#2 Hashi & Me: meet Patricia

Hashi & Me is a series of stories for people with Hashimoto’s told by people with Hashimoto’s. 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 to newly diagnosed people.

This week meet Patricia, Service Designer in Berlin.

How and when did you discover you had Hashimoto’s? Tell us your story:

Hello! I’m Patricia and working in a Design Agency as a Service Designer — creating holistic concepts and developing full service design strategies that help improve customer experience. Originally I’m from Switzerland, but four and a half years ago, I moved to Berlin.

Even back in Switzerland, before I moved to Berlin, I had years of trouble with my gut. Nobody had an answer. I walked from doctor to doctor. Then I started to feel very tired, needed a lot of sleep, put on weight without any reasons, got really dry skin and other symptoms, which I already displayed. After a while, a doctor diagnosed hypothyroidism — so I had to take hormones for around 2 years. Then the TSH Value was checked again and all was good, so I didn’t have to take hormones anymore.

Nobody had an answer. I walked from doctor to doctor.

However, after another year and a half in Berlin, I started to feel very tired, couldn’t focus and often had a foggy brain, which meant I had to write down everything as I could not trust my brain anymore. I’ve been sick every 6–8 weeks, can’t really sleep and now and then, get heart palpitations. Normally I’m a very energized person, so I really couldn’t handle this condition. I started again to run from doctor to doctor, but nobody had an answer and I had the feeling, that this situation can’t be normal. I’m still young. One doctor, who is also a naturopath, sent me to an immunologist, who diagnosed Hashimoto. I’ve never heard of it before and was shocked initially because they didn’t tell me what I needed to do to treat these debilitating symptoms. My father told me — “see it as a chance — it’s a warning signal from the body to slow down a bit and maybe change the lifestyle”. Of course I didn’t want to hear this in the beginning — I’m still very young and want to live. But I started to read a lot about it and so I’ve seen more and more connections and recognize that I don’t have to live with these symptoms, as a lot of doctors told me: “Just take the hormones — that’s all you can do”. NO!

Today I see a big connection between my gut problems and Hashimoto — but nobody ever told me before. Most of the time I feel really good, but there are moments where the symptoms come back in a thyroid relapse.

A lot of doctors told me: “Just take the hormones — that’s all you can do”. NO!

What did you learn since? Do you have some tips or findings to share with other Hashimoto’s people?

I think everybody needs to find out, what his/her body needs. But first of all don’t believe the argument “just take hormones” and all will be good or you can’t do anything else. Try to get to know your body as well as possible.

  • Check you blood values in detail (Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Selen, Magnesium, Iron etc.)
  • Look for a person who works holistically (doctor, homeopath, osteopath, acupuncturist)
  • Check your digestion and what you can eat and what not (stop eating gluten- and soy products — this helped me the most)
  • Plan enough ‘breaks’ to calm down and relax; this helps you to feel your body better
I think everybody needs to find out, what his/her body needs. But first of all don’t believe the argument “just take hormones” and all will be good or you can’t do anything else. Try to get to know your body as well as possible.

How does your day with Hashimoto’s look like?

After getting up and taking my hormones, I try to do a short meditation (that’s a new goal…and works at the moment quite well), having a shower, drinking a fresh smoothie with MCT-Oil, Ashwagandapulver and fresh fruits. Then I go to work and depending on my energy level, I meet friends in the evening, maybe go to a concert — I try to bring some balance to my working life.

The morning ritual has changed a lot — before I would get up and 10 minutes later I would run out of my flat to catch the train.

But besides that my day is pretty much the same as before, beside thinking about taking all the pills (L-Thyroxin, Zink, Selen etc.). And I try to get more little breaks during a week — sometimes it works, sometime not. But my body shows me immediately, if it is too much.

What was the biggest struggle and biggest victory your experienced?

The very beginning was a big struggle, because I felt like my body wanted to limit me. So I fought more against it; did even more with my time, both work and events. When the symptoms got worse and I had several thyroid relapses, my doctor sent me to a Rehab — time to think about everything and time to research about the disease. This helped me a lot, understanding the connections. You really need to help yourself.

But when I am sick I still get very anxious about having a new relapse — from sleeplessness, heart palpitation, foggy brain, no energy-level.

My victories are first hand to have better thyroid values than before, even when my doctor didn’t want to believe it and I trusted myself more, that I can live normally with my disease, when I consider some things.

My victories are first hand to have better thyroid values than before, even when my doctor didn’t want to believe it and I trusted myself more, that I can live normally with my disease, when I consider some things.

What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed to ease their first steps with Hashimoto’s?

Don’t hate your body for being sick — try to see it as a chance to listen to your body better. I know how hard it is in the beginning and it needs a lot of passion and commitment.

Check your blood values, to see what you need to fill up and try not to eat any gluten till you know which are your intolerances.

If you make some small life changes — you can live a normal life.

Don’t hate your body for being sick — try to see it as a chance to listen to your body better. I know how hard it is in the beginning and it needs a lot of passion and commitment.
If you make some small life changes — you can live a normal life.

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More from Patricia: www.linkedin.com/in/patriciahegglin & www.instagram.com/patsydne

More from Boost: http://www.boosthealthapp.com — https://www.facebook.com/Hashibot — www.instagram.com/boosthealthapp & @Hashiboto_Boost

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We are looking for more people with Hashimoto’s to interview for our “Hashi & Me” series. If you’re interested, write us at hello@boosthealthapp.com or Tweet at us @Hashiboto_Boost. ;-)