Thank you all so much for the support, the emails, the comments, and the prayers about my health- they mean the world to me. I never feel alone, even in the moments when I am, because of you and all of the other people who surround me with love in this world! I’m so grateful.
I’ve been mentioning tidbits about what’s going on with my health here and there but have been waiting to be closer to answers so I could share with you. Since I started this blog I’ve been committed to sharing the struggles in my life right alongside all that is good, to remain authentic in telling my story in between the inspiration I share. So today I’m going to give you all the nitty gritty details. It’s wild to think about writing this for the interweb but if reading about my path to health can help even one other person find their light at the end of the tunnel or feel less alone in their own struggles I will lay it all out there!!! Sit down with a cup of tea if you’re interested, this is a long one…
I can’t really define the moment when I became unwell, I think it was a slow progression. As you may have read in my posts about Crohn’s Disease (read more about that here) I was an unhealthy eater who thought she was eating healthy but didn’t really know what that meant, for most of my life. I abused my body in numerous and common ways- too much alcohol, not enough sleep, too much work, not enough nutrition,etc. And then, during a time of tremendous stress, I developed Crohn’s Disease and was hospitalized for a week. From a Western Medicine perspective, Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease. They believe there may be a genetic component but that more or less it’s just the luck of the draw. From an Eastern perspective, I’ve come to learn, Crohn’s is a symptom of imbalance in the body- and most likely has parasitic roots. I was floored when the homeopath I’m seeing suggested that I might have picked up a parasite shortly before I was diagnosed because prior to my diagnosis every doctor I saw about my symptoms had suggested that perhaps I’d picked up a bacteria or parasite on one of the few trips I took to Mexico that year. My acupuncturist told me that in Chinese medicine they believe Crohn’s is a response to a parasite as well.
Naturally I was freaked out at the idea of a parasite, but the homeopath reminded me that ALL animals have them, that humans are animals too, that we ALL have them, pick them up, pass them around, and typically, our immune systems fight them off. Or they survive within our systems in a way that doesn’t effect us. I believe that because I’d been such an unhealthy eater- from birth- my immune system wasn’t strong enough to fight that parasite off. There may be genetic component that contributed to my susceptibility as well since I have two family members with the disease.
As you know I treated the Crohn’s with a Macrobiotic diet in early 2011. It really seemed to help- as long as my body wasn’t under a lot of stress I could stay “healthy”. But my new normal of health was never quite the same as the health I enjoyed in me early twenties and pre-diagnosis- and not what I want for myself- which is to truly feel full of life and have the energy to do all that I want to do! I was significantly more susceptible to fatigue, had increasing anxiety, heart palpitations that never went away, and slowly developed what I was never diagnosed with but appeared to be Endometriosis (extremely painful periods that would have me in bed for 2-3 days). In 2014 my level of fatigue started increasing, and I began seeing an Acupuncturist and an Ayurvedic doctor to treat the Endometriosis and my overall health (you can read more about that here). The acupuncture helped tremendously with the Endometriosis, and both practitioners suggested that I begin eating animal protein to build up my system. After eating a primarily vegan diet for almost 4 years and believing that it was keeping me healthy this was a huge transition but I trusted that I was on the right path. And I did begin to feel stronger, the eggs and meat were absolutely helping- but something was still OFF.
In January of this year we moved, sold a house, bought a house and moved cities. It was insanely stressful. I found myself growing more and more tired as the year progressed. There were many days I could barely drag myself out of bed. In early February I cut out everything that I thought might be causing inflammation out of my diet- no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no processed foods, no alcohol. Not even on occasion. But still, I was unable to stabilize my bowels- alternating between diarrhea and constipation. I developed dark circles under my eyes, my voice became hoarse (which I attributed to the exhaustion), I experienced intense bloating and crazy digestive noises after meals, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, nausea, stomach pain, and soreness in my chest. I also had a panic attack that landed me in the ER. When I told my western doctor about these symptoms, she suggested I try an anti -anxiety medication since it was such a stressful time in life and my body was having such a hard time coping. So I started taking Zoloft. It has helped a great deal with the anxiety, but none of the other symptoms went away. I kept thinking that my body was reacting to the stress of a move, to settling into a new house, and to a few other stressful things that have come up this year. But then the dust settled. And my body didn’t. I’ve not been able to get well. My acupuncturist, as amazing as she is, realized that she needed help treating me. So she referred me to a homeopath.
The thing that I love most about Homeopathy is that it looks at the entire system. It begs the question WHY? WHY the Crohn’s, WHY the Endometriosis, WHY the fatigue, WHY the anxiety and panic attack? Instead of just dishing out pills to treat the symptoms, my homeopath started looking for the root of the problem. And as she was doing so a lightbulb went off- I was in Bali in December. A land ripe with parasites. One of my fellow travelers got “Bali belly” but quickly recovered, I had diarrhea briefly while we were there but didn’t think much of it since I was traveling and diarrhea is not crazy uncommon for me when I’m eating an entirely different diet. I believe I’m susceptible to parasites because of a weakened immune system. My friend who got Bali belly is 100% healthy. I came home and started developing symptoms.
But the confusing thing is that the symptoms were similar to Crohn’s symptoms. I thought it was stress. I thought I needed to tweak my diet, rest more, drink bone broth. Until I did all of those things and couldn’t recover. This year I’ve been feeling increasingly worse and worse- I hit a rock bottom.
