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Now I understand why I was so tired and was gaining weight like crazy… All of my symptoms pointed to Hashimoto’s. I just didn’t know it. If you didn’t read about my Hashimoto’s Diagnosis, you might want to start the story there.
Finally. After years of asking my doctors to run the thyroid test. And years of hearing it is “normal.” I finally had answers. It took me finding a naturopath to actually get the full battery of tests. These tests showed my antibody numbers were absolutely crazy high… which is exactly what you expect with this disease. But I was surprised at what my naturopath recommended first for Hashimoto’s.
Before we start discussing my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, I want to reiterate, I am not a doctor. I have no medical background whatsoever. I have researched and studied and am sharing what I’ve learned through doing my own research, what I’ve been told by others further down the research path, and information I’m gleaning from my naturopath. But every-single-individual-experience will be uniquely yours. I may not have certain symptoms that you have, or vice versa. All of this to say, don’t take my words as gospel. Research it all yourself. Study. Talk to your doctor. And start studying your own body. You have to be actively involved in your treatment from here on out. You will have to be knowledgeable to be your own advocate. No matter how great a doctor is, he is not inside your head nor body! So welcome to your own research and discovery journey. We are all on it together. This journey will take us on different paths yet they unite us in the fight to recover our health.
What are my symptoms?
Each of these symptoms can point to other issues, disorders, and diseases. So just the individual symptom alone may not relate to or necessarily mean you have any thyroid issues. My most active and noticeable symptoms are:
- sensitivity to cold temperatures
- weight gain
- inability to lose weight
- difficulty thinking or concentrating
- facial swelling
- joint stiffness
- low body temperature
- night sweats
- pressure on throat
- choking regularly
- dry eyes
- red inflamed eyes
- dark rings under eyes
- thinning or loss of outside third of eyebrows
- brittle nails
- ridged nails
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (hands or forearms)
- abdominal distention
When you take the whole picture of the symptoms in unison and look at them related to each other, that is when it suggests thyroid issues. There are many more symptoms; you can find a long list here. Many will probably surprise you.
An Autoimmune Disorder
Hashimoto’s (sometimes called thyroiditis) is not just a thyroid condition; it is actually an autoimmune disorder. My body’s immune system is essentially attacking my thyroid. The root cause of any autoimmune disease is still unknown. But there are a ton of theories out there about what triggers autoimmune disease.
My family has a long history of thyroid disease. My mom was diagnosed over fifty years ago with thyroid issues. And if you already have any autoimmune disorders, you are more susceptible to getting more. I already have alopecia areata. So if you have an autoimmune disorder or already have some of the symptoms, you might want to have your thyroid checked too. Some of the more common autoimmune disorders are:
- rheumatoid arthritis
- celiac sprue disease
- inflammatory bowel diseases
- Addison’s disease
- reactive arthriti
- type 1 diabetes: destruction of insulin producing cells in the pancreas
From what I gather, it’s probably a combination of factors (family history, gender, other autoimmune disorders, and age) which are all indicators of your likelihood of developing Hashimoto’s. My naturopath explained it this way. I have all the factors working against me: I’m a woman with a family history of thyroid disease, I’m middle aged, and I have other autoimmune issues. Those essentially are a loaded gun. But I still needed a trigger.
I will discuss my trigger, what tests finally found it, and the what my naturopath recommended in future articles. You can find all the articles in this series here.
In the meantime, if you have hashimoto’s, leave a comment below and share what your symptoms were.