Picking up the pieces: Anxiety, MTHFR, Candida, and Adrenal Fatigue

So many of you have seen that we had to postpone/cancel our book tour, and I just wanted to write a little bit about why that has happened.

A photo posted by Primal Palate (@primalpalate) on

As many of you know, I have been trying to work on health issues pretty much since we got married. It’s been a really tough roller coaster ride, and somedays I feel like the more I do, the further away I get from any end result. I’ve been avoiding writing about this, because it’s hard for me to talk about it. It’s exhausting, emotional, frustrating, and embarrassing. Pretty much any negative emotion you can think of, and who wants to re-live that in a blog post? To save myself from carpal tunnel, and an additional emotional breakdown, I’m going to generalize a lot of this stuff, so I’m sorry that it’s not going to be in extreme detail, but none of us have time for that. Ha.

So what is the deal? Well, it started simply with anxiety. I’ve had anxiety and panic ever since I was little. It started with a phobia of vomiting when I was 8 years old which I suspect is due to having a close family member who struggled with bulimia. I’m not 100% sure about that, but every therapist I’ve talked to says that is why, even though I don’t remember it. When I was very young, and all of that was going on things were really challenging for me. As I got older I had much more control over my emotions and anxiety issues, and it stopped affecting my life. I had other struggles that showed up, since I’ve always been kind of OCD about stuff. I pick one thing in my life that isn’t working, and obsess about it. For a long time it was my body, which ended up leading me to Paleo, so although I struggled with body image and weight issues for a very long portion of my young adult life, a blog, and books, and a career came out of it. The best thing that happened from it all was that Paleo helped me heal from years of disordered eating from trying many different fad diets and cleanses. Once I stopped trying to eat to look a certain way, and started eating to heal my body, all of those old issues disappeared and I started loving my body, and lost weight, and never put it back on. That is something I thought I would never in my life be able to accomplish, which gives me hope that I can tackle this as well.

2012/2013 was a big year for us.

We got engaged, wrote Gather and The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking, and planned a wedding. All of which seemed totally do-able, and never did I ever think any of it would be hard for me to do. By the time we got through the books, and were mainly focusing on the wedding I started to realize that I was feeling different. I was experiencing different feelings of stress that I hadn’t experienced before. I was on thyroid medication, which seemed to work for a little while, and then become too much for my system. I developed some hypochondria around this time also. If I saw a mole on my body that looked a little off I would get a blast of fight or flight, break out in a sweat, heart racing, the works. The feeling you get when you are driving and almost get hit by another car. I had myself freaked out that I had a million diseases, and it was all totally irrational.

As we got closer and closer to the wedding I started experiencing more stress related symptoms. Bill and I planned the wedding ourselves. We were the hosts, and I really wouldn’t let anyone help. I didn’t want to put anyone out. I wanted it to be my responsibility, and nobody else. For anyone who has never planned a wedding, it’s extremely stressful. For some reason weddings bring out the worst in family, and everyone finds something to argue about. Between family wedding drama, and the physical act of planning all of the details for our wedding, I started getting heart palpitations or arrhythmia. I didn’t really understand what was going on, except that my heart would feel like it was fluttering in my chest every so often, and if I cried at all it happened a lot. So of course I became scared to cry because I thought it would make me have a heart attack. Through all of this I never once thought that I couldn’t handle any of the stress, I just felt like it was uncomfortable. I was still so excited for our wedding, and couldn’t wait for the big day. I was planning my dream wedding, and it was going to be perfect! On top of the stress of just planning a wedding, we found out the day we picked up our wedding invitations that the owner of the house we were renting wanted to move in, and wanted us out immediately. So we had to find a new place to live 4 months before our wedding. That was fun… nothing like losing weeks of work because you have to pack up your house and move. Not to mention the part of having to find a house first!

The week of the wedding was pretty normal for me, no red flags at all. I hadn’t experienced any anxiety that prevented me from doing something since I was little, so why would I think that it would happen now? I didn’t even remember what that was like! The day of the rehearsal went as planned. I got my hair done, and we did all the last minute things we had to do. I had butterflies in my stomach, and didn’t have much of an appetite, but none of these things were odd to me. When we got to the venue it was the same. Nothing seemed off, just usual nervousness. Then at one point I was walking down the hall, and had started talking to some family members, and all of a sudden I felt really, really strange. I got really over heated, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and felt sick to my stomach. I ran to the bathroom and unzipped my dress, trying to breathe. What the heck was going on? I felt fear rush all over me. A feeling that something was really wrong, and I had to get away from it immediately. This wasn’t just butterflies anymore. Oh and remember that old phobia of throwing up? Yeah that was the icing on the cake, because I felt so sick. I tried to pull myself together, and zipped up my dress, and went back out. Any feelings of calm that rushed over me were now strangling with fear again. I grabbed Bill and went into a private room. “I think I’m having a panic attack” I said as I unzipped my dress again. “Oh my god, okay, what do I do.” Bill said looking completely alarmed. (She’s right, I was beyond freaked out. -Bill)  “Get my mom.” I wont go into more detail of what the next 30 minutes were like, but I’ll just say that I was scared to death by that panic attack, and tried to leave my own wedding rehearsal. I was sad, and extremely embarrassed. Just typing all of that up again is enough to send me into an almost panic attack. It was really traumatic. I did make it through the rehearsal, and moved on from it laughing and joking about how I had a panic attack and tried to leave my wedding rehearsal, but my appetite was gone for the rest of the night, and I was crushed. My appetite really didn’t even come back until after the wedding the next day, and I spent the entire wedding scared of having another panic attack.

Paleo Wedding - Bill and Hayley of Primal Palate

After the wedding I went back to my normal self, and didn’t put too much energy into what happened. Weddings are stressful, so it seemed relatively reasonable to have had a melt down like that. I did however put a lot of guilt on myself for spending my entire wedding day anxious, because it kept me from enjoying it. For the next two-three months I was back to normal, but started to notice some things here and there that seemed different. I went from planning a wedding to planning Bill’s 30th surprise party (which isn’t exactly easy when you work together from home and share everything), and we also hosted Thanksgiving, both within a span of 3 days. To make a long story short, I relived the anxiety of the wedding all over again on Thanksgiving and Bill’s birthday (Bill’s birthday was the day after Thanksgiving). It wasn’t as bad as the wedding, but as soon as I sat down to a meal extreme nausea kicked in and I got over heated, and my heart raced, and I couldn’t eat. I was confused, and embarrassed. After talking with my mom I thought maybe I was pregnant. Hey that would be awesome, and mean that my anxiety disorder wasn’t back from the dead. Unfortunately I was not pregnant, and I was terrified that I was experiencing debilitating anxiety after years of not having it really at all.


Bill Staley surprise party - primal palate


I have spent since Thanksgiving of 2013 trying to figure out the root cause of my anxiety, and I do believe that there is a root cause. I don’t believe that humans are just meant to suffer, and be broken, or mentally ill. I started by trying amino acid therapy, but I couldn’t kick my sugar addiction, and didn’t seem to be getting better just from amino acids. I would feel sick to my stomach from a lot of the supplements I was taking. From that I found out about MTHFR, then tested for heavy metals, and then found out about Candida. All of these things can be underlying causes for mood disorders, but I never had a real answer about any of them. I know I have the 677 mutation for MTHFR, but I didn’t know if I was over or under-methylating. I know that I have some heavy metal toxicity, but everyone does to some degree. I know that I have a serious candida problem, because detoxing made my life a living hell. I just never figured out what the root cause of all of it is, so unfortunately it just made it look like (to my family) I was just jumping around from treating one thing to the next, because nothing was working. Part of me also feels like trying to detox from Candida made me worse, but I think that’s because I’ve had 29 years of toxins built up in my body that can now come out because of addressing my methylation defects, so it’s like a flood that I can’t really slow down. I also have had serious digestive issues ever since I was in high school, but I never realized I had them, and my first 3 years of Paleo were all focused on how to look a certain way, and battling years of weight issues and sugar addiction, so I never did anything to heal my gut. If anything, I probably made it worse.

