Hashimoto's and Hypnosis
I know it’s been quite some time since you’ve heard from me, but all I can say is that it’s been quite a year! In May of this year, I announced to the world via Facebook, that I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto's, a form of hypnothyroidism. A friend of mine told me of all the illnesses anyone could get, at least mine had a cool name! After being officially diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in April, I have spent the better part of the last 6 months focusing on healing my body, naturally. I had to make many adjustments in my schedule to accommodate my new health regimen, but the time and effort was well worth it. My follow up blood work came back, and I am feeling the best I've felt in years.
I wanted to share with you 4 things I did to start my healing journey with hypothyroidism, because these 4 things apply to anyone who is battling health issues, in particular, auto-immune disorders:
1) I finally started listening to my body. My body was screaming for self care, and I wasn't listening. When I started listening to my body and putting the pieces of my health puzzle together, I recalled as far back as elementary school that I began having sinus issues and acid reflux. I never connected that my poor diet (pre-packaged foods) and environment (I grew up in an industrial town, and worked in a print shop) may have played a huge role in aggravating both. Now I know. I am adjusting my life accordingly. I pay attention to what I eat and where I go, and how I feel during and after. When something doesn't feel right, I play Sherlock Holmes and figure it out so I don't repeat the experience.
2) I drastically changed my diet. I was experiencing severe joint pain and severe acid reflux. I read a book, that said to remove gluten. I did. The joint pain lessened, but it was still there. One night, I went out to eat with friends at a restaurant. I put butter and sour cream on a baked potato. The pain was nearly instant, and I had trouble walking afterwards. When I removed all dairy from my diet, and I began feeling much better. A few months later, a friend made gluten-free and dairy-free cupcakes especially for me. They were so good I ate 3 of them! I woke up at 5am the next morning in excruciating pain. I asked my friend what was in the cupcakes, and she mentioned in her description that the icing had "uncomfortable amounts of Crisco." When I looked up the ingredients in Crisco, I discovered "uncomfortable amounts of soybean oil." I went through the pantry and eliminated everything with soy in it. Not easy, as soy has other aliases. I read a few books on healing Hashimoto's thyroiditis naturally, and several of them recommended that I follow AIP Paleo (Auto-Immune Protocol). Basically: no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no nightshades, no caffeine, no alcohol, and no sugar. Since following that, I have remained virtually pain free.
3) I educated myself on treatment options. In 2014, I had 1/2 of my thyroid removed due to an oddly shaped cyst. My doctor "delicately explained" to me that we could check my cyst every 6 months and wait for it to become cancer, or we can remove the cyst and 1/2 my thyroid now. I wasn't aware of other options, so surgery it was. Now I better understand that MDs are trained to treat the symptoms with pharmaceuticals and/or remove the offending part. Thankfully, a friend recommended I visit a "holistic osteopath." She sent me to Quest Diagnostics with a thorough list of blood tests. When the results came in, she observed the remaining 1/2 of my remaining thyroid is giving everything it's got, so perhaps adding natural supplements along with some changes in diet and lifestyle would relieve the stress my thyroid is under. Sure enough, that's what is happening, and this approach is working.
4) Hypnosis. In order to make the changes in my body, I needed to make changes in my mind. My hypnosis training has taught me that many illnesses start in the mind, so if this is true, then many illnesses can be fixed with your mind. Healing your past traumas and reinforcing a healthy outlook will do wonders for your body. I know some of you probably read AIP Paleo diet and thought "NFW could I give up all that! That's not living!" When you hurt bad enough, you're not living. You're surviving. When I discover a food that cripples me and sucks all the joy out of my life for up to the next 3 days, that food is easy to give up. The feelings of "happiness" or "love" that I had once attached to that food no longer exist. Regular self hypnosis has helped me embrace these life changes with positivity and helped me maintain that fighting spirit. Hashimoto's definitely picked the wrong bitch!