Looks Can Be Deceiving When You Have Hashimoto’s
On Monday last week, I was looking and feeling great as I had new professional photos taken of me. By Tuesday morning, I felt sick as a dog. This, unfortunately, is quite typical for people with chronic health conditions like Hashimoto’s.
Feeling good with an autoimmune disease requires constant and precise attention to detail. Often finding out what triggers a relapse or flare-up can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. The thyroid is a complicated organ and there have been many changes in our understanding of how to treat thyroid diseases. Years ago, it was accepted practice to simply remove the thyroid or parts of it, but for many people that led to a host of complications. More recently, doctors have favored synthetic thyroid medicines, particularly if you were diagnosed with hypo or slow thyroid. For many people, this seems to do the trick for a while until it no longer does the trick. Unfortunately, most symptoms return, including fatigue, constipation, stubborn weight gain, even for people with a very controlled diet, and difficulty in maintaining temperature regulation of the body.
Standard Treatments Don’t Often Work Well for Autoimmune Conditions
Hashimoto’s adds another layer of complication to the thyroid puzzle, due to the added issue of inflammation caused by the body attacking the thyroid. This past week, I received my latest numbers on tests I do regularly for staying on top of my Hashimoto’s. It was more confusing than ever. My anti-bodies were very high, but the amount of the thyroid hormones circulating in my system was in the normal range. I am currently not on any typical thyroid medicine but take 19 supplements each day. A very well-respected health care person I work with spent time with me interpreting these results as I was dealing with an extreme, out-of-the-blue, bout of constipation. We suspected that my body had dumped all of the hormones at once to help with the inflammation and then I was not producing the necessary thyroid hormones to keep my gut system working.
Here is the big takeaway from last week’s experience. When you have a flare-up with Hashimoto’s your thyroid will attempt to make more of the hormones to combat the perceived threat, therefore the numbers in the bloodstream might look good, even though your thyroid is under attack. A solution I am looking at is going on a bio-identical porcine thyroid medicine on and off when I am having a flare-up, rather than taking a thyroid medicine daily. The last time I tried taking microdoses of synthetic thyroid medicines, (I tried several different combinations) I ended up with a racing heart, inability to sleep, and anxiousness. I am also looking at taking the medicine in the evening on an empty stomach rather than first thing in the morning.
Why Am I Sharing This Personal Story?
I am not suggesting you try the same approach as me, however, I am suggesting that with autoimmune diseases the standard approach to controlling them through medication may not always work and will lessen its effectiveness over time. Lifestyle factors are crucial! It takes a much more customized way of looking at your symptoms and your markers to stay healthy when you have chronic conditions that are moving targets. I have spent years learning about this and taking this kind of approach with myself and my clients. When I work with people, I ask a lot of questions and we approach your issues as part of the whole person. I do not look at you through the lens of a disease that looks the same in everybody else. If you are not currently feeling well with your autoimmune disease, you might want to work with someone who understands how nuanced your approach to staying healthy needs to be. I can help. Check out my services and prices here.