When you’re first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, it can feel like a life sentence. Feelings of sadness, anger and depression are common.
Know that you are not alone. There are millions of people just like you who have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, and who have gone on to eliminate their symptoms completely and live normal, healthy lives. You can too! Just arm yourself with the below information and take the first step to healing.
First, let’s go over the basics:
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your throat, right below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid makes, stores, and releases thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) into your blood. This process affects almost every cell in your body, helping control the body’s functions and it has a profound effect on cellular energy and metabolism.
The thyroid is a very big deal as it is in charge of everything that goes on in the body from basic aspects of body function to all the major systems. (It’s actually kind of annoying that it’s such a big deal!) Every cell in our body has thyroid hormone receptors, and so every system in your body can be affected when your thyroid is off.
Thyroid imbalances come in two major forms: hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is when there is too little thyroid hormone in your blood. This makes your body and its functions sluggish. Hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, is when you have too much thyroid hormone in your blood and everything starts racing.
Hashimoto’s has several different names: Hashimoto’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, autoimmune thyroiditis, or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition in which your own immune system attacks the thyroid, and often results in hypothyroidism but can volley you back and forth between hypo- and hyperthyroid symptoms.
Hashimoto’s disease is progressive, and can be difficult to diagnose, as your thyroid levels can start out within the “normal” range but still not be at optimal levels. It is only one cause of hypothyroidism, but it is the most common.