#20 Hashi & Me: Shanna
Hashi & Me is a series of stories for people with Hashimoto’s told by people with Hashimoto’s and other thyroid problems. In each piece, one of us will share our experience with Hashimoto’s, our personal findings and tips. We believe one person’s experience can be useful for others, especially to newly diagnosed people.
This week meet Shanna.
When did you discover you had Hashimoto’s? Tell us your story.
After battling health issues for years, I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in January of 2018. I was diagnosed based on an ultrasound of my thyroid, then a TPO blood test confirmed Hashimoto’s. My endocrinologist told me there was no cure, nothing I could do, and that I would eventually need to be on medicine for the rest of my life. I left his office determined to prove him wrong and find wellness.
What did you learn since? Do you have some tips or findings to share with other Hashimoto’s people?
Within days of my diagnosis, I started eating according to the autoimmune protocol (AIP). I started gradually feeling better within a couple of weeks, and saw drastic improvement within a month.
Eleven months later, I still follow an autoimmune protocol template, with reintroductions. Nutrition was the key to unlocking my wellness. I also find wellness through stress management, getting adequate sleep, other wellness practices, and cultivating a positive mindset.
What does your day with Hashimoto’s look like?
The symptoms I experience during an autoimmune flare are: fatigue, brain fog, body aches, joint pain, muscle pain, low grade fevers, cold intolerance, an overall sense of feeling unwell, and what I can only describe as feeling like I have a storm going on inside my body. I am incredibly grateful to no longer live with these symptoms in my daily life. Yes, I do still experience a flare-up here and there, but most of the time I feel well.
What’s the biggest struggle and biggest victory you experienced?
My biggest struggle was loneliness. I felt so alone for months at the beginning of my wellness journey. One of my biggest victories is overcoming fear—and starting my Instagram account and blog to share my story in the hope that it helps raise autoimmune disease awareness and provide love and support for autoimmune disease sufferers.
I want other people to know they have the power to take their health into their own hands. They have the power to change. They have the power to find wellness. It may be the most difficult thing they ever do, but it will be worth every effort. They can be the hero in their own story. There may be no cure for an autoimmune disease, but it is possible to feel well, and wellness can feellike a cure.
What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed to ease their first steps with Hashimoto’s?
My biggest advice to someone newly diagnosed with Hashimoto’s is to be your own health advocate, and to offer yourself love and grace. You are at the beginning of a new chapter in your life. You are the author of this new chapter. You can make it the most beautiful chapter yet. Take things one day at a time, and celebrate each moment. Love yourself through the dark moments, and connect with others. You are not alone.
You can follow Shanna here.
Want to share your Hashimoto’s story? We’d love to hear from you. Fill out this Typeform or email firstname.lastname@example.org.