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    1. Hi, Super inspiring story! Its incredible how God works in us in order to make a better and new version of who we are. I also always thank him cause I was also diagnosed with hashimoto’s and thats one of the reasons I met Jesus, Same exact story! He gave me a heart of flesh! He is good and showed me how anxiety was the cause of my illness. Once I manage to change my life and control anxiety by trusting him and his word all the symptoms went away. Today Im a brand new person through faith in Jesus. Doctors tried to drive me crazy as well, thats why I don’t go anymore and I don’t take medication, only supplements, healthier meals, Im not going to lie, I still get symptoms here and there but always try to be strong in Jesus. Thank u for sharing! Always good to know that we’re not alone… I hope and pray that you feel better and God give you new strength everyday! In Jesus name I pray

      1. Nini, I love what you wrote. So so true. I always think about the mental aspect of living with a chronic autoimmune illness and while I’ve discovered a few techniques to deal with the stress and anxiety (diet, sleep, movement, etc.), the thing that has really gotten me through this is my relationship with God. He has helped me accept and carry the cross of my chronic illness, knowing that I am here to fulfill a bigger purpose because of it. I always remind myself, too, that someday my body will be renewed after my life here on earth and there will be no more suffering. 🙂

        Praying for you, too, Nini!! Thank you!

  1. Thanks for the reminder! Living with fibromyalgia, I could definitly see myself in this article and it’s good to have a reminder of some positive aspects of the illness.

    1. Hi Stéphanie, just last year, I started to experience fibromyalgia-like pain for the first time. My heart goes out to you… it’s really tough to get through some days. Thanks for reading and reaching out.

  2. Thank you for looking at the bright side! I am in the process of downsizing and just parted with years of stuff that adds to more stress! It’s nice to have others that understand that the brain fog is real! Best wishes on your journey!

    1. Lisa, I am so happy you took that step to start downsizing because honestly, it makes a WORLD of difference! I really think that decluttering, simplifying, downsizing, etc. is incredibly effective for living with any chronic illness, but a lot of people are not aware yet of just how much it can help. I wish you the best as well. Thanks for reading!

  3. This article was so timely for me! I suffer from Hashimotos as well but at this moment I am 5 days post op from having one of my parathyroids removed. About 4 years ago I had finally felt like I was managing my thyroid symptoms but then I started experiencing much more debilitating problems like muscle weakness, bone pain and crushing fatigue. It started me on a journey to find out what was wrong. I saw doctor after doctor getting test after test. Finally a year ago I was at yet another doctor appointment 6 months post op from a muscle biopsy that showed nothing again and I happened to mention that I noticed my calcium was high. That was the first time I heard the words Primary Hyperparathyroidism. I got more blood tests that proved I had it but none of the doctors would take me seriously and give me the only cure – surgery to remove a tumor. I suffered another year of pain, fatigue, kidney stones, anxiety and depression because I was literally told to “wait to see if all hell breaks lose” 6 weeks ago I decided I had had enough and I searched for a surgeon on my own who would help me. 6 weeks later I already have had the surgery I needed and am on the road to recovery. Thank you for pointing out all the good that has come from my journey (which is not over yet!) it’s like you were writing my story for me. Thank you!

    1. Karen, wow! What a journey you’ve been on. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment because we all empower each other when we share our personal stories. Your story is so unique. I, myself, don’t know much about parathyroid issues and related symptoms so I definitely learned something new. I am sure it will also educate our readers. Your journey shows that becoming your own advocate is so vital for achieving the health we all need and desire. I wish you the best of health and healing as you recover from your surgery. Good for you for taking charge!

  4. Thank you for sharing. I recently lost my father and as we had our last conversations we joked about giving up stress for lent. I’ve kept to my word and when I feel stress coming on I stop and ask if it’s necessary. A simple anticedent helped me refocus. And it’s crossed over into my hypothyroid life. Thanks.

    1. Domenca, so interesting you bring that up… I, too, did something very similar last year for Lent and decided to give up negative thoughts. I wasn’t perfect by any means, but it brought so much awareness to just how many times these thoughts, stress, anger, etc. creep into my life (sometimes without even realizing it). The exercise of facing them in the moment and learning to let go is so powerful, both for mental and physical health, and growing in faith! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for posting these thoughtful, light-filled words. The world needs more of these articles-shifting to a place of gratitude has huge effects on mind, body, and spirit. Thank you!! ?

