My Personal Battles with Stress

February 2, 2015 in Categories: , , by

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This has been a hard post to write.  It has always been important to me to be honest with you about my own challenges and successes, but when things aren’t going well, it’s hard to strike a balance between sharing my struggles and not sounding like a whiny ungrateful brat.

I’m actually doing so much (much, much) better now than I was, which I think allows me to write this post in a more mature and reflective way. I have shared most of this as bits and pieces in my newsletters and previous posts, but it’s time for a good long update.  In fact, it’s passed time.

Book Twins-ssmThe truth is that the last year and a half have been super tough for me healthwise.  I have really struggled with both my physical and emotional health as the result of high stress.  Primarily, my complaints have been gaining weight, fatigue, joint pain and some tendonitis, mild depression, and active lichen planus lesions. And the source of of those health problems has been the stress of writing (illustrating and photographing) and publishing two books back-to-back, both bestsellers and award-winning; continuing to be active on social media;  co-hosting a top-rated podcast every week; traveling for book signings, conferences and seminars; doing interviews and online conferences; launching a consulting company and generally running a small business (this blog); and working on a super secret super huge project (more on that below)–all while also trying to be an engaged mother, living far away from family (and thus help and support), and with a husband who has his own high-powered career to worry about.   That’s why it was so hard to talk about my health struggles:  because the reason for them is this amazing opportunity and privilege to be a mentor and educator for millions of people.

It’s hard to be honest about what this spectacular career has done to my health while still emphasizing just how much I appreciate all of it.  And I really do.  And while it’s definitely been a learning experience, I don’t regret a moment of it.

So, today I’m playing catch-up a little.  I’ve had the tendency to downplay my health struggles, while also attempting to continue to share them.  It’s been a hard balance to strike.  So, today, I want to be honest with you about how doing all the things I’m doing has affected me.  I often get asked “how do you do it all?” and the short answer is “I can’t.”.

The reason for this post is that it was brought to my attention that my recent diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis has allowed some people to doubt the therapeutic potential of the autoimmune protocol and the recommendations in The Paleo Approach.  It makes me so angry that my philosophy on sharing with you that I’m a real person, who lives a fairly average life, who has real and common challenges to overcome, that wearing my heart on my sleeve and connecting with all of you, that this could undermine my credibility as a science writer or educator or mentor.  It scares me that my honesty gives naysayers more momentum to dissuade people from taking control of their health and seeing the kinds of amazing success that I’ve experienced (because despite my health struggles, I have been extremely successful managing my health with diet and lifestyle) and that hundreds of thousands of other people have experienced on the Paleo diet and the autoimmune protocol.

Most of the big bloggers/authors don’t share the ebb and flow of their own health battles with their fans.  It’s a marketing decision, because personal struggles can be seen as proof that even the most rigorously-proven diet and lifestyle recommendations are somehow faulty.  Someone who writes a weight loss book doesn’t want to confess to gaining 10 pounds even if the cause of it was something completely out of their control like injury or illness.  It’s the same with Paleo and Alternative Health bloggers. There’s a careful filter over what gets shared with you.

I am privileged to know what goes on behind the scenes, and it’s not my place to share personal information about other bloggers and authors with you.  But, I can generalize a few things.  Writing a book is one of the most strenuous and stressful tasks one can undertake.  Health issues/crashes/crises during or following publishing a book are extremely common.  And of course, I’m no exception.  In fact, between having an undiagnosed underlining autoimmune condition while writing two very big books back-to-back, I definitely was impacted on the more severe end of the spectrum (but far from the worst of everyone I know!).  My kind of health battles do not make me unique and certainly reflect the stress of a high-powered career rather than the validity of the autoimmune protocol.

Because health is not just about food.

I am going to quote myself, from page 144 in The Paleo Approach:  “If you do not manage stress, it will completely undermine all the other positive changes you make. ”   Yes, I wrote those insightful words about two years ago, just when my own stress level was kicked into high gear.  If fact, the importance of stress management is discussed in three chapters in The Paleo Approach and was summarized in this post from last weekAnd the irony is that stress has been my major obstacle to better health for almost 2 years.

I know it’s hard for people who have never written a book to understand the process.  Perhaps the easiest way to explain it is just the sheer amount of work it is. For 22 months straight, I worked 70-80-hour weeks, while trying my best to only work while my kids were at school or asleep.  And the first year, my youngest was home with me full-time.  During that time, I also traveled for conferences and seminars.  Once The Paleo Approach was published, I traveled for book signings two weekends a month.  Every trip took time away from the other tasks I had on my plate.  I had real, firm deadlines which meant late nights and skipping out on exercise to get more work done. I also had the pressure of “getting it right”:  writing books designed to guide people with chronic illness to regain their health is intensely psychologically stressful.  Being wrong could mean someone’s life.  So, there was a lot of double and triple checking, all of which I had to do myself due to the technical nature of The Paleo Approach.  I am definitely a perfectionist, but that’s a good thing to be when writing a book like this.

IMG_4893The detriments to my health crept up on me.  At first, my body seemed to tolerate the later bedtime, the lack of downtime in the evenings, fewer walks and yoga classes.  Sure, I was relying on caffeine in the morning more, and maybe I was a bit quicker to snap at a kid, but it seemed tolerable.  I kept this pace going for more than six months before the effects started to accumulate.

And then it started to get to me.  My weight started creeping up in May/June 2013.  I was needing more caffeine in the morning to get me going but enjoying these wonderful second winds at night (terrible indicator of adrenal and hormonal health, but handy for working).  I started yelling.  When I’d realize that I was yelling for no good reason, I’d start crying.  There was a lot of strain on my marriage.  My kids still talk about the time that I sat in my youngest daughter’s bed and just cried and hugged them and apologized over and over again through blubbering sobs for an hour.

IMG_6698I hit this point where any additional stress just threw me over the ledge.  If I burned the broccoli (which started happening more and more frequently), I’d either start yelling while throwing the pot into the sink, or I’d sink to the floor and cry, feeling powerless.  I had frequent arguments with my husband, and there was lots of “when this [expletive deleted] book is done” talk.

And yet, I always felt like I was hanging on, albeit by a thread… I felt like I was handling the stress and even though things were tough, it was okay.  I was mostly just living in denial.  Survival mode.

There were times where things were a bit better.  When I first got my treadmill desk, I felt so much better.  When summer hit, and I was outside more, that boosted my mood.  When my manuscript first went to the editor, I had a much-needed break while I waited for her feedback.  But with all the ups and downs, each down was a little more than each up.

And then, we hit a crisis point in June 2013:  my publisher and I realized that the book that I was writing was too big to bind.  The original all-in-one book that I had intended on writing needed to be turned into The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook.  And, we discovered that there was no way we’d meet the deadlines so the publication date was pushed back.  It was a PR nightmare.  Fans who followed me closely were excited to be getting a huge sciency guidebook.  Many, many people felt ripped off that they would have to wait for the recipes.  I was inundated with requests for free books from people who pre-ordered before the project became two books.  Many others were just confused.   The book stayed in the Amazon cookbook categories (The Paleo Approach is still listed as a cookbook on Amazon, which my publisher and I have no ability to change!), and confused even more people once it was released.

And right on its heels we hit a second crisis point:  we couldn’t find a medical illustrator who could do the illustrations I wanted for The Paleo Approach.  The only solution was for me to do them myself.  This would mean a further delay in publication, another PR challenge, and a whole lot more work for me.  I didn’t have an assistant until this point:  just when I was starting in on the over 40 technical illustrations that I did for The Paleo Approach while also editing the 250,000 word manuscript (a tedious job even with a professional editor).  Given that I now have 4 employees, it’s hard for me to even remember back then, when I was working so much on the book, trying to keep up with blog posts, replying to all the blog comments, every Facebook wall post, emails from fans, and generally trying to continue to grow my social media presence.  Worst, all the illustrating meant hours and hours of work that could only be done sitting down.  My treadmill desk started gathering dust, as did my workout clothes.

This was when the weight gain became noticeable.  I was having more sugar cravings, and found myself eating in the evenings to keep myself awake while I worked.  I couldn’t take time off.  Not even a single day off.  If I took an evening off to go to bed early or spend some time with my husband, then I’d pay for it with an even longer and more stressful To Do list the next day.  Every spare minute was spent working.  By the last couple months of getting The Paleo Approach ready to be printed, I was nearly completely sedentary and getting several hours less sleep every single night than what I needed.  I relied on caffeine and huge amounts of fruit and Paleo-friendly treats to keep me going.  I was starting to experience joint pain that would come and go.  My moods were erratic.  And I’d gained 15 pounds.

IMG_1461I still felt like I was surviving.  If you asked me how it was going, I’d say “tough, but the light is at the end of the tunnel”.  I believe that my clean nutrient-dense diet is actually what kept the wheels on the cart.  I managed all this without any medications or supplements.  Plus, I found the work that I was doing incredibly rewarding.  It felt like I had finally figured out what I am meant to do.  I was loving how The Paleo Approach was coming together and that kept me going.  I was enjoying beginning to being viewed as a thought-leader in the Paleo community.   My talk at the Ancestral Health Symposium in August 2013 got so much attention, and established me as an important voice in the community.  It felt good to be successful.  It felt good to make a difference in people’s lives.

IMG_6805The morning after The Paleo Approach went to the printer in early December 2013, I woke up with pneumonia.  I had infection after infection for the next 6 weeks.  I was exhausted and slept all the time.  I hired a second assistant to help share the burden of maintaining the blog and social media sites.  We delayed the release of The Paleo Approach Cookbook so that I could recover for a while before diving into finishing it.  I focused on activity, got back to some yoga classes and started taking strength classes with my husband.  And I put more effort into quality time with my kids.  I had until this point thought that once I was sleeping and more active, my health would bounce back.  I figured my super nutrient-dense diet would continue to protect me.   But my health didn’t bounce back.  And that was scary.

A third-degree burn which first got infected and then had me suffering a systemic allergic reaction to the antibiotics didn’t help either.  There’s absolutely no scar now, but it’s hard to forget the drama of those few months in early 2014.  Broad-spectrum antibiotics and prednisone were not what my body needed to heal.

IMG_3469And then an amazing thing happened:  I found out about Dr. Lynn Flowers, a local functional medicine MD with a passion for Paleo.  We did a bunch of testing and found out that I had complete adrenal burnout and hormone imbalances (see this post on why those go together).  I had high markers of inflammation.  I started on supplements, and felt better immediately.  In fact, I’m absolutely certain that working with Dr. Flowers is what kept me together while I finished The Paleo Approach Cookbook.

At this point, I also started traveling more.  Traveling more meant more risky meals in restaurants, including accidental nightshade, gluten and dairy exposures (all foods that really, really don’t work for me).  It meant jet lag, and late nights, and then more stressful weeks either preparing to travel or catching up from travel.  But I managed. Mostly.

IMG_6080I even started CrossFit in the Spring of 2014, which was a tremendous stress relief and seemed to give me more energy rather than take it away.  I saw myself gain strength, even if the scale didn’t budge, and my moods began to improve again.  Maybe at this point, the ups were bigger than the downs.

And then it was the last few stressful weeks of another book.  I finished The Paleo Approach Cookbook while traveling alone with my kids, getting ready for my brother’s wedding (my daughters and I were all in the wedding party so there were lots of responsibilities), and looking after my mother who was ill at the time.  If I thought the final weeks of finishing The Paleo Approach were rough, this was ten times worse.  My hair started falling out, which should have been a major clue that the stress was impacting my thyroid, but I blamed it on hormones.

IMG_5682But, I didn’t wake up the next day with pneumonia.  I held on.  In part, I held on because my diet was dialed in and I was more active than when I finished the first book.  And in part, I held on out of sheer willpower.  I went straight from sending The Paleo Approach Cookbook off to the printer to filming a television pilot.  In fact, I had been working on the pilot (I co-created and co-produced it, meaning I had my hands in every single aspect of the show) already for months.  Yes, as if publishing two books last year wasn’t enough, I took on this third monumental task.  I can’t tell you more about this right now, but there’s a big announcement coming in the very, very near future.

I took a 2-month break from traveling, after finishing The Paleo Approach Cookbook.  After finishing filming the pilot, I focused more time on looking after myself.  The news that The Paleo Approach made the New York Times Bestseller list was the best medicine.  But then the traveling started again.  My schedule started to fill up with interviews.   A documentary team came to my home and filmed our life for a couple of days.  It seemed like every single commitment that I had put off to finish writing the books arrived on my plate all at the same time.  I couldn’t keep up.

I hired again and added to my team at the beginning of November, but I should have done it much, much sooner.  The backlog of work was enormous, and my energy was plummeting.  And then, I went on a week-long book tour.  It was an amazing experience, but it was the straw that broke the camels back.

