You’re NOT Crazy…

“So I’m not crazy?!”

Was the words of one of my patients.

We had just gotten her blood work results back. It revealed a thyroid gland struggling to keep up, elevated thyroid antibodies, and extremely low nutrient levels.

She had been to see her doctor numerous times because she hadn’t been feeling herself. She used to feel great on her current thyroid medication but recently it had become harder and harder to make it through the day. She was crashing on the couch as soon as she came home from work and feeling completely rundown. She was too tired to do any of her favourite hobbies, watch the kids soccer games, or spend time with her husband. She was told repeatedly that all her lab work and testing was completely normal, she was the picture of health! Then she had been told: “you’re just getting older”, “you’re probably perimenopausal”, and “maybe you’re depressed”.*

Not willing to settle for those explanations or feeling like a zombie for the rest of her life, she decided to look deeper. (FYI: If this sounds like you as well, it’s no coincidence. I hear similar versions of this same story almost daily in my practice!) 

I like to tell my patients that YOU are your own expert. You live in your body 24 hours a day. You know how your body feels when you’re tired, or hungry, coming down with a cold, nervous, stressed, (you get the idea). You know what ‘normal’ feels like. You also know when you feel anything BUT normal.

I have watched countless patients with very similar stories look at their labs and say with triumph “I knew it!”

So,

If you’re feeling like no one is taking you seriously, and you’re starting to wonder if it really is all in your head, this is me saying to you:

You’re NOT crazy! 

You can’t find the solution if you’re looking in all the wrong places. Ensure that you’re getting a proper thyroid and nutrient assessment and find a practitioner you trust (and who will take you seriously when you say “I just know something is off”)

Want to know more? Check out what I recommend as a starting point here and here

In honour of your body’s innate wisdom,

Dr. Katie Rothwell, ND

 

*Details have been changed to protect patient confidentiality. Shared with patient permission.

 

What Are Thyroid Antibodies?

thyroid antibodies

What Are Thyroid Antibodies?

Unless you’ve been in a biology or immunology class recently, you may not be familiar with antibodies. Antibodies are a normal part of our immune system. Your body makes them in order to “tag” or “mark” foreign bacteria or viruses that are harmful. Once tagged, your immune system can recognize these foreign invaders and fight them off.

The antibodies that occur in Hashimoto’s Disease (or any other autoimmune disease) are different. They are AUTO-antibodies. Which means that they are ‘marking’ your own thyroid tissue. This isn’t good – we don’t want your immune system attacking your own body!

Essentially, elevated thyroid antibodies indicate that your immune system has targeted the thyroid gland for destruction. Over time, this can damage your thyroid tissue and make it impossible for your body to produce its own hormones.

What do Thyroid Antibodies Mean? 

Thyroid antibodies are the most important tests to diagnose Hashimoto’s disease. If you test positive for one or both of these antibodies, you have Hashimoto’s disease.

  1. Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb) – present in approximately 90% of those with Hashimoto’s disease
  2. Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb) – present in approximately 80% of those with Hashimoto’s disease.

If you haven’t already done so, I recommend testing your antibodies if you already have or suspect hypothyroidism. Hashimoto’s disease isn’t just hypothyroidism – it’s an autoimmune disease, and needs to be treated as an autoimmune disease!

The First Thing You Should Do When You Find Out You Have Thyroid Antibodies…

It’s important to know that Hashimoto’s disease does have a genetic link. So, it’s very common to see Hashimoto’s present in multiple family members (typically females). For that reason, when I have a patient with positive antibodies one of the first things I tell them is to talk to their family. Tell your mother, sisters, daughters, and aunts to have their thyroid antibodies tested as well, especially if they already know they have low thyroid function. The sooner we can identify antibodies and regulate the immune response, the more likely it is that we will be able to prevent damage to the thyroid gland. BUT, just because a relative has Hashimoto’s doesn’t mean you’re destined for it too. Genes only play a part of the picture!

Have more questions about thyroid antibodies? Let me know!

Dr. Katie Rothwell, ND