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Coming clean: my battle with Hashimoto’s disease

April 3, 2012

This will be the hardest post I’ve ever had to write.

Imagine being a fit-and-trim 20-something almost-vegan marathon runner. You’ve been at your ideal weight for several years, having lost weight in college by learning to “eat right and exercise,” eventually going vegan as a result. You’re fabulously fit, with two marathons and several half-marathons under your belt. You eat a wonderfully varied and healthful diet, including tons of vegetables, fresh fruits, beans and legumes, limited whole grains, healthy fats, and plenty of raw and living foods. You eat almost no animal products and very little sugar. No white carbs, no meat, no dairy. You’re active and energetic, and despite only being able to eat relatively few calories (lest you regain weight), you feel nourished and happy.

Imagine all of that changing. Imagine suddenly starting to gain weight, at a pace that accelerates by the month, despite your hours of weekly workouts and your meticulous diet. Imagine that you, the chef and nutritionist, the athlete and almost-vegan, eat healthier and healthier (and less and less) and exercise more and more to combat this insidious weight gain and the accompanying depression, confusion, and crashes in energy. Imagine doing this for three years – working your butt off to get your weight back under control and yet continuing to look and feel worse – and at the end of it all, finding yourself with 30 extra pounds and a sudden diagnosis of a constellation of health problems. Imagine doing all this while writing a cookbook and a blog and trying to get your career as a raw food chef off the ground, progressively feeling greater and greater shame as you continue to gain weight and your health continues to decline as you go about promoting a healthy diet. Imagine finally working up the nerve to tell the whole world.

Here I am.

I have Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s (or “Hashi’s”) is an autoimmune disease in which your body attacks, and gradually destroys, your thyroid gland, the energy production center of your endocrine system. A genetic predisposition combined with a long history of undereating and overexercising (I’m not one of those bloggers who speaks openly of having a history of eating disorders, but I may as well tell you, I do) made me susceptible to thyroid problems, and three years ago, around when the weight gain began, Hashi’s finally started to set in. I didn’t know this at the time, of course, and since allopathic doctors only test TSH, I was told I was “fine.” I was also told “Some people just need to eat less and work out more than other people to maintain their weight…yes, even the unbelievable amounts that you do.” “Some people only have a bowel movement every couple days…yes, even when their diet contains 80+ grams of fiber per day.” “Some people just need more sleep than others…yes, even 10-14 hours a night.” “Some people’s body temperature is a little low…but 97.3°F is just fine.” And on and on and on.

For three years I’ve been searching for an answer. I’ve watched my health decline in so many ways, even while eating an ideal diet, and yet no one wanted to listen. Any time I mentioned my inexplicable weight gain and feeling suboptimal to anyone, they would immediately reply with “Oh, you’re not fat; you look fine to me,” as though gaining 30 pounds despite rigorous diet and exercise is “okay” simply because I “look fine” – to them – and am not [yet] obese. But it is NOT normal to mysteriously gain 30 undeserved pounds, and it clearly hints at deeper problems. This is not just me being vain and whining about a little extra weight—for some time now I’ve known something is very, very wrong, and somehow I found the strength to keep searching for answers. I’m finally starting to find them.

My new doctor, Dr. Jason Pickel, trained with Dr. Datis Kharrazian, a renowned thyroid and autoimmune disease expert (and author of this book). I recently had panel after panel of tests done – blood, saliva, urine, stool, you name it – and today, I finally got the results. They are shocking, to say the least.

It’s been confirmed that I do in fact have Hashimoto’s disease. My thyroid is, as expected, underperforming.
I have rampant inflammation, to the point where my body has been eating its own muscle tissue for months, if not years. My white blood cells are depleted and my inflammatory markers are off the charts. My immune system is so taxed that I’m no longer even producing the expected number of antibodies.
I have terrible dysglycemia (blood sugar abnormalities), and probably have since I was a child. I also have insulin resistance. Me of all people!
My cholesterol is through the roof and my triglycerides are through the floor.
I have very little vitamin D stored in my liver, yet a near-toxic amount in my bloodstream.
I have depressed production of estrogen and progesterone and dangerously elevated testosterone levels. I haven’t had a period since last year.
I’ve taken probiotics and eaten fermented foods for years, and yet I have almost no beneficial gut bacteria. I’m underproducing hydrochloric acid. I have a dangerous amount of H. pylori bacteria in my stomach.
My pulse is usually over 100. My blood pressure waxes and wanes.
I’m low in blood levels of numerous vitamins and minerals (nearly everything except, ironically, B12 and iron). My ability to absorb nutrients has apparently been compromised for a long time now. My gut is leaky, sluggish, and prone to food intolerances I never even knew existed.

I’ve been so terrified to share this. As a raw vegan chef and cookbook author, I’m supposed to be a role model for a healthy diet and lifestyle. It’s been killing me inside to want to constantly explain to people why I look the way I do, why I’ve put on so much weight—it’s not what I eat! In fact, let me be perfectly clear right here and now that my high-raw, low-glycemic, almost-vegan diet did not cause ANY of this. In fact, it’s probably why I took so long to start showing signs and symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease. I could be much worse off right now if I’d eaten a shitty diet and was never active all this time. These issues took root in my tumultuous childhood and adolescence—long before I discovered an almost-vegan diet. And unfortunately, my body is proving as we speak that there are some things that healthy diet and lifestyle changes cannot fix.

Now, three years after symptoms began, after finally finding a doctor recently who would actually listen to me and test everything that needed to be tested, I’m starting to uncover answers. I’m just beginning to discover what might – with any luck – be a path to wellness. It’s going to take time, though. I’m up against so much, it’s overwhelming, and keeping it secret all this time has probably made it even more difficult. It’s a lot to come to terms with. I’m still working on that. But now, I at last have a place to start.

Beginning immediately, I am eating a strict autoimmune diet as prescribed by my doctor. Since I will not eat meat, and eggs and dairy are no-no’s for anyone with immune system inflammation anyway, this elimination diet is 100% vegan. It’s also free of gluten, grains, sugar, nuts, legumes, sweet fruits, alcohol, soy products, and nightshade vegetables. In other words, some of my favorite foods! In addition, I’m incorporating a number of nutritional supplements (beyond the dozens I was already on) to calm inflammation and improve nutrient absorption, among other things. I’m also banned from exercising until further notice—talk about a lifestyle change! But it’s imperative now that I attack all these problems at once, get to the bottom of things, and heal myself so I can hopefully lose the weight and bloat I’ve gained, get my immune system under control, normalize my thyroid function, get my blood sugar in check, repair my gut, and alleviate my depression. After a few weeks, my doctor and I will begin to add foods back to my diet one by one, watching for autoimmune reactions. As I kill off bad gut bacteria and replenish the good, work to lower inflammation, try and increase my absorption of nutrients, and just feel better, my treatment will evolve, and with any luck I can get back to the point, someday, where I feel healthy, fit, trim, and happy.

I hope you all understand why I kept this so close to my chest for so long. My worst nightmare is for someone to hear my health is failing and for them to ascribe it to my high-raw, almost-vegan diet. They don’t know what my childhood diet (or non-diet) was like, they don’t know what my body’s been through in the past, yet they might make the snap judgment that my current diet has caused my current problems, when that’s simply not the case—health is far more cumulative than that. I’m absolutely petrified that people will no longer trust my nutritional advice, buy my book, make my recipes, read my blog, or believe in the diet I believe in, simply because I myself am not in tip-top shape for reasons outside my control.

Another reason I’ve been afraid to write this, to be honest, is that I fear an overwhelming deluge of advice and suggestions, as well-intentioned as they may be, from readers. I’m afraid that at this point, it’s quite counterproductive. For months and months now I’ve spent hours – literally – every single day researching extensively and reading everything I can get my eyes on. I could talk to you all day about pregnenolone-steal syndrome, peripheral tissue resistance to thyroid hormone, free T3/reverse T3 ratios, aldosterone pupil tests, circadian cortisol production, lectins and phytates and oxalates, and on and on and on. I lie awake at night turning these things over and over in my brain. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night. The reams of information I’ve amassed on these subjects are staggering, and it’s been consuming my life. As such, I’ve decided to limit the amount of time I spend reading and researching from here on out. I can’t cut it out completely – I’m a knowledge junkie, what can I say – but I can’t continue to stress myself this way. So I’m very sorry if this sounds awful, but I’d like to request not to be bombarded with well-meaning health advice (unless it’s something truly obscure that you’re certain I couldn’t have come across on my own). I need to re-learn to relax and let nature take its course as I work with (and trust) my doctor on treating my problems and caring for my battered body.

In just the past year, I’ve written a cookbook (and am now working on marketing it), traveled all over the place, gotten engaged, and begun to plan my wedding; I’m also moving later this week and have been packing like mad (can’t wait to show you the awesome new place, though!), and through it all, I’ve been dealing with debilitating physical symptoms and lots and lots of mental turmoil. Money is an issue too, as this has not been an inexpensive process. Now that I finally have some answers, and am beginning to dare to hope that I can heal myself, I’ve decided to confess it all…to you, dear readers. As lively and upbeat as I tend to sound on this blog, a lot has been going on in my life in private, and YOU – yes, you – have helped me get this far. Your comments have helped me laugh, smile, think, and feel stirrings of hope. You’ve kept me believing that I have the power to restore my health. I can’t thank you enough for being here with me through it all—even though you didn’t even know it.

I am determined to get my Hashimoto’s disease under control, heal my thyroid and gut, calm my immune system, cure my dysglycemia and insulin resistance, restore my sex hormones, and eventually lose the weight I gained – no matter what or how long it takes – AND keep on creating amazing vegan and raw food to share with you as long as the Earth will allow me to.

I will not quit.

Deep breath.

 

3 years ago this week…
Chocolate peanut butter cookies
2 years ago this week…
Belated February leftovers
Falafel night + V-Day dinner
Tidy joes (vegan sloppy joes)
1 year ago this week…
Raw red pepper-pistachio bisque
Mud Pie Vegan Bakery & Rawxies

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412 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:11 pm

    So proud of your bravery in sharing this. Glad to hear that you have finally found the right doctors and can begin your journey to healing. Wishing you all the best in your recovery.

  2. April 3, 2012 7:17 pm

    Know that you are not alone.

    Know that this titanic up-hill battle *will* get easier.

    You are an extremely brave and strong woman, surrounded by people who care for you — even if they haven’t met you in person:)

    You know what has to be done, and I know you will see to it.

    Trial and error is part of learning and builds character.

    Share what you will here, as inspiration if nothing else, but definitely keep a private journal, too.

    xoox’s

  3. Dana Pinder permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:18 pm

    Amber; thank you for sharing your story. I think your story may indeed help others who could be having similar predicaments. Do not be ashamed to discuss your disease. I feel your followers will be more than sympathetic. I know that I am. I KNOW FOR CERTAIN that your vegan diet did not cause these problems; agreeing with you that it’s probably helped save you. I am happy that you have found doctors that are LISTENING ~ doctors that listen are hard to find along with doctors that will understand your vegan diet. I am here for you any time you need to vent. Keep the faith! You WILL MAKE IT THROUGH THIS Amber!!

  4. Kate Feathers permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:19 pm

    You are a great writer! Thanks for sharing. You’ll help people with this, since you are so invested in healing, have tons of knowledge, practical advice and communicate in a palatable way. Blessings to you and your family.

  5. Heather permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:20 pm

    Wow… Praying for you and your healing process!

  6. April 3, 2012 7:22 pm

    So respect you for putting it out there Amber and you will prevail! It doesn’t change anything for us and keep on helping others and doing your thing!

  7. Crystal permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:25 pm

    So proud of you. It took a lot for you to share with us. Good luck. No one should ever judge you. Half the battle is finding the right Dr, which it sounds like you finally did. Please keep us posted and know we are here for you.

  8. April 3, 2012 7:28 pm

    No judgement, no advice, just lots of good thoughts for your recovery. Thank you for sharing, Amber, I can only imagine how difficult it was to write this.

  9. April 3, 2012 7:29 pm

    So sorry that you’re having to deal with this, Amber. Best wishes to you as you find your way back to health with your doctor’s help.

  10. April 3, 2012 7:29 pm

    thank you for sharing your story, I think you are very courageous and a role model for all of us. Please don’t say that you failed in any way or that people don’t want to buy your book, it is the opposite, you are an inspiration!
    I think that blogging is a great way to find support and help you with your healing journey. It will work out trust me!

  11. Rhoni permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:30 pm

    You’ve done great girl! Now relax with knowledge of questions answered, enjoy the process of getting married and let everything else fall as it might. You have earned it. You are in the driver’s seat and you do have your eyes wide open with your health. Congrats and you will get through this. All the best.

  12. Marah permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:30 pm

    This was like reading my own biography. I’m making an appointment with an endocrinologist first thing tomorrow morning! Thank you for your courage.

    • April 3, 2012 8:58 pm

      Marah, I’d actually recommend finding a doctor who will take a more holistic approach – endocrinologists are famous for simply testing the TSH and telling you you’re fine. Good luck!

  13. Mallory permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:34 pm

    Your so inspiring! (:
    I am dealing with the recent diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is not nearly as severe as your disease, but it is still a struggle every day.
    I try and take this diagnosis as a positive thing because if you don’t know what the problem is you cannot fix it.
    Keep up your spirit and your veg diet and I will too (:

  14. April 3, 2012 7:37 pm

    thinking of you! hope you get all of your questions answered soon!

  15. April 3, 2012 7:39 pm

    Anyone who would judge you by your diet, condition, or weight is just dead weight! Feel free to be completely dismissive of them. You are a keen, courageous woman who will find your own unique path back to balance. Stay strong! I feel like I am back in touch with the best of Kansas City (my hometown) when I read your posts. You have to continue to tell the world that we are not all barbecued cow and pig addicts! :-D

  16. katie permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:40 pm

    I appreciate you sharing this! Think of all the awareness you will bring to the topic!

  17. April 3, 2012 7:44 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing what you are going through. I totally believe this has been something that doesn’t just pop up overnight. As with most diseases, they usually take many years.

    I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and with your permission, I will be praying for strength as well as complete healing.

    And you will not lose this girl from your readers. I am blessed to have founds you.

  18. bitt permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:46 pm

    Oh Amber, my heart breaks for you. So much good is happening to you with the wedding and your book and it feels so unfair you have to deal with this. I can relate as during my first year of working and planning my wedding I had some horrible health issues unfold that made my wedding really tough.

    I can also relate to getting tons and tons of (often unwarranted) advice. It can be so overwhelming! One of the good things about getting an accurate diagnosis is that finally you have the right resources, but you also have to be very careful to not overwhelm yourself with it. I have to parcel out health info to myself very carefully or it brings on depression and anxiety. You are smart to set limits there. It is hard telling more people too, because everyone will have their 2 cents about it.

    I am hoping you will share a bit about your new diet, provided that it helps you to do so and when you are ready. The only silver lining (and I hate that phrase but it’s all that fits) in this is when people who are so talented like you have to make diet changes, in turn at some point they might be able to provide the community with new recipes for others that have to restrict their diet is similar ways. There are so few resources for raw foods and vegan that are low glycemic and there is a huge window there for more exploration. Please don’t take this as pressure to post those recipes, I’m just confident you will come up with things along the way being the talent you are.

    One last thing: thank you for saying firmly that your diet is not the cause of this! There are many many people who struggle with similar issues and have different diets. Thyroid issues are becoming increasingly common, partly due to toxins we can’t avoid. And no one should expect a diet to be a cure-all. I really admire your ability to face this challenge and remain on a plant-based diet too. Sending you lots of love and strength.