During my first visit with the homeopath she wrote down my entire medical history starting with childhood illnesses, she had me tell her in great length about every symptom, every aspect of my health and how I feel. And then she started to connect the dots. Right away she mentioned my thyroid, she mentioned the possibility of a parasite triggering autoimmune responses in my body. She mentioned Hashimoto’s an autoimmune response where the body attacks the thyroid. She tested my blood- and then told me what people of my blood type thrive on eating (a diet high in animal protein and low in grains, legumes and starches- very much the opposite of what I ate for 2 full years after my Crohn’s diagnosis while my health continued to slowly decline).
She had me run some bloodwork and analyzed routine bloodwork that I’d had done in November. The Thyroid bloodwork I had done came back WITHIN THE NORMAL RANGE by Western standards- yet I have almost a textbook case of Hashimoto’s. She told me that even though my Western doctor saw the results as “normal” in her opinion they were extremely low. She asked me to request the blood test for Hashimoto’s, which tests specifically for thyroid antibodies and is used to diagnose the disease. I begged my doctor to run the test- he told me that I didn’t have the disease because my thyroid blood tests were normal but that he would do it just to ease my mind. And then, the results came back: POSITIVE. He emailed me the results and told me to come back in 3 months to have my thyroid levels re-tested. In spite of the fact that on my best day I feel only OK and only that until the evening, in spite of the fact that on my worst days I can’t get out of bed and think I’m dying- he told me to wait three months to come back. In Western medicine, from what I’ve come to understand, unless the thyroid tests comes back low within the pre-set range they won’t treat you. They will wait until the disease progresses enough to fit within their standards to treat you. It’s outrageous, at best.
To complicate things further in May a routine pap test came back abnormal, and a biopsy revealed that I had stage 4 pre-cancerous cells, otherwise known as stage 0 cancer. Last Wednesday I had a procedure to remove all of those cells (photo above before surgery- I don’t know how Lou always remembers to take photos when I’m at a hospital but he does and I’m always so grateful!) I was hoping to get a trip to Fiji in before the surgery, but unfortunately had to cancel when I just wasn’t well enough to travel. All of this has delayed aggressive treatment of any parasites I may have.
Thankfully there are people like my homeopath who are committed to helping people (as I’m sure there are better western doctors, they are just hard to come by as the Western school of thought on it is so wildly off). My homeopath put me on the GAPS diet– she believes that all of the poor eating in my younger years created a lack of healthy bacteria in my gut that made me susceptible to the parasites- my gut was a great habitat for them to thrive in. And their thriving has triggered multiple immune diseases in my body as it misfires and misidentifies the foreign matter in my intestines and bloodstream and attacks itself. Additionally my homeopath ordered intensive parasite tests so that I can get to the bottom of what may be throwing my body off and take appropriate antibiotics/herbs to get rid of any critters that are harming me.
I’ve spent a good part of this year in bed. There have been stretches of days, and even a few weeks at one point, when I felt better. But it’s been a roller coaster. It’s been the most challenging 6 months of my life. There are moments when I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread, and then I remember that the world is full of people who are suffering, that it’s a part of the human experience, that I have to keep searching for the good. For all of you who are suffering from chronic illnesses, I beg of you, don’t give up. I know just how dark it can get. Search for the light.
The GAPS diet seems to be helping- I’m 18 days in and SO many of my symptoms have either lessened dramatically or gone away completely. I’m very hopeful that I’m well on my way to recovering. But I have a long path to go down still (luckily we caught the Hashimoto’s early- although I believe I’ve been experiencing symptoms of a malfunctioning thyroid for at least the past year if not longer). The GAPS diet involves eliminating foods that feed bad bacteria or parasites, healing the gut, getting rid of Candida and then building the health of the intestinal walls, good bacteria and gut back up. It is widely believed that the immune system and gut are linked- and some believe that the entire key to a healthy immune system is a healthy gut. I know more about all of this than I would ever have wanted to, but I think at the end of it I’m going to have a very clear picture of what health looks like for my body.
One of the things I keep reminding myself is that the answers to health problems are not always easily sorted- and vary from person to person. I thought I’d found my answer with the Macrobiotic diet- as so many with Crohn’s disease have, but truly that had only stabilized me enough to lead a relatively normal life- it hadn’t treated the actual cause of the disease. And I am not certain that this GAPS diet is the answer- but I do believe that we can heal our bodies of many illnesses, and especially many auto immune diseases. And I intend to keep trying and searching until I find out what works for mine. I believe Hippocrates hit the nail on the head when he said “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food”. (Although it’s a slippery slope to this if you don’t keep things in check) Please, if you have any advice I would love to hear it! Thank you so much for reading and following along- I promise to keep you updated! xx- Sarah
Fingers crossed and prayers sent so you feel better!
Sarah, prayers, and well wishes for you! Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I know it must be hard.
Keep fighting girl! Sending so much love <3
This is so amazing of you. I love how you’ve taken your health into your own hands. Western doctors have been trained to think a certain way, it’s just unfortunate they can’t be open to other methods of healing. Many are so close-minded, it’s insane! I too live in San Diego, I think we even know many of the same people, and have my own health issues. I’ve seen healers, done Accupuncture and homeopathy, diets up the wazoo,.. Everything. If you’d be open to sharing your homeopathist I would be so grateful, the one I had wasn’t very good and I kind of dismissed that as an option. Did you also like the Ayurvedic dr? Keep up the good work, you’re obviously strong, you’ll find what your body needs 🙂
Sarah, you are so strong. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Praying for good health and peace.
thanks for sharing sarah! hang in there. i’m totally with you about seeking out the doctors and treatments that are best for you since western medicine and individual doctors offer just one point of view and it can be so frustratingly off. hope you’ll have a steady recovery with the new info in hand and lots of love from lou and the pups. sending healing vibes! xx
Oh hashimoto’s! My annoying story certainly isn’t to the extent that yours is but I am going to look into your new diet. All of us women in the family are Low range hypothyroid or more. My sister has to seek out a specialist vs a primary care physician, especially if you decide to medicate or try hormones, see a specialist who is open to more than one kind of med. Synthetic hormones can mess someone up! I myself have an undiagnosed case of endometriosis which along side ovulating pains that have landed me in the er, are conjoined with fatigue and stress issues that lead me to a plant based diet with a few exceptions, I’ve been tested by the western doctor for a range of things, but I get the “take vitamins” answer when my results are borderline. Keep on keeping on! Thinking of you!
