So Apparently I have some issues…

Have you ever struggled with something for a really long time? Something that you deal with on a daily basis but never really talk about to others outside of your innermost circle of confidantes?  Today I want to discuss my hypothyroid symptoms and my new found health issues.

Since giving birth to my 5th child just over 5 years ago, I have been struggling with feeling like something was “just not right”.  After the births of my other children, I remember feeling like I got “my body back”.  Do you guys know what I am talking about?  It took longer after each pregnancy, but I always felt “back to normal” again.

Pregnancy can cause a lot of unpleasant changes in your body and for the most part I would get back to my normal “pre-pregnancy” state (well…other than wider hips and saggy belly skin, mommy brain, wider feet, stretch marks, etc…).  haha

For some reason I NEVER felt like I got my mojo back after my last baby.  I still felt pregnant even though I clearly was not.  I was tired all the time, I had no energy, and suffered from constipation.

But…I was a mom to 5 busy kids, age 9 to newborn.  My husband had a busy job that took him out of town for up to 3 weeks at a time.  And I liked to keep myself busy with my projects.  So, I just assumed I felt this way because I had a lot going on.

(March 2010—Puffy face)

I thought that when my kids got older things would get better…but it was slowly getting worse.  Then 2.5 years ago my hair started falling out in clumps. I was developing some pretty serious carpal tunnel in my wrists and elbows, which I attributed to typing on the computer and my home projects (remember my painting addiction?).

I also developed arthritis in my left pointer finger joints.  On top of that, I was freezing…all of the time, like so cold that I would get grumpy if I had to go outside in the cold.  Ha!  I even slept with a heating pad in the summer.  But I had been running at night, so I assumed it was because my body was cold because of the sweating.

I also began to develop some serious anxiety.  I couldn’t ride in the car with someone else driving because I was seriously anxious about their driving skills.  I mean, I was fine on the outside…but on the inside I was a tangled wreck of nerves.  I was also getting pretty irritable.  I also suffered from muscle aches and pains.  My immune system was terrible.  I never used to be sick.  And suddenly I was catching every little cold out there.   My memory was horrible and I was beginning to forget all sorts of things like picking up my children, appointments and deadlines.  Something needed to change and my life and kids were suffering.

family 2012

(August 2012—Non puffy face)

I was pretty good at looking like everything was okay on the outside.  Because really…who wants to hear about how lousy you feel…all the time? I didn’t want to be “that” person.  But in the back of my mind I knew I was not “normal”.  Or at least I was not “my normal” self.  I felt crazy!  But every symptom could practically be assigned to being a busy wife, a mother and a wanna-be runner.

So 2.5 years ago I went to see a couple of different doctors.  I got the “your getting older and need to eat right and exercise” dismissal talk.  One doctor even told me my thyroid was abnormally enlarged but then dismissed all my symptoms (which were classic hypothyroid symptoms).  What??  He then and sent me on my way telling me I was just a normal middle-age woman who needed to get some exercise and eat right.

Gah!!! I was so frustrated!  Maybe I was just getting older.

By this point, I was waking up tired and was not be able to get through my day without needing to take a nap.  I have NEVER been a nap person.  I usually lay there thinking of everything I should be doing.  On Sundays, I began taking a 3 hour nap and and still be able to fall asleep for the night at 11 pm. I was ALWAYS tired!

After giving birth to my 5th I was able to get back down to my pre-pregnancy weight.    But I was slowly gaining weight and gained back 25 pounds.  In spite of all my running and efforts to eat right, I couldn’t stop gaining weight.

thyroid gland image source

amy thyroid 2

So we prayed and my husband and I searched the internet looking at reviews trying to find a great doctor that would LISTEN to me.  Someone who could help me figure out what was wrong with me.  I found an amazing doctor, who I believe I was meant to have.  He is not a thyroid specialist but is actually an allergist (which ended up being a huge blessing in disguise).  I decided to meet with him since he had some great reviews online from patients who had trouble getting diagnosed with hypothyroidism who claimed to be having great success with his treatment.  So in December of last year I finally was able to meet with him.

He listened to everything I had to say and spent a lot of time talking with me and asking me more questions.  He ordered all sorts of tests instead of the normal thyroid tests and actually tested my thyroid hormones instead of just my TSH levels, which is all my other doctors had ever done. He wanted to see what was actually going on with my thyroid because of all the symptoms I did have.

Well, it turns out that I was on the high end of “normal” and that…yes indeed my thyroid was not functioning properly.  He immediately diagnosed me with hypothyroidism and told me I also was suffering from a severe vitamin D deficiency.  He immediately started me on Armor Thyroid.  I shared more about that initial diagnosis with you in an earlier post about my hypothroidism here.


(before Thyroid medication)

Well, my diagnosis and taking the Armour Thyroid, of my hypothyroid symptoms have gotten so much better.  I haven’t taken a nap since last January! My hair stopped falling out and I felt like I was getting back to normal…Finally!  We have made several adjustments got me on a dosage that seemed to be the right amount.  It took about 6 months.

However, I hadn’t lost a single pound but I haven’t gained any weight either.  I was waiting for my body to regain it’s balance and expected that I would start being able to drop weight again when my body caught up.

But I started to have people ask me if I had lost weight.  After looking at pictures of myself before and after the medication, I realized that it my face was loosing it puffiness.  My face was most definitely thinner and therefore I looked like I had lost weight.

amy 1_edited-1amy

(after Thyroid medication and same weight)

There was one symptom that I couldn’t seem to get any relief from.  My constipation actually started to get worse.  Much worse.  And then I started having a little bit of night-time bloating.  It continued to get worse despite my best eating efforts.  I felt swollen everywhere.  Gah!  I kept saying to my mom and husband, that my abdomen felt puffy and swollen.  It was different than weight gain and it was only around my mid-section.  At night I looked like I was 8 months pregnant.  Not. even. kidding.  I was trying to eat so great.  I had cut out most sugar and running a ton and I still could not lose ONE single pound.  Not one!

This was right at the same time that I was training for my 2nd half marathon this past summer.  Was I overdoing it?  Was I stretched too thin?  Was it stress?  I didn’t feel like it was.  Running actually made me feel better and helped relieve some of my symptoms. But I knew something else was wrong this time.  It was different than my thyroid symptoms.  I was so frustrated because I was FINALLY feeling like I was getting back to my normal self.

(August 2012)

So, I shared my new concerns with my awesome doctor (who is a trained allergist) and he decided he wanted to do some food allergy tests.  I went in on December 21, 2012 and was tested for 17 of the most common food allergies.  I was SHOCKED to find out that I had 7 major food allergies/food intolerances.  The normally 3-hour test took over 4 hours because they had to keep neutralizing my reactions.

I had the greatest reaction to corn and tomatoes, and also found allergies to soy, wheat, yeast, peanuts and milk.  Say what???  SHOCKED!!

allergy test 3allergy testallergy test 2

But…at the same time…I felt vindicated.  So many explanations for all my crazy symptoms.  And?  I wasn’t crazy.  Maybe, just maybe there is an answer and a solution now.  So…I am currently embarking on a HUGE elimination diet.

I was really overwhelmed as I began the diet.  How was I going to do this?  Pretty much everything I was eating I was allergic too.  This was going to be an entire lifestyle change.

As the year was ending, I began going through some major food withdrawl, which I had been told to expect. I was so sick and couldn’t sleep. And I was angry. I spent over two hours searching the aisles of the grocery store for something I COULD eat and there wasn’t much.

So I started to think about what I could eat.  I can eat chicken, meat, fish, fruits and veggies (except for tomatoes), rice and oats.  I had several people suggest looking into the Paleo diet since it was pretty similar to what I needed to be eating with a few personal adjustments.  But everything I eat has to be clean.  No sauces, or packaged foods or prepared foods.  It is time to get to the basics.  I can’t eat gluten free items because they are usually filled with corn and soy to replace the wheat.

So we are in a lifestyle change here.  I am currently still making healthy meals for my family like I normally would and then making something for me on the side.  I have been eating about 5-6 small meals during the day instead of eating 3 large meals.  I have found this works best to keep me feeling more full.

I am not going to lie.  At first I was simply overwhelmed and in shock.  I felt really sad, but also felt a bit vindicated.  But as the holidays set in with the food and the parties I was angry.  Haha!  I couldn’t eat my Grandma’s Fudge (which I did sneak a little bit).  Our culture is so tied into food and I was beginning to realize just how difficult this new lifestyle was going to be.  It was going to be a life changing event for me and my family.

But, I feel like I am at the point where I can actually talk about it and be okay with it.  I can see now what a blessing in disquise this is going to be.  I never ate terribly unhealthy and I have always been a runner.  But I can already feel a difference in my body.  My bloating has gone way down.  I actually look like I have a waist again.  And I feel less puffy.  My jeans even feel different on the last three days!  I had a few days last week where I felt so great that I noticed it.  And then it made me realize just how yucky I have been feeling.  It happened so gradually that I didn’t realize just how sick I really was.

So the plan is to go off all the no no foods completely.  Let my intestines heal from a state of chronic inflammation which could take from several months to a year or two.  Then I can start to add foods back into my life one at a time and see how my body reacts.  Right now I am not thinking about the adding them back.  I am trying to embrace my new lifestyle.  I am optimistic and am looking forward to feeling better and maybe finally getting my life back.  I have taken a little break from running which I do each year at this time but am ready to get back into it with some new found energy!

I just felt like I needed to share this with you since I have met so many women who are dealing with similar issues.  Get checked!  And be sure to keep looking for answers.  And I would love some awesome new recipes if any of you have any that fit my needs!  I am dying for some yummy food again! xoxo

p.s.  Let’s not be repinning my puffy face pictures :)…just kidding! haha!!


  1. says

    That was fantastic, Amy. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us your struggles and triumphs! Holding you in my thoughts as you head into a brand new chapter (well, book actually) of your life…WELL. Can’t wait to hear the updates!

