I’m not really sure where to start. In my last saga post, I left you hanging with a promise to provide you with what I am and am not eating. But since that post, some recent discoveries about my health have been made. Here are some recent test outcomes:
- Vitamin B12 is low
- TSH levels are at 4.6 (was at a 3.3 in 2009)
- thyroid peroxidase levels are at 300+.
- White blood cell count is low
What does this mean?
B12 is not such a huge deal. It was on the “higher” side of low, which means I can just take a supplement.
TSH is the test doctors do to test your thyroid levels. What my doctor told me is most of the population is between a 1-2 range. However, the lab that did my results has a “normal range” of 0.5 – 5. In their eyes as long as I don’t dip over 5 I am not considered hypothyroid, even though many labs have lowered their range to 0.5 – 3 and most naturopathic doctors have a range even smaller than this.
Thyroid peroxidase is an antibody. My doctor told me levels should never be higher than 30, mine is 300+. Higher levels can mean a lot of different things including Hashimoto’s Disease, Lupus (in all it’s various forms), Rheumatoid Arthritis, or other auto-immune diseases.
Low white blood cell count may or may not be related to all of this. Though, some Lupus patients have low white blood cell count. My doctor ordered an ANA panel to be done to test for Lupus or other auto immune diseases.
Because of my family history (all the women on my mom’s side have hypothyroidism) and the fact that my TSH has been getting progressively higher (worse), my doctor (and I, who pretty much diagnosed myself in the first place) is leaning towards Hashimoto’s Disease. Hashimoto’s is where your thyroid peroxidase (the antibody) basically attacks your thyroid and eventually kills it. Hashimoto’s itself does not have any symptoms outstanding from hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism Symptoms (I’ve bolded my symptoms)
- Dry skin and hair
- Hair thinning/hair loss
- Morning headaches that get better throughout the day
- Foggy brain
- Loss of memory (ok, maybe not complete loss, but trouble remembering)
- Hoarse voice
- Difficulty concentrating
- Intolerance to cold
- Low body temperature
- Poor circulation/numbness in hands and feet
- Muscle cramps with no exertion
- Weight gain and difficulty losing it
- Decreased appetite
- Gallbladder diseases such as gallstones (HAHAHAHAHAHA – In yo face)
- Chronic digestive problems such as low stomach acid
- Also linked to Miscarriages/infertility if left untreated
My doctor basically told me that if it were up to him he’d just wait it out and test me every 6 months, and once I crossed over past a 5 (their magic hypothyroid number), he would get me on synthetic thyroids. I asked him why not get me on thyroid now since I don’t feel well. He said because synthetic thyroids don’t necessarily prolong the life of thyroids. My internal response, “I don’t care you old bat!”
Luckily, it won’t be up to him because he is referring me to an endocrinologist. If my endocrinologist (who also is under the same ranges of normal) refuses to help, I will go to a naturopath.
A life with Hashimoto’s: This means I will be on a thyroid replacement for life; my thyroid will most likely need to be removed in the future; I will need to go 100% gluten-free, as Hashi’s has been linked to gluten intolerance; I will also need to go sugar-free (it’s just healthiest); I will need to come to terms with the fact that pregnancy may be difficult (probably the scariest thing for me at this point).
What I have been waiting to say for 2.5 years: I REALLY AM NOT A HYPOCHONDRIAC!!!! WEIGHT GAIN WASN’T MY FAULT.
I hope to talk about food for my next saga post!!!!
–Shawnee, The Ex-Perfectionist