What is Hashimoto’s, you ask?
No, there’s zero link between Hashimoto’s and Quasimodo, the legendary Hunchback of Notre Dame. And there’s no culture that uses Hashimoto’s to greet one another.
“Well, hashimoto to ya, Bob.” “Chuck, hashimoto! How’s the Mrs…”
Actually, when I first heard of Hashimoto’s, being the lover of food that I am, I envisioned brunch.
A fancy schmancy hash brown dish served at some popular eatery.
But… I digress.
Anywho, a few weeks ago, I was diagosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
For those who aren’t too familiar, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the healthy tissues of the butterfly shaped thyroid gland.
Situated underneath the ole Adam’s apple, the thyroid as well as the hormones it produces, regulates many functions throughout the body, including, metabolism, muscle strength, appetite, oh and so much more!
Over time, the immune system may destroy enough of the valuable thyroid to where it’s no longer able to produce enough hormones for its daily functions, causing hypothyroidism.
However, numerous experts now believe at least 90% of the people out there living with hypothyroidism actually have Hashimoto’s as well; many of those folks just don’t know it.
The reason behind this is their doctors just don’t test their patients for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
This is exactly what happened to me. I was convinced my fatigue and hair loss were related to my thyroid, but all the typical thyroid tests came back normal from the 3 doctors I saw within months of one another.
And after all the reading I did on the thyroid, dumb butt over here never picked up on the fact that Hashimoto’s does not show up on those tests.
Being seen by the previous general practitioners got me nowhere, so this next time I decided to take a different approach.
I scheduled an appointment with a doctor specializing in Integrative Endocrinology, where she believes in all aspects of healing as opposed to conventional medicine only.
My doctor ordered so many labs (translation: I’ll have to sit there for a long time with a needle jabbed in my arm…baaaah), one of which being the test for Hashimoto’s! And with my fear of needles, once my butt sat in the blood sucking chair, I was trying pretty flipping hard to put a lid on the water works. Being a full-fledged grownup, it’s nothing short of humiliating to start whimpering at the sight of a needle.
Well, I managed to make it through that horrendous 5 minutes of my life and a few short days later, I finally began getting some answers.
Answers as to why I could sleep for 16 hours, get up and want to go right back to sleep, how I could barely tug at my hair and it would literally just fall out, why I couldn’t remember jack SQUAT when I used to have a steal trap, or the fact that I’ve been diagnosed with depression, but why none of the antidepressants are really doing the trick.
So my advice? Save yourself a lot of time, energy and frustration by knowing what to ask for. Endocrine Web informs us the “anti-thyroid antibodies (ATA) tests, such as the microsomal antibody test (also known as thyroid peroxidase antibody test) and the anti-thyroglobulin antibody test, are commonly used” to detect Hashimoto’s.
Symptoms of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
1. A goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid gland, is typically “the first sign of the disease,” according to Web MD,.” Yep, a goiter. Fortunately, I have yet to develop something named what I think to be one of the grossest words in the English language. Goiters (bleck!) can make it hard to swallow and/or cause the front of your neck to be puffy.
2. You’re fatigued and no matter how much sleep you get you could always go back for more.
3. Weight gain that seems nearly impossible to take off.
4. A brain fog resulting in feeling like the biggest flake ever.
5. Hair loss to the point you’re finding hair all. over. the. house. Just like the dog’s.
6. The joint pain and/or stiffness causing you to feel about 45 years older than you actually are.
7. Your irregular period skips March completely only to come visit twice in two weeks during April.
8. One word. Depression.
9. Dry, pale skin. Um, that’s really kinda the norm for me so no red flags in that department.
10. Constipation. Sometimes you don’t poop for days. Days.
11. Sensitivity to the cold. Regularly needing a jacket when it’s in the low 70s out maybe deserves some looking into.
Keep in mind, these are just some of the more common symptoms. You should take a look at this checklist where there are close to 60 symptoms related to Hashimoto’s!
Also, the severity of the symptoms vary. The examples I gave for each of the symptoms above are just from my own personal experience. Of course some people will have noticeably worse symptoms and others will barely have any.
In the U.S. alone, approximately 20 million people live with a thyroid disorder of some kind, over half of which don’t even know they have one! And out of the 20 million, about 14 million of those folks suffer from Hashimoto’s. So Chris Kresser’s statement is pretty much a no brainer when he points out that “Hashimoto’s is the most common autoimmune disorder in the U.S., affecting between 7-8% of the population.”
If you suspect there’s something wackadoo going on with your thyroid, don’t be afraid to speak up and talk with your doctor about being tested not just for a thyroid condition, but specifically for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
Guys, you do not want to miss my next post. Since Hashimoto’s is considered an autoimmune disease, technically it has no cure. BUT people are successfully kicking the monster into remission. And I will be sharing how they do it with you!
In addition to that, we’ll be talking about what causes Hashimoto’s (it’s probably not what you think), as well as a few factors that increase your risk of developing the thyroid disease. If you haven’t signed up for Hungry Beastling updates yet, now is the perfect time to subscribe!
Not only is it free but then you won’t miss out on the follow up post to this one;-) Scroll down just a tad and you’ll see the sign up box!
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