So how did all of this impact the book tour?

Well, through all of this I never stopped or slowed down. We wrote a book, continued to work, traveled, helped other authors with projects, all while I was trying to address a serious infection, and life long issue. By the time we were done with the book, it was time to plan the tour, and I was still feeling so sick from trying to detox candida. For those who aren’t familiar with methylation issues- typically people with methylation issues cannot detox well, so I think that’s a big reason why my body just got so overwhelmed by finally trying to rid itself of toxins. Detoxing made me so sick, that I became scared of being too far from home because of how sick I would feel.

To prepare for the book tour, I backed off of all antifungals, and my methylated b-vitamins (which after adding those back in this week, I’ve realized was a HUGE mistake, and could be part of the reason I crashed). I thought I could have myself in a place where I could just make it through the events, and then continue on with my healing when we got home. I was worried that it would be hard for me, but I didn’t think I wouldn’t be able to do it at all. Then on Friday the 13th (funny, right?) I woke up after being asleep for two hours and my heart started racing. This threw me into a panic attack in the middle of the night, and for the first time in my entire life, I thought I had to go to the hospital. Bill helped me breathe through it, and reasurred me that I was just having a panic attack, and not actually dying. I couldn’t sleep the rest of the night, and was scared out of my mind. How could this happen just two days before we had to leave for our book tour?! I was doing so well! Well it did. The insomnia put me over the edge. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, something was really wrong. This wasn’t just anxiety anymore. Something was wrong. We post-poned Portland and Seattle, because I thought if I could just get a couple good nights of sleep I would be okay for Chicago and Denver. I had family members telling me to just be okay with feeling uncomfortable, and that it would pass, and it was good preparation for kids. I went to see my old PCP and he told me I needed an SSRI because mental illness runs in my family, and there’s nothing I can do about it, except take drugs. He wrote me a script for Ambien and Xanax and sent me on my way. I was encouraged by family members to take the drugs to get me through the book tour, because it’s just anxiety so I should be able to do it. I don’t take prescription sleeping pills or antianxiety medication, so this was a whole new experience for me. The Ambien (which I only took twice) helped me get through the “omg will I ever sleep again, I’ve been up so long I don’t even know how to sleep anymore” phase. I didn’t seem to have a bad reaction to it either.

When we left for Chicago, I still didn’t feel right, but I was given two options by family. Go and just get through it, or stay home and let Bill and Caitlin go. Neither one of those options seemed very supportive of me and my health, but if I didn’t at least try to go then I would be left wondering- and I just have anxiety, so it’s all in my head anyway, right? At this point I was still experiencing physical symptoms that didn’t just seem like anxiety. I’ve had anxiety my whole life, and done plenty of things while having anxiety, and this felt different. My vision was weird. It was like I had tunnel vision all of the time. I was extremely fatigued. My blood sugar seemed to get low easily, and any small amount of stress was sending me over the edge. Just the act of traveling completely wiped me out. By the time we got to Chicago I felt like I had nothing left in me. I was extremely fatigued, my blood sugar seemed low which really freaked me out, and I felt like I couldn’t see straight. Bill and my sister told me I was probably just having a panic attack and to try taking a xanax, which seemed to calm me down a little, but not much, and just made me feel like a depressed shell of a person. At that point I got a call from my old PCP and he told me that my thyroid levels seemed a little off. Nothing too alarming, but I *could* be entering a hyperactive state. I got off the phone and started bawling in the hotel room. I was a mess. I felt so incredibly sick, and was away from home, and had to try to make it through a book signing. I couldn’t do it. Bill went to the signing alone, and came back crying. He said “(making) the New York Times (bestseller list) isn’t worth your health. This is not who we are, medicating you so you can try to make it through a book signing, instead of taking care of you.” He booked us on the first flight home, and the rest of the tour was called off.


A photo posted by Primal Palate (@primalpalate) on


So what am I left with after all of this?

I feel sad, embarrassed, scared, confused, guilty, and really impatient because I want to be better NOW. I’ve had people telling me that it’s all in my head, and can’t be fixed without prescription drugs, which definitely makes me feel broken. I have never felt more deflated in my entire life, thinking that there’s nothing I can do to make myself better than to take a drug with a million side effects that may not even work, or may work for a little and then stop working. Plus all I want is to be able to have kids, and you can’t have kids on drugs like that, so even if it covers up my symptoms of anxiety it’s not making me well. The thing that is really interesting about this whole experience, is that a lot of the physical symptoms I have had, my good friend Brittany also has with her similar health issues (Hashimotos, Candida, Adrenal, MTHFR), however unlike me, she doesn’t blame herself for them. We’ve both experienced some of the same things, but to her it’s thyroid/adrenal/detox because she doesn’t have an anxiety disorder. For me, it’s the blame game because my primary symptom of being out of balance is my mood. It really gives me a different perspective, especially when so many people have told me it’s all in my head. No. It’s not. I didn’t even realize I was having a thyroid or adrenal problem until she kept saying it to me. I just kept saying, “I’m having panic attacks, I hate myself”, and she kept saying “you have adrenal fatigue!” Never once did she try to make me feel like I was broken, and it made a huge difference for me. She’s a really great friend.

hayley blood draw

Since we have been home I have seen 3 doctors. A new doctor, Dr. Nori Onishi who uses The Walsh Approach to balance brain chemistry and methylation issues. He is testing me for a ton of stuff (IgG food allergy, saliva adrenal/cortisol, Lyme, full thyroid panel with antibodies, mold, histamine, copper, and zinc, as well as Pyroluria), and he did an ultrasound of my thyroid. My thyroid looked normal, but he did pause at one point and then said “Well…hmm. I’m not saying anything until I see your labs.” So I have no idea what that’s about, but hopefully it’s okay-and I do know that my thyroid is a bit overactive right now, maybe not enough to cause concern, but enough to make me uncomfortable. After seeing him I saw my usual doctor, Franne Berez. She wants me to do a few tests that Dr. Onishi didn’t have me do, which I wanted to do. Organic acids, neurotransmitters, and stool (eww, Bill knows about this one). Franne also sent me to another doc who does these meridian scans. It’s a machine that picks up your energy/vibrations from your body and organs to see whats going on inside of you. It was pretty cool, and definitely picked up on things that we’ve been trying to treat like candida and my adrenals. It’s energy medicine, so it seems like crazytown, but I was into it.

So heres the thing… Yes I have anxiety and panic disorder, and have since I was little. Yes I have mood issues, a lot of people do, and yes it is affecting my quality of life right now. However, I truly believe that there is always an underlying cause, and even if I need therapy, meditation, and positive affirmations to get past things that have happened in my life, or stories I’ve told myself, or fears I’ve had, they can and will be more challenging if I don’t address the underlying issue. Luckily, my doctor (Dr. Berez) is married to a big time psychiatrist in San Diego, and she has assured me that I’m on the right track, and there is an underlying cause making my mood more challenging for me. I’ve had anxiety my whole life, and when I was little I was put in therapy. If therapy was the only path to a fix, then I wouldn’t be in this position at 29 years old. So many things can affect your mental health. The goal is to be in balance, and right now there is definitely something out of balance for me. It has taken me 5 days to start to feel just a little bit back to where I was before we tried doing this book tour, and it’s not just feelings of anxiety. That’s something more. I know in my gut that something is off, I just don’t know what it is (but it’s probably something in my gut).

