I have struggled with my health since my kids were born. 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 get my Hashimoto’s Disease diagnosis.
Hashis is an auto-immune condition which has been described as the ‘canary in a coal mine’, because it often signals deeper problems. 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 and mercury poisoning, as well as with chronic Lyme disease.
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 auto-immune diseases and chronic illness, and I don’t want others to suffer if it can be avoided. I have had support from so many extraordinary 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.