Upon returning from the book tour, my weight started creeping up again, but very disproportionately to how well I was eating.  I gained a further 10 pounds.  My energy was non-existent and my sleep quality was terrible.  I started experiencing severe joint pain, muscle fatigue, loss of coordination, and headaches.   My lichen planus lesions got much worse.  The mild numbness that I always had in my left ring finger turned into both arms going completely numb and tingly on a regular basis.  I again went from infection to infection to infection.  I was sleeping a ton, working far less, spending more time with my family, and not getting better.  And I was depressed.  When my husband asked when the last time I truly felt happy was, I answered “when I was last pregnant”.  That’s five and a half years ago.  I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s the answer I came up with at the time.

All this culminated a month ago in a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.  And I want to emphasize that while being a new diagnosis, this does not make it a new disease.  As I’ve already discussed in this post, I believe that I’ve had Hashi’s since before puberty.  I believe that it’s my primary autoimmune disease and the root of all of the health struggles I’ve had for the last 30 years.  And Hashi’s is notorious for being particularly sensitive to stress.

And this diagnosis makes all the symptoms I suffered in response to high stress make sense.  And it explains why even in periods of relative calm, I didn’t bounce back.  Thyroid hormones are immune regulators, so an underactive thyroid is a barrier to healing from immune and autoimmune diseases.  It explains why the weight didn’t fall off as soon as I had all my ducks in a row.  An underactive thyroid directly increases hunger and cravings while lowering metabolism.  But, I wrote two books and filmed a television show pilot and it meant that I gained 25 pounds and felt crummy for a couple of months.  If I didn’t have everything else dialed in, think how much worse it could have been.  While I still feel some anger that no doctor was able to diagnose me earlier in my life, I see the triumph in being able to keep my disease at bay until stress overwhelmed me.

DAWN1356smI don’t regret any of it.  I am glad I wrote The Paleo Approach and The Paleo Approach Cookbook.  They are amazing books that are helping hundreds of thousands of people and I’m so proud of them.  And I am super proud of the pilot.  I am so appreciative of the honor I have of being a thought-leader, educator, mentor, and role model.  But, I’m human.  And I was not proactive enough in managing my stress levels to prevent a major health crisis.  But, I also learned a whole heck of a lot.

The number one thing I learned:  I am strong.  Stronger than I ever knew.  And I’m resilient.  I’m stubborn as an ox, ambitious, and passionate about helping others.  I have more confidence now that I’ve ever had in my life.  I’ve learned how to be assertive.  And I’ve learned how to style my hair (yes, that makes this list).  I’m a type A personality and a perfectionist, but I’ve learned how to say “no”, to ask for help, and to accept “good enough”.  And I’ve learned that what I’m doing is important–so important that I have to figure out how to do it in a way that preserves my health.

This post isn’t about whining, but instead about sharing the dark side of an incredible journey that brought me to both an amazing place professionally but at the expense of my own health.  I want people to understand that it was extreme stress that caused my health issues, not any fault of my scientific knowledge.  And I want others to critically evaluate their own lives, and their own careers. I plan to demonstrate that you don’t have to give up a high-powered career in order to find work-life balance.  And that’s a worthy goal for everyone.

DAWN1173smcI also want to assure you of something.  I’ve learned some very valuable lessons.  I’m currently healing rapidly, feeling amazing, and losing weight (finally! I’ve lost 7 pounds already!  woot!).  My joint pain is nearly gone, my energy level has skyrocketed, my skin is looking great, and I truly feel happy again.  In part, I’m feeling fantastic because I’m finally taking disease-appropriate medication to support my thyroid function.  And in part, I’m feeling fantastic because I’ve expanded my team enough that I can really take care of myself.  I’m active, I’m sleeping a ton, I’m getting massages, laughing, playing with my kids, reading fiction, and spending quality time with my husband.   Really, I’m feeling fantastic because I’m finally following ALL of the recommendations in The Paleo Approach.  Sometimes the lifestyle recommendations are the hardest ones to actually implement.

And knowing that I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, and all the work I’m doing now to better nurture myself, is helping me to figure out how to make this sustainable.  I’m developing an entire toolkit of strategies to make this amazing career sustainable while continuing to improve my health, rather than the other way around. And I won’t be starting another book until I’ve got this part completely figured out.

I’ve seen more personal growth over the last two years than any other time in my life.  And I can honestly say, from this side, that it was worth it.  And the future is looking pretty darned sunny.


It is not your diet that is the problem nobody should judge that! Your body is tired and is screaming at you to take time out slow down and recharge! Am sure you will find a way to do that…. Please Join me on my closed group on Facebook and feel the love and support…. We are all in it together food is the smallest part xxxx Claire xxx

Thank you for sharing. It’s incredibly hard I think, especially for women (because we wear so many hats), to be transparent because we think it makes us weak, but in reality, it truly makes us stronger. It’s cathartic for us when we are and refreshing and reassuring for others to see. <3

thank you so much for being open and honest. I’m going to share this with a friend of mine thats just started out blogging xoxo

I am so glad to read that you are doing better. Thank you for sharing your journey. My takeaway is that your diet pretty much sustained you. I enjoy all your posts – I have Graves Disease, and either the meds to treat this or the illness itself, have left me with serious food sensitivities. I “hear” your comments about a holistic approach to health. Very hard to manage stress under difficult circumstances but will remember your post at those times. Thanks for your honesty.

I’m so grateful to you for sharing this. I’ve had a number of crashes from much smaller outputs – editing a friend’s book, working on a big fundraising event for my children’s school, putting on speaker series and events with my chapter of Holistic Moms – all the while quietly blogging without much momentum and never getting very far because either I had a huge setback in health, or I feared one. It’s very easy of me to be insanely jealous of you and others like Stacy Toth who seem to have risen above their health issues while I’m still here suffering if I go to bed after 10 p.m. Right after I met you at Take Back Your Health, I went to the big ICPA family wellness summit and saw Joe Dispenza and Karen Brody and other inspiring speakers, and I really got (as I had started to at TBYH) how huge the stress piece is. All my wishing for some kind of different reality was — has been for years — contributing to my health woes. I still have big aspirations for my website, for a gardening and nutrition revolution at my children’s school (well on the way!), for my novel, and much more. But I understand how important it is for me to walk my talk about mindfulness for my own health and to teach my children wellness strategies (beyond the kitchen) that will serve them well in times of stress so they don’t repeat the pattern. I want them to see me follow my passions and make a difference but also take care of myself and live truly sustainably. Thank you for sharing what this all has been like for you. I wish you every peace and joy and am grateful that you’ve let people in on your health journey.

Wow, you are bloody amazing!! I am about to embark on a huge number of things for my business this year (nothing compared to what you have achieved) and have been trying to work out how to balance that with my studies and 3 kids and still make sure I take care of myself.

Thank you for sharing and reminding me that I need to stay on top of my health (I too have Hashimoto’s) so that I am able to do all the things I want to do – but not at the risk of losing my health.

Dear Sarah,

I read this post in awe!

You are clearly passionate about the work you do, your family, Paleo and supporting other in using Paleo for their own health benefits. We often spend so much time on other more (perceived) “important” tasks we often neglect ourselves. Your body was telling you it needed a break, but your determination to deliver made you push on through.

Well done for recognising you need help, and growing your team.

I’ve got many lessons to take away from your story.

Thanks for sharing.

Lisa x

Its just nice to know you are human. I’m sorry it’s been a battle but for us readers, I find it so helpful to know that others, especially the experts, struggle because real life isn’t perfect or necessarily easy. Thank you for sharing your journey worts and all, it gives us the incentive to get back up and fight right along with you.

Thank you for sharing your struggles. We all have them. Thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom. We have all benefited greatly. I have 5 AI diseases (including Hasimotos) and no one knew what to do with me until my Dr recommended your protocol. Now, give yourself grace to be healthy and realize, we don’t expect as much from you as you think we do. Heal and be healthy!

I find your books and site very motivating and encouraging. There will always be haters and scoffers who find one shred of evidence to prove their points and say “see? Your approach doesn’t work!”. I value your honesty about sharing your struggles and challenges because it shows us that progression toward health is a process with hills and valleys. Some days or months will be good, others not so much. But that doesn’t mean we give up or write the Paleo low stress life style off as ineffective. Having setbacks is what makes everyone human. I hope your stress levels go down soon and you continue to be such a great source of information and support. Peace!

Thank you for your honesty. I hope you feel the tremendous love, appreciation, and support that I am sending your way. I know that I am not the only one sending these to you. Please take care of yourself. I would like to add that this honesty of yours has helped me personally.

Thank you for all you’ve done, Sarah! You have been a tremendous influence in my journey to regain health. I think it will be a life long battle for all of us that struggle with these issues. There will always be new challenges that come along to get us off track. And you are SO right that the lifestyle changes are the hardest. I’m, right now, trying to talk myself into going to yoga class when I don’t want to, lol. I’m glad to hear that you are getting back on track with your health and wish you all the best! Thank you again.

Everyone can understand stress- we all have stress. However, this lengthy post where you continually repeat how much you’ve done and actually say “you don’t understand how stressful it is to write a book”…does come off as haughty. We’re all proud of you, and really appreciate your work…very glad you’re feeling better. It’s great to be transparent…but give other bloggers some credit for designing their voice…because pointing out how much you’ve accomplished when people already know that…simply does put people off a bit.

Your strength and determination is Awesome !
Your story and Journey , the Roller Coaster of Stress and Stressors while you continue to push through, push on is very familiar! Reading all of your symptoms, exhausting your adrenals to keep going, the aches, pains, chronic fatigue, the feeling that I was ‘weak’ mentally so I had to push through, hormones out of whack, thyroid EXHAUSTED, and so much more…….It. Was Lyme and co-infections Causing ALL of it!

So many stories I hear about and meet people with an almost identical Roller Coaster Journey and because the many symptoms could and often were attributed to ‘something else’ Lyme never made it to the differntial diagnosis list.

Often getting some kind Some kind of Answer was a relief, to say the least, and a New protocol would be designed and followed. While there was physical relief for a time it seemed to cycle out after awhile.
I just cannot give up and urge those I hear about going through this to please Rule Out
Lyme’Disease and the Many Co-infections. Western Blot processed by IGenX.

Be Well, continue on your path, thank you for sharing Your Life with US !!!

Praying for You !
~ namaste ~

Thank you for sharing. The last year and a half have been incredibly stressful for me and I’m now having reactions to the very supplements that should be helping me. I’m frustrated, but it makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one. Your story is inspirational. Thank you!

Thank you for your honest post. I don’t have nearly the things on my plate as you do. But, I am 60 years old and always in my head. 🙂 I have started meditation recently and am about to complete the Whole30. Your post was really valuable as a reminder that I MUST take care of myself and my self imposed stress. Thank you!

Welcome to the Hashimoto’s club – not! I’m so sorry to read about your struggles but I want you to know that your book helped me live with this disease even though like you, I didn’t get diagnosed until later in life even though I’ve had it, forever. The Paleo Approach book taught me about how food affects your gut and how food can heal your gut through the proper choices. I had food allergy testing and realized that some of those foods were making me sicker! Your book taught me to include coconut oil and that alone lowered my cholesterol 100 points in 3 months! The doctors tried to put me on statins for years but I refused and your book taught me how to lower it naturally! I have recommended your book and purchased several copies for family and friends and all of them are healthier because of it. Your work matters and I’m so happy that you’ve been successful and are getting healthy despite the Hashimoto’s diagnosis. This disease can be managed and my remission (with your help) is proof that you will get there too. With your books and The Root Cause of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis by Izabella Wentz, you too can get to your healthiest best! Thank you for your dedication to your work, your followers and your heath. We will all cherish your work for many years to come because you’re just that smart. Hugs my Hashi’s sister! Wishing 2015 is one of your best years yet! Cheers!

Sarah, thanks for sharing. Many people who don’t want to follow a diet and exercise regimen will be quick to judge anyone who does if they become ill. It is a smoke screen for a choice to ignore their own health and well being. Following the Paleo Approach doesn’t make people invincible. But you are a great example of how strong you can be through such a challenging situation and how you can find your way back to good health and well-being faster and easier. It has been so tough for you but you are an inspiration to so many. Take good care of yourself and let the doubters, doubt. If it is not you, they will find someone else to rationalize and support their behavior.