      • Eve says

        Oh my god this is exactly my life, I thought I was going crazy and people started to say I was a hypochondriac. I was missing out on life due to massive sinus headaches and face swelling and stomach and lower problems., no matter how many naps I took I was so tired I felt all used up and was becoming more and more angry with the world around me. I had my thyroid removed when my fourth child was a few months old. That was after my regular doctor told me “your suppose to be tired you have 4 kids and are working”. 15 years later I find that my vitamin D was an “8” which means it was in the toilet very bad….. And my thyroid medication was still not correct. Went to an allergist and nothing. Tried an ear nose and throat, guess what, she started blood tests and I was up to 10 food allergies before I gave up and ran out of money. So like they say “life is a journey” and don’t let your doctor brush you off. It’s your body you know if something is wrong

        • says

          Wow, I had my thyroid removed too, it was cancerous. It’s been since 2009 and before that I was heavy, more heavy than I’d ever been in my life. I was having knee problems but after the surgery removal of thyroid, I lost about 20 lbs. now I feel I’ve gained it back over the past 7 yrs. I don’t run because of my knees but I play volleyball twice a week for 3 hrs at a time. If my knees feel ok, I walk the dogs as much as I can. I’m going to see a spirits doctor for the knees but I feel it’s more than that but if I could just get some relief on my bloated tummy I’d feel so much better. I’ve decided to take an enzyme and a orobiotic on a daily basis. If I forget I get the bloating pretty badly and when I remember to take it, which is hard for me to remember, I feel pretty good. I too, feel like I’m 8 months pregnant and I’m 59 yrs old. I truely think I need to find a different avenue, like an allergist! Thanks for sharing all this, I can so relate to you. Wish me luck

  2. Tami says

    Wow, your story sounds similar to mine. During my second pregnancy, about halfway through, I started getting random episodes of horrible nausea. My midwife helped me determine it was probably a gluten & dairy allergy. What?! So I gradually cut both out of my diet. I still never felt great and I just summed it up to pregnancy. When I delivered my son I thought for sure my “allergies” would go away. After 5 weeks, my nausea came back. From then, I said “no more gluten, ever!” (I had added dairy back in with no problems) So I stuck it out over 16 months. I finally accepted that this was my new lifestyle. But still after several doctor visits, I was still sick sometimes, losing an unhealthy amount of weight and had a constant burning feeling in my stomach. Finally, a midwife referred me to a GI doctor who did a Endoscopy on me. Turns out, I had an inflamed stomach from too much stress and the flap that keeps my stomach acid down was very open, because of the stress of pregnancy. So with the help of antacids and some anti-anxiety meds, I am feeling SO much better, I’m able to eat gluten (though I eat much less and healthier than I used to) and I’m finally gaining some weight. I can tell you that I sympathize with you not wanting to be “that girl” with all the health problems AND searching everywhere for a doctor that will actually listen. I’m glad you found what works for you and I would definitely recommend taking the time to heal your gut. It worked for me and changed me forever.=) Sorry for the long post, I’m passionate about this subject.=)

    • says

      Thanks so much for sharing that with me Tami! Sounds very similar indeed. Glad you found what is working for you. I am hoping to be able to get to the point that you are at. I really do need to heal I think before I can think about anything else.

  3. Briana Pascual says

    Amy, I had similar issues with my doctor refusing to give a diagnosis of hypothyroidism even when the symptoms match and my family has a history of thyroid problems (2 out of 3 of my sisters & my mom). I finally insisted that he do the test even though he claimed that I was probably just dehydrated. Of course I do have hypothyroidism and am now on medication for it. Reading your story just brings my frustration back to the surface- how many doctors are so caught up in their dogmatic beliefs that they refuse to consider that their patients are right? What is the problem with so many doctors today? How many people go untreated for this problem which severely impacts day-to-day life?

    • says

      I can’t believe how many stories I have heard that are so similar to yours. I am so glad you were insistent about getting the test. Who knows how long you could have been living in frustration and not getting the help you needed. Thanks for sharing that with me. It really does help me to hear others stories as well. Nice to know there are others who have been before me.

  4. Leeann says

    I also have a hypothyroid. I have been on Armour Thyroid for almost 4 years now. There is foods that a person with a thyroid condition should not eat. Soy being the top one. I just wondered since they tested you for something that you shouldn’t be eating anyway, if they had told you about the food you should stay clear of and the ones you should not eat on a regular basis? Diet is a key thing to people with our condition and you can find many meals that are yummy that you should really just fix for the whole family because they are so healthy. I love the allrecipes web site and taste of home magazine (also have a web base). Also look into Kefer. It is a drink that isn’t very tasty but it helps to regulate your stomach. It is proven that most food allergies are results of other things being wrong in our bodies and Kefer regulates the stomach. Just wanted to bring these options up to you for you to further investigate on your own and talk to your doctor about. I personally do the kefer and watch what I eat (no soy at all not even oils or any kind of soy bi-product), carefully limit the foods that I shouldn’t eat a lot of, etc. I wish you luck and hope that your research helps you feel even better.

    • says

      I did know about not eating soy but they tested me anyway just to see what my body was reacting too. Soy is in EVERYTHING. Thanks for the information about Kefer. I will definitely be looking into it. Thanks so much Leeann.

      • says

        I second the water kefir suggestion — and it’s possible that it’s an acquired taste, but I think my husband and I have found a way to make it really tasty! My kids call it “fizzy drink” (it’s a fermented beverage so it’s carbonated) and LOVE drinking it, and they don’t even know it’s a power-packed probiotic :) They just think it’s tasty :) If you want more info on kefir (and how we make it tasty) then you can check out our blog post. We sell the grains down here in Provo if you decide you want to give them a try. Here is the link: Good luck with your new food journey!!

    • Karen says

      Leeann, A Chinese herbalist recently told me not drinking soy if you have thyroid problems (which I have) is a myth. He said drinking soy and eating black seeds was good.

    • says

      Thanks Em! You are so sweet! It was a bit of bittersweet vindication for sure. I kind of want to go in and talk to those previous doctors. ;)

  5. Christie says

    Thank you for sharing your story! I’m wishing you the best! That has to be hard, cutting out so many foods all at once. But I feel your pain. I’ve had thyroid issues since puberty, all the fun symptoms: the fatigue, dry skin, hair falling out, weight gain, joint pain, getting sick a lot. The fatigue is the worst. I feel like I’ve had great doctors, but symptoms still present themselves periodically. Maybe I need to get some allergy testing done. I have never considered that. Again, thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Thanks Christie. I have been learning as much as possible about food allergies and I think the US diet is full of harmful fillers that are causing a large epidemic of health problems. I hope to be able to gain a better grasp on my health issues. Good luck with your food testing.

  6. says

    Well, I am glad you are finally getting some relief, and found a doctor that would listen to you! I had (have) thyroid problems (one lobe is removed and I have nodules on the other)…it’s a roller coaster, and wreaks havoc at times.
    I’m sure it’s difficult to change your eating lifestyle, but it will be worth it when you feel so much better:) Best wishes to you!

    • says

      Thanks Sue! I can’t imagine having your thyroid partially removed. I can only imagine how much more difficult it is to have your thyroid out to regulate and keep your body regulated. Thanks so much for your encouragement. Good luck to both of us!

  7. ShyGirl says

    Wow! Growing up I was always a stick (as everyone would like to say). When I turned 18 I got on birth control, which the first ones made me very sick and I ended up in the hospital for clots. I seen a different doctor and gyno and was put on a different birth control (Beyaz) which at the time seemed great. I took it for about a year and a half or less, then had to get off of it because I no longer had insurance and couldn’t afford it. I stopped taking it October 2011 and by January 2012 I had gained 40 lbs. I went from weighing around 130 to 170. Before ever getting placed on birth control, I expressed my concerns with my doctor that I believed I had hypothyroidism because I had a majority of the symptoms and it runs in my family. My doctor dismissed my concerns. I am now 20, almost 21, and still concerned with this. I do not know if the birth control has messed with my hormones or if I do for a fact have hypothyroidism. I too have a very puffy face, even when I didn’t have all this weight, my face always looked fuller. I had not even gave it a second thought that the two could be related. I hope that someday I too will be able to find someone to take me and my symptoms seriously because I would love to find the answer to all this. Good luck with everything! Looking forward to updates!

    • says

      Keep looking for someone to help you. I have learned that your little thoughts in your head is your own intuition and mine has usually proved to be right. I never imagined my puffy face was connected to all this craziness, but it definitely is one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Good Luck! I know how frustrating it is to not know what is wrong!

  8. Jaime Baeza says

    I totally understand how you are feeling with the new diet! I went gluten free/dairy free the week before Christmas. I was recovering from my worst allergic reaction yet and was eeenormously bloated. I’ve had severe chronic colon inflammation for about 15 years but they never knew why. I wish someone had suggested gluten free years ago. It’s been about a month and I feel like Ive had a gut transplant! SO amazing!! Keeping a food journal the first couple of weeks also helped make it clear what else bothered me, (corn, carbonation, beef, peppers, etc.). Good luck! Feeling great is so worth the food sacrifice even though it’s hard.

  9. says

    While not going through those symptoms, I’ve struggled with horrible chronic pain from endometriosis since high school. Weight, energy, anxiety… All part of the suffering. I tried paleo after having my first, and had great success. I felt like my mind was clearer. Less pain. And weight fell off! My husband also has great weight loss with it so he was enthusiastic about sticking to it. Then came baby #2 and all I could eat without getting sick was bread… Bye bye paleo. When she was 7 months old, I had a horrible random bout with colitis that hospitalized me. Most doctors shrugged it off as a fluke, but my fabulous ob (who thinks outside the box and takes a whole body approach including nutrition and alternative medicine) suggested forgoing all gluten and following an 80/20 paleo plan (I can cheat with rice from time to time and do not have any dairy issues). That was at Christmas… And didn’t happen. We’re back now though an more committed than ever. I have some fabulous recipes, quick meal ideas and even almond flour based breads that even my picky two year old son loves. I’d be happy to share all the websites and resources I’ve found! Also, try adding flax meal and chia seeds to food when you can. It reduces inflammation and is full of fiber- and they taste like nothing.

    Random other note: did you know gluten and soy contain estrogens and in some women it hinders us from losing? I didn’t but as someone who is estrogen dominant it really affects me more. If you stick to paleo for a while and don’t lose you could have them look at your estrogen levels.

  10. says

    So glad that you finally found some answers and you are getting on the right track! As soon as I started reading your post with your initial symtoms, I thought Thyroid, so I am glad you finally found a doctor to help you and actually diagnose you. And wow… 7! I would have the HARDEST time giving up bread! Holy cow! I think I would be ok with cheese because I don’t eat it too often but I love me some bread! lol

    Good luck to you in this new journey! I hope that you find some delicious recipes and that you figure out what works for you!

  11. says

    Oh, man, I’m sorry. I can kind of understand what you’re going through. I haven’t had any thyroid issues, but I do have eosinophilic esophagitis (basically, my throat swells up, causing severe pain and choking), which is caused by food allergies. It took me years to get a correct diagnosis for that, and then another couple years for my allergies to be diagnosed correctly. The first allergist told me I wasn’t allergic to anything. A few years later I had a bad reaction to the medicine (I got very, very swollen – mostly in my face, but everywhere else too) that was keeping my throat under control, and I decided to get retested by a different allergist. Out of the 72 foods they tested on me, I was allergic to 15 of them. Soy was (and still is) my main one, and it is HARD to avoid. So I am so sorry that on top of soy, you have all those other allergies too!

    The one benefit (that I have to remind myself of when I’m feeling blue) is that I’m eating a lot healthier now than I would be if I didn’t have the allergies. As I’m sure you know, to avoid soy you have to avoid most processed foods. So, I’m back to fruits, veggies, very basic pasta, etc. Honestly, I think in the long run it will be better for my health for me to have this challenge.

    Good luck! I’m sure it’s going to be hard for you, but you can do it!

