Medical GasLighting With Stephanie Ewals

In a recent Fatigue Your Fix podcast episode, I sat down with Stephanie Ewals, a board-certified and licensed nutritionist and host of the Help for Hashimoto’s podcast. We discussed the topic of medical gaslighting — which has unfortunately become a bit of a buzzword lately. Here are some key takeaways from our conversation.

Common Gaslighting Tactics

Medical gaslighting is a real phenomenon whereby people visit their traditional medical practitioner with a range of symptoms and basically get dismissed or told they are “just getting older.”

To be fair, this gaslighting isn’t necessarily the doctor’s fault; they are taught a certain way, and they typically have only a few minutes to see patients. They are also part of a broken healthcare system that isn’t set up to get to the root causes of problems, but rather to prescribe medications and address acute problems, not chronic illness.

What’s often more damaging, however, is the gaslighting that makes you feel discounted, dismissed, too emotional, lazy, or incapable of handling stress. So, for example, the person who could use a closer look at their thyroid instead gets put on an antidepressant or birth control — or offered a hysterectomy (more on that below). Let’s look at some of the most common forms of medical gaslighting.

“You’re Just Getting Older”

My story comes from dealing with years and years of struggling with really low energy and feeling sick and blah all the time — just always thinking, “Gosh, I think I have the flu” because I always felt kind of nauseous and unwell. It was easy to chalk up the fatigue, depression, and anxiety as just stress from college.

Even when I got my thyroid tested, the results always came back “normal.” And this is where the medical gaslighting began. Ultimately, it all culminated in a diagnosis of thyroid cancer many years down the road. Meanwhile, along the way, I had delayed my health progress because I was told I was just getting older, even in my early 20s.

“You’re a Woman, So This Is Normal”

Another one I’ve heard: “You’re a woman, and your hormones fluctuate. So that’s why you feel like A, B, and C.” Essentially, you’re told that you’re supposed to have migraines and headaches and be out of commission with heavy, horrible, disgusting periods because you’re a woman. “You can just take this birth control and that will solve all your problems,” they’ll tell you.

Over time, you get so used to experiencing medical gaslighting that you start to think you’re lazy, that you’re supposed to suffer, and that you should just accept the way things are because it’s supposedly “normal.”

“Get a Hysterectomy”

Stephanie recalls being told to try endometrial ablation for heavy periods, a process whereby you have a thin lining of tissue removed from the uterus. When she didn’t qualify for ablation, she was offered a hysterectomy.

This practice is more common than you might think, as Stephanie learned in speaking with a doctor who had seen countless 20-year-olds who had already undergone hysterectomies. She says, “Doctors would ask, ‘Do you plan on having kids?’ Well at 20, I didn’t plan on having kids either. And they said no. And then they’re like, okay, we’ll take your uterus out and then you won’t bleed anymore.”

Young women who make such a huge, life-altering decision at 20 years old will never get the chance to change their minds about having biological children.

Times Are Changing

Older generations took the doctor’s word as gospel, but nowadays, younger generations are no longer simply passengers on the bus when it comes to their health. They’re questioning doctors’ advice and taking a more proactive approach to their health needs. And if one provider is giving off gaslighting vibes, they’re beginning to see there’s no reason not to switch providers.

If you don’t take that proactive approach, your health issues could go on for decades before being properly diagnosed. You’ll prolong the issues instead of getting the help you need to start feeling better, faster. You might even wind up making a life-changing decision like getting hysterectomy or quitting gymnastics (one doctor’s advice given to a friend of Stephanie’s as a “remedy” for insomnia when she was a young teenager).

You see, doctors typically won’t tell you they don’t have the answer for you — whether for lack of a good referral network or an unwillingness to admit that something isn’t their area of expertise. Many doctors would rather leave you with a prescription than send you to a specialist or agree to further lab testing.

You must self-advocate, and you must do the work. As one of my clients recently reminded me, do something now that your future self will thank you for.

Let’s Connect!

Say goodbye to fatigue and hello to a full and vibrant life! Join me over in my Facebook group where we are talking all about how to take back control of your health!

Be sure to follow me on my FacebookTikTokInstagram and Pinterest for tips and tricks on how to use nutrition to live your very best life! ​

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What Does Fatigue Really Look Like?