    1. Emily, thank you for your kind comment! I just heard an interview with a practitioner and she said that she always tells her patients – “Chronic illness doesn’t happen to you… it happens FOR you.” There is so so much we can learn from our journey of healing. Thanks for reading!! 🙂

      1. I came across this and am grateful for a positive post and comments. I’ve been dealing with chronic pain/illnesses for over 20 years. Up until recently I always felt like my body betrayed me by getting sick. Like I was being punished. A month or so ago I finally realized a flaw in this thinking. My life and this body is not an accident or punishment. And that maybe being compassionate to myself might be the better way for me. Again, grateful for this post, Anna!

        1. Hi Sharon, yes, I totally agree… this is not a punishment, and sometimes it is so hard to see past all of the suffering. I love that you were able to change your mindset to a more positive outlook. That alone will do wonders for your healing. Thanks for reading. 🙂

  6. Thank you so much for posting this article. I have been struggling for 4 years now with a number of issues (adrenal fatigue, hormone issues, blood sugar issues, slight hypothyroid, vestibular issues, headaches/light headed, anxiety, ect.). Losing two parents, work issues, friends moving away and just dealing with my stress has taken a huge tole on my life and my body has not been the same since I had an initial panic attack on Aug. 14, 2016. I have had a really hard time seeing the positive in all of this even though I ask God to show me all the time the purpose in all of this and have at times felt like I can really help people, but am just still so frustrated in how I feel. After a number of doctors, functional health and conventional, naturopathic docs, nutritionist and chiropractors I’m still not better (oh and yes changing my diet). I was but then back slid due to grief. I really needed to hear all of these positive points you’ve made! I need to think more positive and let go of some of the negative, but how do you do it when you feel the symptoms every day? I always pray for just one day of feeling “normal” again. It’s been almost 4 years of not one “normal” day. The one thing missing that I really need to focus on that I have a really hard time doing is getting some exercise. My husband thinks if I just would get moving a lot of this would go away. Not sure if he’s right but sometimes I agree. 🙂

    1. Hi Gina, I completely understand how frustrating it is to not feel normal… especially for so many years and after seeing so many doctors. It is especially frustrating when the things that seem to help other people (functional medicine, diet, etc.) aren’t helping. There are a few things that have really helped me when I’m stuck. First, I sometimes feel like I’m running around, trying one thing for 30 days, then when that doesn’t work, I try another thing, and then another… without any real plan. So sitting down and actually thinking through the steps and making a long-term plan has been vital for my healing. I also realized that I needed a strong anti-inflammatory foundation, regardless if I thinkg it is working or not. So that means, regardless of my progress, I always stick to an anti-inflammatory diet (for me, that is gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and egg-free), a solid sleep routine, some movement (stretching is sometimes the only thing I can do), etc. while I work on trying other interventions or researching more about my symptoms and disease. If I have that solid foundation, then anything I try on top of it will usually give me much better results because I am giving my body the tools it needs. Then finally, perhaps the most important… I pray for God’s direction. Sometimes I forget that God is the ultimate healer… not diet, or supplements, or anything else. And while all these tools are provided by Him to help us, I lose sight that He is the one behind any and all healing. So sometimes, when I’m stuck, I simply say “Okay God, I am trying hard here. I am eating the nourishing, real food you intended me to eat. I am staying hydrated with clean water. I am taking care of my body in the best way I know how, but I am still sick. So what’s my next step?” God wants us more than anything to depend upon Him and trust completely. I encourage you to keep searching for answers, but more importantly… keep praying for direction because He will guide you, Gina. I promise!! 🙂

  7. Thank you so much for writing and sharing this. I have interstitial cystitis and it too affects every part of my life. It is refreshing to see someone look at the bright side of one’s illness not the many things it has taken away! I have lived with my first knowingly for ther last 7 years and can tell you that I identify with each and every pinpoint you listed and will be sharing this with some of my IC sisters!

    1. Heather, I am so sorry to hear about your battle with interstitial cystitis… I personally know a few people battling IC and I have seen first hand that it is not an easy condition to live with. But – I really believe that those of us living with inflammatory disease have a unique take on the world due to our illnesses, and plenty of wisdom to share with others as a result. Thank you for taking the time to read, comment, and spread the bright side of living with a chronic condition.

  8. You’re totally right! I’m 23 with spondylitis and fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism.
    I’m so strong mentally…but the last months I just ignore myself because I’m tired of all these health problems. Thank you for this article you make me think again how to become myself!

    1. Hi Georgia, you’re welcome. ? We have so much wisdom to gain from living with chronic illness and autoimmune disease. Thanks for reading. We are praying for you!

