Last month, I talked about what Hashimoto’s thyroiditis was on a physiological, hormone/organ based level.
Remember how I said that Hashimoto’s will leave you feeling like a worn out piece of doo-doo?
Let’s dig into that a bit more, shall we?
What does this “worn out piece of doo-doo” feel like, on an every-day, chronic, experiential level?
- Fatigue and sluggishness
- Lack of energy, unable to sustain energy
- Sensitivity to cold (as in: you hate the cold, or when you get cold you have trouble warming back up – the heating pad and lots of layers are your modus operandi)
- Constipation (if you are not pooping at least once daily, you are constipated!!!) or…
- Loose stools with undigest food in the stool
- Pale, lusterless, dry skin
- A puffy face (especially around the eyes and jawline) – this is also called “moonface”
- Brittle nails and/or brittle hair
- Hair loss, hair thinning
- Thin eyebrows (especially the outer third – closer to your ears)
- Enlargement of the tongue (you’ll see tooth indentations on the sides, or the tongue will feel and look big in your mouth)
- Unexplained weight gain
- Inability to lose weight despite dietary changes and movement (and maybe you even gain weight the more you try to lose it!)
- Unexplained muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Unexplained muscle cramps and pains
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Muscle weakness
- Easily injured or bruised with longer than “typical” recovery periods
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding or,
- An irregular menstrual cycle with intense bledding during menstruation
- Nutrient and mal-absorption issues (think: nutrient deficienies in your bloodwork)
- Poor digestion
- Weird/unpredictable food reactions
- Brain fog/can’t think straight
- Memory lapses and poor memory
Do you see yourself in this list?
Write down what symptoms you experience most regularly.
The Typical Path to Diagnosis (by an MD)
All too often, it takes years to get a Hashimoto’s diagnosis because the medical field typically tests just your TSH, T3 and T4 levels. If you fall into a “normal” range (that is: the aggregate of ALL the lab’s test results of both healthy and unhealthy patients!) then the doctor may say you are fine and you need to eat better and exercise more. If you are a woman, then your doctor may tell you it is “hormones” and offer you the pill. The doctor may test you for nutritional deficiencies, tell you to supplement those deficiencies and then… you’re on your own.
You you may start to feel like what you are experiencing is in your head, that you are a hypochondriac, that your situation is hopeless, or something to that effect…
Remember: You know your experience better than anyone else on the planet. If you suspect something is wrong, keep at it!
Go to different doctors, request different tests, be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease!
If you suspect Hashimoto’s, based on the symptoms you experience from the list above: request the following tests be taken: both sets of thyroid antibodies, and free T4. (Recommendation from EndocrineWeb.com)
Based on your lab results, you’ll likely be prescribed thyroid medication to make up for the hormones that your body is not producing and to help reduce the antibodies that your body is producing (if you are producing them).
A lot of people report feeling better once they are put on thyroid medication, and their labs show a marked improvement as well.
Here’s the catch: medication doesn’t take away the root cause of inflammation. For true long-term health benefits, working with root-cause inflammation is very important.
Addressing the any number of root cause autoimmune-creating inflammation states includes: shifting what you eat, making lifestyle changes (i.e. sleep, rest, exercise, baths, etc.), emotional and mental updates (i.e. the thoughts you think, your stress-load, your relationships with yourself, with others, etc.), supplements, herbs, and so on. It’s also doing labwork to see if there are other underlying factors that need to be addressed (such as Epstein-Barr Virus – EBV).
This is the “medicine” that’s custom-made for you and your unique needs. The every day acts that bring greater states of health and wellness to your body.
Between now and the next post, make a list of the the symptoms you are experiencing, the foods you eat, and your current self-care routine as well as the things you know (or suspect) bring stress to your life.
In the next post, I’ll explore the top patterns I see with folks with Hashimoto’s/Autoimmunity.
My hope is that you’ll see one or two patterns that comprise the majority of your symptoms.
Even if you aren’t someone with Hashimoto’s or an Autoimmune disorder, keep reading because you may see yourself in the following posts. I see these patterns in many complex chronic health conditions that mainstream medicine doesn’t know what to do with.
As always, if you benefited from this post and know others who would also benefit, please share away!