  12. Anne says

    I am so sorry you are going through this. I have a similar story, but my children ended up having food allergies and the littlest one had failure to thrive. So at 8 months, when he was bald and tiny, he got diagnosed with Celiac Disease (the body cannot break down gluten). I was more than happy to make changes because this meant my little boy started growing a full head of beautiful blond hair and having a buddha belly :-) Within a few days of eliminating gluten from our diets (since it is an allergy issue, everyone in the house has to be free of the foods, esp. me breastfeeding), I woke up and started crying. My husband thought I was crazy. I told him I had no joint pain. I felt like I did when I was about 10 years old. I could run again without pain, my hands did not have what doctors thought was arthritis, it did not take me 20 minutes to get out of bed. I too had been diagnosed with hypothyrod, but the cause of that condition was Celiac.

    So…long story to let you know that there are tons of great recipes for free on the web that are allergen-free and gluten free. My favorite “go to” site is She has links to books, other blogsites and has a facebook page where she shares recipes. You can purchase her cookbooks. I have found some great recipes on Enjoy Life’s website (it is an allergen-free brand of great food). If you need to be dairy free, there are many wonderful alternatives out there. Cheese is hard to substitute. But there are dairy-free cheeses out there for making pizza and sliced cheeses for sandwiches.

    Good Luck!


  13. says

    I can relate. Recently I was at my highest weight ever, feeling tired all the time, achy unable to focus, and physically in the worst shape I had ever been in. I was introduced to The Whole 30 by some friends who have had much success with it, and much improved health. Basically it is eliminating all processed food, sugar, grains, etc for 30 days. A detox of sorts. I learned that many foods cause inflamation in the body.I have a bad foot problem and have been unable to walk/run for the better part of a year. I knew it was time to start with what I could do. I have been doing this since October, have lost 20 lbs. I have a long way to go to be at an ideal weight, but I feel the best and most energetic that I have in quite some time. I have not had a diet soda since October, and that is a major accomplishment for me. Initially I was very strict, and it was hard! I gave myself permission to eat a meal yesterday, that was not a great choice, and my tummy is paying for it today. Knowing how I feel when I don’t make the best choices has made me seriously consider what all that I had been feeding my body had done to me. It is difficult, but has been the best choice ever. Now I am looking into my exercise options, and hope to get the rest of the weight off. So glad you have found answers. How we feel is a really big thing.

  14. says

    I had a goiter in the 5th grade and hair problems, sleeplessness etc followed- I also take vit D and other things- so weird how this affects so many, years later- still looking for that miracle energy boost but with God’s help, getting there! keep your head up! good you got tested!

  15. Michelle R says

    That is so awesome!! Who knew the thyroid was such a terror!!! I, too, suffered for awhile with a lot of your symptoms. I, like you, dismissed it as being busy. My husband was deployed, I had three kids, one getting ready to graduate, my dad getting ill then passing away. I went to the doctor finally from difficulty of swallowing. Had an ultrasound after. A couple of weeks later I got results back of some nodules. Long story short and many tests later, I ended up having my husband one home early, had surgery and found out it was cancer. Two types. The nodule was follicular variant papillary carcinoma and they found a small amount on the other side of my thyroid. Now almost two years later my meds are pretty stable and so far so good. I do struggle with bit D deficiency and taking synthroid doesn’t help w that. Make sure you don’t miss your D dose!! Glad you found help!! ;) even happier you feel better!

    Hugs, Michelle

  16. says

    The food changes must be really hard to deal with. I would be totally overwhelmed too. Hang in there though. You’ll be in my prayers that you find the right ‘fit’ for you.

  17. says

    Wow, Amy! Seeing your arm like that is crazy! It looks so painful.

    – I’m so glad you are getting answers. Nothing is more frustrating than feeling like something is not right without a reason.

    I think you are beautiful, puffyface or not.

  18. ruth tacoma says

    I’m glad you are feeling better and pray that it continues!

    My DIL is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and also has severe nut allergies. She has many environmental allergies as well. It’s really hard for her sometimes to be social with others as it is hard to find places to ‘eat out’ and it’s hard to be invited to someone’s home for dinner, but then have the dilema of whether to ask what they are serving or at least tell them what you can’t eat. Awkward.

    We love her and are trying to help her adjust to this clean way of eating. Christmas was one of those times where there were family favorites that she could not eat, but I was pleasantly surprised by what she COULD eat. :)

  19. Karen R says

    So glad that you found the cause of all of your symptoms! I had a similar journey because I was dealing with muscle pain, fatigue, etc. and upon my initial dr. visit I was told that I probably slept wrong and to wait a month and if I still had problems they’d do some tests. I decided that only I knew my body and went to a specialist. After months of tests and feeling like I was just a hypochondriac or just plain crazy, I was finally diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. Just glad to have a diagnosis and go from there!
    Good luck to you and hope that you are feeling better soon!

  20. Kelly D says

    Wow ! Reading your story is very familar to me. All of those feelings and symptoms is what I have been going through the past few years. I chalked it up to just being a busy mom to 4 boys. I had just had my last baby and was trying to loose the baby weight. My father was diagnosed with cancer and then later passed away. I was grieving his death, was depressed,irritable and tired all of the time. Thought it was a combination of all these things plus I was 41, you always hear its because you are older, thats what happens. I tried dieting and excercising thinking by eating right and staying fit that it would also improve my mood. It only frustrated me because I was still exhausted and could not loose any weight, so I gave up. What made me finally decide to go and check out what was wrong was during the holidays when the family all got together and took a family picture and I saw what I looked like and I didn’t like it. It did look like me at all. I called my doctor, got some blood tests done and found that my TSH levels were elevated. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I schedule an appointment with a specialist and have not been yet, but am anxious to finally get some answers and get back on track to feeling like my old self again. Thank you for sharing your story.

  21. says

    I remember talking to you about your issues at Evo last year. I’m so glad you finally found some real answers! I don’t think I have ever been allergy tested myself, but I don’t have all the symptoms you do either. Good luck with all the changes Amy, you can do it! And now you’ll feel so much better for it :)

  22. Patti says

    I’m so glad you shared your story…I think there are many women out there who are brushed off by their doctors when they come in with any of these symptoms. Two years ago I started gained weight especially around my waist even though I was working out. When I got home from work at 3:30 I would lay down and nap and not be able to move. (Very unusual for me!) I couldn’t remember anything and was in a fog. I chalked it up to turning 50 in a few months. Three months later I went for my yearly Gyno exam…I cried when I saw my weight. She tested my TSHand came back abnormally high..she put me on synthroid and sent me on my way. In the next few weeks I started mentioning to people about it and others suffering told me about their NP they go to that had helped them. By this point I ached all over, couldn’t sleep at night, gas pains, etc. got my blood results from Gyno and went to NP..all new blood work plus saliva test. Results…I wasn’t just hypothyroid like Gyno said..but had autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimotos and Graves). Plus very low vitamin D, low ferritin, and my cortisol levels were very low. She put me on Nature-throid (similar to Armour…I knew I didn’t want to be on synthroid..and for the record most regular doctors will not prescribe desiccated thyroid meds..only synthroid $$$$). I’ve also gone 90% GF and don’t eat processed foods or artificial sweeteners. Two years later I feel great, I’ve lost 18lbs on WW this past year as well. My Graves disease is now suppressed, and my Hashimotos should hopefully be soon as well. (FYI the blood tests my Gyno took showed I had Hashi’s but that wasn’t even mentioned). Listen to your bodies ladies, and look online for info and look for health professionals that want to help you. It’s not all in your could be in your neck!! :)

    • Nancy L says

      NP = Nurse Practitioner? It’s so hard to find someone like that and I’ve heard about the desiccated thyroid as opposed to Synthroid – and how most doctors won’t prescribe the desiccated thyroid!!

  23. says

    Thanks so much for sharing. What a great testimony for being your own best advocate in matters of your health. All women need to hear that it is okay to keep trying new doctors until someone takes you seriously and helps you find answers. You know your body better than anyone else does, if you know something is wrong, it likely is. Thanks again for sharing your story.

  24. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this story, Amy. I have a friend who struggles with thyroid issues, and I know how frustrating that must have been. Kudos to you for seeking help and knowing that something was not right. Megan

  25. Jillian says

    a year ago I was diagnosed with celiac sprue disease. I imagine you have a pretty good idea of what I’ve gone through. I found a post on gluten free easily about Special Diet Grief, Grieving Gluten: the five stages of grief plus one more. It has helped me with the emotional side of my new diet. It is definitely worth the read and applies to all dietary restrictions. I never realized that anger was part of it. I still bounce between anger, depression and and acceptance. The holidays were a roller coaster of emotions.
    Also, at Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom, she has many different allergies in her family(including corn, soy and dairy) and some pretty awesome recipes. Gluten Free Homemaker is where I get most of my recipes that my family love (since i am the cook, everyone eats the way i do at home), especially the corndogs :)(she has a lot of info on different alternative flours as well as dairy and egg substitutes) she also tells about the mental affects of the allergies. since reading about it, I’ve noticed when i’ve been contaminated and why i have the mood swings that i do. good luck, there ARE good foods out there that you can still eat.

  26. says

    Amy, I am so sorry that you’ve been having such a rough couple of years. But also so very glad for you to find the root cause. Through all the tough things that have been thrown at my family lately, I’m starting to feel as if it all is for a reason, some opportunity for something… I appreciate your ability to share this. Imagine all those you are touching by sharing this, one person reads, tells to a friend, sends a link, etc. I think as mom’s, we are too set on everyone else’s health, and too frequently ignore our own. Thank you for reminding us all to listen to our instincts, and get help when we need it. Good luck to you. Stay strong!

  27. Tina Matteson says

    Even though you think your face looks puffy in those photos, you still look pretty! Thank you for sharing your story and I hope all goes well with the changes you are making. I love your blog, too.

  28. says

    Thanks for sharing your story, Amy! I wrote on my blog today about some unexplained health problems that I’m having. It’s so frustrating to know that something is wrong and not have an explanation or any idea of what to do about it! So glad you finally got answers! All the best with the changes you’re making!

  29. says

    My sister had secret allergies also. For 15 years she thought she was allergic to dairy. Then her tummy was so upset she went gluten free also. After finally finding a fantastic naturopath she underwent tons of tests for hormone imbalances, genetic diseases and allergies. Turns out the tummy issues she has had since she was a kid were all caused because she is allergic to 1.eggs and 2.fruit combined with sugar. No dairy problems or gluten problems. But her system became so inflamed that it could not properly digest dairy and gluten. After a month of her new no egg diet and careful monitoring of when she eats fruit and sugar {not within 6 hours of each other} she is working both dairy and gluten back in to her diet with no ill effects. She has more energy and is like a new person. Another great benefit is that she realized her daughter suffers from the same allergies and now she can change her diet as well and she won’t have to deal with the years of tummy troubles my sister did.

  30. Liesel Moultrie says

    I don’t know if it has been suggested to you but you should look into the book called It Starts With Food. It’s a program called the Whole 9. It is similar to Paleo but completely back to the basics. You only eat meat, fish, veggies, fruits and eggs. No sauces or marinades, no dairy or lugmens. My mom discovered she had lots of major food allergies when she was in her mid 40s and had to make complete lifestyle changes too. She feels so much better now. Good luck!

