So you’ve been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or you think you might have it but you have no idea what it all means. Here’s a list of symptoms that correlate with Hashi’s – you don’t need to have all of them, of course, and every person will present differently in terms of combinations of symptoms:
- Low body temperature (feeling cold a lot)
- Unstable blood sugar (very often on the low side)
- Brain fog
- Feeling impatient or irritable
- Irregular heart beat
- Dry skin
- Allergies & food sensitivities
- Digestive issues
- Joint and/or muscle pain
- Unexplained weight gain
- Irregular and/or heavy menstrual periods
- Hair loss or dry, brittle hair
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- Paleness or puffiness of the face
In the beginning, there was digestive distress….the moment I was born. You see, I was born with colic and while this seems to have remained somewhat of a mystery to the medical community, in my humble opinion, it’s simple gastric problems. In my case, it seems that I lacked the enzymes necessary to digest lactose, making me lactose intolerant. The doctors promptly put me on soy formula. I honestly think this set me on a very early path to hypothyroidism, given what we know today about the effects of soy on the thyroid gland. If you’re an adult with a healthy thyroid gland and adequate iodine in your diet, soy is probably not going to be a problem, but a newborn with a still-developing everything is another state of affairs altogether. Soy milk is concentrated which intensifies the impact it has on your system. For more details, you can read Dr. Mercola’s article entitled “Got Thyroid Problems? Then Stop Consuming Soy.”
Next came allergies and chronic ear infections – clear indications that my immune system was challenged. But, the symptoms were treated with antibiotics and antihistamines and I went on my way.
Puberty was another huge indicator of issues. I mean, it’s not enough that I had to deal with adolescence all by itself, right? No, I had to have very heavy, painful periods. The attitude at the time was that this was just my body’s individual way of having a period, so I took a handful of ibuprofen every day for a week out of every month for the next 31 years in order to deal with the pain. This, together with the above-mentioned antibiotics really did a number on my digestive system, ultimately leading, I believe, to leaky gut. For more information on this relationship, click here.
By the time I was in my late 20’s, chronic fatigue set in. Tests showed mild anemia, so I was instructed to eat red meat and spinach and everything would be ok. It wasn’t. I eventually cut way back on carbs, which helped.
My mid-30’s brought two rounds of endometriosis with it, which should have been a huge red flag for the doctors regarding my immune system. I was advised to take something called Lupron which was known to cause motor function issues in a small percentage of patients. At the time I was working on a doctorate degree in flute performance and couldn’t afford to lose any motor function (like anyone can, regardless of what they are doing), so I refused treatment. Thankfully, my periods stopped about 5 years later and I was able to kiss that problem goodbye. But, in doing research on treatments for this problem, there was absolutely nothing addressing the immune system – everything was focused on stopping the bleeding by some artificial means which was always ultimately harmful to the body.
During the ensuing years, I was constantly looking for ways to get more energy because as time went on, I was increasingly tired all of the time. I made numerous changes to my diet, always whittling away at the carb load in my foods because that seemed to be the one thing that helped. Unfortunately, I was a hard-core sugar addict for much of my life, so finally letting go of that albatross took a long, long time. Sugar is the boogey-man and should be completely out of your dietary picture if you are struggling with this. I’ll post more about this soon.
By the time I was actually diagnosed with any kind of thyroid issues, alarms had already been going off for a long time. If only someone “in the know” had been paying attention. Sadly, education for doctors around thyroid problems has been decidedly narrow, focusing only on providing people with a pill to help regulate hormone activity when, in fact, there are so many more things going on than just the thyroid processes, especially when you’re talking about autoimmune conditions.
Thankfully, there is a lot more information out there now for people who are suffering from these problems because so many of us have been frustrated by the lack of resources and knowledge in this field and we have taken it upon ourselves to correct this situation. This site is looking to be a strong addition to that knowledge base. I will be regularly posting resources that I or other numerous people have used while trying to deal with this, and I hope they will be helpful to you.
All the best,
Vanessa Gunter, D.M.A., M.A.