Not a thyroid problem, an autoimmune disease.
In 2001, just two years after having my third child (a boy), things in my body just felt ‘off’. It was as if I had never fully recovered from the pregnancy. I was tired all the time, cold most of the time, and had trouble losing the last of the baby weight (not much more than 10-15 pounds). Considering I was 36 when John was born, this was not all that surprising to me, but when I finally felt bad enough, I asked a doctor about it. Of course, I did a ‘little’ research beforehand…
Me: “I’ve been feeling really tired lately and my hands and feet are cold all the time. Could you maybe order some blood work to check out my thyroid levels?”
Army Doc: “Oh, you just want to be skinny like the women in the magazines.”
Wha–? I seriously could not believe what I had heard, but there it was. Needless to say, I did not have approval for any lab work that might uncover what was wrong with me.
Almost two more years had passed when a doctor discovered a lump in my throat during a routine physical. “Unspecified nodules” was printed on the ultrasound report. Translation: I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. At the time I was just grateful it wasn’t cancer.
When I tell people the name of my condition, I usually receive a confused look and a mumbled, “Huh?” (My dad humorously calls it “Hiroshima’s Disease”. 😉 ) When I ask if they have ever seen photos of people with a huge mass on their throat, understanding dawns. “Ohhh, that.” Yeah, it is called a goiter, and left untreated can eventually cut off your airway. Needless to say, this was not a condition I felt confident to handle on my own.
The first blood test measuring my Hashimoto’s antibodies was off of the measuring chart – >1,000 (normal is <35)! My first discovery along my treatment journey was that Synthroid (Levothyroxine) seemed to correct the thyroid levels in my blood work but had little to no effect on my symptoms (chronic fatigue, cold extremities, foggy brain, etc.).
In 2009 I was fortunate enough to land in the vicinity of Nashville, TN, where I found a natural doctor who was also an MD. He recommended I try a natural thyroid replacement called Armour. This relieved my symptoms as well as corrected the blood levels, with the added bonus of being able to reduce the amount of thyroid replacement I had been taking.
My doctor and I also read a study that showed promise using 200 mcg of Selenium in conjunction with thyroid hormone replacement to reverse the condition within six months of beginning treatment. We tried that, but in the three years I was under his care, we were only able to bring my antibody count down to somewhere in the mid- to high-600’s. That was definite improvement, but not nearly enough for me to hope that I could ever come off of the medication.
Then in 2014, I discovered a wonderful book.
I learned so many things about my condition and autoimmune disorders in general, including the main reason my doctor and I were not able to get my antibodies any lower. He had prescribed an iodine supplement. Iodine, while great for the thyroid, is terrible for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I learned something important then: no doctor knows everything there is to know about a condition. YOU must learn to be your own best doctor. You have to do the research, get the information you need, and implement it if you want to get well.
I also discovered that autoimmune diseases (often resulting from infections) can also be caused by allergic reactions in the body – namely food sensitivities. I eliminated the most common allergens, gluten, peanuts, milk, and soy and thirty days later I was fifteen pounds lighter. Three years gluten-free, my antibodies have now dropped to 157! Yes, it takes time to cure a disease like this, but I am well on my way to disposing of a pill I now have to take every day at the exact same time.
There is so much more I could tell you about Hashimoto’s, but I would not be able to give you the information better than Dr. Wentz does. Root Cause is easy to read, easy to understand, and extremely helpful in pointing the reader in the direction of healing. I cannot recommend it enough for those suffering with this or any other autoimmune disease. Clicking on the link above will take you to Amazon where you can learn more about the book and the author. Making a purchase through my affiliate link will be helping both of us.
Along with the supplements I take daily, avoidance of refined table salt (with added iodine), regular exercise, and eating lots of veggies, I use meditation as another way of bringing my body back into alignment. For information on how meditation can help you with any and every medical condition, check out my Dr. Joe Dispenza page.
I am convinced that our bodies are constantly seeking a state of wellbeing. Sometimes they need our help – and the help of others – to get there. If you are struggling with an autoimmune condition, please know that healing is possible. I wish you all the best on your journey to wholeness. As always, thank you for reading and supporting my site.