It was just a little over ten years ago when suddenly within a 60 day period I gained 32 lbs, I had done nothing different to justify this sudden weight gain; I had always been a good eater and well aware of my body, this did not make sense!! Needless to say, it was a shock, my self esteem was crushed! I had always been coquettish and comfortable with my looks and body, this definitely did not go with that persona. I was 38 years old and there was no explanation for this.
I went to see many doctors who tested me for all kinds of things many times, for the first time in my life I dieted and over exercised, and the weight did not come off. I went to see a nutritionist and whenever I would go to her office with my weekly meal sheet, she would ask:
“where are the cookies, pies and ice cream?”
“ I don’t eat that” I would reply.
Then she would give me a dubious look and say
“Well, if this is all you ate, you should have lost at least 3 lbs. this last week!”
needless to say I did not get anywhere with the nutritionist.
A couple of years went by this way, going from Dr to Dr with no answer.
I finally saw a practitioner who told me it was just in my head, that I was crazy and needed to see a Psychiatrist as there was nothing wrong with me.
I was enraged! why was it that no doctor was able to help me?
I knew something was wrong but no one could find it! Well, at the recommendation of the practitioner that gave me the crazy diagnosis, I did start seeing somebody; I needed it, as I would start crying in the midst of my lunch salad, because I was so depressed that I was doing all of this, and I was still gaining weight. I had no energy, was fat, achey, depressed, cold and had no sex drive when all my life I had had a very healthy sexual appetite, please don’t tell me there is nothing wrong with me!!!
Well, finally the therapist suggested that I see an endocrinologist, she was sure it was my Thyroid. I finally found someone who listened and was able to guide me in the right direction. As she suggested, I went to see one, as soon as I explained to him what was happening he said:
“well, It’s very simple, you have Hashimoto”
It turns out that all the doctors I had seen were running general Thyroid tests, they were checking my TSH levels, which were in the “normal” range, but they were not running a T3 -T4 specific panel which would have told them that there was something going on with my Thyroid.
I was given some medication and felt better almost immediately, but not quite myself again.
It took a long time to get an answer to the issue, but it was still not precisely the right answer; since most doctors just give you some Thyroid medicine, tell you to eat right, exercise and to go back in 6 months to check your levels again and see how the medicine is working for you. There is a wide range in what they consider “normal” levels and although my levels were falling within that range, they were not the right ones for me. In addition to all of that, Hashimoto is an autoimmune disease, it is not a disease of the Thyroid itself; it is our own bodies attacking the Thyroid it produces because it sees it as a toxic substance within our bodies.
If they know this, why don’t they explain this to us and guide us into the right path rather than just give us a pill and tell us to go back in 6 months.
My journey has been a long one, but after 6 years of this, I found the gluten Hashimoto connection and it changed my life. I will share that part of the story with you next time.
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This is the first of a series of posts where the wife shares her experience of her journey to health.