Monday, January 14, 2008

Hashimoto and me

I've never had any exciting health problems in my life. Sinus issues, allergies....pretty boring stuff.

But now I'm pretty sure I qualify as someone who has an exotic (sounding) disease. It is called Hashimoto's Disease. It is also called Chronic Thyroitis.

It all started one day when my friendly dental hygeinist found a lump on my throat

A year and two biopsies, two ultrasounds and three bloodworks later, I have been diagnosed. Chronic Thyroitis happens when for some unknown reason (possibly lack of iodine) your body decides that your thyroid is a foreign body. Your system's defenses jump into action by getting your adrenal glands to send something to your pituitary gland which sends antibodies to attack the thyroid.

Whilst under attack the thyroid becomes inflamed and its function eventually fails. I'm not sure if this is a certainty - need to research that. I've got the inflamed part. This is so embarrassing. I've got a (whispered behind my hand) goiter. DON'T TELL ANYONE !

I thought dead kings had goiters. Old men and stuff.

As I've been reading through the literature my spirits have been lifted by the fact that this condition usually affects MIDDLE AGED women. Man! I'm 39 and holding but I guess now I'm officially middle aged. Sniff.

Thankfully, my thyroid funtion is still good. My numbers are all within the "normal" range, though on the low side. I don't have to take meds as long as my thyroid can still do it's thing. I wish I could figure out a way to communicate with my pituitary gland.

"Hey lady! What you doing? Knock it off. We're all on the same team here!"

Check out the symptoms of my condition: fatigue, depression, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, forgetfulness, muscle weakness, puffy face, dry skin and hair, constipation, muscle cramps, and increased menstrual flow. Some patients have major swelling of the thyroid gland in the front of the neck, called goiter.

Lovely. I'll really be knockin' them dead in a few years, what with my puffy face, dry skin and hair, weight gane and heavy sweaters.

Don't those symptoms sound a lot like just getting old?

But hey, it's not the "C" word, so things could be worse.


Mike said...

I'd get a second opinion from your favorite doctor: RON PAUL! There's nothing that man can't fix.

But I'm thinking happy thoughts for the continuing normal function of your thyroid.

Sue said...

Mike - I thought about it but he's an OB. Not exactly his dept. But who knows... he IS so amazing....

Pam said...

i, too, have hashimoto's. i went a long time undiagnosed or misdiagnosed...i have no thyroid function left at all and i have to take meds for rest of my life.

i am now trying to lose all the weight i's very difficult.

Belle said...

I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's, too. But my doctor is one - thankfully- who does not treat just by blood test levels, but by symptoms. As she said to me, "we've been treating hypothyroidism for over 100 years. 50 years ago we treated by symptoms. Now doctors ignore the symptoms and are slaves to the blood test levels as dictated by the drug companies." Consequently, millions are left untreated. Others are prescribed a T-4 only drug. If their bodies can't convert T-4 to T-3, their symptoms will remain or get worse.

I am taking Armour Thyroid, which has both T-4 and T-3. Based on your symptoms, you have hypothroidism. You need to find another doctor who will treat those symptoms & likely prescribe a T-4/T-3 drug & Vitamin D. It's not worth getting diabetes or heart failure over. Your doctor is obviously not concerned about how YOU feel. You needn't be concerned with rejecting his/her "one size fits all" opinion that obviously isn't working for you.

Anonymous said...

Hello there!! Thanks so much for writing this honest entry on Hashimoto's! I have Hashimoto's myself and am always scouring the internet for more information! So glad I came across your blog.

How are doing with it since being diagnosed? Are you doing alright? I know for myself, I had to completely change my lifestyle and diet. Medication alone did not do it for me.

We'd love you to join in our thyroid community. Please check us out and let me know what you think! We have women (and men and teens) from all over coming together in the name of thyroid disease.

Liz :)