Category "Hashimoto’s Disease"

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

20191025_184829

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed.

The immune system attacks the thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body’s functions.

When your thyroid gland comes under attack from malfunctioning immune cells, it impairs your thyroid’s ability which often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism)

As the disease slowly progresses, the thyroid gland can become enlarged (a condition called goiter), creating a feeling of fullness in the throat. Goiter is often the first sign of Hashimoto’s disease…I haven’t got this (yet!)

Other symptoms that develop over time include:

  • Tiredness (fatigue)
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling cold
  • Joint stiffness and muscle pain
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Puffy eyes/face
  • Dry skin
  • Thinning hair/hair loss
  • Heavy or irregular periods
  • Difficulty becoming pregnant
  • Memory problems/difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Slow heartbeat

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in October 2018.

After years of feeling awful (starting around 2004 when I was 17 years old) I finally worked it out. Previously I have been diagnosed with depression (and put on meds), sensitive skin disorders such as pompholyx eczema (and put on meds and steroid creams) and endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (which I have laparoscopic surgery for)…and it turns out it was all just my Thyroid!

After speaking to a friend who has a different thyroid issue, she suggested I get tested. So off to the doctor I went and had my test. The results came back a little off but nothing yelling something was wrong. The lab suggested I be retested a few weeks later but my doctor said there was no need.

I figured better to be safe than sorry so noted the re-test in my diary and went home. Over the next few weeks I googled my results to try and figure out what I was missing and came up with a few thoughts.

When I returned to the doctors to be re-tested (seeing a different doctor this time- more just based on who was available rather that day) and when he was putting through the order, I mentioned my research. He agreed that all my symptoms did sound like Hashimoto’s and pointed out that the test for that is separate to the standard thyroid test I had completed already. So, he ordered both and off I went to give up my blood.

Two days later…I got a message from him advising the results were in and I was correct…I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and a script would be available for me within the hour to pick up as I will need to be on a thyroid medication going forward.

It took around 14 years to work this out and almost didn’t as my doctor was positive my thyroid was fine. If I had not pushed for the test and then mentioned my own research, I would not have found that last piece of my health puzzle.

Since then I have also found that thyroid issues run in my family (after a DNA test I have discovered a lot of family I did not know so no one was there to mention it sooner).

I also lost a significant amount of weight as soon as I went onto the medication…I have since regained the weight but am still adjusting to the medication and working out the right lifestyle regimes that suit my body (contemplating giving paleo a go as that is the recommended Hashimoto’s diet).

My journey continues…