How I self-diagnosed Hashimoto’s

How did my path to self-diagnosis start?

For years I had all the light symptoms of Hashimoto’s and an underactive thyroid: fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, sensitivity to cold. But I did not know of connection of Hashimoto’s and digestive problems.

I was forced to take things in own hands and visit a private lab to get myself tested.

My thyroid lab tests for TPO and Tg antibodies were about 200x over the “normal” limit. I remember the moment I saw the results: I was relieved, and at the same time wary - I read about what does it mean to have high TPO and Tg antibodies, leading me to a self-diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. This was later confirmed by the doctor, and I was given a T4 hormone replacement prescription. Taking a daily dose of medication seemed doable, but I felt there will have to be some lifestyle adjustments done.

I have to admit that my family history of thyroid problems helped with suspecting thyroid problems and self-diagnosing Hashimoto’s.

Dairy is the problem in my intestine

I loved consuming dairy, it was considered the best thing one could eat during my childhood. Now I know: whenever I ate dairy Hashimoto’s was flaring up. Hashimoto’s flareups were not always of the same intensity or duration. As I was approaching my 30s, problems became more frequent and heavier.

Dairy is Hashimoto’s trigger of mine

When I first tested my thyroid hormones, including TPO and Tg antibodies I was on a lactose free milk (as I thought I had lactose intolerance), and since then I have tested myself 10 or so times, to see how is an underactive thyroid and Hashimoto’s connected to milk and cheese consumption. I was interested to see how is an underactive thyroid connected to diarrhoea or nausea. I have observed a very strong correlation between dairy, nausea, feeling swollen and Hashimoto’s flareups. Could it be that dairy is triggering Hashimoto’s, and actually drinking milk is leading to an underactive thyroid?

In general, if I would be dairy free, I would feel healthier, walk more, and engage in life. It seemed I was able to break out of the vicious cycle. Or, at least I knew how to do it.

Cutting dairy helped a lot, but it did not make things go away entirely. So, I did food allergy analyses, and realised that in addition to dairy i have a couple of more food nemesis:

Peas

Egg whites

Almonds (ok, I kind of knew)

Beer

Wheat

That short list represents a basis for many other food products: bread and cakes to name a few.

At that time I was truly put in front of a hard decision: how to change my diet, can I avoid it all? Is this a doable goal? I decided it is not. I divided things into

Must Avoid=dairy and almonds

Really good to Avoid=egg whites and beer

Eat as less as you can=wheat

Inheriting genetic mess from my ancestors

My self-diagnosis of Hashimoto’s and an underactive thyroid, later confirmed by a medical expert, left me angry at the mess contained in my genetic pool, without ever asking for it. I had to learn to live with Hashimoto’s, and it’s special food and lifestyle requirements.

And now…

At 39, life is good, more precious health-wise and maybe a bit more complicated with eating arrangements. I notice I start having an adverse reaction to whichever food item I consume often and exclusive, so I tend to vary what I eat much as possible.