  31. Michelle says


    I’m glad you finally have some answers and yes the transition is tough! I HIGHLY recommend you read the book, It Starts With Food as it explains the science behind what these foods are doing to our bodies and it gives an intro into whole30 which is a program that helps you transition your body ( cravings, etc) to this way of life. It is created by whole9 and they have so muc support for people doing this, it has changed so many people’s lives, my own included!

    Good luck!

  32. Mary says

    In my mother’s family, they have a history of thyroid issues. She has been on Synthroid for many years.
    When my mom starts complaining how she is tired all the time and she starts to gain weight, I always have to remind her to go back to the Dr and get her levels checked. Just want everyone to know that occasionally you will need your dosage changed. Your body will remind you, just look for the signs.

  33. Shari Hanson says

    Wow Amy, what a crazy time! I am so glad you’ve gotten some answers and are starting to feel better! I’ve always enjoyed your blog, but never leave comments… This was the first post that I felt really compelled to leave a comment to show you my support as a “virtual friend” :) I am friends with Kristen Duke – she is the one who introduced me to your blog about 2 years ago. I have a baby with peanut, milk, and egg allergies – so I know all about staying away from the “no-no” foods. Hang in there! Making a change for your WHOLE family is very hard…but once you find a rhythm, life will get better. XOXO from Huntington Beach, CA!

  34. says

    I’m going through postpartum thyroiditis now. My baby is five months old. At first I was hyperthyroid, and now it’s swung to hypothyroid. We are waiting a few more weeks to get tested again to see what if any kind of medicine to get on. What you are describing about your symptoms sounds like mine too! Especially the puffy face, although you don’t look “puffy” to me :)

    So many of the symptoms of hypothyroid could also be attributed to postpartum depression, baby blues, or just plain mommy exhaustion. Add the allergies that you’ve been diagnosed with, and think how strong you have been to get through this! Plus you run?! Talk about willpower!

    I am glad they are figuring things out for you, and hopefully soon you can start adding foods back. At least you are starting to feel better, something that I would welcome in my life any time now! Thanks for posting about this.

  35. trish Thomas says

    thank you for sharing again Amy. I “spoke” to you last year about having the Hashimoto’s disease diagnosis and am also wondering if it’s something more because I too have continued with my symptoms and not lost any weight. I’m going to look into having some allergy tests done. Thank you for being open and helping others with what you’ve learned, I really appreciate it.

  36. says

    Wow, I am so glad you finally found some answers! Thanks for sharing your story. Thyroid problems run in my family so I am always questioning any odd symptoms I have but then brush them off as me overreacting. I need to just go to the doctor and get checked but I’m too busy to do that, lol.

  37. says

    What a surprise to come across your blog this morning! I discovered in May that I also have a long list of good allergies. I started with chronic migraines when I was about 22. I’ve been to countless doctors doctors, had so many tests, and been told I just needed a babysitter. I’ve been told I had fibromyalgia, tested for multiple sclerosis and lupus and totally dismissed. I addition to the horrid headaches and numbness that started coming along with the pain after my son (almost 5 now) was born, I was extremely tired, had been so forgetful and was on around year 15 of hives from sun exposure. Changing my diet has been amazing! I still have a lot of work to do and making my food choices healthier, but I’ve been telling anyone who will give me a chance to consider food allergies. I tried reintroducing corn because I was a little skeptical is was really an allergen and was proved very wrong with more typical allergic reaction symptoms. I’m so happy for you to have found the cause of your health troubles!

  38. says

    Wow! Thank you for sharing! I had an allergy test done when I was in Jr High because I was having asthma attacks all of the time, but they weren’t for foods. Maybe I should get that done! I get stomach aches all of the time. I have always just thought it was because I am not the healthiest eater, which it totally could be, but maybe it is more than that. Thanks for putting it all out there. You are amazing, Amy!

  39. says

    I have been thinking about getting my thyroid checked as well. I have a lot of the symptoms, but I have been explaining them away to myself because I am a tired, stressed out mom. Having all the food intolerances must be really tough. I would have such a hard time with that, but I am sure it is worth it to feel better! Good luck with everything and thank you for sharing your story.

  40. says

    Thanks for sharing your story; please know that you’ve reached many women who are suffering along the same lines and who need to know what other options to try. I’ve been to a few doctors trying to figure out why I am not “me” and feel many of the symptoms you mentioned. I got the celiac test and was negative but never thought to get full allergy testing for other foods. Maybe this is why I’ve had issues for so many years. I am glad to hear that you are back to the road of good health and I wish you all the best!

  41. jasi says

    Wow! A lot of these stories are coming out now. What we consume may really be hurting us. Thanks for sharing. It’s an amazing journey and as inconvenient as it is, I’m glad it’s allergies and diet that will help you feel better again soon.

  42. Holly says

    Amy, I’m so sorry for what you have been going through. I am so glad you have found some answers. You are one AWESOME lady. Thanks for sharing your story.

  43. carrie eastman says

    Thank you for digging deep and sharing this story for the world to read. I am so happy you are on your way to a happy, healthy life!


  44. Wendie says

    Thank yo so much for sharing your story. What a difficult journey you’ve been on! I’ve got lots of questions for my doctor when I see her next! I hope you’re on the road to feeling as beautiful as you are inside and out.

  45. MeganM. says

    A couple of years ago I was diagnosed as having a gluten intolerance/possible celiac (every test comes back inconclusive). It’s been really hard to adjust (gluten free foods are expensive!). But it’s been worth it. Within a week of stopping eating wheat, I felt like I had so much energy and that a fog had lifted. I felt like I could think better and faster. It was so strange–in a good way. But I’m grateful for a random doctor I saw for an unrelated issue asked me about the nausea I always felt. Shortly after I ended up changing insurance and doctor, and next doctor was an internal medicine doctor and didn’t even believe me. It was frustrating for sure. But I stick to gluten free as much as possible and I feel soooo much better! Keep with it! It’s totally worth it. :)

  46. Crystal says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so glad you final figured out what was the cause and are taking care of it. This is a new chapter in your life and I know that you will be successful. I’ll be praying for you!!

  47. says

    I totally just spent some time trying to find an article about wheat that I read recently. I thought it might be helpful info for when it’s time to start adding things back in. When I find it, I’m going to send you the link. I’ve read a lot of things that make me question a lot of our food sources. My husband thinks I’m crazy when I start to get worried about it, but when uncommon ailments start to become crazy common (ie. celiac, wheat allergies, etc.) it makes one wonder what has triggered a near epidemic in various food intolerances. One blog that I recommend that you check out and consider is That’s all for now. :)

  48. Jennifer says

    My husband has an intolerance to cheese as well. Perhaps you already know this- but we found some cheese alternatives at Good Earth. Some are soy based so that wouldn’t work for you but maybe one of the other options would. Good luck!

  49. says

    Wow. I am so happy for you that you have answers. Not knowing, wondering you’re imagining things (which happens when doctors dismiss you – happened to me!) is so very difficult. I’ll say a prayer for you and I hope it’s smooth sailing for you from here on out. What a story! Thanks for sharing it.

  50. says

    What a blessing to finally find out what is wrong. That’s no fun to be like the subject of a House episode. Glad you are feeling better and best of luck on your new clean eating journey! My husband has had some issues which I think are due to food allergies and I just showed him the arm pictures from your allergy test to try to get him motivated to finally getting tested. Thanks for being an inspiration!

  51. Gail Bolander says

    Wow! I’m right there with you! I felt the same way and then read an article in a magazine. I think it was Womans Day. Called my Dr. and asked him to order me the test and BAM! Hypo! Crap! That gave me the excuse of my memory and hair loss. He put me on meds and like you it took a while. In the mean time my Hubby got Hyperthyroid which eventually turned into Graves and had to get it nucked out. Now we were both Hypo. I made an appointment to a specialist mainly for my Hubby. He was able to add a Rx to his daily routine so his body would obsorb the medicine. On the other hand, he diagnosed me with Hashimoto. Explained only that it keeps growing. This week I started a challenge at a Cross Fit gym. The first day there, they had Robb Wolf, guru of Paleo. He explained the foods and why. Then he said something about thyroid issues and when I told him I had Hashi he said that I would need to follow the Autoimune diet. Autoimune? Never heard I had a problem with that! Well, low and behold not only tomatoes, nuts, pepers, spieces made from peppers (curry, chili…) but I also couldn’t have eggs! So now my diet has been less the rice (which we ate every day), flour, processed foods just as you but now I can’t have my scrambled eggs with the health foods blended in it. I’m mad too! Mad at the ‘specialist’ that failed to tell me! Oh and coffee. coffee comes from a ‘nut’ so I’ll be weening myself off of that delishouse beverage too! It’s going to be hard and I’ll be mad now and then but if it helps me not feel as though my thyroid is pressing against my windpipe and chocking me all day, I’m giving it a try. Thank you for posting all this. It does help knowing others are dealing with the same issues and I’m not the only one that has to cut out the foods that we love. I’m finding out that it isn’t the flour, processed foods or pasta that is ticking me off, but the eggs and nuts :( Oh well, I know there’s others out there that have it worse than me and I have to count my blessings that this is all that’s wrong. Hopefully this Paleo diet will help me not get sicker as in Lupis, MS and other issues due to Hashimoto. Hang in there, I hear it gets better within a week to 3 months!

  52. Brenda says

    Thanks for being real! I appreciate your honest post. I am so glad that you were able to figure things out. In your marathon picture you seem to be pulling on the bottom of your shirt to hide your tummy? Its amazing how we always have those worries about our bodies in our mind all the time. My 5th baby is now 16 months old. I finally had the courage to stop nursing her (she is probably my last and I cant bear to stop that closeness! ) Anyway, my tummy has just pooched out since stopping nursing. I totally look pregnant. I hate feeling self concious about it all the time. Thank you for being who you are.

  53. says

    This is just like reading my own story! I have hypothyroidism as well and recently my doctor suggested that I take myself off of sugar (processed), processed foods and just stick to veggies, fruit, and lean proteins….basically whole foods. He mentioned something about coconut oil…but I heard it wasn’t good for you. But, I can totally relate to your story – especially the weird puffiness, constipation, forgetfulness and crankiness. Thanks for sharing your story… is reassuring to know that it isn’t all in my head.

  54. says

    Amy, I am SO happy things got figured out!! True, it would have been easiest if the doc was like, oh, here, take this vitamin and you’ll be better by Friday! But you are a tough cookie and after you look back, you’ll realize the lifestyle change wasn’t that hard. My family, all but me, have gone Vegan within the last year. I think I have an addiction to butter :) Anyway, my mom and sister and younger brother have been SO EXCITED about trying new things, eating well, and feeling better. They like the challenge, and you might too! My mom made a Delicious salad the other night, and while eating it I thought about you, and wondered if I could help somehow. Maybe I’ll snatch some of their favorite recipes that I- the omivore- really love and share them with you? I’ll check for the soy, wheat, and yeast- the others are pretty much avoided with their way of eating too.

