Kimberly shares her story about her struggles with Hashimoto’s, a thyroid autoimmune disease and her healing journey about how she reversed Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (a thyroid autoimmune) disease naturally.
If someone would have told me 10 years ago that I would be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease and that it would render me incapable of losing weight despite crazy amounts of exercise and diet, zero libido, extreme fatigue and mental fogginess to the point of utter despair, I would have shaken my head in disbelief and said “definitely not me, I am too fit and healthy for that. I would never let that happen to me.”
At 30 years old I began to feel “not right.” As a personal trainer, I thought my life was pretty healthy. I followed a very rigorous meal plan day in and day out of chicken breast, egg whites, oatmeal and brown rice. My exercise program was intense and included CrossFit, running, weights and muay thai kickboxing. I was very fit with a body fat hovering around 11% at any given time without much effort. Maintaining abs year round was easy-breezy.
I loved to drink red wine, but outside of that my nutritional intake was impeccable (or so I thought). My breakfast was oatmeal and egg whites every morning, followed by an additional 5-6 small meals throughout the day consisting mainly of brown rice, sweet potatoes, chicken, turkey, egg whites, and some vegetables. Occasionally, I would have a handful of almonds. I ate the same exact foods every single day; a practice that had stuck with me for many years after my days as a figure competitor ended.
What I first started to notice was difficulty recovering from workouts. My mindset was to just “work through the pain and exhaustion.” I didn’t reduce my exercise intensity or frequency. At the time I started to feel “not good,” I was pushing my body really HARD. I’d get up early, down a couple of cups of coffee and run six miles every single day. Then, I’d go to work where I’d train clients at my gym for 10-12 hours. During my lunch break, I’d consume more coffee and lift weights. At night to relax, I would have 2-3 glasses of red wine.
I was becoming more and more fatigued and barely had the energy to workout. I wasn’t recovering from my workouts, had severe PMS symptoms, and I was putting on weight! No matter what I did, nothing seemed to work or change. I was so frustrated. I experienced terrible headaches and lethargy most of the day after 10 AM.
I had severe anxiety and panic attacks that would render me helplessly hysterical, and I felt so depressed. It got to the point where I was so tired and exhausted all the time that I had to cancel my personal training clients so I could go home and rest. It became so bad that my doctor put me on lorazepam, an anti-anxiety drug.
I was feeling out-of-control, crazy and sick. I had major brain fog, constipation and diarrhea, bloating, swelling, weight gain, hair loss, no libido, belly fat, apathy, aches and pains, fatigue, insomnia, hot and cold body temperature, crying attacks, and more!
Running became impossible and my workouts were really suffering. Not only that, I was so exhausted I couldn’t even train my clients. This craziness continued for 4 years.
I decided to seek the help of a naturopathic doctor, and worked with him for about two years from age 32-34. He told me I was hypothyroid. I was actually relieved! There was something medically wrong with me and I could take a pill, feel better, and return to my routine and fit physique. Week after week, the doctor increased my thyroid dose to where I was eventually taking 200mg of thyroid medication daily. He also prescribed progesterone and weekly testosterone shots. He assured me that once my thyroid and other hormone levels were in the optimal range, I would look and feel better. After months of taking the hormones, he re-tested my hormones levels and said my levels did not change so he was going to put me on cortisol tablets. That made me feel even worse! He then suggested a “hormone reset” by taking a few cycles of hCG, an extremely low calorie diet that also involves injections of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). That sent me into a downward spiral even more.
This madness was not only affecting my health and outlook on life, it was negatively impacting my career and more importantly my marriage. So, I decided to see a new doctor. Her diagnosis was Hashimoto’s, a thyroid autoimmune disorder and a prescription of thyroid hormones, liothyronine and levothyroxine. Three weeks later, she prescribed progesterone and testosterone. That is when I reached out to my uncle who is one of the top leading internists on the East coast, and he concurred with both doctors, agreeing to the hormone treatment and also suggested an anti-depressant! I was beyond myself!
