Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Heartburn

indigestionI took a 2-3 hour nap this evening and when I woke up, I was in serious pain. I knew it was heartburn as I’ve had it before, but some of the symptoms are eerily similar to a heart attack. There was a pain in my chest, pain right between my shoulder blades, pain in my throat, neck, jaw, and radiating down my arm. I took some baking soda in water and that seemed to help, and of course, I got relief once I started burping. Probably only a temporary fix, but it was so painful, I had to do it.

For the longest time, I assumed, because of my gastroenterologist, that my acid reflux was due to too much stomach acid. But doing a little research this week, I find that it may actually be due to too little stomach acid. I’ve tried a few days here and there of not taking my Prilosec and I did as well or better than days that I took it. In addition, proton pump inhibitors can cause problems absorbing vitamins like iron and B-12. Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis sufferers already have problems with iron and B-12 deficiency. I definitely have.

I suspect that my acid reflux may be more a problem with pressure on my abdomen than any problem with acid. So, I’m really going to push myself harder than ever before to drop weight and get all these problems under control. Tonight, I started by going on a walk with my husband after dinner. Later this week, I’m going to go shopping for an exercise bike.

I’m still in pain from the heartburn and it may be a long night, but I’m hopeful that I can beat this by educating myself, making better choices about the food I eat, and pushing myself to exercise even though I’m so exhausted. It would be lovely to remove one more medication from my long list of medications I have to take.

For more information about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Heartburn/Acid Reflux:

Protein Digestion and Hashimoto’s

Is There A Thyroid and Acid Reflux Connection?

The Spoon Theory

ibelieveyouOne day, many years ago, I ran across the website of Christine Miserandino, ButYouDontLookSick.com. She doesn’t suffer from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, but does have another autoimmune disease, Lupus. In order to give her friend some idea of just what she goes through on a daily basis living with an autoimmune disease, she came up with The Spoon Theory. The spoon theory is basically this, people living with autoimmune disease or chronic illness have a limited amount of energy (spoons) and must make careful choices as to how they expend that energy.

Since reading the Spoon Theory, I have used it to explain to those who don’t have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis just what I go through living with the disease. It’s a constant struggle with fatigue, brain fog, pain, inflammation, digestive issues… The list goes on. Rarely does everything subside all at once so that I have “good days”. There are so many times when I wanted so badly to go out with friends or go to my niece or nephew’s games, but I was just too sick and too tired to manage it. I ran out of spoons. Even the events I did manage to make, there was always a level of discomfort or fatigue that managed to detract from my enjoyment of it.

Even those who “get” the concept of the Spoon Theory don’t truly understand what it’s like to live with an autoimmune disease or chronic illness. Yes, they accept that you have limitations, but they don’t know what those limitations feel like. Nobody but another sufferer can truly understand.


My Hashimoto’s Diary

Hashimoto's DiaryI have decided to start a Hashimoto’s Diary to document what I go through living with this disease.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the thyroid, when I was ten years old. I didn’t know what it was back then. All I knew was that I needed to take medication every day. Looking back at my childhood with a more educated eye, I can see the signs: wearing winter jackets in summer, shedding hair like a cat, brittle fingernails, sleeping 12+ hours a day. It was all there, but I was still too young and healthy to let it slow me down much.

Many years and many pounds later, I am still struggling with health issues related to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I am more educated about Hashimoto’s, but education doesn’t necessarily equate to action and/or better health. It’s one thing to know what to eat and how to exercise, but it’s completely another to have the energy, willpower, and motivation when your body is working against you, craving carbs and making you so fatigued that you can’t think straight (even after 8+ hours of sleep).

After my latest autoimmune flare, a few weeks ago, I decided that perhaps if I kept a diary, it would help me find patterns, figure some things out, and focus on getting well. Even better if I blog about it because maybe another Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis sufferer out there will see this, share their experiences, and help fill in some pieces of the puzzle.

Here’s hoping this Hashimoto’s Diary¬†will provide some answers and comfort for all of us.