I’ve had some people ask me about Hoshimoto’s Disease and autoimmune disorders in general. It’s hard to describe, but I recently found this post by Gena Lee Nolin that explains my struggles quite well:
“I Am Hashimoto’s. 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. 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 can cause severe pain or, if I’m in a good 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 or very depressed, too. I can also cause other mental health problems.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. I can also make you lose weight. I don’t discriminate.Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.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.Teeth and gum problems? TMJ? 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 sick 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 am.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.The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.I am Hashimoto’s Disease.”
I’ve been trying to cut dairy and gluten from my diet….as well as sugar. It’s been a struggle, but I am finding success with eliminating slowly and one by one. I’m truly hopeful this can help with some of my symptoms. I’ve been extremely exhausted lately. I’ve done some research about adrenal fatigue. The way the body works is truly amazing; thyroid imbalances can lead to adrenal fatigue and vise versa.
The health of the adrenal gland can and will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illness, though the topic can get confusing. The adrenal gland should make the necessary amount of hormones in a balance, without producing too much or too little. One of the major hormones made by the adrenal gland is cortisol. Too much cortisol can cause symptoms of weight gain around the waist, poor sleep, fatigue, elevated blood sugars, menstrual irregularities, increased thirst, higher blood pressure and even more frequent infections. For those who suffer with chronic illness, I would suggest having your adrenal gland checked out.
In addition, for those looking for resources, check out the book “The Thyroid Diet Revolution” by Mary J. Shomon. It’s very interesting and gives a lot of great information on thyroid condition. Let me know if you have any questions or any suggestions for me!