Raina Kranz, Thyroid Thrivers
Thyroid Nation







My name is Raina and I just turned 50 years old this past June.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in August of 2012 and seven weeks

later I was then diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.


My story is rather simple, mostly because ignorance was bliss. At a very

young age I started to make very big changes in my lifestyle that most people

don’t do until they are in their 40’s or 50’s.


Oftentimes, my family members brought to my attention, quite often, how

I took after my father’s side of family. My grandmother, on the short and round

side and my father, although 6 feet tall was overweight, his sister, my aunt was on

the heavy side. While on my mother’s side of the family, everybody was thin.


It’s a hard thought process to take on at 10 years old. I wasn’t overweight.  I was

very active through my teenage years, but when I turned 18 and started college,

I put on some weight. Unable to walk up a flight of stairs without running out

of breath, I realized I had to do something fast because I didn’t want my family

members to remind me of what my future holds, if I continued in this direction.


Raina Sept 2014Without knowing anything about nutrition, I started a diet.

I ate breakfast every morning, cereal with skim milk, no

sugar, and a banana. Lunch was a slim fast drink and dinner

was a lean protein with vegetables…no bread, no sugar, no

sweets. I lost the weight and joined, don’t laugh………

Richard Simmons Anatomy Asylum where I bounced my

way to becoming physically fit. Shortly after joining, I

became an aerobics instructor and my life’s journey changed forever.


At 25 years old, I was working at a destination 5 diamond spa & resort and in

the health & fitness field full time. Back in school for anatomy, kinesiology,

physiology and nutrition and never happier. That is about the time I learned that

my father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Loaded with new knowledge and

the skill set to really make a difference in my lifestyle, I decided to really change

my lifestyle even more, as to prevent myself from falling ill to this disease and any

other disease that I could prevent with healthy, sensible eating and exercise.


I had already stopped drinking soda, eating fast food and fried food. Now,

I was on a mission to remove all bad sugar, white flour and bad

fats out of my daily eating routine. Water, coffee and red wine was all that I

drank. I started hormone free meats, eggs and dairy. My family thought I was

out of my mind.


My father had two heart attacks and two surgeries’ and his health got

progressively worse. My grandmother passed away of colon cancer and my aunt

doubled in size, while I maintained a healthy life and exercised 5-6 days a week.


In 1997, I rekindled a relationship with my first love and for the next 11 years,

I lived an emotional rollercoaster. I gave him my power and relinquished all

control for his love and he brought me nothing but pain. I loved him so and yet I

was being strangled of every bit of strength and sensibility I had inside of me. My

health suffered immensely. Within a few years I started to gain weight, hardly

slept and I am sure that my adrenals were an absolute mess. The stress caused

me to break out with the hives from head to toe it was so bad that I had to go to

the emergency room. It was about this time I started to notice food sensitivities

to wine and salt. Eating out became a nightmare since most restaurants over

salt their food and I had to give up the red wine. In my research, I came across

candida as a possible cause for my sensitive digestive issues.


raina-gamblerAt 35 years old, cleansing the candida

became my new life. I tried everything

and it took years before I could feel

that the overgrowth of yeast was

under control. About this time, I

went mostly gluten free.


In 2007, my father past away from what they said was complications from

uncontrolled diabetes. I was more determined than ever to fight heart disease,

diabetes, and obesity. As a personal trainer it’s been my mission to educate and

motivate others to alter their lifestyles so they too can live a healthier life, but

I was putting on weight. Even though my eating was cleaner than ever and I

was working out 5 or 6 times a week. Sleeping became so important to me

that I started to take daily naps between my morning and evening clients. Not

to mention, my rollercoaster relationship was taking a toll on me and I was

unable to stop the cellular damage to my body. I did this to myself by

allowing and remaining in this unhealthy, destructive relationship.


Then in 2008, I had an epiphany…..I kicked that man to the curb. Looking at

myself in the mirror and seeing the person I had become, I just cried. Where was

that bright, shining, happy person I knew I was once was? She was beaten down,

shriveled up and lost. That is when I decided to turn everything around and get

my life back.


gina-manFinally, I met a wonderful man and we are still

together, living under the same roof, going on

6 years now. I am happy, safe and in a healthy,

supportive, loving relationship.


In 2009, I started to have some issues with my menstrual cycle. Heavy bleeding

that incapacitated me and left me bedridden for days at a time each month. I just

thought I was going through the normal changes at 45 years old that most women

go through. My Ob-gyn, suggested that I start birth control to help lessen the

monthly issues. So, at 45 for the first time in my life, I was on birth control. This

was the alternative to a partial hysterectomy. On birth control, for 60 days,

I spotted every single day. The doctor now suggested the next step, as

uterine ablation.