    • April 3, 2012 8:48 pm

      Thank you so much, bitt – that means a great, great deal to me. And thank you again for talking with me about this previously – it really helped me to be able to relate with you on this stuff. I’m lucky to have a blog-friend like you.

  19. April 3, 2012 7:48 pm

    You are brave for sharing this. I can’t imagine you getting anything but support. I bet you’re glad that you’ve been eating the way you have all these years so that you didn’t end up even worse off before getting the diagnosis.

    Good luck with the autoimmune diet. I imagine you’ll get a lot answers from it. Stay strong.

    ~Daniél

  20. April 3, 2012 7:48 pm

    I’m glad that you found a doctor to really listen to you & that you are on your way to healing yourself! No judgement here, in fact I commend you for sharing so much, you should be very proud of yourself & maybe now that it’s out, you will be relieved of some of your stress. Relatively new to your blog & being Vegan, but I will continue to peruse your blog & try your recipes. Prayers for your health & well being.
    Puppy Hugs,
    Wendy

  21. April 3, 2012 7:51 pm

    oh friend, i understand. I can relate, in a similar yet/different way. You live what you preach and i can see your health displayed in your voice, your food, your actions. don’t ever forget that. praying!

  22. April 3, 2012 7:51 pm

    I know it took a lot of bravery for you to write this. You are a strong woman and you are inspiring.

    *hugs*

  23. Kim permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:57 pm

    Perhaps you can write an autoimmune cookbook; I know I would buy that. Once you get used to following the diet, you can get creative, and while it is limited, and difficult to explain to others, I can tell you it’s really not so awful to follow. Finding a good doctor who listens to you and your symptoms is the hardest and most frustrating part of the whole thing, and it is excellent news you were able to do that. Good luck, I’m sending good thought’s your way.

    • April 3, 2012 9:03 pm

      Hey, that’s an idea! Maybe I will someday ;) Thank you Kim!

    • sarah permalink
      April 4, 2012 8:13 am

      This is such a good idea! I am so tired of cookbooks where I can’t make half the recipes because of nightshades, etc.

      p.s. I know you don’t want advice or lectures about your vegan diet, so I’m not going to give them. However, I did want to say that when I started having major health problems (including messed up gut flora) I did start including (local, pastured) meat in my diet because my body was reacting so strongly to legumes and grains. This is not to say what is right for your body, I just wanted to put it out there because it might be the right decision for someone reading these comments.

  24. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe permalink
    April 3, 2012 7:59 pm

    I cannot imagine how much stress you must be under with everything on your plate right now. I really hope you find the answers you’re looking for and I’m just so glad that you have someone as wonderful as Matt to support you through it. Please keep sharing your treatment plan on the blog. You could really help someone out there who might be going through the same stuff but hasn’t made the connection to the cause of it all. I know there’s nothing I can do to help beyond voicing my support, but I’d like to offer you a big internet hug anyway – :::::HUG:::::! And an ear if you ever need one. :)

  25. Ali permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:05 pm

    You are so brave and should be so proud of your strength. Deep breath, and it will be ok! Stay strong :)

  26. April 3, 2012 8:05 pm

    Thankyou and congratulations Amber for not only making a breakthrough but for taking the time, energy and love to share your journey with us. No doubt you will inspire many with this journey and you know as I read this post it actually made me want to support your recipes and almost vegan ways even MORE rather than blame them! And I know many of your followers will feel exactly the same!
    You rock :)

  27. grimconfetti permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:09 pm

    wow amber <3 i understand that must have been really hard to share. but so brave. you are amazing, you know that? you are so determined. and i know, KNOW you will heal yourself. so happy for you for finding a good doctor, and for having the motivation to take care of YOU! you are inspiring to me and anyone else who is suffering internally. lots of love.

  28. Kirsty permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:10 pm

    I know you don’t want advice and I’m certainly not someone who can provide it, but don’t be dismayed that your condition might affect your career, you do a wonderful job and I love your blog. There is a journalist in Australia who has an Autoimmune disease and she also runs a very successful blog and has an eBook out as well. If you ever feel like checking out what she does you can find her here: http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/

    Good luck and best wishes with your health.

    • April 3, 2012 8:47 pm

      Thank you, Kirsty! And thanks for the recommendation – I remember checking out Sarah’s blog in the past, and considered buying her ebook, but I never did. Maybe now I will! :)

  29. April 3, 2012 8:16 pm

    As you already know I am SO proud of you, and so thrilled that our paths crossed when they did. I look forward to supporting each other during this healing process. My gut is so damaged right now, that I am not absorbing most vitamins, minerals (especially magnesium), or even protein. I am in this with you Amber. I wish that we were both feeling better so that I could grab you for an adventure in Chicago at Nourished next week.

    • April 3, 2012 8:47 pm

      Thank you Marisa <3 I'm having particular problems with magnesium and protein, too.
      What I wouldn't give to jet off to Nourished with you!

  30. Kelly permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:16 pm

    Awww, big hugs to you((())) I will keep you in my prayers for your continued recovery!!! And as scary as it is to open yourself up, you undoubtedly have helped others who may be experiencing some of the same symptoms you have but haven’t gotten answers yet. And I’m happy to tell you that I just received your cookbook today (yay!) and it’s beautiful and I can’t wait to try out your recipes. Take care!!

  31. fitnessoversixty permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:19 pm

    No shame, Amber. Although I do not know you, something tells me you will be an expert nutritionist regarding diseases like Hashimoto; I will be watching for you on Dr. Oz! Food disorders do not make one ignorant or incompetent, and only fools would judge you based on your candid “confession”. Until the day you reach your career goals, I for one anticipate your continued recipes, blog, and cookbooks!

    You set yourself free and I wish you the best.

    Carecia

  32. April 3, 2012 8:23 pm

    Knowing is half the battle.
    One day at a time.
    Breath in. Breath out.

    Those are all the cliches I can come up with right now. But, as cliched as cliches are, they’re true. Thank you for sharing your story, Amber. May the force be with you. (haha – couldn’t resist that one)

    *I hope this post doesn’t read any way other than with lighthearted sincerity

  33. hotsleep permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:25 pm

    I am so sorry to hear you are going through this, it was so incredibly brave of you to post this, ecspecially considering your line of work. I agree with other posters, and totally agree that it does not sound like your condition has been worsened by your diet, but i thave otally understand your fears that people will yhink that. You are so dedicated, at least you are going into this equipped better than most to deal with it, and it sounds like you have hopefully caught relatively early in terms of your body. Best of luck to, i look forward to hearing about your recovery, and this news will certainly not stop me from purchasing your book :)

  34. April 3, 2012 8:34 pm

    Amber, thanks for sharing your story. Don’t fret about the critics – just remember that no one is perfect and the people who are the most critical are often the most insecure. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been sick, especially when you’ve had so much going on in your life. I imagine that your journey to wellness will only make you a better chef, blogger, and author. You’ll understand what it’s like to feel unwell, and to be failed by the medical system, which so many other people do – that’s why they seek out people like you. Best of luck in your healing.

  35. April 3, 2012 8:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Can you tell us what tests showed Hashimotos please. I have been testing my thyroid and hormones for years and have always had a low temp but they keep saying nothing is wrong
    Best of luck in your journey knowledge is power! Cheers

  36. April 3, 2012 8:38 pm

    Good for you for facing your fears and sharing. Never, EVER be afraid to share your truth. Always be willing to be judged, and you will be at the effect of NO ONE and NO THING…and then you end up finding that you will receive more support and love than you ever thought imaginable. I highly doubt many people, if any, are going to find your cookbook any less inspiring or your blog any less valid due to your personal health issues. Shit happens, and I am a firm believer of ‘nothing by accident’ and ‘everything has a purpose’. This is probably leading you to a higher purpose you didn’t even realize existed. Life rarely shows up the way we expect or plan for it. Those who wish to continue being vegan and raw for whatever reason will still use your wonderful recipes as inspiration. I think you are very wise for just letting go and allowing your doctors to do the work for you. Now you can get back to focusing on YOU and celebrate your wedding and the release of your book. Too many good things happening in your life to allow anything to distract you.

    You and I have spoken privately about my struggles as well, and I have been about as low as anyone could get with this thing. Auto-immune is no fun day in the park, even the slightest of hypo or hyper thyroids is enough to drive a balanced woman insane. So I totally understand the need to find answers and spending every waking moment looking for them. But I will tell you that when I finally decided to let of all of that, I finally allowed other possibilities to come into my life…things that got me going on a more positive path and, leading me to the people, products, and ideas that could help. It’s like what we spend our time focusing upon is what will show up in our physical lives. It required a lot of giving up of old belief systems and letting go of many ideas I had in order for this occur. I definitely am NOT the same person now as I was when I began my journey. The interesting thing I also discovered was that every time I was reading about different symptoms, I would actually DEVELOP those symptoms that I either did not currently have, or the ones I had would get stronger and then every single thing I had been reading would just fall into place. It’s as if I were purchasing all these other points of view and then making them true for me. I learned that while well-intentioned and well-researched, not every book has all the answer, and not every person with ‘M.D’ attached to his/her name is the leading authority over our bodies. We are all so different, and we could be experiencing the same issue but require totally different methods of healing.

    So as per your request and wishes, I will refrain from giving you my ideas on this (mine, are you probably have figured out by now, are a bit different than the mainstream world). BUT…if you ever decide you require something different or simply want to explore adding on to whatever you are doing now, feel free to e-mail me privately and I will share with you my personal resources. I’m sure you will find your ebb and flow and what works for your body, and hopefully one day you can live a life that’s less restricted. It’s totally possible!

    Hugs,
    Trish xoxo

    • April 3, 2012 8:49 pm

      Oh Trish, thank you so so much, both for this comment AND for our prior exchanges wherein we discussed this stuff. You are right in so many ways, and your conception of “purchasing” various signs and symptoms that we waste time reading and worrying about rings true to me. I’m actually very thankful to have the “hard evidence” these new lab results provide, as it’s far less subjective than my feelings and over-worrying. I will definitely let you know if/when I’m ready to try some other healing modalities – I know you’re my girl. :) THANK YOU!

  37. April 3, 2012 8:39 pm

    Hang in there, Amber. We’re here for you. Do what you have to do, and know that we have your back. Thank you for sharing this with us, and for all you do.
    Enjoying the book!

  38. April 3, 2012 8:41 pm

    Thank you for sharing such a transparent post! I’ll be praying for your healing. I know too many people with thyroid issues. I am even afraid of finding out about mine because I know doctors have been wanting to test me for a while. I had high prolactin levels in my pituitary BEFORE I even got pregnant but I had normal levels in my thyroid, The doctors wanted to scan and I hate having to go through that. I know it has to be with going up and down with my weight but I am glad you got a diagnosis and on the road to recovery. You’ve come this far! I send you a hug!

  39. Katie M. permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:42 pm

    My sister just got diagnosed with Hashi’s! She wishes everyone knew that an Endocrinologist isn’t necessarily the answer because like you said they tend to only study TSH levels. If people think they have a Thyroid disorder its best to find someone who main focus is thyroid disorders. After years of battling with doctors who said her levels were “normal” or “borderline” and them not doing anythign despite her complaints of weight gain despite severely restricted diet and heaps of exercise, feeling exhausted even after 12-14 hours of sleep and feeling freezing all of the time she finally got put on meds that are helping.

    • April 3, 2012 8:45 pm

      Wow Katie, your sister has my sympathies – you could easily have been describing ME in what you just wrote! I completely agree, endocrinologists are part of the problem, not the solution. My best wishes to your sis!

  40. April 3, 2012 8:48 pm

    I’m feeling your pain. I also have Hashimotos as well as a range of auto immune issues. If you’ve been doing all this while being knocked down with Hashi’s just wait…. I felt like Superwoman once my levels started to normalize.
    I’m rooting for you and (as a fellow knowledge junkie) I can’t wait to read your future posts on this topic.

  41. April 3, 2012 8:48 pm

    Hey lady! I feel for you, and your scenario has a small parallel to my own. Just know that this is no karma, and nothing that you deserve, but that sometimes people do have illnesses or conditions that simply happen. I’m somewhere between strict vegetarian and vegan- I have had my health concerns related to diet and there is simply no correlation. You ARE a role model. Know and love yourself as such as you will never be any less impressive. Xo

  42. April 3, 2012 8:55 pm

    thank you for sharing your story – My best wishes to you while you heel – keep smiling :-)

  43. hungryvegantraveler permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:56 pm

    Whew! I know that was difficult to write, but I bet you feel a whole helluva lot better now, Amber. What you’re going through sucks, but I feel confident that you’re gonna knock all of this stuff out LIKE A BOSS.

    xoxo

  44. April 3, 2012 8:56 pm

    We would NEVER abandon you because of this! You are very brave for sharing your story. I think it’s so very easy for food bloggers to gloss over our own struggles because we all think, “who’d want to hear THAT?!?” But, you’ve built a community of followers that care about you – even if we’ve never met you. So, of course we want to know that you’re struggling with something big. And of course we’ll be here to support you.

    I’m a total information junkie, too – and I also totally understand about information overload. So, I will spare you any ‘advice’ I might have and just say, if you need anything – you know where to find me. Hugs.

    • April 3, 2012 9:11 pm

      Thank you SO much, Deanna! I totally agree. It feels good to have “gotten it out there” now, though. Thanks for your support!

  45. Amy Cafer permalink
    April 3, 2012 8:57 pm

    Amber I just bought your book and after reading this post I love it and you even more. I have struggled with many of these issues in the past and can relate. You have been amazingly strong to have accomplished so much with these struggles. I think sharing parts of Your journey back to health would be very helpful for you and others. Sending You healing thoughts…..

  46. Tame permalink
    April 3, 2012 9:01 pm

    thank you for sharing something so personal and life-altering with us, your readers! Know that we stand behind you, beside you, and continue to find you an inspiration!! Peace, light, and love to you & yours~~~

    Tame

  47. Rachel permalink
    April 3, 2012 9:12 pm

    Amber- remember be from Living Light, Rachel, I have similar problems, and obsession of knowledge and not quitting. I just finished a book called “Adrenal Fatigue” that has given me focus and inspiration to rebuild my triple adrenal burnout. But your story tells me I should search more for the right doctor, since my muscles have been in atrophy for years, among the laundry list of other symptoms, much like yours. I have always gotten the same responses “your fine/normal.” Thanks for sharing with us. It does help others.

    • April 3, 2012 9:13 pm

      It’s so wonderful to hear from you, Rachel! Yes, finding the right doctor can be a big step. Best of luck to you with your health issues! I’m rooting for you. :)

  48. April 3, 2012 9:15 pm

    Your testimory in itself is probably one of the most healing things you could have done. You are so amazing for your young age. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this at all. I’m thinking of you, and even though I met you once on an airplane, I’ve kept in touch with you through your postings and am so in awe of what you are accomplishing. Keep up the wonderful work that you do. Sending love and healing thoughts your way.

  49. April 3, 2012 9:25 pm

    You are SO brave, and I am proud of you for “coming out”. You will probably find that people are actually more supportive on your road to recovery and healing, and interested in how you cope with this. It will give other people that also suffer from Hashi’s the strength to go on and a explore a better way of eating. It will work out and you will gain strength from this as well.
    Pamela

  50. April 3, 2012 9:30 pm

    Thank you for your bravery, Amber. I commend you for not giving up and continuing to search for answers even when your doctors tried to tell you that your health was fine. I send you healing energy on your path to health and wellness.

  51. April 3, 2012 9:56 pm

    You are so brave for sharing this… and I absolutely love you for it. My heart is swelling right now because I hate knowing that you have so much fear about how sharing this might affect your image/influence/importance in our community. If anything, your openness and commitment strengthens your presence in our eyes! I hope you start to feel pride for all that you’ve accomplished and overcome and for what you are so boldly facing now.

