Linda Elsegood: I'd like to introduce Jane from England who takes LDN for Hashimoto's. Thanks for joining us today, Jane. So could you tell us your story? When did you first notice there was something wrong with you?
Jane: I first realised that I wasn't feeling well. This was at the beginning of 2015, um, I was in my early thirties, and at the time I was working as a legal advisor in a bank in London.
Um, up until then, I'd never really had any health issues. My diet was okay but I did eat a lot of dairies, lots of sugary cakes and gluten-containing foods and my favourites were pasta and pizza, the usual. At the same time, I had issues with my relationship. Um, and in all honesty, I wasn't really happy with my job, and it was a lot of pressure.
So I started to suffer from insomnia. Um, and I started to get allergic reactions to the makeup I was wearing, eye shadow in particular, which was very odd. Um, and then one day after a late night, I woke up and, um, I was gasping for air. I couldn't breathe through my nose, and I couldn't believe what was happening to me.
Um, so I went to see my local GP, and I told her that I wasn't feeling well at all, and, um, I couldn't breathe through my nose, and the GP ran some tests and said that everything absolutely fine. Um, and these tests were blood tests. Um, but I wasn't fine. I was ill and I didn't know what was wrong with me.
So, um, I decided to pay to see a specialist in Harley Street and he was a throat, nose and ear specialist. And after some tests, he was looking at my nose and inside, and he said, you know, there's absolutely no reason why I'm unable to breathe through my nose. And he just gave me a steroid nasal spray and said that I would need to use it on a daily basis for the rest of my life in order to breathe through my nose. I couldn't believe that response, I was just utterly shocked. I just thought to myself, well, if everything was fine why was I feeling so ill and why could I no longer breathe through my nose?
I wanted to find the answer. And actually, I did a biology degree, so my scientific mind kicked in and I dwelled farther into this issue. And just as a side note, I can describe to you, I would wake up every morning with a swollen face, huge eye bags and I also started to react to random things. For example, I would try a bit of sushi with some soy on it and I would literally want to collapse.
In fact, any form of sugar - I couldn't eat any form of sugar at all, I would literally want to just die basically. It's like if I had a bag of crisps, for example, I would literally need to sleep it off for like two days. It was, it was absolutely crazy. So that was very odd. So the reaction to foods was a real red flag for me.
So I started doing some research. And it was really struggling to find anyone with this issue, you know, suddenly unable to read through the news. And then somehow I managed to stumble upon a website, which was, um, set up by this woman in the US and she talks about chronic mood congestion and how this was down to, uh, an unhealthy diet, uh, which meant an unhealthy gut, i.e. leaky gut. So she said, um, that she had cured herself by taking, uh, lots of different herbs and some enzymes and various herbs. And I then decided to change my diet and I took her advice on board. I purchased these digestive enzymes to assist my gut and some adaptogenic herbs.
It did help; my insomnia disappeared. I just highlight at this point that I'm still working, I'm going to the bank every day in a state where I've got brain fog, I'm not myself and I'm just putting on a fake persona. Nobody really knew what was going on with me, but they could see visibly that I was ill.
I used to take pride in my work, I know that sounds vain but as a young lady now, I still would make sure that I had my makeup on point and my hair done and here I was coming to work with sunglasses because I was so ashamed of what I looked like. I looked awful, absolutely awful. So anyway, I changed my diet. I started to take these herbs and it was making me function. I relied on coffee to keep me going at work. And the steroid nasal spray every morning, every night, in order to breathe. But I was a shadow of myself. I just looked terrible. So after a period of six months with this new diet, it's anti-candida diet, no sugar, no particular carbs, just sort of boring root veg. I couldn't even process any fruits to go through the, um, it was just very much meat and veg. And, and the use of these herbs, I could suddenly start to breathe through my nose. This was a massive achievement for me, but again, when I could breathe through my nose, it wasn't like a full deep breath through my nose. I could just feel like my sinuses were clogged up, and it was, it was 60% better, but at least I didn't have to use the steroid spray anymore so I was very happy about that. But I continued to have brain fog and pressure in the front of my head. And it really wasn't easy. So if you fast forward to November 2016 I was self-medicating. I was taking 10 to 15 pills a day consisting of random herbs and vitamins, just so I could function really, I had no energy, I would so fatigued it was unbelievable. My reactions to foods continued. People would look at me very oddly when we went out for after works drinks or whatever, and I would just simply say, you know, I can't drink alcohol, I can’t eat this, I can’t eat that. People would just not get it really. By this time I was too scared, I literally couldn't eat anything slightly interesting, you know, like outtakes or whatever. But anyway, I continued to look terrible. And one morning I woke up and noticed that my thyroid was sticking out from my neck and I immediately knew that there was something seriously wrong with my thyroid.
