I have been contacted by a huge number of people seeking help, and though it took me a huge deal of courage to talk openly about it, I am hopeful that my story would inspire and give strength to many of you.
Mine isn’t a sob story, but a story of success! I am going back 14 years of my life, when I was 17 and back in college. My life had started falling apart. I had no energy, constant headaches, chronic sinusitis, totally wrecked up menstrual cycle and issues with my gut. I was absolutely clueless to what was going on. While everyone else was having a gloriously wicked life, I was busy being tired. I was on painkillers and other medications and the doctors had no objections prescribing those to me month after month. This wasn’t supposed to happen to someone who had been a sports person all her life. Being a swimmer of national repute, I was the most disciplined one could be with a good diet and lifestyle. My workout involved 8-12 kms of rigorous swimming workout daily (for 10 years), apart from going to the gym, ground exercises and running. And in a matter of few years all of it went down the drain.
Flash-forward a few more years, when I was 20, the issues only got worse. Brain fog, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, sleep troubles etc. It even started manifesting physically and I bloated like a balloon. My face puffed up, my eyes were in a perpetually sleepy looking state and I started losing a lot of hair. It was 2006 when I put on 20 kgs within a year, which was a green signal to get tested for Hypothyroidism. Voila! My tests came positive with a whooping TSH of 42 (normal range is less than 5 units)! I was also diagnosed with PCOS and Insulin resistance so severe that I was almost diabetic. I was only 20 and my world collapsed right in front of me. But at the same time, I had a sense of relief to have finally gotten the answers to my never-ending health concerns.
Then started heavy dose of medications including Thyroid Hormone, Insulin Sensitizing drugs and Birth Control Pills. Though it helped, I was not even close to being healthy. One instance when I was 21, and preparing for my final MBA thesis, I got so sick that I would sleep 20 hours a day for weeks. Those periods in my life were excruciatingly painful and terrifying. My life had become completely dependent on medications. Time and again I needed sleeping pills for Insomnia, inhaler for Asthma, anti-allergents for Allergies, antibiotics for Sinusitis, thyroid medication for Hypothyroidism, birth control pills for PCOS and Glucophage for Insulin Resistance.
After finishing my Masters, I was determined to give modeling a shot alongside my job, but by then, these issues had left me so overweight, that sadly I had to give up on that dream. I started working in the Finance Industry and eventually got married to the love of my life. With the support of my husband, I began my journey to heal. While I was crippled with fatigue I would do all the research I could. I read books, made notes and followed different dietary protocols. I connected with people around the world with similar issues to know what benefited them and then incorporated that in my routine. I joined many Facebook communities, Yahoo Groups and online forums to keep myself updated with all the latest research on these issuesI began healing and losing weight and even started modeling! Though my entry was later than I had planned for, I couldn’t be happier. I did get the opportunity to work with some of the international brands like Panasonic, Sony, Mc Donald’s, True Religion Jeans, Fashion TV, Casio etc
So there is a solution after all, but not in conventional medicine. It took me a while to figure out that there is only so much conventional medicine can do. Therefore, we need to resort to alternative methods of healing. While conventional medicines can mask some symptoms, they can never treat the root cause.
Hypothyroidism in majority of cases is autoimmune in nature, which implies your body is attacking your own thyroid. If this self-destruction is not stopped it would only progress and manifest in many more health issues and other autoimmune diseases. Balancing your immunity and making sure you don’t get an immune attack flare up would put your condition into remission. To do this is tricky and needs an enormous amount of dedication and discipline, the good news is that you can still do it! To sustain our good health is an ongoing process. I had a massive flare up once again last year in 2015. With my work, social commitments and move to a new country my health went for a complete toss. The effects were so devastating that I was crippled with fatigue, joint pains, severe allergies and low-grade fever for months! After some basic blood works and tests including that for Arthritis and Sleep Apnea, doctors could not fix me and diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The solution was Anti Depressants, Muscle Relaxants, Pain Killers and Fever Medicines. Hence, started another round of healing and research.
Though it took me a year to get back into remission, I feel better than ever. Every day when I wake up, I can’t be more thankful for this. Though to give a complete explanation of all my dietary and lifestyle changes in this post would be difficult, I’m happy to share some of them in brief :.’
- I started to follow a diet consisting of anti-inflammatory foods to heal the body and gut.
- I had to go Gluten Free, Grain Free, Alcohol Free and Sugar Free with minimal amount of dairy, loads of supplements (prescribed by a specialist in this area), coconut oil, soups and bone broths.
- I also made sure to exercise as much as I could, ranging from simple form of yoga to more intensive HIIT workouts
Why I made these changes has a thorough scientific explanation, which I would talk about in my later posts. Please check out this link on my blog for some things my diet consisted off, which also worked as a catalyst for my weight loss.
While this condition did suck the life out of me, it did end up giving me a new perspective in life. I realized what are the important things in life and how not to take them for granted. There is nothing more you need other than good health and good relationships and I am thankful for them each day.
My heart goes out to all of you who are suffering from these conditions. It is an invisible illness and it is difficult to get emotional support from people around us. We are termed as lazy or hypochondriacs, while the truth is far from it. I can promise that all of you can heal yourself and get your condition into remission. You just have to fight hard and not give up.
Only you alone can rewrite your destiny!