Not sure if you remember me. I used to do the weddings at the Ace. I have a very similar story to yours and have Hashimoto’s with normal (western standard) thyroid ranges. I still have bad days but what has helped me the most is a strict 6 month stent on the Autoimmune Paleo diet. There is a great book by Mickey Trescott that you can get on Amazon called “the autoimmune paleo cookbook” and she has hashi too. Also, taking lots of turmeric, 200 mg selenium a day, diatomaceous earth to keep parasite and candida away, and keeping my liver clean with a detoxing protein shake called Vital Clear protein powder by Vital Nutrients. I still can’t do refined sugars, but have been able to introduce eggs, seeds and rice successfully. Otherwise, I believe I will be on AIP diet for life. It makes me feel best and I have tried a number of things. Everybody is different, so it’s all about finding what works for you. I also saw an allergy specialist and got tested for environmental and food allergies which helped me fine tune my diet and see what my triggers are. It’s all about putting out that immune stystem storm. There is a great book called “Hashimotos, the root cause” that gets to the nitty gritty science of what’s going on in your body which helped me understand a lot and also fine tune which supplements I should take and how much…some things are different for hashi folks than others. Anyways, I wish you all the best. It is a hard and frustrating journey, but now that you have your diagnosis I hope your healing journey accelerates and leads you to more good days!
Also..ask your western doc for an ultrasound of your thyroid so you have a baseline of where it is at. I have a nodule that needs monitoring as do most other hashi patients.
Wow, this is truly bizarre to read. You are describing EXACTLY what I’ve been going through for the past 5 years, almost to a T.
Endometriosis, parasites, gut problems, Thyroid problems. Everything. I am at a total loss lately, and have felt like nobody will help me. I went to a new gynecologist who didn’t even do an exam and told me “You probably just have a yeast infection.” I got up and walked out of the room.
Looking into this book before I visit any more doctors. Thank you so so much for sharing! I hope you feel better soon.
thank you for sharing your story! i think its incredibly brave to be open about your illness. my mother has been living with an undiagnosed disease her whole life which western medicine has basically shrugged their shoulders at. a lot of muscle pain and fatigue all the time. she’s found a lot of help in diet, but would probably find a lot of help in Eastern medicine. no idea if your homeopath is also a medicine maker, but my friend Lindsay Kluge is an herbalist who works with a hospital here in virginia and she crafts plant medicine tinctures and teas specifically for each patient. she has a particular focus on nutrition and has helped me with issues in the past. i love her! if your interested, you can find her at gingertonicbotanicals.com <3
Might be worth looking into Lyme’s Disease. iGenex in California is a good lab to send bloodwork for testing. I’d recommend the Western Blot, IgG and IgM. Wishing your mother the best in her search for answers.
oh my goodness you’re in my prayers I’m so sorry that you are going through this. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery and hope you are up to felling better real soon
Awe, Sarah. I’m sorry for your struggles and praying, crossing fingers and wishing for a smooth treatment. Positive thoughts and hugs to you and Lou.
A dear childhood friend of mine is a professional model and he battles Crohn’s disease. His mother started an amazing foundation called the Crohns and Colitis Nutrition Foundation. I feel like you could definitely find a community of support with them. If you have the chance check out http://www.NutritionHeals.org
I’m so sorry!
Parasite cleanses exist and they are amazing (gross) but amazing!
Have you checked out Stop the Thyroid madness? I’ve been dealing with this too. I actually made myself sick eating too much kale. True story. Certain foods attack your thyroid. I have found a functional medicine do for who helped me test all of the right things including adrenal fatigue and Vitamin D. I’m better, but seriously considering natural dessicated thyroid.
I hope this helps even a tiny bit.
You are amazing –
Best wishes Sarah! I am such a fan of your blog and actually have a lot of the same healthy issues that you struggle with, including Hashimoto’s. I would highly recommend finding a good naturopathic doctor (or functional medicine dr) rather than the traditional Western medicine primary care dr. They approach things in a holistic way and look for natural solutions versus a prescription drug to treat individual symptoms. This was the key for me along with acupuncture to start getting my health back on track after years of no solutions/answers via Western medicine. I hope you are able to feel better and get your health back in time. I can totally relate as I’ve been at this for several years now, tinkering a little more every day.
Oh, my goodness. You are SO strong. I feel for you that you’re experiencing all of these “what if’s” and “why’s” in such a dramatic way, but your positive outlook is ridiculously inspiring. I’ve battled with digestive/immune system issues for YEARS with no diagnosis, and Western medicine has been of no help. I also have irregular paps and have for years, so I know even just a fraction of what you’re feeling and it’s terrifying. I truly hope this works for you!!!!
I’m so terribly sorry you are having to go through all of this . But thank you so much for sharing your journey with us!
