I've been keeping you guys up to date on my never ending health issues, and I got some answers that I wanted to share with you guys.
If you've been keeping up to date with my story, I mentioned that I have Hypothyroidism. Basically, my thyroid is under active. I've been taking Levothyroxine (the generic of Synthroid) which is basically just thyroid hormone replacement. I started around the 20th of May, and on July 7th I just went and got my levels rechecked. My doctor also checked my T3 and T4 levels, as well as my TSH, which are all thyroid hormone related things. He also was checking for thyroid antibodies, which would be able to tell me if I have Hashimoto's Disease or not. My T4 has always been in normal range since the beginning and that remained the same. This was the first time getting my T3 tested and it was also normal. My TSH unfortunately it still out of range. It was over 11, and now it's down to over 5. But, the antibodies is what really caught my eye.
The normal range for the antibodies is 0-34. Mine was only greater than 600. My doctors nursing assistant called me and talked to me, but I would rather speak to my doctor. Because my doctor is the world's best doctor (I say that with complete sincerity), he called me on his cell phone on his way home from work to chat. He was asking me about my summer, asking me about school, telling me he's so proud of me for going to school. After having that conversation, then we started talking health stuff. What he said was that the test confirms that I have Hashimoto's Disease.
Your first question is probably: what is Hashimoto's Disease? If you know me, then you know by now I've researched everything I can find on the disease and have learned it forwards and backwards, because that's just the kinda person I am. Basically, it's an autoimmune disorder where my immune system attacks my thyroid cells, thinking that they're bad, resulting in Hypothyroidism.
It could be genetic, which I've learned that one of my cousins has it, like my 2nd or 3rd cousin, and also my aunt has Hypothyroidism but she hasn't been tested yet for Hashi's so she may or may not have it. There's a good chance other family member of mine, that have passed on, could've had it too but we're never checked for it. Rarely do doctors check thyroid levels, and even more rarely do they check for Hashi's unless there's a legitimate reason.
Also it could be a virus that I picked up over the years, not a completely impossible thought considering how I always get sick and when I get sick I get sick. The body does weird things. It could've mutated in my body and somehow signaled to my body "hey that thyroid thing, that's weird, let's destroy it."
The thing about having an issue with your thyroid is basically everything is affected. It's referred to as your master gland for a reason, and that reason being because it affects your entire body mentally, physically, and emotionally. Hashi's is the number one cause of Hypothyroidism in America. The amount of symptoms of Hypothyroidism is absurd. Check out this link below, from a website I've been on pretty frequently, Hypothyroid Mom, to see the list.
300 symptoms. THREE HUNDRED, PEOPLE! The reason there's so many possibilities is because A) everyone is different and everyone's body reacts differently and B) it's your master gland, as I stated above. It affects everything in your body; mentally, physically, and emotionally. The most common symptoms include: fatigue, dry skin, constipation, high cholesterol, muscle weakness, thinning hair, feeling sluggish and generally not well, cold intolerance, excessive hair falling out.. most of these can have any number of causes. I have insomnia, so of course I'm always tired. I get cold extremely easy, but I always have. Dry skin and eczema are part of my allergies and skin sensitivities so I never thought twice. I have IBS, so generally not feeling well is kind of my thing. And I have massive amounts of hair, so the amount that comes out when I wash it and brush it just seemed normal. So it's easy to see how symptoms get bypassed.
There is no cure but there's controlling it with medication. Looks like I'm going to be getting real comfy with blood work since I'm gonna need it so often. I guess that's one way to conquer my fear. Now that I have an autoimmune disorder, it puts me at a greater risk for other ones, which terrifies me. It's also less common but I'm more likely to get thyroid cancer too, which is even more terrifying. It can also cause fertility issues and birth defects, both of which I'm not overly concerned about considering I don't want children, but if I ever change my mind, that's something I'll really have to think about.
Overall, not the best diagnosis, but also not the worst. If anything it further proves you need to listen to your body, if you feel off, get it checked out. I've felt off for a long time and I took control of it, and ended up with this diagnosis. And I will now be hounding everyone I know, including you, a stranger or friend who's reading this, to go and get your routine blood work done and ask to have your thyroid tested. Don't take no for an answer. I'm so fortunate to have such a caring doctor that actually listens to me and follows through with what I ask, and if you're doctor doesn't, find a new one. I'll provide you with my doctors information because he's the best doctor in the world, hands down.
If you take nothing from this, take away these three things:
That's all for now!