028 // How I am navigating my own autoimmune flare
Health with Hashimoto’s is the free weekly podcast where the exhausted mom can find a path to whole health.
Autoimmune flares are not fun. In this episode, I share my experience including the steps I took to try to get out of it and what actually appears to be working.
This episode features Kim MacLurg who is a mom of 4 and a nurse of 13 years specializing in holistic proactive health.
You will find this episode below in audio format and a written summary because I know not everyone is an audio learner. Some links may be affiliate links that will support me without increasing your price.
Each episode of Health with Hashimoto’s is for informational and educational purposes. Please discuss any questions or concerns with your trusted healthcare professional.
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Read the Transcript:
This transcript is auto-generated by OtterAI and may have slight errors.
Hi I’m Esther and I am so glad to welcome you here. This is the podcast where exhausted women with Hashimotos discovered through simple and sustainable things so they can move forward on your path to whole health. In the last episode, I talked to you about what an autoimmune flare is.
Today, I’m going to get a little vulnerable and I’m going to share my story of my flare, how I have navigated it, how I am currently navigating it, and what the future looks like and what now looks like I hope that’s okay. I know that most of my podcasts are about you and how you can learn and you can implement. I thought maybe today you could learn by hearing my story. I know hearing stories really helps people at the same time. It’s a little bit unusual from my normal podcast, so let me know if that’s okay with you. In Episode One, I did share my original story, because I haven’t had before.
So my story of having Hashimotos or knowing that something is going on kind of starts three winters ago, three winters ago I developed this rash I thought maybe eczema or weirdness on my calves. And it was really frustrating, and annoying. I tried lotions and potions. I tried a variety of things and it cleared up after a couple of months. It wasn’t horrible. It was annoying. It definitely like I noticed it every day. But that’s about it. It went away and I was like hey, great. I fixed it. I didn’t know how I fixed it. But it was gone.
So I was happy and then the next winter, it came back again. And it was a little worse. Until last winter after trying even more things including whole house humidifiers and different things, I did to seek more professional care. I added more people to my team. And I discovered at that time that I had Hashimotos that I had thyroid problems, and then all of a sudden the things that made sense.
I looked back and I really don’t know when my thyroid problems began. I can look back and I’m like okay, I think probably COVID was a trigger. But at the same time, I’ve been pregnant five times when miscarriage for babies that’s hard on your body. After my fourth son was born, there was more stress, he had eczema and there’s just a lot of things where I look back and I wonder like did I have thyroid problems at that time was my body starting on this path.
And I really don’t know it’s not like your body waves the flag like that little black and white go flag on a racecar. It’s not like you have that kind of signal that says hey, this is when it started. You know, it’s a gradual thing. But I do know that that straw that broke the camel’s back the thing that drove me to seek outside expertise and input into what was going on was my skin. It was driving me crazy last winter. So I got my diagnosis.
But by the time I found out that I had thyroid problems, it was getting into spring and my skin cleared up. So I was like, oh, okay, so the things that I implemented when I found out that I had Hashimotos. Obviously, they worked and maybe they did and maybe they’re working but when winter rolled back around to this year, my skin flared up again.
So I went back and asked for help. And I’ve been continuing this progress on my journey, my journey of healing. None of us are ever there. It’s always a journey. We don’t have a destination except, you know, eternal life, which I guess it started now. But you know what I mean? When we get to heaven, we’ll have a new body and there will be no more effects of, of Satan of evil of things breaking down will be perfect. And that is what we look forward to.
But until we get there we are on this journey of health. How can I make each day a little healthier than yesterday? How can I be 1% better? How can I feel good in my body? How can I make sure that I have good mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health, it all goes together.
So when I had this flare of symptoms, I realized that I needed to do exactly what I told you on the last episode and let’s go back to the beginning I needed to evaluate Has anything changed stress medications, nutrients, and you know what the weather for me? I looked at my pattern of my skin going crazy, getting this itchy, burning, painful rash and it has happened every winter now times three. So for me I was like, Okay, this is what has changed.
