My Hashi journey actually started on the complete opposite side of the spectrum, but I think that there will be people who will be able to relate to my story because of what I’ve been through.
I was actually diagnosed with Grave’s disease in fourth grade. Prior to getting that diagnosis, I had frequent panic attacks, extreme social anxiety, moderate depression and was in the fifth percentile for weight. The diagnosis made sense but I was only 10 years old so I wasn’t able to explain everything I was feeling or experiencing. After being treated for Grave’s for about a year, I was having fewer panic attacks but I’d sunk into a deep and long lasting depression that left me both mentally and physically numb.
Ultimately my T3 and T4 returned to relatively normal levels and I was taken off my medication. Then in my late teens, after I’d moved out of my parents’ home, my mom called to remind me to get my levels checked. We started talking about my diagnosis and that’s when I found out that when I was initially diagnosed, they found both antibodies for Graves disease and Hashimoto’s!
Being a type A kind of person, that conversation prompted me to read anything and everything I could find on the internet about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. It turned out I had nearly EVERY symptom of Hashimoto’s… and yet my T3, T4, and TSH were all within the medically accepted normal ranges.
I decided to get my antibodies retested – something that I had to argue with my doctor to have done. He didn’t see the need because the presence of antibodies was really only useful for diagnosing the autoimmune conditions. But I advocated for myself and convinced him in the end.
My Grave’s antibodies were significantly elevated… around 80. And my Hashi antibodies? Were too high for the machine to measure! But still, my doctor told me that my antibody levels were not an issue, since my T3, T4, and TSH levels were “normal.” He also told me there was nothing I could do to influence my antibody load.
Now I realize this doctor had no clue what he was talking about. By modifying my diet and seeking mental support through therapy, I was able to significantly improve my depressive and disassociated state. My physically manifested depression and the numbness in my extremities dissipated completely, and my abnormally high pain tolerance decreased to a point that I can now tell you if I bumped my leg hard enough to bruise it. My generalized anxiety began to decrease and since the lifestyle changes I was making were working so well, I decided i needed to try something a little more intensive.
After going strictly AIP for two months, I was suddenly experiencing the world in a manner that I had NEVER experienced it before. I felt ALIVE for the first time in my entire life. I started noticing things like the color of the leaves on the trees and the smell of the outdoors… The only regret that I have at this time is that I feel like I lost my childhood to my autoimmune disease and I wish that my parents had had the nutritional background to help me with this years ago. Last time I had my antibodies checked, they were under 1000! That’s a big improvement for me.
I’m not done healing… I still have days where I feel anxious, out of it, or depressed… but I’m getting there!
Want to share your story with the world on the HeyHashi blog? Email christa @ heyhashi . org