The Thyroid Secret: Thyroid Disease Revealed

Thyroid Disease RevealedThe first episode of The Thyroid Secret is titled “Thyroid Disease Revealed”. In it, Dr. Izabella Wentz begins by discussing how she didn’t get the answers she needed from her doctors to properly treat and reverse her condition. She talks about her struggles with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. She discusses the pain, confusion, and hopelessness of being stuck with a disease that seemingly would never get better. The Thyroid Secret documentary is a result of her digging for the information she couldn’t get from her doctors. It’s the information she used, and that you need, to improve your thyroid condition.

In “Thyroid Disease Revealed”, Dr. Wentz describes what the thyroid gland is and what it does. She talks to experts about the various different thyroid diseases, their various symptoms, and the treatments that most of us will encounter in conventional medicine. She then goes on to talk about so many things that your doctor never told you.

For example, she mentions that most thyroid patients are never told the cause of their illness, just that their thyroid isn’t working right. That was my experience. I didn’t even KNOW what a thyroid was and what it did when I was diagnosed. I didn’t know why I got Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. All I knew was that I had to take a pill every day for the rest of my life to survive. Dr. Wentz describes many patient experiences similar to my own in this episode. It really illustrates that we’re not alone in fighting this disease.

Dr. Wentz also talks to several thyroid patients, some with Hashimoto’s, some with Graves’ or other diseases. Their experiences are so relatable, I almost cried. Dr. Wentz really hit home when she said “It feels like your freedom is taken away.” I personally have experienced that feeling and I think many of you have, too. But, with the information she has uncovered by using herself as a guinea pig, she has helped so many to improve their lives, mine included, with her interventions.

She states that you have to be your own advocate. You have to take control of your health because doctors will often shut you down, simply because they don’t know what you’re going through. Most doctors treat the symptoms, not the root cause. This cookie cutter approach doesn’t work for most of us.

Root causes of thyroid problems, including nutrient deficiencies, food allergies, inability to handle stress, inability to handle environmental toxins, leaky gut, and chronic infections are also discussed. Dr. Wentz touches on the three main factors why Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and thyroid problems in general are on the rise: genetic susceptibility, toxic foreign substances, and immune stressors.

She ends “Thyroid Disease Revealed” by stressing that the drive to heal must come from you. No one, except another thyroid patient, will know exactly what you’re going through. Your loved ones may not want to or know how to support you. So, you have to take the reins yourself.

The Hashimoto’s Rollercoaster

Hashimoto's RollercoasterIt’s been a while since I last posted. That’s mostly because I’ve been on the Hashimoto’s rollercoaster. I went from doing awesome health-wise, losing weight, and making steady progress toward my health goals, to getting knocked on my ass and steadily losing ground. It happened around November of last year. Stress from work got to be too much and it started affecting my thyroid. I got sick. My TSH levels rose. The fatigue and brain fog rolled in. I had my doc adjust my meds, but almost two and a half months later, I’m still struggling to get my TSH back into the “sweet spot”, which for me tends to be between 1 and 2. My TSH is still above 4.

When you get knocked down by Hashimoto’s, it’s hard to get back up. It’s even harder if you can’t take time off from work or remove the stressors that caused your Hashimoto’s rollercoaster in the first place. The only thing you want to do is sleep. Having to go to work every day can feel like torture. That is when you have to work harder than ever before. You have to work on recovering your health. I want to feel better and I want to get back to the good health I enjoyed last year. I want to lose the 5 pounds I’ve gained since my TSH went higher than normal.

It’s tough to be reminded that I have an illness which causes me to have limitations and I don’t like it one bit. Hashimoto’s is not only physically exhausting, but emotionally exhausting as well. It causes me to worry, occasionally have panic attacks, and prevents me from thinking clearly and logically. I don’t ever want to end up here again. That’s why I’ve been reading more about Hashimoto’s, doing my own research, and watching Dr. Izabella Wentz’s new video series “The Thyroid Secret”. I want to get off the Hashimoto’s Rollercoaster and smooth out my path to healthy living.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be blogging about “The Thyroid Secret”. I’ll also be renewing my commitment to take charge of my health and get my Hashimoto’s back under control. As part of this process, I am adding content to this website, including forums. In the forums, you can discuss your struggles, share your stories, and get advice from others going through the same things as you are.