  55. Abbie says

    Good luck with the new diet! If you ever decide to introduce breads back into your diet I would suggest looking through the book The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast by Caleb Warnock. Here is the book description “Did you know commercial yeast is so foreign to our bodies that many people are allergic to it? But natural yeast converts dough into a digestible, vitamin-rich food that’s free from harmful enzymes and won’t spike your body’s defenses. Improve your health and happiness with the delicious recipes in this groundbreaking book that will teach you to prepare and bake with natural yeast!”

  56. says

    So, where did you start to find someone?

    I’ve been seeing a (good) neurologist for some time about my progressing symptoms, but none of her tests show anything is wrong. She is continuing to work with me. But any advice on how to work within insurance? How did you find your good doctor? What train of thought was your doctor that you found– what he holistic or western or a mix?

  57. Candace says

    Thanks for sharing this, I have so many of the same troubles and have come to think of them as a normal part of aging and post-baby. After reading about your food allergies and comments above (and a few Google searches) – I am curious about the link between thyroid issues and diet (gluten free). Also, what kind of doctor did you go to when they finally tested your hormone/thyroid level? Thanks again!

  58. Tara says

    Hi Amy, thanks for sharing. I have had alopecia areata since my twenties. It was about a year and a half ago that it started falling out really bad and I had to wear hats and then to a wig. I had been on Aumour thyroid and then hormones but nothing seemed to be working for me. My husband came across a doctor in Boston that had several case studies on line that he took them off of gluten, dairy and sugar. I started this on August 18th at this point the hair has started to fill in. It’s amazing that I had cortizone shots and years of hearing that there’s nothing the doctors can do and so far it seems to just be e gluten.. Good luck on your new adventure…

  59. Tammy says

    Look into the GAPS diet. It’s a healing diet for your gut. It’s pretty intense but after 2 years of being on it…you are likely to return to your old eating habits. Food allergies cause many weird symptoms and its likely your thyroid has been affected by the allergy. Eat clean. Only shop the perimeter of the grocery store, that’s where the whole, clean foods lie. I’ve had a very similar story to yours and changing what I eat made all the difference. I feel like a different person. I’ve been on paleo and love it. My kids are now gluten free and we’ve noticed remarkable differences in my 6 yr olds ADHD and behavior. All that processed stuff out there is horrible for your body. Hang in there…after awhile, you can’t even imagine eating any other way.

    • Nicole Handy says

      I second the GAPS Diet suggestion. People have had a lot of success eliminating their allergies. Also check out the Weston A. Price Foundation. They have a Davis County chapter–it is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to bringing traditional, whole foods back. They focus on eating the correct fats and in properly preparing grains–so they can be digested correctly. They also have a shopping guide that helps when you can’t make things from scratch. You can buy it off their website for a buck or two. They have a campaign against soy and it’s prevalence in our prepared foods–it is NOT a health food.

      One more thing…I also have a dairy allergy but I can eat raw milk and raw cheese. Might be something to save your sanity! There are local farms and co-ops around that you can buy it from. delivers to Layton–it’s a lifesaver!

  60. Nancy L says

    Sometimes it is just so hard to get doctors to listen…or they just make you feel like a big baby because you don’t feel well!! You know something’s wrong with you, but they don’t care to figure out what. I’m glad you found one that would help you.

    Honestly, with the foods you’re allergic to, Paleo does sound like the perfect diet for you. You really have to check labels so much, since so many foods contain corn of some sort and also many have soy! To keep those things out of your diet, you really need to start at square one with your food. The wheat part is the hardest for me since I used to love baking things and breads have always been a favorite! You can even find some almond/coconut flour bread recipes for Paleo that aren’t half bad! There are many recipe sites that cater to Paleo diets – is a good one. Good luck! I’m glad you are on your way to recovery!

  61. says

    I almost never comment and I almost didn’t today scrolling down and seeing how many comments you have. Iam sure Iwill get lost. but here goes nothing. I feel like your story is mine. I am already doing armour. but something still isn’t right. I got the seriously low vit d diagnosis. So they checked for celiac disease. I remember being so scared to get that diagnosis. What was I going to fix for dinner? thankfully that was negative but I keep hearing about food allergies. something is telling me I should look into it. yet I am scared I don’t want to walk the aisles for two hours looking for something I can have. Do you mind sharing your drs name?

  62. says

    My sweet friend, I am so glad you had the courage to pursue this issue until you found the cause and then to share your story online. I know that the road ahead will be rocky, but reading your post makes me more sure than ever that you are a strong woman – the type of person I want to be.
    I feel so blessed to be your friend and after my months of whining, I hope you will continue to share your struggles with me – sometimes it’s just nice to vent.

  63. says

    Oh goodness – what a huge change! So glad you have God in your corner (as do we all! :)

    My husband is battling cancer – and it was such a learning experience realizing everything that was related to the thyroid and the foods we eat! Doing the no-iodine diet I thought was going to be the end of us all… but I am so glad some of those healthy habits stuck!

    Praying for you – for complete healing and balance and wisdom.

  64. Nicole says

    I just found this blog called edible perspectives, it has lots of GF recipes and she uses alternative flours like buckwheat, millet and oat. I love the breakfast bakes, she even tells you how to make your own amaranth puffs! Good luck to you!

  65. Tami says

    Good luck to you. Thanks for trusting enough to open up and share. We’re all in this together!

  66. April says

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE email me the name of your DR.!!!!!!! EVERYTHING you talk about in this post is ME!!! I am so tired of being told my thyroid is normal just from simple blood tests. I need a Dr who will listen to me and search deeper. That picture of your thyroid sticking out of your neck is EXACTLY how mine looks. It’s so obvious I have even had random people stop and point it out to me. HELP!
    And thanks for posting!

  67. Jessica says

    Thank you for sharing! Your story is very similar to mine and my son’s. I agree, this is a huge change of lifestyle but it is possible. With time, things get easier and the good far outweighs the bad. The key is planning ahead and cooking from scratch. It’s easy to adjust recipes to meet your personal dietary needs. I’ve been on my diet for 2 years now and my brain fog has lifted, anxiety/depression/ADD gone, I don’t have anymore GI issues, I lost 44lbs and have energy again! My 6 yr old son has been on his diet for over a year and feels a ton better too. Just stay positive and focus on what you CAN eat. A great shopping tip I read when I first started that helped me a lot was to only shop on the outside perimeters of the store, avoid the middle isles. There you’ll find fresh meat and produce to make your meals and your shopping trip will be a lot less depressing. Good luck!

  68. Kylie says

    Thanks for sharing such a personal experience. You could possibly look into purchasing a Thermomix machine if you are into cooking. They are not cheap but they have been a lifesaver for me. I have had mine for about 2 years now and love it. it is great to use all natural helthy products free from packaging and the dreaded additives and preservatives. God Bless. Kylie

    • says

      I will for sure look into one. I have not heard of a Thermomix. At this point…I am open to anything that will make this transition easier! Thanks so much!

  69. Sarah says

    Thank you so much for putting it all out there! I feel like as women we try not to worry others with our issues. We are so busy taking care of everyone else, we but our issues on the back burner. I turn 40 this year and I am really having a hard time with aging and all that comes with it. So again thank you for being real! Love the blog & Instagram pics :) Sarah

  70. Kristen says

    I just wanted to share what my mom says. She struggled with hypoglycemia and severe chronic pain for many years. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw her eat food that was brought to a party, or dunk a cookie in milk. She could never have dairy, sugar, and was starting to wonder if gluten was making her feel bad too. The past year she started seeing an allergy/chiropractor guy (I know that’s not the technical term, but I can’t think of what it is exactly) anyway, he is a doctor who practices Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET). You can check it out at Anyway, she is now able to eat all of those things!! And it has relieved a lot of her chronic pain. It is amazing! And it was easy she said. They do a treatment (completely pain free!) in the office and then you avoid that food or mineral or whatever for at least 25 hours. I just thought I would share in case it could help you as well. Thanks for sharing your story, I know it will inspire many women who have been struggling.

  71. says

    Wow, what a frustrating journey for you! I’m so glad you finally found a doctor who would listen to you and has helped you to find some answers. I’m sure it’s not easy having to make so many adjustments, but it must feel good to at least know what the problems are and that you have some control now. Thanks for sharing! Good luck!


  72. says

    There is nothing like getting a proper diagnosis! Even though it’s not always good news, at least you are empowered to act, medicate, make changes, etc… I am so glad you kept it up and got the answers you needed. I had cancer for at least a year before I got a diagnosis. It was frustrating to say the least. I can not stress enough how important it is to trust your gut and what your body is trying to tell you. No one else knows how you feel. Again, happy for you that you got answers!! Much luck with your continued health and food journey.

  73. Sally says

    Things happen for a reason ! I saw a post on pinterest I was going to pin and clicked on the link–yours. I’ve been reading for awhile now the responses to your post on your health issues (and others). Quite an eye-opener !!!!! I was diagnosed with celiac sprue 13 yrs ago. Then, 5 years later, I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. When I went gf, I went from 130 lbs. to 170 lbs. in less then a month !!!!!! What a bummer !!!!! I have learned alot from the posts here that I am going to check out more info on. Thank you for posting and I hope you start feeling better soon !!!!

  74. says

    Awww, Amy…what a bummer! I’m glad you’re getting some answers. Good luck with your lifestyle changes. Keep us up-to-date, so we can cheer you on!


  75. Cherie says

    I have been suspicious that I have thyroid issues as well. When I was pregnant with my 6th child, I got a thyroid biopsy. I wont lie, I determined then and there I would rather be tired and big than to ever have that test again. Ever. Anyway, I have been researching home helps for thyroid issues, and the one that kept coming back was the water fast. It is done basically to heal the body internally. Not sure what my thoughts are. Still praying about it and pondering it. Anyway, Best of luck in this new lifestyle. Hopefully your body gets a chance to heal.

  76. says

    That is a long time to feel rotten and not get a diagnosis. But I’m really glad you told your story; I’m encouraged to pursue it again when I go to the doctor again next month. I’ve had a lot of the same symptoms, though they come and go. That being tired all the time is the worst. Luckily, my kids are gone so if I can’t make myself get out of bed in the morning, I don’t.

    I’ve tried the paleo diet, and have found some really good recipes. The problem I’ve found with most paleo recipes is that so many of them involve frying, even if in a small amount of oil, and even if coconut oil. Still, I’d rather not have fried foods. Good luck as you search for a diet of healthy food that leaves you satisfied too.

  77. says

    I feel your pain! Your symptoms are so close to mine. It has been a bit of a battle to deal with my similar food allergies (I add eggs and a few random things to the no-go list). It’s a little tricky to do gluten free and no milk, but there are some great recipes out there. I find soup is a must have… I just thank my lucky stars that I’m not like my friend Kim; she’s allergic to chicken and many many fruits and veggies. Just awful! Here’s hoping that it gets easier for you. I know the frustration can build. Thank goodness for all the websites and blogs out there that share info and recipes, and thank you for sharing your story! Hugs xo

  78. Ashley says

    Can I get the name of your doctor and the number because I have had some similar issues and my children and I am only 27. I have already had to have neck therapy and have never had trama to my neck to even cause it. It seems like so many doctors just say it’s your diet and lack of exercise which I can understand due to how I live and that fact that Amercan’s are known to be over weight but I try and it seems hard to get to feeling normal or like I should with having energy and all. I believe you live in Utah and I do so if you do and can give me the information that would be so great! Thanks for the post, it really made me feel better.

