Mickey’s Story – Part III

If you are starting here, you might want to read part I and part II.

Right after getting my Hashimoto’s diagnosis from my naturopath, he advised me to go on this expensive smoothie cleanse/elimination diet. It consisted of a meal replacement powder that you ramp up for 3 weeks, eventually replacing all of your meals with it and then weaning off of it. In conjunction, there was a strict diet for the meals that were not replaced with the smoothie, and when the plan was over I was to re-introduce commonly allergenic foods. I felt great while doing and just after the cleanse. I asked one of my friends, who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine, to look over the ingredients and tell me why he thought it was working so well for me. He told me that I should be very careful because it contained a lot of harsh liver detox agents, and although I was feeling great it could set me up for a bigger imbalance or problem in the future. His opinion on the stuff worried me a little bit, but I shrugged it off and moved on to the elimination phase of the diet.

Unfortunately, I did not know what I know now about elimination diets and I went about the re-introduction all wrong. I completely missed a huge allergen, gluten, by introducing so many things at once. I was completely overwhelmed by my reaction to almost any food on the list that I tried. Soy gave me rashes, oats made my throat swell up and eggs gave me an upset stomach. At this point I was afraid to eat anything but the few foods I had been eating on the cleanse for fear of having an allergic reaction. Eating became a very anxiety-riddled time for me.

A couple of weeks after completing the cleanse was “the crash”. I started having chest pains over a few days, and ended up in the hospital having a panic attack and hypokalemia (low potassium). The hypokalemia was causing me to have muscle spasms in my chest area which were freaking me out and making me think that I was having heart problems. The week I was recovering from that I got a horrible lung infection and had to go back to the hospital one night because I couldn’t breathe. After I thought I had recovered enough from that infection, I went back to work, but I had to keep going home because I was not well enough. This went on for a couple of weeks before I lost my job. At this point I had been suffering from the chest pain for about a month, and although the infection had come and gone, my body still felt sick and completely out of whack. I lost my appetite and lost 20 lbs off of my already small frame. My blood pressure was very low and I would need help getting up and to the bathroom. I would lay on the couch all day convinced that I was dying. I lost feeling in my hands, feet, and on parts of my face and had horrible dizziness and brain fog. I went from doctor to doctor and was tested for EBV, Lyme, Lupus, RA, and MS, and nobody could come up with a diagnosis except “pleurisy”, which my rheumatologist grandfather and orthopedic surgeon uncle both called BS because it did not show up on an x-ray. I was anemic, and also had very low vitamin D and B12 although I had been generously supplementing all 3. My grandfather was speculating that I had some disease of malabsorption or that my vegan diet was making me unable to recover. I was unwilling to hear his argument, thinking that it was impossible that my diet could be contributing to my illness.

By this time, I was scouring the internet for answers since I was getting no help from the medical profession. I kept coming across Celiac disease and adrenal fatigue as possible culprits. In an act of desperation, I went back to the doctor begging them to test me for Celiac disease. They didn’t want to, but of course I was right–the test came back with antibodies off the chart. Finally I had a diagnosis, and I could get started on the road back to health.

Although I was incredibly relieved and believed that I had found the source of my problem, eliminating gluten from my diet did nothing for my symptoms, besides the neuropathy. At this point I had been suffering from this for months on end with no relief and under great financial pressure since my husband was the only one working in our household and we had lots of hospital bills to pay off. I was extremely depressed and was trying to accept the fact that I could be like this for the rest of my life. My doctors had nothing for me, saying that I was not being careful enough about cross contamination within the home. They also told me that my symptoms could not be from my Hashimoto’s, since my lab tests were “normal”. I felt completely defeated.

From there, I decided that I had nothing to loose and that I would try one more thing, and that was the alternative route. I found a practitioner that was knowledgable on adrenal fatigue and trained by Dr. Kharrazian on Hashimoto’s disease. It was through this practitioner that I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and began my epic uphill battle back to good health.