Wow! Thank you so much for sharing, this post had me almost in tears, and I can relate to so much of what you went through. Through my own health struggles stress is always the hardest part for me to manage…I think it’s because it’s not tangible in the way food or exercise are, so it makes it harder to quantify how much is really in your life. I for one appreciate bloggers who are honest and show the whole truth, thank you for being vulnerable. Here’s to your health and honesty!

thank you for sharing this! So glad for you that you’ve made it to the ‘other’ side of the book project and are able to prioritize your own health. Now, enjoy your success!

Have you considered having your DNA tested for SNPs? For example, I found that once I started supporting my specific combination on SNPs nutritionally, my stress, anxiety, pain and depression went away. It was a major piece of the puzzle for me that I found invaluable. I am battling Hashimotos too and have found your protocol to be helpful. Stay strong!

Wow! I can not believe how much you were doing! That was such an exhausting schedule for two years! I could never had done it, nor could most people. I am glad you finally figured it out and got answers to your health. I too have a hypo thyroid, not sure if it’s Hashimoto’s but I suspect it is. So I can relate to some of how you felt without the extra stress that you had. Here’s to your recovering! I wish you much happiness, better health, and happier moments and memories with your family. Remember to balance life, for you, and your families sake. Take time. You owe it more to your family then to your viewers. They’re the most important, and you can never get this time back once it’s gone. Blessings to you!

Thank you so much for sharing! You and Stacy are my paleo/health/lifestyle wonder women and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all you do. Hugs to you and good luck on your road to recovery and health!

Thank you so much for sharing!! This brought tears to my eyes. You are strong and courageous. I love your humility and willingness to be open with all of us. You and your work have helped me tremendously. I’ve been suffering with fatigue, severe joint pain, inability to lose weight, mild depression, headaches, GI issues, brain fog, with a recent diagnosis of ulcerative colitis too. Meds only helped a bit. But, taking the steps you’ve outlined in your books has made the difference! I have lost 15 pounds, have more energy, most of my joint pain is gone, and I’m in a better mood. It’s only been two months!!! So, I’m still learning and trying new things. I am very optimistic about how the Paleo Approach is going to change my life. All of this to say – THANK YOU! I hope you find encouragement in all of us who are glad you take on the role as an honest and authentic mentor and educator!!

I have been slowly implementing your recipes since finding out my 4yo needs to be gluten free. I absolutely appreciate all of the work you do, and this post really hits home. I’m going to show this post to my husband. He has a high-stress job, doesn’t eat well or exercise, claims he doesn’t need much sleep, and is starting to get grouchy. Perhaps this is just what he needs to motivate him to take care of himself. Thank you!

this is me hugging you from afar! Your story is familiar as it is my story minus the dialed in nutrient dense diet. Thank you for this post and know that I am praying for you and your family, and excited to see your recovery and future success!

Thank you for sharing. I have been on and off thyroid meds for over 45 years. I have had many of your symptoms off and on (more on than off) for many years. I was also finally diagnosed with “adrenal suppression” in around 2002-2004ish. I had many days when my children were growing up that I could barely function with many days hardly able to get out of bed to take care of them. No one understood. I think everyone thought I was lazy..or that it was all due to depression. I am sure I was depressed because I spent most of my life in a survival mode…even growing up..then marrying wrong..children..a step father who molested my daughter and lied about all that for years..then after 30 years left me for the woman he had been cheating on me with for years and living a double life as a liar, cheater, adulterer, a child molester..etc…posing as a Christian and sitting with me in a very conservative church..then divorcing me for her..not to mention all the lying and stealing from me and our children thru a very long divorce..and getting away with it all. Did I mention that my attorney helped my x more than me? I was a walking and laying zombie becoming a hermit..couldn’t eat..couldn’t drink water..lost over 60 lbs in a very short time because if it all and accused of having the stomach surgery to lose weight…I almost died.
Thankfully, I was led to a couple of good doctors ho helped me make it thru without dying. Then an old friend came into my life and fell in love with me after a year of being a hermit…that was a miracle.
I have so many many scars..but I have hope..someone who loves grands..(although all are far away physically, my heart is very close with them.). I have finally found some wonderful nutritional supplements that help with my weight issues..and my emotional well being and all from the same company. Although the past scars are always going to be there, I am feeling healthier than I have in many many years..and I am so thankful! Thank you for sharing your story and for letting me very briefly share my very long story.

Thank you for the heartfelt, honest (and amazing) post. I share your personality traits and often find myself overwhelmed and suffering. Thank you for sharing!

You had me until: “both bestsellers and award-winning” and “a top-rated podcast.” In a post intended to be reflective and show your vulnerabilities, patting yourself on the back and promoting your products takes away from its weight. It’s fine to say you’ve published two books and host a weekly podcast as a testament to how busy you are, etc., but save the self-cheerleading for other posts.

It was meant to emphasize the extreme amount of effort I put in to making everything I do as high quality as possible. Those are things that happened because I work extremely hard.

I’m so glad you wrote this. I have Hashi’s and was feeling hopeless when I read you had it too. I was thinking exactly what you wrote. If she’s the leader (in my opinion) of the Paleo diet and she developed Hashi’s, NOW what? I’ve also read how others share my sentiment in social media, so I’m glad you cleared this up. Thank you for all that you do! Take care!!

I have recently been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. It finally came about after I woke up with completely numb arms … I had been having increasing pins & needles in my hands and arms over recent months but had put it down to a pinched nerve. Once the diagnosis came in everything made sense and no longer did I feel like a hypochondriac! For the past couple of years my health has been deteriorating rapidly – I was under enormous stress, both personally and professionally and I thought that it was simply a side effect of being “run down”. Joint pain, chronic fatigue & headaches, substantial weight gain, menstrual issues, drying skin, by internal thermostat totally out of whack, depression and anxiety attacks, massive mood swings… On reflection, both my doctor and I believe I have had this condition for several years but that all the symptoms have become so severe that it can no longer be misdiagnosed or attributed to other things. Everything has finally caught up to me and I have now been forced to slow down and evaluate my self-care plan … which is something I have successfully avoided having until now. I always was too “busy” to look after myself. Hmmmm….hindsight is a wonderful thing!
I have been a follower of your blog for some time. Let’s just call me a half-hearted Paleoer… Is that even a word?!? The AP is daunting! When I first read what was not allowed I actually had a minor anxiety attack and rang my husband in tears because I didn’t know how on earth I would successfully follow it. So I’m starting with eliminating all grains and reducing sugar. I’m then going to address dairy. Small steps. I am hoping that these changes will begin to have a positive impact.
Sorry for the long post. I guess I just wanted to share with someone who will understand. I have really felt like an exhausted, crazy person who constantly feels lousy for so long!
I also wanted to say thank you. Thank you for your willingness to share your knowledge. Thank you for your willingness to share your experiences. Thank you for your willingness to share your heart. Thankyou for your honesty. Here’s to healing!

Thank you for sharing your recent journey. It is comforting to know that you are “human” and suffer the same things as the rest of us do. Your post has opened my eyes to several things that I need to change in my own life.

Thank you so much for sharing this. I am currently trying to figure out the stress management piece of this puzzle. I was diagnosed as hypothyroid 4 years ago and I started making dietary alterations as if it was Hashimoto’s back then. A year ago it was confirmed that it was Hashimoto’s. Currently trying to figure out how to balance stress in my life. I have two jobs but am looking for ways to only need one job because I feel like managing Hashimoto’s correctly is a part time job in itself. Thank you so much for talking about the stress piece of this.

It is nice to read the reality of it all and your honesty is appreciated. Just writing a blog post is a lot of work especially when you want to make sure you get it right. Thanks.

Thank you for sharing!! As someone who has been side tracked in some of the ways you talk it’s nice to know you have some of the same problems. Thank you for being honest and reminding us that your human to. Praying for your health and happiness.

Thank you for being so honest! It sometimes feels like no one who writes or is in the public eye talks about their struggles, which makes us feel alone and like we are doing something wrong. It is good to know we all have our struggles. Managing stress and sleep are my toughest tackles and I’m constantly working on it. Thank you for sharing!

Thanks for sharing. I also have Hashi’s and its a tricky disease even when you know you have it and are on proper medications. I’m glad you were diagnosed (finally!) and on your way to feeling better. Thanks for all your hard work in helping those of us with autoimmune illnesses understand what’s happening in our bodies and providing some solutions to live a more balanced, healthier life.

Please continue to let us all know how you are doing! I truly appreciate honesty about everything you have experienced and what it takes to deal successfully with autoimmune problems. I have a real problem coping with the “do as I say not as I do” experts… have proved to be the opposite. I look forward to what’s in the future!

I went through an extremely stressful event (fearing for my life) while eating low carb paleo and it almost killed me. My thyroid and hormones went completely out of whack and I put on over 40 pounds in a year. Couldn’t exercise because after a few minutes, I’d be exhausted and needed a nap. Reducing my restrictions (added back in quinoa, rice, potatoes, etc) and eating more carbs (minimum of 100g per day) and I feel like a new person and can finally exercise and feel good. I’m glad you are improving!

Bravo for admitting you are human!…and for being an example to us all! I’ve been ironically on a similar journey… (still at my crash point & looking for answers…), but I know for absolute certain that without having my diet in check (AIP!!!), things would have been even worse for me… I’m still working on the lifestyle aspects too! Grrr… 🙂 Keep getting well & sharing your journey! Namaste

Oh Sarah, thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve quietly followed you for quite a while, love your recipes and everything you write, and now especially this post about stress and how it affects our lives and health. It’s always been stress that takes my cancer out of remission, and the only way to heal again for me it to somehow find an end of sorts to that stress. What you are doing is really important to so many, and anyone that reads what you write knows that. You’ve already shared so much information and truth that we can heal already, so please take some more time for your self and family. It really won’t hurt us to wait a little (or a lot) for more of your knowledge and thoughts. You’ve already taught us how to fish, so we can already feed ourselves. You are an amazing human, so go play, take plenty of time, cherish that family and live you’ve created, release some pressure, and know that the world will still go around, and we’ll all be fine. It will all get taken care of when the time is really right. Much love and respect to you, Mary

Sarah, thank you so much for sharing. I too had a major set back with a new autoimmune disease late last year, and was so frustrated and sad that despite all my hard work with good clean food, and exercise and another one got me. It was a combination of legumes and stress that got me. The stress of a full time job + part time school + ill parent at home, then stupidly some tiny little lentils got me. Your Paleo Approach helped me through the early weeks of that flare though, thank you very much for that! The all over body pain was gone in just 3 weeks, and the daily headaches were gone 2 weeks after that. Now all that’s left is the burning pain in my mouth (Sjogren’s), which I’m sure will also go away as I continue with the AIP. I’ve also added a part time health coaching business to my full time job, part time school, and ill mother, which means more stress, but school will be finished end of April, then I’ll take a break. I try to make sure to never work past 8pm, so that I have some time to wind down before bed at 10. I have no social life to speak of, but that too will change.

I’m a firm believer that you have to do what you love, and love what you do, otherwise the stress of doing a job you hate will kill you. Asking for help is difficult, but we have to do it, no matter how much of a perfectionist we are, we have to give up something sometime! 😉 I wonder if everyone with autoimmunity is the same? It’s a very frustrating thing to have to deal with for sure!

Hang in there Sarah, you’re doing great! For all the naysayers, you have 1000s more supporters, don’t let them get you down. Keep Calm and Eat Bacon! 🙂

Thank you for sharing. It took courage to put it out there; I for one, am so glad you did. Your mention of tendonitis blew me away. I have chronic tendonitis in all my joints, and no one could ever tell me why, and always attributed it to fibromyalgia. Now I have something more concrete to pursue. There are countless others your story may help. The naysayers cannot hold a candle to that. Thanks.

And THIS is why you’re a badass Sarah.. You keep it real in a space that is about white lies and painting the image of perfection.

I admit every week on the podcast that my stress has KILLED my health over the past 2 years since moving far away from home and now I’m moving back to home in 3 weeks to heal myself.. It just wasn’t worth the dream I was chasing.. Health and sanity is more important.

Thanks for keeping it real, regardless of how others portray the mirage of “we’ve got it all figured out”. It’s a constant battle being stuck to the computer, but at the end of the day, when you go for a walk in the forest, it can all melt away.



Know the feeling. Our son was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis/ Graves disease about a year ago, so we know some of the battle! Definitely have been able help control it nutritionally and have greatly reduced the medication he was put on. They have talked of taking him off meds, we’ll see in a couple of months. Blessings!!

Thank you for sharing SO HONESTLY. Its not in what happens, its how we handle it, and you have done wonderfully.

I’m a fellow Hashi’s person. You’re right, stress is a real trigger. So is sugar, in all its forms (do I detest that!). Hang in there. Now that you have the support meds and can get the rest you need, you will find your Hashi’s symptoms start to decrease and then finally disappear. Hang in there! And THANK YOU for all your hard work. You are the first place I found the information I needed to address my health over a year ago and your blog is a life-saver. Literally. Bless you!