  79. Brynn says

    Oh my goodness. Your story is an answer to my prayers! First thing tomorrow morning I am making an appointment with a dr.! I have been having every single problem you named, including the bloating in the stomache. I’m so excited about this and hope that I can have the same help you got! If all else, I may have to fly up to UT and see your exact DR.! Thanks for posting this. Now I know I’m not crazy (Well, at least not as much as I thought I was!)

  80. Brynn says

    Also, I was wondering what the carpal tunnel in your wrists and elbows where attributed to? The thyroid or allergies? I have been getting this extremely bad lately as well!

  81. Sara says

    Thanks for sharing your story. I have also been on my own personal health journey this past year. I just knew things weren’t right and have been working with a doctor to try and get things better. It’s really hard. Even though our issues are different it was helpful to read about another woman’s journey. It takes a lot to share these types of things! Thanks!

  82. April says

    Thanks for sharing your story. It is the push I need to actually proceed with an elimidation diet I am reading about. I had a goiter had 1/2 of my thyroid removed a few years ago. I have been on thyroid medicine since and have really struggled to keep my vitamin D up also. I get sick a lot and with young kids in school, I get exposed to alot of things. I was really sick all thru last summer and finally got an answer – I tested positive for h. pylori. I am wanting to eat clean but just struggling with the motivate to stick to it. And I just found a book called The Plan which is an elimination diet where you add foods back in and see what your body reacts to. I can definitely tell that what I eat affects how I feel and my energy level. It won’t be an easy road but to hear that eliminating foods that your body is reacting negative to is helping you feel back to normal, I am going to give it is shot.

  83. Kathy Clune says

    Hi, You don’t know me but I read your blog. I was interested to read about your thyroid and allergies but was interested that the symptoms you described sounded very similar to those of a friend. She isn’t actually allergic to those foods but to the genetic modification materials that so many foods are now treated with. I know this is a growing concern for many people. I’m suggesting you look into that. Also there is a blood test that will specifically pinpoint your exact food allergies. I have another friend who works with people with allergies and has found that the blood test works much better and more exactly than the elimination diet. The downside is that the test is rather expensive. She did the test herself though and found the exact allergy that had been plaguing her for most of her life. She does help people with the elimination diet and said that it is too general. Good luck. What a pain but you indeed are looking better and obviously feeling more like your old self! It was very smart to not just accept what the first Drs. told you and to continue looking for better answers!

  84. says

    Well this is obviously a hot topic, I’m really glad you shared your story! I was on the edge of my seat reading it because I too have a similar one. Unfortunately, I suffered over many more years and didn’t have much help from the medical field. I did a lot of research on my own then would go to my dr and ask for testing. Often I was ridiculed for doing that but I found the food allergies on my own and also the vit D deficiency. We found the thyroid issue then within a yr or 2; the food allergies, and there are a lot of them, a couple of years after that. I still find I have new sensitivities to foods on occasion and have to be very careful. I can’t eat corn unless it’s organic…so possibly think about foods that are Genetically Modified. Corn that is modified produces it’s own pesticides, I think that is what I react to not the corn. Another thing to consider, possible yeast over growth or Candida that can spread through out your body. It can cause food allergies or sensitivities. I struggle with this issue a lot and need to cleanse regularly. I have also been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia but most of those symptoms have disappeared once I was off the foods that bothered me.
    Life is very different now and I grieved for how things were before. But you have to go on and learn to deal with it all. I am thankful for the internet because with out that I would not have had the resources for researching. Perhaps I would still be stuck in a recliner watching my life go by feeling miserable and sick and 50 lbs over weight.

    I am so glad you are on the road to wellness.

  85. Cat says

    Your story is just another example of how important it is to be proactive with your health. If you don’t feel like doctors are listening to you, you have to be willing to do your own research and seek out new doctors.

    I had also given birth to my fifth child and when I started to experience many of the same symptoms as you. Weight gain, hair loss, irritable bowel issues, difficulty concentrating and strange aches and pains. I literally felt like I was dying. After seeing a number of specialists for each individual problem I was experiencing, it an orthopedist I saw for foot pain that suggested I have my thyroid checked. The number one sign that my thyroid levels are off is plantar fasciitis which is a condition affecting your feet.

    It took me five long years to find doctors willing to listen to me when I told them that levothyroxine was not helping me. Five years to find a doctor willing to prescribe me Armour Thyroid. Five years to get my levels to a comfortable place.

    It’s so very frustrating that the medical community doesn’t put more into the study of women’s thyroid problems. So many doctors rely on testing that simply isn’t sufficient in diagnosing the problem. So many want to blame it on approaching middle age or simply tell you it’s all in your head. When you start to research thyroid disorders you quickly discover that you are one of thousands and thousands of women who are being incorrectly diagnosed or incorrectly treated for the disorder. Further proof that you are your own best health advocate.

  86. Marnie says

    Hi Amy. I am dealing with the exact same issues. Hypothyroidism (my hair started falling out last year so we’ve been trying to get my medication adjusted. I’ve been on Armor Thyro for 8 years) and food and outdoor allergies including soy, tree nuts, and sunflower. I found a website that has some great recipes. It is for a processed-free lifestyle and it has been helpful. Check out She even shows what she fixes for her kids’ lunches everyday to show that the whole family can eat this way. They have some meal plans to give you ideas as well. Send me any good recipes and tips you find as well. I’ve been trying to get a handle on this for a few years and it has been really hard making the change. Good luck.

  87. says

    Great article Amy. Thank you for sharing your story. Unfortunately pregnancy is one of the three key triggers in a woman’s life when thyroid issues develop or worsen, next to puberty and menopause. I too was diagnosed with hypothyroidism following the birth of my first son, although I’ve had symptoms ever since I was a baby. Unfortunately when I became pregnant again, my doctors were not aware of the dangers in pregnancy and were not aware of the pregnancy guidelines for thyroid function and I miscarried. It has been an uphill battle to get proper diagnosis and treatment. I am happy you have great doctors. Allergies are one of the hundreds of symptoms of hypothyroidism. The unfortunate part is that there are millions of women worldwide who suffer from thyroid disease, but they don’t know it. They live with terrible symptoms never getting the answer to their problems. I love reading articles like yours that help spread awareness.

  88. says

    I have done the elimination diet before when my baby whom I was nursing had severe eczema. It was hard, but I found if I focused on the food I could eat, instead of what I could not, I was a lot happier. Eventually I weaned him, and kept him off of wheat, dairy, corn, eggs, etc… for 6 months to 14 months, depending on the food. Now he seems to be allergy free. It was so hard to avoid all of those foods, but so worth it in the end! Keep it up!

  89. says

    I just found your blog and somehow came across this post (love your blog by the way). I suffer from hypothyroidism as well, except my TSH was a 21. What I’ve come to find out is that the TSH doesn’t matter as much as your symptoms. Mine also came about after the birth of children (in my case, twins #3 and #4). I have to tell you that getting wheat out of my diet is what finally made significantly improve. I am also on armour thyroid. If you haven’t already, I would highly recommend trying a wheat-free diet. It may just be the thing that gets you from feeling better to feeling great. I’ve had my thyroid condition for almost 3.5 years now… if you never advice or have questions, please feel free to contact me ([email protected]).

  90. Ellie says

    Thanks for sharing your story—while I’m glad to hear you have a diagnosis and are getting healthier with meds and diet, your experience with the doctors is all too familiar and makes me angry. Unfortunately, the medical profession is still overwhelmingly male and so many male doctors are completely dismissive of women’s complaints and health issues in a way they never would be if a male patient presents with the same symptoms. For years I struggled off and on with seeing doctors for my health problems (many of them similar to yours) and heard, variously, “maybe you should see a psychiatrist,” “have you tried antidepressants?,” “you’re probably just stressed out with everything you do,” “exercise is important for women of your age,” and so on. Arrggh. It turned out I had celiac disease. Finally one doctor took me seriously and I was diagnosed…I feel a lot better now since I’ve been gluten-free. But I also know many women with thyroid problems who spent years trying to get diagnosed. And tell me, since thyroid disease is so prevalent in women, why does it take doctors so long to figure that out and take the time to diagnose it properly? It’s maddening, and needs to change.
    Good luck, and glad you are better.

  91. says

    Thank you for sharing! Up until our first post about this, I was accepting what the doctors told me as fact because they know best right? After your first post, I decided to take control of figuring out what was wrong with me. Every time I went to docs and complained about all my symptoms, they told me I was depressed and put me on higher and higher doses of depression meds. After your post, I researched my symptoms and went in to the doc office and told them which tests I would like them to run. They came back abnormal. I told them it was not all in my head! I have done countless tests and still have more to go before a definitive diagnosis, but I credit you for putting me on the right path. Thank you again for sharing.

  92. Jen says

    Found your story on Pinterest;) I only have two kids but went through the exact things you described! I was told by several doctors that I was depressed and no one would listen. A very, very frustrating situation! I have been diagnosis end with so many allergies I can’t recall them all. After the birth of my son my hair started to fall out and it was finally determined I had a thyroid issue. After being on medication for it I was told I would spend the rest of my life on it. So not what I wanted to hear so I kept searching. Found ALL of my thyroid, allergies, and gallbladder issues are only symptoms of a hormonal imbalance!!! Through strong vitamins, progesterone, and iodine pills I am feeling better than ever and no longer have to take thyroid meds!!!! I have been on the same long road and pray that you continue to get better.

  93. JR Inamerica says

    FYI if you haven’t discovered that peppers and potatoes are also members of the same family as tomatoes. If you have any additional symptoms and haven’t tried removing them from your diet, may want to consider. Oh yeah, tobacco is also a member of the nightshade family as well. I have full blown issues with this entire family and stay clear of tobacco smoke. My sinus and respiratory infections have decreased considerably. Best regards,

  94. michelle says

    i got diagnosed with hypothyroidism in March 2013 my allergy dr found my issue as well i went to my family dr and she told me once i started the meds i would lose weight in no time well i lost about 20lbs and that was it then started having stomach issues at first the dr thought it was my gallbladder well it went on thru till March 2014 and was put in the hospital with a small bowel obstruction the dr said it would be a quick fix well it turned into much worse my bowel was swollen 2 times the size it was suppose to be they cut 5ins out and sent it off to be tested 2 weeks later it came to be i have eosinophilic enteritis which is most of the time due to food allergies so im about to go thru food allergy testing myself soon and i know i will have to change alot of what i eat thanks for sharing your story im sure it will help alot of others going thru the same thing and congrats on the weight lose :)

  95. tamara p says

    I just read this info about your health and can so relate. I had severe eczema/allergies/asthma as a kid but at 47 I had to quit teaching and became home bound due to my skin/health going crazy; I looked like a monster, honestly. I’ve had 8 doctors over the last 5 yrs, itching 24/7, with no meds to help..have just about gone insane. My swelling and red, raw skin are now better controlled due to going on an immuno- suppressant (our last desperate resort, but I had tried Paleo, natural products, herbs, tested for everything…you name it! After ALCAT testing, my results showed I was allergic to hundreds of foods which left me bewildered and impossible to eat ANYTHING! So, along w/ the chemicals and environmental allergies I already knew about, I felt hopeless. (I can’t tell you the research I’ve done and still do.) Presently, I’m looking into histamine intolerance and seriously considering starting my own blog. Meanwhile, I just have to continue to trust God every minute of the day. I can tell you one thing, it’s showed me what true faith and trust looks like! Blessings to you!

