Learning I Was Hashimoto's Changed Everything
Hashimoto’s Disease is the autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid specifically and in doing so causes hypothyroidism. 90% of all hypothyroid cases are actually caused by Hashimoto’s. Knowing this distinction is important as it re-alignes your focus to the underlying cause which is the immune system being out of control.
How it Began
I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism 25 years ago, but it wasn’t as cut and dried as the sentence might lead you to believe. After putting on a LOT of weight and becoming extremely fatigued, a doctor decided to test my thyroid. The test came back within the normal range or what was deemed “functioning fine”, however it was right on the outer edge of that range. This particular doctor failed to tell me to come back in six months and check it again. It was years later of struggling through life, feeling like I was wrapped in plastic wrap, not being able to think clearly, not being able to exercise due to pure exhaustion, and the weight continued to pile on.
Finally a Diagnosis!
I finally found an amazing allopathic (standard main stream medicine) doctor who I still go to today, and she tested my thyroid again. The test results came back and my doctor asked, “How are you even getting out of bed in the morning?” HOORAY!!! At last! A reason for this awful period of my life! I walked out of the surgery with a script for what I thought was going to be the answer to all my problems – a bottle of thyroxine.
A new kind of normal began.
Little did I know at the time that the little bottle was only going to keep my life ticking over at a slightly less unbearable fatigued state than before. I was certainly less fuzzy in the head, and didn’t need 18 hours of sleep a day any more, but I was still not me again. As for the weight gain, that didn’t seem to be going anywhere no matter how many days I continued on my little bottle of pills. So life became a new kind of normal and as most women do, I adjusted around my symptoms and got on with life.
Over the years I have tried many different things to improve my quality of life. A million different diets, a thousand different remedies, a hundred different books. One day in class a lecturer asked me was my hypothyroidism from Hashimoto’s? I said I didn’t know. On my next doctor’s visit I asked if I had ever been tested for it, and the answer was no. You see, in main stream medicine, the treatment for hypothyroidism is no different if it is caused by Hashimoto’s (the autoimmune disease) or primary hypothyroidism, so quite often it is not tested for. However when it comes to knowing what your body is up to and helping it to regulate, then the cause of the hypothyroidism is of vital importance to treatment.
So there I was 20 years or so later and I had the first piece in my puzzle. My slow thyroid was caused by Hashimoto’s Disease or my immune system attacking it. Ok – I can work with this. And the journey began.
Have you been tested for Hashimoto’s?
Do you know the finer details of your thyroid disease? Can you track back to when the symptoms began? Have you had the appropriate blood tests and diagnosis? This is your starting point. Once you have this information you can move forward.