Hi, my name is Veronika, I’m 36 and I just put Grave’s Disease into remission through diet and lifestyle!
Originally from Munich I moved to Sarasota, Florida exactly four years ago in March 2011. I enjoyed the beach life and lived a “healthy” lifestyle. I went to the gym 3 times a week, ate salad and fruits every day, cooked from scratch – the kitchen was always my happy place! – and spent time outside and so forth… Unfortunately, the rest of my family is vegetarian and I was used to eating a lot of grains. I was also smoking a lot …
A year into my American adventure I went back over Christmas to Germany to visit my family. For the first time I became aware of heavy heart palpitations every night when going to sleep. One night, lying on my sister’s couch wide-awake, I realized that this had been going on for quite a while! Even a year ago, before moving to Florida I had panic and anxiety attacks but blamed it on moving to a foreign country with almost no language skills.
Two weeks later I went snorkeling with the manatees here in Florida and five minutes in, my sister told me to stop because my breezing sounded wrong – Heck, I could barely breath at all! I was completely unable to catch a normal breath in the wet suit. For the following two weeks I had a fever and was sent by my ex-boss to see a doctor.
I had never been to a doctor in the States before so I just picked a family practitioner close to my house. The assistant doctor came in and looked at my face, mainly the rash and blemishes on my chin, felt my heart beat, my pulse, touched my neck and freaked out! She said I either had Hashimotos or Grave’s disease. She made me go on medication immediately and sent me to get a blood work and an ultra sound done. A week later I received the confirmation for Grave’s and was given the phone number of an endocrinologist.
Sure enough, he wanted me to get RAI (Radioactive Iodine) right away but as my mom had taught me, I did research on my own and told him he could either treat me with medication or I would go find another endo! He agreed to give me medication so I took lots of Methimazole and Betablocker. I gained about 30 lbs!
My mom sent me packets with books on natural healing of Grave’s and tons of Schuessler Salts for treatment. Completely overwhelmed, I toke all the pills but was still in denial that I was seriously ill. In November 2013, after almost 20 years – I finally quit smoking! Yay! And in order not to gain even more weight I hired a personal trainer to work out with me 4 times a week. He started by changing my diet to Paleo 😉 I was finally realising all the harm I had done to my body and was starting to feel better. However a very stressful period at the office then ruined all the progress. Working 60+ stressful hours a week had a huge impact on my health and my endo had to increase my MMI back to 35mg a day, when I was down to 10mg before.
For the next couple months I did everything 100% Paleo compliant but still couldn’t lose a pound. I then heard about AIP and decided to give it a try right away. And I fired my trainer to get a bit of rest! One thing that definitely helped me was my passion for cooking. Very soon I started feeling more balanced. Meditation, yoga and acupuncture contributed to my healing too. Work was slower over summer. Being happier I also found a very nice boyfriend who supported my new lifestyle from the very beginning. We just had BBQ all the time, I cooked, and if we went out we went for sushi (I always brought my coconut aminos).
It was coming back from my trip, last November that my real healing journey started. I got a new job: with NO STRESS at all! I was enjoying my new job, new relationship, meditation, weekly acupuncture, nutrient dense food, sunshine, … Sure enough, at my quarterly check-up three weeks ago my endo was happy to tell me I didn’t have to take anymore medication. I had put Grave’s disease into remission!
I still can’t believe I did it. All that work finally paid off! There were moments I really wanted to give up. To eat pasta, pizza, bread and chocolate…. I’ll start re-introducing some regular Paleo foods after my next control check-up, but right now I’m too scared to mess something up;-) My long-term goal is to live Paleo with some very occasional cheats when on vacation or when invited!
Believe in yourself,
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