In July, 2014 at the age of 34, Paula Owens was referred to me. Upon talking with her, I immediately felt a sense of relief. She was so knowledgeable and helped so many others reverse Hashimoto’s disease. She suggested I fill out the intake forms and that we schedule a Consultation. She also suggested detailed blood work, a comprehensive stool test and toxic heavy metal test.
The blood chemistry analysis was astonishingly insightful revealing so much. I had several nutrient deficiencies, hormone imbalances, increased thyroid antibodies pointing to Hashimoto’s disease, and digestive problems. Then, the stool test results came in showing that I had no healthy gut flora, tons of inflammation, digestion and absorption problems, and two infections: yeast and Candida overgrowth.
I followed Paula’s 12-week gut healing program that was personally designed for me based on my stool test results to get rid of the infections. The transformation I experienced during this 12 week process was absolutely life changing for me on so many levels.
Paula educated me on the importance of switching to organic foods, and things I could easily do to reduce my daily exposure to toxins and poisonous chemicals. Over the months, we addressed my stress levels, my mindset and dug up some deeper mental and emotional issues that I knew deep down needed healing.
I swapped out all of the food in my home for 100% organic foods, and only grass-fed and pasture-raised meats. I introduced tons of health fats into my diet too. I got rid of the artificial sweeteners, OTC anti-inflammatory drugs, antacids, and foods that I thought were healthy, but were actually contributing to my hormone imbalances, anxiety and inflammation. Paula taught me how to truly nourish my body using real food as medicine instead of focusing on calories and deprivation. I couldn’t believe how much of a difference the food alone made.
Once we addressed my gut health and the yeast and Candida infections, she ran a heavy metal toxicity test. The toxic metal test results revealed high levels mercury, barium, cesium and thallium so we started a process to slowly rid my body of the toxic metals.
During my intensive 18 months of working with Paula, I got rid of the infections and toxic heavy metals, reduced inflammation, rebuilt my digestive system, restored my adrenals, healed my metabolism, balanced all of my hormones, regained deep and restful sleep, and took supplements and nutrients to support my body’s needs. My thyroid antibodies are no longer elevated, and all of the symptoms I once had of Hashimoto’s disease have completely disappeared.
Paula also taught me how to exercise smarter. She helped to change my black and white thinking when it came to my training and nutrition, and taught me how to find balance in life and set healthy boundaries. The anxiety and depression I once experience are non-existent now. I no longer have obsessive thoughts or behaviors. I’ve reduced all of my stress to basically none.
Today, 18 months since working with Paula and following her program, the health coaching sessions and lifestyle recommendations, I have zero symptoms of Hashimoto’s and take no hormones or medications whatsoever!!!
I wake up feeling energized, well rested and vibrant every single day. I feel fit and beautiful. I am in control of my health and my body, and it feels good!
I have incorporated what I have learned from working with Paula into my own personal training business as well. I no longer coach my clients the way I used to. Instead, their overall wellness is a priority versus short-term, quick-fix temporary weight loss results.
I owe my newly found health and happiness to Paula. I am so grateful for the ongoing education she provides. Words are hard to describe what Paula has done for my mental, emotional and physical health. I have literally experienced a major shift and have become a completely different person through the process of working with Paula. Every aspect of my life has changed.
Paula is unlike ANY health practitioner that I have ever encountered. Her attention to detail is excruciating, her knowledge is so vast and her approach is unrelenting. Once you climb on board with her, you are at the mercy of her process and it’s not easy. However, through the process I found myself and all of the answers that I was seeking. Through my coaching sessions with her, I met my biggest challenges head on. She guided me to take an honest look at any and all unhealthy behaviors and habits that accumulated over the years and contributed to my health problems and the onset of Hashimoto’s. She taught me how to live a happy life, balance my hormones naturally, completely reversed Hashimoto’s and my autoimmune symptoms, and have a healthy relationship with myself physically, emotionally and spiritually…a 360° holistic and integrative wellness approach. To that, I am forever grateful for Paula.