September 2009, I was in surgery having this procedure done. I

remained on the birth control for another two years and I decided in 2011 to get

off because my body was telling me something was wrong. I was doing great off

the birth control as I have not had a period since the ablation, pure heaven.

Mother’s day May 2012, at my sister’s home for a family gathering. I couldn’t fit

into a darn thing. I was so bloated and uncomfortable nothing was fitting and

I was completely frustrated. In my mind, I knew something was really wrong. I

got onto a scale in her bathroom and I couldn’t believe my eyes, 160lbs. How

the heck did that happen? I put on 18lbs in 3 months and I have been eating and

exercising the same as always.


Fast forward to August 2012, thankfully, I went to see a new doctor. He did a

full blood workup on me. Two weeks later, I was being told that my TSH was

10.5 and I was hypothyroid and this was the cause of my weight gain. In shock

and at a loss for words I just broke down. How could this happen? I have done

everything right since I was 25 years old. Now I am being told I have to go on

medicine, this is everything I fought so hard to avoid. My doctor was great,

he gave me choices of NDT, Synthroid, Iodine or a thyroid supplement. I sat

for a few moments and asked a few questions, but something in my gut said

go with the Synthroid. I figured I could go home and do some research. If I

wanted to switch to something else I could just go back to the doctor, he would

guide me.


Within a few days, I started to notice some weird symptoms. My throat became

more swollen than it already was; I was coughing and having a hard time

swallowing. A phone call into the doctor and a script for an ultrasound was being

faxed over immediately to the hospital. My ultrasound showed nodules on both

lobes and it gave cm sizes of all of them. Obviously, I was scared to death. That

afternoon I started to really research thyroid disease and began to understand

the tests, the results and the symptoms. I thought back on previous blood tests

I had had over the years and recalled being told that I had a sluggish thyroid.

I do not know what my TSH was at the time of those tests, but since the doctor’s

weren’t really concerned and I wasn’t overweight..I just let it go right over

my head.


September 2012, 8 weeks after being diagnosed with hypothyroid and having an

ultrasound that sounded like I had Cancer, I met with my new Endocrinologist.

He sat with me and went over my family medical history, my medical history

, and my current symptoms. He performed another ultrasound in his office and

photo (1)began to explain what I was seeing on the

screen. The nodules reported from

the ultrasound several weeks ago was

misread. They were actually shadows

which showed the destroyed thyroid

cells from Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

A big sigh of relief, no cancer. Just a

but a Japanese man, now resides

in my throat –Hakaru Hashimoto!

I had to find some humor in all this.

A full thyroid panel of tests revealed

TPO antibodies of 115 confirming Hashimoto’s and in addition low D3 and

high calcium. My doctor suggested Vitamin D3 3,000 IU’s to start, no

more calcium supplements and switched my Synthroid to Tirosint 25mcg.


I went home feeling like all my problems were solved and the weight was just

going to fall off and I would never need another nap ever again. Then reality set

in. Every day was different…I had energy one day and I crashed the next day. I

was bloated and inflamed all the time. Spending hours on the computer to try to

understand what was happening to me and why the medicine wasn’t working as I

thought it should. Coming to understand that the autoimmune disease was more

of the issue than the hypothyroid, I began to learn all I could about Hashimoto’s.


By the time I went for my next blood test, I had a list of supplements and

symptoms to talk over with my Endocrinologist. The biggest symptom I noticed

was the change in how I was able to exercise. Fatiguing so fast and crashing right

after exercise…I was losing my desire to go to the gym because the pain I would

feel in body was not the normal delayed muscle soreness I was used to. I couldn’t

push the same amount of weight and it took days for my body to recover. I found

myself napping for hours just so that I could function and continue working

as a personal trainer. This had become an actual conflict of interest to my

physical body.


On the list of supplements I shared with my Endocrinologist was

something called, l- glutamine? This is supposed to help with muscle recovery.

To my surprise, my doctor was very familiar with it and suggested that I increase

the dose. He went over my list of supplements and made dose suggestions for

everything. This started me on my Hashi’s supplement regime and till this day I

am on all of the starter supplements and much more. The test results from blood

work that day revealed an increase in medicine was needed and I am still on that

dose of 50mcg of Tirosint, to this day.


My Training was still inconsistent; I had great days and bad days. Some workouts

were a complete struggle and some I had energy all day. No weight loss, but I was

happy to start feeling a little better in my skin and in my training again. Napping

was still part of my daily routine and I have just come to accept that I need it. I

am on my feet 4-5 hours in the morning, training clients and getting a workout in

for myself. Then I resume again in the late afternoon to the evening not returning

home till after 8:00 pm, Monday thru Friday. Long hours, long days and I just need

that nap in the middle to get me through the day.


About one year into the disease, I begin to notice subtle digestive issues that

would cause me mild to extreme discomfort around the same time every month.