I’m not sure that I believe that just detoxing from candida will cure me of a lifetime of anxiety issues, because a lot of what I have going on is deep rooted emotional issues, but I think carrying a major toxic load in your body or having digestion issues that prevent your brain from getting the proper neurotransmitters makes it much more challenging to work through! I will always be at a disadvantage if I have an infection or hormonal imbalance that is altering my brain chemistry and mood. I’m trying not to focus on a diagnosis, and I am trying to tell myself that I am strong, and my body is capable of healing and wants to be healthy. Every time someone says I’m sick I die a little on the inside, because I know that’s not where my body wants to be. It’s not where I want to be! My body wants to be healthy. I want to be healthy, and happy, and do fun things, and have a family! I really believe that the body can heal itself as well, but sometimes it just needs a little help. Up until now I really have just been guessing about what’s going on with me. Trial and error with some clues from some testing. Hopefully with all of the new tests I will have something significant that I can work on, while doing the work I need to do emotionally and spiritually to heal as well. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and as much as I want to be healed and “normal” again right this second, it doesn’t really work that way. Often times things like this get worse before they get better, and I think the worse stage is still with me for now.

Thank you all for all of the support you have given me the last two weeks. It means more to me than I can say.



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    1. resonnant
      March 2, 2015

      Hayley, I saw this on FB when Diane shared it. This is my response *hug*

      Hayley, you are very public and coming forward with this is the most badass and brave thing to do. Thank you. So many people hide their ‘issues’ for fear of being judged, neglected, criticized. You name all the negative and that’s why people don’t tell other people what is really going on. Add to that you’re paleo or primal, then the naysayers step in and say nasty things about ‘well if you’re eating right why aren’t you the picture of health mentally and physically?” To them I would say, get real and then go stick your head in the toilet.

      Oh, and the part where Bill came back from the book signing alone and in tears, HUGE lump in my throat. Excellent choice to cancel. You are much more important than a book signing. That can come later.

      Thank you so very much for your honesty. You may never know how many people you have helped by being transparent. Rest, relax. Very very thankful for you.

    2. ccleadbyexample
      March 2, 2015

      Thank you for sharing. I feel the same way you do-we weren’t born to feel this way and there is a better life. I too am going through a similar struggle as you and it made me feel better knowing that there is someone else out there that is trying to do the right things and it isn’t always an easy path. You keep at it girl and I will too:)

    3. Girlinabowtie
      March 2, 2015

      Hi Hayley! Thank you so much for sharing your journey. I’m sure it wasn’t easy to do so and it hasn’t been an easy journey either. I too have suffered from anxiety and depression for most of my life. I have been on SSRI’s, ambien, klonopin or xanax on/off since 2007. I didn’t realize it was going to be possible to EVER get off my meds, but I knew I had to try another way. I know it’s crazy expensive to see a naturopath and I’m SURE you’ve considered it — It’s not like I’m the first person to ever tell you about an ND so maybe that’s still on your radar. It’s sad that so many MDs are so quick to push medication on you and not even address any other symptoms or issues or create different ideas. To help my anxiety/depression I’ve been in therapy for a really long time that has been so helpful for me. Finding the right therapist can be challenging and when you do you can really get some good work done.

      I wish you so much luck and love for the future and hope that you start to feel better soon. You do so much for the world and are taking care of the world with your beautiful and delicious recipes and now you can address some of your own taking care of.

      A professor always says to me “A full life is not an easy life” and with all the love and support you have from your fans, friends, and family you will make it through. Not to mention Charlie!

      Get well and be well!


    4. March 2, 2015

      🙁 I’m really sorry that you’re going through this…. I can relate to struggling with chronic issues and feeling like you’re trying everything and sometimes you just want to break down and cry b/c 1) you’re so tired of feeling crummy 2) if someone could just tell you exactly whats wrong and exactly what you needed to do you’d gladly do it, even if it meant hanging upside down from your toe nails an hour a day …but instead you’re on an endless quest trying things that might not even help, which could be time wasted that you could be trying something that does. ugh!!!
      I have had fatigue issues a lot of my life but they’ve gotten worse and some days I can wake up feeling like I got hit by a Mac Truck after 8-10 hours of sleep, my head feeling like there is a vice grip around my brain. Meanwhile my husband can get 5 hours of sleep and wake up singing Zippity-do-dah every morning. I have a good naturopath Dr. and it seems my thyroid is only little low, and has been treated but through this I found out about MTHFR – I have 2 copies of the A1298C which I find may have me eliminating toxins at only 30% of what others are able to do…. Oh great! 😀 I have done CrossFit for 5 years so I’ve been on and off of Paleo but there is different diet protocols for all these different issues (like removing high sulfer foods with MTHFR) . It makes me want to pull my hair out. I had elevated Epstein Barr numbers too, so I may have chronic Epstein Barr made worse by the MTHFR. The thing is you can work so hard at doing all the right things and still not know if it going to help. I have found I feel the best when I take out all sugar but that’s no fun either. I don’t even like talking about it with anyone these days b/c I sound like a broken record and don’t want that to be what stands out of about me to those I love (feeling crappy).
      Anyway, I’ll stop venting 🙂 I have been a therapist (LPC) for 12 years and if all else fails sometimes SSRI’s are worth it if comes down to being able to enjoy your life more – you only live once. I think there are lots of things that contribute to our emotions …some of it’s physical health, some of it’s personality type, some of it’s family of origin stuff, some of it’s habits (you’ve been struggling with this anxiety to various degrees for many years it sounds) our brain gets used to patterns and it’s hard to reprogram. Some of us produce less serotonin and some us have receptors that don’t utilize it well. These things aren’t our fault. I think a lot of ppl have misconceptions about SSRI’s – I don’t see them as a band aid necessarily bc they just make more serotonin available to your brain (that you’re already making on your own), in a way that is a fix and not a band aid in my opinion. Mental health is hard b/c we don’t feel these stigmas and sense of failure near as much with purely physical issues. It’s not ideal but there are ones that have been around a very long time that have proven to be safe (enough) during pregnancy.
      I wish you that best and look forward to seeing how things are working out for you.

    5. Nicholeeliason
      March 2, 2015

      Hi Hayley, I truly understand what you are going through, I too have Hashi’s, anxiety since early childhood and adrenal fatigue, among other things, My breath caught in my chest when I read about your phobia of vomiting. I still struggle with it to this day, and was told by a therapist that it was related to my aunt having bulimia, even though I have no memory of noticing it. Now that I have children it’s even harder to manage with all of the stomach flus that they catch. lol! But I can’t help but think that it must be a symptom of some kind. please share what you discover and what leads to your healing. I have been miserable my whole life, and all I want is to be able to enjoy myself, travel, not worry about how sick I will feel. I can never follow through with anything because I become to sick and exhausted to carry on. I have let myself and everyone in my life down. I wish you the best. It’s good that you have so many loved ones to support you. Thank you for sharing your struggle. You are an inspiration.