Stay tuned for posts detailing my recovery, in parts I and II.

About Mickey Trescott

Mickey Trescott is a co-founder here at Autoimmune Wellness. After recovering from her own struggle with both Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue, and multiple vitamin deficiencies, Mickey started to write about her experience to share with others and help them realize they are not alone in their struggles. She is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner by the Nutritional Therapy Association, and is the author of three best-selling books--The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook, The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook, and The Nutrient-Dense Kitchen. You can watch her AIP cooking demos and get a glimpse of life on the farm by following her on Instagram.


  • […] Lest this look like a glowing testimony for Veganism… stay tuned for parts II and III! […]

  • Dawg Ma says

    Waiting anxiously for the next installment ~ thanks for sharing.

  • Amely says

    I have also encountered similar events as you have detailed in your stories. Less severe, but same bouts. I am also told by the healthcare community that I am okay. However, I do have hypothyroidism and the doctor wants to do a brain MRI of my pituitary gland. He thinks there is something wrong with it. I myself have found that the lite version of paleo diet works for me along with the elimination of high salicylates and FODMAP related foods. leisure exercise/activities, although I have been more inclined to do indoor exercise activities due to environmental allergies. I feel aches and pains that come and go, but I have learned to manage and accept. I am interested to know how you manage your diet. THANK YOU, for posting your ideas and story.

    • Hi Amely,
      Thanks for the message! I had an MRI also, to check my pituitary as well as look for MS (both came out fine). My thyroid bloodwork comes back within all of the accepted ranges and I was denied treatment for a long time, until I found a naturopath that was willing to let me try a small dose of dessicated thyroid that has really helped. Paleo has been nothing short of a miracle for me, and over the last year have been tweaking as I find out more about the gut and how to better help mine heal. I also have a sensitivity to FODMAPs – I strictly avoided them for a couple of months, and now I can have small amounts of the lesser offenders without looking pregnant. I believe this to be because of SIBO instead of fructose intolerance since it is getting better with time, but I haven’t been formally tested so I don’t know.

      Managing diets with chronic illness is so tricky because we are all different, but one thing rings true – keep trying things until you find something that works for you, and don’t be afraid to stick with it. Nobody can know your body as well as you do, and I think the better a person can access that intelligence the better they are going to be at determining what to/not to eat. Good luck 🙂

  • […] If you are starting here, you might want to read my story, parts I, II, and III.  […]

  • Rachel says

    Thank you for sharing your story. I feel less alone knowing that you and others have gone through similar long, painful, arduous trials as myself. I’m looking forward to your recovery story.

  • […] you are starting here, you might want to read my story, parts I, II, and III, and my recovery part […]

  • kate says

    Hi Mickey,
    I stumbled upon your story and am glad that I did. My experience has been really similar to yours, although I am still trying to find out what is going on with my thyroid… I have hypothyroid and celiac’s but no Hashimoto’s antibodies. I have a lot of the same problems with dizziness and low blood pressure, and cutting out gluten got rid of my headaches but I was really disappointed that I didn’t see much improvement otherwise. I have also been a vegan for years and have been struggling with the idea of adding meat into my diet. I have added fish but am so used to the idea that vegan is healthy, better for the environment and safe that it’s still really difficult. I might make a leap after reading your story though. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the reply Kate! Have you looked into adrenal fatigue? I was convinced that my dizziness and BP problems were due to my thyroid, only to find out that it was classic adrenal fatigue. The adrenals can also cause low thyroid function if they get bad enough.

      I was very surprised when I got my celiac diagnosis that going gluten-free didn’t have a better effect on me. I did an elimination diet and noticed that I had a horrible reaction to oats (gluten free ones!), quinoa, and sorghum. This was bad because I was eating a lot of gluten-free baked goods with these ingredients. It wasn’t until I eliminated all grains but rice that I noticed a big change. I have also read about foods that cross-react with celiac, and dairy is one of the biggest ones (also quinoa, coffee, and some others). Super frustrating, but something to consider looking in to!

