I rarely hear women get a Hashimoto's diagnosis when they talk about getting thyroid blood work. I even more rarely see a woman get a FULL thyroid panel to even diagnose them with Hashimoto's.
Generally I find that women have been struggling with or even crippled with a myriad of (thyroid) symptoms for a bit before they get the diagnosis they need. This often is frustrating because they have had other diagnoses leading them down rabbit holes and it often distracts them from healing. Sometimes it takes years to get all the right lab work, the appropriate medical provider to take them seriously and the correct medication that works.
But when it is done correctly and there are antibodies, what does that even mean? What do you do next?
Education is a huge thing if you plan to have any relief of symptoms and wish to gain a whole body understanding of Hashimoto's and thrive!
Whatever symptom you manifest, you are not crazy, you deserve expert care and you should not stop until you receive it. But it starts with your knowledge, not the hopeful knowledge of any medical provider you hope can give you a quick pill to make you feel better. Health doesn't work that way no matter what condition you manifest and its slightly trickier with autoimmunity.
Here are my top books I recommend as resources to begin learning about your thyroid, your hormones and what autoimmunity is for YOU!
Autoimmune Wellness Handbook
By Mickey Trescott & Angie Alt
By Isabella Wentz
The Thyroid Connection
By Amy Myers
Why do I have thyroid symptoms?....
My personal thoughts on a new diagnosis of Hashimoto's is this:
Step 1) Sit in it. Literally sit down.
Toil over your thoughts and feelings, ponder what is next while also looking back to where you came from. Write if you feel the desire! Maybe you accept an autoimmune condition, maybe it's just words on a page or someone else's struggle you simply can't empathize with. ALL of it is ok!
Allow yourself to go back and forth with yourself and/or someone who loves you and cares about your health and ask questions. "What does this mean?" "What do I need to do?" "What's my next healthy step forward?"
Step 2) Find someone, fast!
There are women with autoimmune conditions from every stage of life, in every community you could possibly affiliate yourself with that has Hashimoto's. You must have solidarity, you must never feel alone in your health or your options for care. There are resources to be had, encouragement to be found and strength to be gained in accepting where you are and believing you won't stay there.
I strongly recommend finding those women in remission, living and thriving with Hashimoto's and other autoimmune conditions! Take the time you can reading, conversing, studying, memorizing and experimenting with all the steps they took in their healing of their WHOLE body and thyroid disease.
My favorite thyroid/autoimmune/hormone girls are:
Step 3) Stop eating gluten. Forever.
Gluten (and dairy- a soap box for later) are doing NOTHING for you. They didn't do anything for you in the past as you thought you were fine eating all the bread baskets at the restaurants and as you salivated on the pasta Maggianos or whatever a look alike had to offer. Gluten, the protein found in wheat products, and some sneaky ones that you aren't even sure are made of wheat, are added to literally hundreds of thousands of products, most of the highly processed, addictive fattening ones. Gluten punches holes in your intestinal lining, compromising your gut barrier, no matter how your immune system responds.These holes allow gross particles that belong in the intestines, into your circulating system, eventually being met by your immune system. This is what also attacks your thyroid. But because your thyroid particles are directly mimicked by gluten molecules you get an even greater attack, an immune system on high alert and less and less thyroid tissue available as it becomes attacked by your immune system. (This is where your symptoms start!)
NONE of this is good news. This is total body and brain systemic inflammation, mouth to anus. And if you meet (which I pray you do in step 2) anyone with autoimmune symptoms, they are disorders of all the body parts because of how gluten enters the body and stays in the system. Big bottom line, protect your gut, keep all gluten out and see your symptoms disappear or become very manageable!
You may be reading this and say, "ppfffttt don't care," or you may be freaking out down to your bones when you realized what gluten is doing inside you. You can be both, you can start one place and end another. However, my hope for you is kind of like informed consent. You can't consent unless you truly understand the risks and benefits and then agree to take the consequences. Most people look left and right when reading the consent forms, they want someone else to interpret the paper for them while they may or may not be signing their life away.
I plead with you, you are far too valuable, your life is far too long, you have too much at stake regarding your body and the life of your loved ones to brush this under the table. THIS is the place where you decide, you read the small print, you study the pros and cons and come to a place with autoimmunity where you believe you can live and thrive with it! Diet is a big change you have to undergo and figure out along with many other lifestyle techniques that balance you out.
I empathize with all the feelings, the denial, the inability to take on such a task as the steps above, because I'VE BEEN THERE. I am the someone! I have the story! My list of symptoms may differ, our lives may look similar to or radically different, but that doesn't mean YOU can't find healing, hope and remission!
Start the first chapter of your story now!
Stay tuned for Hashimotos 101 information next!