What is it, and what does it mean to me?
Well…there are many better written and better researched posts out there about what it IS. Let me share a few with you, here, though, so we can lay the ground work for why my health is important to me.
Hypothyroidmom says, “Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks and destroys its own thyroid gland. Piece by piece your body chews up and destroys your own thyroid gland as if it is the enemy. In a healthy immune system, antibodies act as the body’s army to detect and destroy invaders not normally present in the body, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. In the case of Hashimoto’s disease, a defective immune system wreaks havoc on the body by directing antibodies against its own thyroid gland as if it is a foreign invader. Although Hashimoto’s disease is considered a leading cause of hypothyroidism around the world, it is a tragically overlooked disease in mainstream medicine. You might be thinking, “My doctor has never diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s disease. This post is not about me.” Are you sure?” (emphasis mine)
Check out Dana’s resource list! You can spend all day for a few weeks, sorting through her links and learning more. 🙂
thyroidawareness.com says, “Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (also called autoimmune or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis) is the most common thyroid disease in the United States. It is an inherited condition that affects over 10 million Americans and is about seven times more common in women than in men.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is characterized by the production of immune cells and autoantibodies by the body’s immune system that can damage thyroid cells and compromise their ability to make thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism occurs if the amount of thyroid hormone which can be produced is not enough for the body’s needs. The thyroid gland may also enlarge, forming a goiter.” (emphasis mine)
Dr. Izabella Wentz, from thyroidpharmasist.com says, “What’s Really Going on in Hashimoto’s?
Hashimoto’s is more than just hypothyroidism.
Most patients with Hashimoto’s will present with acid reflux, nutrient deficiencies, anemia, intestinal permeability, food sensitivities, gum disorders and hypoglycemia in addition to the “typical” hypothyroid symptoms such as weight gain, cold intolerance, hair loss, fatigue and constipation.
The body becomes stuck in a chronic state of immune system overload, adrenal insufficiency, gut dysbiosis, impaired digestion, inflammation, and thyroid hormone release abnormalities.
This cycle is interrelated and reinforces itself through a positive feedback loop, meaning the cycle is self sustaining and will continue causing more an more symptoms until an external factor intervenes and breaks the cycle apart.”
Dr. Wentz FAQs page is another must read link, as she answers a lot of questions I had in the beginning. *I’m currently reading her book, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Root Cause.
There are many more wonderful writers, doctors and educators out there who put out a ton of helpful information on Hashi’s (my nickname for it). It would take many posts to list them all. I will share more, in the coming weeks and months, from some of my favorites.
So this brings us to me…
In 2010, I’d had my thyroid checked, because something was off. Never mind that our son had died in March of that year, by August I felt very sluggish, foggy and ‘off’. At that time, I believe my blood work came back at a TSH level of 8.3. The highest end of ‘normal’ was 4.0. I was just a little ‘off’! I was put on Levothyroxine, which I’ve since then discovered, many people are put on it, and it’s NOT gluten free. I can’t remember the doseage, and sadly I hadn’t written it down.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant with my daughter, in the summer of 2012, that I learned my thyroid ‘problem’ had a name…Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. It was mentioned in an off hand manner, like the doctor was telling me what he was having for lunch that day. Not that this disease can cause an insanely large list of symptoms, diseases in it’s own right, and fertility problems…
It wasn’t until shortly around the time my daughter was born in October, that I began looking into this thyroid thing I had. All I’d known was that it was common, you took a pill for the rest of your life, and it wasn’t reversible. Or was it?
…to be continued! 😉