These bags under my eyes are Gucci…

Tired. Exhausted. Drained. No energy. Lethargic. = Story of my life. The symptoms of this condition that I have, are progressive and then one day you wake up… where suddenly you no longer have this condition… no… this condition has you.

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Welcome to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. The cause of the bags under my eyes. Not Gucci. {Insert swearwords here}

Hashi what?… Hashi’s as I call it, is an auto-immune condition – I refuse to call it a disease. It’s not contagious… but one I was nonetheless diagnosed with in January of 2016, when I went for a second opinion after 3 years of living with worsening symptoms of Hypothyroidism, despite being on meds.

I now  see an amazing functional doctor – Dr Grant Fourie (Side note: If you have issues with your thyroid and you are based in Cape Town – do yourself a favour and book yourself an appointment with him – you will not be sorry.)

Hashi’s is basically the result of my own immune system attacking my thyroid. So yeah – *Gynx* – my immune system is working TOO freaking well.

Normal antibody levels are in the 10’s, mine are in the 100’s but worst case is 1000’s.  I’m lucky in that regard.

There isn’t a single list of symptoms because ultimately how you are affected can be influenced by anything –  from your genetic make up, lifestyle and environmental factors – to your age, and overall state of health.

The most common symptoms as listed by Kettle and Fire, are the following (Some of my symptoms are highlighted in bold):

  • Fatigue, often chronic and debilitating
  • Weight gain or inability to lose weight
  • Constipation, usually chronic and long-term
  • Sensitivity to cold, especially in the hands and feet
  • Dry skin that usually worsens significantly in the winter months
  • Depression and feelings of sadness or hopelessness
  • Muscular aches, pains, and cramps that can sometimes be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or rheumatoid arthritis (or can exist alongside these two related autoimmune disorders)
  • Reduced ability to tolerate exertion, i.e. fatigue on walking even short distances, inability to exercise, or feelings of lightheadedness when standing for too long

    img_8720

    Treating these symptoms can get expensive

  • Irregular or extremely heavy menstrual periods
  • Infertility or recurrent pregnancy loss
  • Dry, brittle, and dull hair, skin, and nails
  • Low basal body temperature
  • Elevated LDL cholesterol
  • Insomnia or fatigue even after sleeping normal hours
  • Anxiety, mood swings, and mood disorders (sometimes misdiagnosed as a major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, but can exist alongside these conditions, too)
  • Tenderness or pain in the lower throat where the thyroid sits, frequent sore throats not associated with sickness, or swelling of the throat, known as a “goiter” or enlarged thyroid gland
  • Increased susceptibility to viral or bacterial infections; feeling of always being sick or picking up every bug that’s going around

It’s incurable as far as I know, but I can reverse some of the symptoms and manage it as best as I can (Fingers crossed for reversing the infertility – more on that in future blogs). The more I read up on it, the more I wish there was a damn reset button because this condition has the worst symptoms with various new ones creeping in every other day.

E.V.E.R.Y. bad feeling I get, in any way, I have to question whether it is Hashi’s related or not. So I am living a life constantly second-guessing myself and what i feel. A daily dose of is it me? or is it Hashi’s? Nice one.

Everything I do feels like I am caught in a Catch 22 situation because meds, diet, exercise, weighloss and a stress-free lifestyle all plays a part in lessening or reversing the symptoms except that your body physically fights you in  achieving good results (e.g. I need to maximize weight loss to minimize bad symptoms, but this conditions affects my metabolism making it harder for me to lose weight – I can give you a million more examples but lets not get depressed)

Every other article I read advises me that this is somehow gut-related and that certain food (e.g. gluten, sugar, dairy, etc) triggers various inflammation flare ups which worsen Hashi’s if not managed properly.

An auto-immune protocol elimination diet (AIP – a diet worse than Paleo – the thought of which feels something like THIS ) for one month is recommended, after which you reintroduce foods in order to see what your unique triggers are. I already know that milk and gluten are definitive triggers, so I am however interested to see what other foods are my downfall.

I am at an all-time low when it comes to my symptoms. I know what I have to do but didn’t have the motivation to do it. I am currently recovering from my 3rd day of flu… and after a recent horrible Hashi’s flare up… I have made a decision to change the course of my health journey because only I can change it.

The AIP diet and lifestyle will be the base of my next course of action, which I will document over the next few weeks. I look forward to having you join me on this difficult journey and in the end, I hope that the results will speak for itself.

In the meantime, I will leave you with this…

blooming-flower

HEALTH = WEALTH 

Gynx

xoxo

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