There are two things I see on a regular basis that have become so normalized, they’re often overlooked: fatigue and stress. Everybody talks about being stressed out and tired, to the point where it’s become “normal.” What I’d like people to understand is that it’s not normal, nor is it healthy, just because it’s so common. Whatever is going on under the surface is contributing to this debilitating fatigue.

What Is Fatigue?

Fatigue is not something we need to accept as a fact of life; there are things we can do about it. Let’s start with a basic understanding of what fatigue looks like for people who experience it.

Permanent Jet Lag

People describe fatigue as akin to permanent jet lag, where you’re exhausted and experiencing brain fog. You might have increased sugar cravings. If you feel like you have chronic and permanent jet lag, this is not normal, especially when you’re not traveling.

Like Walking In Sand

People also describe fatigue like walking in really deep sand. Your legs might feel extremely heavy, like lead. It’s as though your body cannot go, and you can’t get your legs to work.

Like Having Anchors on The Limbs

People also describe fatigue like they are living with anchors tied to their limbs. Some may attribute this to being overweight, so they go and exercise, or they try to reduce their calories to unhealthy levels.

Like Having an Uncharged Battery

I think of fatigue as never having your battery fully charged. You feel sluggish and only have brief periods of energy — say, when you’re excited about an upcoming event or holiday.

Common Triggers for Fatigue

Thyroid Issues

Thyroid disease is a common cause of fatigue. Often, it’s Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism, and a smaller amount of time it is due to thyroid cancer and the removal of the thyroid gland. In these cases, it’s common for people to struggle with fatigue until they get leveled out and optimized on their medications.


In other instances, fatigue can be a side effect of medications prescribed for anxiety, depression, migraines, blood pressure, or blood sugar. If that’s the case, you could look at whether it’s possible to get on a different medication with fewer side effects. I also recommend looking closely at the root causes of the condition you’re taking the medication for.


Poor diet can lead to functional nutritional deficiencies at the cellular level. There are nutrients that are specific to fueling the batteries in every cell that we have in our body, called the mitochondria. And when you are not getting proper nutrition and eating mostly packaged and processed foods, there’s no way you’ll be able to fuel your body to fight the fatigue.

That is where I come in and help you boost up your nutrients so that your cells get the fuel they need. You need to put the right gas into the cellular “gas tank,” not synthetic garbage that makes you feel lethargic. With my specific guidance, you can enhance what you’re already doing instead of throwing your hands in the air and giving up.

Movement or Lack Thereof

Another trigger can be both too much or too little movement. Sometimes people’s response to feeling tired is to work out harder. However, if you’re fueling your body inefficiently and you’re exercising way too much or too intensely, that’s the perfect storm for feeling fatigued.

Lack of movement can be equally problematic. If you’re not doing anything and you truly are lying on the couch watching Netflix and eating snacks, that is not going to help your fatigue either. Try a walk around the block or even sitting in your yard and being outside in nature. Start somewhere and do it consistently, and it will help with the fatigue.


Another trigger for fatigue is stress. Our bodies can only take so much stress, and we put our bodies through the wringer. We work too much. We don’t sleep enough. We eat like crap. We drink too much alcohol. We worry. Whatever it might be. There are so many things that we do, and our bodies are miraculous in that they keep us upright even though we deal with stress daily and don’t take time to reduce stress.

Do your body a favor and look at what you can do to give yourself even five-minute breaks throughout the day. Get out in the sunshine and walk in nature. Take a few minutes to meditate. Your fatigue will improve if you make a conscious effort to manage stress.


There are many more things you can do to improve fatigue, including looking at gut health, allergies, hydration, hormones, sleep, and more. If your doctor is dismissing your symptoms as simply a sign of getting older, you don’t need to accept that diagnosis. Start with some of the quick tips above and see if your fatigue improves.

If your symptoms persist or you have debilitating fatigue, then you might need more extreme measures. You can find a lot more answers and guidance by joining the All-Year Resolution membership, which gives you monthly support to help you improve your overall health and wellness. It’s only $47 a month currently, but it won’t stay that way forever. Get in now while I’m offering this introductory special, and you can start taking steps to overcoming your fatigue right away.

