515 comments Post a comment

  1. Diana

    So proud of your bravery in sharing this. Glad to hear that you have finally found the right doctors and can begin your journey to healing. Wishing you all the best in your recovery.

  2. Jenn's Adventures

    Know that you are not alone.

    Know that this titanic up-hill battle *will* get easier.

    You are an extremely brave and strong woman, surrounded by people who care for you — even if they haven’t met you in person:)

    You know what has to be done, and I know you will see to it.

    Trial and error is part of learning and builds character.

    Share what you will here, as inspiration if nothing else, but definitely keep a private journal, too.

    xoox’s

  3. Dana Pinder

    Amber; thank you for sharing your story. I think your story may indeed help others who could be having similar predicaments. Do not be ashamed to discuss your disease. I feel your followers will be more than sympathetic. I know that I am. I KNOW FOR CERTAIN that your vegan diet did not cause these problems; agreeing with you that it’s probably helped save you. I am happy that you have found doctors that are LISTENING ~ doctors that listen are hard to find along with doctors that will understand your vegan diet. I am here for you any time you need to vent. Keep the faith! You WILL MAKE IT THROUGH THIS Amber!!

  4. Kate Feathers

    You are a great writer! Thanks for sharing. You’ll help people with this, since you are so invested in healing, have tons of knowledge, practical advice and communicate in a palatable way. Blessings to you and your family.

  5. Heather

    Wow… Praying for you and your healing process!

  6. thesusan1

    So respect you for putting it out there Amber and you will prevail! It doesn’t change anything for us and keep on helping others and doing your thing!

  7. Crystal

    So proud of you. It took a lot for you to share with us. Good luck. No one should ever judge you. Half the battle is finding the right Dr, which it sounds like you finally did. Please keep us posted and know we are here for you.

  8. Live from La Quinta

    No judgement, no advice, just lots of good thoughts for your recovery. Thank you for sharing, Amber, I can only imagine how difficult it was to write this.

  9. jplass

    So sorry that you’re having to deal with this, Amber. Best wishes to you as you find your way back to health with your doctor’s help.

  10. Sophie @ Feelgoodtribe.com

    thank you for sharing your story, I think you are very courageous and a role model for all of us. Please don’t say that you failed in any way or that people don’t want to buy your book, it is the opposite, you are an inspiration!
    I think that blogging is a great way to find support and help you with your healing journey. It will work out trust me!

  11. Rhoni

    You’ve done great girl! Now relax with knowledge of questions answered, enjoy the process of getting married and let everything else fall as it might. You have earned it. You are in the driver’s seat and you do have your eyes wide open with your health. Congrats and you will get through this. All the best.

  12. Marah

    This was like reading my own biography. I’m making an appointment with an endocrinologist first thing tomorrow morning! Thank you for your courage.

  13. Mallory

    Your so inspiring! (:
    I am dealing with the recent diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is not nearly as severe as your disease, but it is still a struggle every day.
    I try and take this diagnosis as a positive thing because if you don’t know what the problem is you cannot fix it.
    Keep up your spirit and your veg diet and I will too (:

  14. Lindsay (@LeanGrnBeanBlog)

    thinking of you! hope you get all of your questions answered soon!

  15. Laura Traynor

    Anyone who would judge you by your diet, condition, or weight is just dead weight! Feel free to be completely dismissive of them. You are a keen, courageous woman who will find your own unique path back to balance. Stay strong! I feel like I am back in touch with the best of Kansas City (my hometown) when I read your posts. You have to continue to tell the world that we are not all barbecued cow and pig addicts! :-D

  16. katie

    I appreciate you sharing this! Think of all the awareness you will bring to the topic!

  17. Jill

    Thank you so much for sharing what you are going through. I totally believe this has been something that doesn’t just pop up overnight. As with most diseases, they usually take many years.

    I am a firm believer in the power of prayer and with your permission, I will be praying for strength as well as complete healing.

    And you will not lose this girl from your readers. I am blessed to have founds you.

  18. bitt

    Oh Amber, my heart breaks for you. So much good is happening to you with the wedding and your book and it feels so unfair you have to deal with this. I can relate as during my first year of working and planning my wedding I had some horrible health issues unfold that made my wedding really tough.

    I can also relate to getting tons and tons of (often unwarranted) advice. It can be so overwhelming! One of the good things about getting an accurate diagnosis is that finally you have the right resources, but you also have to be very careful to not overwhelm yourself with it. I have to parcel out health info to myself very carefully or it brings on depression and anxiety. You are smart to set limits there. It is hard telling more people too, because everyone will have their 2 cents about it.

    I am hoping you will share a bit about your new diet, provided that it helps you to do so and when you are ready. The only silver lining (and I hate that phrase but it’s all that fits) in this is when people who are so talented like you have to make diet changes, in turn at some point they might be able to provide the community with new recipes for others that have to restrict their diet is similar ways. There are so few resources for raw foods and vegan that are low glycemic and there is a huge window there for more exploration. Please don’t take this as pressure to post those recipes, I’m just confident you will come up with things along the way being the talent you are.

    One last thing: thank you for saying firmly that your diet is not the cause of this! There are many many people who struggle with similar issues and have different diets. Thyroid issues are becoming increasingly common, partly due to toxins we can’t avoid. And no one should expect a diet to be a cure-all. I really admire your ability to face this challenge and remain on a plant-based diet too. Sending you lots of love and strength.

  19. ThreeBlindWives

    You are brave for sharing this. I can’t imagine you getting anything but support. I bet you’re glad that you’ve been eating the way you have all these years so that you didn’t end up even worse off before getting the diagnosis.

    Good luck with the autoimmune diet. I imagine you’ll get a lot answers from it. Stay strong.

    ~Daniél

  20. Wendy aka Roo

    I’m glad that you found a doctor to really listen to you & that you are on your way to healing yourself! No judgement here, in fact I commend you for sharing so much, you should be very proud of yourself & maybe now that it’s out, you will be relieved of some of your stress. Relatively new to your blog & being Vegan, but I will continue to peruse your blog & try your recipes. Prayers for your health & well being.
    Puppy Hugs,
    Wendy

  21. cottercrunch

    oh friend, i understand. I can relate, in a similar yet/different way. You live what you preach and i can see your health displayed in your voice, your food, your actions. don’t ever forget that. praying!

  22. marycrouch

    I know it took a lot of bravery for you to write this. You are a strong woman and you are inspiring.

    *hugs*

  23. Kim

    Perhaps you can write an autoimmune cookbook; I know I would buy that. Once you get used to following the diet, you can get creative, and while it is limited, and difficult to explain to others, I can tell you it’s really not so awful to follow. Finding a good doctor who listens to you and your symptoms is the hardest and most frustrating part of the whole thing, and it is excellent news you were able to do that. Good luck, I’m sending good thought’s your way.

    1. sarah

      This is such a good idea! I am so tired of cookbooks where I can’t make half the recipes because of nightshades, etc.

      p.s. I know you don’t want advice or lectures about your vegan diet, so I’m not going to give them. However, I did want to say that when I started having major health problems (including messed up gut flora) I did start including (local, pastured) meat in my diet because my body was reacting so strongly to legumes and grains. This is not to say what is right for your body, I just wanted to put it out there because it might be the right decision for someone reading these comments.

  24. Alayna @ Thyme Bombe

    I cannot imagine how much stress you must be under with everything on your plate right now. I really hope you find the answers you’re looking for and I’m just so glad that you have someone as wonderful as Matt to support you through it. Please keep sharing your treatment plan on the blog. You could really help someone out there who might be going through the same stuff but hasn’t made the connection to the cause of it all. I know there’s nothing I can do to help beyond voicing my support, but I’d like to offer you a big internet hug anyway – :::::HUG:::::! And an ear if you ever need one. :)

  25. Ali

    You are so brave and should be so proud of your strength. Deep breath, and it will be ok! Stay strong :)

  26. Allyce

    Thankyou and congratulations Amber for not only making a breakthrough but for taking the time, energy and love to share your journey with us. No doubt you will inspire many with this journey and you know as I read this post it actually made me want to support your recipes and almost vegan ways even MORE rather than blame them! And I know many of your followers will feel exactly the same!
    You rock :)

  27. grimconfetti

    wow amber <3 i understand that must have been really hard to share. but so brave. you are amazing, you know that? you are so determined. and i know, KNOW you will heal yourself. so happy for you for finding a good doctor, and for having the motivation to take care of YOU! you are inspiring to me and anyone else who is suffering internally. lots of love.

  28. Kirsty

    I know you don’t want advice and I’m certainly not someone who can provide it, but don’t be dismayed that your condition might affect your career, you do a wonderful job and I love your blog. There is a journalist in Australia who has an Autoimmune disease and she also runs a very successful blog and has an eBook out as well. If you ever feel like checking out what she does you can find her here: http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/

    Good luck and best wishes with your health.

  29. Feud With Food

    As you already know I am SO proud of you, and so thrilled that our paths crossed when they did. I look forward to supporting each other during this healing process. My gut is so damaged right now, that I am not absorbing most vitamins, minerals (especially magnesium), or even protein. I am in this with you Amber. I wish that we were both feeling better so that I could grab you for an adventure in Chicago at Nourished next week.

  30. Kelly

    Awww, big hugs to you((())) I will keep you in my prayers for your continued recovery!!! And as scary as it is to open yourself up, you undoubtedly have helped others who may be experiencing some of the same symptoms you have but haven’t gotten answers yet. And I’m happy to tell you that I just received your cookbook today (yay!) and it’s beautiful and I can’t wait to try out your recipes. Take care!!

  31. fitnessoversixty

    No shame, Amber. Although I do not know you, something tells me you will be an expert nutritionist regarding diseases like Hashimoto; I will be watching for you on Dr. Oz! Food disorders do not make one ignorant or incompetent, and only fools would judge you based on your candid “confession”. Until the day you reach your career goals, I for one anticipate your continued recipes, blog, and cookbooks!

    You set yourself free and I wish you the best.

    Carecia

  32. Veggie V! @ Veggie V's Vegan Adventure

    Knowing is half the battle.
    One day at a time.
    Breath in. Breath out.

    Those are all the cliches I can come up with right now. But, as cliched as cliches are, they’re true. Thank you for sharing your story, Amber. May the force be with you. (haha – couldn’t resist that one)

    *I hope this post doesn’t read any way other than with lighthearted sincerity

  33. hotsleep

    I am so sorry to hear you are going through this, it was so incredibly brave of you to post this, ecspecially considering your line of work. I agree with other posters, and totally agree that it does not sound like your condition has been worsened by your diet, but i thave otally understand your fears that people will yhink that. You are so dedicated, at least you are going into this equipped better than most to deal with it, and it sounds like you have hopefully caught relatively early in terms of your body. Best of luck to, i look forward to hearing about your recovery, and this news will certainly not stop me from purchasing your book :)

  34. Sondi Bruner

    Amber, thanks for sharing your story. Don’t fret about the critics – just remember that no one is perfect and the people who are the most critical are often the most insecure. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been sick, especially when you’ve had so much going on in your life. I imagine that your journey to wellness will only make you a better chef, blogger, and author. You’ll understand what it’s like to feel unwell, and to be failed by the medical system, which so many other people do – that’s why they seek out people like you. Best of luck in your healing.

  35. Julie

    Thank you for sharing. Can you tell us what tests showed Hashimotos please. I have been testing my thyroid and hormones for years and have always had a low temp but they keep saying nothing is wrong
    Best of luck in your journey knowledge is power! Cheers

  36. Trish @ MyBigFatBundt

    Good for you for facing your fears and sharing. Never, EVER be afraid to share your truth. Always be willing to be judged, and you will be at the effect of NO ONE and NO THING…and then you end up finding that you will receive more support and love than you ever thought imaginable. I highly doubt many people, if any, are going to find your cookbook any less inspiring or your blog any less valid due to your personal health issues. Shit happens, and I am a firm believer of ‘nothing by accident’ and ‘everything has a purpose’. This is probably leading you to a higher purpose you didn’t even realize existed. Life rarely shows up the way we expect or plan for it. Those who wish to continue being vegan and raw for whatever reason will still use your wonderful recipes as inspiration. I think you are very wise for just letting go and allowing your doctors to do the work for you. Now you can get back to focusing on YOU and celebrate your wedding and the release of your book. Too many good things happening in your life to allow anything to distract you.

    You and I have spoken privately about my struggles as well, and I have been about as low as anyone could get with this thing. Auto-immune is no fun day in the park, even the slightest of hypo or hyper thyroids is enough to drive a balanced woman insane. So I totally understand the need to find answers and spending every waking moment looking for them. But I will tell you that when I finally decided to let of all of that, I finally allowed other possibilities to come into my life…things that got me going on a more positive path and, leading me to the people, products, and ideas that could help. It’s like what we spend our time focusing upon is what will show up in our physical lives. It required a lot of giving up of old belief systems and letting go of many ideas I had in order for this occur. I definitely am NOT the same person now as I was when I began my journey. The interesting thing I also discovered was that every time I was reading about different symptoms, I would actually DEVELOP those symptoms that I either did not currently have, or the ones I had would get stronger and then every single thing I had been reading would just fall into place. It’s as if I were purchasing all these other points of view and then making them true for me. I learned that while well-intentioned and well-researched, not every book has all the answer, and not every person with ‘M.D’ attached to his/her name is the leading authority over our bodies. We are all so different, and we could be experiencing the same issue but require totally different methods of healing.

    So as per your request and wishes, I will refrain from giving you my ideas on this (mine, are you probably have figured out by now, are a bit different than the mainstream world). BUT…if you ever decide you require something different or simply want to explore adding on to whatever you are doing now, feel free to e-mail me privately and I will share with you my personal resources. I’m sure you will find your ebb and flow and what works for your body, and hopefully one day you can live a life that’s less restricted. It’s totally possible!

    Hugs,
    Trish xoxo

  37. MizzB

    Hang in there, Amber. We’re here for you. Do what you have to do, and know that we have your back. Thank you for sharing this with us, and for all you do.
    Enjoying the book!

  38. Noelle (@singerinkitchen)

    Thank you for sharing such a transparent post! I’ll be praying for your healing. I know too many people with thyroid issues. I am even afraid of finding out about mine because I know doctors have been wanting to test me for a while. I had high prolactin levels in my pituitary BEFORE I even got pregnant but I had normal levels in my thyroid, The doctors wanted to scan and I hate having to go through that. I know it has to be with going up and down with my weight but I am glad you got a diagnosis and on the road to recovery. You’ve come this far! I send you a hug!

  39. Katie M.

    My sister just got diagnosed with Hashi’s! She wishes everyone knew that an Endocrinologist isn’t necessarily the answer because like you said they tend to only study TSH levels. If people think they have a Thyroid disorder its best to find someone who main focus is thyroid disorders. After years of battling with doctors who said her levels were “normal” or “borderline” and them not doing anythign despite her complaints of weight gain despite severely restricted diet and heaps of exercise, feeling exhausted even after 12-14 hours of sleep and feeling freezing all of the time she finally got put on meds that are helping.

