It was Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The diagnosis came after multiple doctors’ visits in which I expressed concern over the chronic urticaria, hair loss, weight gain, mood swings and extreme bouts of fatigue.
While relieved that my numerous doctor appointments & symptoms amounted to something physical (as opposed to it being all in my head), I didn’t have any idea what a thyroid was much less what it did. The well-meaning doctor gave me medicine, told me I’d be on it the rest of my life and sent me off to pay his bill.
Months after I began my thyroid replacement medicine, however, I was still struggling with many of the same symptoms. My hair was still falling out, I still felt tired, my skin had dry patches, I broke out in hives weekly and my eyes felt like my pupils were made of sandpaper.
Conventional medicine fell short.
Each time I saw a doctor, they wanted to give me yet a different medicine to treat another symptom. A few of them said dismissive things like “You are 27 years old and 115 lbs. don’t worry about a few pounds of weight gain” or how about this comment “You have so much hair. What do you care if you lose a little?” or my favorite (which I believed) “You just had a baby 6 months ago. Your body hasn’t adjusted yet. These are all normal experiences… How about taking an antidepressant?” UGH!!!!
Two decades later I got sick again. Like the first time, I was referred to a specialist after specialist. None could find the source of my pain and issues.
This time my symptoms included chronic pain (that would stop movement or cause my body to become a large muscle spasm), extreme fatigue, foggy brain, muscle stiffness, weight gain, food allergies, and food sensitivities. I’d occasionally pop ribs out of place too. This time was worse than before because it stopped my active life and hobbies in its tracks. I went from working out daily and training for triathlons on the weekends (for fun) to remaining in the bed or medicating until the pain went away then caffeinating myself all day to get through life. At one point, I couldn’t even put my own socks on or come down the stairs for coffee without crying from the pain.
I’d pop a rib or two out of place by carrying the laundry basket, my laptop or pulling a rolling suitcase. Wakeboarding for fun was now out of the question. Loading the dishwasher seemed impossible and getting ready to go to work required a monumental effort. Gee, imagine if you added a little work stress to this equation … my cup was overflowing.
I hated my life – back then.
But the hardships that came from living with autoimmune diseases, EDS, ankylosing spondylitis and slipped disks turned out to be a great blessing. After studying natural health and alternative therapies for 27 years I studied some more, tried new techniques and here I am. I’ve beat down the pain, I love life again and so can you!
Here are a few (haha) of the remedies I’ve studied and tried over the last 26 plus years:
- anti-inflammatory diets
- autoimmune diets
- B complex and b-6 shots
- Chinese herbs
- chiropractic care
- colon hydrotherapy
- conventional doctors
- drugs (the legal kind lol)
- energy work
- food allergy testing
- food diaries
- food elimination
- functional medicine doctors
- Lyme disease testing
- medical intuitive
- mental therapy
- metal poisoning testing
- stress reduction methods
- spiritual connection
- toxin elimination
- vagus nerve stimulation
- working out
- not working out
Autoimmune diseases affect millions of Americans.
An autoimmune disease develops when your immune system, which defends your body against disease, bacteria & infection, gets confused & decides your healthy cells are foreign. As a result, your immune system attacks healthy cells. Some conditions are organ-specific. For example, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis affects the thyroid and Celiac Disease affects the small intestine. Some conditions, however, are systemic which means they affect the entire body, like Lupus or a Mixed Connective Tissue Disease.
Ask Mama Frat’s site, videos, workshops, and professional speaking engagements will connect you with the wisdom of experience and serve to inspire, teach and share techniques for good health – especially & even if you’re living with a chronic illness or in a difficult season of life.
I defied the odds. You can too!
Over 100 years ago, the great African American educator Booker T. Washington said, “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles overcome while trying to succeed.”
I’m not trying to glorify chronic illness or pretend that hard seasons of life don’t leave their emotional scars. There’s nothing inherently positive about illness. But it’s important to understand that defying the odds is possible. It is possible to peer into the face of failure, difficulty and pain and somehow emerge more resilient & fundamentally changed for the better, with an ability to affect the world in previously unimaginable ways.
Through my keynote speaking, employee wellness events, retreats and workshops I help others. Focused on resilence, health, disease prevention and management I have found great meaning in coaching, mentoring, and empowering people to succeed.
As a veteran of life’s challenges, trauma and tragedy (physically & emotionally) I have defied the odds personally and now I help others to do the same.
“Health doesn’t always come from medicine. Most of the time, it comes from the right nutritional input/diet, a toxin-free environment (emotionally & physically) as well as, peace of mind, laughter, and love.”
Take heart my friends. Good things are possible!
If you hire professional speakers for your events, retreats, conventions or association gatherings please consider reaching out to me. Resilience: from the struggle to strength reaches broad and diverse audiences connecting us at a soulful level.