I’m a Registered Dietitian, Certified Functional and Integrative Nutritionist, committed yogi who walks daily and eats “healthy”. You may be saying, “Nice life but why do I care?” Well I’m also somebody who had the Epstein Barr virus in high school, have had crazy GI symptoms most of my life and now has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Being a bit of a type A person I learned to deal with all of these things and still be a high functioning person until…..half my hair fell out!!! If you can relate to that then this site is for you.
Let me back up a bit. I’d been in an unhappy marriage for several years and had experienced extreme fatigue to the point of needing naps most days. I also ran my own nutrition counseling business and had 2 young children, one of which was, let’s say, a handful. I thought well this is normal for a woman in her early 40’s. Suck it up and keep going. Silly girl these were warning signs.
In late 2012 my ex and I told our children we were separating (just a little stress there) and by January 2013 I was moving into my new house. I was ecstatic to be on my own and scared shitless (literally cuz constipation is part of Hashimoto’s too) at the same time. I was now a single mom of 2 (STRESS!!) negotiating a divorce (STRESS!!!) while running a nutrition counseling business where my income depended on people showing up for their appointments (STRESS!!!!) and entering the dating world (OK so the martini’s helped with the stress here).
I got into a rhythm with my new life, the kids started adjusting, my ex and I negotiated pretty well and the dating world was fun. I felt more energized almost to the point of being manic at times (another warning sign from my thyroid)and then exhausted at others. I chalked it up to my new life.
I met a great guy in June (more about him later) and had one of the best summers in a long time. Then in October I got this tingling in my scalp for a few days then noticed a lot more hair in the sink. Hmmmm….maybe I’m just imagining that. Nope. My pony tail holder now had to wrap around my hair 3 times instead of 2. Damn. And when was the last time I had my period? 3 months ago? I definitely wasn’t pregnant so say hello to Hashimoto’s again.
Off to the doctor I went but of course had crappy insurance that didn’t pay well for labs. I had some routine things run a few months prior and was told welcome to your 40’s. My hormones were off but traditional medicine told me “that’s life”. My crappy insurance labs told me I had low iron, low vitamin D and slightly elevated blood sugar (all common in autoimmune disease). But nobody sounded the alarms so I put it on the back burner and wore a tighter pony tail.
Time passed and in late 2014 I closed my practice and took a less stressful job with great insurance so off to the doctor I went for some real lab work. In January 2015 I heard “Your vitamin D is low, your HgbA1C is high oh and you have Hashimoto’s disease”. What?!?! I was put on Nature Throid and within a week felt like I had perpetual cotton in my head. When I called the doctor I was told well it can’t be the medicine. Maybe I had a virus or something. I came to find out later (like many months later) I also had Stage 3 adrenal fatigue which almost always goes hand in hand with autoimmune thyroid disorders. This was the reason I felt worse on thyroid medicine.
At this point I decided I knew my body better than anyone else and weaned myself off of the medicine. Within 3 days my energy was back and the cotton was gone. At my next visit with the doctor I was told well we can put you on Synthroid but no mention of figuring out what had happened. That’s when I fired my doctor and went searching my professional network for help.
Luckily I found a functional medicine practice right in Las Vegas. Unluckily the doctor had a 6 month waiting list. Crap. But wait they had a new doctor joining the practice and I could see him next week. Yay!! Sign me up. The doctor wasn’t warm and fuzzy and he could see I was guarded to say the least. Who wouldn’t be after having “strange” reactions to things my whole life and being told, “well you don’t fit the usual profile” by doctors.
This doctor did say the things that I needed him to say which also jived with what I’d discovered with my own research, so our journey began. I didn’t 100% trust that this doctor was doing everything that I was learning about in my Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition certification course and ultimately I didn’t get rid of my gut infections or recover from Stage 3 adrenal fatigue before this doctor moved away. I was lucky to switch to another doctor in the practice who I jived with much better with functional methods I’ve learned. Plus I belong to a great group of Functional Nutritionists from my class who I can call on for help.
I’ve been “in recovery” for 2 years and have had many ups and downs but overall I know I’m on the right path and have hope that I will be the best that I can be. I’ve had to learn to a lot of lessons that I didn’t particularly want to learn but each one has made me stronger and smarter. I’ve been blessed to also be working with my spiritual guru and Ayurvedic practioner for the past 12 years who has taught me to slow down, remain calm and breathe and that everything I’ve been through is a learning experience for me so that I can ultimately help other people.
Are you wondering why I named my site Thank you Hashimoto’s? If I hadn’t been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s I would have missed out on learning so many things that have both blessed and cursed me but ultimately is enriching my life by making me slow down and listen. Listen to my body, listen to my intuition, listen to what’s important and listen to the people I work with.
My goal with this website is to share my knowledge, journey and cooking success and misfires to empower any of you out there who are going through this crazy life or autoimmune journey. I am in the process of building the perfect “Laura” diet which incorporates principles from the Autoimmune Paleo protocol, Specific Carbohydrate Diet and Wahls protocol.
Thank you again for joining me on this journey. I love to get feedback so please comment or ask any questions and I’ll do my best to get you answers.