Today I want to share with you the moment when I got my hypothyroidism diagnosis.
I knew I had symptoms but I thought they were because of going through menopause. If you’ve been through menopause, you’ll know that it brings A LOT of changes to the body and mind!
But as well as menopause, I also had symptoms from before. Like being extra sensitive to the cold for example, which I thought was just ME.
So I believed I was completely healthy and the fact that I wasn’t led me to another discovery.
But on the flip side, sometimes I don’t see what isn’t working.
So I saw the yin but not the yang or vice versa.
And of course, if you imagine a ship that’s sinking because of a tiny hole in the bottom, it’s great to notice the amazing view of the sun as you go down but it’s even better if you spot the hole and fix it to save the boat from going down altogether.
Anyway, I’ve been working on switching my brain around now so that I also open my eyes to the negative things instead of hiding from them.
Before the Hypothyroidism Diagnosis
I won’t go into all my symptoms here as that’s for another post, but I will just mention the one symptom which made me request the blood test in the first place.
In fact, I never went to the doctor at all, except for when I got a urinary infection years ago or when I broke my ankle.
But when I got pins and needles, which started in my left foot and progressed until they were in the whole left leg, I decided it was time for a check.
I did a bit of Googling and decided that taking everything into account, I could be deficient in B12 (because I’d been lazy about taking my vitamins) and I could also possibly suffer from hypothyroidism.
So I went to the doctor and asked to be tested for both.
(The initial test actually consisted of two separate blood tests but I refer to my second test as test number one as it was a repeat of the initial test only with some extra parameters.)
Video of My Hypothyroidism Diagnosis
The Hypothyroidism Diagnosis
I’d had the (second) blood test and was heading back into the doctor’s room for the results. As I took one step into the room and before I’d even sat down, the doctor greeted me with:
‘You have a thyroid issue. You have hypothyroidism. I have to give you medicine.’
I sat down and stared blank-faced at the doctor in front of me. Even though I’d requested the test, somehow deep down I still didn’t expect it to be positive.
‘You also have high cholesterol and high IGA related to the gut,’ she added.
How could I have high cholesterol? I thought.
At that point, I almost asked her if she was sure it was my blood!
So I thought I’d been eating the healthiest diet on the planet (and yes, I still think that!).
My brain needed time to evaluate this new information.
Strange isn’t it!?
It’s like suddenly I had this label.
The doctor prescribed Levothyroxine, a synthetic version of the thyroid hormone, and sent me on my way.
But of course, that’s not the end of it.
The First Step After Diagnosis
The first thing I did was set out to learn as much as I could about my diagnosis and what could have caused it.
I spent days just researching it on the internet and reading everything I could. I joined Facebook groups and read other people’s stories about their own journeys and symptoms.
I bought books and I read them.
In Hashimoto’s, our bodies produce thyroid antibodies which then attack the thyroid gland itself and basically, over time, destroy it.
That’s why the gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormone, because it’s under attack by our immune system.
The interesting thing about Hashimoto’s for me was that it’s linked with food intolerances and I was already intolerant to gluten and to caffeine. And I suspected also, to alcohol.
The other principal cause of hypothyroidism was iodine deficiency (as well as iron, selenium, vitamin A, zinc and others).
And this was interesting because I realised that I didn’t eat any form of iodine in my vegan diet.
Both causes seemed probable to me.
But which one was it?
Questions I Asked After Hypothyroidism Diagnosis
Of course, the first question that comes up for me is, which am I? Hashimoto’s Disease or Iodine deficiency?
I asked the doctor whether we could do another blood test, this time to include the thyroid antibodies which would indicate or rule out Hashimoto’s, but I was told that that was not an option.
And that it probably wasn’t Hashimoto’s. It was probably iodine deficiency.
Can we do a blood test to check for iodine deficiency then?
‘No. You have to take the medicine and come back in two months.’
And that was that.
For me this is unbelievable. That we would treat the symptom without discovering the cause.
It just doesn’t make any sense.
If I had Hashimoto’s, the Levothyroxine wouldn’t stop the attack on my thyroid gland, it would just replace the missing hormone while my gland became worse and worse.
And if I had iodine deficiency, why wouldn’t we identify and rectify that before depending on medicine?
The doctor I spoke to on this occasion wasn’t my usual doctor and his answer was that 80% of cases in Andalucia are due to iodine deficiency (and yet they don’t test for it, so how do they know).
So why not test me for it and treat the cause, not just the symptom?
I continued to read everything I could and I decided to hold off on the medication until I’d done some more investigating.
I wouldn’t take anything until I’d tried given my body every single chance to heal itself naturally. Because I owe it to myself to take care of my body and get back to full health.
Other posts of interest:
- 30 Signs You Don’t Love Yourself – Unlocking Inner Happiness
- How to Accept Your Body – Breaking the Cycle of Negativity
Initial Action After My Hypothyroidism Diagnosis
The first decision I made was to put myself on a health protocol including an anti-inflammatory elimination diet in an attempt to reduce the inflammation in my body and to discover which foods I might be intolerant to.
I will write another article about what that specifically consists of, but I basically removed the top most common foods for causing intolerances.
The idea is to remove them for 2 months and then gradually re-introduce them one by one, paying close attention to the reaction in my body.
When it’s time to re-introduce, I’ll allow several days between new foods as it could take up to 4 days to feel a negative reaction.
Once I’d read enough to have a simple understanding of some of the key aspects of Hypothyroidism (I don’t pretend to understand the condition in full by any means), I decided to get the blood test done myself at a private lab.
So armed with information from experts about what should be included in the blood test, I went along to a lab and requested a comprehensive test.
My test included the following items – but do your own research and follow the advice of an expert as this might not be right for you.
- T4 & T4 free
- T3 & T3 free
- Cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL)
- Immunoglobulin A
- Thyroid antibodies TPO and Tg
Momentary or Transient Results
In the initial diagnosis, my TSH (which is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland to stimulate the thyroid to produce T4 for conversion into T3), was up at 8.732 with the top of the normal range being 5.000.
My private blood test one month later. I had been on my protocol for one month and my TSH had come back down into the normal range and showed 1.3 uUI.
The inflammation in my body had gone up, with the Immunoglobin A up at 425 from a previously high 376. My ferritin and Iodine were both low and my thyroid antibodies were within the normal range.
So at first glance, it looks as though my thyroid issues could be caused by an iodine deficiency but there are still so many pieces to the puzzle that I don’t want to label it yet.
There’s still a long way to go before I can claim that I’m fully healthy, but I’m positive that I will get there and in the meantime, I enjoying the opportunity to give my body what it needs to heal.
Final Thoughts on My Hypothyroidism Diagnosis (for now)
The body is such a delicate balance of so many components it’s impossible to single one thing out without it having a knock-on effect across the whole system.
So while my hypothyroid results gave me the label of hypothyroidism, it’s also highlighted other issues such as high inflammation, low ferritin, low iodine and low creatine.
I am lucky enough to have a sister who is a nutritionist and who helps me with interpreting my symptoms and blood tests.
When we’ve been diagnosed with something unexpected we’re at our most vulnerable and need support from those around us.
If you don’t have people who can support you on your health journey as well as an expert you can turn to, I recommend you search online to find a root cause doctor as well as people who understand what you’re going through.
For a free coaching consultation feel free to reach out so that we can connect and see whether we would be a good fit to work together.
I offer 1-on-1 mindset coaching to support you through difficult times and help you reframe your limiting beliefs into empowering ones so that you can get the results you’re looking for.