This is so helpful to read. I pray it was as cathartic to write as it was for me to read. I have auto immune issues and I am caring for my daughter who is very sick with Hashimoto’s and other auto immune issues, and reading all these blogs about women who are writingbooks and creating meals and maintaining blogs, etc…is very deflating. Helpful as the information is that you share, I think its equally helpful to share the real side. In a way, to put the front forward that all is well when it isnt is as decieivng and damaging as all the air brushing and body sculpting that is thrown at us on the covers of magazines. Thank you for combatting the ever present struggle against unrealistic and exhausting expectations.. I hope you keep the curtains drawn. Its a nice and welcomed view.

I too have hashimoto’s, I’m 54 & was diagnosed in 2006. There have been many pieces to my puzzle on my way to healing. My gut was not well but my Dr nor myself did not realize this so the supplements I took for years did no good. This is to give information NOT to sell something. The only nutrition that has worked for me is Zija, I have been drinking this for a year. As a disclaimer I DO sell this product because of my results with it but there are so many sick ppl out there who need nutrition so I wanted to share.

Thank you so much for your honesty and not hiding the truth from this community. The best leaders are the humble ones, who are in the “arena”, daring greatly (Brene Brown) with the rest of us. I’m so glad that the thyroid medication and lifestyle adjustments are working so quickly for you. You deserve to feel better after giving so much.

I’m so grateful that you’ve shared this.
It doesn’t turn me away or make me doubt your plan, but rather solidified the feeling that I had when I first discovered you about a month ago…
You’re the real deal. You speak not only from your place of medical knowledge, but from a place of understanding as someone who has been through it.
I’ll be honest, I’m in the best and worst place of my disease right now.
I’m on the brink of having the right diagnosis, right tests completed, right doctor secured and a solid diet to help support what comes my way. I’m Fighting for my health like a prize fighter and it feels good! At the same time- my body is fighting back, although I feel better on some fronts, other things creep up and knock me down. I had been on medical leave from work and back to work only to have missed two weeks due to illness. It’s a tense environment at best and this makes it worse as people would rather speculate and talk behind your back that be supportive during difficult times. My job is very stressful and physical. It’s also a well paying job which makes me the “bread winner”. Loosing time and money due to illness is an additional stress I don’t need, but it can’t be helped right now. This is real life, what you’ve been through is REAL LIFE. We can’t all quit our jobs, and do yoga all day. Trust me I’d love to be in that position, but I’m not.
So what I need most right now is practical advice and direction from someone in my same position… And that’s what I’ve found! Selfishly I was “happy” to know you have Hasi because that’s the diagnosis I’m waiting for, it’s the meat of the puzzle that’s been missing, but I’ve known all along.
So again- THANK YOU. For giving me hope and direction.
May this be a great 2015 for us all!

Don’t sweat it. I like that you are open and honest. I don’t see this post as whining at all. As for people questioning the efficacy of the AIP…let it roll of your back. I look at this and think: How much worse would it have been if you weren’t eating the way you do. How much worse shape would your body be in if you did not follow your AIP approach? You probably delayed full onset of Hashi’s (which you have to have a genetic…read that again GENETIC…predisposition for in order for it to activate) by a decade or more BECAUSE of the AIP approach you follow. To those who question the AIP and Paleo approach to eating in regards to people following AIP and Paleo protocols and having auto-immune disease I say: Read up on the disease(s) in question and realize that there is a genetic component to all auto-immune disease that must be present for the disease to activate and the person probably delayed full disease onset BECAUSE they follow AIP and Paleo eating guidelines. You don’t have look back to Paleolithic times to see how much our diet has changed and to see how much our current diet harms us….just look at how we eat today compared to how we ate prior to World War II and World War I and then look at the disease levels of that time and the disease explosion that took place post World Wars when our diets changed. Not to mention the obesity levels! Just go back to the ’50’s and look and obesity levels compared to today’s levels and then look at the changes in our diets from then to now.
I’m not following AIP (though I probably should) and I’m not fully Paleo (yet..I may do so) and I’m new to it all..but just changing to partial Paleo and sticking with it the last few week….I can feel a major difference.
You hold your head high lady….you’re doing good strongly science based work here and you should not worry or stress over the naysayers. Take time for you, rest and heal…we need you to help show the rest of us the way. Blessings.

WOW what a crazy, hectic, wonderful life you have! My heart aches for you that you had to go through all those things. I’m so glad you are on the mend. You have been mine and my husband’s motivator, educator and inspiration, as we BOTH found out we suffer from auto – immune conditions. I don’t know where we would be without your blogs, books, Facebook posts etc. Thank you for all your hard work, you honestly changed my life (FOR THE BETTER OBVIOUSLY) lol. May this year be nicer to you, and I can’t wait to see what you have in store. Much love.

I’m always amazed at how much professionals who rely on social media share, but I’ve always known it’s polished up for us. I’m sorry you had people getting on your case about late books and seeing your health crisis as some kind of ‘proof’ that Paleo and AIP don’t work. Simpletons. That’s just silly. I remember hearing you on the podcast about this time, thinking, man she sounds emotionally exhausted. I hope you know that we admire your strength in sharing this. I also am dealing with a potential Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis. Me! Who had never really been sick and came to paleo to lose a little weight, before being inspired by you and Stacy to go after perfecting my health. So many little things improved as I adopted a health vs. weight approach, but I’m now facing this diagnosis and it is so emotional! I feel like I’m in mourning a little bit, but as you have shared so much over the last couple of months, it has helped me work through much of that. So thank you so much for your honesty and willingness to open yourself up to the people who admire you as well as the critics.

I´ve been following you for several months and I´ve learnt a lot from all your posts… I have to ask: when will it be a spanish version of “the paleo approach”? (no pressure). But there is a lack of information about the paleo-style of life in spanish and I am sure lots of people are waiting for something like that. Congrats for all your work, and keep going, you will feel fine again! it is a question of time and fight, and yo are very good at fighting…

This response is intended to give you some insights, not to blame or antagonize. You write, “It makes me so angry that my philosophy on sharing with you that I’m a real person, who lives a fairly average life, who has real and common challenges to overcome, that wearing my heart on my sleeve and connecting with all of you, that this could undermine my credibility as a science writer or educator or mentor. It scares me that my honesty gives naysayers more momentum to dissuade people from taking control of their health….Most of the big bloggers/authors don’t share the ebb and flow of their own health battles with their fans. It’s a marketing decision, because personal struggles can be seen as proof that even the most rigorously-proven diet and lifestyle recommendations are somehow faulty. Someone who writes a weight loss book doesn’t want to confess to gaining 10 pounds even if the cause of it was something completely out of their control like injury or illness. It’s the same with Paleo and Alternative Health bloggers. There’s a careful filter over what gets shared with you.”

As a former moderator for the Paleo Approach Community, I have spent a lot of time reading your follower’s posts on Facebook and in the web community. Here is what I see: Many people follow you not only because you have the skills to research and interpret scientific studies, but also because you shared your struggles with AI disorder. People could identify with that. In fact, before 2013, you had a Daily Struggles section that that contains my favorite post: Because you were transparent, people could relate to your journey and understand your health success. They could see it happen and wanted to learn from it.
A fundamental issue with those who have an AI disorder is how to deal with setbacks. We have them all the time. We work against going into flare or exposing ourselves to anything that could cause one. We know that AIP is not a cure, but it seemed like you had gotten close. We were struggling, we had difficulties, but you didn’t seem to have them. That is how disconnect started; your readers thought that you were writing about AIP and profiting from it because it worked. The credibility issue is not because you have revealed you are struggling now, but because you had made the marketing decision to “hide” it. The betrayal lies in the fact that as you established yourself as an authority on the AIP, the implication was that you had achieved a and sustained certain level of healing. But we hadn’t! We still had ups and downs and we follow AIP, too.
The Paleo Mom brand developed because of the success of your blog. You started by researching sharing, then teaching, then selling your knowledge through consulting and publishing. When you become the brand and begin to filter information for marketing decisions, you no longer have followers; you have customers. It is a delicate balance, but once that happens, you have to ensure that you don’t lose sight of the reason why people gave you credibility in the first place; like them, you have illness you are always working to heal, and you’re sharing something that could possibly benefit others. No one with an AI disorder would discredit you for a setback because we know exactly what that means, and we deal with it all the time.
You see yourself as a science writer, educator, and mentor now, but you weren’t always just those things to your followers. You were a person whose struggles they understood and whose process they supported so wholeheartedly that they believed your recommendations and followed your advice. Don’t lose sight of the fact that your followers are more than your customers.

I think the moral of the story is that we need our primary care doctors to be functional/Integrative Medicine doctors, to help us identify and correct the things we have control over and get us back on or keep us on the path for our own best health, before they turn into chronic health issues. It may be hard to implement the lifestyle changes and identify and rectify the nutritional deficiencies and toxin sources, but suffering or going down the pharma path are not good options.

I am so thankful you wrote this blog. My story is very similar to yours. I too am a business owner and built myself from the ground up. The public looks at what people like you and I have and they don’t see what it took from us to get where we are. I too was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease after almost 5 years of the high pressure and stress. I believe I have always had my disease, but the high stress ‘activated’ it. So many of my symptoms are similar to yours, joint pain, muscle pain, my thyroid and hormone balance are almost destroyed. I got strep throat 8 times in one year and pneumonia 2 times the same year.
I have narcolepsy with cataplexy, so I got to the point where I could not stay awake, I could not control how much I had to sleep. I would sleep 15- 20 hours a day and it was never enough. This caused my businesses to start crumbling. The 5 years of nonstop work I tried so hard for was falling apart. I am a child development expert, so my businesses focus on caring for children and families. The stress of letting these children down was making my health decline even more. I went to doctors, but they just masked the problems with prescriptions. I finally took the natural path and I am so much better, but still struggle. I am now working on rebuilding my businesses, I am forced to sell one to try and save the other.
I have to ask myself if it was all worth it now. I am very respected in my field and am acknowledged as one of the top experts in my region, but as a child development expert, I know what this roller coaster has done to my own children and I will never get my health back completely. I have gained 100 pounds and now struggle getting it off.
It is so hard to let go of what I have built and I am fighting to save it. I think there is beauty to living a simple life and not being an over achiever. Our society puts such an emphasis on succes, but I have to wonder now if it is worth it. I know the children of the moms who don’t have stressful careers will grow to have better cognitive health (I am also a child psychologist).
So, your post helped me to see that I am not alone on this roller coaster. It helps me to know that I didn’t help the stress take over my body by not always making the best food choices. Stress is a silent killer no matter who you are.

What courage and sacrafice you have given to so many, Sarah! How dare anyone judge you! Ignore the naysayers. They hurt with their words but they are not worth your time. Please know that those of us who understand what it takes to heal will not be swayed by your struggles. We appreciate what you have done for so many with your research and self-sacrafice. I pray that you find healing for yourself, just as you have helped so many heal. Thank you from one who cares. Sending you blessings and (((hugs))).

Wow, I have so much respect for you after reading this post, and I was already a fan! You are human and you have made yourself incredibly vulnerable by putting your story ‘out there.’ But people need to see it and realize that our role models are human too and life happens – for all of us – and we can get off-track. As you said yourself, the lifestyle changes can be the hardest to make. Don’t let the naysayers bring you down. You provide such valuable information and support to people who really need it!

Thank you SO MUCH for all you’ve done and shared with us! And for doing the work of several people the past few years! (No wonder your body protested.) FWIW, I also have hypothyroidism and have read much on the subject the past many years. It’s apparently quite common for it to not be diagnosed right away (doctors relying on lab tests rather than symptoms) and when it is diagnosed the medication doesn’t always ‘work’ as much as the person would wish (not high enough dose to get the thyroid back in the optimal range (relying on lab tests more than symptoms) or not the combination that works best for that person). It often takes trial and error. So, you are fortunate that, once diagnosed, you got the ‘right’ medication/dose that works for you. I’ve also found that stress is detrimental to my thyroid – and I have much less stress than you did. I’ve found acupuncture very helpful in relieving stress and balancing hormones. Thank you again for all your work and for sharing with us!

