I was fatigued, I found sleep difficult - waking between 1pm – 3pm every night consistently.
Weight Gain | Need I say more. A stress all of itself.
Brittle Nails | Flaking and breaking nails became such a common part of my life, I forgot what it was like to have them manicured.
Dry Skin | Feel like your skin is the texture of tissue paper - very thin with no elasticity? That’s me.
Malabsorption | No matter the nutrient dense food I ate, nothing was absorbed, leading to deficiencies in magnesium, silicon, chromium and potassium.
Heavy Metal Toxicity | My body was inundated with both aluminium and silver.
Bromide Toxicity | 0% iodine being absorbed, leading to an enlarged thyroid and nodules.
Parasites | A weakened gut = hello parasites!
Things That Helped Transform My Health
Goodbye to gluten, refined sugars and cow’s milk dairy
I played around with going gluten free back in 2013, after researching its connection with Hashimoto’s. At this stage, I was already off refined sugars out of shear desperation to heal a rash that had taken over my body (having refused to go on steroids as prescribed by the dermatologist at the time). After “fluffing” around the edges for a while, I finally went 100% gluten free - along with being refined sugar free and also removing cow’s milk dairy from my diet. This hugely improved my health, my skin and my energy levels. I thought I had found my answer!
Goodbye to grains, soy and ALL diary
Even though I was feeling much better, I still didn’t feel great, so 3 years later I made the choice to further remove grains, soy and all dairy (not just cow’s milk) from my diet at the recommendation of my holistic practitioner and from all of the research I was conducting on myself personally. This had a wonderfully positive impact on my health and my body once again bounced back with increased energy and a lot less bloating. Unfortunately, this “boost” only lasted about a year before I realised I was feeling worse than ever. I had already removed so many inflammatory triggers from my lifestyle by now –yet I knew I needed something more.
Hello Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP)
After receiving some not so positive blood test results at the beginning of 2017, I knew I needed to change some things. Removing the above inflammatory foods and spending thousands of dollars on testing and herbal supplements just wasn’t enough. Then along came the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) which saw me further remove inflammatory foods like eggs, corn, nuts and seeds, as well as nightshade vegetables and refined oils. It took a solid 2 months on strict AIP before I began to really notice any improvement. Each day brings its challenges, but the tiny glimpses of improvement spur me on - letting me know I’m on the right path. It’s a journey I am still on.
I’ve upped my nutrient density
I already ate a large number and variety of vegetables, but this has increased tenfold – yes, I even eat them for brekkie. I’ve added bone broth to my life – through cooking or as a simple warming drink. I now add extra collagen into my evening cup of tea and have started to take a grass fed desiccated liver supplement (as these little fingers ain’t touching the real thing!). These added extras are to help with healing my digestion and improving my mineral absorption.
High quality protein only
Growing up in a fat-free home during the 80’s and 90’s I was so use to eating very lean cuts of meat – removing every little tiny piece of fat that I could see, or eating very little meat at all. I even became vegetarian for many years during my 20’s. Thank God this is all a thing of the past! Today my meals contains high quality grass-fed organic protein with a good dose of healthy fats.
Improving my digestion
This is a slow work in progress as it involves me changing many lifelong habits. When I do it – I notice a positive difference in my digestion. This includes chewing my food (so simple, yet so hard to keep up). Sitting at a table to eat and not woolfing down my food in front of the TV. Drinking a splash of apple cider vinegar in water 15-30 minutes before each meal – wonderful to help get the digestive juices working. Alternatively, I’ve been taking a botanical enzyme supplement for a little helping hand.
So where am I now?
Bloating | I still experience bloating, especially when I’m not mindful of the above, however it’s minimal. I can now go hours with no bloating at all!
Fatigue | Again, I am still experiencing fatigue, however I’m back to walking into work again and also making plans with friends.
Sleep | I am able to sleep through most nights now with only the occasional sleepless night. Balancing my blood sugar levels has really helped with this.
Weight Gain | Slowly going down without me even thinking about it.
Brittle Nails | No more brittle nails here – now they’re strong and growing.
Dry Skin | Still fairly dry, but definitely improved. Long way to go yet though.
Malabsorption | Definitely on the mend as the proof is in my improved nails and skin. Getting tested next month, so will keep you updated.
Heavy Metal Toxicity |Getting tested on this next month.
Bromide Toxicity | Again, getting tested on this next month.
Parasites | Unfortunately at this moment in time I’m unsure whether they have gone or stayed put. The symptoms have definitely improved though!
Remember, we’re all different and the above is simply my own personal health journey.
I share it with you simply to help inspire you on your own wellness journey.