      I could write forever about how I feel about going from being Vegan to Paleo (I’ll probably blog more about it at some point) but it was one of the biggest factors that led me to start studying nutrition. All of my beliefs as a vegan about how I was healthy because I did not eat meat were shattered when I actually started looking into the role that animal protein, good fats, cholesterol, and the fat-soluble vitamins play in the body. I believe that anything we eat, plant or animal can be unhealthy for a human and the planet if it is not raised with care. Our culture is so obsessed about grouping foods into categories of good or bad, cancer causing or not, when really it is about the origin and quality of those ingredients that makes a difference in how they act once they are in our bodies. I think adding fish is great, and you may be able to get the nutrition you are lacking just from that, although my experience was that red meat was particularly healing for me personally. Everyone is different! If my body was able to be healthy eating vegan, I would gladly still be one because I hate being responsible for animals suffering, but I no longer have that choice. Take care 🙂

      • kate says

        Hi Mickey, Thank you for responding to my comment, I really appreciate it. I never comment on blogs! I had my adrenals tested a while ago and my doctor was surprised that they were normal. So far since dealing with different diets the last couple years I’ve had a lot of improvement, but at this point I just kind of feel embarrassed that I don’t feel amazing like everyone expects, including my doctors. I sort of plateaued after improving some on thyroid hormone replacement and a diet free of gluten, soy and dairy but still have fatigue, nausea and dizziness that makes a huge impact on my life. When I do the elimination diets I have trouble detecting when a food affects me negatively. I never have violent reactions, I just always feel tired. When I accidentally ate gluten early on I didn’t feel anything, same with soy. Strange! I decided a couple weeks ago to try eliminating foods with possible gluten cross-reactions including all grains from my diet and am hoping maybe I’ll start to see changes again. I would eat vegan also if I could thrive on that diet, but it has become clear that I can’t either. I think being vegan can really become part of our identity and that can make giving it up so difficult. Well, Thanks so much for posting and giving me hope that I will continue to improve! I love your recipes.

  • […] To be continued in part III… […]

  • […] late 2011 I had my big “crash.” It followed my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, a liver cleanse, an exhausting road trip, and […]

  • […] Lest this look like a glowing testimony for Veganism… stay tuned for parts II and III! […]

  • […] To be continued in part III… […]

  • […] If you are starting here, you might want to read my story, parts I, II, and III.  […]

  • […] you are starting here, you might want to read my story, parts I, II, and III, and my recovery part […]

  • […] late 2011 I had my big “crash.” It followed my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, a liver cleanse, an exhausting road trip, and […]

  • […] This article has moved to a location on my new website (autoimmune-paleo.com), click here to read it! […]

  • Laura says

    Hi Mickey,
    Like you, I have hypothyroid issues and mine manifests itself as high blood pressure 200/120 sometimes and I am allergic to all blood pressure meds thankfully.. Like you, I also have NUMEROUS food allergies. At one point, my sensitivities were over 25 of the normal foods I ate. I also have IBS, both C and D. Leaky gut is most likely the culprit. PALEO-SCD has been a life saver, as has adding Coconut Kefir, digestive enzymes and Tropical Traditions gold label. Coconut oil. I also have to avoid all nightshades and I go to see an NAET certified Acupuncturist specializing in food allergies. I am down to 12 allergies because of her. Hang in there and keep at it. It will get better but we may need to be diligent to eat REAL food and avoid the junk for the rest of our lives.

  • J-Rad says

    It has been over two years since you have written on here. What is going on? I want to finish the story, but I’m afraid that something happened to you in the last two years.

    • Mickey says

      I’m really healthy–I haven’t had any autoimmune symptoms in over a year. I still have some issues with methylation/histamine, which I found out recently were from a genetic mutation. I’ll be posting about that soon. Cheers!