Thanks for sharing! This is just what I needed to hear. I was beginning to doubt the whole process. I started Paleo beginning of summer (by accident at first…I kept cutting foods out until someone pointed out to me I might as well be doing paleo, so I did…lol)– went completely AIP in October of 2014(eggs being my last hold out and rice). I’m not where I want to be, but not where I was, which is a GOOD thing:) I am now working on this saying no thing and finding ways that work for me instead of against me. I remind myself I spend 52 years getting this way and I won’t suddenly feel wonderful overnight. I admit I was one of those people who heard your diagnosis thought for a moment see, this doesn’t work…then when I thought about it I realized, no, it just means one can’t try to be superwoman (which I tend to try to do too…take care of everyone but myself)…seems to be more common now a days this doing too much. This has made more more aware of “taking” care of myself. I am finally reading my book on tapping and will continue on my AIP diet and hopefully add some food back in soon. I’ve spent the last 25 years trying to get healthy but over the last year I am not only trying to get healthy (but it not “sticking”), now I am living healthy and changing how I do things. Its not easy to re learn how to cook, shop and travel…but its better than the alternative. thank you for all the helpful information and support for all of us!

I guess one of the biggest lessons you are teaching is ..Practice what you Preach.
For those of us in the Health Care Profession, this is often the most difficult lesson of all.
Thanks for sharing…and oh yeah, one more suggestion…it is OK to go let go of the need to always be the BEST.


I met you at Paleo FX last year and I went to your talk. I understand the stress of writing a book, having done two – fiction, mind you, and unpublished and a stressful endeavor so writing a science book under deadline, written to help people, I’ve no words to describe my admiration.

Most of all, if all the naysayers cannot appreciate your efforts and your sacrifices, let them heal through conventional medicine (I know, that’s harsh). I appreciate all you did and continue to do. I’m glad your marriage survived and that your health is taking a turn for the better.

What courage you have, you are a true heroine. The wonder woman of health and fitness. 🙂

It is stories like yours that inspire me to do better each day and take care of myself so I can, in turn, take care of my loved ones. I love that you share so much freely on your site and that I can get started right away on the right path for my health. THANK YOU!!!

Really really raw and real. Thank your for documenting your struggle. I’m sorry the naysayers got to you! I admire your work and ability to convey complicated stuff with ease. I am a die-hard follower ! You give us all hope that AI diseases can be managed and we can live a full and happy life.

When you share your struggles it makes me far more likely to take your advice because I know it comes from a place of experience and reality. Life is long and full of ups and downs but the difference is now we know how to get ourselves back on track.

You have no idea how much your honesty means to me. My health issues continue to be a struggle in spite of a pretty clean diet. When all the paleo and health experts present themselves as perfect, it feels like I must still be doing something mysteriously wrong. Thank-you (a million times over) for your honesty, and teaching that health is more than just food. Thank-you for sharing what is normal.

Well said! THANK YOU for your transparency!

I, just like you, am a type A, perfectionist, take on a large load, tend to compensate with less sleep & caffeine consumption (love this stuff!) and get covered up with stress. My family has just entered a month of less travel and commitments, and I’m using this to tighten my diet (been using diet to manage AI’s since 2001), reprogram better sleep habits, finish up dangling projects, and enjoy my children (that are at varies stages of being on the cusp of leaving home). Then, we have the next “wave” in March

I have written this and rewritten this so many times. I don’t want to come down as being too negative. But you did fall apart. How bad did it have to get? That’s okay. You’re human. We push too much.

I think you could do for a little less science. A holistic doc in 45 mins or less would of told you the same thing your MD told you.

Do you meditate, journal, heart math, EFT, NLP, massage, earthing, any of that?

It really is too bad that your honesty regarding your own health struggles is being used negatively by some to try and delegitimize your books and your message. I have celiac and who knows probably some other autoimmune disease because I still have been unable to get to great, but your book helped me understand things much much much better than I did before. Sometimes I feel like my health is much better, and then out of the blue I will start feeling tired, sick, and bloated. I get frustrated every time I have a setback, it’s a journey for sure. To be honest the fact that you have been so open about Hashimotos and your ongoing challenges reminds me that just because I haven’t figured out what is wrong yet, doesn’t mean that there isn’t something more going on that I need to address. I mean if Sarah (an expert on autoimmune disease if I have ever seen one) needed some additional help diagnosing her illness, then I certainly do. I too have been suspicious of my thyroid as I have many symptoms of Hashimoto’s but my Thyroid tests from my GP always come back fine (by their standards) so I thew that idea out a long time ago and figured I didn’t have my diet dialed in enough or that I hadn’t given it enough time, or that I might be getting accidental gluten exposure. Because of you I am planning to seek further testing through a functional medicine practitioner. Thank you Sara for you candor, It has helped me a lot. I just try and remember that since starting my paleo lifestyle my bad days pale in comparison to that my bad days looked like a few years back. In fact I think my bad days now would have been my good days 5 years ago. Cheers to your improved health!

Paleo and a Paleo doc won’t fix everything. Do you do anything that takes care of you?
Earthing, EFT, NLP, A life coach, earthing, massage, journaling– you do any of that?

Take care of yourself.

I have dermatomyositis, which is in control basically. Although, I still fight fatigue and muscle pain daily. I notice how stress plays out if I don’t take care of myself. I have to schedule naps and downtime in order to maintain. I have your books and am trying to implement the dietary lifestyle, it’s too much at once for me. I will get there and every small change I make is an improvement. I feel your pain. You know the answers, just find time to rest and take care of yourself. Remember, when on an airplane, you are to put your own oxygen mask on before helping others…take care of you first and then you’ll be a better wife and mother for your family. Hang in there!

Sarah, what a refreshingly honest post. I know it took courage to write, and I can speak personally that it was a fantastic insight and ‘warning’ of sorts for those of us who have following The Paleo Approach with great success. Stress and sleep are the factors I think we often put on the back burner, and this was exactly what I know I needed to hear. 🙂 I hope you get some time off in the near future to unplug and recoop with your family!

Thank you for sharing your struggle, I recognise myself in much of what you’ve written and I take to heart the lessons you’ve learnt and pray I don’t follow the same path in regard to taking on too much at once. The lesson it see in your post is to follow your dreams but don’t let it compromise what really matters, get a support network around you and don’t overload yourself to the point of detriment. Take care Sarah, you are a true inspiration, I hope to follow your advice for a long while yet 🙂

Thank you for sharing; both your knowledge and the transparency of your own challenges. Hearing your challenges is motivating and comforting.

Your book has been my saviour and is helping and teaching me immensly! Hearing your personal struggles and the realities that someone as informed as yourself still faces, makes my struggles a little easier to deal with – and given what we are all going through, that is so very valuable.

All the very best.

It never occurred to me that your honesty about your health struggles should undermine your scientific credibility. In fact, I really appreciate your authenticity! By “being real” and sharing what you did wrong (and right!) I think you will help even more people. And your fans will be even more loyal, as an added bonus 🙂

Thank you so much for sharing so honestly – in my opinion it gives your books even more credibility, not less.

I had Hashimoto’s diagnosed when I had my son 27 years ago. Like you, I believe I had it way before then. It hasn’t been until I came across the Auto Immune Summit that I finally knew what was going on and that I wasn’t crazy. I felt like so many missing pieces to my puzzle were suddenly appearing.

Coming across your books has been such an encouragement to me. I finally feel like I have validation, support and encouragement to do the sometimes really tough work of getting healthy.

I don’t know about your spiritual walk, but for me I know beyond a shadow of doubt that God has perfect timing and He knew just what I needed and when I needed it. Putting Him first in my life has made all of the other pieces fall into place and I am so thankful. Physical health is super important, but it doesn’t matter at all in light of eternity.

Blessings to you and thank you for all that you have overcome to help so many!

Thank you again Sarah. Your vulnerability in sharing your own journey is what makes your work so meaningful and REAL enough for me to take it seriously. There’s always ups and downs in illness and healing and I for one am glad that you don’t pretend to have it all together.

Thank you so much for this post and all your honesty. Your books and work is amazing and has helped me greatly. There are nnot many out there who understand the enormity of the “auto immune issue” and there are times when one can feel very alone, you bring lots of light to that darkness.

Sarah – hi from down here in Sydney.

Sending warm & healing thoughts your way.

Wanting to add my wee voice to the many and say a heart-felt thank you to you. Your autoimmune protocol by way of the blog (first) and your two books (second and third) have changed my life. Literally. And, through you, I’m now also helping others. AND – stress remains the biggest challenge for me, too.

But more than that, your ability to communicate the science behind the theory in a way that my decidedly unscientific brain can understand; and, your warm and authentic style resonates in such a big way. I think you’re fab’!

Hi Sarah! You mentioned “disease appropriate medication to support thyroid function”. Do you mind elaborating on that?? Thyroid and Hashimotos is like the Wild Wild west with supplements & doctors & TSH! Would love to know what how you support your thyroid! 🙂

Thank you for sharing. I too have had a series of health problems that created a significant amount of stress on my body. I have gained 30lbs and was feeling crazy. I am a firm believer in the Paleo diet and your book is amazing. I too went to see a functional medicine NP taking supplements and feel much better. I am a mother of two young kids, work full time and my husband is. firefighter who is gone for 24hrs a day several days a week. It is stressful and we as wives and mothers don’t stop and think about ourselves we just do what needs to be done. It is refreshing to read your words and know you share the same struggles we all do. I love your work, enjoy reading your blog, and your recipes. Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

Whew! I felt stressed reading your comments! I really would never have guessed that is what you have experienced as I see your pictures of your glowing skin and huge smile thanking us all the time for our support in making your books best sellers. As a full time working mom of 2 young kids in an extremely stressful job, I know somewhere deep inside I look at “you authors” and bloggers with envy and wish I chose a path where I could work from home at my own pace with no stress. Boy. Reading this was a real eye opener for me and the appreciation I felt for your work; and the respect I felt for your knowledge and commitment were nothing compared to now. THANKYOU for all you have done. I hope you feel a tremendous amount of support and “closeness” from your readers. I do not have an autoimmune disease. But I am a working mom and wife who struggles daily with balance and the weight of shaping my family’s health and life choices. So from that huge standpoint, thankyou from the bottom of my heart. And that extends to your family for their sacrifices as well! As the very best in health and happiness.
NM- Toronto, Canada

I was one of the people waiting with baited breath for your book; however, if you had said in a post that you needed a break and were disappearing for a while to heal, I would have understood. I know that stress just makes the flares worse and it breaks my heart that you have dealt with this for two years but have helped so many to heal. I am thankful for your work and feel the proof of your science daily.

I am so grateful for your work, it has benefited my health dramatically (Crohn’s). I am also a Chiropractor and share your books with patients struggling with autoimmune conditions. Keep up the good work and big hugs for a full recovery to better health!

I don’t have an autoimmune disease, but I follow you because you’re awesome, honest, so intelligent and inspiring (and fantastic recipes). I tend to get lost in trying to eat even better to fix things when I know I’m neglecting stress management and sleep. This was a great reminder to focus on that stuff!

Thank you for having the courage to be vulnerable by sharing your personal story of the last couple of years. I have been through a very stressful year with lots of demands on my time. I’ve felt my progress erode, but I haven’t fallen back into the pit. Your books and blog have been a lifeline! You have given me knowledge and tools improve my health. I have been able to sustain a pretty clean diet with the help of your delicious recipes. I am learning to prioritize sleep and relaxation because you made the connection clear. I am inspired by you! I hope that you find balance and continue to heal and to inspire. Here is a big hug {{{{{{{{{Sarah}}}}}}}}} and my deep gratitude.

Thank you for being real.
I was diagnosed with Hashis about 14 years ago. Luckily I have a wonderful doctor who was able to diagnose and treat me with Armour when most doctors would have ignored my normal test results. I have always dealt with fatigue but my job kept getting more and more stressful. I went through a year of absolute stress at my job on flight mode. I was like you becoming very dependent on caffeine (up to 6 cups a day in the morning) just to be able to keep going. I could not sleep at night due to the stress of my job so I was getting 3-4 hours a night trying to juggle everything. It did not matter in the end as I got laid off when my job was moved to India. I ended up with a temp job with much less stress and I have been able to enjoy my family more. Your comments about your kids and marriage I can relate to as I had some similar things happen. This will be a mile marker in your life as it helps you hit the reset button and enjoy your marriage and family. I know it has been for me. Take care of yourself first and your family. I received a reminder not to fall for the tyranny of the urgent and to remember to make first things first place in my life. We will be patiently waiting for the information you pass along. We understand as we have AI also. Your critics are going to be amazed at how much stronger you become because of this and how much clearer your message will resonate with others because you are real. The greatest leaders are always transparent.

Wow, Sarah. Thanks for writing this. I skimmed it mainly now b/c I am up way too late. We have a lot of stress going on ourselves and though I’ve done a good job of paring down, it’s still too much right now.

I hope and pray you will take care of yourself, and I am minding my own words and heading to bed. I will finish this tomorrow.

If you don’t have your health, you have nothing. Well, almost nothing, but it’s crucial — that’s for sure.

