Hypothyroidism Broke My Brain

Hypothyroidism broke my brain

I had always been an A student earning top marks, appearing on the Dean’s list multiple years in a row, receiving several large sum scholarships, graduating with High Distinction (equivalent to to magna cum laude) from the University of Toronto, completing dual Master’s degrees from Columbia University, then landing a plum position at one of the largest financial services firms on Wall Street in New York City and receiving offers to sit on the Board of Directors of multiple organizations. This is not to toot my own horn but to set a backdrop for my story.

My brain suddenly broke.

And I knew it.

I woke up one day shortly after my first son was born in 2006.

And I was no longer me.

I was this broken, dysfunctional version of myself.

That I didn’t recognize.

I couldn’t remember the simplest of things.

I lived in a thick, foggy haze.

I didn’t feel good about myself.

I felt anxious all the time.

I was unable to concentrate and felt fidgety.

I felt so moody.

I descended into a spiral of darkness.

And I was embarrassed.

I was told by my ob/gyn at my first postnatal visit that I had postpartum depression.

No lab tests.

Nothing.

Just a quick (careless) diagnosis just like that.

And a prescription slip for antidepressants.

“It’s normal for brain function to decline with age,” my doctor said.

“Have you been checked for attention deficit disorder?”

“Oh and here’s a prescription for anti-anxiety and sleeping pills too.”

I didn’t believe her honestly because this felt deeper, more all-consuming than that.

The indescribable fatigue that had swallowed me up whole.

The weight on the scale that kept rising.

The hair that fell and clogged my shower drain.

The cholesterol and blood sugar levels that were all of a sudden too high.

The non-stop infections that plagued me.

No one understood.

Lazy.

Maybe that’s what people thought I had become.

I looked “normal”.

But I felt like I was dying.

I knew there was something serious going on.

That my doctors were missing.

But what?

I started screwing up big time at work.

I was no longer the star performer.

I missed appointments and major deadlines.

And I eventually quit my job.

The job I had worked so hard to get.

Because I just couldn’t keep up.

Then I miscarried my baby.

And I was wracked by grief.

Finally I landed in the emergency room.

I had two kidney stones.

Who knew that I would later rejoice about kidney stones that hurt like hell.

But they saved my brain.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism right there in the emergency room.

I finally had a name for what was plaguing me.

I researched everything I could about hypothyroidism.

I spent all hours of the day and night.

I found the best doctors.

And I got well.

So well that I kissed my new thyroid doctor.

I kissed her on the cheek and hugged her so tight.

That’s what I did for the joy I felt.

I discovered that most doctors have no clue how to diagnose and treat hypothyroidism.

And that pisses me off.

With hundreds of millions of us in the world, the medical world needs to get their act together.

The TSH lab test is often the only lab test run for hypothyroidism.

And it fails miserably.

Comprehensive lab testing should includes Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies,

but these tests are sadly rarely done.

And yes you have another option if your doctor refuses

and that’s ordering the lab tests like this one yourself!

Hashimoto’s disease is the number one cause of hypothyroidism yet thyroid antibodies are rarely tested.

And that’s freakin’ crazy.

Every mainstream doctor that I visited insisted that T4-only levothyroxine drugs like Synthroid were the solution.

Even when they failed to work for me and doctors kept insisting.

It took firing multiple doctors to find one open

to the other options including T3 and natural desiccated thyroid.

Why do doctors make finding treatment that works for us so bloody difficult?

Step by step I discovered that there are multiple pieces of the thyroid puzzle.

And they can all independently affect the brain too.

Like nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, heavy metal toxicity.

Adrenal fatigue, sex hormone imbalance, and more.

I figured out the pieces

including these supplements that literally changed my world.

I got so well that I went on to have my second son.

I got so well that my brain started working again.

It worked like my old brain, only better.

I must share what I’ve discovered with other people.

I read an article about blogging and that word “blog” stayed on my mind.

Could a blog really make a difference?

I took a leap of faith and launched Hypothyroid Mom in October 2012.

With my brain working at lightning speed again.

Guess what?

A blog can make a difference.

Over one million people follow Hypothyroid Mom.

I can hardly believe it.

That’s possible now because my brain is no longer broken.

I am helping hypothyroidism sufferers across the globe regain their health.

My brain can’t stop me now.

I didn’t have depression after all.

I didn’t have anxiety disorder after all.

I didn’t have ADD or ADHD after all.

I didn’t have brain fog and memory loss due to aging after all.

I HAD HYPOTHYROIDISM.

AND IT BROKE MY BRAIN.

