Its been almost 2 years since I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and let me tell you! It was a rough ride for the first year.
You may not know this but for some, hashimoto’s disease hides. It lurks in the dark just waiting to throw your body for a loop and all the while, not a single doctor can find anything wrong with you. You’re “normal” because most doctors don’t know how to read your labs.
With Hashimoto’s disease you can go through bouts of depression, have trouble with anxiety, your weight fluctuates from one day to the next, your skin and hair suffer, you can develop psoriasis or even worse…arthritis! This list goes on. Its a strange thing to hav your body attack itself and even stranger to try and understand it to create balance.
Every single time your thyroid switches directions, all of your hormones go with it. The ups and downs mimic several mental illnesses and often times lead to people being misdiagnosed as bipolar or something of the sort. I was one of those people misdiagnosed and let me tell you, it was a massive relief when I received my diagnosis and things began to come full circle for me.
I struggled with anxiety, depression, social anxiety, insane weight gain or weight loss, malnutrition, heart problems, fainting spells and so on. When I met my husband, I weighed nearly 190 lbs and six months later I weighed 145 expecting our second child. NUTS y’all. When I got to my first semester of graduate school, I remember sitting and reading and entire chapter but not retaining a single bit of it. Then I started to think about how often I was forgetting things, which wasn’t like me. How often was I taking a nap?
I couldn’t even stay awake in the car line to pick our oldest up from school let alone stay awake behind the wheel of my car. I experienced DAILY extreme highs and extreme lows. It was impressive with how well I could carry a conversation and remember not a single second of it.
Fast forward to several months into treatment, my life is falling apart and I have never not been so disconnected from myself. I’m not one to promote pharmaceuticals but to be honest, I was so desperate to end the brain fog and exhaustion that I took whatever my endocrinologist told me to. Once I got to the point where I was worse than when I started and one year into treatment, I said fuck it.
I stopped taking the testosterone, threw out the progesterone, chucked the synthroid, quit the adderall, and gave the supplements I was snorting up my nose the boot. We had spent nearly a thousand dollars per month to treat me and I GOT WORSE. Not to mention the financial stress it put on our relationship and our family.
It wasn’t until I fully educated myself that I advocated for myself. Its not enough to follow an auto-immune protocol diet and take whatever the doctor tells you. You have to find what works for you and your body, you have to understand on some level how your body works and what will keep it running efficiently.
What worked for me?
I threw out the meds. One of the best damn things I’ve ever done. Your body becomes dependent on that shit and won’t function without it. Do you want to “cure” your body or “treat” your body? Now I take a thyroid support supplement, stick to my diet, and consciously listen to my body any differences or imbalances.
I learned to read labs. PEOPLE, Learn to read your damn labs! There are so many resources out there to educate ourselves with. Doctors are NOT educated on how to read labs, they look at ranges and go no further. They aren’t educated on how to read your labs to see any imbalances so you absolutely must educated yourself.
STOP EATING THE SHIT YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO EAT. It actually does do damage to your body and tells your body to basically try to kill a part of itself. I have found its not enough to follow an AIP diet. For instance, any starch does not sit well with. It actually causes me to pack on the pounds. Experiment, find what works for you, but most importantly treat food like it is medicine!! Because for you fellow Hashimoto’s warriors, food is actual medicine. And if not used properly, it has the power to run you into the ground.
Exercise. This is HUGGEE. If you don’t take care of that body and eat right, it won’t serve you well. You’ll be tired. You’ll have trouble controlling your appetite. Or worse, you’ll gain or lose weight uncontrollably. Exercise has been so crucial in maintaining this mombod of mine while living with this disease.
So whats the lesson here? Advocate for yourself. If you don’t care enough to ask the questions, challenge the system, and heal yourself then your doctor won’t either. Don’t allow yourself to fall victim to the healthcare system.
Ask questions. Show up for yourself. Develop a better relationship with food and in turn yourself!
Love Your Selfie!