    I have felt some of the same guilt of having “done everything right” according to diet and exercise and still having a health condition that is out of my control – I have very high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. I’ve felt that fear of thinking “Now no one will take me or any vegan seriously when we say this way of living equals health! I’m such a hypocrite!”. You are absolutely not alone.

    Thank you for your strength, perseverance, and trust in your friends and followers. We are always here for you! <3

    • April 3, 2012 10:07 pm

      Thank you SO much for relating to me, Katie. I absolutely know the feeling you’re talking about. I’m grateful for your support and encouragement.

  52. April 3, 2012 10:36 pm

    I also want to say thank you for having the courage and strength to explain your situation. I’m sure your post will help others who also have Hashimoto’s or similar diseases. I am amazed by everything you have accomplished so far, even more now that you have had to deal with this, and wish you good health and happiness in the future!

  53. April 3, 2012 10:44 pm

    Amber I am so sorry you are going through this and thank you for your honesty and for sharing it all. Please know you are in my thoughts and I understand what you mean about people thinking, that your diet could have caused this…on the contrary! If it wasn’t for your dietary path, you’d probably be wayyyy worse off.

    And the elimination diet you are doing…hang in there with that. And with your health and with finding solutions. It’s an epic battle, you can do it!

  54. April 3, 2012 10:46 pm

    Endless love and support (as you know you always, and will always, have from me). So proud of you for recognising that this is not something you need to hide, that you have nothing to make excuses for, and for speaking with such honesty and candour. And just look – so many, many people finding strength from your strength in turn. Shining. xo

    • April 4, 2012 9:39 am

      All I can say to you is: thank you. We both know you’ve been there for me for a long time. I don’t know what I’d do without you.

      • April 4, 2012 10:15 pm

        xoxoxo times a billion squillion.

        P.S. There’d be far less balls jokes, for one.

  55. Tina Edwards permalink
    April 3, 2012 11:15 pm

    I am so glad you shared this! I have a friend who eats very little and still gains weight, she has high levels of testosterone as well.. now after reading this, I wonder if maybe she may have the same thing? I will have her read this and hopefully she can get the right treatments now… Thank you so much! I am so glad you now have answers and I for one will still continue to follow your posts, get the book and in no way do I think it is due to your current diet… You should give us all more credit!! lol, just kidding.. I’m sure you will see that most of us are supportive and not critical.

    • April 4, 2012 9:40 am

      Anything’s possible – she may want to get a bunch of tests done too, just to see what comes up. Good luck to her, and thanks for your support! :)

  56. sharanya permalink
    April 3, 2012 11:24 pm

    Kudos to you for being so brave to share ur story.I have a son with severe allergies and I understand very well about auto immune disorders.Being vegan is what has helped him get better.I wish you a very speedy recovery and so glad you have found the right doctors which itself is a big problem..
    I think your story will help many..Good luck..

  57. molly009 permalink
    April 3, 2012 11:29 pm

    I have never commented before, but I wanted to extend a virtual hug to you and express how much I admire your bravery and honesty. I’m certain you will emerge from this triumphant. xoxo

  58. April 3, 2012 11:46 pm

    Awwh Amber.

    First off – thank you for writing this post! Often I feel frustrated reading blogs that aren’t “real” so this post is amazing and thank you for sharing! You are very loved in the blogging community and this won’t change that (as far as I’m concerned) If anyone can do this, it’s you! I wish you luck. Keep us posted and let us know if you need anything from us.

  59. cheezyk permalink
    April 3, 2012 11:59 pm

    Hi, spotted a note on Hannah’s Twitter side bar that prompted me to pop over today (just in case you’re wondering who the random new commenter is).

    Your honesty is overwhelming. Wishing you strength and success.

  60. April 4, 2012 12:26 am

    A standing ovation from me right over here! Awesome job–I so admire the manner in which you’ve shared this. I especially admire how upbeat and positive a message you project in the midst of all the anguish. Coach Cher said something in your interview about how you had put messages out to the universe and they had come back to you in time–I think this is another example. You will heal, and this whole experience, unique and painful as it has been, will make you even stronger and more powerful and more of a force to help others.

    I can’t wait to talk more in person about all this, maybe brainstorm some palatable food on the plan, compare notes. Meanwhile, best of luck with the move.
    love
    Ela

    • April 4, 2012 9:47 am

      Thank you, Ela – for this comment and for all the other comments and emails and conversations prior. It’s been a relief to have someone to relate to on some of these things. Yes, can’t wait for our next Skype date!

      • April 4, 2012 10:27 am

        Hey Amber,

        I’m so happy to see the outpouring of love you’re receiving here–fine validation for your so courageously executed decision.

        Forgot to say how pleased I am that you’re getting some actual data to work with–as depressing as they might sound initially, diagnosis can be a huge relief in terms of defining the terrain and knowing where to begin.

        So many commonalities too–I too was deficient in everything except a couple things I was supplementing. Etc.
        Looking forward to talking, and best of luck with the move.
        love
        Ela

      • April 4, 2012 10:31 am

        The cascade of support has been shocking – and I just posted this last night! I never expected this.

        And yes – I’m all about hard data; I don’t trust “feelings” ;)

        Talk soon!

  61. April 4, 2012 12:42 am

    I’m so GLAD you shared this. Your sharing has pushed me over the edge to find a new doctor. It’s been a while that I have been hearing my inner voice nagging me to do the search. I’m a Type I Diabetic on an insulin pump, I’ve taken excellent care of myself and I’m struggling with the same thyroid issues and have an endocrinologist that poo-poos me when I drag all my books into my quarterly appointments. I went raw/vegan a year ago and I’m off all my heart meds, but now my system is getting over the shock of raw food, I am starting to gain again, my skin is dry, my hair is falling out, I have ridges in my nails, I’m FREAKING out. People say the same thing to me about looking great, but in comparison to my 45 year old friends who haven’t taken care of themselves I DO look great, and in comparison to my Dr.’s patients who don’t even bother to take their blood sugar readings, I look like a complete super model, but I know something’s drastically wrong.

    I’m inspired by everything you’re doing and soooooo rooting for you to get better. It sounds like you’ve found a Dr. that actually listens to you and is going to work with you, that is the absolute doctor lotto! Everything happens for a reason <3 Thank you again for sharing.

  62. momof2gremlins permalink
    April 4, 2012 1:04 am

    (((Hugs)))
    I’m sorry for you going through this and seriously applaud you for sharing this with your readers!! I will certainly continue reading your blog as I’ve always enjoyed it tremendously! =)

    Hang in there!!!

  63. Jamie permalink
    April 4, 2012 1:49 am

    Thank you for sharing! I too suffer from hypothyroid and hasimotos. I take synthroid and it has helped immensely. It sounds like you have done a lot of research and I look forward to hearing what works for you and possibly trying them too. Take care, it will get better! <3

    • April 4, 2012 9:53 am

      Synthroid would be a death sentence for me, unfortunately, as my body can’t convert T4 to T3…and instead converts it to reverse T3, which clogs up the cell receptors and doesn’t allow T3 to reach the mitochondria…it’s a long explanation. But I’m SO happy to hear it’s helped you – it’s wonderful that you’ve found something that works!

  64. Connie permalink
    April 4, 2012 1:51 am

    Thank you for sharing and I hope this has lifted a burden off of your shoulders. I know it wasn’t easy. I am so sorry that you are going through this,
    I’m not sure what you beleive but am adding you to my prayer list.

  65. Lauren permalink
    April 4, 2012 2:05 am

    <3
    Congratulations on taking the step to sharing all this – can't be easy. I'm betting/hoping it feels good to have an explanation out there though, and to get it off your chest? That takes great courage to share something so personal to you, so good on you for doing so AND for waiting until you were ready to! I hope the changes show positive signs for you, even if they're difficult!

    One thing stood out, and I hope you don't mind my inquiring. There's a toxicity level for Vitamin D? About a year and a half, maybe 2 years ago, my doctor found my Vitamin D was 3x the high end of the scale (she also said they were about to increase the recommended range, not sure if that happened) but she said it wasn't something you could overdose on. I think it may have been from the soy milk I was drinking regularly, not sure. Also not sure what my levels are now/if they've been checked on my regular blood tests, but no one else has mentioned it. Just curious as someone with high Vit D as well!

    Also, I've had my fair share of dealing with eating disorders in past and not-so-past so if you ever want someone to talk to about it, I'm willing to lend an ear. It's kind of how a raw diet has become so enticing to me. It's full of foods I've always loved and felt good eating, but includes enough to be healthy and nutritious AND without including foods that have caused problems for me, regardless of my state of recovery. It's made sense, and NOT as an excuse to avoid certain foods (I've thought a looong time about whether my attraction to the diet was just to please those old demons). I don't know how much sense that makes right now, but hopefully you know what I'm trying to say!

    Even though I haven't been following your blog that long, I feel like you're a super awesome, driven, amazzzzzing person so I hope for all the best and all good things in this recovery process for you! I hope hope hope things get improve quickly! Stay positive – it sounds like this will finally bring some real changes for you! I'm so glad you've found a good doctor, too. Hopefully this mystery illness is no longer a mystery!

    Take care, take your time, and take it easy on you. :)

    L

    • April 4, 2012 10:01 am

      Yes, vitamin D can be toxic! It’s technically a hormone, not a vitamin, AND it’s fat-soluble, which means it can store up over time. On top of that, you have to measure blood D and storage D separately, because like me, you may be low in one and high in the other.

      And re: raw food and eating disorders, what you said makes PERFECT sense. I agree 100% and have had those same feelings and uneasy questions.

      Thank you so much, Lauren!

  66. April 4, 2012 2:39 am

    Wow, Bravo. I couldn’t imagine the courage this must have taken. You are a very strong soul, to not give up and keep on doing what you do. Inspiring post. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

  67. April 4, 2012 2:45 am

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through, but appreciate your sharing it– I’m sure you will help many others in the process! Glad you’ve found a doctor you can trust (such a challenge!), and that you’re making the necessary steps to restore your health. We’ll all be here routing for you!

    Sending you hugs, and hope we can catch up when I’m in town next!

    • April 4, 2012 10:02 am

      Thanks Megan! And yes, hopefully by the time you’re in town next I’ll be allowed to drink wine again ;)

      • April 5, 2012 12:17 am

        Talk about timing… I just found out that I’ll be there in two weeks! Probably too soon for wine, but maybe we could grab some tea? ;)

      • April 5, 2012 9:33 am

        Damn! Figures. I actually can’t even have tea – it’s too stimulating to a compromised immune system :( BUT I might still be swamped with moving stuff to the new place, anyway…so how about a rain check for next time? I know it’s only a matter of time till you come back. :)

  68. April 4, 2012 4:00 am

    Amber, no one is going to judge you negatively. The book, the diet that you’ve done so far is part of your journey. Healing oneself is a journey that takes commitment. THis is what you have and are demonstrating. See the goal – freedom from Hashimoto’s – the first cookbook will be the first rung on the ladder for others too. In life we have to force ourselves to be better, live stronger and be more honest and open. You are paving the way. Carry on girl! All the best to you! I hope you find the answers you seek for yourself soon. Very soon. Do you know Brittany at http://www.realsustenance.com? If you don’t yet, I encourage you to contact her. You two could make an awesome collaboration. x

    • April 4, 2012 10:03 am

      Thank you so much, Indialeigh!

      And yes, I do know Brittany – we’ve emailed back and forth quite a bit these last couple months – she’s helped me a lot with navigating this diagnosis. :)

  69. Tina permalink
    April 4, 2012 4:05 am

    Hi Amber, you have really inspired me, it’s like I would read my own story, I can’t wait for more information you can share, because I also don’t know waht else I can do, I have tried almost everything. I support you and wish you a good luck!
    Hugs,
    Tina

    • April 4, 2012 10:06 am

      Hi Tina – I’ve already gotten numerous emails and comments from women who say my story sounds eerily like their own! I had no idea there would be such an outpouring of support – but as a result I have decided to share more about my diet and process of healing soon. <3

  70. Sarah Chapin permalink
    April 4, 2012 4:17 am

    Amber,
    Thank you for sharing your experience and my heart goes out to you-the inner struggle and the fears on top of. You continue to amaze me-your character, your creativity and your contributions. We all care about you at Hail and are here for you. Will be following what you choose to share. One of the great gifts you possess is communication and whatever you share you will have receptive audience. It is ok to keep private aspects of your life-and respected. But if and as you share, know that you continue to heal others. Here for you if you ever need-
    Sarah C

  71. Rhi permalink
    April 4, 2012 5:13 am

    Nothing but love to you from down here… So sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. :(
    Remember if you and Matt need a break, come down and visit once it’s all sorted – we’ll look after you!!! xxx

  72. April 4, 2012 6:46 am

    wow- amber, you’ve been through so much! what a personal and heart-wrenching post. you are such a strong and amazing woman and i have no doubt you will be able to get your disease under control to the point where you will feel healthy and fit again. you are an amazing and inspiring woman.

  73. Rachel permalink
    April 4, 2012 7:09 am

    xx

  74. Michelle Piccolo permalink
    April 4, 2012 7:28 am

    Wow what an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing this! I work for Life Time Fitness and we promote “digging deeper” all the time to our clients who “just don’t feel right” and their doctors told them those same things your initial doc did. I can’t say it enough, Ask questions and get lab tests done and INSIST on finding out what they MEAN. Don’t settle for “You’re fine” when you know your body better than anyone. Now that you have this diagnosis, you’re going to get back on that path to optimal health. Good luck to you and hey, be sure to journal all this. Instead of a cookbook next time around, you could be writing about this disease and how you got through it as an inspiration to others!

    • April 4, 2012 10:19 am

      I’m so glad you encourage people to dig deeper when it comes to their health – I completely support that message.

      A couple people have suggested a book about it…even my fiance Matt said I should write a book about my life and health and mental struggles. Who knows! If a publisher was interested, I could very well see myself doing just that. ;) Thank you Michelle!

  75. Faye@RawLawyer.com permalink
    April 4, 2012 7:42 am

    It was a brave thing to share this and I’m confident that the support of your community here will be wildly encouraging during your recovery process. Hoping you recover quickly.

  76. Angela permalink
    April 4, 2012 7:48 am

    Amber,
    We all love you & know that your diet isn’t to blame. You are & will always be a true inspiration to me & so many others. Take care of yourself & get well!

  77. April 4, 2012 8:31 am

    Amber, your fellow Hot Raw Chef is sending you love, encouragement and prayers for measurable results. Hang tough. The first step is the most difficult. Feel the love from the community and know that you will be supported.

  78. eatinglocalinthelou permalink
    April 4, 2012 9:11 am

    Amber, you are one courageous and strong woman and quite an inspiration! This was a beautiful and heartfelt post that I am sure was in a way cathartic for you. Please know that your followers believe in you, are here for you and want what is best for you to heal and be well. Take care of yourself and thanks so much for sharing!

  79. April 4, 2012 9:17 am

    Hi Amber. I haven’t been on the computer much this week, as it is my son’s spring break. However, I have been periodically checking my e-mails for things that can’t wait, and I couldn’t wait to read this post. Just wanted to let you know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I applaud your bravery for putting this out there. Your true fans care about you and aren’t going to stop supporting you.