So sorry to read you haven’t been well. I hope you get some answers soon and treatment soon. I suffer from Graves Disease which attacks the thyroid. I ultimately wound up with Thyroid Cancer. It’s incredible the havoc a Thyroid gland can cause!! I read “The Thyroid Solution” by Dr Rhida Arem and it was life changing. It answered so many questions and I had so many “a-ha” moments. His book hit the nail on the hard so hard that I ultimately went (and continue) to see Dr Arem in TX (I live in Los Angeles). I can honestly say getting my thyroid under control has changed my life. I truly wish you the best in this journey. It’s so confusing and frustrating but proper care will get you feeling “normal” again. It may take a while to find an Endo that actually listens to your symptoms and not just reads blood work results. Good luck!! Wish you the best. XO
Love you Jess!
You rock and are a great inspiration.
wow sarah. what a loaded story. thank you for keeping it real and telling it to us in detail. your story is so inspiring and real. i’ve been hoping you’d share since you started talking about health issues last year or so. thinking of you and please keep us updated <3
As someone who suffers from 3 auto-immune diseases, I’m so glad to hear that you’re on the GAPS diet. I began an AIP diet shortly after being diagnosed with Lupus and it has truly given me my life back. Though I still can experience flares if I have long periods of stress or a continual lack of sleep, I was able to wean off all medications and put my diseases into remission. I wish you the best of luck as you continue on your journey!
Very sorry to hear that you have been suffering through all of this but I have dealt with thyroid disease for 20 years and all the ups and downs doctors refuse to acknowledge. Fortunately I have a doctor who FINALLY realized that what the charts say is normal is not MY normal and began to actually listen to what I said. Thyroid is a very difficult organ to treat as it can be so “moody” but I hope you are on the road to recovery and able to begin enjoying life soon. Best wishes!
AMEN to this! I am so glad you finally figured out the Hashimotos, another piece of the puzzle. I suspected this in one of your previous updates because voice difficulties/hoarseness were a first symptom for me of a thyroid issue as well. I think once you get the thyroid under control, other things may start falling into place & you may feel better. My entire family has thyroid issues, but my numbers are always normal. Well, two years ago I went to a fabulous ENT because of pain in my throat & hoarseness. First thing he checked was the thyroid. He said that my numbers were normal, but so low within normal range that I probably felt like crap, which I did! He said he thought I needed to be medicated. We tried Synthroid. That was a nightmare & did not agree with my body. He was willing to put me on Armour Thyroid. Best.decision.ever! I have been on it for almost 2 years, and feel like a completely different person. Like you, I previously felt just unwell for MANY years, probably since my early 20s (I’m 33). I truly believe that being on Armour helped me to conceive also. I am 7 mos pregnant now, and have had a very easy & very healthy pregnancy. When the thyroid is out of whack, so much in the body is not functioning properly. Good luck to you! I hope that you are on the mend, and that you start feeling better super soon!
sending good vibrations, positive thoughts, prayers and healthy energy to you. xo
Hi Sarah! You and I worked together on a wedding back in the day (Kelly & Steven in her parents’ backyard in West Covina) when I ran my business La Partie Events. I’ve followed your blog and all of its wonderfulness for a long time now and I’m so so sorry your health keeps fluctuating and causing you stress and discomfort. I’m in the middle of some serious health issues myself (I’ve been hospitalized twice lately) with symptoms ranging from sever anxiety attacks, achy body, high fever, depression, pneumonia…you get the picture. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s years back but my TSH has been within “normal range” ever since and I’ve never seen an Endo. My general practitioners always said I was within the “normal range” and didn’t need to see a specialist and now I see how crazy that was!! Seems like so many of us have the same story! I’ve been having a lot of ah-ha moments lately and I’m feeling encouraged to take charge of my health and see some specialists and alternative medicine doctors ASAP. Your story inspired me. Thank you Sarah! Stay strong! Hugs, Meg
I guess I’m lucky that I had a western doctor willing to treat my hasimotos when my levels were on the lower side but within normal range.
I’ve always been tired since I was a young child. My mom asked for tests to be done thinking I was anemic but nothing ever showed. Then when I was 22 I insisted on a full blood panel. Ana showed my hasimotos. My dr treated me immediately and I saw results. I haven’t had any trouble with getting refills even with new doctors. It must depend on what medical group you go to. All Drs I’ve seen with cedars and UCLA understand that some individuals need more levels of hormones.
Sarah, thank you so much for sharing your health journey. As weird as this may sound, it’s kind of comforting to know that there are others struggling to find the answers to their health issues. Like you said, it’s multidimensional and there’s rarely one miracle cure for a given person. Personally, I’ve had periods of wellness / illness on and off since childhood. I used to be a regular at the Children’s hospital due to severe stomach pains. After having every test imaginable performed on me, the doctors shrugged it off as “IBS”, the disease with no cure, only symptomatic treatment. I’ve been prescribed anxiety medication but it has only provided minor relief. What you said about getting to the WHY of disease really struck me – it makes so much more sense to look at an illness from a holistic approach, rather than simply a “disease of the thyroid” or “illness of the stomach”. Every human function is interrelated, so why isn’t our treatment of illness comprehensive? But anyways – the best of luck as you continue your journey to wellness, my thoughts and prayers are with you! <3
i have followed you for a couple of years. i so much parallel and relate to your health issues (i have UC) and healing path. I actually first stumbled upon your blog while searching for nutrition/IBD stuff. my 4-year old has an auto-immune disease (diagnosed at 2.5 with psoriatic arthritis) so this reaaalllly strikes a chord with me. thank you for sharing this with the inter-web- it IS helping many, many people i would imagine. it’s definitely helping me. you inspire me in so many ways, and you are in my thoughts. xo
Wow, Sarah. Thinking about you and not sure what else to say. Don’t know where you’ve managed to find the time, effort or energy to put out the beautiful blog posts that you do (or get dressed for the photos) but man, you’ve sure put on a brave face <3
What a difference between the Western vs. Eastern "medicine"; I had no idea. Although I have no suffering at this time, I will remember this and know to seek out a second opinion, that of Homeopathies because you are showing us that we can't always put our trust in the first Doctor's opinion (can't believe that test came back positive afterall!).
