• My health journey long version

     

    {This is the longest and most detailed version of my story with Hashimotos. I know for those of you trying to heal that details are important.}

    God is a God of infinite Grace. He has shown His faithfulness and mercy over and over to me in my life. My awareness of His tenderness and love for me has grown deeply in my adult life through many trials in every area of my life. The trial and triumph you are about to read is my health story.

    Psalm 6:2-4 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in anguish. How long O Lord, how long? Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love.

    Come on this journey with me to learn how God pointed the way to healing for me, bringing me back from the brink of death, intensifying my faith and allowing me to help others through the anguish I experienced and the things I learned. Praise Him!

    My Young Childhood

    Let me give you a background of my life that will help you understand the many facets that led me to facing my mortality head on in 2013 at age 34.  I was diagnosed with Asthma when I was three years old and started using an inhaler. Many times in my childhood and into my teenage years I would find that the regular inhaler wasn’t working so a steroid inhaler was prescribed. I visited the hospital many times needing a nebulizer treatment as well. I had extreme allergies and visited allergists and doctors multiple times a year. My allergies were so intense that my eyes would itch so terribly they would swell shut. Asthma attacks would be triggered from the allergies and even laughing. I suffered from horrible headaches and some migraines from an early age. I had very itchy skin to the point where I would scratch and bleed and would be embarrassed from the scarring or scabs on my skin. During the course of my young life I got recurrent Bronchitis and therefore took antibiotics often. We just sort of accepted my plight in life and my health conditions and lived our lives as much as we could just continuing on the paths that the doctor’s told us to go.

    The love of food was a central part of my growing up, especially sweet food. I loved desserts and still do today. We always had sweets around and were always baking sweet things to share and eat. Family gatherings were usually wonderful. They were stable, comforting and gave me some fond memories. For me, the food was one of the main focal points though. I have always enjoyed cooking and creating and trying new foods. I took cooking classes and learned the art of gourmet cooking at an early age. My grandmother taught me a lot of what I knew about cooking and she was an excellent cook as well. I have always had a passion for food. In and of itself that is not a bad thing, however, I was, unknowingly, falling deeply into the S.A.D (Standard American Diet) diet full of sugar, processed foods and damaging fats. Everyone in my family thought we were eating healthy (except the sweets!) As most children, I had no understanding of blood sugar, stress hormones, and what truly nourishing my body meant. I thought, along with most Americans, that eating whole grains every meal had to be good for us. Saturated fat like butter was a big no-no. Always low fat and the twinge of guilt if we at real butter. My childhood habits set me up for a lifetime of craving sweets and carbohydrates, rather than vegetables and good fats that nourish the brain and cells.

    My Teenage and College Years

    Fast forward to my teen years and early adult years, all the above was still happening in my life. Worsened Asthma, allergies, itching, headaches, and poor eating habits due to excess sugar added with relational stress (ie. – BOYS) entered the picture as well as more responsibility like college and getting my B.A. degree. I also started having later nights, earlier mornings and getting a lot less of the vital sleep that my body needed. Rarely would I get 8 solid hours. That season of my life was fantastic in many ways but very much a roller coaster. While on this roller coaster I was not treating my body well or understanding all the areas of my health that could be drastically affected later on down the line from the choices I made in those days.  It was the making of a perfect storm.

    Genetically I was already predisposed to have heart disease, thyroid problems, arthritis, blood pressure problems, glaucoma and more. I am surprised at that point that I didn’t already have more than one autoimmune condition!

    My Adult Life

    It wasn’t until I got married and had my first child that all my choices (and some that were not mine like things I had no control over) started to catch up to me.  There was no problem conceiving with my first child, thankfully. In fact, it wasn’t even our plan so soon but God blessed us in His plan with a sweet baby boy within the first year of our marriage. During my pregnancy my asthma all but went away! I rarely had to take my inhaler and my headaches almost subsided completely. It was wonderful. After his birth the headaches eventually came back and the asthma I had was only exercise induced. I only needed to take my inhaler every time I exercised. This was proof to me as to how much hormones can affect asthmatic symptoms as well as headaches.