It lasts for about a week and then just goes away. I could not put my finger on it

and I was not sure what was triggering it, but it seemed to really affect my uterus

and my bowel movements. Advil did nothing for the pain. I mentioned this to my

boyfriend, but he thought I was a hypochondriac and it fell on deaf ears. Six

months of this and then one evening, I felt something similar that I haven’t felt in

4 years…low back pain and a headache. Mentioning this again to my boyfriend,

but this time I swear it felt like I am getting my period. He laughs..yeah right!


That morning promptly at 3:00 am, I awoke in a complete panic as the bed was full

of ……screaming get up…I ripped the sheets off the bed and ran to the

bathroom where I sat crying not understanding what was going on now. My

wonderful boyfriend made a special trip to the drug store at 3:00 am to buy me

some tampons because for the last 4 years I had no need for them. Sheets in

a washing machine and a new set on the bed, I felt the relief leave my uterus and

all the pain I was feeling was gone. Apparently, my body was trying to have a

period for the last six months and it finally was able to, for some reason. This

brought me to the realization that the thyroid medicine is really working now…it

has balanced my other hormones in my body and now everything is working

normally again.


Every month since, thirty days on the nose I get my period. It lasts

3-5 days, it is very light like it was before I had the issues at 45 years old. This is

where ignorance bliss, I only found out recently that my menstrual issues were

connected to Hashimoto’s and I most likely had it for at least 8 years before being

diagnosed in 2012.


Exercise was now getting better. I haven’t lost any weight but I was gaining

muscle again. The scale was still reading 156 – 160lbs and I wasn’t happy about

that but I was feeling better.


March of 2014, another mysterious out of nowhere symptom seems to be

inhibiting my well-being. The Bloating, gas, diarrhea, ear ringing, nausea,

headache, exhaustion every day for two months straight had me perplexed. I

couldn’t figure out what it was and finally decided to see an ENT. Calling every

ENT within a 20-mile radius of my home, I was told it was a 2-3 week wait before

I could get an appointment. That is when I just picked myself up and took myself

photo (2)to the emergency room. A CT scan and a 900.00

bill, along with a diagnosis of Rhinitis is all I

have. This doesn’t make sense with the

symptoms I’m experiencing and I am even

more confused. Once again I find myself

researching to figure out what this could

possibly be. Histamine Intolerance, an

overload of histamine in the body that

becomes toxic and causes; bloating, gas,

ear ringing, nausea, hives, headache, and many more symptoms too. It is

actually a pseudo allergy, mimicking allergy symptoms but the cause is actually

an enzyme that people with autoimmune disease have less of or low activity of.

That enzyme is Diamine Oxidase and now I have come to learn I also have low

stomach acid and that is also common with autoimmune and hypothyroid. Hello!


My daily supplement regime was growing by leaps and bounds. For someone who

never wanted to be on medicine, I am now a full supplement supply store. I was

able to resolve this issue by removing and then limiting all high histamine foods.

Adding the right digestive enzymes, more probiotics and Claritin was now also

part of my daily supplementation.


RootCauseIt wasn’t until June of 2014 when I heard of Izabella Wentz and I listened to her

on the Thyroid Summit. This was when all the pieces of the puzzle fit. Somehow,

intuitively my body had been talking to me since I was 25 years old and I listened

with all my heart. I may have gained the knowledge along the way but my body

and soul new it all along. Eliminating the foods that would ultimately be my

demise had assisted my immune system to fight off the autoimmune disease that

I was destined to have. I had discovered my “Root Cause” and it was genetics

and emotional stress. Hashimoto’s revealed itself to me at 48 years old and not

sooner because of those lifestyle changes, so early in my life. Unfortunately, I did

photonot take care of my emotional wellness and

that stress was the trigger. Eleven years of

sadness, depression, heartache, loss,

no sleep, and abuse caused my body to turn

on the DNA switch that I inherited from

my father’s side of the family. I now believe

based on what I know about Hashimoto’s

thyroiditis, that my father was most likely

undiagnosed with this disease and it may

have been his actual reason for his passing.

He had all the signs and symptoms, insulin and blood pressure medicine was really

unable to help him. I found out shortly after my diagnosis, that my Aunt, his sister

had thyroid cancer in 2012 and her two daughters both have Hashimoto’s and one

had thyroid cancer, as well.


Ignorance was bliss. I had a wonderful life not knowing, not aware of what was

happening in my body and what exactly I was doing that was actually slowing the

process down. Now aware and empowered, I can live with this disease knowing

that I can beat this and I am in control. My antibodies are down to 78 from 115

and I am down 4lbs on the scale. My waistline is getting smaller and I am feeling

better every day. I never stop researching and learning. My life’s mission is still

to motivate and educate others, but that has now expanded to the thyroid

community, my second family, which I love.


Conscious Fitness Of Hollywood Florida

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