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AIP Stories of Recovery is a success story series about regular people from the Autoimmune Protocol community who are changing their lives using the protocol. Each month a new person is featured and readers have the opportunity to discover all the different health challenges that are being overcome by folks just like themselves on the same path. At Autoimmune Paleo we hope you’ll be inspired by, empathize with, and learn from these stories. If you are interested in sharing your story, please email us through the contact form.
At age 17, Daniella Rabbani spent the summer the same way as her classmates: preparing for college. But unlike her classmates, she was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism and PCOS. She spent years trying every natural remedy under the sun, but it wasn’t until she embraced the AIP’s lifestyle components that her health finally began to turn around — so much so that she became pregnant just 6 months later. Though her pregnancy didn’t go as planned, Daniella knows it’s a sign her body is working better, not worse, than ever before.
What health issues are you dealing with, when did they begin, and how long did it take to get a diagnosis?
When I was 17, I was heading off to college with a diagnoses of hypothyroidism and polycystic ovaries. I had been struggling with lethargy, depression, weight gain, poor circulation, menstrual disturbance (and absence) on top of an overall feeling of ickiness for as long as I could remember. My body is prone to inflammation, which leaves me feeling sore and tender to the touch. I’ve lived a pretty extraordinary life so far, filled with love and art, but my health always seemed to nag me and hold me back.
Describe what the lowest point on your health journey was like.
Last year, a good friend of mine recommended I check out The Paleo Approach. I had been dealing with a stubborn hip and pelvis injury that just wouldn’t go away. I was pouring all my time and money into trying to heal but nothing stuck. When my friend suggested I hop on the AIP train in order to temper the inflammation, I was desperate enough to give it a chance. Hallelujah!
What challenges influenced you to look for a solution? Basically, what was the tipping point?
I’ve always been a huge advocate for natural healing and have tried every — and I mean EVERY — diet on planet earth. What I love about the AIP is that it’s a protocol and, yes, there’s a large food component, but that’s just a piece of the puzzle. I choose to focus on the lifestyle shifts in order not to feel deprived or obsessed with food choices while doing my best to stay away from inflammatory foods.
I loved reading about the rest a body like mine might require. I started sleeping more and prioritizing the quality of sleep I got. I added essential oils into my life which helped with sleep, digestion and mood balancing. I switched up my hard core spinning-running-weight-lifting workouts to restorative and strengthening practices like yoga, pilates and Gyrotonic. Overall, I began to listen to my body.
When you found a protocol to help you heal, what was it and what was your first indication that it was working?
The first indication that the protocol was working came when I noticed my super stubborn and mysterious rash had gone away! Now, when I fall off track, I use that rash as a barometer of what I can and cannot eat. It’s actually pretty cool.
What resources have you used on your healing journey so far and how did you find them?
The top three resources on my healing journey have been:
- Essential oils (I even became a Wellness Advocate for doTerra I love them so much!)
- Meditation (I learned at Ziva Meditation!)
- Adding bone broth (when I’m flared up and achy I make a batch and I find it’s truly healing) and removing inflammatory foods
Did your doctors suggest any treatments that you rejected and if so, why did you choose to try other methods?
Oh doctors! Doctors have always told me that my thyroid will only ever get slower, that I have to get used to being sluggish and foggy, and that I will have trouble getting pregnant. They were wrong. My health and quality of life has improved SIGNIFICANTLY since engaging in AIP. Within six months on the protocol, I got pregnant without even trying. I was so shocked and excited and thankful that I immediately reached out to Autoimmune Paleo to share my story!
Part of what I love about Autoimmune Paleo is the honesty and community you’ve created. When you reached back out to me to see if I would be interested in sharing my story, I thought twice about it because I ended up miscarrying. But here’s the thing: this IS a huge success story for me. The lesson? My body WORKS! It works better than ever. The fact that I could have gotten pregnant is thrilling. So I decided to share this with the community because this is also part of the journey and if there’s a woman out there who’s going through or been through the same, I wanted to reach out and virtually hold her hand to let her know she’s not alone.
It can seem like our lives are consumed by a chronic illness, but there is so much beyond those struggles. What brings you true joy right now?
These days I’m feeling optimistic about the future. FINALLY! I love spending time with my dreamboat of a hubby, my cute pooch, Bernardo, enjoying a healthy body in movement (Gyro especially) and making art. I’m inspired to help others heal through art and oils these days.
Would you like to share your Story of Recovery? Please email us through our contact form.