  40. Melissa Prior

    I’m feeling your pain. I also have Hashimotos as well as a range of auto immune issues. If you’ve been doing all this while being knocked down with Hashi’s just wait…. I felt like Superwoman once my levels started to normalize.
    I’m rooting for you and (as a fellow knowledge junkie) I can’t wait to read your future posts on this topic.

  41. Hayley

    Hey lady! I feel for you, and your scenario has a small parallel to my own. Just know that this is no karma, and nothing that you deserve, but that sometimes people do have illnesses or conditions that simply happen. I’m somewhere between strict vegetarian and vegan- I have had my health concerns related to diet and there is simply no correlation. You ARE a role model. Know and love yourself as such as you will never be any less impressive. Xo

    1. Hayley

      Oops. Not related to diet is what I meant.

  42. theknittingpatch

    thank you for sharing your story – My best wishes to you while you heel – keep smiling :-)

  43. hungryvegantraveler

    Whew! I know that was difficult to write, but I bet you feel a whole helluva lot better now, Amber. What you’re going through sucks, but I feel confident that you’re gonna knock all of this stuff out LIKE A BOSS.

    xoxo

  44. Deanna

    We would NEVER abandon you because of this! You are very brave for sharing your story. I think it’s so very easy for food bloggers to gloss over our own struggles because we all think, “who’d want to hear THAT?!?” But, you’ve built a community of followers that care about you – even if we’ve never met you. So, of course we want to know that you’re struggling with something big. And of course we’ll be here to support you.

    I’m a total information junkie, too – and I also totally understand about information overload. So, I will spare you any ‘advice’ I might have and just say, if you need anything – you know where to find me. Hugs.

  45. Amy Cafer

    Amber I just bought your book and after reading this post I love it and you even more. I have struggled with many of these issues in the past and can relate. You have been amazingly strong to have accomplished so much with these struggles. I think sharing parts of Your journey back to health would be very helpful for you and others. Sending You healing thoughts…..

  46. Tame

    thank you for sharing something so personal and life-altering with us, your readers! Know that we stand behind you, beside you, and continue to find you an inspiration!! Peace, light, and love to you & yours~~~

    Tame

  47. Rachel

    Amber- remember be from Living Light, Rachel, I have similar problems, and obsession of knowledge and not quitting. I just finished a book called “Adrenal Fatigue” that has given me focus and inspiration to rebuild my triple adrenal burnout. But your story tells me I should search more for the right doctor, since my muscles have been in atrophy for years, among the laundry list of other symptoms, much like yours. I have always gotten the same responses “your fine/normal.” Thanks for sharing with us. It does help others.

  48. Debbie Eberlein

    Your testimory in itself is probably one of the most healing things you could have done. You are so amazing for your young age. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this at all. I’m thinking of you, and even though I met you once on an airplane, I’ve kept in touch with you through your postings and am so in awe of what you are accomplishing. Keep up the wonderful work that you do. Sending love and healing thoughts your way.

  49. Pamela Oakes Goff

    You are SO brave, and I am proud of you for “coming out”. You will probably find that people are actually more supportive on your road to recovery and healing, and interested in how you cope with this. It will give other people that also suffer from Hashi’s the strength to go on and a explore a better way of eating. It will work out and you will gain strength from this as well.
    Pamela

  50. Amanda

    Thank you for your bravery, Amber. I commend you for not giving up and continuing to search for answers even when your doctors tried to tell you that your health was fine. I send you healing energy on your path to health and wellness.

  51. KTBuns of Vegan Noms

    You are so brave for sharing this… and I absolutely love you for it. My heart is swelling right now because I hate knowing that you have so much fear about how sharing this might affect your image/influence/importance in our community. If anything, your openness and commitment strengthens your presence in our eyes! I hope you start to feel pride for all that you’ve accomplished and overcome and for what you are so boldly facing now.

    I have felt some of the same guilt of having “done everything right” according to diet and exercise and still having a health condition that is out of my control – I have very high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. I’ve felt that fear of thinking “Now no one will take me or any vegan seriously when we say this way of living equals health! I’m such a hypocrite!”. You are absolutely not alone.

    Thank you for your strength, perseverance, and trust in your friends and followers. We are always here for you! <3

  52. dandyapples

    I also want to say thank you for having the courage and strength to explain your situation. I’m sure your post will help others who also have Hashimoto’s or similar diseases. I am amazed by everything you have accomplished so far, even more now that you have had to deal with this, and wish you good health and happiness in the future!

  53. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Amber I am so sorry you are going through this and thank you for your honesty and for sharing it all. Please know you are in my thoughts and I understand what you mean about people thinking, that your diet could have caused this…on the contrary! If it wasn’t for your dietary path, you’d probably be wayyyy worse off.

    And the elimination diet you are doing…hang in there with that. And with your health and with finding solutions. It’s an epic battle, you can do it!

  54. Hannah

    Endless love and support (as you know you always, and will always, have from me). So proud of you for recognising that this is not something you need to hide, that you have nothing to make excuses for, and for speaking with such honesty and candour. And just look – so many, many people finding strength from your strength in turn. Shining. xo

  55. Tina Edwards

    I am so glad you shared this! I have a friend who eats very little and still gains weight, she has high levels of testosterone as well.. now after reading this, I wonder if maybe she may have the same thing? I will have her read this and hopefully she can get the right treatments now… Thank you so much! I am so glad you now have answers and I for one will still continue to follow your posts, get the book and in no way do I think it is due to your current diet… You should give us all more credit!! lol, just kidding.. I’m sure you will see that most of us are supportive and not critical.

  56. sharanya

    Kudos to you for being so brave to share ur story.I have a son with severe allergies and I understand very well about auto immune disorders.Being vegan is what has helped him get better.I wish you a very speedy recovery and so glad you have found the right doctors which itself is a big problem..
    I think your story will help many..Good luck..

  57. molly009

    I have never commented before, but I wanted to extend a virtual hug to you and express how much I admire your bravery and honesty. I’m certain you will emerge from this triumphant. xoxo

  58. Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty

    Awwh Amber.

    First off – thank you for writing this post! Often I feel frustrated reading blogs that aren’t “real” so this post is amazing and thank you for sharing! You are very loved in the blogging community and this won’t change that (as far as I’m concerned) If anyone can do this, it’s you! I wish you luck. Keep us posted and let us know if you need anything from us.

  59. cheezyk

    Hi, spotted a note on Hannah’s Twitter side bar that prompted me to pop over today (just in case you’re wondering who the random new commenter is).

    Your honesty is overwhelming. Wishing you strength and success.

  60. elamonster

    A standing ovation from me right over here! Awesome job–I so admire the manner in which you’ve shared this. I especially admire how upbeat and positive a message you project in the midst of all the anguish. Coach Cher said something in your interview about how you had put messages out to the universe and they had come back to you in time–I think this is another example. You will heal, and this whole experience, unique and painful as it has been, will make you even stronger and more powerful and more of a force to help others.

    I can’t wait to talk more in person about all this, maybe brainstorm some palatable food on the plan, compare notes. Meanwhile, best of luck with the move.
    love
    Ela

  61. Kelley Schulberg

    I’m so GLAD you shared this. Your sharing has pushed me over the edge to find a new doctor. It’s been a while that I have been hearing my inner voice nagging me to do the search. I’m a Type I Diabetic on an insulin pump, I’ve taken excellent care of myself and I’m struggling with the same thyroid issues and have an endocrinologist that poo-poos me when I drag all my books into my quarterly appointments. I went raw/vegan a year ago and I’m off all my heart meds, but now my system is getting over the shock of raw food, I am starting to gain again, my skin is dry, my hair is falling out, I have ridges in my nails, I’m FREAKING out. People say the same thing to me about looking great, but in comparison to my 45 year old friends who haven’t taken care of themselves I DO look great, and in comparison to my Dr.’s patients who don’t even bother to take their blood sugar readings, I look like a complete super model, but I know something’s drastically wrong.

    I’m inspired by everything you’re doing and soooooo rooting for you to get better. It sounds like you’ve found a Dr. that actually listens to you and is going to work with you, that is the absolute doctor lotto! Everything happens for a reason <3 Thank you again for sharing.

  62. momof2gremlins

    (((Hugs)))
    I’m sorry for you going through this and seriously applaud you for sharing this with your readers!! I will certainly continue reading your blog as I’ve always enjoyed it tremendously! =)

    Hang in there!!!

  63. Jamie

    Thank you for sharing! I too suffer from hypothyroid and hasimotos. I take synthroid and it has helped immensely. It sounds like you have done a lot of research and I look forward to hearing what works for you and possibly trying them too. Take care, it will get better! <3

  64. Connie

    Thank you for sharing and I hope this has lifted a burden off of your shoulders. I know it wasn’t easy. I am so sorry that you are going through this,
    I’m not sure what you beleive but am adding you to my prayer list.

  65. Lauren

    <3
    Congratulations on taking the step to sharing all this – can't be easy. I'm betting/hoping it feels good to have an explanation out there though, and to get it off your chest? That takes great courage to share something so personal to you, so good on you for doing so AND for waiting until you were ready to! I hope the changes show positive signs for you, even if they're difficult!

    One thing stood out, and I hope you don't mind my inquiring. There's a toxicity level for Vitamin D? About a year and a half, maybe 2 years ago, my doctor found my Vitamin D was 3x the high end of the scale (she also said they were about to increase the recommended range, not sure if that happened) but she said it wasn't something you could overdose on. I think it may have been from the soy milk I was drinking regularly, not sure. Also not sure what my levels are now/if they've been checked on my regular blood tests, but no one else has mentioned it. Just curious as someone with high Vit D as well!

    Also, I've had my fair share of dealing with eating disorders in past and not-so-past so if you ever want someone to talk to about it, I'm willing to lend an ear. It's kind of how a raw diet has become so enticing to me. It's full of foods I've always loved and felt good eating, but includes enough to be healthy and nutritious AND without including foods that have caused problems for me, regardless of my state of recovery. It's made sense, and NOT as an excuse to avoid certain foods (I've thought a looong time about whether my attraction to the diet was just to please those old demons). I don't know how much sense that makes right now, but hopefully you know what I'm trying to say!

    Even though I haven't been following your blog that long, I feel like you're a super awesome, driven, amazzzzzing person so I hope for all the best and all good things in this recovery process for you! I hope hope hope things get improve quickly! Stay positive – it sounds like this will finally bring some real changes for you! I'm so glad you've found a good doctor, too. Hopefully this mystery illness is no longer a mystery!

    Take care, take your time, and take it easy on you. :)

    L

  66. the hungry irishman

    Wow, Bravo. I couldn’t imagine the courage this must have taken. You are a very strong soul, to not give up and keep on doing what you do. Inspiring post. Thank you so much for sharing this with all of us.

  67. Megan

    I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through, but appreciate your sharing it– I’m sure you will help many others in the process! Glad you’ve found a doctor you can trust (such a challenge!), and that you’re making the necessary steps to restore your health. We’ll all be here routing for you!

    Sending you hugs, and hope we can catch up when I’m in town next!

  68. indialeigh

    Amber, no one is going to judge you negatively. The book, the diet that you’ve done so far is part of your journey. Healing oneself is a journey that takes commitment. THis is what you have and are demonstrating. See the goal – freedom from Hashimoto’s – the first cookbook will be the first rung on the ladder for others too. In life we have to force ourselves to be better, live stronger and be more honest and open. You are paving the way. Carry on girl! All the best to you! I hope you find the answers you seek for yourself soon. Very soon. Do you know Brittany at http://www.realsustenance.com? If you don’t yet, I encourage you to contact her. You two could make an awesome collaboration. x

  69. Tina

    Hi Amber, you have really inspired me, it’s like I would read my own story, I can’t wait for more information you can share, because I also don’t know waht else I can do, I have tried almost everything. I support you and wish you a good luck!
    Hugs,
    Tina

  70. Sarah Chapin

    Amber,
    Thank you for sharing your experience and my heart goes out to you-the inner struggle and the fears on top of. You continue to amaze me-your character, your creativity and your contributions. We all care about you at Hail and are here for you. Will be following what you choose to share. One of the great gifts you possess is communication and whatever you share you will have receptive audience. It is ok to keep private aspects of your life-and respected. But if and as you share, know that you continue to heal others. Here for you if you ever need-
    Sarah C

  71. Rhi

    Nothing but love to you from down here… So sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. :(
    Remember if you and Matt need a break, come down and visit once it’s all sorted – we’ll look after you!!! xxx

  72. Caitlin

    wow- amber, you’ve been through so much! what a personal and heart-wrenching post. you are such a strong and amazing woman and i have no doubt you will be able to get your disease under control to the point where you will feel healthy and fit again. you are an amazing and inspiring woman.

  73. Rachel

    xx

  74. Michelle Piccolo

    Wow what an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing this! I work for Life Time Fitness and we promote “digging deeper” all the time to our clients who “just don’t feel right” and their doctors told them those same things your initial doc did. I can’t say it enough, Ask questions and get lab tests done and INSIST on finding out what they MEAN. Don’t settle for “You’re fine” when you know your body better than anyone. Now that you have this diagnosis, you’re going to get back on that path to optimal health. Good luck to you and hey, be sure to journal all this. Instead of a cookbook next time around, you could be writing about this disease and how you got through it as an inspiration to others!

  75. Faye@RawLawyer.com

    It was a brave thing to share this and I’m confident that the support of your community here will be wildly encouraging during your recovery process. Hoping you recover quickly.

  76. Angela

    Amber,
    We all love you & know that your diet isn’t to blame. You are & will always be a true inspiration to me & so many others. Take care of yourself & get well!

  77. Sheree Clark

    Amber, your fellow Hot Raw Chef is sending you love, encouragement and prayers for measurable results. Hang tough. The first step is the most difficult. Feel the love from the community and know that you will be supported.

  78. eatinglocalinthelou

    Amber, you are one courageous and strong woman and quite an inspiration! This was a beautiful and heartfelt post that I am sure was in a way cathartic for you. Please know that your followers believe in you, are here for you and want what is best for you to heal and be well. Take care of yourself and thanks so much for sharing!

  79. shannonmarie (rawdorable)

    Hi Amber. I haven’t been on the computer much this week, as it is my son’s spring break. However, I have been periodically checking my e-mails for things that can’t wait, and I couldn’t wait to read this post. Just wanted to let you know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. I applaud your bravery for putting this out there. Your true fans care about you and aren’t going to stop supporting you.

