Bedridden by Hashimoto’s, I Turned to Food for Healing

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Throughout my childhood, I suffered from psoriasis, various skin issues, extreme fatigue, digestive distress, migraines, mood swings, thinning hair, weak nails, and had trouble regulating my body temperature. I saw multiple doctors before I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition, in my teens. I was put on synthetic thyroid and estrogen hormones to manage my condition. While some of the symptoms were reduced, my skin and digestive issues became much worse.

They all told me food was not a factor

My general practitioner, my endocrinologist, and my dermatologist all continued to tell me food was not and could not be a factor–which was a relief. I wanted to believe them because food was my life. My parents owned restaurants, and I was passionate about cooking and wanted a career in food.  Little did I know then how I could use food to transform myself AND be an inspiration to others!

The years passed – I went on to fulfill my dreams of going to culinary school, then baking/pastry school, and then obtained my business degree. Yet, I continued to be plagued by my health issues. I saw various western trained doctors over the years, took medications, used creams – yet saw no improvement, and more often than not, my symptoms worsened.

Hit rock bottom, and started a strict elimination diet

After a difficult relationship ended, during which I had also gained about 40 pounds and had increasingly painful symptoms. I got so sick that I was forced to spend weeks in bed, and was having increasingly painful symptoms. Finally, a very good friend covered the cost for me to see an acupuncturist for six months, four times per week. I was put on a very strict elimination diet and drank 4oz of a horribly bitter tonic after every meal. Within two weeks, I saw results that exceeded my wildest dreams!

Getting better, reducing meds

As the six month mark approached, I noticed my nails getting stronger, my hair getting thicker, skin issues reducing, no headaches, lost all the accumulated weight, and had increased energy. I was able to reintroduce many foods, reduce my thyroid dosage, and eliminate my estrogen dosage. More importantly, I understood that I would be making bigger changes in my view of food and food allergies.

Finding my life’s purpose

Since then, I have received an integrative nutrition health coaching certificate and expanded my knowledge of food as healing. I have been able to combine this newfound knowledge with my culinary education and be a coach to others.

I LOVE to eat avocados, pastured bison, beets (raw, steamed, roasted, fermented!), blueberries, coconut butter, watermelon, dry tart cherries, seaweed, and wild halibut. I AVOID gluten, soy (unless fermented), legumes/peanuts, nightshades, factory-farmed meats, and I avoid brassicas when having flare-ups

It is my life’s purpose to be an example and inspiration to others who are suffering. My health journey is an ongoing adventure and now I can enjoy the ride!

Some of my favorite recipes are:

5-Ingredient Brain Boosting Avocado Coconut Milk Shake

Healing Turmeric, Winter Vegetable and Bison Stew

DIY: Easy Fermented Cauliflower

Ginger Lime Chicken Wings

Daikon and Watermelon Radish Salad with Sesame-Yuzu Vinaigrette

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4 thoughts on “Bedridden by Hashimoto’s, I Turned to Food for Healing

  1. Julia Winter

    Hillary you’re a hero!!! Thank you for sharing your story– your perspective on life is inspiring. How do you eat now to manage your condition?

    Reply
    1. hillary bergh

      hi Julia~ I continue to enjoy the same foods that provided the biggest benefit to me: avocado, coconut, grass fed meat, root veggies, mushrooms, seaweed, and berries. Happily, I’ve been able to reintroduce eggs and nuts/seeds so that has provided a lot more variety! Sorry for the delayed reply, I didn’t get a notification you had commented. Feel free to reach me directly hillarybergh at gmail dot com.

      Reply
    1. hillary bergh

      hi K’lyn~ it is a custom blend of herbs, mushrooms, and sometimes cicadas from my acupuncturist… the blend evolved over the years as we focused on each specific ailment… I now only drink it when I’m having a flare-up or get accidentally exposed to gluten or nightshades… a pic of one of the early blends is attached.

      Reply

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