I decided to privately investigate and I paid for a complete thyroid test analysis. And the result came back so quickly, and the doctor even
said that I was actually suffering from Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disease which attacks the thyroid. My antibodies are high thyroglobulin and thyroid peroxidase. My thyroid hormone output was considered in normal ranges. All this time I had no idea it was my thyroid. I collapsed, I couldn’t believe it, I was very upset. Then again it sort of made sense because it runs in my family, My Mum’s got issues with her thyroid, My Grandmother had issues with her thyroid. I then decided to check myself from top to bottom, I’d had enough, I wanted to make sure that everything was checked so I did various other blood tests which came back negative, I even had an MRI due to this pressure in my head and that came back negative - it was all fine aside from the thyroid. So then I went to see the results I got in 2015 which the GP had requested to check the thyroid and I found out that the antibodies weren’t checked, just the hormone levels and I was just so frustrated with that because if only they’d checked the thyroid completely, including the antibodies then I would have had a diagnosis much earlier on but I would say that this is typical of the NHS when it comes to testing the thyroid. So I stopped taking these herbs and vitamins, I just wanted to heal my body naturally through diet, I adopted the autoimmune protocol diet, which I’d heard worked for a lot of people. However my body was just so used to these pills I just suddenly started to decline, mentally, my anxiety just went through the roof and I basically got the worst depression known to humanity and I couldn’t function and eventually, my body broke down and I was worried that I was going to get a heart attack - my heart rate was averaging 116 beats per minute all day, every day, at night - I was given beta blockers to lower the heart rate. I just want to say that I’ve never in my life had any mental issues or anything like that, no anxiety, I was a really headstrong person, level headed. When I heard about people suffering from anxiety I used to wonder “Oh how does that work, just go and get some therapy” but no, this was an internal reaction that I had no control over and it taught me a lot - now I’ve got great sympathy for people who suffer from this. My insomnia returned, I was a wreck and had to basically rely on my family for support. And nothing would lower the stress. I was then prescribed diazepam by the doctor and I really didn’t want to go down the antidepressant route. I just wanted my body to heal naturally. The diazepam didn’t even help to be honest with you, I took it for two months and then stopped. I’d basically reached the end - in my eyes, I was done. I told my family it was over, I was probably going to die of a heart attack and I wrote my will. My family supported me through the whole thing and my sister was a great support to me, she told me that “This too shall pass”. I wanted to live and I wanted to get better so I put some posters around my room, positive ones, with positive statements like “You can do this” and then I just started to read about Hashimoto’s and stumbled on a Facebook page regarding LDN and I thought Gosh what is this, people are saying that its a drug called LDN and it’s helped lower antibodies in certain cases and it had actually cured Hashimoto’s and I was totally amazed, I was shocked. Then I purchased your book on LDN and I couldn’t believe your story, it was just completely amazing. I sought assurance and positivity from your video’s, then started to watch your videos when you would interview individuals who suffer from various autoimmune diseases, including Hashimoto's. And, um, and they all said the same thing. That LDN helps in so many different ways and even for depression and anxiety.
And as I said, I've watched these videos continuously, and that gave me hope. And until then, I had no hope whatsoever. Um, so then I said to myself, I need to get LDN and I need this. There’s just no way out. And then I contacted you because I wasn't sure where to get it from. And um, and then you put me in touch with Clinic158 and, um, had the interview with the doctor from there, and he immediately prescribed me LDN, and I started to take it.
