January 22, 2019
I have spent way too much time reading information that may or may not pertain to me. I’m sick of it. I don’t feel that well–achy, stomach pains, tired, upset due to hair loss, etc.– and I continue to try to figure out if it’s a result of having Hashimoto’s Disease. It’s annoying.
The disease itself can cause myriad symptoms, and it seems as though no two cases are alike. Some people who have Hashimoto’s have virtually no symptoms until their TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is off. So what do I do? I research the hell out of everything. Is this normal? Could something else be the problem? Am I going to deal with this forever? What new symptoms could I develop next?
This alone is maddening. It’s all maddening because there are no answers. There’s no medicine I can take that is a cure all for the symptoms, because the symptoms may or may not be a manifestation of the disease itself (even though they most likely are because that damned tiny gland controls the universe of my body).
Even still, as I write this, I am reading Hashimoto’s blog entries where everyone is spouting the same information: “Go gluten free!” they say. “Changing your diet will change your life and will cure ‘leaky gut’ syndrome!” WTF is leaky gut?!? Everyone among EVERYONE with Hashimoto’s is shouting from the rooftops to “find your root cause” of your “inflammation” so you can calm your symptoms, and on the surface is sounds fantastic. Some of it actually even sounds scientific and as though it could make sense with things that actually occur in your body. Then I talk to an actual medical doctor (i.e. my husband), and my critical thinking and skepticism really sink their teeth into the substance of the pseudo-medical garbage I’ve just read.
THIS STUFF IS ALL OVER THE INTERNET. There are books, programs, and “doctors” who all vouch for certain supplements and diets and the autoimmune protocol diet (as well as the almighty cure of going gluten free). First they have a story that sounds JUST LIKE EVERYTHING YOU’VE RECENTLY EXPERIENCED (how convenient), and then they have the magic cures (gluten free diet), and finally they attempt to sell you their entire regimen for maintenance and miraculous supplements that will DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE. I put these things in all caps because much of it is presented this emphatically on their websites, blogs, facebook pages, etc.
It’s really annoying. Even more annoying is that people buy into it. They literally buy into it. And that feeds into my thoughts as, “What if this really does work? What if I could go back to feeling better and ok again even if my doctor says there’s nothing she can do?”
I haven’t felt ok in a LONG time.
And then I go ‘round and ‘round with logic and emotions and science and feelings until finally my freaking leaky gut tells me to quit all of this and live my life. I don’t have Celiac’s disease, so medically there is no need to go gluten free. My stomach hurts no matter what I eat right now, which can be attributed to any of the other gastrointestinal woes I’ve experienced in my life. I have some aches and pains and tummy troubles and anxiety, but western medicine can help with those things even if “Western medicine hasn’t caught up with how to handle Hashimoto’s disease.” <insert major eye roll here>
There is always a major “what if” component when I second guess my treatment–or lack thereof–in this manner. What if all of the supplements and the diets could actually work? What if I’m missing out here? What if I’m the fool for being skeptical and thinking these programs are all a sham? A LOT of people apparently feel great now for ditching gluten and soy and every other food that has ever tasted like it was worth eating.
Then what if I’m right? What if I just quit reading all of it and wrote my own story? It truly is pseudoscience. There is almost no evidence to base What if I just got dealt a crappy hand of hereditary and perpetual discomfort that I just have to learn to live with? I can take ibuprofen, ranitidine or prilosec, probiotics, sertraline, and monoxidil to deal with the symptoms in the same manner that I can take substances that are in no way monitored or regulated by the FDA for being safe or genuine.
Maybe–just maybe–my life would be better spent shopping for ottoman benches and bookshelves online than it would be spent reading about miracle cures and the “doctors” that endorse or sell them. Psychologically I think I would be better off not searching for answers in this situation, because the answers are inconveniently located within my own body–busy being uncomfortable SOBs that constantly cause me to ask if there could be something more malicious at work in my biology.
The answer to that last question most likely is “no.” My lovely line of genetics has merely created a situation where my immune system is out to kill a tiny little gland that only regulates everything in my body.