    6. recipe4healing
      March 2, 2015

      Thank you so much for sharing Hayley! So much of what you wrote really hit home. These issues are becoming more and more common and need to be talked about so people don’t feel that they are suffering alone. You are one brave and amazing women! I too have suffered with debilitating Anxiety and OCD. I have Adrenal Fatigue and Candida as well. I also have the MTHFR mutation. Anytime I detox the anxiety gets much worse and it feels as though my adrenals crash so I have learned that I have to go extremely slow. I’ve tried the MTHFR supplements on several occasions but they give more more anxiety and what feels like a migraine but I know I need to take them, especially because I have a double mutation. It’s all just so frustrating and confusing! I reached a point last year where I was doing too much as well and I ended up in the ER with my first ever full blown panic attack. I left my stressful job as a Marketing Director the next day because I literally could not get out of bed and thought I may be experiencing a Lyme relapse. I have had a full year of trying to recover from the debilitating fatigue caused from some seriously unhappy adrenals. One think that had helped considerably and I feel like I am seeing glimpses of the real me- the healthy and happy me more and more each passing week, is being back on the GAPS intro diet to heal and deal my gut. I had great success with it a few years back but didn’t stay on it long enough and I jumped back into a life where I was doing too much. I’m back on it with some light exercising and lots of rest. If you ever want to ask me any questions about it I am here for you! You are in my thoughts and I know you will regain your health and come back victoriously because you are so determined and are on such a great path and seem like a real fighter! I’m rooting for you girl! Lots of love xoxo -Megan

    7. wildvirgo
      March 2, 2015

      Sounds so scary & frustrating, but glad you are working towards finding the root cause of it. You’ll get there !

      Have you been tested/treated for parasites? Those critters can be nasty & with Paleo being heavy on the meat & seafood (although they can be found everywhere!!) I think it’s important to do regular parasite cleanses.

      Good luck to you!!

    8. Girlinabowtie
      March 2, 2015

      I didn’t realize first reading this that you are seeing many NDs! I guess I’m even more shocked now!

    9. Donovan Giraud
      March 2, 2015

      HI Hayley,
      First, Kudos to you for being so determined. (like you had a choice, right?!? 😉 )

      Have you tried Energetic Medicine yet? I would highly highly highly recommend that, if you haven’t.

      I have been studying holistic healing for 20 years, and meditating daily for 15 years (with a real enlightened teacher who I am super
      grateful for) and my teacher keeps us up to speed on the latest healing technologies and understandings.
      And what I get is it’s like this: you’ve got 1) The physical (blood work, Vit D levels and so on), and 2) The Energetic.
      Humans are actually more energetic than physical. And – truth be told – much of our suffering is not even from this life…
      yet we heal it in this life. So you’ve been doing the physical. I recommend now working on the energetic.
      And you’re in luck since their are many options and even just one of them might make a huge difference to you.
      I would probably start with homeopathy first. See a good constitutional homeopath. Research first what that is of course.
      It can affect both emotional and physical things profoundly. And it is purely energetic – not chemical in nature.
      That alone might give you nearly full health back.

      The other thing is all the offerings at this link: http://www.shambhalalifeextendingwellnescenter.com
      Particularly perhaps Advanced Soul Therapy…but also Super Color Tuning, and Brainwave Optimization.
      Advanced Soul Therapy can literally be done remotely (you don’t have to leave home)…and YES you will feel it.
      And balancing the Brain is one of the things we’ll all be doing within 20- 30 years. But why wait?

      Let me know if you try any of these things or have questions.

      Best wishes to you,

    10. realfoodeats
      March 2, 2015


      Reading through this post breaks me a little because I can relate so much.

      I too grew up with an insanely intense fear of vomiting, and when around someone who would throw up I would cry and shake and freak out. I have one other friend I met who also had that extreme fear and I think it relates back to a desire for control. How terrifying to not control this disgusting substance coming out of your face! Am I right?

      I feel both cursed and blessed to have been so emetephobic because I too battled disordered eating and think that fear saved me from bulimia.

      I’ve been on my Paleo journey for maybe 7/8 months fully now, gluten free for two years. I am in school to become a Nutritional Therapist all while working a crazy job as a designer and art director in NYC. I have dreams of starting my own blog, “Real Food Eats,” and am also about to move back home to California to do pre-med and then become a Naturopathic Doctor! Ok all that said, I know what it’s like to have a million things going on and feel like you are falling apart.

      I know what it’s liked to feel embarrassed that you can’t breathe and you feel like you are dying. I’ve fainted from anxiety before, but mostly I just panic and hyper ventilate. I also know what it’s like to want to push through, to feel and be unstoppable, to conquer and problem solve!

      You do and give so so much to other people every single day. Perhaps this crashing haut is your body tapping you on the shoulder saying, hey…let’s spend more time on me. I recently wanted to start CrossFit and while doing some lifts with a trainer sprained my right wrist. Therefore, for the last 4 weeks I’ve been struggling to heal. And on top of it I’ve been dealing with day long migraines that last all day for days in a row.

      I totally believe that in whatever out of this world way, energy healing is real. My acupuncturist prescribed me two herbal medicines and they have kept my debilitating migraines at bay so far…

      I guess the point is, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. No matter how hard you feel like you are fighting, or how much you feel like you can’t get through, know that your body is an amazing organism capable of being so so well both mentally an physically. Take deep breaths. Accept the time to heal. Accept the love and support of friends and family. Be kind and gentle to yourself.

      You are a courageous and beautiful soul <3

      And I'm sending you all my best.

    11. Elisaar
      March 3, 2015

      Dear Hayley,
      Thanks for sharing your story.
      I’m not sure if you already heard this before, but because of my own experience I thought I should share what I know. Are you aware of histamine and its role in MTHFR mutations? I know you mentioned your new doc will check your histamine levels, however blood results don’t really reflect any problem in our capability of processing histamine.
      The thing is, among many adrenal fatigue, CFS, and MTHFR sufferers, histamine doesn’t get cleared out of our systems the way it should. Histmamine and other biogenic amines, as well as salicylates, all naturally found in our food, can turn into toxins when not properly filtered out of our body. I’m sure you’re aware of histamine, you being part of the paleo community, but its role is very often underestimated in many health problems today. From brain fog, to depression, to autism, to anxiety, the neurotransmitter histamine may play a big part in adding to this. Studies found that after going on a low histamine diet for a while, the symptoms reduced massively. As it did for myself. I have CFS, adrenal fatigue, thyroid not optimal, as well as MTHFR. I notice that when I don’t pay attention on keeping my histamine intake low during the day, depression and anxiety starts sneaking back in.
      And don’t be fooled by those foods on all of those online High Histamine Food Lists, such as wine and cheese. It is actually meat and meat left overs who do the worst harm. Meat in itself is amazing for healing, but always make sure you buy it fresh and try to avoid minced meat as it contains much more biogenic amines. When you buy your meat fresh either use for cooking on the same day or freeze immediately for no longer than 2 weeks. Also, green smoothies and such are not a good idea for keeping your histamine and salicylates intake low. Of course eating green leavy vegetables is perfectly fine, but the quantity in those smoothies overload our systems of histamines and salicylates so suddenly, that our bodies don’t have the time to filter out those substances and we suffer from the side effects.
      I learned this the hard way, took me 2 years of paleo to find out that it’s actually histamine (and the paleo diet can be so high in histamine) is the culprit of my further healing.
      Best advise: keep your breakfast histamine free, you’ll already feel much better during the day. For me that meant adding sour dough spelt bread back into my diet, one slice for breakfast only, as other paleo options are either too high histamine, salicylates or fructose/fructans (which is what I have to avoid). This further helped me heal my issues and I am still surprised that within our world today histamine is not looked at as a very big factor in many of our health problems.
      I do hope I helped you instead of annoying you with all of this unwanted info. It’s just that when you see someone else suffering and you think you can help, one must do their best to share knowledge and experience.
      All the best to you Hayley <3
      Love, Elisaar
      (PS Sorry for any grammar mistakes, English isn't my own language 🙂 )

    12. Karhys
      March 3, 2015

      Oh, Hayley. I’ve been following your site and blog for years but I never had the courage to post anything until I read this.

      But like others here, I just wanted to tell you that you’re not alone. And that it’s not all in your head. And that you’re not a bad person.

      I’ve suffered from major depression and social anxiety since I hit puberty. I was started on anti-depressants at age 15 and spent almost 20 years trying pretty much every medicine under the sun, along with constant psychiatrist visits to “talk things through”. I’ve learnt better now — you can’t “talk through” a physical health issue, which is why nothing ever worked for me and I struggled to lead any kind of “normal” life.

      By chance at age 33 I happened upon low-carb which led me to paleo and eating real food (the right kind), and it changed my life in many, many ways — the most important of which was that I STOPPED BEING DEPRESSED. It went away when I gave up the sugar and wheat. No doctor ever told me that, and no pill could ever replicate that. The year before that, I’d had a nervous breakdown so bad I had to quit work completely, and I’d spent 6 months barely able to leave my house due to severe social anxiety. But real food helped me be a normal person again. I found out what it was like to smile without faking it, to feel comfortable leaving the house, to laugh with abandon, to be free of the giant hand constantly crushing my chest and making it hard to breathe.

      It’s been 5 years since then, and I’ve travelled a long road of learning how to be kind to myself, and how to listen to my body. I’m so, so, so much better than I’ve been my whole life, but I’m a long way from being “cured” (if such a thing exists – perhaps “symptom free” is a better term?). The slightest deviation from a real food diet (basically anything I myself didn’t cook) tends to set me off majorly. And I’ve recently discovered that I, like you, have the MTHFR mutation, have candida, and have some sort of adrenal issue.

      But people like us are unsuited to the modern environment, and it took so many years for us to get as sick as we are. Even if the root causes were 100% understood, it would still take significant time to unravel them. The important thing is that I believe it can be done, and that it’s the best thing we can do for ourselves, because we are worth it. We deserve to be healthy and happy and free of symptoms, living our lives to the fullest.

      You’re awesome — as are all of us who are not afraid to take our health into our own hands. Stay strong and be kind to yourself. <3

    13. mhartzler
      March 3, 2015


      It amazes me how parallel our stories are. I too grew up with a fear of vomiting. I eventually felt like I grew out of it but the worry never went away. I worry about absolutely everything and have been since before I can remember.

      About seven months ago I went down the same path, found out I had a MTHFR mutation (same one) among other mutations, had a yeast overgrowth, was in adrenal fatigue, among other imbalances. Again, there was no real diagnosis but I felt like I had answers and by treating this I would be healed in a few months tops.

      Then the worst happened, my entire body broke out in what feels like hives that haven’t gone away since August. I kept telling myself I had to go through this to get to the other side and my family really started freak out about this functional medicine mumbo-jumbo. The more I detoxed, the worse it got. I’m on month seven and I feel the worst I ever have.

      Reading your post really reaffirmed my belief in healing yourself. I may not have a clinical diagnosis or be healed yet, but I know I’m on the right path. It takes certain kinds of people to come out of this on the other side and I know I am not alone.

      Thanks for sharing,

    14. ej
      March 3, 2015

      Thanks for sharing your struggles… Its very comforting to know there are others on similar journeys. Its great that you are working on it all before having kids. I wish I did and feel horrible guilt knowing I could have prevented so many problems for my kids. Not to mention the years of feeling like a bad mom because of illness/depression/anxiety/irritability. Better late than never though, and there is comfort in knowing I am now changing all our lives for the better. Anyway, Ive found that colonics (ick, right?) have been a vital part if my healing. To my horror, I passed parasites after my first one. Stool testing doesn’t always show them. I finally feel like I’m making progress with candida and detoxing instead of spinning my wheels. Also, in case it helps anyone, the body ecology diet has been great for my kids(though, I only follow the allowed foods list, not all the food combining rules and such and 1 of them doesn’t tolerate coconut kefir). All 3 have varying degrees of health, digestion, sleep, sensory/spectrum, behavioral problems that just keep improving. I love paleo but found it too restrictive for my kids because of our current yeast and fructose intolerance problems. Soldier on friends!

    15. vlmarsden
      March 3, 2015

      Hayley, I am sorry to hear of your health struggles. I have had many myself and understand how frustrating, scary, and debilitating it can be. I just want to encourage you that God made your body to move towards healing. It naturally wants to do that. We need to remove what is impeding that like stress, not enough sleep, wrong nutrients, and give it what it needs to heal like the right foods, sunshine, laughter, exercise, etc. When I was at my worst I made up a little song I would sing to myself about getting better and sang a hymn many times that was especially pertinent to my situation. And I prayed to God for wisdom, to guide me in what I needed to do. I have gradually gotten better. Saying a prayer for you now sweet Hayley.

    16. cjsbequus
      March 3, 2015

      Haley, your transparency is inspiring. I remember when you came through Houston after your wedding (I’m an old friend of the Banks family) and thinking what a perfect life you seemed to have. I am so sorry for your struggles but your attitude is priceless. “I am strong, and my body is capable of healing and wants to be healthy….” says so much. I know in all these comments you’ll get tons of advice since everyone wants to help. I am impressed with all the avenues you are exploring. Especially interesting to me is your energy medicine practitioner visit. I have only recently been reading about this and in fact am in the last days of listening to The 7th Annual Tapping World Summit. It has been fascinating even though I’m normally skeptical about things new to me.:) We know so little about how all the systems of our bodies work together but never underestimate the power God has put in our bodies to heal itself if we stop standing in its way. Praying that you may have strength for the journey and that you will find success in your search for healing.

    17. rivendale17
      March 3, 2015

      Hello there! I don’t know you at all but your experience mirrors my own. I’m on my second month of bed rest after the worst crash of my life. I have adrenal fatigue but haven’t done the greatest job listening to my body. I thought I was listening and going in the right direction but my body corrected that assumption.

      The anxiety, detox issues, phobias, palpitations, sleep issues, exhaustion, nausea, candida, food sensitivities, etc are all part of the same issue. You sound like you are doing all the right things and I don’t doubt that you will heal. The human body is amazing in what it can do and how it can heal.

      I won’t go into my gory details. Suffice it to say that I was incapacitated beyond my own imagination. I’m coming back a little every day but it’s a long journey. Two months ago, I couldn’t get near a cell phone or computer without feeling like I was dying.

      A book that you may find helpful. … “When The Body Says NO” by Gabor Mate. There are sections that are a little discombobulated but stick with it. The basic science about the PNI system (psychoneuroimmunnoendocrine) is very helpful in understanding what’s happening in the body and how your emotions are connected.

      Wishing you the best! Be kind to yourself and know that you are supported and valued just as you are. I hate that horrid “sick” word too but it’s just temporary. You will get to the other side quickly if you can love yourself deeply.

    18. BarbCat
      March 3, 2015

      I have so many of these symptoms. Tons and tons of anxiety and panic which I’ve had since I was 10. Bipolar I depression, low thyroid, probably high mercury. Lots of hetero MTHFR and lots of homo MAO A and COMT. My hair test for mercury was literally off the charts. I’ve tried all kinds of chelation and don’t think it worked. My booga-booga times feel so toxic, metallic taste, mad as a hatter weird depression. Can’t take SSRI’s, make me crazier (although even when I’m totally amped up and booga booga, I can still think clearly, even when terrified. It’s just my body that’s revving out of control).

      I am also folloring the Walsh protocol and will be seeing Dr. Albert Mensah mensahmedical.com end of April. Am starting on low methyl B12 and folates and will see if it helps or hurts. I really dunno. I too have many emotional issues, the stress of which triggers the bad genetics. I’ve found that EFT helps quite a lot – tapping – http://holistic-healing-wellness.com/about-emotional-freedom-technique.htm.

      The tunnel vision is high norepinephrine. Niacin sometimes helps, but I wake up every stinkin’ day with feelings of panic that escalate as the day goes on and totally disappears when the sun goes down. Thank God for that, but I’m really dreading daylight savings time.

