I was in shock this week after a private blood test finally revealed what may be the cause of my lingering health problems: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
While I should feel relief for finally having found this root cause of my health issues I grieved…a lot!
It’s a chicken and egg situation – how long have I had it? Has it been triggered by my interstitial cystitis struggles? Or has it been an underlying trigger for my bladder problems?
I will never know, because I never got tested…
The worst thing is that I asked my GP about this condition 2 years ago. He brushed it off as being ‘highly unlikely’ and anyways, they would only test people with a swollen thyroid. He was also reluctant to treat my hypothyroid symptoms.
I’ve come across Hashimoto’s many times and also knew that I had some hypothyroid symptoms. But I considered them to be minor and for some reason I never saw myself as someone with an autoimmune condition.
Then 2 years after finally overcoming interstitial cystitis I took a private thyroid panel because despite having followed a healthy diet and lifestyle for a long time, I was just still not feeling ideal!
And then the shock when my thyroid antibodies came back super high.
I grieved and got angry and then grieved some more…
I am angry and sad that I didn’t get professional help, even after asking for it.
I am angry and sad that I did not do this test sooner.
I curse myself for not having insisted on treatment.
And I am scared that I have triggered this by going to dietary extremes (such as veganism and fasting) and scared about what the diagnosis means for the future.
But most of all: I am tired of focusing on my health, looking for answers and being on restricted diets…
What is Hashimoto’s
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakes the thyroid for an invader and starts producing antibodies that attack the thyroid tissue.
Over time, this damage can impact thyroid function.
The thyroid is responsible for controlling the metabolism and therefore reduced thyroid function usually equals a slow metabolism.
This can lead to a range of symptoms.
I have and had some (but not all) of the typical hypothyroid symptoms:
- Brittle hair and nails
- Low libido
- Cold hands and feet
- Low body temperature
- Itchy and blocked ears
- Tendency towards anxiety and depression
- Hair loss
- Tendency towards constipation
- Bloating and IBS
Luckily I have never had many issues with weight-gain (which may be one of the reasons why this has been missed by the doctors).
What to do
To be honest, after everything I have already been through overcoming interstitial cystitis I currently have no strength left to do it all again.
But I know that I will in the future…
I have decided that it’s okay to take some time off and grieve…
But it is important not to become one’s condition and to let it take over one’s life.
I don’t know how long I have had this for condition for and if it has gotten better through everything I’ve already done (or worse). But I know that the body has an ability to heal, so once I find the strength again I will find a way.
Luckily the past few years have given me the knowledge and tools that will help to deal with Hashimoto’s.
Some of my plans for things to try in the future are:
- Nutritional balancing
- Autoimmune paleo protocol
- Raising my metabolism by eating more calories and sleeping more
- Helminthic Therapy
- Check for and potentially treat hidden virus infections
Most of all, I need to learn how to relax more and not let the worry about my health take over my life.
But for now I will allow myself to rest and to grieve… Because it is okay!
I’d like to hear from you: Have you had a similar diagnosis? Are you also struggling to find the strength to deal with it? Let me know in the comments…