  9. A good friend of mine sent me this article. Thanks so much for your positive message. I have suffered with what I thought was fibromyalgia for well over ten years now; but now they are thinking it’s autoimmune disease. The pain has been unbearable. I don’t know what the plan of treatment will be and I’m not even sure where to start. I do know this will NOT define who I am and I will come out on top! Thanks again!!!

    1. Hi Martina, I am sorry to hear about your journey – I know of many people that have followed that same path with a fibromyalgia diagnosis and then later an autoimmune disease diagnosis. I, too, suffered tremendously last year with chronic daily pain that I can only describe as fibromyalgia and it took about 9 months but I am now pain free! I love your outlook and know you WILL come out on top! Please be sure to check in and let us know how you’re doing. Thanks for reading, Martina. 🙂

  10. Hi anna! Thank you for this blog! I’m just starting out in this journey…the pain is frustrating but the Dr doesn’t know what it is! But you are right about it being a blessing! God is good!

  11. I to have a through issue and celiac dairy problems so my diet is very limited but I don’t let it define me as a person. I feel that any person with an autoimmune disease should be on a gluten free diet. I hope I am right

    1. Hi Lori, I would say that many functional medicine doctors agree with you regarding the gluten and autoimmune disease. 😉 It’s definitely true for us.

  12. The knowledge that God is there for me has kept me going since my fibromyalgia diagnosis about 12 yrs ago. Just had a bunch of of new diagnostic testing done for a rare autoimmune disease myocitis. We see the rheumatologist on Tuesday for diagnosis. I know that God is there with us but it is going to be an expensive and long painful year on high dose steroids and not sure what else.
    We are could use any and all prayers. Thanks for you thoughts on not the bad but the good that comes from these ne challenges

    1. Kathleen, I am sorry to hear this… it’s not an easy battle. 12 years is a long time. But, there is hope! God designed our bodies to heal and I know yours can too if you use the right tools, even for the most severe and rarest autoimmune diseases. Please check out the books Beat Autoimmune and The Wahls Protocol for stories of hope and steps you can take to help your body recover. We are praying for you always, Kathleen. Thank you for reading.

  13. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone with this disease, I feel frustrated! My sister came to me and told me; Ana you have to become a minimalist! clean your house of everything you don’t use! But I think he has no idea how I really feel, I’m tired of pain, dizziness, lack of energy, brain fog and I know she is right! but I have no idea where or how to start!
    Did I mentioned that I am a cancer survivor and that I have total hip replacement? I think people expect a lot from me and I can’t take it anymore!

    1. Hi Ana, I am so sorry to hear about all your struggles – that is quite the burden to bare. Personally, minimalism has totally changed my life, but it was NOT an easy start. Like you said, the pain, brain fog, and dizziness makes it so hard. So, I started small… a book shelf. Or just one cabinet. And I had 3 boxes: donate, trash, and keep. I tried my best to be completely honest about all the items and really only kept what I needed. This was a great distraction from my symptoms, I barely even thought about how I felt because I was so engrossed in trying to get rid of things. I think it’s a very healing activity, and you might find it to be therapeutic for you too.

  14. Hello Anna and Franck,
    So grateful and blessed to read your articles. I felt like you were talking about me instead. Since my childhood, frustrations, burden, anxiety…were part of my journey. Without a deep intimacy with Christ, I was DONE.
    I got a late diagnosis of atopic diseases added to others health issues in my middle twenties . Loneliness ,isolation was frequent for someone with serious allergies. Even right now,while sharing this to you, I am not working since last July and I am stuck at home for the sake of my health.
    I am very encouraged, empowered through your story and advices. What I eat, where I live, the air I breathe…..have huge impacts in the process to improve my lifestyle. But, you are right, I don’t need a negative sphere of influence that reminds me how I am different.
    I stick now to the truth about how God sees me; that’s my real identity now.
    With so much restrictions, I couldn’t see the beauty in my life. Now, it’s so awesome to know that I have the tools in me to have a fabulous life.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for cheering me up. You are a blessing.

    I am Maggy and I am an overcomer 💪🏾.

    1. Hi Maggy, wow! Thank you for sharing your story. You are an inspiration, and so right about how God sees you. He loves us no matter what, and it is through Him that we can conquer even the most devastating chronic illnesses AND still live out His will for our life. God gave our bodies the ability to heal in miraculous ways, and I know that yours can heal, Maggy. We are praying for you.

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