Click here to listen to a reading of this blog:
With it being four and a half months since the last general update I gave you on what was going on in my own thyroid health journey, I have quite a bit to share.
My health has continued to improve over the last few months and I’m ecstatic to say that I’m in the best health I have been since developing hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, which was backed up by some surprise test results a few days ago; my Hashimoto’s is in remission for the first time ever!
I was incredibly shocked and very overwhelmed with joy, regarding this news. It has been a somewhat long journey the last three years, of implementing various things and using trial and error, but the numbers of both my Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies and Thyroglobulin have dropped from the thousands to hardly anything at all, meaning that for now, the progression of the destruction of my thyroid gland has been halted.
Of course, I know that this can always change as various factors can cause a relapse again (a rise in thyroid antibodies) but I’m celebrating the success of this. And I’m so pleased that feeling physically well corresponds with my test results.
What I’m currently doing is obviously working, so I’ll be keeping it all up. And of course I have written a blog about everything that has contributed to getting my antibodies lowered and Hashimoto’s in to remission, too. As unfortunately I’ve lost so much thyroid function over the years, I’ll still have the hypothyroidism and need my thyroid medication, but at least the Hashimoto’s that led to the hypothyroidism is controlled for now.
The crazy thing is, I wasn’t working particularly hard to keep lowering the antibodies. They just kept lowering each time I tested them and had changed something else about my routine; fixing other issues in my body. I didn’t fixate on it too much but there we go.
In terms of my thyroid hormone levels, my Free T4 and Free T3 have dropped a bit, so I’ve been on a slight increase in my medication dosage for a few days now and then we’ll retest in six to eight weeks time to see how they’re looking again then. I actually feel really well, so the increase in more for my long term health of keeping thyroid levels optimal, over improving symptoms – because I don’t have any.
My B12 is above range which concerns me a little – I did supplement in very high doses last year but after seeing that it was high in October, I stopped. It doesn’t seem to be coming down very much so I’m going to retest in another couple of months when I retest my thyroid levels and if it still hasn’t budged, book in to speak to my GP.
I last saw my functional medicine practitioner a few weeks ago, who is happy with how I’m doing right now and doesn’t have anything in particular she wants me to work on. So for now I don’t have another appointment booked in to see her, but can always do this if I feel my health is slipping again. She has been fantastic at getting my health back on track though.
I did develop a sudden and chronic case of hives and intense itching from head to toe, last month, but we managed to pinpoint that I had overloaded my histamine levels recently and by giving up alcohol, hopefully it won’t happy again! I also have a list of high and low histamine foods that I can incorporate in to my diet and be mindful of so as to prevent it again. I know many thyroid patients complain of feeling incredibly itchy, so an article on Histamine Intolerance and Hives is on my ‘to-do’ list.
My skin is still looking really good in terms of the acne not being an issue anymore after working on my gut health and I’m pleased to say that with my FMP’s help, the leaky gut, candida, oestrogen dominance and adrenal fatigue are all resolved for now. (A UK test for Candida can be found here and a US test here.)
They really did all impact each other and it took a lot of patience to unwind each of them. For anyone still feeling unwell with hypothyroidism and on medication, I hugely recommend looking in to these other thyroid jigsaw puzzle pieces.
I never realised how much my gut health was going to be such a big factor in my overall health.
My eyebrows also grew out fully, very quickly indeed (over just a couple of months), which I am hugely grateful for as I now don’t have to spend time filling them in everyday! I covered what helped here.
I’ve been going out for regular walks in nature each day and enjoying increasing my fitness even more so, and I’ve discovered a new love for cooking which I never had before. Learning lots of new, quick and healthy recipes for thyroid health has seriously been a game changer. Many I have found online, but most have come from the cookbook I co-authored in December 2018 with registered dietician Emily Kyle.
My own book also came out in November 2018, which was an exciting yet extremely stressful and anxious time for me, so I’ve been mindful of working on improving my mental health and stability the last few months too. I honestly believe that not enough attention is given to supporting mental health and well-being with hypothyroidism, so I’ve been speaking a lot about that, especially on social media, lately.
I discovered something called ‘Highly Sensitive Person’ (HSP) in October and it rung so many bells.
In my last general update blog in October 2018 I said:
I know I have anxiety disorder and have gone through bouts of depression before, but I also know there’s a reason why I don’t think the same way as everyone else, don’t handle stress the same way and have always struggled with change and other aspects of adult life. I need to get to the bottom of this.
After chasing a diagnosis for autism or a personality disorder, I’ve come to realise that I am indeed a HSP and can’t believe I never come across this before. It turns out I don’t have a mental health condition or disability but it is fact just a personality trait. Since learning about HSP’s and doing a lot of reading, it has explained so much and has seriously helped how I look at and handle my mental health. I recommend Elaine N. Aron Ph.D’s book The Highly Sensitive Person for reading if you want to explore it. After speaking to many of you, I’m realising that it seems to be a common trait among thyroid patients. I also have a full blog post here.
Just like when I wrote my last update, I am taking part in Thyroid30 again, a thyroid health wellness adventure and game, on my second cycle. I recommend it if you need some help forming habits that will keep you on a constant path of good thyroid health.
After completing my Level 3 qualification in diet and nutrition last year, I also finished the Level 4 in it, a life coaching diploma and reflexology diploma. Yay for continuing to learn and develop! I’m hoping they all help shape me in helping other thyroid patients.
Here’s to hopefully ongoing good health.
Do remember that you can keep up to date with my personal health journey via Instagram. My Instagram is updated with realtime updates and you’ll be able to follow along as and when everything happens over there!
What have been some small gains for your health recently?
You can click on the hyperlinks in the above post to learn more and see references to information given.
The book Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate: When You’re Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired, which builds on this blog post and covers how Rachel got her health back on track with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.