Sending you a BIG HUG and POSITIVE VIBES, hoping this new diet starts to take transformation and get you better 🙁 Really feel for you, friend. Sending love from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Hi Sarah, I am so sorry that you are struggling with your health. I have had Hashimoto’s for the past 20 years and during that time have seen around 10 different endocrinologist. About 3 years ago, I found Dr. Sandeep Chaudhary, MD, and I can’t say enough good things about him. He is a truly exceptional doctor, that treats your whole body. He is located in the UTC area and his website is http://mywellspringhealth.com; if you are interested. I hope you can find the answers you need and get back to you optimal health soon!
Sarah, I’m very sorry you’re going through a rough time with your health. I know how it feels to be at the bottom of a pit and feel unable to climb out – and to not even know which direction to starting climbing even if I were to have the energy! I also have Crohn’s Disease and thyroid problems and have been adjusting my diet and supplements and lifestyle continuously. Sometimes it’s exhausting. It’s a long and winding journey. I’m glad you have Lou and that you have access to caring medical care. I’ll be praying for you, body, mind, and spirit.
On a different topic, my husband and I recently did remodeling in our desert home (Arizona) and photos from your previous home were a major part of our inspiration file. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your brilliance.
Oh Sarah, I am so sorry! My sister has Hashimotos and it took us TEN YEARS to figure it out and find what worked. I actually may refer her to this post to give you some of her advice because through it all she has so much knowledge on auto immune diseases, anything thyroid related, diet, etc. she has a brilliant doctor who was referred to her by my aunt and this doctor was able to figure everything out relatively quickly. Of course, she’s in NYC, but better to have the information than not, right? Thinking of you and praying for you… There is a light at the end of the tunnel!
Sarah my dear! Sending you warm, loving vibes from the East Coast. You have been very thoughtful and patient teasing this mystery out–here’s to more strength and insight! Hope you will feel the way you want to SOON. XO.
Oh my, I am so sorry for all you e been through! Ironically, my 17 yr old daughter has Crohn’s and I have both endometriosis and Hashimotos!! Have you been on any meds for Crohn’s? My daughter is on humira and my husband (yes, he also has Crohn’s!) has Remicade infusions every 8 weeks, it’s a horrible disease; I cannot imagine having it along with endo and Hashimotos! Please contact me if you need any help or support with any of these and hang in there!
I have suffered from Hashimoto’s for yrs. misdiagnosed and tested for various issues b/c my periods wer so bad. Finally, I asked to have my thyroid tested and the antibodies were so high, I had to take mega doses of Synthroid. Since stabilized, but continue mess, watch my stress and eat well. Lost 25 lbs since on right mess. Also believe it is linked to endometriosis and stomach ailments, in addition to cramps, I get intense intestinal issues. Pleas see an expert endocrinologist, not just an MD, and get blood test every 6 mos to check levels and I’d mess need to be adjusted. I am so in tune now I self adjust mess with my doc’s consent – when tired I may need higher dose. Homeopathy is good, diet control, and stress relief, but you also need an endocrinologist – left untreated, Hashimoto’s can result in myxedema and other serious conditions.
Meds and not “mess” – darn autocorrect!
Gosh Sarah, I’m so sorry to hear about all the recent health struggles you are going through this year. I have been following your blog for a couple of years now, and I always appreciate how open you are about the struggles you face. I also have Hashimoto’s disease. I was diagnosed Sept 2014. I had most of the same symptoms. I was prescribed Levoxythrine 50mg and it has worked wonders for my energy and anxiety levels. I do understand that my body continues to attack my thyroid and I could eventually get off my meds if I followed a strict diet. I have slowly started cutting out gluten, but I’m not at 100% yet. . I know gut health is so important when it comes to autoimmune diseases. My brother in law is a lab scientist and he said that a lot of funding is currently going to any lab is interested in gut health. I also read, The Root Cause by Izabella Wentz. Her book is amazing in discussing her journey with hashimoto’s. I’m going to look into the GAPS diet. Sending prayers your way:)
You are so brave to share your story! Thank you. Who knows how many people you may be helping. I lift you up in prayer that you may have good health and peace.
I am sorry to hear about your health problems. From reading of the ups and downs with your health, I can see that you will work and study and do everything to find out how best to get yourself back to good health. It is good that you have that drive, that is exactly what you will need. In the meantime, please know that you are in my thoughts and I am sending my best wishes for your recovery. Hugs to you and Lou.
Wishing you and Lou only the best.
Sending you my love Sarah! I know you’ll get better soon! xxx
Thanks for your honesty for all of us who are following along with your journey.
It sounds like a lot of tough things happening at the same time.
Be well, sending lots of positive thoughts your way. x
Wishing you well in the days and weeks ahead Sarah. Thank you, as always, for sharing your story. I have a friend w/ Crohn’s – I forwarded your website to her – so, you see, you’re ALWAYS reaching people. Will keep you and Lou in my thoughts.