    Wedding

    About 3 months after I had my first born son I had two root canals done in my upper molars. Isn’t that what we do? The dentist says you need to have root canals and we trust him and believe him and have it done. I regret that decision to this day. Looking back I don’t believe that I really needed those root canals and I do believe they negatively impacted my health (due to the non-mercury metal alloys placed in my teeth) and added another layer to that perfect storm. One year after I had my son, and nine months after I had those root canals I started noticing the skin around my nose was extremely dry, itchy and flakey. It kept getting worse and worse everyday. It was really embarrassing and I would find myself in the mirror a lot during the day trying to pick the skin off and make it look better. Makeup would cover up the redness but not the flakiness that was never ending. I had no idea at that point that what I was experiencing was due to things going on internally.

    I had seen conventional doctors my entire life and really wasn’t in love with the experiences I had with the. At the time though I didn’t even know about functional medicine and that there was a different path to healing. I now understand that the Western Medicine mantra (and training) is treating the symptom, not the root cause. In fact, they usually don’t even worry about finding the root cause because it can be masked or covered up with a plethora of pills (or topical creams) and then you will be “fixed.” “Fixed” until you have to come back in and get treated for new symptoms that your pills or creams are causing. Hysterical to me. Saddening actually. I found myself in this awful cycle for many years.

    I did try topical creams for the eczema for years. Had I not been so trusting and read more and researched more I would have learned (because the typical Western Medicine Doctor wont tell you) that these topical creams cause skin sensitivity and thinning skin. Yes, they helped for a time on the surface, but my use of these creams prolonged getting to the bottom of why this irritating new thing was happening to my face.

    It wasn’t until two years later when we were actually trying to have a baby that I knew something was drastically wrong. I had my first miscarriage at 12 weeks. My eyes were starting to open and the feeling that I had something was wrong internally hit me in the face like a two by four. Still, the doctors said that miscarriages happen and they are “normal.” A miscarriage is common but it is not normal. Based on my experiences, my trust in doctors had deteriorated so much that I started reading, researching and learning more and more on my own. I was starting to become my own advocate much to the irritation of my conventional doctors.  Thankfully, at the advice of my mom who was on her own health journey and was learning more and more everyday about our bodies and alternative treatments, mentioned I should get my Thyroid tested.

    My primary care doctor at the time would in no way do that test but my OBGYN was kind enough to send me to an endocrinologist to get my labs done to see if my thyroid was not working correctly.  As I look back, even though this doctor was my least favorite of all, I am grateful because he was willing to do a FULL Thyroid workup with a Thyroid ultrasound on me. At the time, it meant nothing to me but with what I know now I am glad that at least that first step he did correctly. He tested me for Free T4, Free T3, TSH, and TPO Antibodies as well as AB Antibodies. The ultrasound was to confirm whether or not I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  All the tests came back and I had finally gotten a diagnosis of Hypothyroidism with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It was like a breathe of fresh air to put a name to my problems. I finally had a diagnosis. I figured I could now just take replacement hormone and go on with my life perfectly fine. Not quite. What I didn’t know is that Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition and can be put into remission. It is greatly affected by many other contributing factors and root causes in our bodies that must be addressed in order to remit the problem.

    At that point I now realized that my miscarriage of my baby girl was due to the fact that she was not getting the thyroid hormones she needed due to my undiagnosed Hypothyroidism. I also realized that my itchy, flakey skin and redness around my nose was potentially from my thyroid imbalance not being addressed and as I would come to find out later, due to food intolerances and terrible gut health. I thought it was all going to get better with what the Endocrinologist was giving me – Levothyroxine T4 ONLY.

    I will spare you all of the details of the next 4 years that I saw this doctor and followed his advice ignorantly. I got worse and worse. He kept assuring me at all my appointments that my achy joints, hair loss, mood swings, fatigue, anemia, heart palpitations, sleep problems and skin issues were 100% NOT related to my thyroid. He would always say my numbers were fine so it couldn’t be my thyroid. The crazy thing is this doctor is an Endocrinlogist who actually treats a Major League Baseball team and is supposed to be “good.”

