When Stefania, my reader, asked me how I would deal with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis if I had it, I promised to write a blogpost. When I started researching, it hit me like a brick: I had every single symptom…
Everything in life happens for a reason and every single chance event, discovery or person teaches you something. It might all seem like a coincidence, but it’s not. It all leads you to the truth and slowly unravels all the myths and puzzles in your mind.
That’s pretty much a summary of my life in the last month or so.
I’m so sorry I’ve been absent for a while, but I had to put my health first and take some time off, so I could think, research, and create an action plan, which hopefully will help some of you going through something similar.
My mom always tells me off for not posting things consistently, but she doesn’t get the point. You see, my blog is not just about my favourite shoes, the new makeup I bought or my daily outfits. I want to help you with my posts. I want to help you improve your health or learn something about yourself through my experiments. I am willingly experimenting with my own body, so that I can heal myself, but also so that I can help you out somehow, too. Otherwise, what’s the point?
So if I disappear sometimes, please don’t think it’s because I don’t care. It couldn’t be further away from the truth. It’s because I only want to write or speak if I have something really important to say. If I feel that I don’t know enough yet, I’ll keep researching until I’m ready.
I’ll probably learn something else in the future and my views will change, but it’s all a part of learning, of my journey to health. Without mistakes, there can be no progress.
Plus, I don’t call anything mistakes. Every single step brings me one step closer to my goals.
So what did I want to say with this little rant? Well, I guess that I’ve missed you and I’ve missed writing, but I didn’t feel ready until now. I needed to wrap my head around this evil Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis that so suddenly stormed into my life (well, maybe not so suddenly because I suspect I had it from a very early age). I also wanted to have a clear action plan before I got back to you (I’ll be sharing it soon). So here I am! Ready to talk to you again.
I guess I also wanted to rant a little about how annoying moms can be. Is your mom like this, too? Always wanting to force things? Never agreeing to just let it flow and see where it takes you? I don’t even think the word “flow” exists in my mom’s vocabulary. She’s wonderful, I love her to bits, don’t get me wrong. She really knows how to kick my butt into action by making me angry (somehow anger always motivates me best), but she just doesn’t stop! Silence and flow are as foreign to her as force and noise are to me.
Phewww… rant over! Now let’s get back to today’s topic, shall we?
I did a blood test for all the Thyroid numbers and for all the different Celiac and gluten anti-bodies.
Shortly before that, my sister was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, so I was pretty sure I had it, too. Seeing that my body was doing so much better without gluten in my diet and having troubles whenever I tried to reintroduce it, I had all the reasons to think I had it. I did a few different Celiac antibody tests and thank goodness all of them came back negative, so it’s very unlikely that I have Celiac Disease.
I did however test borderline for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: the limit was 1.00 and my score was 0.97, so it’s very, very close.
These are all the tests I took for Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance:
- Anti-Transglutaminase IgG
- Anti-Transglutaminase IgA
- Deamidated Gliadin Peptide, also called Gliadin DGP, both IgG and IgA (this one is the newest and most accurate test for Celiac disease. I’d recommend doing just this one alone if you have a limited budget.)
- Anti-Gliadin IgG (this one shows antibodies to gluten, not damage in intestines, so it’s what is generally used to diagnose Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance.)
By the way, my parents also got tested and they don’t have Celiac Disease either. Not even gluten sensitivity. However, my mom has found out that she also has Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, just like me, but her antibodies are much lower than mine. As both Hashimoto’s and Celiac Disease are auto-immune and go in families, it’s very probable that it’s genetic, or perhaps it’s what we ate as a family, or the lifestyle, or most probably iodine deficiency, which is very common in Eastern Europe.
Once I started researching Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis for a blog post, I realized I had all the symptoms. Not only now, but I realized I’d had it since very early childhood. When I was 4 or 5 years old, my mom was so frustrated because she could never convince me to wear any roll neck sweaters. I kept pulling at the neck until I stretched it and I kept complaining until she eventually took it off. I struggled wearing scarves, too. The thought of anything touching my neck area has always been extremely uncomfortable. I often felt uncomfortable pressure in my neck area, but never realized it was the thyroid.
These are the most common symptoms of Hashimoto’s (I’ve had most of them, if not all):
- cold intolerance
- joint and muscle pain (especially in shoulders and legs)
- muscle weakness
- dry, thinning hair
- heavy or irregular menstrual periods (also prolonged bleeding)
- pale, dry skin
- a puffy face
- hoarse voice
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is an auto-immune disorder where the immune system becomes confused and starts attacking the thyroid. Eventually, it causes hypothyroid or hyperthyroid (often they alternate). Most people with Hashi’s are gluten and dairy sensitive, most of them have vitamin D deficiency. There is a link between Hashimoto’s and Celiac, too. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is also closely linked to infertility, higher miscarriage risk, more chances of premature birth, etc. Which isn’t fun for me because I would really like to start a family soon.
I went in for the test almost 100% sure that I was going to be positive for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and hypothyroidism, I just wanted to know how bad it was and I guess wanted to see it written black on white.
My anti-thyroglobulin (Anti-Tg) antibodies were at 28 (the limit is up to 4). That is a clear Hashimoto’s diagnosis.
I also tested slightly sub-clinically hypothyroid: my T3 was on the lower end, my TSH was at the top of the range, but my T4 was normal.
These are all the thyroid tests I did, if you’re wondering:
- TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
- ATPO antibodies
- Anti-Tg antibodies
Doctors say that Hashimoto’s is incurable. I don’t agree. They say the same about acne or cancer and many other things. I’ve read a lot of cases online where people managed to get rid of their Hashi’s, and I believe I can do it, too.
I’m relieved that I don’t have Celiac Disease. I mourn because I have Hashimoto’s. But I also rejoice because I finally know what I’m fighting with. I finally have a name for all of my symptoms from low energy and acne to tooth decay. Everything is due to the health (or lack of health) of my thyroid. Now that I know, a new life starts.
Wish me luck! And of course if you have any kind of experience with Hashimoto’s, Hypothyroid or Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, please let me know! I’d love to know I’m not alone (of course, I know I’m not, but it would be nice to hear from somebody who understands me anyway). Do you have any tips for me? Or any words of encouragement?
Stefania, if you’re reading, I’m sorry it’s taken me so long, but now that I have Hashimoto’s as well, you can be sure I’ll share my action plan very soon! Thanks so much for steering me in the right direction of thought without even knowing!
Lots of love,