I have struggled with my health since my kids were born nearly 15 years ago. After six or seven years of rapidly declining health, I started aggressively looking for medical guidance, but it took me three years and fifteen doctors to finally learn that I had Hashimoto’s Disease – my first diagnosis of many.
Hashis is an auto-immune condition which has been described as the ‘canary in a coal mine’, because it often signals more serious underlying health issues. It also tends to comes with a constellation of other issues – that was certainly the case for me. In the past few years, I’ve diagnosed with lead, mercury, and silver poisoning, as well as with chronic Lyme disease and multiple co-infections.
Unfortunately, since the Covid pandemic, I’ve had a further downturn in my health. All my immediate family members have had Covid at least once, but if I’ve had it I’ve been almost completely asymptomatic. Since my second vaccine my life just fell apart. I had to take three months off from work, and a year later, I’m stable but still not well. There seem to be some common experiences for those of us with chronic health issues and exposure to Covid. So after loads of medical research and input from patient communities, I am starting to feel hopeful that I may finally have a diagnosis. If I have what I suspect, it’s called Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). Apparently there is growing HCP awareness about it, even in the traditional medical communities. It is not curable, but there is some potential for making the symptoms more manageable over time.
Needless to say, getting my life back continues to be a multi-year effort. I have chronicled my experiences here since I was first diagnosed. Here is a quote from my first blog post about why:
One of the reasons I felt particularly compelled to make my experience public is because an estimated 75% of those with autoimmune conditions are women, and 90% of those diagnosed with Hashimoto’s are women. And 45% of women who approach doctors describing symptoms like mine are handled dismissively, and told that what they’re experiencing is in their heads, or that their fatigue is the reality of being a working mom. As a result, as many as 60% of people suffering are undiagnosed.
My perspective on heavy metal poisoning is similar; many dentists still use amalgam (silver) fillings, and they are making people sick. Most dentists don’t even realize – or perhaps they won’t admit it for fear of being sued. While I am still navigating my treatment options for Lyme, the number of ineffectual or mis-informed (or even dangerous) treatment programs out there is truly astounding.
Ultimately, I feel like the treatments for these chronic conditions are on the fringes of healthcare as we know it today. There is research that shows is takes 17 years for doctors to exhibit new diagnosis and prescribing patterns. There are a growing number of people contending with autoimmune diseases and chronic illness, and I don’t want others to suffer if it can be avoided. I have had support from so many extraordinarily patient communities over the years, and these posts are my way of giving back. Although it often feels like I am revealing too much on the personal front, I share my experiences with the hope that others will gain the understanding and the information they need to advocate for their own path to wellness.
- Chelation Chronicles – 1H 2021 - This blog post is focused on my chronic health issues. The series was initially focused on learning to detox heavy metals using the Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) protocol, which I have been using to detox from mercury, lead, and silver poisoning. You can read about how I found ACC and chose to pursue it in […]
- Chelation Chronicles – 1H 2020 - I’ve been fighting a host of chronic health issues for 10+years now. I have come to believe that heavy metal poisoning is likely the root cause. In this post, you can learn more about my journey with low-dose chelation on the Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) protocol. *This is the fifth post in the series.*
- Third hair test - This blog post is focused on my chronic health issues, specifically, my efforts to detox heavy metals using the Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) protocol. You can read about how I found ACC and chose to pursue it in this post. For the past several years I have been writing Chelation Chronicles posts, where I am documenting the ups and downs I’m experiencing as I undertake detox from lead, mercury, and silver poisoning. This is an off-cycle post regarding my third hair test.
- Celebrating Round 100 - In this blog post, I provide an overview of my chronic health issues, and reflect on the ways that the Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) protocol has radically changed my life for the better over the past two years. It is part of an ongoing series related to my chronic health issues.
- Chelation Chronicles – 2H 2019 - I’ve been fighting a host of chronic health issues for 10+years now. I have come to believe that heavy metal poisoning is likely the root cause. In this post, you can learn more about my journey with low-dose chelation on the Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) protocol. *This is the fourth post in a series.*
- Chelation Chronicles – 1H 2019 - I’ve been fighting a host of chronic health issues for 10+years now. I have come to believe that heavy metal poisoning is likely the root cause. In this post, you can learn more about my journey with low-dose chelation on the Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) protocol. *This is the third post in a series.*
- Chelation Chronicles – 2H 2018 - I’ve been fighting a host of chronic health issues for 10+years now. I have come to believe that heavy metal poisoning is likely the root cause. In this post, you can learn more about my journey with low-dose chelation on the Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) protocol. *This is the second post in a series.*
- Interview with Boost Health - Hashi & Me is a series of stories published by Boost Health for people with Hashimoto’s told by people with Hashimoto’s and other thyroid problems. In each piece, one of us will share our experience with Hashimoto’s, our personal findings and tips. We believe one person’s experience can be useful for others, especially newly diagnosed people. This week meet Natalie, leader of a User Experience team for a consulting company in Chicago.
- Why bother? - Today when I was surfing patient communities, I found this post by an academic named Todd Kaneko. My health-related blog posts are the most well-trafficked ones on this site, and this poem reminds me to continue to make myself vulnerable by sharing my health experiences here. I am currently working on a long (multi-month) blog […]
- Chelation Chronicles – 1H 2018 - In this post, I describe my planning for and beginning the Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) protocol. These months have included lots of ups and downs - mostly downs, unfortunately - including a Chronic Lyme diagnosis, and the realization that I passed my heavy metal poisoning to both kids in utero. On the upside, I’ve managed to get myself into a routine with ACC, and we’re chelating the kids now too. I hope I’ll have more good news than bad to share the next time I write.
- Andy Cutler Chelation (ACC) - This blog post is a follow up to one I wrote about a year ago called It’s Not Just Flint, in which I started to address my lead and mercury poisoning. Although much of what I learned still holds true, I’ve learned a lot more since then. In this post, I’ll be mostly focused on […]
- I still have Hashimotos - Just over three years ago, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune condition called Hashimoto’s Disease. I was in pretty bad shape at the time. I knew my mental acuity was deteriorating rapidly, I was perpetually exhausted, and I gained weight no matter what I did about food and exercise. It was finally with a referral from my […]
- It’s not just Flint - Every day I read more news about toxins in our environment, and the growing body of research that makes the connection between these (largely unregulated) chemicals and a variety of insidious health conditions. I feel like Americans generally don’t understand the seriousness of the situation, and how much corporations affect our environment and ultimately our […]
- I have Hashimoto’s - This post is the first in an ongoing series; view more recent related posts. I had intended to write a post for Thyroid Awareness month (which was in January). I thought it would be important to share my experience, with the hope that others would get the help they needed way sooner that I did. But, […]
- Ingrained - The journey to a gluten-free diet has been an incredible learning experience for me in the months since I wrote about Wheat Belly. In fact, the more I’ve read, the more I am amazed (and horrified!) at all the marketing and messaging from our government and the food industry about how we should eat … […]
- Wheat Belly - I finished the book Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis earlier this week, and I recommend it! But before I summarize what the parts I found the most compelling, let me give you a little background about how I found myself reading in the first place … We introduced oat cereal to our oldest son shortly after […]