  80. Brenda

    Amber,
    I am so sorry that you’ve been under so much stress and please don’t feel like you owe anyone an explanation of anything. You only have to answer to one person……..youself. There should be no shame in being ill. Your so very lucky to have found a doctor who knew the right tests to run on your to diagnose you and help you get the right drugs and methods to heal yourself. You could have gone on the rest of your life and never known what was wrong. Consider yourself very blessed to be on the path to good health. I am not a vegan. I am a senior citizen who just enjoyed finding new ways to fix vegetables. I enjoy your blog. Continue as you’re able to write and don’t be shy about telling your readers what your personal journey to regain your health entails. I’m sure there are many like myself that are interested and many who may have the same symptoms who could be helped by your journey and research.

  81. Bobbie {thevegancrew}

    Thank you for sharing your story–I know it it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I am so sorry to hear about the problems you’ve been having, but I’m glad you were finally able to find a doctor that could provide some answers and that you now have a plan in place to help get the disease under control and restore your health. We’re all pulling for you! :)

  82. brettgaynor

    It’s incredible what you’ve had to deal with and I can’t imagine what that’s like. I truly hope that you do heal yourself and that you are able to get back to where you were before. I know how much you value your health and fitness. I would find it hard if I had those things taken from me. But now that you have a plan and answers, I think you’ll come out on the other side of this better for the struggle. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to share this, but I hope that sharing it will ease some of the burden. Stay strong.

  83. hellbentforpleather

    Thank you so much for your courage in posting this. I too am recovering from a history of eating disorders and I am a vegan with Hashimoto’s. You *can* get better and you will find your way to health and happiness. I’ve been going through the fun times with good old Hashimofo for about a year now and my first fears were that people were going to blame my veganism for the disease. Surprisingly, I’ve gotten nothing but love and support for my decision to stay vegan—even from my endocrinologist! Getting better every day and I wish you the same. PS I love your blog!

  84. juliecote

    Hi Amber,
    I’m usually a “silent” reader of your blog, but I thought I wouldn’t be so silent for once.
    I just wanted to say that you were and still are an inspiration to me on going “almost” vegan and if that had not been for your blog, I don’t know if I would have done it. Even if this new challenge you are facing is very scary, do not think that people will be less inspired by you, as this last post of yours is the proof that you are inspiring, even in the way you deal with such difficulties.

    Good luck with your recovery and keep us posted if you feel like it!

  85. Sara

    Thank you so so much for posting this! I have been going through a very similar situation the past couple of years and it can be extremely lonely especially when you don’t know anyone who is going through the same thing or has the same thing. I have also gone through numerous doctors and have finally found one that has ordered several tests which has brought to light more health issues than I could have imagined. When the time is right for you I would really love to hear more about the recommendations your doctor has made. Again thank you so much! You have made me feel like I am not alone :)

  86. carrieonvegan

    Amber, I have this too! I was diagnosed about 3 years ago. I have had similar symptoms, but not to the extent you have. Have you found any books or resources that give you clear ways to manage the disease? My doctor just monitors my TSH levels, I haven’t had any other guidance. Thanks so much for posting this, I am very interested in following your progress, it sounds like you are doing great despite how scary it is to have something “wrong” with you.

  87. Sonnet

    Hi Amber – thank you so much for having the courage to share your story with us here. I cannot imagine the stress and frustration this must have caused you for all these years. I am so glad that you finally found a doctor that could help you figure out what was wrong. Good luck to you in your journey towards better health and I’ll be sending positive energy your way. :) Take care.

  88. JL goes Vegan

    I have it, too! It was one of the reasons I jumped off the marathon /half-marathon training circuit. I realized I was training to keep my weight off (instead of running for the love of it) yet I wasn’t able to eat the way distance runners were able to – essentially running crazy miles and STILL dieting! Something was clearly off. After several years on Synthroid + nutritional counseling and cleanses my thyroid is stable and I’m simply embracing a rounder me.

    I had my journey and you’ll have yours – and I’ll be here cheering you on your way to better health!

  89. Rachelle

    I just have to say, the way you’ve been rockin’ it, you’d never know and I’m glad you’ve got Matt as I know he’s got your back like no other! I wish you all the best on what I know will be a slow road. I have a close friend with thyroid-related issues and my scientific conclusion is that they are tricky little bastards. I hope you start feeling better!

    Also, thank you. I fell off my healthy-eating wagon a while back, and your cookbook/blog provides me with the inspiration to get back on it (made smashed avocado salads just last night. We also battled with a coconut in what I’m sure was the most uneducated fashion possible, but it was worth it). So thank you for what you do.

    I can’t imagine the mountains you’ll conquer when your energy level return and hope to see you soon!

  90. GetSkinnyGoVegan

    So sorry that you have been going through all of this. I second Bitt with the fact that you are only going to blossom more now because you at least aren’t “stressed” about keeping it under wraps-and somehow it will probably influence types of dishes you may present in the future. So many people are affected by thyroid issues and you are such a sleuth & an amazing recipe maker (careful no to say “cook”)-that it may be in the end you are the “go to” girl to help other people with similar sorts of issues figure out what types of healing stuffs may work for them. You are awesome & kudos to you for writing this-you will no doubt, only gain more fans. Thankfully you have an actual “diagnosis” now-and kudos to keep going to find out “what” is wrong. It is disconcerting that a doctor dismisses a 30 pound weight gain, even if you are still a “fine” weight. It seems obvious that a weight gain could mean ovarian cancer, water retention from something else, less treatable that Hashi’s, etc….So it’s bothersome that anyone would overlook that in the least. A reminder that we each truly have to be responsible for our own health. As the doctors & lab tests are not the holy grail.

  91. Karen

    I have never read your book or blogs before and came across your “admission” if you will, via Tanyas Facebook. I can honestly say that I would be more than happy to follow your blog or buy your book as you are clearly a very courageous woman who has hit a bump in the road (although a rather large one). Good luck in healing, I don’t know you but am confident you will continue to eat well, live life and be a great success in spite of this disease!
    Congratulations on the engagement. Enjoy!

  92. Denise

    I’m so sorry you had this happen to you. I have had Hashimoto’s for 19 years and it isn’t fun. I am always in search of how to ease symptoms and feel better, so I hope you will share your journey on getting well i.e. what vitamins you are taking, what different things the doctors have you try. Congrats on getting a good doctor that is really hard to find. Best of luck!

  93. yaelian

    Thank you so much for sharing this,you are so brave! I have had some of those symptomps you have,like gaining so much weight and not getting rid of it in spite what I do. I did test for THS some time ago (blood test) but it was normal. Now thanks to your post I will know what to ask my doctor.. Hang on there Amber!

  94. Tracy

    Amber, I applaud you for staying so strong in a scary and uncertan time. My best friend has an auto-immune disease and it literally took 5 years to be properly diagnosed. From what you wrote I can see that you are an advocate for your own health, please don’t forget that! I am sending you healing energy. Keep up the amazing work on your blog- this is one reader who craves reading what you have to write!

  95. Hilda Quintanilla

    I too have this disease. Went to 11 specialists before being diagnosed. The depression and thoughts that enter the mind stink! God used this along with being diagnosed with panic disorder and phobias to bring me closer to Him. My situation hasn’t changed completely, (though i was healed of panic disorder and phonias) but my heart, mind and spirit have – and that brings me peace. Praying hard for your healing and peace.

  96. Hilda Quintanilla

    Don’t let the devil steal your joy! His game is lying and his playground is our mind. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knows God has an amazing plan for your life – (plans to prosper you and not harm you) and is trying his best to not let you have it.

  97. Janine Carpenter

    I have suffered from Hashimoto’s for years and yet to find a doctor who fully understands this disease. The thing I do know, is that since it is an autoimmune disease, it will eventually start moving beond your thyroid. I just had to have a hysterectomey as that was attacked during and “event” and mamy other issues can be atributed to it. I am glad that you are finding your way back to health! This disease is devastating.

  98. Sue M

    First, let me say what an amazing inspiration you are! You are facing your illness head on and with your fighting attitude I have no doubt you will overcome it. I felt so sad reading everything you have been through over the past three years – all while putting on such a happy face even though you had so much to deal with. You are so fortunate to have found a doctor who got to the real cause of your problem – many people would have just accepted the “a little weight gain is normal” and not want to address that their might be a more serious issue. You are such a kind and gentle person – so be kind and gentle to yourself and allow yourself the time to heal. I didn’t think it was possible to think any more highly of you than I already do – but your courage to share your story serves as an inspiration to others! Take care of yourself!

  99. Gabby @ the veggie nook

    You are so inspiring! And though I don’t know you, I am so proud of you! I too can understand the frustration at eating a great diet, yet not feeling great (although not to your extent) and it is so difficult. Multiply that by 1000 given all your commitments and current book (which I love by the way).

    You are so strong and this in no way impacts the way I view your recommendations, recipes, book or blog. You are amazing! Good luck with your journey into health again. I’m pulling for you!

  100. shanna

    No advice here, but do know that when the time comes, I am here and having healed myself from cancer, ezcema, and currently working on Congestive Heart failure, I know that physical healing is great, but incorporating some emotional healing make be the next step. I know you are overwhelmed now, so I’ll let you come to me. You are in my thoughts.

  101. vivaciousvegan23

    Thank you so much for sharing! I, too, have become hypothyroid and lost my period since going vegan, and I know it’s not what I’m eating. I’ve found relief in the Body Ecology Diet, which is an anti-candida cleanse that eliminates the same foods you are avoiding. Best of luck, I know how extremely frustrating this can be!

  102. kfaivre

    No judgments. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. You are a beautiful person and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your blog AND your new cookbook. Hang in there; we are ALL rooting for you.

  103. Robin

    Extra big hugs. Hopefully now with a good diagnosis you will be on your way to better health.

  104. Lou

    Wow, thank you so much for sharing this, you are so brave :) I’m not sure what to write actually, I just want to let you know I’m thinking of you, and sending love and positive healing energy your way :)

  105. Pam

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s as well. Like you I’ve tried to live a healthy life style and it’s been difficult (and depressing) dealing with the spiral of failing health – especially when I’ve tried to do all the “right things”. Unfortunatly, most physicians can’t relate. Best of luck with your healing process.

  106. Maggie

    I just came across your blog (I never saw it before) and read the whole post. I’m really sorry that you have to go through all this, but I can tell that you are a strong woman and I’m sure you’re gonna overcome it. In the meantime don’t let this prevent you from enjoying all the other wonderful things that are going on in your life. That’s my only advice :)
    And instead of discouraging me from continuing to know you, what I read just make me wanna jump through your whole blog and add you to the list of blogs I follow :)

    Kisses! :D

    Pd. sorry, english it’s not my mother tongue!!!

  107. Tiffany

    Half the battle is finding out what’s wrong. I am glad you’ve found a doctor that believed in your problems (my doctors told my mom for 12 years that I was faking my stomach issues when I really had celiac). I hope you start to feel better soon and you can fix most (if not all) of your problems and damage. By the way, you are awesome for dealing with all of this and still accomplishing what you have!!

  108. Jessica

    I too suffer from hypothyroidism and hesitate to tell people because they might mistakenly blame my vegan diet. I’d love for you to share more of your healing journey and the holistic approach you are taking. When I was diagnosed, I was just given a prescription and was told that I’d be taking it for the rest of my life. The meds definitely help, but I wonder what I could do to change my diet/lifestyle in a way that would help me deal with this disease. I’ve been frustrated with things that I’ve read as I’ve tried to do my own research. The advice ranges from taking meds that are derived from pigs to giving up kale and broccoli–I’m not doing either of those things. Please keep us updated on your progress, and know that you are not alone.

  109. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts

    What an honest and quite heart-wrenching post – thank you so very much for sharing. I am usually a silent reader but had to offer support and let you know that I, at least, wouldn’t dream of linking your raw and vegan diet to this. Sometimes life deals an unlucky hand and I am just really happy for your sake that you are finally getting some answers. I hope your symptoms start to improve soon!

  110. Staci

    I do love you.

    Just so you know.

  111. Deborah

    I was reading the sneak peek of your new book on Amazon and decided to check out your blog today…Wow! Thank you for your honesty and sharing your experience. A weight must have been lifted from your shoulders to finally find out what was going on with you. My best friend has been going through a smiliar situation for the past year and I’m going to send her the link to you blog so that she can be encouraged as well. Peace and many blessings to you as you go through this recovery.

  112. Tara

    Amber,
    I am very sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis. : ( You are in my thoughts. It was very brave of you to share your story; I can certainly understand your fear that people may “blame” your diet. I hope that your fans will help appease this fear! All I kept thinking as I read your story is how fortunate it is that you DO eat so healthy! I am by no means a Dr., but I suspect that your healthy diet helped keep your symptoms latent for years. Thank you for sharing your story. Good luck with your healing process and know that I am still ‘Almost Vegan and Practically Raw.” I’ve never met you, but you strike me as the kind of person who could transcend anything. I know–easier said than done! Hang in there!!!

  113. Sarahfae - Addicted to Veggies

    Lots and lots of love and support, sweets!
    I’ve been thinking about you all day today – xo

  114. Meagan

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 6 months ago and have many of the same symptoms as you. My lack of energy is the worse! With my TSH being normal, I have had two doctors tell me to wait and see what my TSH is in 6 months.(while my symptoms are driving me crazy) I was about to settle with that answer until I read your post! I am also from Kansas City and plan on looking up the doctor you have mentioned. Thanks for having the courage to share your battle and know that you are not alone! Prayers for you as you start your journey back to health!

  115. Silvia

    Hi there,

    More power to you. It seems you are in need of emergency care and I hope your current doctor works well w/you.

    I discovered last year that I have hypothyroidism (simple routine test). I might have had this for 20 years and not known about it (who knows what role this played in my episodes of depression, sluggishness, the weight issues, etc). Since untreated thyroid disorders can have an impact on cardiovascular health longterm, who knows what the absence of a diagnosis has done to my health.

    The point is-you are so very young and your body has an extraordinary ability to stabilize and recover at your age provided you receive correct medical treatment. Go for your health-I’m glad you’ve been persistent in trying to find the medical expertise you need.

  116. Jason B.

    Hi Amber,

    This was my first time coming to your blog – I was referred here by one of the (probably too many) e-mail newsletters I get. Anyway, I wanted to applaud you for your bravery in talking about this. So often people respond to anyone presenting new information with comments of the “if this is true, why aren’t you rich/successful/famous/healthy/etc.” type, never stopping to think that people may be dealing with circumstances outside their control. In an ideal world, you’d be the very picture of health and I’d be a history professor, but this isn’t an ideal world – we both have to play the hand we’re dealt.

    Again, I applaud your bravery in talking about this, and wish you all possible success both in treating your health and in establishing your business.

