Saturday, October 8, 2011

Hashimoto's Disease

Well, I had a nice 16 year run with the diabetes without any complications, and as far as I can tell, I guess I'm still "officially" complication free, however, I have developed Hashimoto's Disease.

I went to my new endocrinologist this past week (insurance change and had to change offices to my dismay) with a bit of dismay, I must admit. Choosing to change doctors on your own is one thing, being forced to do it is wholly another. Although, I think I've been blessed and lucked up, my new doctor seems to be very "in the know" about the most recent diabetes research, mostly, I believe because he is conducting some of it!

He checked everything, like they always do when you're a new patient even though I told him I'd JUST had my thyroid checked recently and it was fine, he insisted. Ok, I agreed, what could it hurt. Well, as it turns out, although my TSH was within the normal range, 3.2, he said the newest studies indicated that antibody testing at this level could reveal early stage Hashimoto's Disease and prevent complications of this disease progression with early treatment.

He ran the antibody tests and my levels were OFF THE CHARTS! Humm... I've worked in a hospital and now doctor's office for 6 years, I know how easy it is for a lab to come back off for a multitude of reasons, so before I accepted his diagnosis of Hashimoto's I wanted the labs re-drawn and re-run.

He agreed, not at all understanding my distrust. And to no one's surprise, the re-check of the labs confirmed the original diagnosis. I'm developing Hashimoto's Disease. I was so shocked, honestly shocked, by the diagnosis for the first 24 hours I didn't really know how to process. I've had 16 wonderfully healthy years with this disease. As I was discussing it with my mother, she even said herself, the diabetes "has just never affected you, it's never slowed you down or changed your course, it's like you don't even have it". This is exactly how I've felt, in fact, I have intentionally tried to distance myself from the world of diabetes for the most part because I want to be "normal". I've mentioned that a few times on this forum.

So, because of this choice to distance myself, I wasn't ready for this diagnosis, I had NO idea how common it is. I think my doctor presented it so matter-of-factly on a VOICE MAIL MESSAGE (poor form, doc) because he thought I should be expecting it, this is the norm, not a huge shocker, diabetics have thyroid problems, why do you think we check it all the time, lady? :)

Well, I've started a low dose of synthroid, and can't tell a big difference yet, but taking ANY medication is a serious thing in my mind, that's what this blog is all about. I'm hopeful that things will go smoothly, but always wary of the long term consequences for my body of treating something that isn't even fully manifest yet.

If you have experience with this disease, please share with us, Beth and I have none between the two of us, so we're relying on the internet for what we can gleam. Thanks! Jenn.

4 comments:

  1. I kick and scream like a little baby when someone tries to tell me I'm "sick" because I have diabetes, but when I hear news like this, it does remind me that we are more fragile than most. I read that fully one third of Type I diabetics have Hashimoto's disease. I am anxious to learn more.

    And, we are seriously praying for you, Jenn!

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  2. Wow, can you link up to that article if you remember it, Beth? I'd love to read more! And, thank you, Dear Friend.

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  3. I misspoke. Apparently up to 30% of Type I diabetics have some kind of thyroid disease: http://journal.diabetes.org/clinicaldiabetes/v18n12000/pg38.htm
    Hypothyroidism (overt and subclinical) is the most common, but not only, kind.

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  4. I was diagnosed with Hasimoto's 7 years ago. It was such a relief to not think I was crazy and always feeling blah. I always felt like I had mono and my doctors, including my own father, made me feel like it was all in my head. After figuring out my synthroid dose it has been a no brainer. Compare this to being diagnosed with type 1 at my 7th week of pregnancy with my second child only 2.5 years ago. From my experience it is so much easier to deal with, especially with an endocrin that you work well with. Best of luck to you, I am 38 weeks pregnant with my third and ready to pop!

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