    I kept getting more and more disgusted at every visit with him and it was like the next layer was being peeled away for me. My eyes were opening even wider once again. I had another miscarriage (this time due to a chromosomal disorder) and was feeling so frustrated with my health, doctors, and the health system.

    Then Came Functional and Integrative Medicine

    I had a friend who had put her MS into remission from implementing holistic treatments and alternative medicine into her lifestyle. I chatted with her and got her doctors information and made an appointment. After my first appointment came the beginning of the real understanding of what I had and what I needed to do.

    When I began to see my new Functional Integrative Medicine Doctor (FIMD) she helped me to understand that my own body was actually attacking one of my organs, namely my Thyroid. That’s what auotimminuty is. She also introduced to me the fact that eating gluten will trigger more of these little guys called “antibodies” to be made that will further attack my thyroid eventually rendering it dead. She also talked to me about blood sugar which fell on deaf ears. I didn’t get the severity of it or understand the “why.”. I look back now and finally do understand what she was saying though. It was my worst nightmare to be told I could not eat gluten as well as reducing my sugar intake! At this point in my life I was drinking coffee just for the sweet creamer and getting the big blended, gmo-sugar filled mochas multiple times a week at the local coffee shop. Remember I said we baked and ate sweets all the time? This continued from my childhood into my adult life. I thought going gluten free was truly my death sentence. Looking back though it was a stepping stone I needed to take on the path I needed to be on to heal my body and I am thankful that I chose to abstain from gluten back then and committed 100% to it. The sugar adjustment would take another couple of years though! Another big difference with this doctor was that she began treating my thyroid not only with T4 but with T3. T3 was something I knew nothing about but this new (to me) hormone was vital to my treatment. You cannot be treated by T4 alone when trying to heal or put into remission hypothyroidism. Our bodies need BOTH hormones especially if we have a converting problem. Afterall, T3 is the ACTIVE thyroid hormone. I didn’t know this until she mentioned it and changed my medication.

    By the Grace of God we were able to have another baby late 2009 who was healthy and thriving. We call him our miracle! He had terrible rashes when he was born though and I now know it was because I was on antibiotics during a lot of my pregnancy with him for UTI’s. I am so sad about that looking back. I wished I knew better at the time. Not only did those antibiotics wreak havoc on my own body but my sweet boy as well. They killed all the good and bad bacteria we both had every time I was on them. I am glad I didn’t follow the doctor’s advice and take them every single day of my pregnancy! My son’s healing is another story in and of itself.

    In 2010, after successfully deleting gluten out of my diet and taking newly prescribed supplements I still was not feeling that great. My eating didn’t change a whole lot aside from no gluten. I just found new ways to make the sweets and starches I always had just making gluten free. Just a little side note – just because it is gluten free does not mean it is healthier! That is a common misnomer I see a lot now and that mentality can lead to a drastic health decline. It did with me. Healing is pleiotropic (many facets affect one another) and even though one facet was getting addressed there were several more which I didn’t yet realize needed attention.

    During the time of this diet change I also had my newborn that did not sleep through the night for two years! He woke every hour to two hours for two full years. I about died! Top that off with the most extreme chronic stress maritally that I have ever had. I write about that in my testimony if you want to learn more. The perfect storm was ramping up to be an F5 tornado that would not touch down and take almost everything until 2013.

    Understanding More But Continuing to Decline in My Health

    Chronic sleep deprivation, chronic stress, excess caffeine intake,  two children under the age of five, still eating excess sugar and still taking antibiotics here and there were all contributing to a degradation in my body that I had absolutely no idea about. Here I thought I was doing everything I could do right to get healthier when I was missing many pieces to the puzzle.

    In the middle of all this a HUGE blessing from God happened. My husband decided we would move out of state. Yes, that would be more stress, but at the same time it was an answer to a prayer I had prayed since we were married which was at that point five years.  We moved out of state successfully and it was clear that God lit the path and guided us every step of the way. It was the best thing we could have done! Still for my health, the worst was yet to come and I had no idea.