I am so sorry for all that you’ve gone through and am so encouraged by your determination and effort to recover! We thought I had Crohns this past winter, and I’ve been suffering terribly for almost a year now, but we think to have deemed it a parasite. Also I’m anemic. So I began a parasite cleanse and started taking ion supplements and have seen such crazy healing its unreal. I’m so grateful, but the symptoms aren’t entirely gone. I’ve started seeing a naturopath as well and hope to fully determine the underlying causes like you did! Thank you for being so encouraging and I pray you continue to see healing through the treatment plan you’re on now <3
I am an avid reader of yours and for some reason yesterday I was randomly thinking “I wonder how Sarah is doing with her Crohn’s.” Your posts really inspire me – how you always change your diet to help fix your body, which is so great!
I had a large array of problems in my early twenties, gut issues were a big one, but so was leg and joint issues from being born pigeon toed. I read a holistic book called Conscious Health by Ron Garner at age 25 and it totally changed my life. Not only did it give advice on what I need to be eating but it got me believing in my body and the power of food. It has been 4 years since and most of my problems have been cleared/healed, no more joint pain, and my gut is on it’s way to better health. I’ve found that essential oils really help too!
I am praying for you and wish you the best life possible. I’m so sad that your putting in so much hard work and are feeling like you can’t get out of bed some days. I know so many people feel like this and I used to too. I hope that your health increases soon!
You are so talented, beautiful, and an inspiring person. I wish only the best for you and hope you are settled into your new house. No more stress!
I look forward to reading more from you.
I am glad you finally got a diagnosis, but sorry at the same time. My mother has a very similar story to yours, down to the western medicine & homeopath. Her western medicine doctors always said she was normal until she finally was referred elsewhere by a friend and discovered she had Hashimoto’s. I’ve watched her fatigue set in every evening and it is unreal. Her diet has definitely seemed to help most days. I wish you (both) the best in this!
Sarah, I’ve been reading your blog for some time now. I have been dealing with health issues for quite a long time now. 3 years ago it all went down hill fast and it was so scary. I didn’t have anyone to talk to, no one understood my symptoms or why it was all happening so fast. After so many tests, x-rays, cat scans, my family practitioner couldn’t tell me what was going on other then I had high ANA levels. I went to a specialist and they ran even more tests. I was told that I could possibly have three different auto immune diseases but they weren’t sure exactly which ones. I was a new mom at the time and felt completly helpless. I decided to do research of my own and that is when I found your blog. You helped me to realize that I wasn’t loosing my mind and I wasn’t alone. I have been down a similar path as you and can relate in so many ways with your posts regarding your health…but this post truly hits home with me. I recently found out that I too have Hashimoto’s Disease. Over the past three years due to research and seeing a holistic doctor, I have changed my whole way of life. The food I eat, the supplements I take, the products I use in my house, on my face, my workouts etc. It’s helped some but I still feel like my health is a guessing game, walking that fine line of a good day or a bad day. I hope you get all the help you need to put Hashimoto into remission (that’s my goal) and ultimately a healthier immune system. Take care and thank you for putting your story out there so that I didn’t feel alone. 🙂
As weird as it sounds, I was SO relieved to hear that you received the Hashimoto’s diagnosis because once you have that diagnosis you can treat it. So many people don’t know about Hashimoto’s and thus, don’t insist that their doctor run the proper tests and monitor YOUR thyroid levels. It boggles my mind that you have to be outside of that certain broad window of “normal” to be diagnosed with a problem vs. monitoring the patient on an individual basis to see how drastically their levels fluctuate. My mom was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 15 years ago. She’d been feeling crummy, always had stomach issues and was losing more and more hair by the month. She became so self conscious about her hair that she saw a specialist for hair loss and after being to multiple doctors to get to the root of the problem, it wasn’t until the hair loss specialist that Hashimoto’s was even mentioned. He insisted that she have her thyroid levels checked and sure enough, she was positive. While her hair loss stopped once she was treated, she never grew back her full head of blonde locks and still wears a wig to this day. It breaks my heart knowing how self conscious she is every morning when she wakes up, or when she just wants to run to the grocery store, but can’t “without her hair” or when the wind blows the wrong way and you can tell she’s wearing a wig. Thank you so much for sharing your story and helping those around you who might be going through the same. I’m thrilled that you have some answers and can start to heal! Sending you a great big hug and lots of love… xoxoxo
Thank you, for your candidness and willingness to share your experiences. I’ve been reading blogs for a long, long time, and yours is special. Wanted to say that first. 🙂 I’m glad you found someone who is an advocate for your well being. My husband has been on a similar road, the last few years, and we, too, are finally starting to get some (strangely, similar) answers. We started the GAPS diet this week, too. Best of luck to you. I hope this is what your body needs to start healing itself.
fingers crossed. And pray …. Pray….. Pray…… And all my Energy and well wishes for you. Fighting lovely Sarah ❤️
It’s a long road, riddled with conflicting information. My husband has been through it with migraines. We have done GAPS together and a lot of diet modification with western medicine. He’s done acupuncture and the like.
There’s progress and backsliding. It can be very frustrating. I don’t think there’s a magic bullet, but I do think with awareness and kindness toward yourself there’s hope.
Here’s hoping you feel much improved very soon.
Good luck with your recovery! I can recommend Dr. Karen McCowen at UCSD as a good Endocrinologist to consult with. Also, definitely steer clear of gluten because of the Hashimotos. Feel better!
You have a beautiful soul and you are such an articulate writer.
My concern about the GASPS diet is that it is essentialy a Russian diet, so I wonder whether it is appropriate for your climate and the region you live in. Please consider this factor.
I wish you all the best!!!!