Take good care and you are so right on so many points. On bloggers not sharing their health struggles (I have a hard time sharing them w/ my local friends b/c they know how I eat and live), and about Hashi’s maybe being an old disease for you. I suspect it has been for me as well.

– Adrienne

Thank you! For your amazing books and website that changed my life and helped me heal and thank you for your honesty and for keeping it real! This was the best post I have ever read abou the AIP! You are awesome!

Hashi’s here, have had it for ten years now after many years of the IVF rollercoaster. Thought I had everything under control, until last year when changing jobs led to 12-13 hour work days and incredible amounts of stress saw me gain 15kgs all the while eating cleaner and less than I ever had. Cortisol levels through the roof due to stress. Now getting it under control, but it’s a tough journey. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Wow, thank you so much for your honesty! I’m really sorry you had to go through all this…
but in a way I’m also glad, because I too have Hashimoto’s and am apparently bad at stress management. Looking forward to all your research on that! Get better soon!

Thank you for sharing Sarah and well done for honesty.

I hope that now you will learn to say no to the things you need to so you have a better work life family balance and regain your health :-). Its a journey No one is perfect and its refreshing to have a blogger be this open and honest and that is what draws me to you mostly. You are sharing the whole journey the one I am about to embark on with a full 100% commitment in 15 days 😀 Before that its prep as that’s why last time didn’t last long even though I saw amazing results.

To our health being reclaimed by healing from within and taking the ability to say NO to people something which we forget is ok to do in our society often.

Praying for your journey onto a fuller healthier future, God bless you.

Sarah-I can’t thank you enough for all that you’ve done! I appreciate every challenge you’ve faced and been brave enough to share with us. My life has been restored because of your incredibly hard work AND your willingness to be honest with us. I’ve explored diet and health and the connections my entire adult life. I don’t have the scientific knowledge you do, and I sincerely appreciate the approach you’ve taken. I love learning more of the scientific background of the foods and reactions they cause because it gives me strength to make tough choices. Through your willingness to share your challenges, I’ve been a steadfast cheerleader because I know if you can do it, I CAN TOO!! Thank you so much for everything! Keep sharing all the triumphs and challenges because it strengthen us too!

It’s so good to know that you are a real person. I knew you were the author all along, but assumed you were more like a front man, with a team of scientist/writers behind you. Amazing story!
I have been following AIP for over 1 month and my rheumatoid arthritis is now nearly non-existent. I did quit a stressful job prior to following the AIP diet, and having read your experience, I am even more committed to protecting myself from future stress.
Your work has given me my life back. Thank you for being willing to put yourself through so much torture, so that the rest of us could benefit. I hope you never need to experience that again.

God Bless you Sarah Ballantyne!
So sorry creating these amazing books for us took such a toll on you. I am smart enough to understand how all that stress damaged you. Very happy you’re on the mend.
Thank you, thank you for your wonderful work, teaching how to be well.
Very appreciatively,
Cheryl Franklin

I have Hashi’s too and I thought making dietary changes was hard at first, but that’s the easy part. Learning to manage stress (I also have anxiety, so I struggle with that) and getting adequate sleep are far harder. I work and have kids and, as you know, sometimes you just need some down time at night. So I keep myself awake to get that instead of sleeping like I should.

And I’m not AIP. I know it’s another important step to healing, but mostly I feel pretty good just eating paleo. And I take my meds regularly.

I’m sorry for all the stress the books put you under. I have them both and they are beautiful books. Rest, relax and take care of yourself!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for truly sharing of your self. This post was very, very powerful and moved and touched me so greatly and I was able to relate. You truly are making such a huge and positive difference in your sharing with us your knowledge, your wisdom. Sending you huge hugs of comfort and thank you’d for all that you do.

Sarah, thank you for this post! As I was reading this, I felt like you were telling my story, except trade the book writing for completing a PhD in a scientific field (to which I know you can also relate). In my third year of graduate school, the stress was becoming unbearable both on academic and personal fronts. I was a former vegetarian with severe nutrient deficiencies, panic disorder, and chronic infections. Not wanting to miss out on having a family and having just finished my academic coursework, I decided to get pregnant. Even after taking a semester off to focus on my newborn, sleep deprivation and attempts to work on my research/dissertation at night while taking care of an infant full-time was a recipe for disaster. A year after completing my dissertation, I am still suffering but making a little progress after starting treatment for hypothyroidism. There is plenty of work to do in regards to my adrenals and hormones to allow me to become functional again. You give me hope! Thank you!

This past year I got married, changed jobs twice, and bought a house. I literally feel like my body is falling apart. I’m exhausted, slow to heal, gaining weight like mad. I went to the doctor and they told me that I have low vitamin d. I suspect something autoimmune- perhaps hashimotos. I got a test done through an independent lab and had low levels of anti-thyroid antibodies.

The doctor tested my TSH and said “it’s normal (.83)- you’re fine”

I don’t know what do to- does anyone how to approach a doctor about this topic or any ideas where to do go. All they could tell me was that I have low vitamin D- but I eat tons of Vit D rich food.

So glad to have read this today

If your doctor doesn’t check ALL your thyroid hormone & anti-body levels, you can check them yourself in most states — see the recommended tests at the website called Stop The Thyroid Madness dot com (all together no spaces); they include Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, as well as the infamous TSH produced by the pituitary gland, and also your anti-thyroid antibodies which indicate the destruction of thyroid gland tissue (TPO, TgAB).

Hi I am curious to find out what type of medication you are on and if that has made the BIG difference in your health.
And where you always on medication? Did you just go “natural” along side with your diet to heal your thyroid disease?

I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s after I had an unexplainable miscarriage at 20 weeks. Prior to that I was diagnosed with low to borderline thyroid levels for two years after the birth of my first child. I was forever exhausted. But was told all new mothers felt this way. I often had to gate myself in the room with my daughter because i would fall asleep in the middle of playing with her. I was forever in a fog. And weighed 80lbs heavier than I did before her birth. I was told the thyroid replacement prescribed was keeping me within range when the miscarriage occurred. I feel into a deep depression following the loss. Then finally an endocrine specialists diagnosed me with Hashi’s. I was so happy. Finally a reason for all of this. I was told this is a inherited disease and that I probably had it my whole life. He put me on a paleo inspired diet. I started doing yoga and even lost some weight. And a much stronger dose of synthroid. I finally became pregnant again a year later and had a beautiful son. Three months after his birth I went in for a routine thyroid check and the Dr felt a lump and sent me for a biopsy. And it came back as cancer. I had my thyroid removed completely and was put on a no sodium diet and prescribed cytamil. The weight fell off! I was fog less. I had energy. Never felt better in my whole life but it was short lived. I went for radiation therapy and and had to live in a isolation chamber in the hospital for 3 weeks away from my children. Talk about depressing. After treatment. I was put back on synthroid which also brought back the brain fog and fatigue. I am cancer free but finding the right hormone balance has been difficult. My son just turned 8 and I still struggle with mood swings, brain fog and weigh, but at least I have my children and remain cancer free. I found the paleo diet helpful with my symptoms and have lost some weight. Its coming off slowly but has been the only diet to work for me in the past 8 years. I find your blogs helpful and love the recipes. But your diagnosis is not a death sentence. Embrace your blessings.

Sorry to hear that you all are going through these health issues.
We have so many testimonies about how Plexus has helped with these health issues and many more.
Message me if you have any questions and go to my website to get started on your journey to better health.
Sincerely, Karen

Hi, Sarah! WOW! just WOW! I feel a bit related with your story. Maybe is not writing or editing a book or anything major like it. I am a student and have a full time job. I am able to feel the stress in my body and I think that’s good enough to be aware of my body, my health, my emotions, etc… I am glad you wrote about this and decided to share it- keep it up!

Thank you for your honesty. I also have been dealing with a flare up from lichens due to a ridiculously stressful period from July to January. I’ve noticed other physical issues creeping up as well. I’m better prepared to meet with my GP this week thanks in part to your honest posts about your health. Thank you.

Thank you so much for sharing your story! Your honesty is refreshing and appreciated. You are human and no reasonable person should expect perfection from you. Life is a journey with peaks and valleys. Your willingness to share the valleys can help others be more accepting of their own periods of darkness. As a psychologist, infant and toddler sleep consultant and blogger, I too struggled with knowing how much to share of my own personal battles, fearing it would lessen my credibility. Good for you for your courage! Sending you peace, love and good health.

I just wanted say itnis very difficult to be honest and make yourself venerable. It is very scary and I know crazy thoughts, I’m sure, flew through your mind. It is so hard to find people who will just be real, the world is starving for it. I am sure you will find that your honesty will not only further your carrer, but will also touch and help many people beyond your wildest dreams. So thank you for your honesty and may God bless you and yours with His wonderful peace and abundant life He has for you.

So you fell off the bandwagon…Big deal, it only proves you’re human. To the naysayers, no amount of proof will be enough. Know that we love what you do. Please take care of yourself so that you can continue to help and inspire us. God bless!

I cried when I read this. Thank you for sharing. The struggle is so real. I could relate to so many of your comments. I have both of your books and struggle to balance everything. You haven’t discouraged me or discounted the validity of this way of managing auto immune illness. This is a very customized way of life. We are all so different. Hugs to you!

I understand totally. Glad you shared what you did. We are all human and our bodies can take only so much. I have been under a lot of stress for almost 3 yrs now, I eat healthy, ferment foods, take supplements, but still got pnuemonia in the summer, lasted for a long time, and have had two really bad colds, still suffering from one now, I think it is more than a cold at this point. It is ironic that I am the one who eats good but is sick. Stress will do that to you.

Thank you so much for your honesty and being an exemplary professional woman, mother, scientist, and human being. Your work has been an inspiration and guide to me in regaining my personal health. I cannot express just how much I appreciate your willingness to share your personal journey and hope that you will continue to share this with us.

thanks for sharing and being honest. stress is our #1 enemy with autoimmune and hardest to control. sorry the books took such a toll on your body but i am so thankful for both your books. it is always a struggle to find balance and listening to our bodies when our minds want to race and push on through. i know without paleo my symptoms would be much worse. speedy recovery and healing to you.

Thank you so so much! Real people sharing real experiences! How refreshing 🙂 you are a true inspiration. I am buying your books tonight too!

I can’t thank you enough for your honesty. I have tried Paleo before to help with my Lyme, Hashimoto’s, EBB, etc but always felt I had to be perfect and quit when I wasn’t. You and Stacy have given me hope and helped me to realize it is a life long journey and it I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to keep going and doing the best I can each day and learning from the journey! Sending my love, respect and admiration!!

I can’t thank you enough for your honesty. I have tried Paleo before to help with my Lyme, Hashimoto’s, EBV, etc but always felt I had to be perfect and quit when I wasn’t. You and Stacy have given me hope and helped me to realize it is a life long journey and it I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to keep going and doing the best I can each day and learn from the journey! Sending my love, respect and admiration!!

Sarah, you are just amazing. I read and reread that and couldn’t believe how much you packed in to such a short period of time – while unknowingly tackling an undiagnosed autoimmune condition. I think a person in perfect health would have seriously struggled under that amount of stress and commitment.
It makes me so angry when people criticise paleo or AIP because of stories like yours. It is a testament to them that you were able to keep going when things were so, so tough.
I suffer from asthma, allergies, eczema and acne, all things I’ve had for most of my life. Paleo has helped me hugely through them and so much more but I am not fixed, I am not fully healed and that sometimes causes people to make comments like “well, looks like it’s working for you..” while encouraging me to go vegan, eat grains, reduce my fat intake etc.
The point is, we are all on our health journeys. Someone might look at me and think I’m not looking fabulous but me, I look in the mirror and am delighted by the improvements that smile back at me.
I hope you continue to get back to full health.

I”m really curious what you’re doing besides AIP to heal Hashis? Are you on thyroid hormone? Supplements? I also have Hashis but I’m very thin. I can’t gain weight to save my life. I’ve read conflicting info on healing adrenals. Many say Paleo is hard on the adrenals because adrenals need more carbs?? I”m curious your thoughts on this.

From one real blogger to another, this was glorious! Every real and painful ounce of it. The biggest failure of human kind is that we forget how much we need each other. I loved that you shared this. Congrats to perfect bloggers with the pristine journeys, I prefer the those of us that stumble and fall. It’s why I named my my blog Fumbling Towards Evolution, because I’m not perfect but I want to always to continue to evolve. You are my inspiration! Thanks for sharing this amazing story Sarah! I plan on writing on my first cookbook this year, and I will heed your warnings. Peace sister!

