My Hashimotos Story – From Depression to Joy

Prior to this January, I had never heard of the word “Hashimotos.”  When my doctor uttered the funny word to me, it sounded like something you’d eat in a sushi restaurant or the name of a Japanese warrior…certainly NOT something going on inside of my body.

This is a very raw, and personal experience that I am about to share.  BUT…I hope in sharing my story, that someone else may not feel so alone.  Someone may identify with my symptoms and decide to seek help.  Someone may come out of the fog just like I have.

Middle of last year, I was in the height of planning a pretty large event for a bunch of girls (100+) coming from all parts of the world to Florida where we would all meet and cruise together.  Many of us meeting for the first time, but had grown familiar with each other through our correspondence on social media and a shared love of fitness and health.  I was the one who booked the rooms, kept up with cancellations, helped in rooming assignments, was the liaison with our travel agent, housed all the giveaways various sponsors sent us for the event, and a slew of other duties.  It was a lot of work… A LOT OF WORK, but oh so worth it.  Unfortunately, Hurricane Matthew decided to also add his name to our itinerary as many of the girls were enroute to Florida.

It was a mess.

Change of plans, scrambling around with what to do with the 50+ girls who were already here and no place to stay when we got notification that the cruise was actually CANCELLING!  First time EVER the cruise line has had to actually scrap the entire cruise!  Go figure!! However, we ended up turning lemons into lemonade and found a resort on the west coast of Florida that was able to accommodate us.  The weekend was not a total loss.  We ended up having a lovely time with so many wonderful women.

And then everyone left.

I am not sure if the stress & responsibility leading up to or during this event was the catalyst for my immune system to begin to rebel against me, but it was definitely the beginning of my awareness that something was “off.”

Everyone was gone and it was time to get back to normal.  The gluttony of the weekend behind me…time to get back on track.  Days led to weeks and weeks led to months, and instead of getting better…getting stronger, I felt myself slipping further into a sense of depression.

I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it, but I just didn’t feel like ME.  I’d wake up like I normally do, fairly energetic, but literally within hours it felt like the life had been drained out of me.  I was lost.  I thought of myself as “lazy” and that was never a word I would’ve used to describe myself prior.  Things that brought me joy, no longer mattered to me.  I no longer wanted to see friends.  I no longer wanted to post on social media.  I came so close to deleting my accounts. I neglected this blog.  I did the bare necessities around my home and for my family.  Forget cooking a home cooked meal for dinner.  I was on a first named basis with the check out guy at Chipotle.  My husband, God bless him, was growing sick of burrito bowls and more & more worried about his sad wife.

Not only was my joy missing.  Not only was I feeling major fatigue, especially later in the day, but I also had put back ALL THE WEIGHT I had lost in the prior 1.5 years of my fitness journey.  At first, I chalked it up to poor eating choices.  I WAS making poor choices.  I was eating artificial junk and sugars.  I was chasing a fake high to feel momentarily good.  Of course that only lasted for a few minutes, and then the crash would come. Cycle was on repeat wanting to feel something again.  Even if it only was fleeting.  Terrible pattern to continue and I knew I couldn’t keep it up.

The tears would come for all the reasons, and for no reason.  My kids were worried about me and didn’t understand why I was so sad so often.  My husband wanted me to talk with someone since this prolonged depression was unlike me. Perhaps a therapist?  A psychiatrist?  Did I need an anti-depressant?  I felt depressed – that was for sure.

So I did.  I talked with a doctor and it was the first step towards my healing

I was taking my son to an alternative medicine doctor for some allergy/food sensitivity testing.  When he was done testing my son, I asked my son to wait for me in the lobby.  I wanted to speak briefly with the doctor about all I was feeling, but didn’t want to unload in front of my child.  I proceeded to share with him everything I have shared with you.  Without making me feel crazy, he reassured me that we would get to the heart of what was going on.  But first, we needed to run some blood tests to see what we were dealing with.  He had a suspicion that I had Hashimotos, but never uttered that word to me that day…he wanted verification from the blood test of what he suspected before sharing his thoughts.

He sent me off with a script for blood work and instructions to eat an anti-inflammatory diet (ie. Whole 30/Paleo) until we met again and could review the results.  I had a ray of hope to hold on to.  I left that appointment that day determined that I was going to reclaim my health. No matter what was going on inside my body, I was going to no longer make decisions based off weightloss goals, but would make each decision based on the health of my body.  I figured weightloss might be a nice bonus effect, but most importantly, I wanted to thrive again  I wanted my joy back!

To be continued……

(Before) Jan 2017 right after Hashimoto diagnosis —— (After) July 2017 Eating for health and thriving

 

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  1. This is so very touching. Thanks for beeing so open. Your story will for sure help a lot of people.