  80. Brenda permalink
    April 4, 2012 9:30 am

    Amber,
    I am so sorry that you’ve been under so much stress and please don’t feel like you owe anyone an explanation of anything. You only have to answer to one person……..youself. There should be no shame in being ill. Your so very lucky to have found a doctor who knew the right tests to run on your to diagnose you and help you get the right drugs and methods to heal yourself. You could have gone on the rest of your life and never known what was wrong. Consider yourself very blessed to be on the path to good health. I am not a vegan. I am a senior citizen who just enjoyed finding new ways to fix vegetables. I enjoy your blog. Continue as you’re able to write and don’t be shy about telling your readers what your personal journey to regain your health entails. I’m sure there are many like myself that are interested and many who may have the same symptoms who could be helped by your journey and research.

    • April 4, 2012 10:29 am

      Brenda, thank you so much. I do feel incredibly lucky that, even though it took me three years to get to this point, I’m here now and can hopefully begin to correct my health. I never expected this one post to have helped so many people already, but the response has been so enormous that I’ve decided to continue sharing what’s going on as I regain my wellness. Thank you! <3

  81. April 4, 2012 9:40 am

    Thank you for sharing your story–I know it it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I am so sorry to hear about the problems you’ve been having, but I’m glad you were finally able to find a doctor that could provide some answers and that you now have a plan in place to help get the disease under control and restore your health. We’re all pulling for you! :)

  82. April 4, 2012 10:02 am

    It’s incredible what you’ve had to deal with and I can’t imagine what that’s like. I truly hope that you do heal yourself and that you are able to get back to where you were before. I know how much you value your health and fitness. I would find it hard if I had those things taken from me. But now that you have a plan and answers, I think you’ll come out on the other side of this better for the struggle. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to share this, but I hope that sharing it will ease some of the burden. Stay strong.

    • April 4, 2012 10:05 am

      Thanks, Brett. You of all people know how anal I am about my health and how hard I tried, after coming back from Europe, to lose weight. Thanks for your understanding and support. I better see you at my wedding in September!

  83. April 4, 2012 10:32 am

    Thank you so much for your courage in posting this. I too am recovering from a history of eating disorders and I am a vegan with Hashimoto’s. You *can* get better and you will find your way to health and happiness. I’ve been going through the fun times with good old Hashimofo for about a year now and my first fears were that people were going to blame my veganism for the disease. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten nothing but love and support for my decision to stay vegan—even from my endocrinologist! Getting better every day and I wish you the same. PS I love your blog!

    • April 4, 2012 10:36 am

      Thank you, Maria! I too have received nothing but support so far – it’s blown me away. Thanks for relating to me too about dear old Hashi’s + veganism. I’m happy to hear your health is improving – please keep me posted on your treatment and your progress; we’re in this together!

  84. juliecote permalink
    April 4, 2012 10:39 am

    Hi Amber,
    I’m usually a “silent” reader of your blog, but I thought I wouldn’t be so silent for once.
    I just wanted to say that you were and still are an inspiration to me on going “almost” vegan and if that had not been for your blog, I don’t know if I would have done it. Even if this new challenge you are facing is very scary, do not think that people will be less inspired by you, as this last post of yours is the proof that you are inspiring, even in the way you deal with such difficulties.

    Good luck with your recovery and keep us posted if you feel like it!

  85. Sara permalink
    April 4, 2012 10:54 am

    Thank you so so much for posting this! I have been going through a very similar situation the past couple of years and it can be extremely lonely especially when you don’t know anyone who is going through the same thing or has the same thing. I have also gone through numerous doctors and have finally found one that has ordered several tests which has brought to light more health issues than I could have imagined. When the time is right for you I would really love to hear more about the recommendations your doctor has made. Again thank you so much! You have made me feel like I am not alone :)

    • April 4, 2012 10:56 am

      Thank you so much for commenting, Sara! Yes, “lonely” is a very apt term for how I’ve felt. I can’t believe how many people have come forward since yesterday to say they relate to me on these things. I am planning to share more about my healing process down the road – please keep me posted on your progress as well!

  86. carrieonvegan permalink
    April 4, 2012 10:58 am

    Amber, I have this too! I was diagnosed about 3 years ago. I have had similar symptoms, but not to the extent you have. Have you found any books or resources that give you clear ways to manage the disease? My doctor just monitors my TSH levels, I haven’t had any other guidance. Thanks so much for posting this, I am very interested in following your progress, it sounds like you are doing great despite how scary it is to have something “wrong” with you.

    • April 4, 2012 11:05 am

      Carrie, you’re kidding! Wow. Definitely please dig deeper into this, as TSH can’t tell you anything about your thyroid at all if you have Hashi’s (I don’t know how they even diagnosed you if that’s all they tested!). I would start by reading Dr. Kharrazian’s book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal. It’s eye-opening, to say the least. Then, if you feel confident you do have Hashi’s, I would find a doctor near you who was personally trained by Dr. K – you can search at http://www.thyroidconnections.com/. I would NOT recommend seeing an endocrinologist or a conventionally-trained MD – they will just tell you you’re fine, and that TSH is all that matters!

  87. Sonnet permalink
    April 4, 2012 11:01 am

    Hi Amber – thank you so much for having the courage to share your story with us here. I cannot imagine the stress and frustration this must have caused you for all these years. I am so glad that you finally found a doctor that could help you figure out what was wrong. Good luck to you in your journey towards better health and I’ll be sending positive energy your way. :) Take care.

  88. JL goes Vegan permalink
    April 4, 2012 11:05 am

    I have it, too! It was one of the reasons I jumped off the marathon /half-marathon training circuit. I realized I was training to keep my weight off (instead of running for the love of it) yet I wasn’t able to eat the way distance runners were able to – essentially running crazy miles and STILL dieting! Something was clearly off. After several years on Synthroid + nutritional counseling and cleanses my thyroid is stable and I’m simply embracing a rounder me.

    I had my journey and you’ll have yours – and I’ll be here cheering you on your way to better health!

    • April 4, 2012 11:12 am

      JL, thank you! I think all my running only made me worse, too. Now I can’t run anyway because of the extra weight, but that’s ok. I’m happy you’ve found balance! When I’d gained just 10 lbs, I thought maybe I could just get used to it and embrace it, but now that I’m 30 lbs heavier and still gaining (and my body fat is approaching 40% – extremely dangerous), it’s a relief that I may have found path to healing. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  89. April 4, 2012 11:07 am

    I just have to say, the way you’ve been rockin’ it, you’d never know and I’m glad you’ve got Matt as I know he’s got your back like no other! I wish you all the best on what I know will be a slow road. I have a close friend with thyroid-related issues and my scientific conclusion is that they are tricky little bastards. I hope you start feeling better!

    Also, thank you. I fell off my healthy-eating wagon a while back, and your cookbook/blog provides me with the inspiration to get back on it (made smashed avocado salads just last night. We also battled with a coconut in what I’m sure was the most uneducated fashion possible, but it was worth it). So thank you for what you do.

    I can’t imagine the mountains you’ll conquer when your energy level return and hope to see you soon!

    • April 4, 2012 11:14 am

      Thank you, Rachelle – yes, I quite literally can’t imagine what I would do without Matt. I am so, so lucky to have him.

      I’m glad you’re trying my recipes, too! Hehe, coconuts can be tricky…but so tasty.
      Thanks for your support and friendship. :)

  90. April 4, 2012 11:38 am

    So sorry that you have been going through all of this. I second Bitt with the fact that you are only going to blossom more now because you at least aren’t “stressed” about keeping it under wraps-and somehow it will probably influence types of dishes you may present in the future. So many people are affected by thyroid issues and you are such a sleuth & an amazing recipe maker (careful no to say “cook”)-that it may be in the end you are the “go to” girl to help other people with similar sorts of issues figure out what types of healing stuffs may work for them. You are awesome & kudos to you for writing this-you will no doubt, only gain more fans. Thankfully you have an actual “diagnosis” now-and kudos to keep going to find out “what” is wrong. It is disconcerting that a doctor dismisses a 30 pound weight gain, even if you are still a “fine” weight. It seems obvious that a weight gain could mean ovarian cancer, water retention from something else, less treatable that Hashi’s, etc….So it’s bothersome that anyone would overlook that in the least. A reminder that we each truly have to be responsible for our own health. As the doctors & lab tests are not the holy grail.

  91. Karen permalink
    April 4, 2012 12:29 pm

    I have never read your book or blogs before and came across your “admission” if you will, via Tanyas Facebook. I can honestly say that I would be more than happy to follow your blog or buy your book as you are clearly a very courageous woman who has hit a bump in the road (although a rather large one). Good luck in healing, I don’t know you but am confident you will continue to eat well, live life and be a great success in spite of this disease!
    Congratulations on the engagement. Enjoy!

  92. April 4, 2012 1:03 pm

    I’m so sorry you had this happen to you. I have had Hashimoto’s for 19 years and it isn’t fun. I am always in search of how to ease symptoms and feel better, so I hope you will share your journey on getting well i.e. what vitamins you are taking, what different things the doctors have you try. Congrats on getting a good doctor that is really hard to find. Best of luck!

  93. April 4, 2012 1:07 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this,you are so brave! I have had some of those symptomps you have,like gaining so much weight and not getting rid of it in spite what I do. I did test for THS some time ago (blood test) but it was normal. Now thanks to your post I will know what to ask my doctor.. Hang on there Amber!

  94. Tracy permalink
    April 4, 2012 1:47 pm

    Amber, I applaud you for staying so strong in a scary and uncertan time. My best friend has an auto-immune disease and it literally took 5 years to be properly diagnosed. From what you wrote I can see that you are an advocate for your own health, please don’t forget that! I am sending you healing energy. Keep up the amazing work on your blog- this is one reader who craves reading what you have to write!

  95. Hilda Quintanilla permalink
    April 4, 2012 1:59 pm

    I too have this disease. Went to 11 specialists before being diagnosed. The depression and thoughts that enter the mind stink! God used this along with being diagnosed with panic disorder and phobias to bring me closer to Him. My situation hasn’t changed completely, (though i was healed of panic disorder and phonias) but my heart, mind and spirit have – and that brings me peace. Praying hard for your healing and peace.

  96. Hilda Quintanilla permalink
    April 4, 2012 2:03 pm

    Don’t let the devil steal your joy! His game is lying and his playground is our mind. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knows God has an amazing plan for your life – (plans to prosper you and not harm you) and is trying his best to not let you have it.

  97. Janine Carpenter permalink
    April 4, 2012 2:50 pm

    I have suffered from Hashimoto’s for years and yet to find a doctor who fully understands this disease. The thing I do know, is that since it is an autoimmune disease, it will eventually start moving beond your thyroid. I just had to have a hysterectomey as that was attacked during and “event” and mamy other issues can be atributed to it. I am glad that you are finding your way back to health! This disease is devastating.

    • April 4, 2012 2:56 pm

      That is frightening, Janine – I’m so sorry to hear that. Keep searching for a doctor. All my fingers and toes are crossed that my new doctor will be able to help me.

  98. Sue M permalink
    April 4, 2012 3:03 pm

    First, let me say what an amazing inspiration you are! You are facing your illness head on and with your fighting attitude I have no doubt you will overcome it. I felt so sad reading everything you have been through over the past three years – all while putting on such a happy face even though you had so much to deal with. You are so fortunate to have found a doctor who got to the real cause of your problem – many people would have just accepted the “a little weight gain is normal” and not want to address that their might be a more serious issue. You are such a kind and gentle person – so be kind and gentle to yourself and allow yourself the time to heal. I didn’t think it was possible to think any more highly of you than I already do – but your courage to share your story serves as an inspiration to others! Take care of yourself!

    • April 4, 2012 3:05 pm

      Thank you so very much, Sue – that means the world to me. I do have a terrible tendency to be incredibly hard on myself – I’m working on that. The outpouring of support since yesterday has been amazing – I’m so glad I decided to go ahead and write about all this!

  99. April 4, 2012 3:19 pm

    You are so inspiring! And though I don’t know you, I am so proud of you! I too can understand the frustration at eating a great diet, yet not feeling great (although not to your extent) and it is so difficult. Multiply that by 1000 given all your commitments and current book (which I love by the way).

    You are so strong and this in no way impacts the way I view your recommendations, recipes, book or blog. You are amazing! Good luck with your journey into health again. I’m pulling for you!

  100. April 4, 2012 3:37 pm

    No advice here, but do know that when the time comes, I am here and having healed myself from cancer, ezcema, and currently working on Congestive Heart failure, I know that physical healing is great, but incorporating some emotional healing make be the next step. I know you are overwhelmed now, so I’ll let you come to me. You are in my thoughts.

    • April 4, 2012 3:47 pm

      Thank you, Shanna. I know you of all people know what it’s like to be devastated by disease – far worse than I do. And you are very right – I am all about hard science and facts and measurable physical improvements, but the emotional aspect, I’m not so good at. I’m terribly hard on myself and always have been. I’m looking forward to things calming down after the move next week, and hopefully you and I can meet up soon and discuss all this. <3

  101. April 4, 2012 3:43 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! I, too, have become hypothyroid and lost my period since going vegan, and I know it’s not what I’m eating. I’ve found relief in the Body Ecology Diet, which is an anti-candida cleanse that eliminates the same foods you are avoiding. Best of luck, I know how extremely frustrating this can be!

    • April 4, 2012 3:49 pm

      I’m happy to hear Body Ecology is working for you! Luckily (and somewhat surprisingly), I tested negative for yeast – but there are a lot of similarities between the BED and an autoimmune diet. Hope you continue feeling better and better!

  102. kfaivre permalink
    April 4, 2012 3:57 pm

    No judgments. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. You are a beautiful person and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog AND your new cookbook. Hang in there; we are ALL rooting for you.

  103. Robin permalink
    April 4, 2012 4:46 pm

    Extra big hugs. Hopefully now with a good diagnosis you will be on your way to better health.

  104. April 4, 2012 5:21 pm

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this, you are so brave :) I’m not sure what to write actually, I just want to let you know I’m thinking of you, and sending love and positive healing energy your way :)

  105. Pam permalink
    April 4, 2012 6:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s as well. Like you I’ve tried to live a healthy life style and it’s been difficult (and depressing) dealing with the spiral of failing health – especially when I’ve tried to do all the “right things”. Unfortunatly, most physicians can’t relate. Best of luck with your healing process.

  106. April 4, 2012 6:28 pm

    I just came across your blog (I never saw it before) and read the whole post. I’m really sorry that you have to go through all this, but I can tell that you are a strong woman and I’m sure you’re gonna overcome it. In the meantime don’t let this prevent you from enjoying all the other wonderful things that are going on in your life. That’s my only advice :)
    And instead of discouraging me from continuing to know you, what I read just make me wanna jump through your whole blog and add you to the list of blogs I follow :)

    Kisses! :D

    Pd. sorry, english it’s not my mother tongue!!!

  107. Tiffany permalink
    April 4, 2012 9:01 pm

    Half the battle is finding out what’s wrong. I am glad you’ve found a doctor that believed in your problems (my doctors told my mom for 12 years that I was faking my stomach issues when I really had celiac). I hope you start to feel better soon and you can fix most (if not all) of your problems and damage. By the way, you are awesome for dealing with all of this and still accomplishing what you have!!

  108. Jessica permalink
    April 4, 2012 9:32 pm

    I too suffer from hypothyroidism and hesitate to tell people because they might mistakenly blame my vegan diet. I’d love for you to share more of your healing journey and the holistic approach you are taking. When I was diagnosed, I was just given a prescription and was told that I’d be taking it for the rest of my life. The meds definitely help, but I wonder what I could do to change my diet/lifestyle in a way that would help me deal with this disease. I’ve been frustrated with things that I’ve read as I’ve tried to do my own research. The advice ranges from taking meds that are derived from pigs to giving up kale and broccoli–I’m not doing either of those things. Please keep us updated on your progress, and know that you are not alone.