  117. Elizabeth Fraser (@girlgoneraw)

    I have so much respect & admiration for you, Amber. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry to learn of your health struggles and know how hard it must have been for you to write this post. Hopefully it was liberating too! Your community can now support you the way you have been supporting it so wholeheartedly. I am sending you love & healing thoughts as you move forward on your journey. xoxo Namaste

  118. Carol Schmoker

    Amber, as a fellow information junky and Stage 4 colon cancer survivor, feel free to take a break from research once you’ve found your doctor you trust. Information overload can be paralyzing. Sending thoughts & prayers as you battle this. Thanks for being so open and honest.

  119. Jess from MIdwest Vegan

    I am so glad you found a doctor that will listen to you, and that you know now that cause of all your distress.

    Good luck on your path to wellness! I know you will figure this all out.

  120. veganhomemade

    Amber, I was so sad to read this! I can only imagine how hard the past few years have been, especially battling internally with this while putting on a totally separate, strong, confident front. When I met you I would have never guessed there was any physical turmoil going on, and I know writing this post must have been so difficult. I hope that with the help of your new doctor you’ll see improvements and start to feel better quickly!

  121. Mara

    Loved the post! Behind you 100%!

    Get better.

  122. A Tablespoon of Liz

    Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear about this. : ( Some people will do whatever it takes to believe that vegan/vegetarian/raw foods are unhealthy, but they’re just lame. If anyone can get better and bounce back from this, it’s you!!

  123. Heather

    My heart goes out to you Amber. I understand how hard it must have been to share this with the world. So great that you now know what’s going on with your body and can take the steps to heal!

  124. Gena

    Amber,

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. I know how hard it is to be in the public eye and feel as though one can’t be open about these things (I myself feel guilty even saying I have a cold on the blog), but it’s always so rewarding for readers to be inspired by your courage and honesty.

    I’m not an expert on Hashi’s, so all I can say is that I hope one day to be the kind of physician who can and will help someone like you. More importantly, I am so grateful to you for not “blaming” veganism for the problem, which many might have.

    Thinking of you, and sending you love.

    Gena

  125. Rosa

    Hi Amber,

    I found your site recently, and I love your blogs, photos and especially your raw vegan desert recipes. Your work has huge value and applicability for people all over the world, and your medical challenges do not in any way detract from this.

    As women, I think it is really important that we learn to listen to our bodies when it comes to food, and not to what society or other people tell us we should or shouldn’t be eating. Good for you for having the courage to talk about this and good luck in your journey.

  126. Charissa (@ColourfulPalate)

    You are brave! Wow, this sounds so hard…

    Thanks for being open and honest…and I don’t see you as not being credible…raw food does amazing things for your body, but there are some things that food, good or bad, just can’t touch.

    Keep looking up!

  127. Marek

    Stay strong as long as you can, let others help you, keep up your good work. It is rather sad to read your last article.

  128. bergie8771

    Can I say ditto to all these comments? ha ha. You have alluded to health problems as your reason for eating the way you do. I appreciate your courage in sharing this blog. Want you to know that prayers & positive thots are winging your way.

    To gently disregard your “no advice”, I am “suggesting” (now that I am a certified Laughing Yoga leader)…for stress relief, happiness & a fun way to exercise, finding a Laughing Yoga class! -Sharon

  129. Jenn

    FRUCTOSE MALABSORPTION. I just recently came across it as a possible cause to my digestive issues. Hope you get better.

  130. sweetjacki

    Good Day,
    I came to your blog this morning to thank you for a truly amazing cookbook. I received the book last evening, and read every single page like a novel. I then saw your post, and truly understand all that you have written as I suffered with thyroid disease. Thank you for your honesty and calrity of your thoughts. You blessed me tremedously.
    I plan to spend the summer making every single recipe in this book. I will pray your strength throught this journey knowing that weeping may endure for a night, BUT joy really does come in the morning. Thank you again for this wonderfully explained and produced work of art.

  131. rachelsmusicalkitchen

    You are so strong and brave and I think it’s great that you’ve come this far. You know your friends are always here for you and you shouldn’t be afraid to talk to us. We care about you, beautiful! :) Love you!

  132. Laurie Brown

    You have no idea how much this post meant to me. I have a (almost completely) similar story. The past two years have been a struggle that was only getting worse until I found a alternative medicine doctor that found my auto-immune Hashi’s. While it’s good to know what is finally wrong, the battle has only just begun. Often, I feel like every day is a struggle of not knowing (or reading too much online and becoming overwhelmed). Like you, I’m committed to healing – and knowing there is someone else out there experiencing something similar…well, it makes me feel less alone.

    Thank you.

  133. Baking {and cooking} with giggle girl

    WOW this sounds just like my mom’s symptoms to a tee. Off to call her.

    This post took a lot of guts to write and expose yourself in a way.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you feeling better and a speedy recovery

    I’ll always read your blog :)

  134. christine

    You are so brave to share your problem – I simply want to say good luck – I’m sure you’ll succeed, especially with Matt to support you:)

  135. hollyeatsinfrance

    I’m a little late to the party – but I can completely understand not wanting to share your personal problems on the blog. As well-intentioned as advice might be sometimes you want people just shut up and listen.

    I can also relate to the health problems, there’s been something wrong with me for a while and I’m finally going to a doctor this week to talk about it. Not as drastic as yours but when I think about having to do something like an elimination diet or stop exercising, I totally freak out. I keep praying it’s just stress.

    And let’s face it – if you love food but care about your appearance and live in Western society – it’s near impossible not to have a skewed relationship with food – which then develops into an eating disorder.

    I’d never blame a healthy lifestyle on health problems. Your blog rocks and has motivated me to try more vegan and healthy foods.

    Good luck! I hope things start to get better soon!

  136. Kelly @leafynotbeefy

    Wow, that’s a lot to keep inside – I imagine it’s been torturous. I hope things start improving and you find the combination that works for the disease. ((hug))

  137. Sherry Fuentes

    Bless your sweet heart Amber… keeping all that inside . As long as us humans live on this earth we will have disease… it’s just something that is going to happen.Yes,we can change our diets and take care of ourself but we do not know what damage has been done by us getting immunized as children and so on. Your a beautiful girl on the inside and out and I know that you are going to be such a blessing to others as you have been… now just on a deeper level .Big big hug to you, Sherry

  138. Michelle {The Lively Kitchen}

    I didn’t think I could respect and admire you more and then you go and write this. Your honesty and candidness is inspiring, as is your spirit. This disease picked the wrong person to mess with.

    You have helped so many by being brave enough to share your story. Hugs to you.

  139. hihorosie

    I don’t have any words of wisdom or suggestions (not that you asked and besides, I don’t have any) but I have nothing but respect and love for you! I appreciate your courage and honesty. I can only imagine how difficult it must’ve been to share this and the process of wondering what others might think. I have never heard of this disease before. I’m so sorry you have to experience it but glad you finally have a name for it and are getting the help and advice you need and seek. I guess we’ll be seeing a new take on some old recipes, eh? Thanks for sharing and hope things start turning around for you.

  140. spabettie

    oh, boy, my friend. do I ever know what you are going through! know that there is no judgement here – I know this is not your diet! I applaud and appreciate you for declaring that, for continuing with a vegan approach, and I so hope it helps.

    you have my support! XO

  141. Kelly Bermudez

    Amber,

    I am so very thankful my friend from KC called me to tell me about your blog! I am almost in tears as I read your story and identify in so many ways…..I have had hashi for 10 years….doctor after doctor….and not much inprovement…I use to run 5 miles a day and one day woke up 60 lbs heavier and unable to work any longer as a police officer and barely functioning as they have to change my thyroid dose almost montly….I am excited to hear about this diet….Is your doctor in KC? That is actually where I grew up: )

    Many prayers!

  142. my sleepy kitchen

    Thank you for sharing this with everyone Amber. You’re providing a lot of help, information and inspiration to so many people who are struggling with health problems and symptoms that many doctors just ignore.
    I totally identify with how you knew “something is very, very wrong, and somehow I found the strength to keep searching for answers.” – I became very ill with M.E. a little over a year ago. One moment I thought I was leading a healthy, active life, and the next I was so week I was hardly able to walk from my bedroom to the couch. My doctors kept brushing me off, even though I too had that gut feeling that something was very wrong; it was so frustrating that they were not listening to me when I told them it was not just the flu, so I too started to look elsewhere for answers. I found an amazing naturopath who has helped me immensely, and I’m also using diet as a way to heal myself (what my blog is about). The power of food as medicine is so amazing (yet so underestimated in traditional medicine)
    I’m so glad that you listened to and stood up for yourself when you realized something wasn’t right with your body and that you found a doctor who listened to you and found some answers. Good luck with your journey to better health!

  143. Kelli

    Amber that was a lot to hold in. Know that there are so many of us “out here” sending you healing and loving thoughts. We still believe in you and your knowledge! Much love and best healing wishes to you! I will be definately interested in seeing how your diet changes. I have been on a quest to heal my husband’s inflammation so I love hearing about the healing properties of food. Hugs!

  144. Caroline A.

    Please include brain health in your efforts. It is as important as body health. Check out Dr. Daniel Amen’s books. They changed my life as did green vegetable juicing. Apologies if these have been discussed in the comments already. Best wishes.

  145. Pam DePalma

    Amber, (I’m Cheryl’s friend, Pam, age 59) I’m sending you healing thoughts and can relate to your situation more than you know. Most of what you said brought back many memories and feelings that I once had. It was awful in the 70′s to know something was wrong, only to have doctors verbally pat me on the head dismissively and say they saw no reasons for me to feel the way I “claim” to feel. Like you, I became my own advocate, reading everything I could get my hands on. I felt like I was losing my mind for years, yet once diagnosed, there weren’t solutions offered for any of my issues. Over the years, it was one diagosis after another. I suffered from muscle burning & weakness, chronic pain, fatigue, knots under my arms, tremendous & very rapid weight gain, hair loss, low grade and below normal temperatures, etc., before some of my issues were figured out. I wasn’t overweight at age 21, when I was diagnosed with cholesterol of 310, rampant inflammation, autoimmune issues, lower back disk issues, and arthritis. In my 30′s, it was hypothyroidism, then fibromyalgia. In my 40′s Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which lead to incredible weight gain quickly, hair loss, skin discolorations, huge ovarian cysts, requiring two major surgeries, and eventually, as my doctor predicted with PCOS…diabetes and other problems. All I know is, I feel that with your knowledge, wisdom and fortitude, you’ll be able to get a handle on things and, in time, will start feeling like a new woman. I admire your strength, wisdom and desire to get to the bottom of things and will follow your journey as you share it with us. It took me a while to make peace with a body that I felt had betrayed me. Instead, try to believe that’s it’s fighting as hard as it can for you and is on your side. Once I took at look at your book I HAD to have it, not only for the health of it all, but it’s so beautifully done and interesting! After I have taken the time to savor each and every page, I am going to share it with my sister who has Lymphoma. She already loves healthy eating, and is looking for ways to improve her health & her meals with your book. You are wise to share what you’re experiencing with your fellow bloggers. It will serve to lower the new stressors in your life, and the love and support you receive from others is a medicine no doctor can prescribe. Your own experiences will give guidance and assistance to more people that you realize. It’s a win-win situation! I can only hope some of your wisdom rubs off on me, even at this age, but I must say, to me, attitude is just as important as anything else you can do! You’re doing so much that will help so many others eat healthier, live better lives, and learn from your personal journey. Stay strong, Amber, and thank you!

  146. Ada

    You are so brave! I recently have been experiencing health problems (even after loosing 65 pounds) and I have cut out meat out of my diet. And here I am complaining about my GERD and you have this to contend with! You still are an inspiration for healthy living and healthy eating, it’s not your fault that your body is being the way it is. I can tell you’re a strong person and that you’re certainly going to over come this with time and perseverance. I have so much faith in you. I can’t wait to buy your book as I embark on a meatless diet to improve my own health. I will keep you in my thoughts for sure.

  147. internalflame

    Inspiring and vulnerable! Thank you for sharing your story. Maybe your recovery process will be your second book….

  148. Rachel

    Hi there :) I came across your blog from googling Hashimoto’s & vegan diet.. I have been vegan for about 2 years now, but this past fall I went to an endocrinologist because of severe acne, thinking I probably had a hormonal imbalance. Sure enough I did, and was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome. And, on top of that my doc said, “well what do you know, you have an autoimmune disease too called Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism! People began attacking me claiming it was my “unhealthy diet, and that I needed to start eating meat again” but my doc who isn’t even a holistic doctor said diet did not cause any of this. I’ve been taking synthroid for the hashi’s (which he said is a medication I will be on for life since there is “no cure” for hashi’s..even though im determined to find one!) and also metformin for the PCOS. The good news is my acne has cleared up a lot in the last 6 months, the bad news is that I still feel quite tired and sluggish often. I am trying to stay positive and continue this journey for a cure with an open mind an heart though :) You are very right, too much google & reading on this stuff can drive you NUTS and keep you up at night!! I am thankful I practice yoga & meditation to help ease my anxiety about this.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you for posting this beautiful entry. It is so nice to no I am not alone in this journey and see how much support is out there! I wish you the best of luck with your health and I think I shall be a regular follower of your blog now :)

    cheers!
    <3
    Rachel

  149. lois

    I am praying for you to get better soon.

    Lois

  150. Becky

    Good luck with your recovery and path towards wellness. I’m starting a naturopathic program in the fall and reading about your struggle with allopathic doctors makes me even more convinced that this is the right path for me. I hope your new doctors are treating you well and figuring out the best treatment for your body!

  151. kay

    hey there. Iv been ghost following your blog for many months now, as i am looking to try and turn vegetarian and hopefully vegan one day. Needless to say your blog and recipes and general overall kindness and sunny disposition on life has truly inspired me chica. Really it has!- that being said I am very sorry to hear about your autoimmune disease :( it sounds very terrible and I can’t begin to imagine you – a very fit and healthy raw vegan marathon runner, must feel hearing this news. I know personally id be very depressed and be like “wth am i healthy for if this is going to happen.” but honestly your so great is battling it head on and facing it. I wish you the best of luck! and Ill pray for you.

  152. Morgan

    This has been SO helpful! I was diagnosed with Hashi’s just two days ago, and I’m only 20 years old. My life in terms of health, diet and exercise is and was exactly like yours, and doctors told me everything yours did. I am so so happy to find someone who is going through the same thing around the same age, opposed to women twice my age!

  153. Jeanne Call

    I am so glad that I just stumbled upon your blog. I just got diagnosed with this Hashimoto’s. I am in the process right now of trying to understand what exactly it means for me. I also have had PCOS for the last 12 years or so, though the s/s are so similar, I wonder if I have had Hashimoto’s all along instead. I am a half marathon runner. I am practically a vegan and have eaten mostly gluten free for quite a while now. It’s hard to know what I need to change. It seems that you are on a similar path to mine. I hope you continue to share what you learn about this! I am a nurse working slowly on becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Having this makes my goal all the more important so I can be the medical professional I can’t find. Thank you for sharing! It helps to see that I am not the only one in my situation!