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All Year Resolution Excitement!

If you’ve ever set a New Year’s resolution only to have it unravel somewhere around March or April, you’re not alone. The reason we tend to let our resolutions fall by the wayside isn’t laziness or a lack of desire to meet goals. Most of the time, it’s because we’ve set extreme goals that we dive into without any kind of foundation or action plan attached to them to get things done.

I’d like to help you get on track with your resolutions by helping to shift your mindset. Instead of thinking of your goals as something you set just at the beginning of the year, why not start thinking of them as lifestyle shifts that will improve your life?

That’s where the All-Year Resolution membership comes in. This program came about after years of people coming to me with health struggles after having gone to their primary care doctor. They may have had labs that looked “normal,” and their doctor dismissed any symptoms as just a sign of getting older. Frustrated and defeated, people go back to living their lives, without any direction on how to make positive changes.

I’ve learned there is a better way to navigate health challenges, and it doesn’t involve chalking up very real symptoms as “nothing” or dismissing them as a part of aging. The All-Year Resolution membership helps you navigate underlying issues that may cause your symptoms, ranging from joint pain and fatigue to anxiety and depression. Meanwhile, you’ll get the support and resources you need to get your health on track.

What Is the All Year Resolution Membership?

With the All-Year Resolution membership, you’ll be part of a supportive community that can help answer your questions and provide some context around symptoms you might be experiencing. Here’s what you get:

  • Goal-setting exercises to help you decide what’s most important to you and set realistic goals with action steps to get you there.
  • Practical tips and advice without all the noise; this is not a place where we’re pushing nutritional supplements or weight-loss gimmicks.
  • Different perspectives from fellow group members who have been in your shoes.
  • Monthly nutrition education trainings that will give you greater clarity on health topics pertinent to your situation.
  • The ability to become your own health advocate so you can start to heal from within and find real solutions to health problems.
  • Empowerment to seek medical care when it makes sense for you.
  • Access to a portal with modules that walk you through the program, along with a supportive Facebook group where you can ask questions.
  • Monthly recipe guides.
  • A greater understanding of your health, your needs, and the steps needed to elevate your mood and help you live in a happier state.

As you work your way through the program, you’ll get the information you need to take your health further, using nutrition, food, lifestyle, self-care, mindfulness, and other non-medical interventions. It’s all about taking baby steps and building habits, month by month, that stack up over time. By year-end, you’ll have solidified habits that will move your health forward instead of working against you.

If you are feeling frustrated or anxious about your health, then the All-Year Resolution is for you. At just $47 a month, it’s a fraction of the cost of working with me one-on-one, but you aren’t getting a fraction of the support; you still get all the resources and tools you need to help you navigate your health conditions.

Stop the vicious cycle of setting goals, getting frustrated, and quitting before you’ve reached your goals. With the All-Year Resolution, you’ll set yourself up for a long and healthy life full of energy. You don’t have to accept that you’re just getting older; instead, you can actually do something about it, one month at a time.

Let’s Connect!

Say goodbye to fatigue and hello to a full and vibrant life! Join me over in my Facebook group where we are talking all about how to take back control of your health!

Be sure to follow me on my FacebookTikTokInstagram and Pinterest for tips and tricks on how to use nutrition to live your very best life!

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Have You Experienced Medical Gaslighting?

We live in a world where conventional medical practitioners are not set up to accommodate anything that falls outside traditional medicine. While they may have good intentions, these professionals often unwittingly participate in what’s known as medical gaslighting — a maddening process where doctors make you question your perception of the realities of your health. It’s why I rarely go to professionals in conventional medical practices. And unfortunately, I’m not alone in the feeling that medical gaslighting is more common than we think. Here are some common scenarios I’ve either encountered myself or that clients have experienced when seeking medical care.

When You Present Outside the Scope of Standard Symptoms

Let’s say you go to the doctor with symptoms that don’t link you directly with some kind of illness or condition. The traditional doctor dismisses you, attributing your symptoms to, say, getting older. This type of medical gaslighting most often happens in the beginning stages when you’re first trying to figure out why you feel tired, lethargic, achy, or just not like yourself. More than likely, the doctor will give you some kind of prescription to help those symptoms, but they won’t actually look into what’s actually causing your symptoms. For me, this medical gaslighting started in my early 20s and went on for many years.