Um, firstly it was in liquid format, uh, but it had quite a lot of sugar in it, which didn't bode well with me. Um, so then I changed it to pill format. And, uh, over time I went up, probably two, three milligrams. And, um, I stayed at this level. And, um, as time went on, I started to feel better. Um, it took a few months for me to get better, for insomnia to disappear. Um, however, I'd say within six, seven months, I was enthusiastic about life. I was feeling happier and more level headed, and over time I could sleep, which was impossible for me, I could make conversation with people without running out to a room full of anxiety.
I could. I could just be normal. I could be myself. And this was shocking to me. Um. And my vile depression and my anxiety had just completely disappeared over time, just completely disappeared. Um, and I say, I'd say it took a year to get to the point where I was ready to go back to work because it's during this time I was healing really from the LDN.
And um. I'm just really thankful to LDN, and I'm thankful to you for raising awareness of it because, without that, I honestly didn't think I would survive my ordeal. Um, essentially I had a breakdown, and it restored me from that. It restored my sleeping pattern. It just, it was like a reset button. Um. And I, I'd lost so much weight during my ordeal, 10 kilograms.
I looked like a skeleton, um, due to the stress and the heart rate and everything. And now I've put weight back on and I look more normal now. My, my hair is not shedding anymore and I can, I can function basically. And. What I would say is that my thyroid is still swollen, but I'm working on healing my gut, and I've got to say probiotics have been absolutely key.
And they've really helped. Um, but it's going to take time. Obviously, it's taken years of me eating badly to, to get to the point where I've had to go through this and now it's going to take a while for me too, to heal my gut. So I'm just ready to continue with that, um, healing process. Um, and then just to live my life because I haven't been able to live my life really all this time.
I've just been totally ruined by not knowing what was wrong with me. So, um, in terms of my diets, it's no paleo based. Well, lots of fermented foods. Um, I juice every day. I try and keep healthy. Um, I totally avoid sugar, dairy, gluten, um, alcohol I can't touch. Um, so yeah, I'm, I'm trying my best now to heal.
Linda Elsegood: Were you given any thyroid medication once you were diagnosed with Hashimoto's?
Jane: No, I wasn't because, um, according to the doctor, my thyroid levels were normal.
Linda Elsegood: Okay. But the doctor that said that you had Hashimoto's, he didn't offer you any medication either?
Jane: No, no
Linda Elsegood: it's just purely the LDN that you have always taken, nothing else.
Jane: That's right.
Linda Elsegood: Wow, that's amazing, isn't it.
Jane: It's, it's unbelievable what happened to me.
Um, I, I just hope that you know, if there's anyone out there with the same issue that they can take comfort in knowing that if you do ever have chronic nose congestion, there is a way of fixing it and you have to try and heal the gut. And, you know, I was told to take the steroids to spray for the rest of my life. I mean. Just in order to breathe. It was shocking.
Linda Elsegood: Definitely. What would you say your quality of life is like now on a score of one to 10, 10 being the best?
Jane: I'd say it's um, nine.
Linda Elsegood: And are you able to work and function?
Jane: Yes, I am. Yup. In fact, I've just recently got a new job. Um, it's a legal department, high-pressured role in an investment company, so I'm definitely able to work now, whereas before I couldn't.
Linda Elsegood: Oh, that's good. And at your lowest, I don't want to dwell on that, but on a score of one to 10, what would it have been when you were your lowest.
Jane: It was one. It was the worst for me. Uh, yeah, absolutely.
Linda Elsegood: Um, well, thank you so much for sharing your really amazing inspirational story with us and long may LDN continue improving your symptoms.
Jane: I'm thinking, thank you for raising awareness regarding LDN.
Linda Elsegood: thank you. This show is sponsored by our members who made donations. We'd like to get them a very big thank you. We have to cover the monthly costs of the radio station, software, bandwidth, phone lines, and phone calls to be able to continue with the right idea of the show.
And thank you for listening.
Any questions or comments you may have, please email me; Linda@ldnrt.org I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for joining us today. We really appreciated your company. Until next time, stay safe and keep well.