Case Study – Sick and Exhausted
Hashimotos, PMS, URI
This is the healing story of a woman with THYROID problems that went WAY deeper than her THYROID! She actually came to see me because she was sick with an upper respiratory infection…but not a normal sick…it had lasted 12 weeks by the time of her exam, with crazy spikes in body temp (almost 105!…and she was PREGNANT!!), and continuous lethargy, cough and sore throat.
She was diagnosed Hypothyroid 4 years previously after her first pregnancy and birth. She had extreme fatigue, hair loss, and gained 30 pounds in 3 months! Her doctor prescribed Synthroid, which improved all her symptoms! Yay…a medical healing miracle, right? Hey, if it leads to good health, I am open to anything. But that wasn’t the case…she was in my office in a healing crises, and the root cause of her current crises was why her thyroid was suppressed in the first place.
But she felt good initially!…had another baby a couple years later, which required some dosage adjustments, but she did ok. Then a third pregnancy, but this time she was not OK. She got sick…and it never went away!
The significance of all this, is that she had an autoimmune thyroid problem called Hashimotos Thyroiditis. During pregnancy, your immune system shifts to prevent rejection of the baby, and then near birth, shifts back. It is a common observation that pregnancy is the “tipping point” for the onset of autoimmune thyroid problems. It’s a normal and healthy shift, but it can be too much for an unstable immune system.
You can easily look at history and observe that, right? The first baby tipped her into hypothyroid… number 2 stressed her system, but it didn’t break (yet)…and the 3rd tipped her into CRISIS!
That brought her to True Health…and full system diagnosis. On her labs, we saw the shift of her immune system into bacterial defense along with high inflammation (no surprise there)…we noticed a low LDH which indicates hypoglycemia and adrenal fatigue (also not shocking)…and her HDL cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol, was 106. If you are not familiar with HDLs and health, there is a statistical observation that low HDLs increases heart disease…but in autoimmune disease, the body INCREASES production in an effort to control inflammation. I have never met a person who felt good and had HDL cholesterol over 80 (which is our optimal health top range).
We also noticed in her thyroid labs that a number called T3U was extremely low… this finding suggests high estrogen levels, which suppresses thyroid function. We were more concerned at the time, with her immune crisis, but we’ll learn later that she also suffered with horrible PMS…disabling at times…for the past 15 years!)
To effectively treat autoimmune conditions, you have to control the immune challenges first, and then shift the immune system back to balance. In her case, the challenge was a bacterial infection that she was very ineffectively dealing with.
We chose a plant called Golden Thread …in 2011, this plant was studied in comparison to Vancomycin…the antibiotic that is used for antibiotic resistant staph infections…in the study (Bioscience Horizons (2011)) Golden Thread was “comparable in effect” to this ultra-strong antibiotic, without the ultra-strong side effects!
She noticed some improvements pretty quickly, but it took a couple months to really get full control!
I describe health priority like this…if thyroid and energy production is analogous to eating dinner, and you go home to find a burglar (immune invasion), dinner is waiting until you solve that problem…and if you arrive home to find the basement flooded (stress hormones)…again, dinner is later.
During this initial 2 months of strengthening her immune system (burglar-immune invasion), we began to move into the flooded basement problem (stress physiology/Adrenal glands). We knew that blood sugar was a challenge to her adrenals…but something interesting came up as a strong stressor to her adrenal glands…(via muscle testing)… CRITICISM!
Now hold on…what does life have to do with our health problems? Well here is the reality…life IS the root everything that goes wrong with us! I always test the five LIFE STRESSORS…and every time…one will produce a weakening effect. These are our emotional triggers… criticism, unfairness, ignorance, ignored, and disruption. Nobody prefers any of these, which is why they are triggers…but if you are NOT emotionally triggered, disruption is an opportunity…criticism is just advice…
Whenever we are faced with a circumstance we DON’T PREFER, we create a strategy to avoid that from happening again…in her case, the strategy was “The Pleaser.” With this strategy, she tries to predict what other people want, and then does what she thinks will make them happy. Holy Stress Physiology!
Now, here’s where creativity comes in, because I guarantee you that they don’t teach this in medical school…I employed a strategy called “antagonism.” It proved successful, so don’t judge. In this strategy, yes, I messed with her. I would notice she wore purple and just remark…out loud to her…that I really like orange. I made it ridiculous, so she would see the stressful pattern.
The concept is this…people NEED to be authentic and honest…if they are not…if they say and do what they think you want to hear/see…you know one or are the one…you say YES when you mean NO! The most compassionate action would be to keep asking until they reached the tipping point of change. The kindest thing you could do would be to help them find their limit…so I did.
I also used plant medicines…plant medicines have a remedy for every life stress we can come up with. Each stress has a particular chemistry to it…the chemistry she had was inflammation and autoimmunity…AKA defensiveness and self criticism!
For her unique chemistry, she tested for a plant called Rehmannia. This plant is traditionally used to overwhelm “out of control” energy… It causes energy to “sink” into the lower abdomen (gut/intuition), and control energy flow from below up (wisdom).
With that unique character, it is known to be an adaptogen…meaning that it helps you to respond to stress, lift energy, and be more alive. Because of its character of suppressing out of control energy, and lifting energy production, it has become a modern tradition for autoimmune thyroid…which is a modern calamity because of environmental chemicals, overuse of antibiotics, and apparently even the out of control energy of trying to Please people!
The RESULT: (and NOTHING matters but the result!)…she naturally recovered from her immune challenge, which increases immune maturity and resilience (Sorry…you don’t get that health and resilience boost if you treat with antibiotics…b/c it “fixes” the problem…and just like a kid, if you fix their stress, they act more immature!
Over time, she started feeling so energetic, that she weaned herself off thyroid medications! Now, her energy is better than ever, without meds, and she is healthy, happy, and uninterested in your approval!
I’m kidding…sort of…we all desire to serve others and be an important part of a family and community…but the difference is that she serves for her AUTHENTIC SELF now, and is much more confident and trusting of her choices!
She recently delivered her 4th baby…and was excited to share how her whole experience was supported through natural medicine! Her first challenge was nausea, which was improved with peppermint and gentian root…second was migraines, at the start of her 2nd trimester, which responded almost immediately to Echinacea and Lemon Balm…literally, she would start getting a migraine, take the tincture and tap an acupressure point I gave her, and it would go away!
And…she mentioned how amazing her birth and delivery was…also a stress to any BODY!
Back to the estrogen and PMS… she had this long history of PMS…seriously disabling cramps, and irritability for a week every month. She finally “complained” about it when the irritability kept getting worse and worse. She hadn’t even mentioned it because she had learned that this symptom was “NORMAL!” (EVERY SYMPTOM is a MESSAGE of a body need!) Exasperated, she said, “Oh my God, can you help with my insanity!”
As I mentioned earlier, NATURE has a plant for EVERY stress you can discover…200 years ago, the medical text books described the virtues of plants…the ONLY medicine available! So, 200 years ago, if you told the community “doctor” that you kill several people every month a week before your menstrual cycle…(s)he would give you a brew containing dandelion, hyssop, and yarrow.
And that is what I prescribed…and…a month later she said she had only minor cramps and irritability…and the next month she reported getting her period with NO Pre-or during symptoms at ALL!
She said something like… “It would have been nice to know about this 17 flipping years ago!”
And, yes, I agree…it WOULD be nice to reacquaint more people to our so amazing and wonderful healing traditions…you can help make this happen by hitting the SHARE button! Thank you on behalf of the one additional person who finds this story because of your share, and avoids years of unnecessary suffering!