    And I love how you decided to work towards your mental and physical health with possible weight loss as a positive side effect. This is exactly what I decided to do for myself a couple of days ago. And I am looking forward to finding peace with my bidy and food – one day. Work in progress, right? 😉

    I wish you the best of luck, dear Tiffanie. You are a wonderful woman 🙂

    Best,
    Corinna (aka green_eyed_sagittarius on IG)

    1. When we focus on our health vs. a clothing size, it puts into perspective how we should move, eat, rest, etc. The pressure is taken off of us for a weigh in date, but simply doing things because it’s good for our bodies and our souls. And I want to go into my ripe years full of zest and vigor, ya know???

  2. I’ve followed your IG for a few years, drawing inspiration from your positive attitude and mindset that it’s never too late to make changes. As a fellow Hashis gal, I can sympathize with all of the crappy symptoms you felt, but I’m so proud of you for taking the reins on what you put into your body (notice I said “what,” not “how much”), as fuel makes all the difference in how your body functions. Blessings to you as your continue your journey!
    • Chris ( @beer.runs )

    1. It truly was the key to unlocking mental clarity and regaining my passion for life! Thank you so much for the kind words!

    1. Thank you Sandra! It was a lonely place to be in for a while, but thankfully that is hopefully behind me once and for all!!!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. As a fellow hashi mom, I am always looking for more information to heal myself naturally. I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion.

    1. Hi Jennifer! I’m so glad that this may help you too! I gotta get cracking on the next post…it’s going to be meaty.

  4. Oh my gosh, Tiffanie… That first photo brought tears to my eyes too, and made my want to give you the biggest hug. I’m going back to read your story now and betting that was a “before”. I have Hashitmoto’s too, but it was diagnosed about twelve years ago and I have had (and still have) days where I look just like that, when I dare to look in a mirror.

    1. Hi Tracey! Yes, that was the “before” thankfully I don’t feel that way anymore. It was a tough, dark place. I’m sorry that you too have been, and still are, there. Have you made any diet/lifestyle changes to support you?

      1. I’ve made some recently, but have a ways to go. Doctors have led me to believe that simply taking the medication will solve it all, but the more I read and educate myself, I realize it’s so much more than that.

        So happy to have found your site and IG!

        1. While in some cases medicine is necessary, and thankfully we have that available, however, ANY condition can always be improved with the addition of healthy diet and lifestyle changes. To say otherwise is foolishness, in my opinion! Keep reading and educating yourself. We often must be our own advocate!

  5. Gorgeous article Tiffanie…Having been part of the group that you literally opened your home to when hurricane Matthew swept through, I saw first hand what an exhausting and massive amount of work, planning and preparation on your part it was. That you managed all of it while “flying on one engine” is truly a testament to the incredible determination, generosity of spirit and resilience that you have.

    I’m so glad you’ve come through this health challenge and are now sharing your raw story with us, especially those of us who are struggling. By sharing what you’ve been through and how you continue to get through it, you’re giving all of us the best gift possible- the gift of hope!

    Hugs to you my friend.

    1. Awww THANK YOU so much Leah! I so appreciate your never ending support and encouragement to me. You are a treasure!

  6. Wow! Thank you for sharing your story! It takes a strong individual to tell strangers about her life! While reading your story, it was like I was reading a story of my own life! I’ve been to so many doctors, and not one has considered this. I am making an appointment to discuss this with my doctor this week! Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Nina, Thank you so much for reading my story. I’m sorry you are also struggling right now. There IS hope and I’m glad you are being proactive about it!

  7. I can’t wait to read more. I too have something going on inside me and have been “off”, depressed, haven’t cared much about stuff or my fitness in a while. I look in the mirror and am disgusted. I live in constant fear. I worry about everything. 2016 was a horrible year for me. And I think I’m still feeling the effects. I lost my grandmother in March of 2016 and that was awful. Then we lost my boyfriend’s mom in May. Then the unthinkable happened on August 8, 2016…my boyfriend ended our relationship out of the blue. I was destroyed. I sank into a depression and literally quit eating and forget about working out. I no longer cared about anything. I functioned for work and my daughter but that was it. We did get back together a few months later. He realized his mistake after it nearly destroyed us both. But I’m still afraid. We are incredibly in love and happy, but I’m still scared, feeling depressed, but I’m a functioning depressed, and just don’t care about what I used to. I can’t work out and need to bc my muscles have gone super soft. I really don’t know what is wrong with me.

    1. Hi kelly! I am so sorry you are struggling right now. I get what you are saying. It’s a dark place. However, there IS hope for a difference! I would search out a functional or integrative doctor. Get your blood work done. Eat for health. It’s amazing how sometimes diet changes alone can radically change our outlook and help the fog dissipate! I’m cheering for you. You aren’t alone.

  8. Tiffanie,

    When you got diagnosed, did your doc put you on meds? I have been on meds for hashimotos and hypothyroid for 10 years and I am only 27. I workout and eat clean probably 70% of the time, but wondering if I could get off meds if I changed my diet even more.

    Did you feel the fog lift from what you ate alone or did medicine help?

