Living with Hashimoto's: Big Disease with the Strange Name

Monday, January 11, 2016

 

Timeline of Pictures showing Hashimoto's effects on my face. The swelling lessoned as I learned to control the inflammation and watch for signs of swelling.

According to ENDOCRINWEB.COM , over 14 million people are affected by Hashimoto's Thyroiditis in the United States and women are 7 times more like to be diagnosed with it, then men. I say "diagnosed" because frankly everything that I read says that Hashimoto's is a particularly hard disease to detect. Most basic thyroid tests include the test for Hashimoto's TSH (or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) and Thyroid Antibodies and T4 test that will check how much hormones are in your body.

 

I've had several people say to me, "Oh, isn't that the Thyroid Disease?" But in effect, Hashimoto's is an entity all on it's own. Technically, it's an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the thyroid gland. Over time, that inflammation wears on the gland and causes deterioration. It can cause goiters (lumps in the throat that make it hard to swallow), hair loss, hot flashes or inability to regulate temperature, fluid retention and a puffy, swollen face... to name a few.

If you've ever researched symptoms for Hashimoto's, you'll come up with lists from places such as HYPOTHYROIDMOM.COM you will find lists that have upwards of 300 different symptoms on them. Check out this LIST from HASHIMOTO'S AWARNESS!

Ultimately, once you are diagnosed with Hashimoto's you begin to see that this is a life-long disease. Medicine is usually a synthetic thyroid hormone that helps to make up for what your damaged thyroid can no longer produce. There is some evidence to suggest that gluten free diet can help manage the inflammation, but in my opinion, there may be some connection between processed foods and treated foods and the upward rise in the diagnosis of the disease. As more research is done hopefully there will be more methods of treatment made available. There is, however, a very strong network of people online who are helping to shed light on the disease and offer support to those dealing with the symptoms.


 



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