Monday, July 14, 2014

Hashimotos

I have been being tested for Hypothyroid every 6 months for the last 7 years and my blood work has always come back clear despite showing obvious signs of having Hypothyroid. I finally found a doctor who knew what he was doing and explained to me why my blood work always came back negative. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid Disorder in April. I was told my body was running at 40% of its capacity and that my Thyroid was failing my body. I was also told that currently I'm infertile and having a baby would be impossible if we tried. My hormones are all completely at opposite ends of where they should be. So we've been treating my hormone imbalances as well as my Hypothyroid. Well months came and went and there was no improvement, in fact all my symptoms were quickly worsening. We redid blood work at found that i have an Auto Immune Disease called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. This was no surprise to me considering my mom, her sisters and all her aunts have this terrible disease. My mom was just recently diagnosed within the last year. So i was diagnosed with Hashi's during my Tonsillectomy recovery so i decided to wait to start the medication until i was off all pain meds and antibiotics. This is the first week starting my medication for the Hashi's and the doctor said it will take about 4-5 weeks to see any sort of difference or improvement. Anyways for those of you who do now know much about Hashimotos heres a little summary....


"Hi.  My name is Hashimoto's.  
I'm an invisible autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid gland causing you to become hypothyroid.
I am now velcroed to you for life.  If you have hypothyroidism, you probably have me. 
I am the number one cause of it in the U.S. and many other places around the world.

I'm so sneaky--I don't always show up in your blood work.
Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.
I can attack you anywhere and any way I please.
I cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good/nice mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.

Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?
I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now.
I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.
I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.

I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.
I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything.
I can make you feel very anxious with panic attacks or very depressed. 

 I can also cause other mental health problems. You know crazy mood swings? That's me. Crying for no reason? Angry for no reason? That's probably me too. 

I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me. I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you.

If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. 

You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons:
That virus or viruses you had that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress.) 

You may have a family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay.

I hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh.  Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.
You will be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.
There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless - that high cholesterol, gall bladder issue, blood pressure issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me.
Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage?
That's probably me too.
Shortness of breath or "air hunger?" Yep, probably me.
Liver enzymes elevated? Yep, probably me.
Teeth and gum problems? TMJ?
Hives? Yep, probably me.
I told you the list was endless. 
You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.
You'll be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of doctors you've seen, just how debilitating I am and how ill and exhausted you really feel.  In all probability you will get a referral from these 'understanding'  (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist.

Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I can be.

Some of them will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or "Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.
They'll  also say things like,  "if you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you'll feel better."
They won't understand that I take away the 'gas' that powers your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things.

Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next. You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had that, and she's fine on her medication" when you desperately want to explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S taking, doesn't mean it will work for you.

They will not understand that having this disease impacts your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, and that every cell and every body system and organ requires the proper amount and the right kind of of thyroid hormone medication for YOU.
Not what works for someone else.

I am often confused with Fibromyalgia because we have the same symptoms, plus more.
You also more likely to get several other Auto Immune Diseases now that you have Hashimotos, including Fibromyalgia, Addison's Disease and Adrenal Disease.

I am Hashimoto's Disease. I am You."



How Hashimoto's personally affects me:


Energy Level and Sleep:
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Less stamina than others
  • Long recovery period after any activity
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Sleep apnea
  • Snoring
  • Insomnia
  • Need naps in the afternoon
  • Weakness
  • Wake feeling tired
  • Frequently oversleep
Weight:
Body Temperature:
  • Cold extremities
  • Cold sweats
  • Night sweats
  • Heat intolerance
  • Cold intolerance
  • Internal shivering
  • Clammy palms
  • Cold feet
  • Low basal body temperature (below 97.8 degrees Fahrenheit)
Infections:
  • Frequent infections
  • Chronic illness
  • Low immune system
  • Frequent colds
  • Frequent flus
  • Susceptibility to bronchitis
  • Hard time recovering from infections
  • Recurrent sinus infections
  • Recurrent skin/nail infections
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Recurrent nose infections
  • Recurrent throat infections
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
Mouth and Throat:
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sensation of lump in throat
  • Sensation of pressure on throat
  • Pain and tenderness in neck and/or thyroid area
  • Sore throats
  • Swollen tongue
  • Choking fits
  • Salt cravings
  • Dry mouth
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Propensity for gum disease
  • Low, hoarse voice
  • Bleeding gums
  • Receding gums
  • Irritated gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Persistent teeth clenching
  • TMJ
Eyes:
  • Poor focusing
  • Achy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Sensitive to lightSpasms of the eyelids
  • Dark rings under eyes
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Problems with night vision
Hair:
  • Body hair loss
  • Head hair loss
  • Dry hair
  • Brittle hair
  • Eyelash loss
  • Thinning or loss of outside third of eyebrow
Skin:
  • Dry skin
  • Dry itchy scalp
  • Flaky skin
  • Cracked heels
  • Coarse patches
  • Pale skin
  • Pigmentation in skin creases
  • Rashes
  • Skin tags
  • Easy bruising
  • Slow wound healing
  • Bumps on legs
Pain:
  • Migraines
  • Chronic headaches
  • Chronic back and loin pain
  • Wrist pain
  • Muscles and joint pain
  • Tactile Allodynia
  • Joint stiffness
  • Painful soles of feet
  • Muscle cramps
  • Aching bones
  • Aching muscles
  • Joint pain
  • TMJ
Digestion:
  • Hard stools
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Food sensitivity
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Celiac Disease (being tested)
  • Weight gain in abdominal area
  • Nausea
  • Acid Reflux
  • GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
Menstrual Disorders:
  • Heavy periods (menorrhagia)
  • Irregular periods
  • Very long cycles
  • Severe cramping
  • Failure to ovulate
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Extreme bloating and water retention
  • Premature or delayed puberty
Reproductive Disorders and Pregnancy:
Emotional:
  • Tension
  • Irritability
  • Wanting to be solitary
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Personality changes
  • Jumpy
  • Easily startled
  • Nervousness
Other Related Conditions:
  • Poor adrenal function
  • Anemia
  • Lack of coordination
  • Clumsiness
  • Tendency to fall
  • Dizziness
  • Chronic allergies
  • Chemical sensitivities
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
Brain:
  • Panic attacks
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Brain fog
  • Mental sluggishness
  • Poor concentration
  • Mania
  • Phobias
  • Obsessions
  • Loss of drive
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Nightmares
Lungs:
  • Bronchitis
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Air hunger
  • Pleural effusion (fluid around the lung)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in chest


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