    Thanks!

    1. Thankfully I was still producing thyroid hormone, so I didn’t require medication. Changing my diet and lifestyle was enough to become asymptomatic. I’ve heard of people being able to reduce, or eliminate medication with diet/lifestyle change, but that is something that you will want to closely monitor with your doctor as you go through the process. Never take yourself off medication without your doctor!

  9. Can’t wait to read the rest! I started having strange symptoms like incredible skin rashes and hives, weight gain, feeling tired all the time, developed a goiter in my beck. My thyroid tests with some abnormalities but my internist and allergist don’t seem to care enough to help me figure it out. 2 weeks ago I went to an integrative health MD and he is doing blood work and has been the first medical personnel to tell me I’m not losing my mind- waiting for the blood tests back and hopefully will have a better idea of what is having. Love following you

    1. Oh Kelly! YES! there is obviously SOMETHING going on with your body and I LOVE that you aren’t taking it lying down when doctors won’t listen to you! Love integrative health (obviously LOL) so good for you for searching that type of practice out! While you are waiting on your bloodwork, take a look at your diet and how you can be proactive there! Food IS medicine!

  10. Hi Tiffanie,
    I’m a new follower from the land of Oz, I was diagnosed with Post Pregancy Hashimotos in January. It has been a rollercoaster for about a year now but I’ve been strict with my workouts/exercise and meals for just over 40 weeks straight. My daughter and I both got sick this week and I came undone. For the past month I haven’t enjoyed my exercise, it’s like I was seeking appreciation and statisfaction from everyone else around me. Meanwhile deep down the last 6 months I hadn’t digested everything that was going on inside in my body as well as personal events. My diet has hardly waivered, a lot of ppl have said I look great, but mentally I’m all over the place.
    I’m so glad to read this and know there are others out there battling it. I’ve just got to get out into the fresh air, breathe and smile.

    1. I’m so sorry you are in a struggle space!!! Yes, please breath deep, refocus, and be kind to yourself! xoxoxo

  11. Omg that first picture of you made me sad! You are normally a ray of sunshine! So happy for you that you are feeling better! Your wealth is your health there is nothing more precious than that! I wish you continued health, happiness and success! I love your blog and Instagram posts very helpful and motivating. I went back to the gym and happy to say I lost 6 inches!! Now I just need to clean up my eating! One day/step at a time!
    Love
    Fran Marchetti xoxo

    1. Way to go Fran!!! That is awesome and you must feel so good! Just think how much better it’ll continue to get with a healthy diet included!!! Our health IS our wealth…couldn’t agree more!

  12. Almost a year ago,out of blue I had these terrible body aches. Only medication would relieve it.Finally subsided sum what; but then I felt drained.I also had tested for high inflammation. I’m eating better, taking red vitals, collagen.. But still not feeling my best.I go in 2 weeks for physical. Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. I’m so sorry you aren’t feeling your best! Keep searching for the root cause! Our body’s talk to us and it’s so important to listen! xoxo

  13. Hi Tiffanie,

    I recently found you and started following. I’m looking forward to the second half of the story. I am hypo and have been riding the roller coaster for years – it’s absolutely maddening and it makes you feel like your going crazy!! I can totally relate.

    I’ve recently started changing my diet to clean eating, started the pre/probiotics and working on gut health. I have a long way to go but thanks to you I’ve got a great starting path.

    1. I’m so glad you are on the path to wellness…it is definitely a journey, but one that is sooooo worth it! Thank you for reading my story. I’m putting the finishing touches on Part 2 and should have it produced shortly! Thank you again!

  14. Can’t wait to hear the rest of your story. Thank you for your vulnerability. When we walk through these dark times one can wonder what good can come from this horrible mess… but our stories can bring healing to so many others. Thank you again for sharing.

  15. Did you start any medication for Hashimoto’s? I’m taking Levothroixin & l was hoping to reduce it, until being free of it? Thank you as always for your kindness & attention Tiffanie xx

    1. Hi Joanne! Fortunately, I caught my Hashimotos before it destroyed my thyroid or impaired my thyroid hormone. Thankfully, I did not require medication. However, I will tell you that I’ve put my Thyroid Peroxidase antibody back within the normal range now with diet and lifestyle choices. I still have hashimotos because my other Antiglobulin is still high (but I did reduce it by a factor of 4!!)

  16. hello! i am 20 and just got diagnosed with hashimotos as well as a couple other deficiencies. Did you workout right after you were diagnosed? I need to lose all my weight before this summer, and be strong and fit, but i do not want to push myself. I am a whitewater rafting guide in the summers… (not just trying to get that summer bod) I am just curious because I am doing the keto diet right now, and not sure about it yet as well as how much exercise i should do.

    1. It’s important to NOT stress your body while you are trying to heal. Do light forms of exercise, nothing too crazy like long distance running or crossfit 🙂 When doing Keto, ditch the dairy and find other forms of healthy fats.

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