Once a week we hear from real Parsley Health members, in their own words, about how working with us has changed their lives. This week we’re talking to Laura, a 31-year-old yoga instructor and figure skating coach. She came to us after recovering from thyroid cancer, still feeling things were out of place in her body. This is her story:
I know the question well by now. After telling a friend or colleague I’m pregnant, they look at me self-consciously. They usually preface the question with, “you don’t have to answer this if it’s too personal but… did you have trouble getting pregnant?” as I see the look of worry about their own ticking biological clock. I got pregnant on the first try, I answer sheepishly, knowing that’s not really the full answer.
The true answer to my fertility journey and what ultimately led me to Parsley Health really started three years ago when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I was 28 and in what felt like the prime of my life, health, and career when my mother noticed a lump on my neck while wedding dress shopping. The next six months were a blur of doctor appointments, surgery, radiation, and oh yeah, getting married and managing a career in marketing.
It was about a year and a half after surgery to remove my thyroid. I knew something was not quite right with my body. I was carrying around about 10 extra pounds that I couldn’t seem to shed. Acne that I hadn’t experienced since I was a teenager returned to my face, and constipation and muscle fatigue plagued my everyday life. Every day I was waking up feeling like I had just run 10 miles. I saw some alternative medicine practitioners, such as acupuncturists and naturopaths, but I grew frustrated by the fact that they were not able to order any blood work to test my thyroid hormone levels or tweak my thyroid hormone replacement medicine.
It was out of this frustration that led me to Dr. Berzin’s office. She not only ordered a full panel of tests but what I most appreciated was Dr. Berzin’s ability to treat me as an individual. For example, she prescribed me a thyroid replacement hormone that is not traditionally used in patients with a history of thyroid cancer. But this medicine allowed me to feel like a normal person again.
Within 6 months of seeing Dr. Berzin, my constipation and muscle fatigue were non-existent. From there, we were able to begin addressing life without a thyroid, as I like to refer to it. This included tackling some other chronic health issues I was experiencing such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).
I was vaguely diagnosed with PCOS when I was 19. So I was prescribed the blanket treatment given by most gynecologists of a hormonal birth control pill. Through Dr. Berzin and her team at Parsley Health, I got on the right supplements and made the necessary dietary changes to manage my PCOS. Now with managing my thyroid and PCOS, I began to worry about fertility. More specifically, I was worried that it was going to take me years to get pregnant as it had taken several years to get to a point where I was feeling good with my thyroid levels.
Ten months after joining Parsley Heath, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test. And who was the first person I told about my positive pregnancy test, after my husband? Not my mom, best friend, or sister, but Dr. Berzin. Email access to her allowed me to ask for the blood test to confirm pregnancy. This was something my OB-GYN wouldn’t do for 6 weeks. I asked her for the list of supplements I needed stop taking, and my most pressing question, did I need to discontinue hot yoga for the time being.
I was able to have a healthy pregnancy where I honestly felt great, even up to the final weeks. Sure I had to pee what felt like 12 times a night and would have some aches and pains. But because of the work I put with Parsley Health prior to getting pregnant, I was able to have a healthy pregnancy.
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