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Accessible Gardening: Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

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Forum: Accessible GardeningReplies: 3, Views: 347
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Santa Cruz, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 8, 2004
8:23 AM

Post #801947

Weirdly enough this is probably good news; I've been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. (I have a low amount of T4, though still in normal range, high though only just out of normal TSH, and positive for anti-thyroid antibodies, which is the real clincher.) I just started taking thyroid hormones, and if I respond to it I might find that the fatigue and aching lift in as little as a few weeks or as long as a few months! This is really really exciting, and even if it didn't entirely cause the fatigue, it sure wasn't helping and absolutely had to be treated.

I've been sick for almost exactly three years now (it started, like a flu that never went away, in late March 2001), and I'm a little annoyed that none of my GPs sent me to an endocrinologist before I asked to go, and all said I'd done all of my options with specialists (gastroenterologist, rheumagologist, allergist, um... a few others I may be forgetting; I even did a sleep study.) They all saw that I had "low normal" amounts of T4. Well, it seems that if you have some kinds of thyroid problems, your pituitary pumps out more and more TSH in an attempt to get your thyroid to make enough T4! So it's having trouble but sort of keeping up with demands.

I actually went to the endocrinologist for a totally different reason; I had gotten a really low cortisol reading on a salivary test. Luckily my AHTD response test came back clean, so I don't have adrenal insufficiency on top of thyroiditis, but if I hadn't had that low reading on a test recommended by my acupuncturist of all people (we were trying to track down my insomnia issues, so he had me do an adrenal cortex and melatonin panel) then I would blithely have remained undiagnosed with this quite serious problem.

I think they should as a standard send people with fibromyalgia for the complete run of thyroid tests, not just run the T4 assay. I know that fibro is linked with all sorts of things, but thyroid is something that really needs to be ruled out exhaustively.

I'm getting off my soapbox now. :)

I am however pleased as punch about this. I have a lot to learn, and I'm going to be on hormone supplements for life, but it seems like such a small price to pay for even just a a chance at an ending for all these problems.

Since March is usually when my "bad season" starts (I seem to get additional complications with allergy season) and our allergy season here started even earlier this year, and I've been zonked out along with the pollen count, I'm really hoping that this will be the first year since this started that I have a *better* summer than winter.

If I don't improve... well, they'll be testing me for T4 and TSH. I'll ask them to switch me to a supplement that includes T3 as well, like one of the natural supplements, since some people don't respond to T4 alone. So I have some more options there if nothing happens off the bat. I expect that it will take some time to get the right "tune" on my hormones; I'm scheduled to go back in for another hormone assay in two months. And even if all my hormones are perfect and I'm still fatigued, well at least I know how to live in this life I've found myself in. I've made a lot of progress at coping and management in the last couple of years, and we have a lot of blessings to count even with me sick.

[And wow... this is the first post I previewed since spell-checking went in. That feature is so nicely done! Dave's just keeps getting better and better.]
Birmingham, AL
(Zone 7b)

March 13, 2004
9:08 PM

Post #807493

hope all comes out to the good. well keep you in my prays

Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 4, 2004
9:09 PM

Post #937485

Hi, Flit,

I haven't been checking on the forums for a while (too busy!) but am back for the weekend of the Fourth. I checked in on you because I have been curious to find out whether you got the rose of your dreams. (I, and someone else, suggested the thornless Zepherine Drouhin.)

Found this thread and wanted to wish you well. Since you are just over the "hill" from me, I keep hoping to drive by someday and see your wonderful new rose climbing in front of your house.

Hope your new-found medical news has put you back on track and you are gardening your heart out!
Santa Cruz, CA
(Zone 9b)

July 16, 2004
3:55 AM

Post #953824


I didn't manage to go shopping for roses this year, so nothing climbing yet, though my jasmine is doing really well... I need to start training it better, but it's very thick along the fence. I might plant this year if there's any good "planting window" for roses, and I can mail-order it, but I've had so little energy for gardening that I let it slide this year, too.

The good news is that I'm responding hormonally to the thyroid treatment, but the bad news is that it hasn't really helped my energy levels at all, so I still spend a lot of time in bed, and more in the summer when the pollen count is high. So not much gardening for me this year.

I did just go out today and collect seeds, which was fun! I haven't been checking Dave's Garden much lately because I've been so tired, but I saw all the seed pods and it made me think of Dave's. I found all sorts of things.

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