The Occasional “Good” Day

painRecently, I had some “good” days. Good is always relative when you’re talking about Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. By “good”, I mean a lot less pain that usual and a bit more energy. There was still pain, of course, and my energy was still a lot less than what a normal person has, but it was good to be reminded I CAN feel good. I think I hit the “sweet spot” in my medication levels.

Of course, that did not last long. I picked up a virus from work and it’s been two weeks of feeling horrible. The virus is long gone, but I’m sure it triggered my Hashimoto’s to flare and I am in so much pain I don’t want to move, especially my right wrist, as I type this.

So… what can I do? There’s always pain medication, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. But also, there’s the choice of what I put in my body as food and drink. I have been taking coconut oil lately, and boy did it help with my sore throat when I had that virus! Also, I’m drinking green tea, gotta fight that inflammation and those free radicals. I hate green tea, but at work they have a variety of teas available for us to try and I found a green tea I actually like. It’s Bigelow’s green tea with pomegranate. So, today, I’m curled up on the couch, sipping green tea, with the pup cuddled up next to me. I don’t plan to move much today, but it’s Saturday, so I have that luxury.

I’m hoping that I will find the culprits that contribute to my Hashi’s pain and the foods that help heal it. I don’t imagine it will be easy, as I suspect gluten and dairy, which I absolutely love. But, I think I hate being in pain more than I love cheese. I want to get back to having that occasional good day, the days when I feel strong, like I could actually run, the days I used to have before this disease really had an impact on me.

Oh, The Pain, The Pain…

When you have Hashimoto’s, sometimes you just wake up in pain. Everything hurts. It’s a soreness that sometimes feels like you overdid it working out, but you didn’t work out because you’re too tired, hurting, etc to do so. Sometimes, it’s more than just soreness, it’s a burning pain… inflammation. Today, it’s a bit of both. I woke up several times during the night with pain in my back, pain in my arm, pain in my wrist. Sadly, I am used to this. I want to get to a point where my Hashimoto’s takes a backseat and I’m NOT used to being in pain all the time. Ibuprofen manufacturers will mourn that day. Wouldn’t that be nice? 🙂

I’m on my third day without Prilosec and I’ve had no major heartburn or acid reflux episodes. I did have a few “uh oh” moments that I thought would turn into major pain, but they didn’t. I’m pretty sure now that chocolate is a trigger. *sigh* Dairy might be too, but I still need to experiment a little with that to see.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Lifestyle Interventions for Finding and Treating the Root Cause

In other news, look what came today! I love Amazon. I ordered this Friday night and it arrived today… Yes, on Sunday! 🙂 I hope this book holds some answers for me. I’m hoping I can make some changes in my life that will minimize Hashimoto’s impact and allow me to do more and enjoy more. If you would like to order your own copy, click here. (Disclosure: I participate in the Amazon Associates program and get a small commission if you purchase through my link.)

I am going to spend the day reading this book and coming up with a game plan for my own “lifestyle intervention” for my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Healing Myself: Day 1

blueberriesAfter the misery of yesterday, I know I need to seriously adjust my diet. I didn’t eat particularly bad yesterday, but I think it was a few squares of dark chocolate that did me in. So, today, I skipped the Prilosec and although I’m still recovering from the horrific heartburn of yesterday, I’m doing better.

Last night, I sat down and made a list of anti-inflammatory foods and a list of acid reflux/heartburn trigger foods. I went shopping with my husband today to stock up on anti-inflammatory foods (well, I helped a tiny bit and sat the rest of the time because I’m so weak and fatigued right now). He’s an excellent cook, so he’s really going to be my biggest help in trying to eat better. With the list of the acid reflux triggers, I am keeping them in a handy spot to refer to so I can avoid them. It won’t be easy because I love my coffee and chocolate! I will include the lists in a later post. Tonight, I’m too tired and brain dead to focus on writing for any length of time.

Wish me luck!

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?

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.

What You Should Know About Your Thyroid

What You Should Know About Your ThyroidI was recently alerted to a blog post by Dr. Jeffrey Garber entitled “What You Should Know About Your Thyroid“. While much of the information in this article is already on my website in various places, this article does a great job of compiling it into a concise, easy read that will be very helpful to those new to thyroid issues. Topics covered are: explanation of what the thyroid is and what it does, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, autoimmune thyroid disorders such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Grave’s Disease, thyroid nodules, and diagnosis and screening. It’s worth a quick read.