From Thyroid Cancer To a Healthy Pregnancy—My Journey With Parsley Health

Parsley Health
May 8, 2017

At Parsley Health, we’ve helped thousands of members feel better with root-cause resolution medicine  . With our Member Stories  series, we zoom in on a member’s health journey, what brought them to Parsley, and their road to better health.

Read on to find out how Laura, a 31-year-old yoga instructor and figure skating coach, came for support as she recovered from cancer—and began her fertility journey.

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?” 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 story of 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 while managing a career in marketing.

Recovering from thyroid cancer

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 life. Every day I was waking up feeling like I had just run 10 miles.

I saw some alternative medicine practitioners, like 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.

A new kind of doctor

It was this frustration that led me to Dr. Berzin’s office. She 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, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS ).

I was 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.

Starting her fertility journey

Now managing my thyroid and PCOS, I began to think about my fertility. 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.

But 10 months after joining Parsley Heath, I was staring at a positive pregnancy test. And who was the first person I told, after my husband? Not my mom, best friend, or sister, but Dr. Berzin. Messaging with her allowed me to ask for the blood test to confirm the pregnancy. This was something my OB-GYN wouldn’t do for 6 weeks. I asked her for the list of supplements I needed to 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.

Download Parsley Health's free guide to healing your thyroid .

Want to become a Parsley Health member? Schedule a free call  to learn more about Parsley’s virtual primary care  , how to use insurance  to pay for your Parsley medical fees, and more.

Parsley Health

Parsley Health is the doctor that helps you live healthier, longer, by treating the root cause of symptoms and conditions. Our medical teams—staffed by leading clinicians and health coaches—spend more time with you, order the right tests, and prescribe food, sleep and movement alongside medications so you can get better—and feel better.

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