Baywatch Beauty Brings Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism out of the Closet

July 3rd, 2012 | by Dr. Richard Herbold

Gena Nolin

Dr. Richard Herbold of Clifton Park, NY: Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism deserves more attention and better care

Talk to a group of women with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, and they’ll likely all share the same frustrating story. Frequently dismissed, misdiagnosed, or ignored by doctors, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism is finally getting the recognition it deserves thanks to former Baywatch beauty and Playboy cover girl Gena Nolin.

Struggling with Hashimoto’s on the Baywatch set

Nolin struggled through marathon days on the set of Baywatch in a tiny red tank while battling symptoms of Hashimoto’s: fatigue, depression, hair loss, and weight gain. According to one interview, she gained weight despite exercising and eating very little—a salad or a can of tuna a day—and her hair became dry and brittle. Exhausted and starving, she pushed on with the help of antidepressants.

Symptoms worsened after her first two pregnancies. Doctors simply pegged her problems on postpartum depression, and prescribed her antidepressants. After her third pregnancy she suffered from arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeats, a common symptom of Hashimoto’s. She visited a couple of doctors before one finally diagnosed her with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism, explaining the mysterious symptoms she had been battling since the age of 18. After experimenting with different thyroid hormones, she was almost symptom-free after just three days of finding the right one.

As a clinical nutritionist and chiropractic neurologist, I see many patients with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism in my Clifton Park, NY office. I see patients from Guilderland, Loudonville, Delmar, Colonie, and other areas of the Capital District. By the time most of them come to see me, they are extremely frustrated by their worsening condition despite ongoing medical care. Managing Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism involves so much more than a prescription for thyroid hormones. Gluten intolerance, diet, inflammation, hormone balance, and more all play roles in thyroid health.

Nolin stands apart as a hypothyroid celebrity

What separates Nolin from other celebrities with hypothyroidism—Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Osbourne, Kim Cattrall, Jillian Michaels, and Mary-Louise Parker—is that Nolin uses her notoriety to speak up for the millions of Americans with hypothyroidism who are misdiagnosed or mismanaged by the health care system.

Nolin also recognizes and promotes the fact that for 90 percent of Americans, hypothyroidism is caused by an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s, which attacks and destroys the thyroid gland (explained in the book Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms When My Lab Tests Are Normal? by Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MNeuroSci.) Nolin advocates a gluten-free diet and other natural thyroid strategies outlined in Dr. Kharrazian’s book.

Imagine if Oprah Winfrey helped hypothyroid sufferers

Imagine if Oprah Winfrey had access to the same knowledge and information when publicly discussing her thyroid condition—she could have helped millions of sufferers and advanced thyroid care in this country. Faced with patient demand, doctors would have been forced to increase their knowledge and education to offer genuine help to their patients.

Nolin reaches out for those with Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism

Online thyroid communities have warmly embraced Nolin. Her Facebook page Thyroid Sexy has almost 13,000 likes, and she posts frequently and communicates with her followers. Her post I am Hashimoto’s Disease—A letter for patients, family and friends, garnered a huge response for readers.

Nolin is the first internationally known celebrity who has made it a personal mission to bring positive awareness to thyroid disease. She is co-authoring a book about her journey and Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism with thyroid author Mary Shomon. Shomon is the author of the Thyroid Disease blog, and the author of several best-selling thyroid books.

Natural remedies to support Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism in Clifton Park, NY

In my Clifton Park, NY office in the Capital District area, we will look at underlying causes that contribute to your Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism. These include working to restore immune imbalance (as Hashimoto’s is more an autoimmune condition than a thyroid condition), addressing the influence of diet on health, restoring gut health, balancing stress and hormonal health, and even looking at the role brain function plays in your condition.

For more information on natural healing, and for help managing your thyroid health or other disorders, please contact Dr. Richard Herbold of Capital District Vitality Center, serving Guilderland, Loudonville, Delmar, Colonie, and other areas of the Capital District, NY.

You can have better thyroid health! Supporting thyroid health for Guilderland, Loudonville, Delmar, Colonie, and other Capital District patients:

  • Removing dietary stressors: sugars, caffeine, junk foods, excess carbs, and food intolerances
  • Addressing any lingering health imbalances: hormonal, immune system, or gut
  • Exercising regularly, but not over exercising
  • Working with your practitioner to use customized nutritional therapy to support your health

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