Obviously, I cannot change the weather. So I’m going to have to do something else. I can’t undo that change unless I want to move somewhere where they have big nasty spiders and snakes and reptiles. I am happy here in Minnesota. I love winter. I love snow and I love the absence of venomous snakes and spiders. I can’t stand those two things. So I’m not gonna move to Florida to move to Texas. I’m gonna stay here in Minnesota.
So I needed to figure out how I can be healthy how I can help my body. Well, it’s winter. So I looked at number one, has anything changed? Can I undo that change? No, I cannot undo the weather. And then I went back to the beginning.
So if you have the Hashimotos one on one guide, I went to day one priorities. Now a side note on that guide. You can click the link sign up for it and you’ll get an email that says Click this link to get it because I serve women all around the world. I am required to have that second click I know it’s really annoying when you go to sign up for something and you want it immediately and then you have to do another click but that second click is required for anybody who gives free PDFs to people in Europe. So sorry, but the second click, go ahead and click that and then you will get the Hashimotos one guide.
So day one priorities. That one probably is the hardest for me because that third day one priority is to be kind and loving to yourself to have self-compassion. And here I was beating myself up about it. I thought I have a podcast I teach people about having health with Hashimotos Why am I having a breakdown in my skin? Why am I dealing with this problem? Well, of course, it’s because I’m human. And because I’m on this journey the same as you just because I know about it and I can talk about it and teach you doesn’t mean all of a sudden I’m above it. No, I’m in the trenches right with you. I am working on my own healing journey just as you are.
So after the day one priority is then you move to the next page where it talks about getting started. I went back to the beginning I looked at my root causes. I’ve learned so much on my journey I’ve made so much progress. I’m not actually going back to the very beginning, just like you are not gonna go all the way back to the very beginning. You can’t unlearn what you’ve learned when you go back to the beginning that you actually get to start from a higher place because now you have so much more knowledge and so much more data about what works and what doesn’t work for your body and for your mind and your spirit.
So I looked at the Getting Started page addressing root cause number one, the genetic component. Am I still working on nutrigenomics? Yes I am. When I was diagnosed with Hashimotos. I was at that time it taking what’s called the dual synergizer from LifeVantage and that includes the NRF one and NRF two activators and I’ve talked about that quite a bit on this podcast.
When I was diagnosed I added a third activator, which is the nav maybe you’ve heard of NAD. It kind of helps your body clean things up even better. It’s the benefits of fasting without the actual fasting and I cannot do fasting because it’s an extra stressor on my body, and then it makes things worse. So I added that sort of every single day I take that tri-synergizer of all three of activators. I also take an omega because I know healthy fats are crucially vital for your brain, for your nerves for your skin. Every single cell in your body needs healthy fats to work but your brain your nerves and your skin need more. So I was already working on that root cause number one genetic component and helping my genes helping my body decide how to express itself.
Root causes number two was a gut component is gut component. And the first thing I do when I look at that gut component is I ask people Are you pooping everyday in Hashimotos? One on one guide Are you pooping at least once a day? Technically, you are constipated if you’re not gonna be three times a day. I’m not gonna be three times a day, but I was making sure that I’m gonna be at least once a day and so that was fine.
So I went on to root cause number three I looked at triggers and for me obviously I said it was weather and I can’t change that. But I also looked at no caffeine. I cut out all caffeine except for I think one day when I had a migraine, and then I took my brain drink and it was wonderful. But I increased my rest. I cut out caffeine and I just focused on breathing on decreasing my stress because stress is a trigger and with this skin flare-up, it was increasing my stress and it was decreasing my sleep because it was intruding into every day, every minute even sometimes up quite often. This pain, burning, and itching was very stressful and it kept me awake and it would wake me up in the middle of the night as well. So as far as triggers, my stress was up, my sleep was down and I obviously cannot change the weather.