      What the heck is going on with all of us? Yes, there is a root cause, or many root causes, but being sick like this is a tragedy. There’s so much of life that is wonderful and I am PISSED that I can’t enjoy the many blessings I have. I just don’t feel it. I only feel despair that I have to either accept or fight, and we all know that fighting it is futile.

    19. clouse91
      March 3, 2015

      I hope you are feeling better soon! In addition to the other practitioners you are seeing, you might want to research EFT or tapping, especially working with an EFT practitioner if you have childhood traumatic events to work through, even if you don’t remember what they are! The results have been amazing, even unbelievable. It might be worth a shot. A good resource is thetappingsolution.com and the book by the same name. Dr. Mercola, Dr. Christiane Northrup, and Dr. Mark Hyman all are proponents. Best wishes and I am enjoying your new book!

    20. Remaerd
      March 4, 2015

      Hello! Thank you for so boldly stepping out and sharing your health journey. I just want to encourage you because I too have had a similar journey and now am coming to the end of it with the help of a fantastic natropathic Doctor.
      I was always a Sick kid that I could remember with chronic bladder infections, colds, sinus infections and so on. I remember waking up one day in Jr high and finding that all of a sudden I had blood sugar issues (which no one else I knew had since we were only 11) I would pass out if I didn’t have anything to eat in a couple hr period. Then the anxiety and panic attacks began when I was a sophomore in high school. Nothing prepared me for the absolute insanity that happened from that. Lets just say I know exactly how you feel. I went thru high school still more of a sick child but because I was seeing a herbalist who did muscle testing, I was able to really control a lot of symptoms. Then after high school I started gaining weight unexpectedly. Thru much testing I found that my cortisol levels were high and my thyroid was high jacked (I was only 20!). I started taking the prescribed medication to find that my body was reacting very negatively. So I talked with my herbalist and she placed me on a natural thyroid replacement to help my body to remember to make the hormone again. Success! Then came the stomach issues. I had every test that they could do done and no one could figure out what was wrong. My husband and I married and just 9 months later we found out we were pregnant. My symptoms disappeared and I forgot that I was sick.
      Then it got crazy after my daughter was born. I started having anxiety again and this time came the neurological problems along with more stomach issues. I decided to take my health into my own hands and started on a health journey. I ran into a series of people who lead me to the right people for me in that season of life. I give all the glory to God! Thats when I started learning about GAPS diet (very similar to paleo) to heal the Gut. We went in full speed and immediately felt relieved just by diet. But I detoxed for about 2 months shaking and extreme fatigue. Now I know why I detox so hard, i too have MTHFR mutation. The neurological symptoms started to subside and I could control it just by diet. IT was amazing!!Things looked better but I still struggled with some fatigue about once a month, then I got pregnant with my son about 7 months into GAPS. It was a great pregnancy and all symptoms i still had left again! I had a wonderful home birth and it went beautifully! Then the crazy began again! My baby started experiencing extreme reflux and thrush. I too got thrush and that lead me to my year on the candida diet.I also experienced MS symptoms and decided to get checked. I was fine! It was a horrible year to say the least. Then last summer thru a mutual friend i found a fantastic natropathic doctor. I found out I had cronic lyme disease and all my issues thru my whole life were because of this horrible bacteria and all the co-infections that come with it. Its much more common then people are made to think and the symptoms are very broad. There is no one symptom fits all when it comes to lyme, it really just depends on the persons immune system and thats why I wasn’t deathly ill like the people you know have lyme but chronically had different issues that were slowly getting worse.
      With all that to say, my journey is finally come close to the end and my numbers have improved dramatically in just a year. Your journey is your story and your story will help others. Keep pursuing health and wholeness and God will send the right people at just the right time for you to come across. For me it was lyme for you your journey will look different, but find a good practitioner who will help you get to where you need to go and be your own advocate. You can do it and your on the right path. It takes time to heal but you will get there! Some things that helped me with anxiety were The midwest center for stress and anxiety and the program “Attacking anxiety and depression” Along with Dr. Caroline Leafs books and brain detox. I also use essential oils for everything and that could be helpful to you as you are figuring stuff out. The last thing that has been helpful has been getting a far in fared sauna, its been AMAZING for relaxation and also for killing candida and any virus and bacterial infection including my lyme. I know you will figure out your path. I am excited for you and your story and how much your going to impact and help others along the way! God bless you and your journey!!

    21. dmarkosky
      March 4, 2015

      Read the book, The Magnesium Miracle, by Dr. Carolyn Dean and Google her name. Many of my similar symptoms have disappeared now that I am on Dr. Dean’s Completement Formulas, specifically, ReMag liquid magnesium. Also check her list of symptoms of low magnesium.

    22. Elizahealth
      March 4, 2015

      Hi, so I can somewhat relate to you. I do not have anxiety issues but I have been dealing with yeast overgrowth for about 3 years (or longer) and I have very high mercury levels, and am also homozygous C677T. I started off not feeling well about 3 years ago which started off with lower abdominal pain/cramps. I went from Dr. to Dr. Had a pointless surgery, CT scans, endoscopy, colonoscopy, and multiple different meds. My lower abdominal pain went away after cutting out gluten in my diet. But I have other strange TMI symptoms still that no Dr. can figure out. I am on a strong antifungal protocol and will start 3 months of a strong heavy metal detox which I have heard will make me feel like I have the flu. I too want a baby so bad. My husband and I are 30 yrs old and have been together for 11 years. It is so hard when all of your friends are getting pregnant and having babies around you and you cannot because you do not feel well. My dr. said she does not feel comfortable with me getting pregnant with my mercury levels so high. So hopefully there is a light at the end of this tunnel. BTW, I cannot wait to try your carrot cake. That is my husband’s favorite cake and I want to make it for his birthday in June. I hope you find your answers.

    23. mefoust25
      March 5, 2015

      Thank you so much for this post. I have many of the same issues as you: mood issues, candida & adrenal fatigue. You are inspiring. I have new found hope in healing my body after reading your blog. Thank you!

    24. laurs
      March 5, 2015

      I too have struggled with major anxiety issues since i was little. So bad that i developed SVT which is basically severe heart palpitations and i needed an ablation to fix it. Anyway, i always thought that there was a reason as to why i had these issues so i was always searching for a cure. Well, then i had children, two little girls. My first daughter who is now 4 1/2 is exactly like me. Shes extremely anxious, shes a worrier, she has tics when shes nervous and has OCD. My youngest who is 2 1/2 doesn’t have a worrying bone in her body. Shes care free and happy go lucky like her daddy. This made me realize that anxiety and OCD is inherited. My mom has it, her dad had it, i have it and now my sweet little girl has it. Yes, there are ways to control it but there is no root to the problem. Its a very hard way to live but once you realize you are who you are, it makes it a little easier. The hardest thing is watching your sweet child go through something you’ve battled your whole life.

    25. not_unseen
      March 8, 2015

      Dear Hayley,
      As I was reading this I thought “I should mention the Walsh approach”. It’s great that you are doing it – our doctor uses this, too. People don’t understand what “it’s all in your head” really means when they say it. It really means that there is something causing an imbalance in the body and brain chemistry. Thank you for sharing your journey, you are helping so many of us who are struggling to get better to keep on the road to health; the detox is, as someone mentioned in the comments, a marathon; slow and steady and consistent…the turtle, not the hare…your sharing is helping me keep on keeping on (detoxing/rebalancing). Thank you, and I wish you strength on your journey of healing to health.

    26. March 9, 2015

      Thank you so much for sharing your story! I felt like I was reading my own life story. I have struggled with Anxiety since I was a child and my anxiety steams from the fear of vomiting just like yours. You are the first person I have ever known to say that. At first my anxiety wasnt that sever but over the years it has progressed. It started when I was young and threw up at a friends house during a sleep over. After that I just had anxiety about sleeping over at people’s house and avoided it. I then got sick at night and threw up and from that point I made sure to be at home or close to home at night and didnt stay at peoples houses. At one point in high school I got over my anxiety for a few years and went anywhere and stayed anywhere until it happened again. I was at a horse race over an hour away from home got sick out of no where and everything came back. It’s been 7ish years since then and I haven’t gotten over it. In fact I am far worse. I now fear eating at others houses in case I eat something bad and get sick. I have to stay close to home. Its to a point where anytime I leave the house within just a few minutes I have to go number 2 (TMI). The strange thing is most of the time I don’t feel like I am thinking about or freaking out about going somewhere. At some points I feel like I have it under control. I hadn’t felt like I had bad anxiety in a while but these past few weeks its come on bad and I don’t know why. My family is not helpful because they tell me its all in my head but its so much more complex then that. I wish it was a simple fix but anxiety has taken over my life. I feel like I am not living life anymore. I feel like a bad friend, daughter, wife, mom, etc. because I constantly turn down invites, i never do or go anywhere and if i do its literally down the street or I struggle with anxiety the whole time. Its affecting my marriage because he dosent understand either. Everyone wants me to take medication but I refuse because not only is it just masking the symptoms but most medicines have a laundry list of terrible side affects. Plus, many of them cause nausea or vomiting which Im afraid of. I to have tried just about every fad diet out there in hopes of getting my anxiety under control but also this nagging dull aching pain under my right bottom rib. The paleo diet has been the most effective with easing the pain in my right upper quadrant and it has also helped with my gut but its getting harder to stick to when my family eats different meals then me and brings other food into the house. They don’t understand what its like for me and don’t understand why I eat paleo. They think its bogus but I feel the difference in my body. I hope you find answers and can have a healthy life full of joy and happiness. Please continue to share your journey.

    27. Ellie_Fay
      March 9, 2015

      Dear Hayley –

      I can identify with so much of what you have been through. I will spare you most of the details, but will say I have been on thyroid meds for nearly 14 years and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease by one of many doctors I have seen. I have been gluten free for almost 2 years in hopes of helping my thyroid. The meds seem rather ineffective, as the symptoms flare often regardless of my consistent commitment to take the proper dose. I am currently awaiting a saliva test for hormone and cortisol levels. I have been on a constant search for what it is my body is missing to heal itself. I read books, blogs, articles, research papers etc., in an effort to connect the dots and end my symptoms…they are not all in our head! I recently came across very interesting research regarding vitamin A. It is possible that nearly half the female population is genetically unable or ill-euiped to convert beta-carotene (plant source) into vitamin A. Especially people with thyroid disorders. I began taking vitamin A (as retinyl acetate 10,000 IU) just 10 days ago and I feel I may have found an answer. Many symptoms are subsiding, and I can say I actually feel like I am healing in some way. I am finally sleeping 8-9 solid hours for the first time in years. All the hype about vitamin A toxicity is questionable at best. Read up on vitamin A deficiency, and check out the following links. I have no ties to these other sites in any way. I am just a regular person struggling to find my own answers in helping my body heal. Best of luck to you – I will continue to follow your journey via the blog and Instagram too. I have learned from you and I appreciate you sharing your life, both the beauty and the pain.



    28. jpreston017
      March 10, 2015


      I am really hoping you read my comment because I believe I have the answer you’ve been looking for all these years.

      I came across your website looking for jicama recipes and I discovered this article you wrote. I normally skim blogs, however, I could not help but read yours word for word. You basically wrote my life story. I too am 29 (and want a family but am working on healing myself before I can), I have had anxiety issues my whole life, and I have had the same issues with family telling me it’s “all in my head” when it was actually a physical illness I was dealing with (I dropped about $10,000 in intense therapy prior to discovering I had a physical illness). With that said, I am CONVINCED you have HYPERthyroidism.

      What tipped me off? Extreme anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations, nausea, feeling of having low blood sugar, lack of appetite, and I can go on and on. Everything that you are mentioning tells me you have a hyperthyroid issue. I had to almost die to finally have a diagnosis of having both Graves Disease AND Hashimoto’s. Every time I had my TSH levels checked, they were “normal,” until one day I was finally off the charts and almost experienced thyroid storm 2 and a half months before my wedding day.

      I won’t tell you my whole story, but I will tell you that I first saw an endocrinologist who only treated my thyroid and made me worse. I was bed ridden for 2 years, on the maximum dosage of hyperthyroid medication and ready to go through radiation and have my thyroid removed. My mother, who believes in healing the gut rather than healing my symptoms and just my thyroid, suggested I seek a second opinion from a doctor whom takes a more holistic approach. That is when I found Dr. Raphael Kellman, the author of The Microbiome Diet. He has saved my life! Within 6 months, I was completely off of my medications (thyroid, anxiety, insomnia, heart medication for my palpitations, etc.) and was only taking supplements to help enhance my adrenal function and to continue to heal my gut. Dr. Kellman is a Godsend. I went 2 years stuck in my bed and not being able to finish my graduate studies in Health Education at Columbia University to now I am currently working for him. I believe in his practice and I believe in healing the gut to heal the rest of the body.

      Long story short, the reason people develop autoimmune diseases, such as thyroid disorders, is because we have what is called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which could have began due to overprescribing of medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, etc., constant anxiety, poor eating habits and/or environmental factors. Basically, when you have poor nutrient absorption, your body cannot function properly. So, no matter how healthy we eat or how much we supplement nutrients, because the lining of our gut wall is damaged, we cannot and will not absorb the nutrients our bodies need until we heal our gut.

      I urge you and encourage you to come to the Kellman Center here in New York City. Often, many patients and clients come to us with similar stories to ours. Their doctors run a TSH test and a full panel thyroid test and yet, sadly, this test does not always detect a thyroid disorder. Sometimes, results might fall within what is considered a “normal” range when the patient is still experiencing symptoms. We would classify these patients as having subclinical thyroid issues. In this case, we recommend Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone (TRH) Stimulation Test. It is a much more sensitive test and it can detect thyroid disfunction at subclinical levels. As far as I know, Dr. Kellman is the only doctor in the US that administers this test.

      Because I see so much of me in you, I know the confusion, frustration and anxiety you are feeling wanting to be better NOW and wanting to know what is “wrong” with you. Again, PLEASE reach out to The Kellman Center (212-717-1118) and mention my name, Jacqui. We are here to help all that are struggling and looking for answers.

      PS. You are on the right path with a paleo diet 🙂 At The Kellman Center, you will learn even MORE about improving your gut health through simple diet changes. We have an amazing nutritionist on staff and our nurses are also very knowledgable about The Microbiome Diet.

      Please feel free to email me as well. I am here to answer any questions you may have, personal or medical. I have been on your path and understand COMPLETELY what you are going through.

      Sending healing energy your way!

      Your “twin”,

    29. jpreston017
      March 10, 2015

      PS. The 677 mutation for MTHFR is very common in thyroid patients. And a candida overgrowth tells me that the bacteria in your gut is off and you ARE experiencing a leaky gut.

      I wanted to also mention that The Kellman Center runs an array of tests to help get to the bottom of all underlying issues. We source out genetic testing and review the results, we do in-depth food allergen testing, hormone testing, glucose testing, heavy metals testing, breath tests for gut bacteria, mold testing, etc., etc., etc. You name it, we do it. The Kellman Center also has an array of treatments from supplementation to intravenious therapy to UV blood irradiation to IV laser therapy and IV oxygen therapy, etc. etc., etc. We have all your answers and treatments to heal right here 🙂

    30. not_unseen
      March 10, 2015

      Dear Haley,
      Just Watched this webinar on MTHFR and methylation by Dr. Mensah (he uses Dr. Walsh’s method) and thought you might find it helpful (if you haven’t seen it already):
      It’s about 42 minutes, then there is a q & a at the end that takes up the rest of the time.