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Connect with Dana on Google+

Comments

  1. Abby Bishara says:

    Hello!! My story started when I was 12. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and a year later hypothyroidism. Doctors said all I had to do was take a simple pill everyday and ill be normal which is alot better than adding more shots. Everything was fine and working till I hit 19 then all of a sudden no hair, brittle nails, gaining weight even when I went days without eating (don’t recommend this), brain fog so bad I couldn’t remember my name (awful when you are in college), sleeping long hours but still feeling tired, and awful mood swings. Kept going to the doctor where all they did was raise my medication, at one point I was taking 300 cmg of levothyroxine which is way too high. But I kept having the same issues. At 23 I got pregnant with a healthy daughter but my thyroid kept having issues!! High and low and out of control and the doctors said I have to remove my thyroid altogether!! I said no!! I had to find another way so I went to a nutritionist. The nutritionist told me about how food affects the thyroid. How certain foods help the thyroid and how others destroy it. Things like salmon and seaweed and coconut help it and soy almonds broccoli and kale destroy it. Ive come along way but hormones still play a role in thyroid. Which sucks because as a woman I run on hormones and one week its this way and next its another level. But I feel better.

  2. Wow, this is such a good read. My story is like yours in the beginning, shortly after giving birth to my fourth child. All though I was loosing weight, like nasty looking. Not the good looking way of loosing weight. Lol. I was anxious, moody, couldn’t think or process anything, angry and severe insomnia. Me too, placed on antidepressants, told I had ADHD, and anxiety meds. Four years later I still don’t feel the same. This opened my eyes and I thank you so much, I am definitely going to look into this❤️

  3. Theresa, from Montana says:

    Hi I have struggled with Hypothyroidism for 38 years. The 1 st diagnosis I had was when I was 22. I went to a Dr and told him what was going on, with weight gain, hair falling out, dry skin, horrible cracked fingernails, sleeping all the time. He gave me literature on women and nervous breakdowns. When I left the office, I thought I was truly losing my mind and was going to end up in a mental himospital because of what he said. After 3 months I went to a different Dr and he did all kinds of labs and that’s when I found out it was hypothyroidism. I struggle constantly to keep my thyroid in check. A few months ago I had labs done and they came back normal. I begged my Dr to increase my medicine to see if it made a difference. Reluctantly he did, and I feel so much better. We know our own bodies. I was having issues with my hair falling out and my fingernails cracking and being tired so I Insisted on increasing my meds. Many people have told me that you can have “normal” blood test results but still have all the symptoms. I am fortunate that I insisted the increase because I am feeling so much better. I know there can be issues from taking too much so I do get my thyroid tested regularly. Just wanted to share my story and I hope it encourages people to let your voice be heard. Dr’s are smart, but we are the ones who know how and what we are feeling.

  4. Michelle A. says:

    Lord where do I begin? I am 51 years old and this blog ,Hypothyroid mom, is my sanity. I have no idea how long I have been hypothyroid but I have had several miscarriages and a stillborn at 38 weeks in March of 2002. Last year, July 21 2017, is was when it all came to a head and I had what I call, “a crash”. I was sitting on my porch drinking my first cup of coffee, enjoying the morning when out of nowhere I started having these weird hot and cold sensations travel up and down my arms. I begun to get dizzy and then I panicked. I tried to walk it off, keep my routine flowing. I made it to the kitchen and suddenly my heart took off like a bat out of hell. I was convinced I was dying and I was experiencing a heart attack. I called 911.

    The emt’s arrived and hooked me up with electrodes. Apparently I experienced something called “tachycardia”. After that my brain became a complete fog, literally, just minutes later, in which I battle to this day. I had a trip to ER and all they said was I needed an echocardiogram, a visit with a primary care physician and that whatever happened won’t kill me. but they had no idea why I had tachycardia. A friend of mine who’s an oncologist got me in to a primary care physician at her clinic as mine was on leave. The physician tested for several things including my thyroid, my TSH was 7.7. I was also referred to a cardiologist who found a hole in my heart, a small aneurism and an enlarged chamber. The heart is doing good but it’s the thyroid that won’t stop fighting me.

    As I sit here, over a year later with a TSH level of .95, I am on 112mcg of levothyroxine, I still have a head fog that plagues me. Some days it’s better, some days it’s worse. My dear sweet doctor is trying to help me and she does listen but she is stuck in this old way of thinking. She does not understand the fog at all and I can’t describe it properly. She says that Armour makes it harder to control T3???? She did start me on a gluten free diet a month ago and I will say I have had some good days ever since. I am trying hard to focus on gut health because I feel like I have to take matters in to my own hands. I am sure I have Hashimoto’s but have not been tested even though my doctor does agree with me. I have gone as organic as I can. I have stopped using chemical cleaners and only use natural products and essential oils. I hike 4 days a week with my dog. I do strength training, yoga, record my food on my fitness pal. I even quit smoking. I can’t lose any of the weight that has crept up on me.

