The Time I Found Out I Have An Autoimmune Disease

As you all know, I’ve been struggling with my health recently. From stomach aches to broken toes to thyroid issues to mood issues (#PoorBen) … it’s been a weird ride!

Finding out I have Hashimotos Thyroiditis | The Time I Found Out I Have An Autoimmune Disease
I’ve known I have hypothyroidism since I was 23 – so about six years now. I’ve been taking a medication and was basically told, “You get to live with this forever!” and sent on my merry way. At least once per year I had to have my levels checked and basically when anything BIG happened, my levels would skyrocket. Think graduating college (when they found it), breaking up with my boyfriend of 4 years, moving to Green Bay, moving to Chicago, switching jobs because I hated my job so much …

You kind of get “used” to feeling like shit. I was used to being tired all the time. I was used to needing at LEAST 9 hours of sleep to function. I was used to gaining weight really easily and struggling to get ANY off. I was used to the dry hair and skin. I was used to the constant constipation and gut issues.

But “that’s just the way it is”

In October I finally decided to take my life into my own hands. I was sick of being sick all.the.time. so I scheduled doctors appointments and did an elimination diet. My PCP tested my thyroid levels a couple of weeks ago and told me my T4 and TSH were fine, but she took a look at my T3 levels and they were low, which she said made no sense. She referred me to an endocrinologist.

On Monday, I went to the Endo (weird guy … drew lots of pics) and he took one look at my results and saw my antibody levels from a test in March of this year and said, “Oh, this is easy. You have the autoimmune disease called Hashimotos Thyroiditis” and then he said:

Not a big deal, not a big deal, not a big deal.

In fact, he said that same phrase, that same three times about 15 times throughout my doctor appointment

The basic info is, not much will change. I was being treated for hypothyroidim, so I’ll stay on that medication and he’s re-checking my results to see if I have a rare form that is difficult to explain but again NOT A BIG DEAL, NOT A BIG DEAL, NOT A BIG DEAL.

If you’re interested in learning about the difference between Hashimotos and Hypo, this article explains it (though I’m still confused).

I left the appointment with a swirling brain, a bunch of badly drawn pictures #doctors and a donut, because I was trying to make myself feel better and there was a Stan’s Donuts in the bottom of the hospital. 😂

I got home, told Ben about it and started doing some research. I wanted to know what I could do BESIDES taking a bazillion more pills that haven’t helped me for the last 6 years, so how are they going to help now? I read about people with Hashi that need to go gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free … AKA the damn elimination diet that I was eating a few weeks prior. Then I read that food doesn’t help people at all – they just recommend trying to eat healthier. I also read that exercise is good, but not *too* difficult because it can stress out your body. I read about adrenal fatigue and goiters and all these things I don’t understand.

So here I am … waiting for the test results from the doctor and not knowing what to do after this. I’ll keep y’all updated, but know that the frustration is REAL and if you have any background, I’d love to talk with you. ❤️