  154. Jeannine

    What’s the latest update on your progress? Are you still doing the elimination diet or is that complete? I’m curious how you are feeling, and what you’ve done so far (meds, diet, etc). This is Jeannine from the Herbie of the Week. Even though my story is a happy one I’m still struggling with my energy, foggy head and sluggishness. I read the book “What your doctor may not have told you about Hashimoto’s” which was very interesting. The doctor who wrote it found that some people needed a combo of Synthroid & T3, or a combo of Synthroid and real thyroid hormone, or a combo of the 3 with the most important factor being the ratio of 98% T4 and 2% T3. I haven’t tried this yet. I am afraid to mess with things in fear of feeling worse for a while. I am thinking of reading the book you’ve suggested… though I have read everything but that one (however I have read a lot of the info on their website).

  155. Lara

    Hiya,

    Thank you so much for writing this and being so honest. I know kind of how it feels and I wish you the very best

  156. Jeannine

    Update: I’m reading the book you recommended. Very interesting so far. I finally ‘gave in’ to my naturopathic doctor to do (expensive) food sensitivity test. When I get the results back her plan is to have me off the foods that anger my immune system and work on a plan that will heal my gut…which she says can be done in 3 months. I’m skeptical but will try it. I’m afraid that everything I eat most often will come back on my don’t eat list. And hoping the overall result is going to get my immune system back into balance and reduce my synthroid dosage – which may ultimately end up getting switched over to natural thyroid hormone, or a combo of the two. What really angers me in all of this is WHY doctors are taught to only treat the thyroid when it’s the immune system that’s messed up? Band-aid solution for everything.

  157. Susan P

    I just came across your article.
    I was diagnosed with Hashi’s at age 21 (I’m almost 37). I’ve been raw for a little over a year and stopped taking my thyroid meds after a water fast this last Christmas. I feel ok (could probably feel better in some aspects), but have no exhaustion, weight gain, etc. anymore.
    BUT…. my question for you, as a bride-to-be this August and someone who wants to get started having children right away….
    What information have you come across regarding Hashi’s, diet, and pregnancy? I see so much conflicting information, I don’t even know what to trust. Any suggestions are appreciated!

  158. Meg

    I loved reading this!! I too was just diagnosed with Hashi’s. I’m curious about the diet you were put on. What can you eat? How do you get full?

  159. Vanessa

    Wow — I can relate to this on so many levels. I was diagnosed with Hashi’s in 2003 after gaining 60 pounds in 3 years and despite doing a marathon! While things were steady for awhile once the right meds were prescribed by my wonderful endo, once I got pregnant with twins (a total surprise and something I thought I’d have difficulty with) my thyroid went crazy again as it worked to cope with all the rapid changes occuring in my body. Now, more than a year after my pregnancy, I feel like it’s 2003 all over again — where I’m the healthiest eater and exerciser I know but am unable to shed the weight. So I can relate to your frustration and the tendency to put hours into researching and looking for answers. Anyway, just wanted to be one more voice saying, “you are not alone!” Thanks for writing about your experience and reminding me the same thing.

  160. Valerie

    I just bought your book through Amazon; I can’t wait to get it. Thank you for sharing. I’m having the same problems and not sure what’s wrong with me. I also have a terrible sugar addiction. I know you will get better…stay positive. In my prayers.

  161. Nancy H

    Thank you!!! I have been looking on the Internet for months to answers to Hasimoto’s. Your story is MY story !!! I know there is hope out there somewhere.

  162. melissa

    HI i have hashimotos and struggling i just take some herbal pills as dont like lethroxine what test do you recommend that i cover I already know I have high antibodies but is there any others i should ask for. thanks

  163. Lisa

    Hi :-) My son is was vegetarian and diagnosed with Hashimoto’s when he was 12 – unheard of for a boy so young and his endocrinologists said he had the worst case they had ever seen. They believed it was genetic and possibly caused by our love of soy products. He is now 18 and a soy-free vegan (as am I) and very healthy. He will be on medication for life, but has had no issues with his health at all.
    Glad to hear you are cutting out soy and it’s really not as hard as you would think, especially if you are coming from a whole food vegan diet anyway.
    Best of luck to you and love your blog and book!

  164. anna

    I relate! I’m an almost-vegan who started having thyroid problems years before I changed my diet. However, when people hear that I have health problems, they jump to conclusions that my unusual diet is the cause. It’s really frustrating. I also have Hashimoto’s & didn’t get the conclusive diagnosis until this year.

    I was also an over-exerciser for years until the thyroid issues got really bad. Surprisingly, I have LOST weight with Hashimoto’s, probably due to vacillation between hypo & hyer, but I think over time, if left untreated, I would eventually encounter the weight gain instead.

  165. TG

    Wow. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I finally got the answers I needed from my rheumatologist today, that I don’t have lupus, I have Hashimoto’s Disease. It was finally a relief after chasing after answers for over ten years to know that I’m not crazy, not lazy, or an overeater. I used to be an active, trim, wide-awake woman. Now I”m tired, overweight and and barely eat for fear it will put on yet another pound on my body. You are brave and I’ll be watching your progress reports with rapt attention.

  166. Lisa

    I suffer from Graves Disease which is also an auto immune disease. Like yourself I have researched everything fo 3 years now. I am determined to get healthy the natural way and recently eliminated Candida out of my system using fivelac and after much more research have discovered that iodine defficiency could be a major conributing factor to Graves and Hashimoto’s. I will let you know if it makes a difference. Good luck with it all.. I certainly kniw how tough both ilnesses can be.

    Lisa. x

    1. Larry Vrooman

      Lisa, please read this before you supplement with Iodine;

      http://thyroidbook.com/blog/iodine-and-hashimotos

      Good luck, Amber Shea.

  167. Carole

    I was diagnosed with Hashimotos disease 4 months after the birth of my first child 37 years ago in my early twenties and have taken thyroxine ever since. Your rationale that your vegan diet did not trigger this autoimmune disease would seem to be entirely true as I am NOT a vegan yet still developed it. Apart from regular blood tests and adjustments to thyroid medication I have been ok, fit and well, just thought I’d let you know there are lots of other sufferers out there!I wish you good luck and a speedy return to great health.

  168. Nikkol Gomez

    You should not be ashamed at all…In my eyes you are a hero! I have been struggling with so many of the same symptoms since 2006 diagnosed with PCOS at 30 weighing 115 lbs and in the best state of health I had ever been. In 2007 injured my shoulder, was in major pain that was not resolved. In 2009 delivered twins and 9 months after their birth my health issues escalated. Diagnosed with Fibro in 2011 and have been teetering on vegan/raw food way of life for 6 months. I am still extremely fatigued after 8-10 hrs of sleep and drag through my day but then I have days where I am like an energizer bunny. Major bowel issues bloating and abdominal tenderness and pain. I was diagnosed with Vitiligo, so not only do I have internal issues but now I have visible marks all over. I have not cut out gluten but have been researching more and more. I have a test schedule for Hashi on Thursday I hope that I can get some answers.
    You are helping more people by coming out with your “Secret”. Thank you for your blog and for all you do to give others the power to change their lives for the better. ~Nikkol

  169. cheris monte

    Hi Amber,
    After searching the internet for vegatable base diet changes to self treat my Hashimotos(diagnosed 2yrs ago , came across your video on’ the cool vegetarians’ website. Ready to get to the underlying problems to heal…denial has kept me with now 35 pounds over weight and oh… not why am writing to go into all the issues.. you well know. NEED an WANT help.
    Looking into what intergrative doctor to work with…believe that those who go through something are to be included in those who advise.
    Cheris

  170. Terry

    I have hashis also. Good luck, take good care of yourself & family. God bless!

  171. Heather

    Hugs to you Amber! Thinking of you and sending thoughts of success to you on your way back to “normal”. I am very grateful for your book and the enlightening approach you have on raw. Hugs again! :) Heather

  172. Susan McMaster

    Just came across your story and I held my heart for you. You are so brave. Just know that so many people are sending you well wishes and hoping for your speedy and permanent recovery. I too was just diagnosed with Hashi’s. I just became a vegan about 5 months ago and have just started eliminating soy, wheat, etc. I’m in the hyper stage right now and have lost 14 pounds. I know I will swing the other way….hoping with my meds and healthy vegan diet I can find some balance. Good luck to you sweetie. =)

  173. Sue Baylis

    Hi Amber

    For three years (diagnosed)I have suffered the severe symptoms of Hashimoto disease as you have but I was constantly told that it was all in my mind and due to menopause. I missed family holidays and was in bed by mid afternoon which was completely out of character having been a slim active gym junkie. Unfortunately I did not have an ideal diet even though I was never overweight, I did abuse my body by eating a diet high in sugar and very sporadically.

    I do need to take medication for my thyroid but having changed my diet(although my Dr thought this was not necessary) a lot of my inflammation has now gone, and life is slowing getting back to normal.I do still get a very agitated feeling all over if I veer from this.

    I was interested to hear that you are also omitting grains and seeds and would like to know the benefits of this.

    I now follow a dairy free, gluten free diet, with meat about 3 x a week, and try to eliminate all processed foods.

    It is refreshing to hear that someone else has these symptoms and that I am not going MAD!!

    You have given me an insight to what further I can do to improve my health, I thank you for that.

    Good luck on your quest for healthy life ;)

    Sue

  174. Kristen

    This is EXACTLY what I have been going through this past year and I am so glad that someone can identify (although, I hate to know you are dealing with it, too). I am a 7 1/2 year breast cancer, but THIS has been harder. MUCH harder. I finally found a doctor, too, that I have put my trust and hope into (although, I know that God is the Great Physician). I did my blood work and breath test last week. Yesterday, stool samples. Today, saliva test. Tomorrow, Immune Support Test. Then, the next 30 days I will begin the Repair Diet that you spoke about. I, too, have gained 30 pounds in the past year, despite running my 7th marathon, lifting weights and eating clean. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. I am so glad that I’m not alone. Blessings to you and I’ll be thinking of you and praying for you as we journey this road together.

  175. deb

    Hi Amber, Like many who have left a comment, I too have been diagnosed with Hashimotos. It started almost 4 years ago. I noticed no matter what I ate or the amount of exercise I did I could not stop gaing weight. I was 142 pounds and I would gain graduall as the months went on . My doctors and I have many will not treat me or help me in any way because my numbers are within normal range. I have all the symptoms the muscle aches the weight gain and so on. I have been told its due to menapause. I have spent every waking moment thinking about this I am so depressed at times. I have just started a gluten free diet app 1 week ago. I wanted to know if and how long it took to see results of a change of diet from you or any of your other bloggers. thank you

  176. deb

    just realized I didnt put my current weight which is 190 lbs..

  177. Stephanie OBrien

    Wow. I had almost the exact same experience! Raw food chef, raw vegan, great shape, etc. put on 40lbs in 6 weeks. Crazy. Now add to that chemical sensitivities, allergies to ALL synthetic medications. I’ve had to find ALL NATURAL remedies. Which sucks. lol. I found a couple of books that have really helped me that I will share with those who may also not be able to take medications. The Diet Cure and Mood Cure by Julia Ross and Depression free Naturally. They all contain vitamins and supplements and the tests you need to target all these various issues the allopathic doctors simple aren’t trained to understand. I’m still finding the balance between all the imbalances, thru diet, nutrition, amino acids and tons of supplements. I haven’t had a headache in over 3 months (unheard of for me). I want to thank you for sharing this because it’s true for me as well. I’m taking Nature’s thyroid (similar to Armour but less allergens) because I am allergic to the synthroid. Treating hypoglycemia (True Balance is great and L-glutamine, lots of chromium!). I’m still working out the bio-identical hormones, amino acids and vitamins, but my mood has completely improved, my energy is better, I’m sleeping (and staying asleep) I’ve gotten most of my muscle cramps and twitching down. (L-tryptophan, GABA, True Calm, DPA have all helped). I understand at some point I can back off on the Amino acids, but the vitamins and minerals and thyroid supplements are in my life permanently. I’m ok with that. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’ve lost a few pounds (without exercise and without trying). I am so happy for you and glad to know that I’m not the only one. My blood type is A+ so a vegan diet is still best for me. I’ve also discovered that I can only eat Organic and that includes organic meats which I still don’t eat much of due to high histamine and allergies to antibiotics and chemicals in the meats and vegetables. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, strength and hope. All the best to you. I’ll check out your book! And I’m voting for you to write a cookbook for us chemically sensitive people.

  178. Sheree

    Thank you for sharing your story. Like you, I have been battling autoimmune diesease for 11+ years now. I’m 31, otherwise ‘healthy’ and I just don’t get it!? Like you I too refused to belive that I was ‘normal’ because I knew I was anything but. I just tested positive for possible thyroid disease (positive TPO) with low T3 and T4, although both in ‘normal’ range. I am frustrated, angry and tired BUT, I too took my health into my hands and am working to restore my immune system (Lupus, Sjogrens, Reynauds, Thyroid, Adrenal Fatigue…to name a few culprits) and I’m doing so thru food and supplements. Thank you for showing me that I am not alone. Fight on, girl. This battle is far from over but we both seem to have the will to live, and live well :)

  179. Lisa

    Your story is just like mine except I am not a writer. I was diagnosed oct. 2008. Was wondering who your Doctor is? I have three kids and if they are diagnosed with this I want them to have some answers. we can not ever give up. We have to keep pushing for answers! I wish and hope for the best for you!
    Sincerely,
    Lisa

  180. Ninoska Nina Perez

    I stumbled upon your blog because I was googled Hashimoto’s Disease after being diagnosed with it (finally a name for this mess!) on Monday (8. 6.12). While I’m not a vegan, I’m a woman, a human being just like yourself and just wanted to say that I’m glad you were finally able to be diagnosed correctly. Reading everything under the sun about this thyroid disorder and just realized I have tremendous stomach problems too but never realized it was because of this.
    Was wondering if perhaps you would one day write a cooking book for those who have Hashi Disease aka Autoimmune Thyroiditis. Looking forward to my new Guilt Free Gluten Free life. Congrats on your new way of life!! :o )

  181. magdika

    Hello Amber
    I found out I’m in remission for Hashimotos …. was diagnosed last year. I did a lot of research on it – found out all the possible causes ( what a huge list! ) – tried to delete as close to 100% of them from my life. And ate foods that were recommended like radishes, maca, coconut oil etc. And went back to a 100% vegan diet. Eating home pre-pared foods mainly – as I was avoiding foods that (if they’re not organic) …. have not been washed for their pesticide residues. I also did a lot of energy work and meditation. And found peace with the illness. Just when I thought – that’s it …. I can’t kick this – I’m going on the medication – I got the good news. I’ve read it can take at least 1 year to heal the thyroid and the hormones involved. And that many people repair it on a vegan or raw vegan diet. So hang in there and have faith. Ask your angels / the universe for help. If you would like some more info from me please contact me. Joy and love to you. Magdika

    1. Jeannine

      I would love to know more about the recommended foods list and the long list of possible causes!