So then I looked back to root cause number two, let me look more at my gut because I know as a holistic nurse that your skin is a reflection of your gut. And since my flare is primarily skin, I realized you know what, I need to look more at that. And so I started looking at collagen.
Why collagen? That’s a good question. I asked my friend Kim MacLurg to explain. She is a mom of four and she has been a nurse for 13 years. Her specialty is holistic, proactive health. She talks about how collagen directly relates to gut health.
Kim explains collagen and your gut
Most people are pretty aware about the connection between collagen decline and wrinkle formation. But when you think about why this occurs, it really gets to the root of how collagen functions in our bodies.
Collagen is a structural protein and actually makes up over 30% of the structure within our bodies. This makes it a major building block. You could think of it as the mortar between the bricks and a brick wall. When that mortar starts to get old and crumbly and breakaway, it really affects the structural integrity of the wall and how sound is at keeping things out? Inflammation can make things even worse by hardening and fragmenting the collagen which weakens it further.
When the gut is weak. It’s vulnerable to infections, pathogens, inflammation and permeability, which is often referred to as leaky gut. This can cause other issues like allergies and the immune system starts going haywire. This can lead to autoimmune issues throughout the body.
So collagen is very critical for maintaining These tight junctions and repairing the damage that is there. Having a happy gut helps us to digest our food properly absorb our nutrients and beyond the direct guide. It’s also very important for maintaining optimal immune health, metabolism, brain health, skin and overall well-being. So as you can see, it’s a very important part of our body to prioritize when we’re looking at overall health.
As I learned more about collagen, and I realized that yes, it would definitely be beneficial for my gut and thus beneficial for everything. But also I realized you know what that analogy was of the mortar breaking down, and the inflammation also contributing, I realized that I have a lot of breakdown in my legs. That’s where the skin issue primarily was as well as inflammation.
In fact, over the whole winter end of the previous two winters I have been focused a lot on my lymphatic system. I have a PDF about lymph if you’re interested. It’s not on my website. I will have it in the show notes. And in today’s blog post for this episode, you can get it there. It’s “all about lymph.”
Lymph is basically the garbage disposal system of your body. What happens is when the blood comes out, you know from your arteries leaving your heart, even your lungs, it goes to all of the cells in the body washes over them. When it washes over the cells they can reach out just imagine them reaching out and pulling what they need from your blood. And then they deposit the garbage into that blood. Well, the good blood goes back into your capillaries back into your veins and back into that cycle. The garbage now becomes lymph and lymph does not have its own pump. So you have to move it through your own body. And usually we do that by muscular contraction. So when you walk when you run when you do yoga, that helps.
I was having a lot of swelling in my legs, and I knew that that was my garbage disposal system backing up it was my lymph so I’ve really been working on my lymph. But listening to Kim I realized you know what? Collagen can probably also help that garbage disposal system. If it’s going to help everything be more structurally intact. It’s going to help things move around.
So I had already been working on my lymph I’d already been drinking I increased my water to almost a gallon a day. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the saying the solution to pollution is dilution. Well, I knew there was a lot of garbage as evidenced by the swelling in my legs, the redness, the inflammation, the pain and burning all of that, you know, we know that there’s more cellular garbage when we’re experiencing those. So I increased my water already to almost a gallon every day. And I was ready to make another change.
The thing is collagen. It ranges you can get collagen as a powder for you know, fairly cheap and then there’s really expensive collagen. So what’s the difference when I approached my husband in our budget meeting about getting an expensive collagen? Well, our budget is tight. I don’t know how yours is but the cost of everything has gone up. We have four kids and a whole bunch of chickens which their feed has also gone up.
You know the budget is tight. I don’t have money to throw around. So I needed to know why activated college and why is it important that I get this one versus like a super cheap one at the store and Kim has explained that for me as well.