    • April 4, 2012 10:22 pm

      So sorry to hear that, Jessica. Yes, porcine thyroid meds ARE more effective (and more natural) than Synthroid, but of course they’re not vegan. There are so many other considerations, though, that oftentimes pharmaceuticals are not the answer at all – this is what I’m finding out for me, at least. And goitrogenic veggies are ok, they should just be cooked more often than not. I do definitely plan to share more info along the way about my diet and other things I’m doing to work through this disease! I can relate to your confusion and frustration.

  109. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts permalink
    April 4, 2012 9:33 pm

    What an honest and quite heart-wrenching post – thank you so very much for sharing. I am usually a silent reader but had to offer support and let you know that I, at least, wouldn’t dream of linking your raw and vegan diet to this. Sometimes life deals an unlucky hand and I am just really happy for your sake that you are finally getting some answers. I hope your symptoms start to improve soon!

  110. Staci permalink
    April 4, 2012 10:11 pm

    I do love you.

    Just so you know.

  111. Deborah permalink
    April 4, 2012 11:17 pm

    I was reading the sneak peek of your new book on Amazon and decided to check out your blog today…Wow! Thank you for your honesty and sharing your experience. A weight must have been lifted from your shoulders to finally find out what was going on with you. My best friend has been going through a smiliar situation for the past year and I’m going to send her the link to you blog so that she can be encouraged as well. Peace and many blessings to you as you go through this recovery.

  112. Tara permalink
    April 5, 2012 12:20 am

    Amber,
    I am very sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. : ( You are in my thoughts. It was very brave of you to share your story; I can certainly understand your fear that people may “blame” your diet. I hope that your fans will help appease this fear! All I kept thinking as I read your story is how fortunate it is that you DO eat so healthy! I am by no means a Dr., but I suspect that your healthy diet helped keep your symptoms latent for years. Thank you for sharing your story. Good luck with your healing process and know that I am still ‘Almost Vegan and Practically Raw.” I’ve never met you, but you strike me as the kind of person who could transcend anything. I know–easier said than done! Hang in there!!!

  113. April 5, 2012 12:39 am

    Lots and lots of love and support, sweets!
    I’ve been thinking about you all day today – xo

  114. Meagan permalink
    April 5, 2012 10:41 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 6 months ago and have many of the same symptoms as you. My lack of energy is the worse! With my TSH being normal, I have had two doctors tell me to wait and see what my TSH is in 6 months.(while my symptoms are driving me crazy) I was about to settle with that answer until I read your post! I am also from Kansas City and plan on looking up the doctor you have mentioned. Thanks for having the courage to share your battle and know that you are not alone! Prayers for you as you start your journey back to health!

    • April 5, 2012 10:47 am

      I’m so glad you found me, Meagan! Yes, please keep searching for answers, and do NOT let anyone tell you you’re fine when you’re clearly not. I put up with that for way too long. Definitely read Dr. K’s book and get in contact with Dr. Pickel here in KC – tell him I referred you. Good luck!

  115. Silvia permalink
    April 5, 2012 11:18 am

    Hi there,

    More power to you. It seems you are in need of emergency care and I hope your current doctor works well w/you.

    I discovered last year that I have hypothyroidism (simple routine test). I might have had this for 20 years and not known about it (who knows what role this played in my episodes of depression, sluggishness, the weight issues, etc). Since untreated thyroid disorders can have an impact on cardiovascular health longterm, who knows what the absence of a diagnosis has done to my health.

    The point is-you are so very young and your body has an extraordinary ability to stabilize and recover at your age provided you receive correct medical treatment. Go for your health-I’m glad you’ve been persistent in trying to find the medical expertise you need.

    • April 5, 2012 11:21 am

      Thank you so much, Silvia. I’m so sorry to hear about your much-belated diagnosis. I hope you find ways to heal your body as well – I’ll be rooting for you. <3

  116. April 5, 2012 11:34 am

    Hi Amber,

    This was my first time coming to your blog – I was referred here by one of the (probably too many) e-mail newsletters I get. Anyway, I wanted to applaud you for your bravery in talking about this. So often people respond to anyone presenting new information with comments of the “if this is true, why aren’t you rich/successful/famous/healthy/etc.” type, never stopping to think that people may be dealing with circumstances outside their control. In an ideal world, you’d be the very picture of health and I’d be a history professor, but this isn’t an ideal world – we both have to play the hand we’re dealt.

    Again, I applaud your bravery in talking about this, and wish you all possible success both in treating your health and in establishing your business.

  117. April 5, 2012 12:17 pm

    I have so much respect & admiration for you, Amber. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry to learn of your health struggles and know how hard it must have been for you to write this post. Hopefully it was liberating too! Your community can now support you the way you have been supporting it so wholeheartedly. I am sending you love & healing thoughts as you move forward on your journey. xoxo Namaste

  118. Carol Schmoker permalink
    April 5, 2012 12:53 pm

    Amber, as a fellow information junky and Stage 4 colon cancer survivor, feel free to take a break from research once you’ve found your doctor you trust. Information overload can be paralyzing. Sending thoughts & prayers as you battle this. Thanks for being so open and honest.

  119. April 5, 2012 12:58 pm

    I am so glad you found a doctor that will listen to you, and that you know now that cause of all your distress.

    Good luck on your path to wellness! I know you will figure this all out.

  120. April 5, 2012 1:36 pm

    Amber, I was so sad to read this! I can only imagine how hard the past few years have been, especially battling internally with this while putting on a totally separate, strong, confident front. When I met you I would have never guessed there was any physical turmoil going on, and I know writing this post must have been so difficult. I hope that with the help of your new doctor you’ll see improvements and start to feel better quickly!

    • April 5, 2012 2:51 pm

      Thank you so much, Erin. Yes, keeping it all to myself was starting to severely eat away at me, especially these last few months. I so appreciate your support!

  121. April 5, 2012 1:38 pm

    Loved the post! Behind you 100%!

    Get better.

  122. April 5, 2012 2:11 pm

    Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear about this. : ( Some people will do whatever it takes to believe that vegan/vegetarian/raw foods are unhealthy, but they’re just lame. If anyone can get better and bounce back from this, it’s you!!

  123. April 6, 2012 10:41 am

    My heart goes out to you Amber. I understand how hard it must have been to share this with the world. So great that you now know what’s going on with your body and can take the steps to heal!

  124. April 6, 2012 12:02 pm

    Amber,

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. I know how hard it is to be in the public eye and feel as though one can’t be open about these things (I myself feel guilty even saying I have a cold on the blog), but it’s always so rewarding for readers to be inspired by your courage and honesty.

    I’m not an expert on Hashi’s, so all I can say is that I hope one day to be the kind of physician who can and will help someone like you. More importantly, I am so grateful to you for not “blaming” veganism for the problem, which many might have.

    Thinking of you, and sending you love.

    Gena

    • April 9, 2012 9:56 am

      Thanks, Gena. If nothing else, I hope my plight can bring awareness to some people – vegans in particular – that if they’re “doing everything right” and are still watching their health slide, it’s not their fault – something may truly be wrong.

  125. Rosa permalink
    April 6, 2012 12:51 pm

    Hi Amber,

    I found your site recently, and I love your blogs, photos and especially your raw vegan desert recipes. Your work has huge value and applicability for people all over the world, and your medical challenges do not in any way detract from this.

    As women, I think it is really important that we learn to listen to our bodies when it comes to food, and not to what society or other people tell us we should or shouldn’t be eating. Good for you for having the courage to talk about this and good luck in your journey.

  126. April 6, 2012 2:15 pm

    You are brave! Wow, this sounds so hard…

    Thanks for being open and honest…and I don’t see you as not being credible…raw food does amazing things for your body, but there are some things that food, good or bad, just can’t touch.

    Keep looking up!

  127. Marek permalink
    April 6, 2012 2:42 pm

    Stay strong as long as you can, let others help you, keep up your good work. It is rather sad to read your last article.

  128. bergie8771 permalink
    April 6, 2012 7:21 pm

    Can I say ditto to all these comments? ha ha. You have alluded to health problems as your reason for eating the way you do. I appreciate your courage in sharing this blog. Want you to know that prayers & positive thots are winging your way.

    To gently disregard your “no advice”, I am “suggesting” (now that I am a certified Laughing Yoga leader)…for stress relief, happiness & a fun way to exercise, finding a Laughing Yoga class! -Sharon

    • April 9, 2012 10:05 am

      I actually know some people locally that do laughing yoga! Perhaps I will look into that soon – thanks for the suggestion.

  129. Jenn permalink
    April 6, 2012 11:22 pm

    FRUCTOSE MALABSORPTION. I just recently came across it as a possible cause to my digestive issues. Hope you get better.

    • April 9, 2012 9:54 am

      Interesting…my health problems go beyond just digestive woes, but I’ll do some more research on that. Thanks for the tip.

  130. sweetjacki permalink
    April 7, 2012 11:15 am

    Good Day,
    I came to your blog this morning to thank you for a truly amazing cookbook. I received the book last evening, and read every single page like a novel. I then saw your post, and truly understand all that you have written as I suffered with thyroid disease. Thank you for your honesty and calrity of your thoughts. You blessed me tremedously.
    I plan to spend the summer making every single recipe in this book. I will pray your strength throught this journey knowing that weeping may endure for a night, BUT joy really does come in the morning. Thank you again for this wonderfully explained and produced work of art.

  131. April 7, 2012 8:03 pm

    You are so strong and brave and I think it’s great that you’ve come this far. You know your friends are always here for you and you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to us. We care about you, beautiful! :) Love you!

  132. Laurie Brown permalink
    April 8, 2012 1:56 pm

    You have no idea how much this post meant to me. I have a (almost completely) similar story. The past two years have been a struggle that was only getting worse until I found a alternative medicine doctor that found my auto-immune Hashi’s. While it’s good to know what is finally wrong, the battle has only just begun. Often, I feel like every day is a struggle of not knowing (or reading too much online and becoming overwhelmed). Like you, I’m committed to healing – and knowing there is someone else out there experiencing something similar…well, it makes me feel less alone.

    Thank you.

    • April 9, 2012 10:28 am

      Wow Laurie, I’m so happy you found me, and I’m so sorry to hear about your struggles. I too have felt very, very lonely during this process – though now, having come forward, I look back and am sorry I didn’t speak up sooner – I’m floored by how many women (and some men) out there have fought similar health problems. I’m thankful to now be able to have an open dialogue about the hardships involved. The battle HAS just begun…and if I look too far forward (even to my wedding in a mere 5 months), I get overwhelmed and feel like crumbling to pieces. Keeping perspective is a challenge. I’m hoping to learn from others just as I’m hoping to inspire others to take their health into their own hands.

      Please keep me posted on your progress – we’re in this together! I’d be interested in hearing about anything that helps you, physically or mentally/emotionally, deal with Hashi’s. <3

  133. April 8, 2012 7:19 pm

    WOW this sounds just like my mom’s symptoms to a tee. Off to call her.

    This post took a lot of guts to write and expose yourself in a way.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you feeling better and a speedy recovery

    I’ll always read your blog :)

  134. April 9, 2012 4:45 am

    You are so brave to share your problem – I simply want to say good luck – I’m sure you’ll succeed, especially with Matt to support you:)

  135. April 9, 2012 9:37 am

    I’m a little late to the party – but I can completely understand not wanting to share your personal problems on the blog. As well-intentioned as advice might be sometimes you want people just shut up and listen.

    I can also relate to the health problems, there’s been something wrong with me for a while and I’m finally going to a doctor this week to talk about it. Not as drastic as yours but when I think about having to do something like an elimination diet or stop exercising, I totally freak out. I keep praying it’s just stress.

    And let’s face it – if you love food but care about your appearance and live in Western society – it’s near impossible not to have a skewed relationship with food – which then develops into an eating disorder.

    I’d never blame a healthy lifestyle on health problems. Your blog rocks and has motivated me to try more vegan and healthy foods.

    Good luck! I hope things start to get better soon!

    • April 9, 2012 10:37 am

      I hope you find some answers to your issues, Holly. I know how overwhelming it is to consider having to change or give up parts of your lifestyle that you really love – I hope it doesn’t come to that for you.

      And SO TRUE about food/appearance/eating disorders…another blogger and I have talked about this recently, and we think that MANY food bloggers out there have at least a slightly funky relationship with food, whether they admit it/talk about it or not (and, understandably, many of us choose to keep it to ourselves).

  136. April 9, 2012 10:34 am

    Wow, that’s a lot to keep inside – I imagine it’s been torturous. I hope things start improving and you find the combination that works for the disease. ((hug))

  137. Sherry Fuentes permalink
    April 9, 2012 11:59 am

    Bless your sweet heart Amber… keeping all that inside . As long as us humans live on this earth we will have disease… it’s just something that is going to happen.Yes,we can change our diets and take care of ourself but we do not know what damage has been done by us getting immunized as children and so on. Your a beautiful girl on the inside and out and I know that you are going to be such a blessing to others as you have been… now just on a deeper level .Big big hug to you, Sherry

  138. April 9, 2012 4:53 pm

    I didn’t think I could respect and admire you more and then you go and write this. Your honesty and candidness is inspiring, as is your spirit. This disease picked the wrong person to mess with.

    You have helped so many by being brave enough to share your story. Hugs to you.

    • April 9, 2012 4:55 pm

      That made me smile, Michelle :) Most days, I don’t FEEL tough – I feel scared, stressed, and sick – but I suppose deep down I have a fighter’s spirit. Thanks for your support and kindness!

  139. April 9, 2012 11:38 pm

    I don’t have any words of wisdom or suggestions (not that you asked and besides, I don’t have any) but I have nothing but respect and love for you! I appreciate your courage and honesty. I can only imagine how difficult it must’ve been to share this and the process of wondering what others might think. I have never heard of this disease before. I’m so sorry you have to experience it but glad you finally have a name for it and are getting the help and advice you need and seek. I guess we’ll be seeing a new take on some old recipes, eh? Thanks for sharing and hope things start turning around for you.

  140. April 10, 2012 11:05 pm

    oh, boy, my friend. do I ever know what you are going through! know that there is no judgement here – I know this is not your diet! I applaud and appreciate you for declaring that, for continuing with a vegan approach, and I so hope it helps.

    you have my support! XO

  141. April 11, 2012 10:35 am

    Amber,

    I am so very thankful my friend from KC called me to tell me about your blog! I am almost in tears as I read your story and identify in so many ways…..I have had hashi for 10 years….doctor after doctor….and not much inprovement…I use to run 5 miles a day and one day woke up 60 lbs heavier and unable to work any longer as a police officer and barely functioning as they have to change my thyroid dose almost montly….I am excited to hear about this diet….Is your doctor in KC? That is actually where I grew up: )

    Many prayers!

    • April 11, 2012 10:38 am

      Kelly, I’m glad you found me too! So sorry to hear that you’ve been through some of the same things. I just posted about my elimination diet today – I’ll be posting frequent updates, too, so I hope you’ll follow along! Yes, my new doctor is in Overland Park. He does consultations over the phone, so let me know if you want his contact info!

  142. April 17, 2012 5:43 am

    Thank you for sharing this with everyone Amber. You’re providing a lot of help, information and inspiration to so many people who are struggling with health problems and symptoms that many doctors just ignore.
    I totally identify with how you knew “something is very, very wrong, and somehow I found the strength to keep searching for answers.” – I became very ill with M.E. a little over a year ago. One moment I thought I was leading a healthy, active life, and the next I was so week I was hardly able to walk from my bedroom to the couch. My doctors kept brushing me off, even though I too had that gut feeling that something was very wrong; it was so frustrating that they were not listening to me when I told them it was not just the flu, so I too started to look elsewhere for answers. I found an amazing naturopath who has helped me immensely, and I’m also using diet as a way to heal myself (what my blog is about). The power of food as medicine is so amazing (yet so underestimated in traditional medicine)
    I’m so glad that you listened to and stood up for yourself when you realized something wasn’t right with your body and that you found a doctor who listened to you and found some answers. Good luck with your journey to better health!