  • christa says

    Hi Mickey,
    Thank you for being so open and real about your situation and experiences. I have been going through so much and have been so frustrated with the lack of answers and addition of questions that I’ve received… I have had another sleepless night last night with similar symptoms you have mentioned, and have been very restricted in my eating. I am in the beginning phases of learning about autoimmune/hashi/celiac and must wait a few months to see the doctor again. His answer… I don’t know… 🙁 I tried to add myself to your subscription list, but it didn’t work. Could you please add me? I’m a newbie so still learning. I live on the east coast, otherwise I’d definitely schedule an appointment with you! I’ve joined various FB pages, but your site is wonderful! Thank you for your testimony… especially the passing out and asthmatic part. It gives me hope that there is an answer out there somewhere. Do you have an email address that I could ask a personal question about your symptoms?
    Thank you,

  • Katie says

    How long did it take for you to see improvements in your neuropathy? Did it gradually go away? Get worse before it got better? This is the most frustration part for me. Besides the fatigue… blah, how long did that take for you? I know it is different for everyone but I love to hear other people’s experience.

  • […] see her blog series on the topic here, here, here, here, and […]

  • Lynn says

    Hi Mickey,

    I too really want to see the light at the end of the tunnel! Can you tell me the name and contact number of the practitioner you worked with? I’m seen loads of doctors but can’t find a knowledgeable practitioner that understands Hashimotos and adrenal fatigue. I would be so grateful. You mentioned the practitioner in the quote below.



    ” I found a practitioner that was knowledgable on adrenal fatigue and trained by Dr. Kharrazian on Hashimoto’s disease. It was through this practitioner that I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and began my epic uphill battle back to good health.”

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Lynn! I am sorry but the doctor I worked with in this phase of my healing process has since retired. I would encourage you to seek out the following resources to find someone to help you:


      Hope it helps!

  • Dear Mickey,
    Recently I had been introduced to the Autoimmune Wellness Podcast. While I make dinner, I listen to your podcast. I also just started your Autoimmune Wellness Protocol two weeks ago. I am desperate for health answers!
    Yesterday, I listened to your testimonial of how you found out that you had celiac disease. I had never heard of neurological celiac disease! While I was listening, I got to the part where you thought you were having a seizure. I stopped cooking and starting to cry! This is me!
    I have a long list of symptoms that doctors are stymied by! I have been tested for MS numerous times and it comes up negative. Dr. have repeatedly tested my thyroid, but it comes up low, but in normal range. I have had a biopsy for celiac, but it comes up negative. I have had every blood test that I know for Dr. to take; but nothing comes up out of the ordinary.
    I have lived with severe brain fog since I was a teen ager. I am fatigued continuously. I have been diagnosed with ADD. I have heat and cold intolerances. Coordination issues that keep me “tipping over” or bumping into things. My stomach is so distended that I am continuously getting tests. (My father died of pancreatic cancer, so I have this tested regularly.) (Among the list of other symptoms: osteopenia, arthritis, extremely painful muscles, joint pain, fatigue, inability to lose weight, difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep, infertility, history of miscarriage, hypoglycemia symptoms, endometriosis, nail bed infections…)
    I am an epileptic due to multiple seizures, but this is under control with medication at the present. Last year I had a three-day stint where neuropathy started in my legs, up through my chest and on the third day was in my face. This brought me to the ER and another regimen of nerve testing. At the end, they said I had peripheral neuropathy; but gave me no reason for it or nothing I could do to stop this. MS was again ruled out.
    My neurologist sent me to a nutritionist who worked through multiple diet issues with me; but in the end she said I am eating healthfully, but that she thought that I have malabsorption issue. She raised her hands saying she just didn’t know what to do with me. Once again, no plan of how to quell this issue.
    I have been working through my own health issues for over forty years! I am exhausted. Literally I wake up tired every day! I am so bloated I look like I am going to “deliver” any day now. I have a lot of the issues that are stated under the neurological celiac articles that I have read. I am at a loss! What steps do I take now? I really think I am on to something here, thanks to your personal testimony.
    I have been on a GF diet for years. This helps some, but not near enough to make me feel better. Recently I took out all grains. This also helps some but not everything. So now I am trying the Autoimmune Wellness Protocol. I really need help and wonder if you could help me know how to take intelligent steps to learn more about how to get help for neurological celiac. (I am sure that being GF isn’t the same care as a celiac would take in their eating and cooking.)
    My daughter has similar issues and together we have been trying to figure this out. My brother just started to have seizures and I am wondering if he also has this. There are many symptoms that make me think that this runs in our family. I am really feeling like your testimony is the answer to many a prayer!

