I don’t know if I should write about this, but I’m sure people have noticed, and might be concerned. First, I am better now. I know I have said this a few times before, but this time it is true… At least I have been better last week or so.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis the most common form of thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease where the body’s own T-cells attack the cells of the thyroid, causing hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone). The symptoms include depression, fatigue and sluggishness, increased sensitivity to cold, hoarse voice, high colesterol (mine almost doubled in less than 6 months), weight gain, muscle and joint aches, and stiffness, weakness… I had all of them and more. I treated the extreme fatigue with huge amounts of caffeine, and tried quite a few antidepressants and other treatments that did not work, until my new doctor did a blood test and figured out what was wrong. I have been on synthetic thyroid medication now for almost 3 months, and seem to have arrived at the correct dosage and brand.
Many of you know that I have a little bit of an aversion to the symptom-hiding of western medicine, and of course I looked for an alternative “cure.”
Unfortunately the first “Doctor” I found was neither licensed, nor did she have any medical knowledge. She confused Hashimoto’s with Graves, and treated the thyroid under-function (hypo) as over-function (hyper). What she did was basically the equivalent of treating a diabetic with a gallon of orange juice a day (a warning – don’t take large dosages of iodine with Hashimotos, and *carefully* read the labels on supplements). Had I not gotten a phone-call from her assistant Emerald, who for quite a while insisted I was hyperthyroid, and then claimed there was no difference in the treatment, I would not even have noticed… I should have been more aware after all of “Doctor” Huki’s questions about thyroid eye disease (which she unprofessionally called “bug-eye”) and other symptoms that just do not exist with Hashimotos.
Since I know many of my readers are on Kauai, where she is setting up her practice in Kapaa and Lihue, the real name of the “Doctor” is Elizabeth Gay Hooker (really), but usually she calls herself Huki, and also Elizabeth Huki Hooker. She assumes the title of “Doctor of Oriental Medicine” but will also tell you she has a medical degree, her assistant is Alexandra and uses the name Emerald. Anyway, after about 2 agonizing weeks I recovered (except for my $170) from what they claimed was a “healing crisis” and went out to find a better alternative doctor. And I made sure that he had a degree (actually 2, regular MD and an alternative one). There is a Kaua’i connection there too, we had met him when we were living on Kauai, and now he’s in California. Bad news is he is 90 minutes away, 2 hours with traffic.
So I have been in treatment there for almost a month. I really trust this doctor and the clinic that stands behind him, the first part of the treatment there consists of a cleanse and getting-in-shape program. I have lost quite a bit of weight, and go to the gym 3 times a week and actually fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes. Loosing weight with Hashimotos? Is that easy? Well, it takes some determination. About 1200 calories a day, no white or refined flour, no sugar (I cheat 2 meals per week on these two) , a cup of soup instead of dinner (no cream, grain, beans in the soup), no alcohol (reserve the right to cheat on these two but have not yet). Oh, and one day fasting a week (nothing except for 1/2 cup of orange juice, and sometimes I cheat and eat a spoon full of honey or another 1/2 cup of juice), and… yes it is that extreme. I managed to keep gaining weight at 1400 cal per day.
OK, enough about weight… but it made me realize that eating was very much tied to my fatigue – I can eat between 600 and 700 cal per meal – more than that and I fall asleep 1/2 hour later. It used to be to the point that I could not drive. If I know now that I will eat more (birthday-parties and play-dates anyone?), I get some extra caffeine.
In German, auf Deutsch Wikipedia has decent information, the English article seems to be completely off.