  143. Kelli permalink
    April 18, 2012 6:36 pm

    Amber that was a lot to hold in. Know that there are so many of us “out here” sending you healing and loving thoughts. We still believe in you and your knowledge! Much love and best healing wishes to you! I will be definately interested in seeing how your diet changes. I have been on a quest to heal my husband’s inflammation so I love hearing about the healing properties of food. Hugs!

  144. April 23, 2012 2:06 pm

    Please include brain health in your efforts. It is as important as body health. Check out Dr. Daniel Amen’s books. They changed my life as did green vegetable juicing. Apologies if these have been discussed in the comments already. Best wishes.

  145. Pam DePalma permalink
    April 26, 2012 7:11 pm

    Amber, (I’m Cheryl’s friend, Pam, age 59) I’m sending you healing thoughts and can relate to your situation more than you know. Most of what you said brought back many memories and feelings that I once had. It was awful in the 70′s to know something was wrong, only to have doctors verbally pat me on the head dismissively and say they saw no reasons for me to feel the way I “claim” to feel. Like you, I became my own advocate, reading everything I could get my hands on. I felt like I was losing my mind for years, yet once diagnosed, there weren’t solutions offered for any of my issues. Over the years, it was one diagosis after another. I suffered from muscle burning & weakness, chronic pain, fatigue, knots under my arms, tremendous & very rapid weight gain, hair loss, low grade and below normal temperatures, etc., before some of my issues were figured out. I wasn’t overweight at age 21, when I was diagnosed with cholesterol of 310, rampant inflammation, autoimmune issues, lower back disk issues, and arthritis. In my 30′s, it was hypothyroidism, then fibromyalgia. In my 40′s Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which lead to incredible weight gain quickly, hair loss, skin discolorations, huge ovarian cysts, requiring two major surgeries, and eventually, as my doctor predicted with PCOS…diabetes and other problems. All I know is, I feel that with your knowledge, wisdom and fortitude, you’ll be able to get a handle on things and, in time, will start feeling like a new woman. I admire your strength, wisdom and desire to get to the bottom of things and will follow your journey as you share it with us. It took me a while to make peace with a body that I felt had betrayed me. Instead, try to believe that’s it’s fighting as hard as it can for you and is on your side. Once I took at look at your book I HAD to have it, not only for the health of it all, but it’s so beautifully done and interesting! After I have taken the time to savor each and every page, I am going to share it with my sister who has Lymphoma. She already loves healthy eating, and is looking for ways to improve her health & her meals with your book. You are wise to share what you’re experiencing with your fellow bloggers. It will serve to lower the new stressors in your life, and the love and support you receive from others is a medicine no doctor can prescribe. Your own experiences will give guidance and assistance to more people that you realize. It’s a win-win situation! I can only hope some of your wisdom rubs off on me, even at this age, but I must say, to me, attitude is just as important as anything else you can do! You’re doing so much that will help so many others eat healthier, live better lives, and learn from your personal journey. Stay strong, Amber, and thank you!

    • April 26, 2012 10:45 pm

      Pam, thank you so much for your comment and kind words. Mom told me you’d suffered from some similar afflictions, but I didn’t know the extent. I really appreciate your encouragement!

      I hope you (and your sister) enjoy the book!

  146. April 27, 2012 9:13 am

    You are so brave! I recently have been experiencing health problems (even after loosing 65 pounds) and I have cut out meat out of my diet. And here I am complaining about my GERD and you have this to contend with! You still are an inspiration for healthy living and healthy eating, it’s not your fault that your body is being the way it is. I can tell you’re a strong person and that you’re certainly going to over come this with time and perseverance. I have so much faith in you. I can’t wait to buy your book as I embark on a meatless diet to improve my own health. I will keep you in my thoughts for sure.

  147. April 30, 2012 5:27 am

    Inspiring and vulnerable! Thank you for sharing your story. Maybe your recovery process will be your second book….

  148. Rachel permalink
    May 2, 2012 10:41 am

    Hi there :) I came across your blog from googling Hashimoto’s & vegan diet.. I have been vegan for about 2 years now, but this past fall I went to an endocrinologist because of severe acne, thinking I probably had a hormonal imbalance. Sure enough I did, and was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. And, on top of that my doc said, “well what do you know, you have an autoimmune disease too called Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism! People began attacking me claiming it was my “unhealthy diet, and that I needed to start eating meat again” but my doc who isn’t even a holistic doctor said diet did not cause any of this. I’ve been taking synthroid for the hashi’s (which he said is a medication I will be on for life since there is “no cure” for hashi’s..even though im determined to find one!) and also metformin for the PCOS. The good news is my acne has cleared up a lot in the last 6 months, the bad news is that I still feel quite tired and sluggish often. I am trying to stay positive and continue this journey for a cure with an open mind an heart though :) You are very right, too much google & reading on this stuff can drive you NUTS and keep you up at night!! I am thankful I practice yoga & meditation to help ease my anxiety about this.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for posting this beautiful entry. It is so nice to no I am not alone in this journey and see how much support is out there! I wish you the best of luck with your health and I think I shall be a regular follower of your blog now :)

    cheers! <3
    Rachel

    • May 2, 2012 10:47 am

      Hi Rachel! So sorry to hear about your situation, but I’m glad you found me – I like having other Hashi’s vegans to relate to!

      Not to drive you even crazier by recommending more reading, but have you read the work of Dr. Datis Kharrazian? Go to http://thyroidbook.com/ and check out some of his info. He’s the doctor that trained MY doctor, and they have an excellent and unique whole-body approach to the disease. Synthroid only rarely helps people with Hashi’s – the fact that you say you still feel tired and sluggish is a clue that it’s not doing what it’s purported to do. I could go on and on about the problems with T4-only meds like Synthroid, but I won’t! However, I do urge you to check out Dr. K’s work, and maybe even find a Dr. K practitioner near you. I’d hate to see you stay on Synthroid for life – sending money down the drain AND possibly dysregulating your metabolism even further – when there’s a more sensible way to treat the disease itself, rather than the symptoms. Good luck and please keep me posted on your progress!

  149. lois permalink
    May 3, 2012 2:02 pm

    I am praying for you to get better soon.

    Lois

  150. May 15, 2012 1:52 pm

    Good luck with your recovery and path towards wellness. I’m starting a naturopathic program in the fall and reading about your struggle with allopathic doctors makes me even more convinced that this is the right path for me. I hope your new doctors are treating you well and figuring out the best treatment for your body!

  151. kay permalink
    May 16, 2012 1:44 pm

    hey there. Iv been ghost following your blog for many months now, as i am looking to try and turn vegetarian and hopefully vegan one day. Needless to say your blog and recipes and general overall kindness and sunny disposition on life has truly inspired me chica. Really it has!- that being said I am very sorry to hear about your autoimmune disease :( it sounds very terrible and I can’t begin to imagine you – a very fit and healthy raw vegan marathon runner, must feel hearing this news. I know personally id be very depressed and be like “wth am i healthy for if this is going to happen.” but honestly your so great is battling it head on and facing it. I wish you the best of luck! and Ill pray for you.

    • May 16, 2012 2:01 pm

      Thank you, Kay – the news wasn’t really “news” to me – I’ve been struggling with this for so long – but it was nice to finally have an answer.
      Thanks for your readership and support!

  152. Morgan permalink
    May 21, 2012 3:13 am

    This has been SO helpful! I was diagnosed with Hashi’s just two days ago, and I’m only 20 years old. My life in terms of health, diet and exercise is and was exactly like yours, and doctors told me everything yours did. I am so so happy to find someone who is going through the same thing around the same age, opposed to women twice my age!

    • May 21, 2012 7:52 am

      Hi Morgan! So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I started having symptoms when I was around your age, but they really took a turn for the worse when I was 24 or so. Now I’m almost 27 and was JUST diagnosed. :( On the bright side, you’re lucky to have this answer early! But on the other hand, this disease is terrible no matter what your age. Glad to have you as a new reader!

  153. June 4, 2012 9:13 pm

    I am so glad that I just stumbled upon your blog. I just got diagnosed with this Hashimoto’s. I am in the process right now of trying to understand what exactly it means for me. I also have had PCOS for the last 12 years or so, though the s/s are so similar, I wonder if I have had Hashimoto’s all along instead. I am a half marathon runner. I am practically a vegan and have eaten mostly gluten free for quite a while now. It’s hard to know what I need to change. It seems that you are on a similar path to mine. I hope you continue to share what you learn about this! I am a nurse working slowly on becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Having this makes my goal all the more important so I can be the medical professional I can’t find. Thank you for sharing! It helps to see that I am not the only one in my situation!

    • June 4, 2012 9:15 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment, Jeanne. This is a difficult enough disease as it is, but it’s all the more frustrating and agonizing when you feel like you were ALREADY doing everything right before!
      I’m rooting for you in becoming an NP! You’re so right, we need more medical practitioners who are aware of these things.

  154. Jeannine permalink
    June 8, 2012 12:06 pm

    What’s the latest update on your progress? Are you still doing the elimination diet or is that complete? I’m curious how you are feeling, and what you’ve done so far (meds, diet, etc). This is Jeannine from the Herbie of the Week. Even though my story is a happy one I’m still struggling with my energy, foggy head and sluggishness. I read the book “What your doctor may not have told you about Hashimoto’s” which was very interesting. The doctor who wrote it found that some people needed a combo of Synthroid & T3, or a combo of Synthroid and real thyroid hormone, or a combo of the 3 with the most important factor being the ratio of 98% T4 and 2% T3. I haven’t tried this yet. I am afraid to mess with things in fear of feeling worse for a while. I am thinking of reading the book you’ve suggested… though I have read everything but that one (however I have read a lot of the info on their website).

    • June 8, 2012 12:09 pm

      Jeannine, definitely read Dr. K’s book. I did complete the elimination diet, and sadly, it didn’t do a thing for me. We did get rid of my gut infection and some other things, but my thyroid hormones have completely tanked recently (check out my latest update here). Please keep me updated on your progress too!

      • Jeannine permalink
        June 8, 2012 12:18 pm

        I will do for sure! My naturopath doctor (who I just started seeing a couple of months ago) is really eager to get me on real thyroid hormone. I’m a little hesitant being vegan and all. How did they find out you had a gut infection – was it the high white blood count? I certainly feel your frustration trying to figure all of this out! I’m also hesitant to try the elimination diet, it’s sounds like a lot of work and already being vegan really limits the food choices – I think I would go nuts! I wish there was a test that was 100% accurate in finding food intolerances.

      • June 8, 2012 12:22 pm

        Actually my white blood cells are dangerously depleted, probably from so many years of remaining undiagnosed with Hashi’s. :( We discovered my H. pylori infection through a stool test.
        I know that NDT isn’t vegan, but you might want to give it a shot if you feel comfortable with it. So so SO many people do better on it. And you’ll be that much better of a vegan advocate if you get 100% healthy and feel your best!
        The elimination diet did kind of suck, but it could’ve been worse. If nothing else, if I were you, I would definitely cut out gluten – almost everyone with Hashi’s has a gluten sensitivity. (Gluten stimulates the production of anti-thyroid antibodies – bad for us Hashi’s folks!) And it’s really pretty easy to be “xgfx” (gluten-free vegan) nowadays!

  155. Lara permalink
    June 9, 2012 6:03 pm

    Hiya,

    Thank you so much for writing this and being so honest. I know kind of how it feels and I wish you the very best

  156. Jeannine permalink
    June 15, 2012 1:22 pm

    Update: I’m reading the book you recommended. Very interesting so far. I finally ‘gave in’ to my naturopathic doctor to do (expensive) food sensitivity test. When I get the results back her plan is to have me off the foods that anger my immune system and work on a plan that will heal my gut…which she says can be done in 3 months. I’m skeptical but will try it. I’m afraid that everything I eat most often will come back on my don’t eat list. And hoping the overall result is going to get my immune system back into balance and reduce my synthroid dosage – which may ultimately end up getting switched over to natural thyroid hormone, or a combo of the two. What really angers me in all of this is WHY doctors are taught to only treat the thyroid when it’s the immune system that’s messed up? Band-aid solution for everything.

    • June 15, 2012 4:45 pm

      Thank you for the update, Jeannine! I’m so glad you got ahold of Dr. K’s book, and that you’ll be trying an elimination diet soon. Don’t worry too much about your “do not eat” list – those sensitivity tests probably won’t be super-specific (i.e., not “don’t eat green apples,” but rather “avoid gluten,” etc.) OR restrictive. I hope you’re able to switch to a natural thyroid med, too!

      Ugh, I have the same gripe about [most] doctors. It makes no sense. But it does fill their pockets with $$… =/

  157. Susan P permalink
    June 20, 2012 10:31 pm

    I just came across your article.
    I was diagnosed with Hashi’s at age 21 (I’m almost 37). I’ve been raw for a little over a year and stopped taking my thyroid meds after a water fast this last Christmas. I feel ok (could probably feel better in some aspects), but have no exhaustion, weight gain, etc. anymore.
    BUT…. my question for you, as a bride-to-be this August and someone who wants to get started having children right away….
    What information have you come across regarding Hashi’s, diet, and pregnancy? I see so much conflicting information, I don’t even know what to trust. Any suggestions are appreciated!

    • June 21, 2012 8:52 am

      Hey Susan,
      That’s pretty incredible about your water fast. How long was it? I did a little of that last year, but I think it hurt me more than helped me…I’d love to hear more about your experience with it.
      I actually can’t help you yet re: pregnancy. I still have had no sign of a period since 2011, so at this point we’re unsure I’ll ever be able to have children at all. It’s a very painful topic for me right now. I hope my situation changes, but I won’t know until it does.

  158. Meg permalink
    June 21, 2012 11:52 pm

    I loved reading this!! I too was just diagnosed with Hashi’s. I’m curious about the diet you were put on. What can you eat? How do you get full?

  159. Vanessa permalink
    June 25, 2012 11:30 am

    Wow — I can relate to this on so many levels. I was diagnosed with Hashi’s in 2003 after gaining 60 pounds in 3 years and despite doing a marathon! While things were steady for awhile once the right meds were prescribed by my wonderful endo, once I got pregnant with twins (a total surprise and something I thought I’d have difficulty with) my thyroid went crazy again as it worked to cope with all the rapid changes occuring in my body. Now, more than a year after my pregnancy, I feel like it’s 2003 all over again — where I’m the healthiest eater and exerciser I know but am unable to shed the weight. So I can relate to your frustration and the tendency to put hours into researching and looking for answers. Anyway, just wanted to be one more voice saying, “you are not alone!” Thanks for writing about your experience and reminding me the same thing.

    • June 25, 2012 11:51 am

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, Vanessa – I feel for you too, and I hope you find some answers! Keep me in the loop on your progress.

  160. Valerie permalink
    June 29, 2012 6:50 pm

    I just bought your book through Amazon; I can’t wait to get it. Thank you for sharing. I’m having the same problems and not sure what’s wrong with me. I also have a terrible sugar addiction. I know you will get better…stay positive. In my prayers.

  161. Nancy H permalink
    July 7, 2012 12:48 pm

    Thank you!!! I have been looking on the Internet for months to answers to Hasimoto’s. Your story is MY story !!! I know there is hope out there somewhere.

  162. melissa permalink
    July 11, 2012 9:36 pm

    HI i have hashimotos and struggling i just take some herbal pills as dont like lethroxine what test do you recommend that i cover I already know I have high antibodies but is there any others i should ask for. thanks

  163. July 12, 2012 9:23 am

    Hi :-) My son is was vegetarian and diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when he was 12 – unheard of for a boy so young and his endocrinologists said he had the worst case they had ever seen. They believed it was genetic and possibly caused by our love of soy products. He is now 18 and a soy-free vegan (as am I) and very healthy. He will be on medication for life, but has had no issues with his health at all.
    Glad to hear you are cutting out soy and it’s really not as hard as you would think, especially if you are coming from a whole food vegan diet anyway.
    Best of luck to you and love your blog and book!

    • July 12, 2012 10:29 am

      I’m SO happy to hear that a soy-free diet has helped you and your son, Lisa!
      I was off soy completely for several months, but now, with the ok of my doctor, I’ve added back in tiny amounts (mostly edamame, a bit of tamari/BRAGGs, and a little tofu) and am doing well (we’re monitoring my hormone levels biweekly). He says some thyroid patients do surprisingly well with soy, while for others, it’s a near-death curse! Funny how we’re all so different, huh? :)

  164. anna permalink
    July 15, 2012 5:24 pm

    I relate! I’m an almost-vegan who started having thyroid problems years before I changed my diet. However, when people hear that I have health problems, they jump to conclusions that my unusual diet is the cause. It’s really frustrating. I also have Hashimoto’s & didn’t get the conclusive diagnosis until this year.

    I was also an over-exerciser for years until the thyroid issues got really bad. Surprisingly, I have LOST weight with Hashimoto’s, probably due to vacillation between hypo & hyer, but I think over time, if left untreated, I would eventually encounter the weight gain instead.

    • July 15, 2012 5:33 pm

      Hi Anna! Thanks for understanding and relating to me. Sorry to hear you’ve dealt with some of the same things. Glad you finally got an accurate diagnosis.
      While I can’t lie about the fact that I’m a tad jealous you’ve LOST weight with Hashi’s ;) I do agree that it’s probably the random cycling of this disease that had you hyper for awhile. Hope you’ve found a treatment that’s helping!

  165. July 18, 2012 10:49 pm

    Wow. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I finally got the answers I needed from my rheumatologist today, that I don’t have lupus, I have Hashimoto’s Disease. It was finally a relief after chasing after answers for over ten years to know that I’m not crazy, not lazy, or an overeater. I used to be an active, trim, wide-awake woman. Now I”m tired, overweight and and barely eat for fear it will put on yet another pound on my body. You are brave and I’ll be watching your progress reports with rapt attention.

  166. Lisa permalink
    July 19, 2012 1:32 am

    I suffer from Graves Disease which is also an auto immune disease. Like yourself I have researched everything fo 3 years now. I am determined to get healthy the natural way and recently eliminated Candida out of my system using fivelac and after much more research have discovered that iodine defficiency could be a major conributing factor to Graves and Hashimoto’s. I will let you know if it makes a difference. Good luck with it all.. I certainly kniw how tough both ilnesses can be.

    Lisa. x

  167. Carole permalink
    July 19, 2012 9:24 pm

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disease 4 months after the birth of my first child 37 years ago in my early twenties and have taken thyroxine ever since. Your rationale that your vegan diet did not trigger this autoimmune disease would seem to be entirely true as I am NOT a vegan yet still developed it. Apart from regular blood tests and adjustments to thyroid medication I have been ok, fit and well, just thought I’d let you know there are lots of other sufferers out there!I wish you good luck and a speedy return to great health.

  168. July 23, 2012 11:22 am

    You should not be ashamed at all…In my eyes you are a hero! I have been struggling with so many of the same symptoms since 2006 diagnosed with PCOS at 30 weighing 115 lbs and in the best state of health I had ever been. In 2007 injured my shoulder, was in major pain that was not resolved. In 2009 delivered twins and 9 months after their birth my health issues escalated. Diagnosed with Fibro in 2011 and have been teetering on vegan/raw food way of life for 6 months. I am still extremely fatigued after 8-10 hrs of sleep and drag through my day but then I have days where I am like an energizer bunny. Major bowel issues bloating and abdominal tenderness and pain. I was diagnosed with Vitiligo, so not only do I have internal issues but now I have visible marks all over. I have not cut out gluten but have been researching more and more. I have a test schedule for Hashi on Thursday I hope that I can get some answers.
    You are helping more people by coming out with your “Secret”. Thank you for your blog and for all you do to give others the power to change their lives for the better. ~Nikkol

  169. cheris monte permalink
    July 24, 2012 10:43 am

    Hi Amber,
    After searching the internet for vegatable base diet changes to self treat my Hashimotos(diagnosed 2yrs ago , came across your video on’ the cool vegetarians’ website. Ready to get to the underlying problems to heal…denial has kept me with now 35 pounds over weight and oh… not why am writing to go into all the issues.. you well know. NEED an WANT help.
    Looking into what intergrative doctor to work with…believe that those who go through something are to be included in those who advise.
    Cheris

  170. Terry permalink
    July 24, 2012 6:20 pm

    I have hashis also. Good luck, take good care of yourself & family. God bless!

  171. Heather permalink
    July 25, 2012 10:59 am

    Hugs to you Amber! Thinking of you and sending thoughts of success to you on your way back to “normal”. I am very grateful for your book and the enlightening approach you have on raw. Hugs again! :)Heather

  172. Susan McMaster permalink
    July 27, 2012 1:00 pm

    Just came across your story and I held my heart for you. You are so brave. Just know that so many people are sending you well wishes and hoping for your speedy and permanent recovery. I too was just diagnosed with Hashi’s. I just became a vegan about 5 months ago and have just started eliminating soy, wheat, etc. I’m in the hyper stage right now and have lost 14 pounds. I know I will swing the other way….hoping with my meds and healthy vegan diet I can find some balance. Good luck to you sweetie. =)

  173. Sue Baylis permalink
    July 30, 2012 6:19 am

    Hi Amber

    For three years (diagnosed)I have suffered the severe symptoms of Hashimoto disease as you have but I was constantly told that it was all in my mind and due to menopause. I missed family holidays and was in bed by mid afternoon which was completely out of character having been a slim active gym junkie. Unfortunately I did not have an ideal diet even though I was never overweight, I did abuse my body by eating a diet high in sugar and very sporadically.

    I do need to take medication for my thyroid but having changed my diet(although my Dr thought this was not necessary) a lot of my inflammation has now gone, and life is slowing getting back to normal.I do still get a very agitated feeling all over if I veer from this.

    I was interested to hear that you are also omitting grains and seeds and would like to know the benefits of this.

    I now follow a dairy free, gluten free diet, with meat about 3 x a week, and try to eliminate all processed foods.

    It is refreshing to hear that someone else has these symptoms and that I am not going MAD!!

    You have given me an insight to what further I can do to improve my health, I thank you for that.

    Good luck on your quest for healthy life ;)

    Sue

    • July 30, 2012 9:12 am

      Thank you so much for sharing, Sue – I’m sorry to hear you’ve dealt with so many of the same things.
      My doctor wanted me off grains for awhile to see if the lectins and phytates in them were doing anything negative in my body. I never felt any different, but I know a lot of people feel noticeably better when they give up grains.
      Good luck on your quest too!!

  174. Kristen permalink
    July 31, 2012 8:23 am

    This is EXACTLY what I have been going through this past year and I am so glad that someone can identify (although, I hate to know you are dealing with it, too). I am a 7 1/2 year breast cancer, but THIS has been harder. MUCH harder. I finally found a doctor, too, that I have put my trust and hope into (although, I know that God is the Great Physician). I did my blood work and breath test last week. Yesterday, stool samples. Today, saliva test. Tomorrow, Immune Support Test. Then, the next 30 days I will begin the Repair Diet that you spoke about. I, too, have gained 30 pounds in the past year, despite running my 7th marathon, lifting weights and eating clean. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I am so glad that I’m not alone. Blessings to you and I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you as we journey this road together.

    • July 31, 2012 9:31 am

      That does sound a LOT like me – I’m so sorry to hear you’re dealing with this too, Kristen. Good luck on all your tests, and I hope you can get some answers ASAP!

      • Kristen permalink
        July 31, 2012 9:52 am

        Thank you so much, Amber! I am anxious to get the test results back, map out a plan and get back to my healthy self!!!! Blessings.

  175. August 2, 2012 12:49 pm

    Hi Amber, Like many who have left a comment, I too have been diagnosed with Hashimotos. It started almost 4 years ago. I noticed no matter what I ate or the amount of exercise I did I could not stop gaing weight. I was 142 pounds and I would gain graduall as the months went on . My doctors and I have many will not treat me or help me in any way because my numbers are within normal range. I have all the symptoms the muscle aches the weight gain and so on. I have been told its due to menapause. I have spent every waking moment thinking about this I am so depressed at times. I have just started a gluten free diet app 1 week ago. I wanted to know if and how long it took to see results of a change of diet from you or any of your other bloggers. thank you

    • August 2, 2012 1:28 pm

      I am terribly sorry to hear all this, Deb…I can relate so much. It is absolutely outrageous and unfair that doctors so seldom listen to or trust us about our own bodies.
      Please find and read this book (I was able to get it through my local library) and check the site http://www.thyroidconnections.com/ to find a practitioner who better understands this disease.
      I personally didn’t feel physical improvements after going gluten-free, but a LOT of people do. From what I understand, it’s normal for it to take 2-3 months to feel noticeably better.

  176. August 2, 2012 12:51 pm

    just realized I didnt put my current weight which is 190 lbs..

  177. Stephanie OBrien permalink
    August 3, 2012 8:10 am

    Wow. I had almost the exact same experience! Raw food chef, raw vegan, great shape, etc. put on 40lbs in 6 weeks. Crazy. Now add to that chemical sensitivities, allergies to ALL synthetic medications. I’ve had to find ALL NATURAL remedies. Which sucks. lol. I found a couple of books that have really helped me that I will share with those who may also not be able to take medications. The Diet Cure and Mood Cure by Julia Ross and Depression free Naturally. They all contain vitamins and supplements and the tests you need to target all these various issues the allopathic doctors simple aren’t trained to understand. I’m still finding the balance between all the imbalances, thru diet, nutrition, amino acids and tons of supplements. I haven’t had a headache in over 3 months (unheard of for me). I want to thank you for sharing this because it’s true for me as well. I’m taking Nature’s thyroid (similar to Armour but less allergens) because I am allergic to the synthroid. Treating hypoglycemia (True Balance is great and L-glutamine, lots of chromium!). I’m still working out the bio-identical hormones, amino acids and vitamins, but my mood has completely improved, my energy is better, I’m sleeping (and staying asleep) I’ve gotten most of my muscle cramps and twitching down. (L-tryptophan, GABA, True Calm, DPA have all helped). I understand at some point I can back off on the Amino acids, but the vitamins and minerals and thyroid supplements are in my life permanently. I’m ok with that. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’ve lost a few pounds (without exercise and without trying). I am so happy for you and glad to know that I’m not the only one. My blood type is A+ so a vegan diet is still best for me. I’ve also discovered that I can only eat Organic and that includes organic meats which I still don’t eat much of due to high histamine and allergies to antibiotics and chemicals in the meats and vegetables. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, strength and hope. All the best to you. I’ll check out your book! And I’m voting for you to write a cookbook for us chemically sensitive people.

    • August 3, 2012 12:54 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, Stephanie, and the things that have been helping you. I’m so glad you’re receiving some symptom relief at last! Sounds like we have some overlap in our supplementation – plus, I’m an A+ too! Wishing you continued luck in your recovery; keep us posted. :)

    • August 3, 2012 12:54 pm

      Thank you so much for sharing your story, Stephanie, and the things that have been helping you. I’m so glad you’re receiving some symptom relief at last! Sounds like we have some overlap in our supplementation – plus, I’m an A+ too! Wishing you continued luck in your recovery; keep us posted. :)

  178. Sheree permalink
    August 3, 2012 4:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story. Like you, I have been battling autoimmune diesease for 11+ years now. I’m 31, otherwise ‘healthy’ and I just don’t get it!? Like you I too refused to belive that I was ‘normal’ because I knew I was anything but. I just tested positive for possible thyroid disease (positive TPO) with low T3 and T4, although both in ‘normal’ range. I am frustrated, angry and tired BUT, I too took my health into my hands and am working to restore my immune system (Lupus, Sjogrens, Reynauds, Thyroid, Adrenal Fatigue…to name a few culprits) and I’m doing so thru food and supplements. Thank you for showing me that I am not alone. Fight on, girl. This battle is far from over but we both seem to have the will to live, and live well :)

  179. Lisa permalink
    August 7, 2012 8:54 am

    Your story is just like mine except I am not a writer. I was diagnosed oct. 2008. Was wondering who your Doctor is? I have three kids and if they are diagnosed with this I want them to have some answers. we can not ever give up. We have to keep pushing for answers! I wish and hope for the best for you!
    Sincerely,
    Lisa

  180. Ninoska Nina Perez permalink
    August 9, 2012 9:59 am

    I stumbled upon your blog because I was googled Hashimoto’s Disease after being diagnosed with it (finally a name for this mess!) on Monday (8. 6.12). While I’m not a vegan, I’m a woman, a human being just like yourself and just wanted to say that I’m glad you were finally able to be diagnosed correctly. Reading everything under the sun about this thyroid disorder and just realized I have tremendous stomach problems too but never realized it was because of this.
    Was wondering if perhaps you would one day write a cooking book for those who have Hashi Disease aka Autoimmune Thyroiditis. Looking forward to my new Guilt Free Gluten Free life. Congrats on your new way of life!! :o)

    • August 9, 2012 10:02 am

      Diagnosis is the first step, so I’m glad you were finally able to be diagnosed, too!
      Actually, I kind of already did (unintentionally) write a cookbook for those of us with Hashi’s: my book Practically Raw is completely gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free! :)

      • Ninoska Nina Perez permalink
        August 9, 2012 10:29 am

        Very thankful on my end….don’t forget to cross-sell it and advertise to the wannabe Hashi free like me. :o) Best of health to us all!

  181. magdika permalink
    August 20, 2012 11:08 am

    Hello Amber
    I found out I’m in remission for Hashimotos …. was diagnosed last year. I did a lot of research on it – found out all the possible causes ( what a huge list! ) – tried to delete as close to 100% of them from my life. And ate foods that were recommended like radishes, maca, coconut oil etc. And went back to a 100% vegan diet. Eating home pre-pared foods mainly – as I was avoiding foods that (if they’re not organic) …. have not been washed for their pesticide residues. I also did a lot of energy work and meditation. And found peace with the illness. Just when I thought – that’s it …. I can’t kick this – I’m going on the medication – I got the good news. I’ve read it can take at least 1 year to heal the thyroid and the hormones involved. And that many people repair it on a vegan or raw vegan diet. So hang in there and have faith. Ask your angels / the universe for help. If you would like some more info from me please contact me. Joy and love to you. Magdika

    • August 20, 2012 11:44 am

      Magdika, thank you so much for sharing your story of healing! I’m so proud of your persistence and positivity. Hopefully someday I’ll have a similar success story of my own to tell. Thank you!

    • Jeannine permalink
      August 20, 2012 12:03 pm

      I would love to know more about the recommended foods list and the long list of possible causes!

  182. Michael Hill permalink
    August 22, 2012 2:42 pm

    Wow, thanks for sharing.
    I am one of the unlucky males that have this stealth disease, and think I may have had it for over 20 years (I am 60).
    Just recently I had a dr. diagnose me, but before that I saw numerous doctors, several specialists, surgeons, etc. to no help.
    They all gave excuses just like the ones you use in your story (low body temp, need to workout more even when I averaged 2-3 hours of combo each day).
    I am waiting for the treatment regimen, I go see my dr. tomorrow.
    Thanks for your article, I thought I was going crazy.