Thank you for sharing. You certainly have had a tough go. I love that you sought alternative medicine…but really, what we now call alternative was medicine for millennia. Stay focused on your path and what your body needs. Keep listening to your inner voice. I had a devastating accident 7 years ago (house blew up and I was in it). Even though I looked fine on the outside, the inside was a big mess. My healing has been directly related to how I feed body, mind and soul. I have been a life long meditator and that saved me. I suspect that your CNS is on fire as was mine. Day by day, week by week, my CNS stabilizes. My joints are no longer inflamed, my gut/intestines soft, my migraines tolerable and I am regaining cognitive function. Any time we settle our CNS, it soothes our bodies in totality. You are clearly a sensitive individual which allows you to feel and see the world in bright colours, however our bodies need to come from a place of calm. Oddly enough, when we are in such a place of peace, our world expands into a vibrancy never before felt or seen. I wish this for you. Peace, and vibrancy of mind, body and soul. You are on the right track. xo be well
Healing and love for you! Thanks for sharing all this. xoxo
Thank you for sharing this, Sarah! Sending good wishes and peace and love your way!!
Wishing you well Sarah! And, thanks for posting. Something isn’t right with me either – I read your post and set up a doctor’s appointment. Getting my thyroid tested today.
Sarah I’m glad you are feeling better and hope you are 100% soon. I just wanted to say I appreciate you sharing with us. Its not always easy to search for the answer.
This is a completely different approach for people who’ve tried everything else:
It’s completely radical and truly healing but requires a true commitment and radical dietary changes. It’s based on a decades old lifestyle called Natural Hygiene but goes much further in order to heal. Klein will do phone consults too, which helps when deciding if it will be doable for you.
Have had hashimotos for 17 years and recently fibromyalgia. Discovered the AIP 8 months ago and it has been lifechanging. No fibro pain, great energy etc. Had previously been vegetarian.
There are some great blogs. Autoimmune Paleo, Paleo Mom Phoenix Helix. Paleo Partridge has chrons and had great results with AIP. Slightly Lost Girl also has chrons.
I also take compounded T3 with my thyroxine ( has a different name in the USA, I am in Australia).
Wish you all the best.
Girl I can totally relate. You and I share very similar stories. Our family has been on gaps/modified gaps for a long time now, with much success. We also work with an incredible naturopath, an amazing gaps coach, as well as a lymph specialist. I could go on an on about our journey, but we have experienced so much healing, and I strongly recommend consulting with a gaps specialist. We were doing it on our own for so long, but once we found our practitioner, healing went to the next level. For example, while Dr. Natasha highly recommends ferments, and yes they are amazing, I found out that I couldn’t handle high histamine foods for a while. I would have never known that working on my own. Anyways, please feel free to email me… I’m no expert, but we’re super experienced! Xo
Ps, I also dealt with parasites. They’re no joke. Happy to share my experience… Feeling so much better now!
I’d love to know how you discovered, then got rid of them. Can you email me? t.kinuda at y a h o o d o t c o m. Thanks so much!
I wish you all the best and keeping my fingers crossed for your health!
You are on the right road now and will get healthy and go to Fiji and everywhere else you wanted to go!
I’m just now catching up on reading posts, and I haven’t read all the comments so I’m sure this has been said, but ask around and find a good endocrinologist….one that treats your symptoms, not just your numbers. I had Graves disease and did RAI and have had a wonderful Endo….we’ve been together longer than my husband and I! Best thing he did was to prescribe naps. Take lots of naps, forever more. Best of luck on the road to health, you’ll get there.
I’m very sorry about the Crohn’s and other issues. My neighbor has Crohn’s, and I’ve watched her struggle with it for years. The only respite she had was during pregnancy and breastfeeding (went into remission). At one point, trying to control it with diet, she dropped well below 100 lbs. It was scary. It cannot be a good experience at all.
(I found you blog searching for red kuri squash recipes).
Sarah, wishing you well and strength to battle it! You are truly inspiring and, really, a role model. Lots of love!
I wish you all the best and hopefully in time you can get over this! I wonder….how many of us ate well in our youth? I know I didn’t! Lots of meals from cans or a box!
hey Sarah- you should check out the blog yogabycandace.com. She has been on the GAPS diet for a while now and frequently discusses it and what she is eating. It may be a good resource for you. Wishing you health and comfort in all of this. xo
So sorry to hear about your poor health, Sarah!
Hang in there, you are such a warrior, such an inspiration!
Just happened to stumble across your blog and as I have chrons, was compelled to keep on reading. Keep persevering and love life because remember whoever breaths has more right than wrong with them…so everything is worth it. I find a few minutes of meditation in the morning and night help to keep an emotional balance and you don’t have to do it in the “proper” stance, sitting comfortably or even lying down is okay (although with the latter you might doze off :)).
Oh Sarah, Thank you again so much for posting this. I think you can’t even begin to understand what it means to some of us with similar symptoms and problems. You are being so strong standing your ground to your Western doctors, I feel so easily discouraged and often silly when I try to steer the conversation towards an alternative solution or root of my digestive problems, so I always end up letting it go and accepting the fact that once again, my doctors give me some more medication and in stead of getting healthier, I feel like I’m getting only weaker. It’s all very confusing and discouraging, and at this point it just feels sort of hopeless. I hope the second part of 2015 will be a better and happier time for you (and me). Sending you lots of love. x
Hi Sarah, I had a client with a seriously debilitating parasite which was left undiagnosed for years. It was such a rare type that it slipped through the radar until she found (after tons of research) a doctor that specialized in rare parasites. Her health was very poor. I’m happy to report that she’s doing extremely well now with a specialized candida diet, exercise and meditation… I guess this experience is part of your journey. I had to deal with it in the form of back pain. But I’ve come out the other side as well. 🙂 Please email me if you’d like more information. I’ll see if I can help. Take good care of yourself right now. I trust you’ll figure it out. xo, Meg
I have a friend who had Hashi’s….she felt “cured” after doing The Body Ecology diet by Donna Gates. I have followed this diet myself for years and never felt better. Check it out…similar to GAPS, emphasis on healing the gut flora and fauna. Glad to hear you are feeling better!