When They Minimize Your Symptoms

Right along with the first scenario is the one where your doctor minimizes your symptoms. For instance, my symptoms of fatigue could be attributed to numerous things that might be benign. Still, the doctor never considered the bigger picture where fatigue could be caused by something underlying. When I think back, I was fatigued from an early age, always hitting the snooze button, needing more sleep than others my age, and having a difficult time even getting out of bed.

The traditional doctor would have me believe this is normal and not a big deal. Basically, the message is to “suck it up.” That message often becomes louder later in life when more issues arise, like chronic sinus infections or other illnesses. There was a time when every fall, I would get so sick that I would be in bed and not functional for a couple of months. When I tried to dig deeper to request a specialist, the doctor told me it wasn’t a big deal and that a lot of people get sick in the fall.

When You Question Your Own Sanity

Medical gaslighting, like the gaslighting you might see in a toxic relationship, can make you question your own sanity. When you try to get help for your symptoms, the doctor might make you feel like there’s something wrong in your head, and it can really do a number on the psyche.

As a result of medical gaslighting, I experienced mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. I questioned whether I was making up symptoms. I began taking medication for clinical depression, and while it took the edge off, I still couldn’t function normally. When I told my therapist I was still sad and depressed and asked when things would get better, she looked at me like I had three heads and she just said, “You just keep going to therapy and you keep taking your meds and that’s all you need to do.”

I’m not against therapy or psychiatric meds if you need them. However, sometimes you need to look beyond that to see what’s happening biochemically underneath it all.

When You Have Lab Work Refusal

Lab work refusal is another big one when it comes to medical gaslighting. Along with that is a kind of “shaming” for doing your own research. You end up feeling like you’re pulling teeth to get lab work done and try to get to the bottom of your symptoms.

While it’s true that laypersons might not understand the minutiae of medical science, they can learn enough to ask questions. I experienced this after having thyroid cancer and surgery. Three years afterward, I was still feeling like garbage, even with the medications my doctor prescribed. I asked my general practitioner to run some basic labs for that, and she said, “No, you’re too young for that. Insurance won’t cover it.” Even when I offered to pay cash, she still said she couldn’t write an order for that. Her hands were tied by a medical system that doesn’t consider that even young people can have underlying issues.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve experienced medical gaslighting, you might get to a point where you feel hopeless and defeated. You might think there’s nothing you can do and that you should just accept things. However, I’m proof it’s worth investigating your symptoms with a non-traditional medical professional.

If you’re looking for one-on-one support from someone who won’t gaslight you into thinking your symptoms are nothing, consider the All Year Resolution Membership. At $50 a month, it’s a fraction of the cost of working with someone at this level to get the support you need. You’ll start feeling better, faster, and actually overcome and resolve health issues.

Have you ever experienced medical gaslighting? I would love some feedback on your experiences. Message me at

Let’s Connect!

Say goodbye to fatigue and hello to a full and vibrant life! Join me over in my Facebook group where we are talking all about how to take back control of your health!

Be sure to follow me on my FacebookTikTokInstagram and Pinterest for tips and tricks on how to use nutrition to live your very best life!

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A Cautionary Tale About Stress & Your Thyroid

The word “stress” has become so overused that it gets watered down. We’re desensitized to the effects of stress even though we’re all walking around in a stressed-out state. We keep running on empty to the point where we’re unaware of the major impact that stress can have on our bodies. And sooner or later, it makes us sick.

It happens to me, too. I go through bouts of stress, and it eventually catches up with me. This is coming from someone who should be an expert in my own health. That is to say, even those of us who are well-versed in the effects of stress will get caught off-guard when stress sneaks up on us.

And that is what happened to me this past year. So, I wanted to address that in the context of what stress is and how it works in our bodies.

The Science of Stress

The major organs or glands that affect and help manage our stress management system include the adrenal glands. These small, walnut-shaped glands sit right on top of your kidneys. Nutritionally and biochemically speaking, adrenal glands require a ton of B vitamins, along with vitamin C, to function and to help you manage your day-to-day stress.