I am currently a single mom of a child with special needs and care taker to my elderly mother. I am currently trying to write my own book and start my own business around parenting a special need child. My question for you is, would it have been possible to accomplish all you have without risking your health? Given that 75% of my awake time is spent being a caretaker of others, I don’t think it would be possible to do all you did and accomplish all you had without skipping sleep and excercise and breathing time.

Thank you, Dr. Sarah, for this touching, intimate post. You’ve made such a difference in my life, as in so many others. I will never forget the day I stumbled onto your “Cliff Notes” about psoriasis and AIP. Answers, at last! Your books have proven to be awesome resources. It’s hard knowing at what cost they were birthed, but be assured they are very valuable to more people than you know. I’m glad to know you are on a wellness track now and wish you much comfort and peace.

I love and greatly appreciate your vulnerability here.

I would also say that it is okay–important, even–to say enough is enough when it comes to your career development. Sometimes it feels like if you don’t push for everything you could achieve this very minute, the chance will go away. And that chance might, but another will usually come along to take its place. With Hashi’s you really can’t push push push beyond a certain point without having crashes. I’m so glad you have a team of four now, and I hope you’ll expand more easily next time you find you need more help . . . or that you’ll say no when you need to say no for the sake of your health, even if it means those of us who love your work have to wait a while longer for the next thing from you. We’ll still be here.


Bravo and thank you for your courage and candor, and ALL the amazing things you have done for the world with your books, blog, podcast and presentations. You ARE a radiant warrior goddess, even during the toughest of times! I recommend your books to so many people because they have tremendous healing potential. I am going through a tough time myself (ED relapse, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism- maybe Hashimoto’s too), and your post gives me hope. It was an honor to meet you in SF and Berkeley and I wish you ever-improving health and happiness! What an inspiration you are.

Thanks Sarah! I too suffer from hypothyroidism. I have been having more stress than normal and feeling bad. Thanks for sharing and for all the work that you have done. I cannot wait to read your books! God bless you for all you have done. I appreciate you sharing your struggles.

Dear Sarah: I totally support the GREAT work you’ve done and, in an appreciative way, LOVE you so much!!! Thanks for doing all the sci-research work! You wouldn’t have to completely blame the high stress for the appearance of Hashi’s — it was probably coming on anyway and you would STILL have gained weight and gotten all tired out even if you had an un-stressful life sitting around all day exercising and getting massaged and having play time with kids after your last pregnancy. You might have had it come on anyway even if no pregnancies in your life. It’s not just STRESS that breaks down adrenals which causes fluctuations in cortisol & melatonin (first way too high, then fluctuating, then too low) but also the on-going destruction of your thyroid gland tissue by the Hashimoto’s antibodies, and the resulting deficiencies of thyroid hormone production by your struggling gland can bring on all kind of system dysfunction throughout the body and brain. If you get through the rest of your life with no more Hashi’s crashes, it will be amazing — because with menopause, or other aging changes or even exposures to various environmental toxins or elements, it could be likely that other bad times will come and then the re-appearance of hypothyroid symptoms will have to be tracked down to their cause and medications, hormones & supplements adjusted again. An auto-immune disease or dysfunction in 1 endocrine-gland system can cause another, and I’ve heard that Hashi’s can cause or appear adjacent to insulin-resistance leading to later-onset-diabetes. So it’s a never-ending careful balance between good treatments as Hashi-sufferers go along in life.

Genetic testing was also a good idea to have done so that the mutated genes for low-Vitamin-D absorption and MTHFR or methylation problems with Vitamin B12 and other detoxifying vitamins and elements can be addressed early on in the treatment of Hashi’s and adrenal fatigue. Also low iron levels need checking (get the 4 tests for that), which can exacerbate hair loss, continuing fatigue even on good levels of thyroid-hormone replacement. And if Reverse T3 rears its ugly molecules, take Cytomel or a T3-only thyroid hormone until it clears and the root causes can be fixed. Good that female hormone levels were balanced, since too little or too much of either progesterone or the various estrogens can sabotage a good Hashi’s treatment plan. SO much to check on, SO much to do to try and fix it, and so many times to do it all again and again. But we live in hope that the more we can teach others and the more the medical and self-help communities learn about this pervasive disease, the better the new disease-sufferers will be diagnosed and treated. So thank you, too, for making this public! All the best wishes for you and your family.

Thank you for sharing all of that. I’m crying as I read this. I was diagnosed 3 years ago but believe that I’ve had hashis 11 years, there are so many things that I wish people understood from all those years. I recently bought your cookbook and I love it, but reading your post has made me feel not so alone thank you.

Sarah, you ARE the woman! I love your honesty. I love your being real. As a fellow Hashi’s woman, I love knowing you are on my team, and you have the knowledge in bucket fulls, and the personal experience that makes you so very real for me. God bless you for all your hard work, and that the pieces are finally together for you in the incredible art of self-care. Yes, it surely is a balance. Thank you for being you!

Hallelujah! This NEEDED TO BE SAID. I’ve been struggling lately, feeling so *defeated* by my health because it seems whenever I try to move forward with my dreams… the stress of it beats me back down. I can’t even say the emotional agony of feeling like I have to choose between my health and my work, like I’m too weak to be able to contribute to the world. So please, Sarah, continue to share, and share how you’re coping with the stress of balancing health and dreams. But never work yourself sick again!

Thank you for your honesty. It takes great courage to put out there that we still have struggles even when we try to live very healthy lifestyles. I think it’s unfair of us to expect we are immune to life’s stresses when we eat in a “clean” way. Also, your story is a good reminder of why it’s important to be gentle with ourselves as we try to help others…so often we work hard at the expense of ourselves. Glad you are on the road to recovery.

You are so brave to let us see the real you, as they say, warts and all! It doesn’t discredit your books or the science behind it. It just lets us know that we all have our own journey to get through, and our obstacles and roadblocks can appear in many different ways. Autoimmune diseases are as individual as each one of us. I was diagnosed a few years ago with Relapsing Polychondritis, a rare autoimmune disease that attacks cartilage and connective tissues. Flares in the ear cartilage are really painful and the scleritis in the eyes is not joke either, joint pain, ect. It has been a real challenge to find meds or treatments that actually work and don’t kill you with the side effects. I started the paleo diet in June 2014 and have tweaked it here and there. I recently started your Paleo Approach, (to the chagrin of my rheumatologist) he is ok with it but I get the feeling he is just tolerating my experiments with it, and doesn’t really think it will do anything. Still having some symptoms, but continuing on. But I have been able to shed 70 lbs even while on prednisone and methotrexate, which I think is a great testimony to how this lifestyle works! So, thank you, thank you Sarah for your exhausting efforts to bring us such valid life changing info. Blessings to you and yours!

I think discussing how vlc is a stressor would be useful. Jimmy Moore’s wife has also been diagnosed with hashi’s … coincidence? We know that hypo/hashi is very prevalent in eating disorders (largely anorexia) likely from the stress of calorie restriction. If carb restriction acts like calorie restriction (as Paul Jaminet has argued) then why wouldn’t a vlc diet also be a stressor (?) Anecdotally, woman seem to be more at risk for this to happen.

Q. Is low Carb (less the 50 grams per day) an adrenal stressor for some people? and if so why?

A. Perfect Health Diet Yes, for all people. Because cortisol and other adrenal hormones are required to manage the glucose manufacture, utilization regulation, and electrolyte regulation that occurs on a low-carb diet.

sarah, I have been following your journey for some time. I applaud you honesty and integrity and your commitment to not only your own healing but to all of us struggling to get ahold of what is happening in regards to our health. your journey these past years, is a reflection of your humanness, your strivings, your stresses…and your shared that…hats off to you!!!! Wishes for continued healing, much joy, and more hard won, heart felt connection for you, about you.

How brave of you to post pictures of yourself stresses. In your recent photos you look radiant, engaged, alive and happy. such inspiration…..thanks doesn’t cover it

Sending you hugs and blessings, Sarah! Thank you for this post. I am in a place right now where I know I need to reduce stress before I head any further down the path you just traveled and described in your post. I can see me in what you wrote and I take your warning to heart. I don’t think you can ever make a mistake by being “real” with your audience. It’s one of the things I love about you. Take care!

This speaks so much to me! While I don’t have a high-powered career, have never written a book, and don’t live a public life, I DO completely understand the Type A, pushing-yourself-till-you-break personality….I’ve been there, done that. In the span of 3 years, my husband went on 2 combat deployments to Afghanistan, came back from the first one with PTSD, TBI symptoms, and depression (the emotions of which I took on myself), I was working/commuting 60 hours per week (partly as a way to cope with the deployments and the stress), sleeping an average of 4-6 hours a night (and then binge sleeping on the weekends), I planned our wedding during the second deployment (while not working QUITE as much but still too much), and let myself get so stressed before Christmas that I got a stomach virus and it took me 3 months to fully recover. I was diagnosed with lymphocytic colitis and felt like my life was falling apart because I was told that “there are no natural remedies for colitis” and the doc wanted me to take a steroid. I have since learned how to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night (although I still binge sleep on the weekends), I’m not working at a job I hate, I know how to take time for myself, I’m *mostly* doing AIP, etc. One thing I do still struggle with (that have actually gotten worse) are sharp mood swings/emotional stress. But perhaps I am more attuned to my mood now since I’m not “self-medicating” with enormous amounts of work and constant activity. I feel not so alone reading this post. Thank you!!

Oh Sarah! Your post couldn’t have hit home for me any harder! Ibought your book last summer and sadly, did not have the energy, strength, or self-will to approach the Paleo Diet in this way. I’m not a scientist. I’m a fast food restaurant owner! Yikes, I know! I have 4 kids, ages 10 down to 5. I’m only 33, but I’ve been on the health hamster wheel since I had my gallbladder removed at 23 years old. I feel like we are kindred spirits in a way because in order for our business to build up to the “success” it has become, I have neglected my health for 10 years and before that, I didn’t even care because I grew up in a volatile, broken home. My teenage years, in efforts to escape that home, I spent rigorously exercising, socializing, and hitting AP classes hard, all the while fuleing my “needs” with coffee, Coke, fast food, and 3 to 4 hours of fitful sleep per night. I’ve been a disaster waiting to happen. Like you, I have struggled in my marriage and relationships with my children. Many a doctor I’ve seen in the last 10 years never recommended to me that I was just plain stressed out with a dose of gut dysbiosis. All this effort has worn me down in every way possible. The idea that there is hope is very paramount to my recovery. Thank you for your brutal honesty. I truly have been lifted up by your journey and hope to follow the Whole 30 approach to Paleo initially before taking a larger step like following your protocol. Good for you that you take your own well being into your own hands and are also giving us a transparency that as friends in healing, we all need.

I think it is both brave and wise to share this with everyone. It is so true that stress, worry and lack of recovery time will undermine other health efforts. Diet really is only a part of it. The fact that you made it through all of this with chronic disease is a testament to the health efforts you consistently make and the food choices are an important part of that. So you are a real person. Real people need rest, love and relaxation. This post will help people who are trying to fit it all in and are still not seeing the results they hope for with diet and exercise alone. I am so glad you are feeling better again and making that a priority.

Thanks for your honesty. I am in the biggest Hashimotos related health crisis of my life, and continue to struggle with so many symptoms despite being on the AIP for 35 days. One of the scarier symptoms is feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope in my usual manner. I refer to your book daily. I have a functional medicine practitioner I am working with long distance, and have many diagnostic tests pending. I was forced to take time off from my high stress job because I simply couldn’t function . That has been a gift as I couldn’t manage my self care program without unlimited time to use my energy when it is available. Your book, blogs and website have been very helpful, and I am very grateful. I am trying to nurture my spirit and build resilience. Expressing gratitude is an important part of that. Thank you for all you have done for those suffering from Autoimmune illness. I will send you a success story in the near future!

You are truly an inspiration and don’t let anyone make you feel otherwise. The fact that you still have so much drive shows how effective the autoimmune paleo diet is when under incredible stress…lets call yours celebrity stress…yes I think you are up there. I am a nurse and a skeptic about things without proof. Basically I don’t buy into anything unless you have confirmed it. And that left hand ring finger thing…I have just recently developed it and believe it is yet another autoimmune disease called Dupuytren’s Contractures….

Sarah you were instrumental in helping me make the link between my multiple autoimmune issues and the value of an autoimmune protocol in managing them over 2 years ago. Like you I am driven and passionate about my work. Reading this post has prompted reflection on all the other strategies that are just as important as getting the food right. For the first time in 5 hectic weeks I am home; this post has cleared my “To Do” list – I’m heading out to lie in the sun and breathe deeply blessed clean air. Thank you for all your hard work, and in this post, heartfelt honesty.