Wow! I just stumbled across your blog and suffer from the EXACT same symptoms and disease! I have been desperately trying to find the right doctor to help me so that I can keep the endomitriosis and crohn’s under control but haven’t found one yet. The western docs want to keep me on anti-inflammatory meds for the crohn’s and a high dosage birth control for the endomitriosis… they’ve given me xanax and all kinds of other things to help with the rapid heart rate and panic attacks too and I just can’t deal any more….ALL of these things have horrible side effects and aren’t a long term solution.. I am going to look into the GAPS diet and continue with accupuncture as well… ANY other suggestions you have are greatly appreciated! Your story has inspired me… thank you!
Thank you for sharing your story. I, too, had years of unexplained illness and horrible experiences with both Western and non-traditional doctors who either could not admit they did not know how to treat me and instead threw drugs at me, or preyed upon my desperation to be well by ordering expensive but useless tests and treatments. I finally found relief and health through the GAPS diet, dealing with candida overgrowth and parasites with natural supplements, and eliminating all unnecessary chemicals from my personal and home care. I have also started seeing a blood cytologist monthly who does a LIVE blood draw and can see things in real time that no four-day-old sample taken at a lab or doctor’s office will ever show. It has been a year and a half, and while I am still a work in progress, I feel like I live in a whole different body. It can be done. But, it’s hard work. And, it does tend to separate you from people – people who would rather go out for drinks than for a hike, people who want to grab lunch at In-and-Out, people who JUST DON’T GET IT.
I think I’ve seen you walking your dogs around my neighborhood. If you’re ever interested in getting together over some homemade bone broth or ginger/turmeric tea to share experiences and ideas and hope, please respond to the email address I’ve provided.
Happy New Year ! I found your website through some quinoa recipe links on Yahoo’s front page post.
I confess that I have not totally read your post here on your health issues. I do have a few recommendations for you. I have been on disability for the past 9 years. Slowly making improvements. Have issues with my nervous system & other things. After doing some research, I found a Naturopath on you tube named Dr Robert Morse. Following some of his suggestions definitely helped. His free advice has been such a blessing. I hope you’ll consider listening to him & maybe subscribing as well. I do with you all the best with regaining your health. Thank you for sharing your yummy recipes.
Thank you for sharing your story.
I found your blog through a friend, and I’ve been desperately trying to find my own support group.
I was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s myself. It’s been 10 months since I went to Mexico, 10 months since I’ve had chronic diarrhea, 10 months since I started rapidly losing weight. I too, have had a complicated medical history, similar endometriosis issues, a pituitary tumor, pre cancerous HPV cells, nerve pain, abnormal periods and more over the last 10 years. I’ve had some really difficult days, but more good than bad lately. Still not out of the woods, but have found that acupuncture, GAPS diet, daily heart pumping exercise, laughing and meditation have helped change my life for the better.
I wish you health and happiness on your journey with Crohn’s.
That is awesome. My homeopathic doctors and essential oil doctors, I use numerous ones to connect the dots, have led me to believe that it all started with Candida. There is too much sugar in the American diet, from sugars, dairy, starches, corn syrups (added to everything), preservatives, etc. so I went back to eating the natural way. Meats from local farmers with no preservatives ( they have the bugs we need to build our immune system), fruits and veggies from local farmers (only the ones that I know have not been sprayed with chemicals), flour that has not had sugar added to it to make it rise, eggs from my own chickens, again to get the bugs that we need to have back in our bodies. We have become a society that sterilizes everything so much that our bodies have no way to defend itself. Not to mention the overuse of antibiotics. Then you add too much sugar and the fungus grows inside of our colon (mouth to anus), but since we have sterilized our bodies so much, we again have nothing to eat the bad bugs (fungus or candida) that take over the body. Since our colon’s job is to absorb nutrients for the rest of our body, it can’t if it is covered with a thick layer of yeast. Ever heard of friendship bread, well image that lining the inside of your colon, it starts off small but every time you add sugar or milk to it, it grows and grows. So colon cannot do it’s job, the body natural reaction is to thing is to send the messages to the rest of the body to fight off whatever is making the body not work. It’s natural defense is to inflame areas that it is attacking, with Chrons your body is attaching what it is broken, your colon! Look up HSOs as well. Homeostasis Soil Organisms, again eating the good bugs. Jordan Rubin (cured his chrons) and researches oversees have found that these are what we need to put back into our bodies. I take a probiotic with HSOs everyday and have not had symptoms in over a year. Jordan Rubin created them, they are called Primal Defense. He also created the Garden of Life products. Also check out LDA, low dose allergen therapy, reversed my body from attacking itself once I started eating better. The treatment was started by a doctor in New Mexico, Dr. Shrader. Also, organic apple cider with the mother in it and hot lemon water in the morning. Fights the candida, fungus, also colds, parasites, etc. Praying for your continued healing!
Read my story we have a lot in common. Against All Grain cookbooks are my saving grace along with Homeopathic medicine and biofeedback! Saved my life to say the least! On my way to remission of CD and UC. Major battle with anemia for years with no help from MD’s. Living the RV life style for 10 months in north western Alberta and loving it!