Kim explains what Activated Collagen is
With all the different collagen supplements out there you may be asking how to know which one to take. Maybe you’ve taken powder before and not noticed any difference. And there may be many reasons this could be including bioavailability quality and so on. But the main reason is that traditional collagen supplements are only a supplementing. They’re trying to take large quantities of collagen peptides. dump it into your body and hope that your body can absorb and use it properly. Unfortunately, this is not usually very effective. And also most collagens only contain type one which can only be used in select areas of the body and not widespread activate of collagen works quite differently. So let me touch on a few ways that it’s unique.
First, activated collagen works in three ways. It activates, replenishes, and maintains. So first it activates your body to make collagen. Our bodies already make collagen and they know exactly how to do it by telling our bodies to make more of it we are able to increase our natural collagen in many different types. So our bodies can use it with full bioavailability and purpose. This can be used in our gut hair, skin, bones, tendons, blood vessels, you name it all around the body.
Next, it also supplements 10 different types of peptides from marine sources. So this can help replenish those stores as well.
And lastly, it communicates to our bodies to slow down the process of degrading the collagen, which helps us to maintain what we already have in place. This activated collagen is also boosted with superfood ingredients which tell your body to create more SMD and catalase. These are super important antioxidants which helpe to repair the damage done by inflammation throughout our bodies.
This combo is very powerful in repairing damage that has been done rebuilding a stronger structure for us moving forward so we can maintain and improve our health long term. This is done with natural ingredients never anything artificial. So you know you’re getting high quality you will see and feel from the inside out.
Thank you so much Kim. I really love the way that she explains it. You know it really helped me make a decision on whether this was the right next step or not.
And I was already doing so many things I was at the end of my rope Honestly, my pain and burning itching was impacting. Now every minute of the day it was interfering with our feeling well being because I was not present. I was always distracted and that’s not really a good way to be a wife or a mom.
And so we did add activated collagen into our budget. Today as I record I am on day 10 And of course I have been activating other pathways in my body are for a long time. So the activated collagen is acting on top of those. But by day 10 already my pain and my burning are down by over 50% I can get through hours without being distracted by that now. It’s amazing just day 10 and I really have great hopes. My redness and my swelling are also down. I plan to continue this activated collagen and see where that leaves me because I’m not out of this flare yet. But already 10 days in I have seen so much improvement and I am so grateful that my body now has the ingredients it has the tools to be activated to do what it needs to do.
Your body was not designed to be sick your body you were designed and created to live in perfect harmony with God. Now things have happened. Of course, they’re saying there’s evil in this world. And we all have the consequences of that and we all have to live with that. But just know that at the core. You were not created to be sick.
I firmly believe there are always things that we can do to move our bodies, our minds, our spirits more towards health, and I am so grateful that this next step that I have taken is working. It’s always a relief to take that step and like oh, things are working because a lot of times I take steps and they didn’t. This is part of the journey. You take a step and you evaluate it.
I am so thankful that I feel like I’m finally emerging on something that’s working for this flare. I do have an appointment with my nurse practitioner coming up so that we can reevaluate and I can get more input and see what else I can do. But it’s so nice to be able to get through the day and feel like myself again.
I don’t know about you, but many women tell me that that is their number one goal. I just want to feel like myself again. And that’s where I was at the beginning of winter back a week ago, two weeks ago. I just wanted to feel like myself again, because I wasn’t me. I was distracted. I could not focus. I could not be the person who I know I am. And I was very frustrated.
If you’re frustrated. I would love to work with you in a Hashimotos health session so that you can figure out your next step. Now I’m not a doctor, I’m not patient diagnose you. What I do in these sessions is I listen and I help you decide what is that next step? What can you do, you can find a link to sign up for one of those sessions down below in the show notes or again like I said on the blog for this episode, which is also in the show notes also is a link to that activated collagen.
I will see you next week on the Health with Hashimoto’s podcast. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. Please be sure to discuss any concerns and plans with your trusted healthcare professional
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