    In 2011 every facet of my life was literally a dream, except for my health. I still was not feeling good at although and knew something had to be addressed. I had to re-establish myself with new doctors in the new state and at the time I could not find any FIMD’s in my area. I ended up going back to see conventional doctor who did not help me at all. Waste of time, waste of money big time! It was a stressful battle every time I went in to see her because she wouldn’t do tests I knew I needed or address any of the root causes I knew needed attention.  I gave up with her because it was fruitless. I ended up taking my health into my own hands and started to meet with a health coach that I found because I was looking into doing the ALCAT test to find out what my food sensitivities were. I thought if I knew what they were I could simply eliminate the foods and be well. I did end up doing the test and showed sensitivity to over 75% of what was tested, which was well over 200 items. I followed the protocol for six long and disastrous months getting worse and worse. You can read more about my ALCAT experience at the link above but for now I would say, although that was another stepping stone on my path to healing, I would not do that again. The best thing that came out of that test was that I learned about the term “Leaky Gut” which would come up for me about a six months later when I started to fully understand what that meant.

    At the time I was meeting with a health coach, I was also meeting via phone, with a Naturopath that specialized in the Thyroid. He even wrote a book on it and was very knowledgeable about how our thyroid works. I watched several of his videos that did help me to understand more thoroughly how our thyroid works.  He turned out to be a piece of work and was spread so thin he was very flakey and could not remember my case very well every time we talked. He tweaked my thyroid medicines so much and so many times that I was on horrific up and downs swings that made things worse. He also prescribed me a low does of Hydrocortisone which he deemed to be safe since it was such a low dose. It was really against what I wanted because at this point I was seeking out only natural alternatives and this was a pharmaceutical, but I wanted to feel better so badly. The choice to take this was a very stupid one on my part. Not only was this Naturopath suppressing my thyroid, which I didn’t understand, he was suppressing my immune system. The result of this suppression was an extremely low white blood cell count which allowed for infections, sickness and lots more to happen. Our white blood cells are our fighters and if we are low, we are susceptible to many bad bugs and diseases.

    More Dreadful Symptoms

    Meanwhile, I was still following the ALCAT protocol which were meals heavy in potatoes, nuts, grains, and legumes. My fatigue was so bad that I would literally sleep 13 hours a night and wake up feeling as if I had only slept one hour. My hair was falling out in patches. My skin was itchy everywhere to the point of insanity. My digestion was notably worse and fluctuating. My bones and joints ached horribly. I had extreme brain fog, nausea, trouble concentrating, crampy all the time, kidney pains, worse headaches, and had a sore throat all the time. I had abscesses in my back teeth, body temperature fluctuations, was getting sick all the time, stomach aches, sores on my face and in my nose, blurry vision, irregular menses and my knuckles were cracking, itching and bleeding.

    At this point, even though I was more knowledgeable, I still was limited in what I knew, and so I wasn’t able to put all of these puzzle pieces together. Understanding that what I was being treated with via ALCAT (that was supposed to help me), Hydrocortisone (that was supposed to help me) and changing my thyroid medicine all the time (that was supposed to help me) was destroying not only my immune system but my gut. I have since learned that our gut is responsible for 70-90% of our immune system. Unbeknownst to me my gut was already badly damaged due to excessive use of antibiotics and inhalers and a diet high in refined sugar, grains, nuts and legumes. Now, not understanding that I was destroying it so substantially that it could literally end my life, I continued the path I was on thinking surely it will get better. This was all supposed to help me.

    It was at this time I finally found a FIMD in our new state and had my first appointment. We started by doing a physical and some labs to see where to start as far as treatment and finding out root causes and what was really going on. This appointment was at the end of 2012.

    I Finally Hit Rock Bottom and the Tornado Finally Touches Down.