  96. Jodi Faulkner says

    Hi Amy,
    I want to share the story of my battle to be heard. You see I to have had to fight through doctors who only saw a fat women sitting on their exam table. They didn’t look beyond or listen to what I was telling them. For almost 15 years I kept going from doctor to doctor complaining about the symptoms I was experiencing.
    • Thinning hair.
    • Dry skin.
    • Brittle nails.
    • Cold skin.
    • Inability to tolerate cold.
    • Cough that would last for months (No we’re talking 4-5 months)
    • Feeling like I was being choked if I had anything around my neck (i.e.: Turtle Neck, choker necklace) sometimes laying down would be even worse.
    • Feeling tired, sluggish, or weak. (We’re talking slug here, I would feel like I had run a marathon my muscles felt exhausted)
    • Memory problems, depression (only when I would question my sanity), or difficulty concentrating.
    • Heavy or irregular menstrual periods that may last longer than 5 to 7 days.
    • An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter).
    • Modest weight gain, often 10 lb or less. (to date of my diagnoses I was 120 lbs. overweight) I would gain weight even when I dieted and exercised.
    • Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, and feet, and facial puffiness, particularly around the eyes.
    • Muscle aches and cramps.
    The doctors would tell me to “Watch what you eat” and those who did run blood test would only run the blood test they didn’t want to go any further to figure out what was wrong with me. My thyroid test would always come back in the “Normal Range” but where on the normal range was I? I began to believe that they only saw a fat middle age women coming in and complaining they never went beyond that to hear what I was saying. Actually I know that’s what they were doing.
    It wouldn’t be until 2006 when I went to see a new OB/GYN for my yearly exam (New insurance = new doctor) and I stepped on the scale. The world came crashing down around me and I couldn’t take another “Watch what you eat” I just spent the last three months on a liquid diet and gained 10 pounds. 10 pounds! Geez! I just spent the last three months drinking liquid meal replacement and exercising and watching everyone around me eating all of the good stuff. Steak, Fish, Chicken, vegetables, pasta. You name it I fixed it for everyone else to eat while I drank crappy meal replacement drinks and I gained 10 pounds. I just broke down right there on the scale in her office. I’m talking hysterical sobbing. She even asked if I needed something to help calm me down. “YES! DAMN IT LISTEN TO ME!” After calming me down I explained once again what my symptoms were and another round of blood test was ordered and I even told her what the results would be before I left her office. A few weeks later when I came back for the results I was right the T4 was in the infamous “Normal Range” but she wasn’t satisfied with the results. She knew there was something going on especially since I had a new symptom.
    My new symptom was the feeling of a string being pulled across my neck. I would feel it for hours and would keep rubbing my neck even though I knew there was nothing there. The feeling of being choked was starting to be a little too much and I felt like I was losing my mind. Instead of telling me that I needed therapy which I was prepared for she ordered two tests. An Ultra Sound and Cat Scan and what came back proved that it wasn’t in my mind at all. The results showed multiple nodules and suggested a “Fine Needle Biopsy” which would never be done.
    I was referred to an endocrinologist which after waiting almost two months I was able to get in and see. This time I was told that I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and placed on medication. He didn’t feel that I needed a biopsy and a week later I would receive a letter in the mail telling me that the doctor I was referred to had decided to retire so I was to see him one more time before having to wait six (6) months to see a new doctor. He also didn’t do the biopsy instead he wanted to increase the medication then sent me back for another Ultra Sound which would show that the multiple nodules have disappeared so it seemed. But I was still having the same symptoms.
    So after a few months of increasing my medication. During this time I started getting the sensation that the best way to describe it is that it felt like someone had a rope around my neck and choking me. At first it was happening so far apart that I didn’t put it together but it quickly became a problem as I was constantly rubbing and scratching my neck. So I explained what was going on at my next visit and I was given two options I could continue trying the medication and see what happens or have my thyroid removed (Keep in mind I NEVER had a biopsy). I figured I was going to be on medication anyway let’s just remove it. So on February 1, 2007 I would have a total Thyroidectomy. It would be two weeks later that my husband and myself would receive the shocking news from my surgeon. I had Papillary Thyroid cancer and had no idea. The surgeon looked up at us to see the shocked look on our faces. Looking back at my file he realized that I never had a biopsy so we had no idea that I had cancer. This is the same cancer that Roger Ebert had and if I hadn’t had the surgery I could have been looking at the same fate.
    Throughout the 15 years of trying to get a doctor to see more than a fat women sitting on the exam table I was made to feel like I was a hypochondriac. I had doctors and PA’s medicating me for depression instead of what I was telling them. They even tried to tell me I had acid reflux. When I asked them how they got “I feel like I’m getting choked when I lay down or if I have anything around my neck like a turtle neck” to being acid reflux is beyond me. Needless to say I didn’t go back to them I did send them a copy of all the lab reports and finding of the ultrasound and cat scans and a letter stating that next time they should listen to their patients and not ignore what they are telling them.
    The reason I didn’t give up was because I had seen the movie “It’s Always Something The Gilda Radner story”. In the movie there is a scene where she tells Gene that the doctors are trying to make her feel like it is all in her head. Like she is a hypochondriac and she is so frustrated and angry because no one will listen to her symptoms. In the end one doctor did listen and found she had cancer. She had to fight for a doctor to listen to her and her symptoms. It’s sad that we have to fight to get a doctor to listen to us. I was one of the lucky ones. I caught my cancer in the first stage while others are still fighting to be heard.
    Don’t stop fighting to be heard. If you feel you have something wrong and a doctor won’t listen to you. Find another doctor. If you have symptoms fight to be heard.

  97. Katie says

    Hi. I would love to know how you are feeling now? Have you posted any updates? I have the exact same problem as you (thyroid & same allergies). I’ve been on an AIP protocol since Jan 2014. I still feel like something is missing. My joints still ache and my face is still puffy. I did switch to Armour this past June. Thank you.

  98. Lori says

    I would love to know the name of the doctor! I live in SLC and have autoimmune diseases. Going paleo has changed my life! My mom has RA, osteoporosis, and hypothyroidism. I told her that changing her diet could help her too but she thinks it is in my head. I think she needs a doctor to give her a kick in the pants! Lol :)

  99. Aleigh says

    I just found your website and love it! I had to suddenly give up dairy, gluten, refined sugar, and much more. It was hard, very frustrating, and upsetting at times. I turned to the paleo lifestyle, and I discovered many yummy meals I could now eat! One of my favorite paleo bloggers and authors is Danielle Walker at Against All Grain. Check her out if you haven’t heard of her! God bless!

  100. Ruffina says

    o my word!!! Suffice to say It sounds like I need to go see a allergist!!! I take armour thyroid as well but I look nine months pregnant I’m so bloated and miserable. Thank you. Thank you for sharing

  101. Sam says

    Thankyou for sharing with us. I have been going through the same symptoms after my 2nd baby in 2005.The doctors earlier blame that to hypothyroid (postpartum).Now they think its hashimoto thyroid but all the symptoms are exactly like yours. Bloating, constipation,hives,puffy face,aches and muscles pain.i don’t no what to do now its been almost 10 yrs.

  102. Nikki Sterne says

    Wow, Thank you for sharing your story. Mine is very similar. I have had Hoshimotos thyroiditis since 2006. Which was 4 years after my son was born. Always have had issues of not feeling well. My immune system is always lower than it should be. I had issues this year with my throat feeling like something was stuck. Ended up going to the allergist. I’m allergic to 5 major foods that are in everything! Corn, yeast, garlic, coconut, and fish. It has been such a challenge to find good food to eat. I understand your struggle and pray that you are doing well. Thanks for letting me know I’m not walking this path alone! :)

    • The Idea Room Assistant says

      It is definitely challenging. Thank you so much for your kind words. Hope you are doing well. Have a wonderful day!

  103. Susan says

    Sounds so similar. I’ve heard the word “epidemic” used by a friend that just had a cancerous thyroid removed. Did you ever find some yummy paleo-esq recipes?

  104. Kristine says

    I feel like I’m reading a blog written about myself. Although in addition to all of the puffiness, I also have tongue swelling that has gotten worse and worse over the years, often landing me in the ER because it gets so bad.

    I have been so so many doctors and no one will listen or help. They try to give me more prescription meds and nasal sprays, but I know my issue is exactly the same as yours – thyroid and food allergies.

    Can you PLEASE tell me the name of your doctor? I’ll go anywhere to find someone who cares and doesn’t want to put a band-aid on my health issues, that have literally debilitated me over the years. My list of “can have” foods is around 25 at this point. Very frustrating.

    Thank you for sharing! And for possibly changing my life!

    – Kristine

  105. Debra Moyer says

    Wow. Finally I see that I am not alone in this battle. For some years now I have been fighting the symptoms of hypothyroidism – dry skin, weight gain, constipation, exhaustion….. The weight gain and inability to lose it is the most frustrating part. I gained over 70 pounds in one year and had not changed my diet or exercise regimen. My doctor kept patting me on the hand and asking me if I was sad (I was getting close to the menopause age). I finally told him that no, I was not sad…I was mad. I was angry because he was not listening to me and my every concern was attributed to menopause. I was angry because I was not over eating and yet still I continued to gain weight. I was angry because I was abnormally tired all of the time. I was annoyed by the dry skin…the constipation…the inability to judge distances correctly…the list goes on. I used to be very energetic and active. Even on the Synthroid I have not felt like myself. It is better….but I do not have anywhere near the level of energy I used to have. It seems that the medical world assesses the TSH levels in a range of “normal” for all……rather than a normal for the individual. I’m not sure how they would ascertain what was normal for each of us, but I do know that just reaching that range considered a low norm is not enough, at least not for me. I have never considered a food allergy to be contributing to the problem. I will have it checked out for sure. Best wishes to all of you as you continue to fight it.

  106. Donna says

    Thank you for sharing. I have been dealing with hypoglycemic for years and all I have ever been told was to stay off sugar and high starches. It has been only by freak accidents and starting to read my own syptoms that I am learning there are foods the I am allergic to. Two of them is milk and any thing with caffeine rather artifical or natural. After reading this I am going to see if I can find a doctor who will run s I me allergies test on me. Again thank you for sharing.