  182. Michael Hill

    Wow, thanks for sharing.
    I am one of the unlucky males that have this stealth disease, and think I may have had it for over 20 years (I am 60).
    Just recently I had a dr. diagnose me, but before that I saw numerous doctors, several specialists, surgeons, etc. to no help.
    They all gave excuses just like the ones you use in your story (low body temp, need to workout more even when I averaged 2-3 hours of combo each day).
    I am waiting for the treatment regimen, I go see my dr. tomorrow.
    Thanks for your article, I thought I was going crazy.

  183. Dede Stoykova

    Hi, Amber, my husband came upon your post after I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 2 months ago. He ordered your book too. I immediately started a gluten, dairy, and eggs free diet, and I’m already feeling better and it all makes so much sense;but there is also all this other things I have to avoid, according to the diet Dr. Kharrasian recommends for Hashie’s. I love your smoothies, all the ingredients hat you use, but for that diet one has to avoid all bananas, dried fruits, seed, nuts, hemp, flax, so really what can one eat? Do you follow Dr. K’s diet, and how do you manage? All one can eat is greens-and not all of them at that, and some fruits and coconut. How can you get all the other essential nutritions? Thank you very much! And thanks for the hope you give and the upbeat blog, posts, and life outlook.

    Dede Stoykova

  184. Cassia Lohar

    Hi Amber,
    I am 26 years old and was recently diagnosed with hashimoto’s disease. I happened to stumble upon your blog on the Internet after looking for information about following a healthy diet. Thank you for being so brave to share your story publicly. Unfortunately, I can relate to many of your struggles. I find your posts and recipes to be helpful. Please keep up the great work, and I second that you should publish a book with recipes for people with hashi’s.

  185. missy

    I have been searching for support and info for a year. This was the most helpful post. Encouraging. Made me feel like I am not alone. `

  186. Kathy

    Girl, you are not alone! Do not have hashimoto’s, but, in the last four years have gone from the (very, very slow) jogger who had finished her second half-marathon, to someone who can’t even run a mile without facing serious joint deformity, extreme fatigue and joint (toe) numbness, to now (as of today) facing an angiogram at the age of 43! I’m in shock. And, like you, I’ve felt the need to explain to the gym rats (work with a bunch of guys who are used to seeing my running and on the treadmill) why I’m not in there anymore: fatigue, joint pain, adhesion pain (endometriosis)…there’s more, but this is all that counts. Like you, I (used to) love to work out. Even before my “last run”, it wasn’t fun anymore. Actually, for several years my husband was trying to get me to quit (because I was so abnornally tired, & with a very young child), but, like you, love the run, the exercise, the good (as in really healthy) food – that will make it all better right? Actually, I’m just glad that you have your answer now as to WHY? I’m still seeking mine…I never thought i’d be having an angiogram at 43. Hope you feel better now, it’s been a few months for you. As for me, I will be doing some serious juicing before, and after, this procedure to reduce ongoing inflammation in my body. Seriously miss the running, though. It was my happy pill. Hard to explain that to non-exercisers, and to exercisers, too!

  187. Dede Stoykova

    Hi, all, Amber, Kathy, thank you for sharing and for all the information that has been live saving for me at this point in my life. I’d like to share something too, that might help some of you to determine the cause of this debilitating disease. After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s this summer I started on a quest to find out what caused this autoimmune reaction, which was progressing with ever increasing and ever more bothersome symptoms. I though I already have heart disease, vein and artery disease, kidney infection, diabetes, mental disease and number of neurological things going on. I started the raw diet and this help a lot in improving the symptoms. But not quite yet. I went to a Nutritionist and she found out SO MUCH YEAST IN MY BLOOD, that she said i have as much yest as i have blood cells!!!! This was a shocker!
    Never the less it explained almost ALL of the above symptoms. She (the nutritionist) said “no wonder you are feeling so bad” Yeast wrecks havoc on EVERYTHING IN YOUR BODY! Every organ, tissue, cell! She believes this is the main culprit for the autoimmune condition and also an old mononucleosis virus on top of it. My immune system is in a state of attack and inflammation and that is exhausting all the glands, the adrenals and disrupting every function in my body, The antibodies are attacking the thyroid, because there is virus attached to the thyroid tissue. So basically till I clean up that infection I cannot proceed to health and healing the glands. I am now on an antifungal diet, which resembles the Paleo diet, since all grains (including rice :( , all sugar (including fruit) , all starchy veggies (white potatoes, too) , all nuts and all dried fruits are a BIG NO NO for fungus and yeast of any kind. I have to acknowledge that I feel great after the first week of this diet. Truly reviving! As if my body was waiting for this and saying now, Ohhh, this is it. There is some symptoms of detox, as this infection needs to exit the body. I am also taking an additional grapefruit extract to clean the infection up. So even though I loved eating raw, I now have to add some real protein to my diet and avoid many of the things that come into the smoothies the I so loved, Amber. I am very limited with what i can use in there, so I am resorting to green smoothies and add just a few blackberries for taste. From the fruit only green apple, lemon, some grapefruit–that’s it. So, all of you, who suffer of Hashimoto’s or other autoimmune condition, please, get checked by a Naturopathic doctor or Nutritionist to see whether there is not an underlying fungal or viral infection. It is an easy live blood cell analysis, done in front of you. Even if you are not diagnosed with something, but feeling lousy, like you Kathy, make sure to check for yeast, too, and infection, that is easily treatable with diet and supplements. Allopathic doctors would not check for that, and the worst that could happen if you do have yeast is to give you antibiotics — then it will go rampant. Just consider all this, it does not meant you should not do your other tests and fallow your doctors advice.
    Good luck to all!!

  188. Lyza @ Chic Shades of Green

    I just found your link on Dr. Decker’s Facebook page so I was very curious to read your post. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 8 years ago. Recently, I have been considering the GAPS diet, to see if it makes a difference. What you can eat if you are vegan and said you can’t eat all of those things listed above? I was vegetarian my entire life, I under ate and over exercised and ate everything low-fat. So, even though I have a genetic marker for auto-immunity, I believe that perhaps all of those reasons are cause — and then again maybe not. Anyway, I decided to start eating meat and stop eating soy products, then I cut out gluten and now I’m cutting out grains. My Endo said I should be careful cutting out foods because I lose weight so easily that it would be bad for my health to lose anymore weight. But, I would love to see if it makes a difference for me. My husband said I look healthier for eating chicken and fish so maybe my lifelong diet was wrong for me. I wish you good luck, I know how emotionally painful Hashimoto’s can be. I’m glad you found a doctor that can help you, is it Dr. Decker? I haven’t met her but my friend high;y recommends her.

  189. Bryanne

    This sounds so much like me its unreal. Except it wasnt 30lbs it was 80. Thanks for this. I will be getting tested once ny transition period at work ends and my schedule becomes easier to work around. I thought my life was over at 23, I have hope now.

  190. Dawn Cowell

    Thank you for you candor. I was just diagnosed with Hashimotos 3 weeks ago and am working with a fabulous doctor and trying to learn all that I can. Your story resonated with me and is exactly what I needed to hear right now – to know that others who’s lifestyles were so similar to mine are also finding ways to live with Hashisimotos. Mine all started with an early menopause diagnosis at age 41 and I found a hollistic doctor to visit for some relief from the hot flashes and other symptoms. I was very surprised (at the time) to learn of the Hashimotos because I figured it was just menopause. Now I too will be changing my diet and will be taking a lot of gut related supplements and vitamins and bioidentical sex hormones. I am very glad to now know what is happening and how to treat it and to know that there is so much in my control with my diet and to also know that there are so many others who are walking this same path. Thank you for sharing your story.

  191. Rachel Madore

    Amber,
    I can’t tell you how much your courage in sharing your story means to me. You write with such raw vulnerability and I so appreciate that! I know that your story has helped thousands in finding hope in the midst of physical suffering. I am 26 and was just diagnosed with Hashimotos and many of the other accompanying complications that you mentioned. We’re still trying to figure out if I also have auto-immune hepatitis (liver) and MS (brain) which showed positive antigens on my cyrex lab. It’s been a long frustrating road and although I’m thankful to finally have a name for the symptoms that I’ve experienced, I also know I have a long road ahead of me. I’ve been through 3 local doctors that trained under dr. kharrazian and all have given me mixed information. I’m so desperate that I’ve decided to apply to see Dr. Kharrazian himself. I’m on week 9 of the anti-inflammatory diet and can’t wait to return to some of my favorite healthy raw foods. Do you have any advice for me in the meantime?

    Rachel

  192. Kessia Parmley

    How long have you been following this new eating regimin? Have you seen improvements ie weightloss? What foods are now main staples in your diet? Can you share any recipes that you have enjoyed that incorporate these?

  193. Candice

    Thank you for posting this…I stumbled upon it through pinterest. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s about 2 1/2- 3 months ago. They are still jacking with my med levels. I go through a roller coaster every few weeks because of the adjustments. I start feeling good the first week or two adter the adjustment and I start thinking, “Is this how it feels to have a normal level of energy? Maybe I’ll have enough energy today to finish unpacking boxes or maybe I’ll even go work out and get start working off this extra 30 lbs…woohoo! This feels great!”
    …then I find myself in deep slumber on the couch and increasingly depressed that I didn’t accomplish anything I wanted to do because I got freakishly tired and landed on the couch again. This is increasingly frustrating because it’s not just me that I disappoint. It frustrates, annoys my boyfriend as well. You see, he is a marathon and triathlon athlete and cannot understand why I can’t get off my ass. He’s also military and doesn’t get the words “I can’t.” He doesn’t understand why doing simple activities can drain me for days. He tells me to go work out to release endorphins and increase my energy, but he can not comprehend that I don’t have enough energy to even change into workout clothes…much less work out.
    I don’t eat super healthy, but I also feel that I don’t eat terrible either. There are improvements that I am gradually making to my diet as I learn. I have had so many people give me their two cents on what I should do. Stop taking the meds, go work out, change your diet, just get off your ass and ignore that you’re tired, etc. etc. etc. Since you personally understand how it feels to have hashimoto’s, is there anything you can recommend to help me start feeling normal again so that I can stop annoying and frustrating everyone around me with my lack of energy.

  194. Yolanda

    Girl, I am still buying your book(s) and reading your info. You are an example of strength to others and I pray for quick healing and everything will work out.Keep the faith and trust God.P.S. Can’t wait for the dessert book coming out next year!

  195. Vegamex

    I’m so happy to have found this site. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s this week. (Just a routine blood test along with my yearly physical.) As a vegan, I was becoming so sad reading sites regarding a “healthy diet for Hashimoto’s”. And like a beacon of light, there you were.

  196. Terrie

    I am so sorry to hear that you are fighting this uphill battle as well, I have lost everything to this disease, my figure (I gained 30lbs in JUST 9 weeks), my hair, my youth (I suddenly aged 20 in months),the brain fog is so bad I almost burned the house down yesterday by leaving something in the oven, my marriage is over but thanks to being too sick/brain dead to work since 2009 I am STUCK with him. To make a really bad situation worse, I live in a very rural area on almost no money and have no access to organic veggies, supplements, or doctors who understand my disease. At the very least, be happy you’re not me.

  197. Katy

    Hi Amber,
    Great to hear your story and how you have overcome many of your struggles. I am also in the process of trying to diagnose some health issues, many of which sound similar to what you’ve described. You mentioned a late diagnosis of Hashimoto’s disease due to doctors only testing you TSH levels. I’ve had my TSH level tested and it’s 1.00, which is in the normal range, but it seems I have all the symptoms of Hashimoto’s and have chronic anemia even though I take iron supplements. I’ve been referred to a hematologist, but it will take a long time to get in to see him.
    Were your TSH levels normal? And if so what further tests did they do to determine you had Hashimotos?
    Thanks, and good luck with your future endeavors. I’m really enjoying reading your blog.

  198. Lynn Barry

    You are not alone… I am new to being vegan and diagnosed with Hashi about two years ago and been on thyroid meds for almost cour years now. You are not alone! Thanks for your bravery! I get it!

  199. Dannielle

    I just thought I’d share…I had almost the exact same situation you described happen to me. I have PCOS which is also autoimmune and from what my doctor tells me is closely related to Hosi’s. I’ve also heard that one can develop into the other.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that it DOES get better and although I’ve had many bumps along the way (I tried the traditional route initially and it made me even sicker.)I’ve been able to treat mine strictly through nutrition and acupuncture aver the past 9 months. I’ve met several other women who have done this and their diseases have become a-symptomatic and mine is close to the same.

    As much as it sucks initially, I wouldn’t take it back. It’s taught me to really love my body no matter where it’s at and also how to listen to it. Best of luck to you.

  200. Lois Kefauver

    I had the same experience. But, my downhill slide began around 28 years old. At that time I was a successful singer/actress in peak health, loving life. But, I contracted Hashimotos Thyroiditis and could not find a doctor to diagnose it till I was 42. By then, my career was in shambles, my friends had moved on, i had gained almost 100 pounds, and had a myriad of symptoms that pointed to my body being in extreme distress. I lost all my muscle tone, my hair was brittle and thin, I had no memory and no energy. I took part time jobs doing anything to make extra money for the family but could not work full time because I was tired and weak and just living day to day was a struggle.

    My family knew something terrible was happening to me but we all just muddled through with the new me. I could not find one doctor to admit to me that I had any physical problems except that I must eat an awful lot to be so fat. And that I should take diuretics. I went through a dozen doctors who all thought I was not sick.

    When a doctor did decide to check my thyroid, she called to say the results were so bad, she couldn’t understand how I survived for over a decade. But I did. I will never get my old life nor my old friends back, people move on….so in a way that person died and now there’s me.

    I relate to all you went through. It’s been about thirty years since my diagnosis and I’m still trying to find my way by battling my weight constantly, and trying to maintain my morale.I still grieve over lost friendships. I guess I always will.

    I tell myself that things could have been worse and I keep moving forward but with Hashi’s you never get “full” control. This disease is not for the weak of heart, I give myself and you and the others here my deepest respect and admiration for staying the course.

    1. Lois Kefauver

      Could I make a correction on my last post? It has been almost twenty years since the correct diagnosis of Hashimoto’s was made. Thanks.

  201. Dannielle Spencer

    I just wanted to share with you all in case you’re not aware there is a Ted Talk by Dr. Terry Wahls who was diagnosed with MS. I’ve personally found her story to be informative and also inspiring. If you google Terry Wahls, MS and Ted you will see many YouTube videos pop up. Three years after her diagnosis her disease progressed to the point that she was in a wheel chair and shortly thereafter moved to a tilt-able wheelchair. She has not only slowed but reversed the disease through nutrition in less than a year after undergoing several years of the “best” modern medical treatment.