    31. embyr42
      March 13, 2015

      I really think that you should see Carrie Tolomei. She’s an intuitive counselor and you sound like someone who could use some serious energy work. She changes lives, no joke. She does phone appointments http://www.carrietolomei.com and she’s not expensive. Sometimes the anxiety you describe is past life PTSD bring triggered, or sometimes you’re storing parasitic energy that is draining you. I know that is far fetched but I’ve seen her heal life long anxiety in one or 2 sessions. I think she’s one of the keys to you getting well. Also see a kinesiologist naturopath, they are amazing. I’m homozygous 677, hypothyroid, etc etc and this is the first doctor in 5 years I feel is actually helping me. I wish you well and please call Carrie, she’s worth it and I know she will help you massively.

    32. ashysc
      March 20, 2015

      You have no idea how close this post was to my heart. Your story about the wedding, your history with anxiety building up over time, feeling defeated and embarrassed…. I was in tears. I had panic attacks during the night the day of and up to two years AFTER my wedding. I never even talked to my therapist about it thought because I was so ashamed of feeling that way. It made me sick.

      It’s like I get upset with myself for getting upset and for not doing better or being better. I feel like every time I blow up or having an emotional outburst I turn into a monster. I hate it. I just wish I had my health issues figured out, but it seems like it’s just one thing after another and I’m starting to get the idea my family just thinks I’m just neurotic. Who knows! Maybe I am??? All I know is that after 10 years of psych therapy and the bazillion dietary changes, I still find myself struggling. Why can’t I just be normal? Why does so much upset me? I feel like I’m going crazy. On the one hand I get so angry about not feeling like I have permission to just have emotions (I’m always being told stuff like, “You just need to be more positive”, “You’re just being petty”, “Just stay strong”, “Maybe you’re bipolar?”), but on the other I carry the weight of this intense shame and embarrassment for being so emotional.

      My meltdown tonight happened after going to a Q&A event and I shared a comment, publicly, in front of a room of people I didn’t know. I thought my heart would explode. Afterwards I played out what I said a million times over in my head and all I could do was cry. I felt so stupid and embarrassed for trying to add to the discussion. I wish ifI would t have said anything… But it’s like this all the time. It’s to the point that I don’t even want to hang out with friends or anyone anymore because I can’t handle the weeks worth of shame or anxiety I feel for the things I said.

      So well, I don’t have any advice for you, but you do have this stranger’s heart and deepest understanding. Sometimes when you’re in this place, just knowing you’re not alone or that you’re not a weirdo can make you feel a little better. Thank you for sharing your story… I needed to hear I wasn’t the only one who struggles this way. <3

    33. gredding
      April 7, 2015

      So brave to share your story! It sounds like you are on the right track to healing – these things are so complicated and finding doctors to find the source is key. Your story reminded me of a book I read – “Brain on Fire” about a young women who starts to have issues with anxiety and her and her family’s journey to find healing. It may be a little deep for you to read right now, but maybe something for Bill to read. Very interesting and full of scientific brain stuff!

    34. erinob
      April 8, 2015

      Hi Hayley,

      I felt compelled to share with you after reading your story. I am 27 and have also been very anxious/OCD my entire life. When I was 18 I started to experience more severe symptoms of anxiety, exhaustion, thyroid issues, etc. I won’t share my whole story, but I will say that it took me 5 years to find a doctor who would actually listen to my issues and find out what was wrong.

      About 4 years ago I found out that I had Lyme disease. As I said this took a tremendous amount of time, effort, money, and a slew of testing. I found out that the horrible anxiety I had felt for so long stemmed from a Lyme co-infection called babesia. I also have the MTHFR mutation and detoxing while treating my Lyme was the worst thing I have ever experienced. Adrenal fatigue, exhaustion, thyroid issues, and anxiety are all major signs and symptoms of Lyme.

      In short, I just wanted to share because your story sounds SO similar to mine and my hope is that you can find an answer and help because of what I went through.

      Sending some love and light your way!

    35. eroso42
      April 8, 2015


      I’m sorry you have been going through hell, literally! I do pray that all these Dr.’s you have will find a cure or at least help you out. One of the things that you kept repeating was how embarrassed you are. I don’t think that you have anything to feel embarrassed about! We are all in the fight to better health! If you are thinking that because you are a leader in all this, you need to give yourself a break. You worry about you and nothing else. Like your husband said, you are priority right. My mother has and still is on all kinds of medications, I, well barely visit a doctor’s office, and that is ONLY IF I absolutely have to. One thing I vowed was to never become a person who took something to just help me get by, I don’t like the band-aide approach. AND that is what you have done, said no medications, the root of is…… I do pray you get well. I do think that as women we go through so much, and sometimes don’t want to give it importance, but you have taken it into your hands and now……. you will be much better, I know it!
      God bless!

    36. protikkhan7
      July 6, 2015

      This is truly awesome info.I experienced adrenal weariness for a long time and this is the kind of exhortation that truly helped me to beat my issue. Along these lines, to all you sufferers, YES! There is trust! Simply don’t lose confidence and realize that your body can mend itself. I was fortunate to locate some incredible counsel that helped me beat my adrenal exhaustion and improve.Here is one of the resources that helped me a lot: http://adrenalfatiguenomore.com/adrenalfatigue.html

    37. nickwell
      July 22, 2015

      I know I’m pretty late in commenting on this, but I just came across your post. As so many people above have mentioned, your story mirrors quite a few. You have been given a lot of suggestions, and I just wanted to add one more!

      You mentioned a sugar addiction. I had the same issues you did about 10 years ago. Horrible place to be and looking back I feel like I missed out on enjoying all of my 30’s. I did, however, learn something. I had a mean sweet tooth and it caused me to wear down my adrenals over time. Giving up sugar cold turkey was the only thing that really cured me. It took about three days of doing without for me to feel the effects, but after that I felt like a new woman. No more racing heart, no more waking up in a panic, no more freaking out!

      All of the other issues I have too – candida, thyroid, etc……If you try to detox too rapidly, you will not be a happy person. It’s best to make small changes over time (I’m talking years here, not days). After this round of tests, stop looking for a medical explanation. There will always be something to find if you look hard enough and that will in turn cause you to freak out even more. You’re strong, you’re healthy……you work too hard 🙂

      Just be nice to yourself and throw that sugar out the window!

    38. jpreston017
      September 28, 2015

      Hi Haley,

      Just checking in to see how you’re feeling. I second ‘erinob.’ You should be tested for Lyme disease and co-infections if you haven’t already. We discovered my thyroid disorder stemmed not only from a leaky gut, but I also had a co-infection of Lyme disease. I think anyone that is feeling as awful as we feel or have felt should be tested. Check it out. My life changed within days of treatment. I felt like a human being again. I hope you’re feeling better than when you wrote this blog.


      1. September 29, 2015

        Hi Jacqui,

        Yes, Hayley did in fact turn out to have Lyme (and coinfections, namely Babesia), as well as mold. She is currently working on healing her gut. Very sharp of you to recognize this based on her post! You are very lucky to have improved symptoms within days, though. We are several months in, and improvement is only beginning now. Thanks for the follow up!
        -Bill (& Hayley)

    39. KBJG
      January 16, 2016

      I feel so lucky to have found this post through reading about Gingernewtritions adrenal cocktail. I too have anxiety deep rooted from my childhood and beyond. I unfortunately am on prescription meds but have always known deep down that I didn’t have to be-that the body can heal! I want to know what I need to do to get off the drugs, and this post gave me hope that it can happen. I am suffering right now through many similar symptoms you mention in your post. I am now on the hunt for people to help me. Thank you!

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