  107. Julie says

    I was diagnosed hypothyroid 23 years ago and have been taking medication since then, but still have so many symptoms, most noticeably and frustrating constipation and bloating, I definitely look 8 months pregnant at night for sure. I had no idea this could be related to food allergies, but are the allergies also related to the hypothyroid condition? It is so frustrating to have every doctor tell you that your thyroid levels are normal and there is nothing else they can do to help with the symptoms. And every single doctor I have told of my constipation ( literally go once every week or even two!) tell me that’s normal – for me. Really?! What is the other test that I can ask for beside the tsh levels? Thanks for reading and for posting this! I know it helped me.

  108. says

    I loved hearing your story. It inspires me. I have felt lowsy for years with alot of the same symptoms. I would love it if you send me the name of your Dr??

  109. Savannah moya says

    I’m 21 years old and I have all the same symptoms you started out with. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, but I was always too scared to take synthroid-levothyroxine and the organic medications only because my sister reacted badly to them and she is a RN (who decided to stop taking them ) just reading your post made me feel more aware of the things I’ve started to ignore that affect my everyday life this is a great post! Very enlightening thank you !!!

  110. Sandee says

    Hi Amy
    I am on a similar journey as yourself. I didn’t like my new found eating plan, neither! But, I found its VERY helpful to concentrate on all that we CAN eat vs. ALL that we cannot eat. The benefits far outweigh the food which I miss. I just enjoyed an amazing recipe with lentils, sweet potatoes, garlic, cumin and smoked paprika :) I wish you continued success and great health for you and your beautiful family! !!! Blessings to you :)

  111. Cindy says

    I had a lot of the same symptoms, especially the bloating and intestinal issues. A few years ago I started eliminating chemical sweeteners and eventually I switched to completely clean eating. No chemicals, no canned, bottled, boxed foods etc. I am 100% better now. Amazing, in comparison to how sick I had felt. It makes you wonder what garbage are being put into our foods

  112. tomalley5778 says

    I felt like I was reading my life!! After my second child my life was just not quite right! I workout constantly, run and lift weights. I can sleep 8 hours and feel like I have not rested at all!! I just had an ablation for irregular menses and have an appointment to see gastroenterologist this month for chronic constipation. I too, have been tested and told my thyroid levels are normal. I changed my diet to paleo two years ago and found it to be extremely helpful. I still have fatigue issues as well as constipation😕. Check out against the grain cook book😊 .

  113. Lorrie says

    Hi! I was wondering if you are a type O blood type, it seems to me there is some chance that all type Os may be suffering from our diets. You should read the Blood Type diet/and/or the genotype diet book. Very informative and there are recipes.

  114. Katy says

    Amy – your story is so helpful for people like me. I am 22 years old and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 2 years ago. Although the long journey of making my levels normal has occurred, I constantly feel sick (bloated and exactly like your baby description above). I CANNOT find a doctor that takes me seriously. I’ve searched and feel like I’ve given up because I do not have the time or money to figure it out. In terms of allergies… where would you start? Is it similar if I take out food options one by one and see if I feel better? Otherwise is it easy to get referred to an allergist? I’ve seen SO many doctors and the range of answers they give me is actually quite comical… Like old age and this is just how I am supposed to feel… I was diagnosed at 20 years old…. This is not old age! Any words of wisdom would be grateful! Happy New Year!

  115. says

    Thank You so much for writing about your journey! You’ve inspired me to shop around for another doctor…and maybe write about my own journey with chronic illness. I wish you all the best as you begin this new chapter! :-)

  116. Shannon says

    Your Story could be mine…… For ten years I have a had a myriad of health problems all written off by my doctors, even with a growth found on my thyroid 8 years ago they were not proactive and told me we would follow it yearly…. I finally began seeking help of a naturopath and she could identify with some testing that my thyroid needed further investigation… It was then that the GP decided to look at the growth closer….it had grown and they were afraid it was cancer. I had the benign tumor and my left thread removed in August with no follow up care for what to expect with half my thyroid…..I had a thyroid crash that was the final straw….I took the approach of interviewing doctors until I found one that would actually work with me and listen to everything I had to say…. after addressing the thyroid with appropriate medicine we did food allergy and sensitivity test and like you I was shocked at my results.
    I feel so hopeful now to know that diet ( paleo) can be the answer to helping my Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Estrogen Dominance, Fatigue, low immunity, brain fog etc……
    The answer seems so simple but we have all had to be our own advocates to find the answer!
    Best of Luck!!

  117. Tameka says

    Amy, thanks so much for sharing your story. As I was reading through it, especially the part about finding out your food allergies, I felt like I was reading my own life story. I had been feeling the same way you had in the past- just not myself, no energy, wanted to sleep all the time, just yucky all over. And just like you I ended up going to an allergist after realizing that my primary doctor was just giving me meds to mask my problems and not help reduce or get rid of them. My breaking point for me was when I broke out in hives all over for a month straight. Finally went to an allergist, and was tested for everything. Thank God all my tests came back normal, although I still do believe my thyroid may be the major issue going on even though my tests can back normal. Thyroid issues runs on my mother’s side- she has it, my grandmother, my aunt, uncle and a lot of cousins all have thyroid issues. I also took a food allergy test and found out I’m allergic to corn, soy, oats and barley. I’ve already been eating gluten free for awhile now, which has helped my energy level a lot. But now factoring in my new allergens, its been hard and frustrating grocery shopping, cooking… just like what you experienced. I’m so glad I came across your post today, it really helped me out a lot. I just have to remind myself that my new eating habits will be a definite lifestyle change and a challenging journey, but I’m all for it if it’ll make me healthier. Thanks again!!

    • The Idea Room Assistant says

      So glad my story has helped you. Hope all goes well with your new challenges. Thank you!

  118. Margaret Ford says

    This sounds so much like me. Please keep me informed. I’m going to start getting more tests than I have been given in the past. You are the first person that has given me hope. Thank you.

  119. Genn says

    I have had some of the same struggles. I found the Whole30 books and eating lifestyle very helpful threw my healing process. Good luck stay strong it gets better.

  120. says

    Hi! I noticed your article about hypothyroidism on Pinterest and wanted to see what it was about. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in March of 2014 but have been chronically ill since October of 2013. I still have on going symptoms that are extremely painful and brought me to the point that I don’t work anymore. I also have a ton of food restrictions but not one of my doctors have ever recommended getting an allergy test. My 3rd GI in the last two years just gave up on me and thinks this is all in my head. I just want you to know you aren’t alone. It sucks to have to give up so much food that we love!!! I also write a blog; specifically about my pain and journey and food recipes. The majority of the food posts I put on there you should be able to eat. I’m still trying to figure out if tomatoes are a no no for me. If you want some more help with meals you can also check out AIP (auto-immune protocol diet) because I bet that is the diet you need to be on! Hope this help.

    • The Idea Room Assistant says

      Thank you so much! I will look into the AIP. Hope you can figure out what is going on with you as well! So sorry. It’s frustrating.

  121. Georgene Lockwood says

    I started on a paleo diet 3 years ago after having chronic hives for most of my life. I dropped 50 pounds without really trying and my hives disappeared. Also had some constipation and acid indigestion and those disappeared as well. I have reintroduced a small amount of dairy (raw, organic) into my diet and that seems fine. Added CrossFit 2 years ago. I HIGHLY recommend paleo for people with digestive issues and allergies. I can be customized to work with various chronic conditions and the “clean” eating really makes sense for everyone. Processed foods are poison!

    • The Idea Room Assistant says

      So glad you found what works best for your body. Great tips and advice. Thank You!

  122. Lori Peterson says

    I felt your pain!!! I too suffered, knowing something was terribly wrong, while doctors too quickly dismissed me. Even though my thyroid tests finally were in the normal range, I was not normal. It took 3 years of hell…before my own research into medical journals helped me understand all the things the thyroid affected. Then I found a book, the thyroid solution, with many women who experienced the same frustrations. Once I convinced my doctor to try the new protocol of medicine that the book identified…my self…came back…and nearly all of the many symptoms went away.

    • The Idea Room Assistant says

      So glad you are doing better and that you were able to figure it all out!

  123. says

    Hi, I went through a lot of what you went through with a bit more unfortunately. After my second child, I had tunnel vision and I didn’t have any strength, especially in my arms. I was losing weight like crazy, terrible thin, overly warm, headaches, vision problems, going a hundred miles an hour totally exhausted. I found out I had Graves Disease, a type of Hyperthyroidism. I was able to maintain for ten years. Then I started to lose my vision, so I underwent Radio-active Iodine treatments. I was severely allergic to the treatments. They thought I would die and I, at times, wished for it. But I slowly over three years regained some of myself. I now have Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I was caring for my family, extended family, ect. Being there for everyone but myself. A few years later I started to have bad allergies to my place of work and environmental things. A few years later my family was in a car accident and after that I hit the mother load of autoimmune disease, at least five that can be certified. I was allergic to food, environment, animals, chemicals and medications. I was down to water and peas and I couldn’t leave my home/bedroom. After many doctors who told me I was mentally unstable, an Allergist put me on the right path to health again. Through the Allergist and colleges of his, I am able to leave my home and eat more than peas. I will never be the old me, but at least I have a me to be. I have a lot of health issues, more than some think is possible and still be sort of standing. The adjustment has been very difficult and my marriage is stronger and my children are kind-hearted souls who care for humanity. So I am lucky, I know others who have not been so. You are your own best advocate, you are worth fighting for. Good luck and God Bless.

  124. Kamy Auker says

    Hi! Are you still on thyroid meds? I was recently told from my ent that I had a hyperthyroid…. I have a nodule on my right thyroid ( have had it since I was pregnant with my third baby) nodule is benign but I have it checked yearly. I was surprised when he said I had a hyper thyroid… I feel pretty good. No insomnia, no rapid heart rate, ect. Anyway he wants to do the iodine test but I decided to go back to my gluten free diet and no caffeine to see if that helps before putting radioactive iodine in my body!! I’m so happy you were diligent about getting your health back!

  125. Heather says

    I have suffered for years with hypothyroidism and have had extreme issues with low sugars, and gastrointestinal stuff. I will most definitely look into allergy testing. Thank you.

    • The Idea Room Assistant says

      Great. Hope the testing helps you figure out what is wrong. It can be so frustrating.

  126. Laura says

    Reading your post was such an encouragement. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. God bless you, and your family.

  127. Renee Banks says

    Thank you for sharing. I have had a similar experience with how I have felt for years and thyroid tests that came back high. The doctors always wanted to “keep and eye” on it. I have eaten mostly Paleo for several years. Just a month ago I was diagnosed hypothyroid. Please look into Whole 30.

  128. Kay says

    Hi thanks for your story.
    I fully understand I am in a similar situation -hypothyroid coeliac. Also on armour thyroid which is a vast improvement on levithyroxine.
    But even after keeping to a strict gluten free diet I found I was still getting the tell tale stomach symptoms.
    Then I spotted a website that suggested that you can cure coeliac. Yes it is drastic and eliminates so much however I have really enjoyed the benefits and have not been overly strict.
    I do therefore understand what it’s like to feel like you are missing out and it sometimes feels unfair. But when you summarise what you can eat you still have lots of choice and you will be the winner long term.
    Keep going and those sad moments will become fewer.
    Good luck


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