    For me hearing about her story was like a breath of fresh air, because even though we all have different symptoms and diseases–there are many commonalities that we all face. It was just really great to know that someone out there “did it,” and that hopefully I could get better too.

  202. Adrienne

    Amber, you are not alone! I had tears in my eyes as I read your post! I thought, “This is ME!” I was finally diagnosed one year ago, and as I’m sure you know it was so nice to put a name to the quiet hell that had been my life for years! I am finally going to see a Dr.K trained Dr. in two days and I’m super excited to begin healing! I am wondering how your healing is coming along? Have you been able to lose the weight? I pray that you are doing well! <3

  203. Annette

    I also have Hashimoto’s Disease and it has been very depressing for me. I am curious, did you ever have a colonoscopy? If so, do you also have internal and/or external hemorrhoids?

  204. Dr Tracey Wright

    Your story is so similar to mine! I am a chiropractor and facilitate others to live a healthy lifestyle through self-care and high vitality foods. I haven’t eaten meat since I was 11, sometimes I eat a little fish, I struggled with eating disorders early in my teens and twenties. The last 10 years have been an amazing exploration of the power of foods, super foods, and creativity in the kitchen as a way to high vibration and health. This week I got my levels back and it looks like Hashi’s. I am stunned! But, it does explain my difficulty losing weight, etc etc. Whew. Your post made me take a deep breath. It is interesting being someone who people come to for answers and now having to look for answers that fit my philosophical beliefs and will help me!

  205. Andrea Paradis

    Hi there Amber,

    Thanks for sharing this. I was diagnosed with Hashi’s 5 years ago and am still struggling with “getting it right” when it comes to diet, overall health, well-being, etc. It is such a daunting disease that too few people truly understand.

    I am now working on clean eating, and trying to get my inflamation under control. From reading your post, I see that I have not been tested for enough. I am going to search out a doctor to test other problem areas that are connected to Hashi’s vs just focusing on my thyroid. This has helped my journey immensley. Thank you again for sharing.

  206. Aimee

    I have been following your blog for just a few months now and want to tell you that I love it. I just today read this post and I am sad to hear about your health issues. I know it’s not from you eating a vegan diet! I believe most sincere people would understand that. One of my best friends who eats healthier than anyone I know besides me, works out and is a fitness instructor teaching classes like spinning. She has been living this way for about twenty years and she cannot stop gaining weight. She has been going to doctors who tell her nothing is wrong. But something is obviously not right. I don’t know if she has checked into this disease, but I am going to give her this information immediately.

    I too know what it’s like to suffer from disease, I am now vegan and will be for the rest of my life. The illness I have was probably caused mostly by past SAD diet and genetics. I am also working towards health but it could be just a little too late by the time I realized everything. No matter what happens, I am so glad to make the life change to a healthy organic vegan diet and I feel that it will give me the best chance I have. I try hard to spread the message about nutrition since I feel most people are completely oblivious to how bad the SAD diet really is.

    Anyway, I wish you the best in your journey to better health. And keep those recipes coming! You are definitely one of my favorite recipe resources! Keep your spirits up! <3

  207. Nikki, Eating Vibrantly

    Thanks for your courage in sharing this with us. Sending you love as you progress on your journey of healing and discovery.

  208. myriah

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!! I wish you the best and I am rooting you on! I have also been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s after leading a very fit lifestyle and experienced terrible fatigue and (until diagnosis) inexplicable weight gain. Will you be sharing your current diet regimen? I would LOVE to hear. Thank you so much!

  209. Annette

    Do you have any theories on what might have caused your Hashimoto’s?

  210. priscilla

    Wow, thank you for sharing. I’m 39 years old and was dx w/ hypothyroid 6 years ago. I never really had any symptoms, the vague constipation, dry skin, being cold. But I never really felt “bad”. I went on meds bc I was pregnant, and my endocrinologist had me draw blood almost monthly and my #s were crazy high, crazy low. All over the place. But my pregnancy went smooth and that’s all I cared about. I felt NO CHANGE.

    Then my endocrinologist left and I was left w/ only my pcp. My #s were still all over the place but I FELT the same so my meds were never adjusted.
    Since having my child I totally began improving my diet. So that I have now been drinking a green smoothie every day for the past 2 years and cut out meat for the past year and have been trying to eliminate dairy. Also, I try to eat raw for 50% of my meals.

    Then last week I turned 39. And my weight has slowly crept up. Only about 5 lbs but still. Most people still consider me “skinny” but I know my body is changing and was thinking that it was just age. So, I’m working out more than ever.

    But while perusing some websites the topic of Hashimoto’s came up. My TSH has been under control for a while (there was a point where it was .001 and then 7-10) but now is 2-3 for the past few years. But my antithyroglobulin has been 500 -1,000. And my PCP has said not to worry about it.

    Anyhow, I believe a lot of illnesses can be cured/ treated through diet and stumbled upon your website.

    So again, thank you for sharing and please continue to share. You are helping others.

  211. Jenny

    Hey Amber!

    I’m so happy to have found your awesome site…we have many similarities so I had to reach out to you. I found out a few weeks ago that I have Hashimoto’s, and I’m a vegan chef too! I was hoping you might share with me any books or resources that you found helpful after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. I was diagnosed only a month ago, in addition to learning that I have a wheat allergy. My symptoms are very different from yours, which is really interesting.
    Cheers!
    Jenny

  212. Deb Walker

    Amber,
    I just stumbled upon your website and can TOTALLY relate! I was diagnosed with Hashimotos over 7 years ago. I started out on meds and seemed to do well. Then over the last 3 years my symptoms have gotten worse (weight gain, lethargy, sleep disturbances, etc.) I started Whole30 back in January trying to kick-start my metabolism…apparently not happening.I went further and have eliminated caffeine, nuts/seeds and most recently eggs (I love eggs:( ) I LOVE to workout (swim, bike, run, weights, etc.) and I’m having to limit my time doing what I love and what used to be my “fuel”. I was curious as to how your particular elimination diet panned out for you: what you learned, how long you were on it, etc.? Also, how long were you not exercising…and did it seem to help?
    Thank you for your courage and transparency….it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who believes this is not “just in your head”. Hoping you find peace and healing!

  213. Mindi

    Hi Amber! I am so glad you decided to share your story. While I was reading it I said “OMG that’s me!” I also went through the frustration of not knowing what was going on with my body. During college, I gained 40 lbs while exercising 2 hours a day and eating next to nothing. It sucked! After about a year, I was diagnosed with Hashi’s at age 20 (I’m 35 now) but still looking for answers on how to heal my body. Even though I take meds and vitamins, I still experience symptoms everyday and I’ve felt “off” for the past 15 years. Not really how I imagined my life would go!

    I know exactly how you feel and want to thank you for sharing your experiences. I completely understand your wanting to keep certain aspects of your healing private, but if you ever do completely heal your body I would be VERY happy and excited to hear about it!

    BTW I LOVE Practically Raw and can’t wait to buy your follow up books! I wish you all the best in the future!!

  214. Jocelyn

    I am actually INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL you shared. I am a vegan trying to find what I could eat to heal Hashimoto’s and everyone generally points you to meat and fat diet. SO I am quite grateful that you gave your findings to us!! Food is the most important aspect in our world, it literally becomes us. I am so grateful to have you add to the clarity on how being vegan contributes to health and is doable.

  215. Dannielle

    I love this blog and this post in particular as I think it’s great that so many women with autoimmune diseases can share their insights and struggles. I recently came across something that has worked really well for me and would like to share with all of you.

    I have PCOS and while I try to follow a diet that will counteract it, I’ve often times run into some serious and weird hurdles. Like for example, recently I made myself this great salad that I’ve ate many times before and never had any issues with. However this particular time after eating a whole dinner plate full of it, I was curled in a fetal position with terrible stomach cramps for 2 hours afterwards – not fun. And while I’ve seen many of my symptoms slowly go away the weight still hasn’t really come off the way I’d like and I still get tired sometimes. Like I wouldn’t go out for a run everyday as per my old workout routine, but I can take a 20 min or so walk and feel ok after.

    Then recently, I came across Donna Eden’s book on Energy Medicine. You know how sometimes you just get a feeling that something might be helpful? Well my experience with this book has definitely been that. I feel like it has opened up a whole new world of understanding for me. Donna Eden also had many health issues when she was younger that she has now overcome, which was just icing on the cake. Her book goes through the nine major energy networks in the body and how to strengthen them on your own. You can use these techniques daily in conjunction with western or alternative remedies.

    I’ve used this in edition to everything else I’ve been doing and seen a pretty great turn around in my energy and my ability to lose weight. According to the book, the health of your energy systems often governs your overall health. That’s why with autoimmune diseases sometimes even doing everything “right” doesn’t make much progress and it can feel like you’re going against the grain.

    It does take some time for the new patterns to become “set” and become permanent (about a month or so in some, but not all cases). However, you’ll feel the difference right away. And it’s a great asset when trying to turn off an autoimmune response. I’ve sometimes found that “healthy” things make my PCOS act up. This will teach you how to calm that response. And just learning what your body does for you on the daily basis to keep you safe and how to work in conjunction with it was really inspiring.

    Let me know if anyone tries it and sees a difference!

    1. Leslie

      Just wondering if your salad that made you sick had quinoa in it? I will never eat it again after having that same thing happen to me. Mine came on gradually the last three times I ate quinoa. I googled “stomach ache after eating quinoa” and others have the same thing. It was horrible and I only felt better after I threw up. I know it was the quinoa because I felt fine when I woke up and ate 1/2c with blueberries and almond milk for breakfast.

      1. Dannielle

        Hi Leslie,

        To answer your question: no, it did not have quinoa in it.

  216. Lois Kefauver

    Hi again. I’m following the comments here and thought maybe it’s time for me to share a bit more about my discoveries in my battle with hashimotos’.

    One of the nemesis I’ve had to overcome in this struggle is that doctors are more inclined to try to withhold thyroid hormones than be aggressive in prescribing them. I realize that too much thyroid supplement can cause problems but doctors seem to rather err on the side of not quite enough thyroid hormone supplements. This can cause a myriad of symptoms that a hashimotos patient has to struggle through while the doctor feels secure in knowing he/she is not over medicating a patient.

    For the past Eighteen months I began to have severe painful muscle spasms. I gained about fifteen pounds without a change in diet and started losing my hair, in clumps. I had to buy a size larger set of clothes, developed insomnia and began to feel cold all the time.(I would shiver from being cold under the covers at night for no apparent reason.)

    The first sign that my Hashimotos was acting up again was I noticed in my blood workup that my TSH dropped suddenly by a whole point within a month or two. I knew something was happening and it scared me. But, when I pointed it out to my doctor, whose opinion I highly respect, she told me the TSH remained within the normal range and judged we should just watch it. Now it has become clear to me that it was an auto-immune attack on my thyroid which would result in requiring more medication.

    After a year I had coaxed her up to another .5 mcg of synthroid with my usual 1 mcg that I had been taking for twenty years. We replaced a small portion of that with cytomel. Now, after Eighteen months of ill health, my hair is no longer coming out in clumps. I have no muscle spasms and I am feeling hopeful again. But, I’m in my Sixties now and that year of pain and distress could have been prevented if doctors only knew more about this disease.

    I’m sure of one thing I have read and have personal experience with. Hashimotos Thyroiditis should be treated aggressively and the only counter-treatment to its effects is more thyroid supplement. Because ultimately, Hashimotos destroys the Thyroid gland.

    So, once again I am rebuilding after almost two years of continued challenges from this disease. I struggle with a few other auto-immune disorders but the proper thyroid medications in the right dosage is crucial to taking care of any other health challenges.

    Thanks for your website.

    May I add a P.S. to my comments?

    I agree with you that it is difficult to openly discuss these private medical matters but if anyone can benefit, maybe it is indeed time to come clean!

    Thanks.

    1. Annette

      Lois,

      If your endocrinologist doesn’t want to increase your dose, then you need to change endocrinologists. All of a sudden, with no change in diet, I started gaining half a pound a day every day. This went on for three weeks, but the endocrinologist would not increase my dose. I went to another endocrinologist, and she increased my dose saying that my lab results were at the border of the normal range, so there was room to increase my dose. Thank God she did this, because my weight was stable for awhile. Those of us who have Hashimoto’s may all of the sudden start gaining weight every day even though we haven’t changed our diet. My doctor has said that it is a common occurrence. I have had other consecutive weight gain episodes and when this happens we need to be tested for levels again to see if our dose should be adjusted.

      1. Lois

        Annette,

        Thanks so much for your reply. Because of my doctor’s open mind, intelligence and diligence in her field of internal medicine, I am sure that if I have another Hashi’s attack, we will be prepared to handle it quicker than the last time. We both learned from this experience.

        The best doctor a patient can have is one who is collaborative. I’m doing fine now and I’m ready for my next challenge. Keeping my fingers crossed and wishing you the very best also.

        Lois.

  217. Heidi

    Thank you for sharing. I have hypothyroidism. I haven’t been tested for Hashimoto’s. I have been training for a half ironman (working out 2 – 5 hours per day) and eating very healthy (vegetarian, mostly vegan). It is a struggle to stay awake and to keep my weight in check.

  218. Risha

    This could have been written by me except, I am no expert in nutrition or havent written a book myself :) But I am also the one who eats far less than her other skinny friends, eats very clean and yet I am stuck on the extra 30pounds for God knows how long.

    I know you wrote this post in April 2012.. how are you doing now.. after more than a year, is your health better?

  219. TracyR

    I just stumbled upon your website today in my search for raw recipes, and I have to say you are truly inspiring. Best of luck to you in your recovery.

  220. Sandy

    I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. I’m also 68 years old, vegetarian and diabetic. I have noticed the brain fog, depression, fatigue, and other symptoms that you’ve mentioned and was thinking that my symptoms were evidence of my becoming a senior ;-) .
    Thank you for writing so beautifully about this…I’ve been feeling a little isolated trying to deal with this…and so far, my doc isn’t up-to-speed on what to do…just offers more expensive tests. To run across your information and comments from others on your page is a great relief.
    I’m way off the beaten path on what to eat and am floundering around. Just not sure where to start. Do you have a recommendation?

  221. Ty

    Big hugs Amber!! I’m glad you finally figured out what the cause was so you can get to feeling better as soon as possible!!!!!!! xoxoxo

  222. Annette

    Amber,

    Do you have any tips on how not to let Hashimoto’s disease not get you down? Sometimes I will tell myself that at least I do not have even more challenging medical issues. But, at times, it is very hard for me not to get very depressed about it. I actually have two medical problems that cause weight gain without eating additional food.