  183. Dede Stoykova permalink
    August 29, 2012 12:57 pm

    Hi, Amber, my husband came upon your post after I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 2 months ago. He ordered your book too. I immediately started a gluten, dairy, and eggs free diet, and I’m already feeling better and it all makes so much sense;but there is also all this other things I have to avoid, according to the diet Dr. Kharrasian recommends for Hashie’s. I love your smoothies, all the ingredients hat you use, but for that diet one has to avoid all bananas, dried fruits, seed, nuts, hemp, flax, so really what can one eat? Do you follow Dr. K’s diet, and how do you manage? All one can eat is greens-and not all of them at that, and some fruits and coconut. How can you get all the other essential nutritions? Thank you very much! And thanks for the hope you give and the upbeat blog, posts, and life outlook.

    Dede Stoykova

    • August 29, 2012 1:02 pm

      Hi Dede!
      I followed Dr. K’s elimination diet strictly for about 6 weeks, then gradually added foods (like nuts, other fruits, etc.) back in. Luckily nothing seemed to bother my system, but I had to do the elimination diet to be sure, so I’m glad I did. The restrictions definitely aren’t meant to be lifelong; rather, it’s a way to reset your body and find out any potential food sensitivities you may have.
      I did write a 3-day sample food log from when I was on the elimination diet – you can find it here: http://almostveganchef.com/2012/04/26/elimination-diet-3-day-food-log/ (As you can see, I was told seeds were ok to eat.)
      Hope that helps! I wish you lots of luck, and I hope you’re still able to enjoy many recipes in my book during this time. :)

      • Dede Stoykova permalink
        August 29, 2012 1:18 pm

        Amber, Thank you for the quick answer. Have you done the different food sensitivities tests that her recommends, or only the elimination and re-introduction diet?

      • August 29, 2012 1:20 pm

        I had a Cyrex gluten array done, but beyond that, no. I kind of wanted to :) but my doctor didn’t feel it was necessary – he said that elimination/reintroduction is actually more telling than blood tests for most foods.

      • Dede Stoykova permalink
        August 29, 2012 1:25 pm

        Thanks again, I just read that somebody suggested you write a book on Hashinoto and Autoimmune diet. I think it’s a great idea!

      • August 29, 2012 1:27 pm

        Aw, thanks! Perhaps if I ever “heal” myself, it’d be a book-worthy subject ;)

  184. September 3, 2012 12:12 pm

    Hi Amber,
    I am 26 years old and was recently diagnosed with hashimoto’s disease. I happened to stumble upon your blog on the Internet after looking for information about following a healthy diet. Thank you for being so brave to share your story publicly. Unfortunately, I can relate to many of your struggles. I find your posts and recipes to be helpful. Please keep up the great work, and I second that you should publish a book with recipes for people with hashi’s.

  185. missy permalink
    September 4, 2012 9:07 am

    I have been searching for support and info for a year. This was the most helpful post. Encouraging. Made me feel like I am not alone. `

  186. September 10, 2012 10:03 pm

    Girl, you are not alone! Do not have hashimoto’s, but, in the last four years have gone from the (very, very slow) jogger who had finished her second half-marathon, to someone who can’t even run a mile without facing serious joint deformity, extreme fatigue and joint (toe) numbness, to now (as of today) facing an angiogram at the age of 43! I’m in shock. And, like you, I’ve felt the need to explain to the gym rats (work with a bunch of guys who are used to seeing my running and on the treadmill) why I’m not in there anymore: fatigue, joint pain, adhesion pain (endometriosis)…there’s more, but this is all that counts. Like you, I (used to) love to work out. Even before my “last run”, it wasn’t fun anymore. Actually, for several years my husband was trying to get me to quit (because I was so abnornally tired, & with a very young child), but, like you, love the run, the exercise, the good (as in really healthy) food – that will make it all better right? Actually, I’m just glad that you have your answer now as to WHY? I’m still seeking mine…I never thought i’d be having an angiogram at 43. Hope you feel better now, it’s been a few months for you. As for me, I will be doing some serious juicing before, and after, this procedure to reduce ongoing inflammation in my body. Seriously miss the running, though. It was my happy pill. Hard to explain that to non-exercisers, and to exercisers, too!

  187. Dede Stoykova permalink
    September 11, 2012 9:41 am

    Hi, all, Amber, Kathy, thank you for sharing and for all the information that has been live saving for me at this point in my life. I’d like to share something too, that might help some of you to determine the cause of this debilitating disease. After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s this summer I started on a quest to find out what caused this autoimmune reaction, which was progressing with ever increasing and ever more bothersome symptoms. I though I already have heart disease, vein and artery disease, kidney infection, diabetes, mental disease and number of neurological things going on. I started the raw diet and this help a lot in improving the symptoms. But not quite yet. I went to a Nutritionist and she found out SO MUCH YEAST IN MY BLOOD, that she said i have as much yest as i have blood cells!!!! This was a shocker!
    Never the less it explained almost ALL of the above symptoms. She (the nutritionist) said “no wonder you are feeling so bad” Yeast wrecks havoc on EVERYTHING IN YOUR BODY! Every organ, tissue, cell! She believes this is the main culprit for the autoimmune condition and also an old mononucleosis virus on top of it. My immune system is in a state of attack and inflammation and that is exhausting all the glands, the adrenals and disrupting every function in my body, The antibodies are attacking the thyroid, because there is virus attached to the thyroid tissue. So basically till I clean up that infection I cannot proceed to health and healing the glands. I am now on an antifungal diet, which resembles the Paleo diet, since all grains (including rice :(, all sugar (including fruit) , all starchy veggies (white potatoes, too) , all nuts and all dried fruits are a BIG NO NO for fungus and yeast of any kind. I have to acknowledge that I feel great after the first week of this diet. Truly reviving! As if my body was waiting for this and saying now, Ohhh, this is it. There is some symptoms of detox, as this infection needs to exit the body. I am also taking an additional grapefruit extract to clean the infection up. So even though I loved eating raw, I now have to add some real protein to my diet and avoid many of the things that come into the smoothies the I so loved, Amber. I am very limited with what i can use in there, so I am resorting to green smoothies and add just a few blackberries for taste. From the fruit only green apple, lemon, some grapefruit–that’s it. So, all of you, who suffer of Hashimoto’s or other autoimmune condition, please, get checked by a Naturopathic doctor or Nutritionist to see whether there is not an underlying fungal or viral infection. It is an easy live blood cell analysis, done in front of you. Even if you are not diagnosed with something, but feeling lousy, like you Kathy, make sure to check for yeast, too, and infection, that is easily treatable with diet and supplements. Allopathic doctors would not check for that, and the worst that could happen if you do have yeast is to give you antibiotics — then it will go rampant. Just consider all this, it does not meant you should not do your other tests and fallow your doctors advice.
    Good luck to all!!

    • September 11, 2012 10:20 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Dede. I personally tested negative for all [excessive] yeasts, but it is definitely something that many Hashi’s folks struggle with, and is absolutely worth checking for!

  188. October 5, 2012 10:44 am

    I just found your link on Dr. Decker’s Facebook page so I was very curious to read your post. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 8 years ago. Recently, I have been considering the GAPS diet, to see if it makes a difference. What you can eat if you are vegan and said you can’t eat all of those things listed above? I was vegetarian my entire life, I under ate and over exercised and ate everything low-fat. So, even though I have a genetic marker for auto-immunity, I believe that perhaps all of those reasons are cause — and then again maybe not. Anyway, I decided to start eating meat and stop eating soy products, then I cut out gluten and now I’m cutting out grains. My Endo said I should be careful cutting out foods because I lose weight so easily that it would be bad for my health to lose anymore weight. But, I would love to see if it makes a difference for me. My husband said I look healthier for eating chicken and fish so maybe my lifelong diet was wrong for me. I wish you good luck, I know how emotionally painful Hashimoto’s can be. I’m glad you found a doctor that can help you, is it Dr. Decker? I haven’t met her but my friend high;y recommends her.

    • October 5, 2012 11:19 am

      Thanks Lyza. I don’t believe my veg diet caused my Hashi’s – in fact, I think it kept me healthy for far longer than I would have been otherwise. I completed my elimination diet several months back (you can see my other posts about Hashi’s/elimination diets here: http://almostveganchef.com/tag/hashimotos-disease), and honestly didn’t feel any better, so reincorporated various foods and now I’m back to my normal, nutritarian-style diet. Good luck with your elimination diet!
      I haven’t heard of Dr. Decker; is she in Kansas City?

      • October 5, 2012 11:39 am

        I realized that someone shared your post on Dr. Decker’s page, not you. No, she’s in New England. I will check out your link for your elimination diet.

        I have to take thyroid medication and even naturopathic dr’s recommend it for helping with symptoms . Have you had any relief from anything you have done? I was wary of the book you mention so I didn’t buy it, do you still find it helpful?

      • October 5, 2012 11:42 am

        A lot of people are able to heal their thyroid without meds using Dr. K’s approach, but I’m among the unlucky group for whom it wasn’t effective enough. So I’m back on medication now. I still highly recommend the book; there’s still a lot great info in their that isn’t well-reported elsewhere.

        • October 5, 2012 7:19 pm

          I have heard the people can “heal” their thyroids but I think there are so many factors. I got a book “Hope for Hashimoto’s” that I liked but it felt very much for someone who was just diagnosed. I have had the antibodies too long supposedly. But, I won’t give up. Like I said, I am going to try the GAPS diet, it is supposed to help all gut-related disorders (80% of auto-immune is in the gut— you probably know that already). Good luck.

        • October 5, 2012 7:21 pm

          I am the same way – it took me too long to get diagnosed, so I don’t really feel there’s a way to reliably “heal” me (though that doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying!). Good luck with the GAPS diet! I do know several people with other autoimmune ailments that have done well with that.

  189. Bryanne permalink
    October 14, 2012 9:08 am

    This sounds so much like me its unreal. Except it wasnt 30lbs it was 80. Thanks for this. I will be getting tested once ny transition period at work ends and my schedule becomes easier to work around. I thought my life was over at 23, I have hope now.

    • October 14, 2012 9:28 am

      I’m so glad to have given you hope, Bryanne. I’m six-months post-diagnosis now, and while it’s still slow going, I do feel improvements slowly but surely.

  190. Dawn Cowell permalink
    October 20, 2012 10:28 am

    Thank you for you candor. I was just diagnosed with Hashimotos 3 weeks ago and am working with a fabulous doctor and trying to learn all that I can. Your story resonated with me and is exactly what I needed to hear right now – to know that others who’s lifestyles were so similar to mine are also finding ways to live with Hashisimotos. Mine all started with an early menopause diagnosis at age 41 and I found a hollistic doctor to visit for some relief from the hot flashes and other symptoms. I was very surprised (at the time) to learn of the Hashimotos because I figured it was just menopause. Now I too will be changing my diet and will be taking a lot of gut related supplements and vitamins and bioidentical sex hormones. I am very glad to now know what is happening and how to treat it and to know that there is so much in my control with my diet and to also know that there are so many others who are walking this same path. Thank you for sharing your story.

  191. Rachel Madore permalink
    October 20, 2012 8:58 pm

    Amber,
    I can’t tell you how much your courage in sharing your story means to me. You write with such raw vulnerability and I so appreciate that! I know that your story has helped thousands in finding hope in the midst of physical suffering. I am 26 and was just diagnosed with Hashimotos and many of the other accompanying complications that you mentioned. We’re still trying to figure out if I also have auto-immune hepatitis (liver) and MS (brain) which showed positive antigens on my cyrex lab. It’s been a long frustrating road and although I’m thankful to finally have a name for the symptoms that I’ve experienced, I also know I have a long road ahead of me. I’ve been through 3 local doctors that trained under dr. kharrazian and all have given me mixed information. I’m so desperate that I’ve decided to apply to see Dr. Kharrazian himself. I’m on week 9 of the anti-inflammatory diet and can’t wait to return to some of my favorite healthy raw foods. Do you have any advice for me in the meantime?

    Rachel

    • October 23, 2012 9:19 am

      Thank you, Rachel – I’m glad my post could help in any way. I’m sorry to learn about your situation. I’d love to hear what you think of working directly with Dr. K!

  192. Kessia Parmley permalink
    November 5, 2012 11:34 am

    How long have you been following this new eating regimin? Have you seen improvements ie weightloss? What foods are now main staples in your diet? Can you share any recipes that you have enjoyed that incorporate these?

    • November 5, 2012 12:07 pm

      Hi Kessia,
      Be sure to browse my posts from the past several months to check out what I’ve been eating! The elimination diet didn’t help me, so I’m back to a diet of lots of whole, fresh, natural foods – my usual. :)

      • Dede Stoykova permalink
        November 5, 2012 4:19 pm

        Hi, Amber, I’d like to ask you how did you know that the elimination diet didn’t work for you, did you do blood work, or just didn’t feel better? I took on the elimination diet and I’m doing much better. I worked with a nutritionist, though, who gave me lots of supplements, and it was more like a cleansing diet plus adding lots of nutrients and vitamins. I will know if the autoimmune attack has subsided when I do a blood test, but I definitely am feeling better.

      • November 5, 2012 4:21 pm

        Both – my frequent blood tests actually worsened, as did the way I was feeling.

        • Dede Stoykova permalink
          November 5, 2012 4:38 pm

          Sorry to hear that. Keep up the good cooking and I bet you will feel better. I believe that this condition just has to run it’s course, it is like inflammation that will eventually subside. I am not taking any drugs for it, since I believe it will improve on it’s own. I do not think it is a live long condition. Again, thanks for the good recipes, i made the caramel brawny for my girl’s birthday :)

  193. Candice permalink
    November 26, 2012 10:36 am

    Thank you for posting this…I stumbled upon it through pinterest. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 2 1/2- 3 months ago. They are still jacking with my med levels. I go through a roller coaster every few weeks because of the adjustments. I start feeling good the first week or two adter the adjustment and I start thinking, “Is this how it feels to have a normal level of energy? Maybe I’ll have enough energy today to finish unpacking boxes or maybe I’ll even go work out and get start working off this extra 30 lbs…woohoo! This feels great!”
    …then I find myself in deep slumber on the couch and increasingly depressed that I didn’t accomplish anything I wanted to do because I got freakishly tired and landed on the couch again. This is increasingly frustrating because it’s not just me that I disappoint. It frustrates, annoys my boyfriend as well. You see, he is a marathon and triathlon athlete and cannot understand why I can’t get off my ass. He’s also military and doesn’t get the words “I can’t.” He doesn’t understand why doing simple activities can drain me for days. He tells me to go work out to release endorphins and increase my energy, but he can not comprehend that I don’t have enough energy to even change into workout clothes…much less work out.
    I don’t eat super healthy, but I also feel that I don’t eat terrible either. There are improvements that I am gradually making to my diet as I learn. I have had so many people give me their two cents on what I should do. Stop taking the meds, go work out, change your diet, just get off your ass and ignore that you’re tired, etc. etc. etc. Since you personally understand how it feels to have hashimoto’s, is there anything you can recommend to help me start feeling normal again so that I can stop annoying and frustrating everyone around me with my lack of energy.

    • November 27, 2012 3:00 pm

      So sorry to hear you’re dealing with similar issues, Candice. I wish I had some hard-and-fast advice to give. I’m the type that pushes myself to work out no matter how crappy I feel, so I know I’m no help there. =/ I’d say focus on the food – you have to eat no matter what, so make every meal nutrient-packed and as junk-free as possible. And hopefully when you’re in the right place with your meds, that will make a difference too.

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