What is Hashimoto’s Disease?


Let me preface this question first by sharing the symptoms that lead to me being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease.

Ever since high school, I have had very low energy, poor circulation, headaches, body aches, and painful menstrual cramps. I attributed them all to just being a teenager, with growing pains, playing a sport, and staying up too late. Looking back on it now, I can see that I was showing classic signs of Hypothyroidism.

At that time, I ate a Standard American Diet (SAD) of mostly processed carbs. That is consisting of a LOT of cereal, bread, and pasta.

I had those symptoms all the way up until I had my baby. Once my baby was born, they got SO much worse. I had the baby blues when he was first born, which included a lot of crying, but not necessarily depression. My body was just so tired, and my hormones couldn’t figure out a way to find balance. The headaches were stronger. I was freezing cold almost all the time. I wasn’t losing the baby weight. The scariest part was that my baby brain never went away. It only got worse. I had a hard time actually keeping a conversation with other people! I would lose my train of thought mid sentence. I was not use to this, and it made work really difficult.

Six months after Archie was born, I went to my OBGYN to get a check up, and she noticed that my throat was looking swollen. She had me take a blood test, and it came back with a TSH level of 30. A normal range is between 0.4 and 4. Mine were off the charts. By the way, the doctor never called me with the results. I waited a week with no word from them, called them, and the nurse said, “Oh yeah, you have Hypothyroidism, you need to take blah blah blah medication. Okay bye.” . . .

Okay, really? No more information than that? I was pissed.

I called my Mom, told her what was up, and we made an appointment with a Chiropractor we know, who specializes in holistic nutrition.

I went to see him, and he told me, “Nine out of ten times, Hypothyroid patients actually have Hashimoto’s Disease.” He turned out to be correct in my case, after we had a more in depth blood test taken. It looks how many antibodies my body is making, or something along those lines. Basically, mine was making too many, which is a sign that my body is fighting against something.

Which leads to our question. What is Hashimoto’s Diesease?

It is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system attacks the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is in charge of your metabolism rate, which in turn manages how fast or slow your brain, heart, muscles, liver, and other parts of your body work.

Mine weren’t working well. Also, my vitamin D levels, non-existant. My doctor called me a “cave dweller”. Working from home, and being a new mom, he was right. And my digestive system, not working either. It wasn’t absorbing any of the nutrients I was putting in my body.

So we developed a plan to get me healthy again.

-Daily supplements including Vitamin D, a probiotic-fermented B Vitamin, Vitamin K2, a liver supporter, DHA, and a reliably sourced sea salt. I also take Levothroid. My holistic doctor said he usually tries to stay away from it, but my body was basically not producing ANY thyroid hormones on their own, and we needed to give it a little break. We are hoping to get it up and running enough to where it produces it on its own. But if it is too damaged, I may need to stay on it. I am maintaining staying on the lowest dosage though.

-Daily sun exposure, and, weather permitting, time in the grass with my shoes off. (Check out the research on grounding! It’s fascinating.)

-Daily walks

-Avoiding gluten (At all costs, at all times, forever!), chocolate, green peppers, soy, and dairy.

-Do yoga

I had already been eating a fairly paleo diet for about two years at that time, with a few cheat meals here and there, so it was not that difficult to avoid those foods, as I imagine it would be for others.

I knew there was more I needed to learn about healing my body, so I listened to over 100 hours worth of podcasts, read 4 books, all about holistic healing, and added a few more recommendations to my list my doctor gave me.

-Stay stress free!

-Eat more sardines

-Buy your meat straight from the farm

-Buy Kerrygold Butter

I have been doing all these things for 7 months now, and I feel amazing!

I don’t have any of the symptoms I use to have on a daily basis. I feel weird not having a midday slump anymore. I was always just so use to it. Also, my stomach looks completely different! I guess I have always had a little bloat because of the gluten, but now it is completely gone! I have also lost the bloat from my face. I remember a couple months back, my father in law said I looked like my face was glowing. That is what he was referring to. And NO HEADACHES! That is amazing!

I will still get a headache when I have too much sugar, or don’t eat enough fat. So I try eat low carb (lots of veggies, no grains).

Also, I had a check up blood test with my OBGYN about 3 months back, and my TSH levels are at 3, completely normal! Silly nurse thought it was due to the medication they put me on. I almost corrected her, but didn’t want to get into it.

I am most excited to have my brain back though, and to finally be out of the fog!

Thanks so much for reading. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions about my story, or if you just need some positive reinforcement if you are having any of these same issues. I would love to connect with you!

  • Sam, Your Gluten Free Buddy

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