I felt good. Everything seemed ok; until I found the lump in my neck. I still felt fine physically, just scared. I ended up having to have half of my thyroid removed. I had a follow up biopsy about six months later to make sure I still didn’t have cancer. I was still cancer free, but what I learned in that warm, dark, womb-like room that day was something I never expected to hear. I never expected to hear that I had lymphocytic thyroiditis because I had never heard of it.
I wasn’t given any information about my condition from my doctor so I was left to my own devises. I turned to my good pal Google for answers. What I discovered was that I had what is more commonly known as Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own thyroid gland often resulting in hypothyroidism (Mayo Clinic). Hypothyroidism is an under activethyroid that can result in weight gain, fatigue, sensitivity to cold, pale, dry skin, and depression to name a few (Mayo Clinic).
This actually explained a lot for me. I was tired all the time and could not lose weight no matter how much I worked out or how much pizza I replaced with kale. I had been on a synthetic hormone drug since my surgery, but it no longer seemed effective.
Most websites that I visited said that Hashimoto’s disease was not debilitating and pretty easily treated. The comment sections of these same websites tell a very different story. People shared experiences of crippling fatigue, severe side effects from the medications, hair loss, and drastic weight gain among other horror stories.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, the most common treatments are synthetic hormone drugs. Dosage is adjusted based on frequent blood tests, and how you are reacting to the medicine. Do you have more energy? Are you losing unwanted weight? In my case, my doctor didn’t really talk to me about how I feel; she analyzes my blood and adjusts the dosage of my Levothyroxene accordingly.
My medicine seems to have stopped working and my doctor isn’t asking me how I feel, only looking at my blood. Because of this, I am seeing a new thyroid specialist next week. I’m hopeful that she will listen to me and treat me, not the numbers on my blood test. It’s been a long road trying to figure out what works best for my body, but it’s not over yet. There is hope for sufferers of Hashimoto’s disease, but it’s important to do your own research and be your own advocate. Best of luck to the other people traveling on this journey with me.
Sources used in this article: