Hypothyroidism saddled Ashley Sharples with chronic fatigue for a decade—until she changed up her diet.
In 2009, not long after suffering a heartbreaking miscarriage, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I just wasn’t feeling myself: fatigue, aching joints, poor digestion, brain fog, the list goes on. The doctor prescribed me levothyroxine and sent on my way with the promise that the drug would help me return to “normal” life as I knew it. Only, it didn’t.
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I continuously pestered the doctors and joined countless online support groups in the hope that I would get more answers. I tried everything to get better, including changing my diet and taking supplements. Still, I wasn’t feeling “normal.” The daily fatigue and constant brain fog left me viewing my life from the outside. I was merely existing.
A New Approach
In 2017, my husband and I emigrated with our two young sons from Scotland to the Sunshine Coast, Australia. I was happier than I had ever been, yet gradually my health was getting worse. My body was becoming more inflamed, and I was gaining weight like never before. I was eating a strict paleo diet at the time. I didn’t know what else to do. I had hit my rock bottom and felt like I had used all the resources that were available.
Thankfully, my husband managed to find me a new doctor with a very different perspective on healing, which I openly embraced. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain at that point. One of the keys was to consume a plant-based diet while removing all inflammatory foods from my life. This new approach gave me hope.
As I started putting my new knowledge and protocols into place, I began to notice changes quite quickly. That was all the confirmation I needed. I slowly gained the energy to do light exercise. I started with bike rides. Eventually, I hitched a trailer on the back for my boys, and we made it a family affair!
Feeding Our Health
That was over a year ago now. Today, I am better than I’ve ever been: Gone are the brain fog, daily fatigue, inflammation, and joint pain. And my thyroid is functioning normally! I work out four or five times a week, as well as doing yoga and cycling. I am more mindful about what I consume mentally, physically, and emotionally. The best part? Being medication-free. That’s right: I now take no pharmaceuticals or any type of natural thyroid pill, none!
For 10 long years, I suffered from hypothyroidism and struggled to get out of bed, and here I am living life to the fullest. Things have changed beyond measure. It hasn’t been an easy path, but it has been worth every step. I am not the same person; I live very differently today, but I lost good health once and I am not going to lose it again. I get to take part in life once more. It had been so long that I’d forgotten how good it feels!
My husband and two young children are also now following a whole-food, plant-based diet and are all thriving, too. Cooking has become something that we all really enjoy and take great pleasure in. We know that with every forkful, we are feeding our health and not disease. And when you begin to see it like that, it changes everything.
Ready to get started? Check out our Plant-Based Primer to learn more about adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet.