August 12, 2015

How a Chemical Detox Helped me Manage my Autoimmune Disorder.

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Some 13 years ago I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

This is a disease in which the body’s natural defense system sees the thyroid as a foreign object, and proceeds to attack it. It is an autoimmune disease for which there is no cure.

I was placed on synthetic thyroid replacement medicine to put my hormone levels back in check and received minimal information about my diagnosis. I continued with life as usual.  I was working quite a stressful job during many of the past years; however, after a major car accident in 2009, I was afforded the luxury of time to relax and recover.

I wanted to get back to feeling great but, after some introspection, I could not remember ever feeling “great”.

My desire to feel my best and live my healthiest life led me to knowledge.

I started seeking out all the latest information about my disease and concluded that change was an absolute must. I researched all the latest information about Hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. I visited every page I could find on the topics. A few good sources are Natural News, Dr. Mercola, The Wellness Mama and Food Babe. Dr. Izabella Wentz’s book Root Cause is a wealth of knowledge.

I visited my local library and poured through medical reference books and medical publications such as JAMA. I learned that I have many symptoms from both the hyper and hypo lists including:

Hair loss

Weight loss and gain—a 10 to 12 pound flux was normal or me

Low body temperature

Low blood pressure and low heart rate. My heart would race and my calves would itch until I scratched them raw.

Some days I would wake up and bounce out of bed, ready to take on the world; other days getting out of bed hurt every joint in my body. If I managed to get up and get anything done, I would have to plan in time for a nap in the early afternoon. I learned that chemicals are my greatest foe.

I started slowly. I removed all the scented outlet plug ins from my home, along with any aerosol scented sprays. After putting a lot of thought into my largest organ—my skin—I switched out my shampoo, conditioner & body wash to a single product with none of the chemicals I try to avoid.

My favorite is Everyone 3-in-1. I like the Coconut Lemon. I switched all six of my family members to Tom’s deodorant, with no aluminum. We now use Jason’s Power Shine toothpaste or Kiss My Face; both do not contain fluoride. I switched my perfume to essential oils. Jasmine or lavender mixed with distilled water makes a lovely spritz.

Slowly, I started to feel better. I decided to take it further, slowly replacing old, well-advertised products for those with only natural ingredients such as Seventh Generation. These products cost considerably more than their toxic counterparts, so my next quest was for the best cleaning, least toxic and cheapest recipes .

I now make my own laundry detergent, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, carpet refreshing powder and fabric refreshing spray—all are made with fewer than a dozen ingredients.

I have thus eliminated most chemicals from our home.

It has made a huge difference in my health and daily well-being. My entire family reaps the benefits of my little changes. The house is clean, fresh and non-toxic; I can feel happy that they aren’t washing with chemicals or wearing clothes that are saturated in toxic detergents and softeners.

The better I feel, the better I am for my family. My chemical detox saved my life.


Author: Shannon Sohn

Apprentice Editor: Monika Carless/Editor: Caroline Beaton

Image: Flickr

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