    Because of the severity of where I was at with my symptoms, treatments from the Naturopath and ALCAT I was in the depths. After my physical, not too long after the new year in 2013, my husband was now scheduled to have a spinal neck fusion due to a bulging disc in his C-Spine. This would be his second spinal surgery in three years. Yet another source of stress for both of us. Two days before his surgery I came down with what I thought was the flu. I stayed home and rested while my parents took the kids and my husband went to work. The day of his surgery I was feeling well enough to be by his side at the hospital. The surgery went off without a hitch and was successful. I came home that night while he was still in the hospital and went to bed (my kids were at my parents house) and in the middle of the night I began to shake uncontrollably. It was like the most severe chills I have ever had. I couldn’t stop my whole body from shaking even if I tried. Eventually, the chills stopped and I went back to sleep for the rest of the night. I thought it might be residual from what I thought was the flu. The next day I got up and went to get my husband from the hospital. He was supposed to get discharged that day and come home. Thankfully he was able to come home and recover there. I thought I could take care of him and he could heal.  That was the plan at least.

    After sleeping through the night that night my husband came into the room about 9:00 am to wake me up. I still could not even wake up on my own in the nine o’clock hour because I was always so tired. When he woke me up, I immediately felt a burning sensation on my face and on my ears. My face and ears were itching like crazy as if I was reacting to something I had put on my skin. Everything was burning like acid had been poured all over my head. However, I had put nothing on my skin. I started screaming, “What is wrong with me!” “What is wrong with me!” While in tears, I cried out to my husband. We immediately called my FIMD since she was available via her cell on the weekends for emergencies and she thought that I probably had a staff infection. So, guess what? Although, FIMD’s reserve antibiotics for extremely rare usage they still use them. My doctor put me on a five day pack of antibiotics. Due to intense fear and not knowing what truly was going on, I took them. I also was so sick and my husband was in the depths of recovery that we trusted what the doctor prescribed. Come to find out she actually prescribed me Penicillin which I am allergic too! {Be your own advocate friends – don’t just blindly trust in man}That was yet another one of the worst things I could’ve done. The choice to take these put my body into even more of a tailspin than I was already in. I continued to be sick and get worse and worse. I was now in the fight of my life. I didn’t even know I was taking antibiotics that I was allergic too!

    Ear Swelling

    I continued to take the antibiotics until the following Wednesday and they were not helping me at all. That Wednesday morning, thankfully my husband was home and again, woke me up in the morning (poor guy, when I was supposed to be taking care of him) and immediately I noticed something even worse. When I opened my eyes I could literally see the skin of my face on my cheeks and nose and I could barely see out of my eyes because of the swelling. I quickly got up and went to look in the mirror. My face was so swollen it was unrecognizable. My kids looked at me in horror. It was embarrassing. I felt like a freak. I just started weeping. I was in such despair and discouraged. I would have thought that this swelling may had been solely from a reaction to the antibiotics but before I even started the antibiotics, I had some slight swelling in my face, so it wasn’t 100% from them but I know some of it was an allergic reaction.  Immediately, my Dad came over because my husband couldn’t drive and they drove me to the ER. Surely they could help me right? Wrong! Many hours spent and $1000.00 later they had NOTHING to say. They did not even give me Benadryl when I was in there. I am glad now that they didn’t give it to me when I look back but they literally did nothing but waste my time and money and poke me to say everything is ok. Needless to say, yet again, I was beyond frustrated with conventional medicine.

    days before my sickest

    Right before I had arrived at the ER that day my FIMD called me and said that my Mono test had come back and it was positive! Another diagnosis. I guess I was glad about that but knew nothing about Mono. As I learned more about it I understood it was partly what was giving me the swollen and painful lymph nodes along with even more extreme fatigue than I already had. Let me tell you, Mono is no fun. I got it because my white blood cell count was so low. Now I could put another autoimmune condition (EBV) on my list. Yay! All sarcasm here.

    At my sickest

    I came home from the ER tapped out, in complete despair, ready to accept my demise because no one could help me. Everyone was saying I was ok except for my Mono diagnosis and my Thyroid diagnosis and I was completely out of options.

    My Healing Truly Begins

    Thankfully my God is not a God of despair; He is a God of hope. I knew I could hope in heaven to come. If my plight was to succumb to something yet to be diagnosed like cancer or MS, I surrendered. I was completely broken and without any human way to help myself. I had no control over any of it anymore. After accepting the fact that I may literally die, after facing the fact that I may not be able to be with my children for homeschooling or to see them graduate or get married, after accepting that I may never meet my grandkids or grow old with my husband and after fully surrendering to the fact that this may be the path God had for me, then, my sweet Jesus gave me a little tiny glimmer. A glimmer of hope.  God put a thought into my head. He reminded me that when I was at my appointment with my FIMD for a physical two months prior she had mentioned the GAPS diet. I had never heard of it and had no idea what it meant. When God reminded me about this I started looking into GAPS to see what it was all about.