Let’s take a normal stressor in most people’s lives, like the holiday season. We often allow the alcohol, sugar, lack of sleep, financial pressure, and social events to catch up with us. That’s all on top of normal, everyday stress, like waking up, driving in traffic, making sure we have a lunch packed, making sure the kids’ backpacks are ready to go, making sure dinner is prepared and planned, buying groceries, and just doing the run-of-the-mill everyday stuff on top of the stress that may come with your job.

Look at What You Can Control

In these scenarios, look at things that you can control. Can you somewhat control the holiday situation? Are there toxic people in your life? Do you need to be around them? If so, how will you manage that to minimize the stress that they may or may not be causing you? What about excess things that you’re putting into your diet?

It’s things like that, that add to the stress on our system. Yet you can control a lot of that. You don’t have to have a glass of wine every night before you go to bed. You don’t have to drink every weekend to excess. You don’t have to have a dessert every single night with all the sugar.

Is There Good Stress Vs. Bad Stress?

When I do one-on-one consultations with people, some people might come across as not stressed out. They don’t feel very stressed. They have a pretty easy life. They don’t worry about money. They don’t worry about kids, or whatever it may be. But then we dig deeper, and we find that there are some stressors in their life that have been there for so long they don’t even realize how it impacts their health.

Think of the people who say “I really love my job, but I work 12 hours a day. So it’s kind of a good stress. It’s just that I work long hours.” And then some people will say, “Yeah, I’m really stressed out dealing with an elderly sick family member.”

The thing is, we mentally compartmentalize good stress and bad stress. The body doesn’t know the difference.

I always use the example that whether you’re planning for a funeral or planning for a wedding, which should have very opposite feelings, they’re both stressful. Both of them are causing problems in your stress management system.

The Thyroid-Stress Link

How does this apply to thyroid people? The stress management system needs to be optimized and intact for everybody, not just thyroid patients; but thyroid patients tend to have a weaker response to stress. They’re not as hardy when it comes to added stressors.

As someone who has dealt with thyroid cancer and other thyroid issues for a long, long, long time, I have seen over and over again that stress and thyroid dysfunction do not play well together. Any excess stress for a longer period of time wipes me out.

Sometimes I see it coming, and other times I don’t. This last time I did not see it coming. I had added a lot of stuff to my business, and I’d put a lot of pressure on myself when it came to my business and other things going on in my life. I had one child graduating from high school and moving to college, and another one moving and starting her last semester of college.

By the time October and November came around, I was flatlined for 2022. It literally took me out of the game. I laid on the couch every day, practically for a few months. I did the bare minimum of what I had to do for my business, for my house, for myself.

It got to the point where I needed a med change because of all this. That’s what’s scary, when you don’t have a thyroid gland and you are 100% dependent on thyroid medication. It’s very scary when all of a sudden you don’t seem to be absorbing the medication.

Recognizing Your Stress Patterns

Whether you have a thyroid problem or you are someone who has a lot of stressors pulling you in different directions, try to think of a different way of navigating your life:

  • What can you do to get rid of stressors?
  • Who or what do you need to cut out of your life?
  • What do you need to say no to?
  • What boundaries do you need to put up?
  • What do you need to do to actually help yourself when it comes to fueling those adrenals and helping that stress management system in your body?

When our stress is supported, our stress management system is supported, and we are able to get through things a lot easier than without. You can start by not underestimating the stressors in your life. Try journaling a personal assessment of your stressors, what you can do to change them, and how you can bring more control to situations that feel chaotic.

If you’re looking for more support in navigating stress, consider the All Year Resolution membership. This affordable, group-type program is for anyone wanting to do something differently without turning to quick fixes. We use real food, real lifestyle changes, lots of nutrition, education, and health education — all at fraction of the cost of working one-on-one with me.

Let’s Connect!

Say goodbye to fatigue and hello to a full and vibrant life! Join me over in my Facebook group where we are talking all about how to take back control of your health!

Be sure to follow me on my FacebookTikTokInstagram and Pinterest for tips and tricks on how to use nutrition to live your very best life! ​

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