  223. Charise

    Hi Amber,

    I just finished reading your story from a year ago. I’m proud of you for sharing it AND for doing battle against Hashimoto’s *HUGS* I too have traveled a similar road with the doctor visits, the extensive research, and taking supplements.

    It took 3 years for me to get the “official” diagnosis. I, too, had all of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s/Hypothyrodism, not to mention the 35-40 weight gain in less than 12 months. I’m still a work in progress because things still aren’t “right” and I’m still 3 sizes larger than my usual size. I may have lost 5 lbs (I don’t have a scale), but at least I haven’t gained any more weight, so that’s encouraging.

    I firmly believe that there IS a way for us to get our bodies (and our lives back). Don’t give up.

  224. Stacy Morgan

    Thanks for sharing! I, too, suffer from Hashimoto’s disease and have many of the same symptoms while eating an 80% raw diet, juicing and doing yoga. You have given me new directions to research, additional diet options and hope. Your honesty adds to your appeal. I am going to buy your book today and I wish you continued and increasing success!!

  225. Tara

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I just learned YESTERDAY I am also in the early stages of Hashimoto’s after a similar (but not quite as long) battle with doctors to stop telling me I’m “fine”. It seems every search leads me to a story just like this about a woman who started second-guessing everything she knew to be healthy for her, and being discouraged at every angle until someone finally listened. Thank you for putting this out there for people like me.

  226. Heather

    This is a light, thanks for sharing (even if it was over a year ago!). As a personal trainer and nutrition stickler, I battle with the hashimoto’s tummy. It’s humbling to work so hard on fitness and core strength and yet still have a pouch. Glad I stumbled upon this!

  227. HasaH AoxoA

    Thank you for sharing. I have recently found out that i also have the same situation. Its funny because i ate poorly most of my life as a child, started eating “healthy” and running after my second child. then it wasnt till after my third that i noticed i couldnt lose the weight. i thought it was normal to be tired all the time (me on a diet of mainly wheat thins and soy based foods) and to have adult acne. then i moved to a healthy food conscious organic community and started eating healthy. oh im an herbalist as well so this too was embarrassing for me. the elimination diet helped me to see what was poisoning me. but the symptoms were getting worse. im so tired all the time and going down. i just realized i had hashi last week. time to start over again. ♥♥♥ let food be thy medicine

  228. Brenda

    Amber,
    Thank you for writing this. I guess you know you are writing the story for so many with that could have written the exact same thing.

    I was diagnosed with Hashi’s five years ago and the doctor(s) continued to treat it as hypothyroid with some form of T4 medication. So in all almost 15 years of being mis-treated and mis-diagnosed. After insisting on going back to Armour, I regained some portion of my life back until last year when it all came crashing down again. Weight gain, brain fog, hot flashes, cold feet and hands, you know all the things that make no sense to all be happening at the same time. And then menopause really set in and I was practically bed-ridden.

    To get to the point, I went to a hormone specialist that did practically all the test on the page and came back with a list of hormones that I was either deficient in or had too much of. He put me on all the hormones needed to balance things out, but most importantly he gave me T3 ONLY in graduating doses of 10,25 and 30mcg doses. During the 40 days of T3 only, I released 10 pounds and I felt great. I was back to exercising, sleeping through the night and not needing any extra sleep, blood pressure returned to normal range and I was eating more than 600-800 calories a day.

    At the end of the 40 days he changed the meds to a T4/T3 combo. The dose was now 50mcg T3/25mcg T4. Within in a month, all the weight was back along with all the symptoms. His answer to this was that my body was adjusting and would settle back down over time. I gave it 2 months and a total of 20 pounds and started looking for another doctor. I now understood that the T3 ONLY was what made all the difference.

    The doctor I now have understands and believes T3 is the thing that is needed if you have high Reverse T3 because your body does not need T4. I have only released 7 pounds in three months and it is my belief that going to the T4 combo really whacked out my system and I now need to get the inflammation and gut issues healed.

    I know you said you didn’t want any advice since you have done so much research and I understand, I have done the same thing. I would just like to offer you to look into taking T3 only for just a trial to see if it helps. I also know the huge financial burden this can cause and now do very inexpensive phone consultations with my doctor and order my T3-Cynomel from Mexico.

    One last thing there is a new book (more research) Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause by Izabella Wentz PharmD. You can read the blog and chapter at :http://www.thyroidlifestyle.com.

    I hope things get better for you and that you remember the last line of this original post “I will not quit”. It is the only way to move through this unpredictable disorder.

  229. Kathleen

    Wow! I just came across this blog. I was just diagnosed today with Hashimoto’s. I knew I had a problem with hypothyroidism. But, it wasn’t until I told my doctor that the current level of medication is not doing anything that they decided to take another look at my blood work. It was horrible to know that everything that I have been doing between the dieting and constantly working out trying to get the weight off was doing nothing. I just kept watching the weight pour on. I have had no energy what so ever. I am completely drained. I wake up in the morning, have like half a cup of coffee and can go right back to bed. I hope we are finally on the right track. Thank you for doing a blog like this so other people out there don’t think they are completely crazy! ;)

    1. Annette

      Well, at least you have been diagnosed and the new levels of medicine will probably help you. There are many people with Hashimoto’s who have gone to doctors who have just told them they are overeating.

      1. Kathleen

        That is what my original doctor was acting like. I got to the point where I was scared to eat anything at all.

  230. Nathaniel Mondell

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this. I am a 32 year old guy who has been recently diagnosed with Hashimotos Disease. I can feel your pain of not knowing what will happen by sharing this information with the world. Im a guy who was naturally very fit and fairly active and in the recent years, my body finally gave out and came to a screeching halt and I went into a pretty deep depression and slept a lot of days away, waking up only to go to work at night. I appreciate your honesty. Its motivating to hear others that go through the same struggles internally. We are not alone. Be blessed!

  231. Nancy Tedeschi

    You are describing me to a Tee. Can you update us on how you are eating and what foods you have eliminated? I to have Hashimoto’s and have had it for over 15 years but have just been diagnosed. I feel your pain and any advise would be appreciated. Feel Good. Nancy

  232. Michelle

    Hi Amber,

    Thanks for your blog it has inspired me to start telling people the truth about why I struggle with my weight loss, my mum is a personal trainer and organic enthusiast and I never told anyone I had Hashimotos disease because it just sounded like I was making excuses for being fat and lazy – which I am definitely not. My doctor told me that once I got my thyroxine that my health would be the same as before but all of the sudden I am battling fatigue, anxiety, depression and even though I eat very healthy and go for walks and the gym I cannot seem to loose any weight. Keep up the good work and I look forward to reading your book.

    Cheers,
    Michelle. p.s all the best for your wedding day!

  233. Simone

    Hi there… I didn’t read all of the 495+ comments – call this Hashi girl lazy *smirk* but I did read the first few and the last few. You have some loyal fans! Your blog post resonated with me in a way that I actually took the time to comment : ) I usually just read and run. I have a wee little blog that three of my Hashi friends write. We just write to get out our frustrations with this silly disease. Anyway… I was just wondering if I could link this post in my blog? I think what you said could be very helpful to the small number of readers we have. Cheers… Simone

  234. lisa

    im so grateful for your post and i cant wait to see what you come up with i need help with my eating plan, im up against the same monster as you with weight loss and a totally compromised immune system. i just came across this post in my research for food that i can eat i have always enjoyed eating and cooking but now i am at a loss as it looks as though my entire food repetoir is toxic, i hope to see some yummy and inspirational ideas and a new thyroid friendly affordable and sustainable cook book asap lord knows that we need one!

  235. Jenny Matlock

    Oh.

    Yeah.

    This disease is not for sissies.

    I love how you’re fighting back.

    It’s so hard to relinquish control to such an invisible and devastating foe.

    I admire your courage in sharing this here.

  236. Annette

    Amber,

    In your opinion, what foods should people eat or avoid when they have Hashimoto’s? What do you think the rules should be regarding dietary fat ingestion? Do you have any diet theories on how to best handle the Hashimoto condition?

    My doctor told me that I cannot digest carrots anymore due to my thyroid problem. My eyes turn yellow when I eat carrots. Also, some people say that flouride interferes with thyroid metabolism, so I switched to an flouride-free toothpaste. My dental checkups have been good, but I think children do need flouride in their toothpaste during the formative years, so I do not recommend this for children.

  237. Candice

    Thank you for sharing your story,I too suffer from Hashi’s and it has been quite a journey. Just found out last week that I really must cut out dairy from my diet, and after a cry fest to say goodbye to cheese, I found some great tasting alternatives. Anyways, don’t know if your period is still irregular or not, but I went through something similar, and didn’t get my period for almost 7 months. I came across this tea (after praying): Feminine Toner by Traditional Medicinals brand teas. I took it twice a day for a week, and the next week I started my period, and have been having them regularly ever since. Hopefully this will help you or someone else going through the same thing :-)

    1. Annette

      Why do you have to cut out dairy? Are you lactose-intolerant?

  238. Tanya Schultz

    Hi Amber. I have nearly the exact same history and story: my health situation is identical. Would you please share any victories you experience with me? I’ve been on an autoimmune diet for some time…and nothing has changed for me. I’m looking to learn from others.

    Tanya

  239. Nancy Tedeschi

    My Doctor has split my medication, I am now taking 1/2 grain of armour thyroid and .750 of synthroid. Best I have felt in 10 years.

  240. Debbie

    Amber, I hear your every word! I am 56, and have Hashi’s as well. Only known about it for a little over a year. But, have been sick, tired, very tired, leaky gut, back pain, depressed, and had that I just do not care feeling from the body. Yet mind cared about this, and at times I have felt so bad, I remember asking my good friend once last year, am I dying, because it sure feels like a slow death. I’ve come to the conclusion that we are all different, and the traditional way they have it does NOT work for us all.. I will now start my path, and pray for success and wellness. I have lost 14 lbs. but can NOT get it lower not matter what I do. I wish 2014 a New Year of wellness your way! I stumbled upon this as I was looking for some ideas about where I am going to start. The Dr.’s have not been much help.. I feel that I need to treat the Hashi’s first.. ~Debbie~

  241. Nicole

    Wishing you well. However things go, with or without doctors, try to listen to your body and give it a rest from the things that are irritating it. Whatever you choose to do with your future, however you feel about the advice you have given and information you shared, know that what you have done helped people. Please be kind to yourself.

    You helped me.

    Bless you : )

  242. Janie

    I just read this blog and can’t believe you are practically telling my story! Where is your doctor located? It has been extremely hard (and still haven’t found) a knowledgeable doctor for this problem. Any information you can provide about your doctor would be helpful. Thanks so much for writing this.

  243. Adam

    Hey Chef!
    Thank you for such a great post. I may have a lead for you. I went through this myself and am now almost 100%. I was a bodybuilder, exercise fanatic, and by default, chronic dieter(aka someone with an eating , disorder). I started out with severe dizziness and vertigo, which lead to a chronic migraine(6yrs of both – nonstop). I continued to push in the gym since doctors had no real answers. Finally, I became allergic to more and more foods, eventually being only able to tolerate rice cakes, sea salt and water for a little over 3 months. I gradually reintroduced one food at a time(hypoallergenic foods such as turkey, pears, etc). Then I did the Paleo, vegan, elimination, and every other diet. All made me better for short periods of time before becoming more fatigued, anxious, etc. Finally, I came across Matt Stone and his Eat for Heat ebook. I was really nervous to try his rest and refeeding program. It has brought my body temps up from 94.9-97.9 to a steady 98.4-98.6 I still do not eat any gluten despite his “allowance”, but the worst offenders on my food allergies test that used to make me spin with dizziness and migraines for days(such as dairy, sugar, etc) now make me feel warmer and healthier. I have also worked on healing my gut and improving mitochondrial function, along with restoring nutrient deficiencies. I have reduced my anti-seizure medication from 225mg to 6.25mg, slowly, and will remove the last 6.25mg sometime this month. My appearance has improved, my cognition and moods are better, and I finally see a bright light at the end of the tunnel. While no plan works for everyone, I thought I’d share in hopes that what has worked for me might work for you. I sincerely wish you the best of health and hope I have been of some service, big or small. You will heal. It is just a matter of persistence and time, neither of which you are short on. Have a wonderful 2014. The best for you is yet to come!

  244. S

    Diagnosed 3 years ago. Took 4 years. 5’3″ and usually between 110 and 120. Active, teacher, athlete, mom, wife,etc. Fatigue did me in, and I retired at 60. Weight ranges from high 154 to 130 now. Recently was able to get back to 130 in November when inflammation and meds were under control. Now slowly inching back up. Today 145. I do continue to ride indoor bike but no longer walk or run. Guilt sometimes consumes me when I spend several days sleeping. Wish I owned stock in a Vit. D. Quit the B12 because couldn’t sleep. What a trick this Hashi plays on those of us who have prided ourselves in eating healthy and working out. It’s so much more than just “The Fat Disease.” Upped my meds and hair stopped falling out. Good luck on eliminating and or finding your triggers. Sometimes they will fool you. Sure miss a beer!It’s just difficult to adjust to such a lifestyle change when you have been the “go to get it done person” all your life. Not just for me, but for all those who have depended on me. If I am offered another prescription of anti-depressants I will scream. My next goal is to write to med schools in America and bordering us to request they add a chapter or two–one on listening and two on autoimmune problems. etc etc etc!!!! Thanks for your blog.

    1. Lois

      Dear “S”. Reading your post was like doing a review on my own life, only the character and stats are a bit different. You can find my posts among these if you care to see my story.

      Thanks for sharing and special thanks to Amber Shea for this sharing blog. Every time I read another story about accomplished, intelligent, dedicated and sincere good people having to deal with this disease, I am encouraged not to give up because I have had so many failures due to the unpredictability of Hashimoto’s.

      And I always remember that there are worse afflictions, as they are for many others in the world.

      Thanks again.

  245. Sunny Jo

    Have it too. Have a masters degree in nutrition. LOVE to be bombarded with advice… not. But! So glad that some “advice” was to read this. What a relief when you know you are not crazy (well, you know) and certainly not alone. The worst part of Hoshis is that when there is no success… it is hard to muster the strength to try again. Keep trying. You are brilliant. God Bless.

  246. Jessi

    I realize this post is old. No matter. It has encouraged me. This is the first time I’ve even heard about you, so I haven’t seen your cookbooks or blog yet. But I will look :-) I have Hashi’s. It’s a serious uphill battle that seems to never end.

  247. MIchelle

    Oh wow, once again exactly how I felt – I was extremely fit & my life changed in virtually an instant after suffering a bad bout of stress & being diagnosed with Hashiomotos. I was described as energetic & skinny, now I struggle to exercise at 20% of my previous routine, weight gain – yep with the ‘you look fine, you’re not fat’ comments – well luckily I’m nearly 6ft cause according to the BMI I’m obese. I know there are worse diseases out there but sheesh this one changed my life.

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