    During this time it was all I could do to get out of my bed and move to the couch. I was forced to stop all commitments in my life. My parents and husband had to do everything from cooking and shopping to homeschooling, to every household chore. I sat on the couch and itched and bled until the point of tears every day all day. I sat on the couch feeling infected, sick and hurting all of the time. I sat on the couch and watched my family live out their lives while I watched it all pass by thinking I was just a diagnosis away from cancer. My Dad had Hodgkins Disease at the age I was currently with many similar symptoms. That is what I thought I was going to have. My time was not wasted in pity though. I am a very determined person with a very strong will (a blessing and a struggle at times). Since God gave me that glimmer of hope I spent that time learning in depth, researching, watching videos on our bodies, the GAPS diet, and more. I immersed myself in health everything. God gave me the energy to do this. He gave me the ability to be able to focus on what I was reading and retain it. GAPS made sense to me and I was willing to try anything truly natural at this point. I had nothing to lose. It was all by His grace!

    As I started healing from Mono I was able to start implementing the GAPS diet. Overnight I went from eating a diet full of grains, legumes, meats and some veggies to what I call the “Bare Bones.” This was homemade bone broth, basic, “clean,” organic or pastured beef patties and all organic cooked veggies. Within one week of eating this way the change I noticed in my energy and how I felt was remarkable! It was so motivating. What I was doing was the intro stage to the GAPS diet. Turns out I had to be on the intro stage of the GAPS diet for four months. This is a stage that most people are on for one to two weeks! Even in this phase of the diet there were certain things I could not tolerate. I could not even eat onions or garlic (and many other clean good veggies) due to a reaction I would have. There is a lot of sulfur in these foods and they have A LOT of antioxidants which for me, would cause me to detox quicker and put me into more of a healing crisis. I had to take it slow, very, very slow.

    What I came to find out is that I indeed did have leaky gut and the absolute worst thing I could be eating was white potatoes, legumes, nuts and grains prescribed to me by ALCAT. They are all high in phytic acid and anti-nutrients and they were depleting my body of vital nutrients and further damanging my gut lining. In that months time when I was diagnosed with Mono, hit rock bottom and the tornado grounded I lost 20 pounds. In six months on ALCAT I had already lost 20 pounds so since we moved to our new home I had lost a total of 40 pounds. I was a whopping 96 pounds and I am 5’4”. I was extremely underweight and malnourished due to many facets that you have read about which included a diet high in grains, nuts and legumes. I also had amenorrhea for seven total months of my sickness. As I said above, I was fighting for my life at this point.

    96 pounds and healing

    As I healed my gut through the GAPS diet, which included eliminating every single potential trigger food, and introducing filler free, clean probiotics, I started to be able to function at an increased level day by day. I would still itch intensely. Sometimes so intense I would call up my husband and say I am done. I would ask him to just put me in an asylum crying out in tears. After every meal, due to my leaky gut that was so destroyed, I would react and itch so badly I would have to sit in tears with ice on my arms until the crawling, feeling diminished. Although I was healing, I was struggling because I had developed such an intense fear of food. I never knew which food I put in my body would make me react or not. I just held on to the little things. They got me through. Just being able to have energy back was a big deal. Being able to wake up more refreshed helped get me through those really hard GAPS days.

    Although I was healing, at this point I could not take normal showers either. My skin was so trashed and broken that if water touched it, it caused severe pain. Water could definitely not touch my arms or neck which were in the worst condition. I implemented Epsom salt baths and only got parts of my body wet that wouldn’t cause horrible pain. These were ultra healing, relaxing and helped to give my body back the magnesium it so much needed.