    Blessings, Linda

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Thank you so much for sharing your story here, and I am so sorry for what you have been through! My experience with illness seems brief compared to what you are going through, and I can’t imagine your level of frustration. My suggestion would be if you can, look for an AIP Certified Coach (listing here – aipcertified.com) to help walk you through the elimination process – your case might be complex and having someone to help guide and keep you motivated could be super helpful. Wishing you and your family a full recovery!

      • Biraj says

        Hi Mickey!
        Your story is so inspirational. I have JIA (Juvenile idiopathic arthritis). I ‘ve had it ever since I was a teenager. I Have had a really difficult life. I have been on the AIP elimination phase for almost two months now. I had a full-fledged flare when I started the diet. I needed a strong painkiller every 3-4 days. After starting it, I have had one a few days ago after almost three weeks which is good. My mental focus has improved a little. My constipation is down. My stool used to be bad every day but it is much better now. I still have a lot of pain. I wish healing was faster. I still don’t feel as good as much as I should. I think it is because I am still on immunosuppressants. I feel deeply frustrated. How long did you take to go into remission after you started the AIP diet? It would be so great to know (I did read your story). Do you think there will be a gradual shift instead of speedy healing? Is it worth going to a naturopath?

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi Biraj! Sorry it took me so long to get to this comment, I am hoping you have continued to see the benefits of AIP. I completely know how it feels to wish that healing moved faster… it took me a few years before I really could even feel like my progress was truly sustainable. I hope you don’t feel any shame in being on medication still, as a lot of people need to combine diet and lifestyle measures with conventional medicine (I take thyroid medication every day and it is a major part of my feeling better). If you continue to feel like your progress is stalled or slow, I would definitely reach out to a practitioner who is familiar with AIP and can help guide you in some of the finer points of implementation, as well as help you advocate for yourself with your medical team. We have a big list of qualified folks over at http://aipcertified.com. Wishing you the luck in the New Year!

  • M says

    Hi Mickey,

    I was wondering what test you took to confirm Celiac, you said you had antibodies off the chart?

    I took an antibody test (Anti-gliadin SIgA) which was very high. Is that enough to confirm Celiac/gluten intolerance?

    Thankful for help!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi M! My antibodies were anti-transgluaminase. You’ll need to consult a doctor for more information on getting diagnosed based on your bloodwork. Many times they want to follow-up with an endoscopy to take a tissue sample too.

      • M says

        Ok, thank you for the information!

        The problem is that I get so sick when I eat even a tiny bit of gluten, that it’s hard now to go for further testing. I was hoping that the high anti-gliadin would be enough to say that I have celiac. Could there be another reason for the result? I’ve heard something about Candida causing high anti-gliadin levels due to the structure of the protein it creates is so similar. Do you know anything about it? That would mean it could ‘just’ be my (confirmed) Candida that mimics gluten intolerance… but then why would I react so strong to gluten then? I’m a bit confused as you might have noticed! 🙂

        • Mickey Trescott says

          Hi M! Unfortunately I’m not a doctor and I can’t explain those results for you… I am sorry! You will need to consult a practitioner that can take your history and interpret your result. I totally understand not wanting to eat any gluten if you get sick… the struggle is real!

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