Hypothyroidism condition has various side effects on one’s health. Hence, living with hypothyroidism is not easy. The condition occurs when the thyroid gland is not able to produce enough hormones. Since the symptoms are so easily mistaken for something else, it is hard to diagnose the issue.
Many people have to suffer for years before the cause is discovered. It can be a tough process. Only those who have struggled with this can explain how hard it was. Let us take a look at one such story to know what happened.
Ashley Kusi’s Story
Ashley knows just how hard it can be to get an accurate diagnosis. She was merely sixteen years old when the symptoms started to show. But it wasn’t until years later that her condition was finally diagnosed.
She was a teenager when she first started experiencing joint pain. She also noticed that she kept gaining weight even after switching to healthy diet plans. Kusi also watched her potions, but it was of no help. Along with that, she felt tired all the time. What Kusi didn’t know that these were common symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Impact of Hypothyroidism on her Health
Although her family had a history of hypothyroidism, her doctors did not consider that to be the cause. Kusi recalls that “It was very frustrating.” She says that she went from one doctor to another one, but no one seemed to solve her issue. All they did was change her diet to try to lose her weight!
All the medicines prescribed for joint pain, fatigue, and weight gain failed. As Kusi grew up, her symptoms got worse. All the doctors she visited were highly disappointing and Kusi felt let down.
Testing for Hypothyroidism
A blood test diagnoses the correct thyroid-related issues. Although the results vary from lab to lab, Kusi’s results were mostly normal or borderline high. It was not enough to diagnose her with hypothyroidism. She was living with hypothyroidism after the age of sixteen. But she was not aware of it. In later stages of life, after she gave birth to her second child, her symptoms rapidly increased.
Kusi says, “I had reached my breaking point.” She continued, “I had horrible cystic acne. I was just tired of all the health problems. From gaining weight and having trouble managing my health was not working. “
It was when Ashley was listening to a podcast that she realized her symptoms matched that of hypothyroidism. She decided to look for a doctor who would listen to her instead of just prescribing medicines. Kusi wanted more tests to be done. And she was determined to find out the actual details.
She finally found a doctor who ordered TSH tests. The TSH refers to Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. Along with that, the doctor also ordered other tests that help determine her thyroid levels. Her immune system was also tested. People who have hypothyroidism tend to make thyroid antibodies. It damages the thyroid gland itself. So the test would not help to show what the TSH results lacked.
The test results finally showed what Kusi knew all along. She had hypothyroidism. Now, she got to know that she was living with hypothyroidism. And her condition was called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Adoption of Healthy Diet Choice
Kusi and her doctor have been able to treat hypothyroidism with plant-based thyroid supplements, lifestyle changes, and a diet plan. Her diet mostly consists of organic vegetables and grass-fed meat. Kusi made a smart choice to cut out all foods that added inflammation to her body.
Following the Paleo diet, she has been able to drop 30 pounds. She is more energetic than before and body ache does not bother her as much. Kusi is also trying to manage stress. She managed to stay away from certain things that life throws at her.
It is not easy to manage hypothyroidism with two little children. But Kusi says, “I try to balance my life.” After struggling for years to get the correct diagnosis, she is doing much better now. However, everyone has bad days and so does Kusi. “I have my bad days. But as long as I pace myself and pay attention to my body, those bad days are gone.”
Kusi had a piece of advice for others. “Keep pushing for answers and try different things to see what makes you feel better. All our bodies are unique, and our needs are, too. Treatment is not a one-size-fits-all.”
Advice to Hypothyroidism Patients
It is important to convey all your concerns to the doctor. If you do not feel satisfied with the treatment, always seek a second opinion. In case of hypothyroidism, you will be recommended to an endocrinologist. Everybody functions differently. You have to find the correct diet and the treatment that works for you.
Hence, it is also important to trust your instincts. Awareness is crucial when it comes to diagnosis! In cases like Kusi’s, we see how she had taken the initiative and changed doctors several times. You can only take the necessary steps when you know the symptoms. Therefore, it is followed by the correct diagnosis. Being aware can save you money, time, and years of pain and suffering. Hence, living with hypothyroidism is not easy until you make your own efforts!