    It was a journey. I learned so much more about my body and how it functions, and what it needed to work properly in the following months. I discovered at a great depth how intricate God has made our bodies and what an amazing intelligent designer He is. I spent a total of seven months following the GAPS diet 100%. I never cheated or swayed. I absolutely couldn’t or I knew I would not be able to function. There were many, many hard days. I went through holidays and social functions on this diet and adapted. I brought my own food. I knew that potentially I could be on this diet for one to two years and I am thankful looking back that it was only seven months. Based on what I had learned about what was going on in my body I never did reintroduce legumes and I will probably stay away from them for a lifetime. I need to absorb all the nutrients I ingest and not have a food binding to the vitamins and minerals and taking them away from me. Legumes are not worth it to me. The same goes for nuts and my body.

    I knew that once I was done with GAPS that I would transition to eating AIP (Autoimmune Paleo) and then Paleo if I could. I knew that my family would follow suit once I got into my groove. This health journey has ignited a passion in me that I didn’t even know existed. Do you know who knew though? God did. He knew all this was going to happen. He would turn my ashes to beauty. In one of my prayers to him during my sickest times was that when he allowed me to be healed, I would glorify Him in this. He allowed GAPS to work in my life. He put all the right people in the right places on my journey. He put all the pieces together for me. He picked up my limp 96 pound noodle of a body and said “Keep fighting, be victorious in Me!” Jesus Christ is my Jehovah Rapha, my Great Healer.

    In my family now, we successfully eat Paleo everyday and absolutely love it. I will always eat this way and look back to when I was told to be gluten free and realize that it was there that God knew I had to start. My boys do get gluten free grains on occasion and my husband does eat non gluten free grains occasionally too but anything I make in our home is always Paleo. I eat out once in a while at places that I know I can have Paleo food and still feel good. It is such a blessing. There was a point I thought I would never eat out again but I can now.

    Our family has had an intense paradigm shift in the past few years. No GMO food or food products come into our house. We use no refined sugars. We follow the EWG Clean Fifteen and Dirty dozen for buying organic and we buy other items organic when we can. We purchase non-GMO, pastured and organic meats in bulk. We have also revamped all of our household cleaners and we make our own using Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils and other ingredients that are non-toxic and even edible. Our remedies are Therapeutic Essential Oils, Manuka Honey,  Apple Cider Vinegar and Fermented Black Garlic. We also have changed what we put on our skin and in our bodies. *It should not go on your skin unless you can eat it. Supplements and vitamins should be filler free, preservative free, as well as gluten, corn, soy and rice free. We also prioritize sleep and are getting better about prioritizing exercise. Healing is multifaceted and food is a big component of good health. Good sleep, stress management, exercise and proper lab tests that can tell if you need to get rid of parasites or SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) are also contributing factors to healing or not.

    I don’t live in fear of food anymore and have healed of all of my skin issues. All of my other symptoms are gone as well. Hair loss is gone and through clean living and essential oils I no longer have the unbearable fatigue. So many years of only treating my thyroid with T4 and eating a gluten filled, high sugar diet caused major damage that could be irreversible. Right now, my thyroid antibodies are in normal range! I continue to live a lifestyle that will bring balance and homeostasis and allow my body to further progress in healing. I have gone from surviving to thriving in life.

    Photo of me Thriving

    As you can see, my choices even all the way back to when I was a child did affect my life and could for its entirety. My gene for Hshimotos was turned on due to my lifestyle and environment and it didn’t have to turn on. I learned from my past in how I ate, my habits and usage of pharmaceuticals that I do not want the same for my kids. I consider it a blessing to be able to use my trial and God’s victory to teach my kids how to treat their bodies and eat well (not the S.A.D diet.) I feel grateful that through my health adventure and applying a new lifestyle my husband no longer has blood pressure issues and has gotten down to a great weight for his height. He also has remitted his chronic spinal arthritis. I consider it a blessing to have been able to have helped so many people already in their health journeys due to what I have experienced and learned. I am grateful God is allowing me to use this for good in my life and in others.

    Please be encouraged that healing CAN happen with the power and guidance of the Lord, determination, commitment, an understanding of how our bodies work and committed application of change!

    Psalm 30:2 O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.

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