Thank you Sarah, for sharing this story. Today I am picking up your first book from my mailbox, and will read it with even more appreciation.
You’re a blessing to so many of us!

Sarah, you give me hope! I’ve felt sick for years. Thought it was Fibromyalgia for 16 years, but recently diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. Found your site tonight and am excited to read more, learn more, feel great again. It’s been way too long since I could honestly say that. Thanks for your transparency.

Sarah, This post brought tears to my eyes of everything you went through to help SO many people! You are a gift to so many people. I read your previous post about the stress of the books, and it never occurred to me that your health issues in any way undermined your books. In fact, the health issues only validated what you had written and had been saying all along- the importance of the lifestyle changes, in ADDITION to the diet… And they’re not easy for anyone to implement! And thank you for your honesty, too (always assumed others were not being completely honest). I am so happy you are getting the diagnoses and support you need. I think that our autoimmune illnesses have much to teach us (as it seems that many of us have perfectionism and achievement-orientedness) about taking caring of ourselves.

One of the things that I feel is often missing from these paleo discussions is therapy. For a perfectionist personality, paleo offers so many things TO DO with out getting at the underlying unconscious compulsions that are driving them. Honestly, in my own case, my perfectionism was made worse by paleo. I’d go from 0 to 60 back to 0, telling myself I needed to chill out, when really I needed to figure out why I couldn’t allow myself to go 30-45 mph. Anyway, that’s what came up for me as I read this. Glad to hear you’re doing better. You deserve it. 🙂

I bought The Paleo Approach and it’s helped me so much. I knew in reading it that you were an honest, intelligent and caring person – it just shines through. This post just underlines that and puts more exclamation marks at the end of the phrase ‘honest, intelligent and caring person’.

I feel like you have shared something deeply personal and important with us. It feels like it did when I heard Eileen Laird say that she was still healing on the autoimmune protocol, that it was a journey for her. That was so freeing and encouraging for me. And I think that it is probably a journey for most of us really, some good times, some horrendous times, but better times than if we weren’t paleo or AIP.

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. All you can do is put the truth out there without fear or favour. If other people choose to misunderstand and to see everything as black or white, good or bad, then that’s really their problem. Your honesty helps those of us who are listening. And trying. And taking our two steps forward and one step back. You are making a difference to us and, believe me, we are grateful and you have friends all over the world who value you and what you have to say. Keep up the amazing job!

Body weight is largely involuntarily regulated. There aee numerous things the body can do to exert its control independent of you voluntary efforts. The hody hasca mind of its own regarding weight. ColemanmFriedman,Rosenbaum et al have discovered this.


Thank you for sharing with us what you went through because I find its so helpful to know I’m not alone. It makes me feel that I’m not crazy! I find taking care of ones self is a full time job. I am sorry to hear the struggles you had and I want to say thank you for all you do. Your struggles have helped so many people You are truly are a sweetheart and a very caring person.

Best wishes,


Sarah, So brave of you to share your health and feelings. You have been through some tough times. It can be easy to overdo when you love what you are doing. And it’s obvious that you do. So happy that you are taking care of yourself, have added some one to assist you, and are starting to feel better. Please continue to take care . We love all of your posting and very helpful information. You have taught us so much.

Sarah, thank you for your honesty. I am currently beginning my second week of AIP and am about 2/3 of the way through reading The Paleo Approach. The other night I commented to my husband that I was pretty sure that “Sarah Ballantyne” was actually a team of about 50 people because there was just NO. WAY. I was joking, of course, but at the same time the achieving, perfectionist voice in my head asked why I was struggling just to stay ahead with cooking, housekeeping, parenting my daughter, and working my measly 20 hour/week job. My lifestyle factors, while improved, remain far from perfect. If I don’t monitor myself, I will actually find myself stressing about about how I’ve not managed to stop stressing out! Ugh! How did other people do this? Especially Sarah Ballantyne! Was she…a witch..? 😉

I don’t think your ‘confession’ undermines your work, rather, I think your candidness (yup, that’s a word…) 1) unfortunately, underscores the importance of lifestyle, and 2) highlights that you are principled and honest, and that your priority is not just about pitching another book/product/brand. You want people to make science-backed choices to help themselves get well.

Your book is incredible. It is helping me to understand the complexity of my disease and it is giving me hope. Most of all, through your book, you gave me permission to stop blaming myself for causing this disease by the choices I made in the past. I can stop fixating on what I did to myself to bring this on and focus instead on how to positively move forward. That is an incredible gift and certainly worth a great deal more than the cover price of your amazing book. I am sorry the cost was high to you and your family, but I am so very grateful that it got written. Be well!

Hi Sarah,
There is such a chorus of good will here, I think you can turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the critics. Being such a presence on social media is a stress in itself, and I feel that the Aussie tall poppy syndrome, plays out regularly in the internet environment.
My recent Hashis diagnosis also forced me to rethink how I set priorities, and the resources that you have provided have given me an understanding of the importance of this mind set. I have been sharing my transformation with so many, and the first thing I do is recommend that they start with your blog. There are so many unwell people out there who simply aren’t getting the answers they need from conventional medicine.
Thank you for your work. Please thank your family for sticking by you. Thank your assistants for keeping an eye on things for you. Just thank you.

I´ve just read this post of yours…thank you for being so honest about your journey not only with all your ups but also with all your downs. I´ve been almost crying, because you help so many people and (I´ve just listended to all your podcasts in the past), I didn´t hear, how bad you were doing…you are so strong and motivating…and a great role model for many many people…and a reminder, with having MS and FINALLY getting slowly better, I should take the help and shortcuts I am allowed to do to get my psychology diploma I am working on at the moment…because, I know, I can do it without any help or so, but this could mean, that my progress will be gone, when I am done…sooo everything comes at the right time…so your so honest blog post about how the stress affected you, so this is a reminder, that my health goes first…and then the rest….so, thank you for being the way you are and how honest you are…I wish you all the best!

Thank you so much for your honesty. I really mean that. I know what it’s like to be a physical therapist who advises people on fitness… and not look very fit myself. I know what it’s like to be a skin care consultant who teaches people how to have beautiful skin…and always have at least 2 breakouts on my face when I’m talking to them. But bottom line, we all have issues and struggles, because we live this crazy life where reality sometimes overcomes our intellect. Good for you to have sorted through it all and have chosen to share your journey with the rest of us humans, so we all now know that progress and change is not a straight and level path. Keep on keepin on, Sarah, and always know you can take a break from us now and then, and we will understand!

Bravo!!! Bravissima!!!! I am so proud of you I want to cry. What courage you have to tell the full truth!!. You took a risk and there are those who will judge incorrectly. There will always be those. BUT you also know that there are thousands upon thousands of us who credit your tireless, life giving work for improving our lives– our health and OUR LIVES– in ways that NO ONE ELSE was able to help us with. And there are those of us who are with you on your journey as you are with us on ours, day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute. We are with you, we are for you, we are all shiny hope and persevering effort. We keep on keepin’ on, because we have a worthy purpose. This is who you are, and who we are too. You have shown us your true self, your struggles and your glories. That is life. It would not be beautiful with only successes. You have to have the losses and the struggles to really get the beauty part. And you know the truth is that without the struggles there are no places for the opportunities to show themselves. So I give thanks to you Sarah and know that we are there with you. We are with you 🙂

I have so much respect and appreciation for you on so many levels. You may be “only human” but a wonderful leading example for so many of us! Your book has been a difficult (but doable) turning point for me, and so much of what you write hits home. Your uncompromising ethics allow me to recommend you as a resource without hesitation.

Thank you for writing this!
I’m not a scientist, author, blogger, or social media celebrity, but I understand the pressure to appear to have my [expletive deleted] together at all times. I don’t succumb to the pressure *most* of the time.
It’s refreshing that you’re not hiding the fact that you struggle at times just like the rest of the human race.
Several thoughts came to mind while reading about the health issues/symptoms you encountered. I wondered about the possibility of estrogen dominance, ebstein barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and bartonella infection. I wonder if there’s a connection between any of these and autoimmune dysfunction.
Anyway, you’re better now and you’re aware of how to heal your body and that’s what’s important!
Thanks again for sharing.

Don’t be so hard on yourself, yes, you are human and it’s great to discover this at your age. None of us is perfect, and none of us achieves perfection. Your A-type personality drives you, and with it you have achieved so much. I too have Hashimoto’s, and have had a dreadful few years trying to get the correct treatment and finding a good Doctor. May I suggest you consider low dose Naltrexone, it has been my life-saver, finally giving me energy and balance, along with my natural thyroid capsules.
Also, if I may offer more advice, get into nature – walk, appreciate, and let the natural world help heal you. Too often in this frantic world we forget to stop and appreciate – a beach, the bush, a forest, a river, whatever you have close to you – get out and get back to basics. Put your bare feet into the sea or river and’ remember’ -we, as a species were never supposed to live, in cars, traffic, offices, staring at screens – our psyche needs nature, it is healing, it reminds us who were are and where we are – just a species living on a tiny planet in a small solar system, in a huge galaxy in an unbelievably huge universe. Put things into perspective and take your time, the next book will wait for you and so will we – your health and that of your family relationships are the most important things in the world. All we grandmas know this, it is love – the purest caring and sharing that is important. All else passes away…
Do take care of yourself, and don’t listen to the people who think you owe them – you don’t. You owe your family your time and love – all else will fall in place, relax, breathe, and hug lots.
Thanks for your sharing and caring.
Hugs from New Zealand.

Your papers the past couple years saved my daughter’s life. She`s 8 now, happy and healthy. She`s ANA positive, and 3 years ago was skinny, weak, and not thriving. I needed the autoimmune science, the autoimmune mindset. She’s strict AIP now, understands leaky gut well enough to describe it to others, and thriving. I didn’t realize how much grains were killing her. She’s still undiagnosed, but that’s ok. Seattle Children’s Dr. Kennedy told us personally that medicine is just on the verge of understanding how food interacts with children and disease. My daughter even drew them pictures of faces to illustrate her consistent level 4 pain level. They said they can’t do anything until there is actual joint damage. Thank you thank you! We don’t have to wait.for that, and her pain has reduced dramatically. Thank you!!! May you always be bleessed.

Sarah, Very grateful to have found your website as I’m doing the AIP Paleo protocol for my newly diagnosed RA and it’s really tough but I see I’m not so alone after all. Merely a month into this diet and I’m feeling a little better each week so I will stay this path although it’s quite hard without support and the cooking is quite a burden in itself. Even with my ALCAT results I’m still experiencing reactions to foods that were supposedly on my “safe” list. SO challenging!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

You have my respect. I’d rather read and follow someone who is HONEST than someone who tries to hide the difficulties. I also think people need to be understanding enough to know that life has hard times even when you are doing things right. You’ve done the science and research (boy have you!) and so while this is a great great book and plan, it can not possibly make everything perfect because life just isn’t. So, kudos to you, for all the work you put into this, all the people you’re helping, AND for being real and honest and sharing.

If you weren’t already married, I’d SO marry you! 🙂 Aside from being beautiful, you’re brilliant, funny, and generally amazing. (And gorgeous.)


thank you for sharing such difficult things about your journey. I totally understand how difficult it was to write a book as I wrote one albeit in a much longer period of time, and I feel I am under that kind of stress when I teach undergraduates during the academic year. And now instead of taking time off I have to prepare new courses.
What caught my eye was your mention of joint pain and tendonitis. I suffer from those once or twice the hip, a few times the ribs, now the tendon in the foot, and I thought it might be autoimmune. Is it? Is it worth starting the AIP only for them? Could it be just stress?

It’s sad to know that others suffer/have suffered from stress like I do. On the other hand, it’s encouraging to hear your honesty and know you’re telling the truth that you have found balance and a healthy road. I am determined to make a life change in diet and exercise and get my life back so I can be a better mom to my children and wife to my husband. The thought of starting is overwhelming but I know a change has to happen, my life is not acceptable! Thanks for putting your honest story out, I know that was hard.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It just shows that you are human (well, maybe super-human ;). It’s wonderful that your are on the road to recovery, a road I hope to share someday. It’s so frustrating when there is something wrong with your health and you can’t get answers. I KNOW I have some type of thyroid disorder, yet all the tests I’ve had done show everything is “normal”. It is not normal!!! My hair has been falling out like crazy for the last year (originally triggered by a cortisone injection), I’ve had insane anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, depression and the stress of all this? I come from a family with a strong history of thyroid disorders so I know there’s a problem. I can see and feel my thyroid bulging from the base of my throat, yet all is fine they say. I hope I can find a dr that can actually help me the way yours did. Wishing you continued health!!

Thank you! I wish you the same! I hope you’re able to find a practitioner who can help you get to the bottom of your issues.

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