Handling Hashimoto's : My Journey to Healing
If you've landed here, it's likely because you're a fellow Hashimoto's warrior or your curious and want to know more! Regardless, welcome!
At the age of 38 in February 2021, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. How did I get here? Great question! I'm still trying to figure that out myself but for starters, I'll share this Reader's Digest version of my journey...
Spring 2016, I was sitting at my desk at work and had pain in my left arm and shortness of breath. As a female, I automatically went to worse case scenario and thought I was having a heart attack so I took myself to an urgent care.
I had recently returned to work after having my second and youngest child who was born in January earlier that year. Returning to work with a newborn + a four year old was no joke and I was in the throws of postpartum depression.
Labs were run at Urgent Care and they called that afternoon with results of my thyroid TSH hormones being off the charts. Off the charts as in they shouldn't have been above 4.0 and I registered at 150.0.
Queue the Synthroid, which is the most common conventional medical response to anyone with TSH hormones out of whack.
Over the course of these past 4+ years, I've struggled to lose any bit of weight, except that one time I did a fad diet and gained it all back. So in March of 2020, my primary care physician (PCP) referred me to a nutritionist.
I mean, I guess it's a blessing that during a global pandemic I didn't gain the Covid-15, but throughout this past year of changing my diet and going mostly plant-based, I didn't lose one stinking pound. Not one ounce for any amount of effort.
I was frustrated, overweight, tired as a mother, depressed, unmotivated to do things I typically enjoyed and straight up tired of eating so many beans!!
My nutritionist suggested we run some further labs on my thyroid to see if there was an underlying issue.
You see, most PCP's only run labs and check your TSH hormones like T3 and T4. They should also be checking for TPO antibodies but they often don't.
Turns out, TPO antibodies should not exceed 30 kU/L. My TPO Antibodies in February 2021 were 332 kU/L. Again, off the charts and a dead ringer for Hashimoto's, an autoimmune disorder related to the thyroid.
Symptoms of Hashimoto's can easily be dismissed as just being a tired, stressed, anxious person. Brain fog and forgetfulness, extreme fatigue, sluggish metabolism, depression and lack of motivation - all things we can chalk up to being a female, right?
I say all of this as a word of encouragement: If you haven't had your thyroid checked, ask at your next physical. And don't be afraid to be your own advocate and ask that they also run labs for TPO antibodies. If they won't, find a doctor who will.
For now, I'll be continuing to read up on all things Hashimoto's and hope to be back soon with some helpful resources to share!