    I am not sure if I am doing enough and if anyone has any advice they would like to share with me. I do take magnesium, calcium and zinc. I am considering ashwagandha. Ugh. I don’t know. I just FEEL alone. I have so many clients (I’m a hairdresser) who treat thyroid issues like it’s nothing because they have been under control for years, or maybe they are ok with feeling like crap. I dont’ know. I just want to feel better. I want my old life back. I WANT MY BRAIN TO START WORKING LIKE IT USED TO.
    Anyway, if you have read this far, Thank you.

    • Hi Michelle, I’m sad reading all that has happened. I can’t imagine the pain of losing your child to stillbirth. Our brain like our entire body requires thyroid hormone for proper functioning and the truth is some of us just con’t get well on T4 only levothyroxine. I know it’s such a struggle to find a good, open-minded thyroid doctor but it’s well worth the search.

      Here is a list of resources to help you locate a good doctor in your area: https://hypothyroidmom.com/30-online-resources-to-find-a-good-thyroid-doctor/

    • Hi Michelle I have been in a similar boat. My doc teated me for Candida and since doing that diet to kill the Candida I have felt better. Also maybe look into the Autoimmune Protocol diet. It helps as well. Just ideas on where to go from here

  5. I can’t even remember if I had already sent a comment or not. I need help, I too have been to many Dr.s including an endocrinologist. When I asked my present physician if she gives me a full work up on my thyroid panel it’s like how dare I question her. I need someone that listens and I mean really listens, I am hypothyroid & hypoglycemic, depressed, anxiety, stares into space, foggy, iam60 yrs old, I scare myself, I know my work I have been working at this place for 28 yrs, I know my job, there are times where i find myself saying ok what is next.
    I feel at work they now double check my work, I’m not stupid I’m no scientist but there are times I question myself, I babble on and on. I take synthroid daily (112 MCG) when my Dr. Changes my meds she doesn’t up the dosage she takes it down. I was taking 125mcg & 150 mcg. I need to find a Dr who can really help me, because I am not getting off the couch anymore other than to go to work. I don’t do much of anything anymore.

  6. In 1992, at age 26, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Partial removal and synthroid or levothyroxine for the past 26 years. I’ve been living thru hell ever since. So many doctors who don’t give a damn, who have absolutely no idea how to care for thyroid disorders. Can someone recommend a doctor in Chicago or nearby? Thanks

    • BettySaletto says:

      Linda I suffer with the same,only they had to take my THYROID OUT and I told my husband,my two Daughters that inside me was changed from the day they took my THYORID out it has changed my life from that moment and that was 5years ago.they don’t believe me BECAUSE they can’t see it of coarse THEY can’t but I live every day feeling like I do BECAUSE I suffer in silence. I go nowhere and when they invite be over or out to lunch when that day comes they blame me BECAUSE I can’t go,knowing I would love to go but can’t. I don’t no what to do,sometimes I wish I was no longer here BECAUSE I have nothing.thank you so much BECAUSE I finally found someone else going through the same thing. BettySaletto

      • Betty,
        I had a total thyroidectomy when I was 17. I am almost 31 now. I know how terrible the roller coaster is. Have you tried a T3 medication yet? I am on the search for an endocrinologist in Northwest Arkansas that will prescribe something other than Synthoid/Levothyroxine. Don’t give up hope. There is a good combo of meds, diet, and lifestyle that can make you feel good again!
        Ashley

  7. So I’ve had all these test done (i have Hashimoto) and on synthroid for a year now with no really change. Still have good and bad days and an Endo that tells me most of my symptoms aren’t Hashimotos. I am allergic to pork and can not take the natural thyroid meds.

    Suggestions?!?

  8. What kind of doctor are you seeing for your thyroid? A regular doctor or an endocrinologist?
    My regular doctor has been really good with treating my hypothyroidism, but even as my numbers are going down I still feel fatigue, fog brain and “lazy”

  9. Hello,
    I wondered if you take the supps with your levo? I’m pretty much on my own, my dr says levo is all I need and I’m in NORMAL range but I want OPTIMAL. I’m not on a T3 with the T4 so I know she’s not doing this right but wont add a T4. I will try with an endo but who knows. I’m open to supps to help but wondred if you take them w/ other meds. I may have missed that info the reading. please advise. thank you for sharing your story and offering hope.

    • Normal. What is that? It is the average of all people tested in a study. What if all the people in the study had non or low functioning thyroids? Normal is now skewed. Do your research. Levo only affects T4. The drugs that affect T3 work so quickly that current test can not measure its effects on the body and you must rely on how you “feel” which is not considered “good doctoring”. Do your research and find a doctor that will treat all of you, not just the portion that can currently be measured on a test.

      • I got told that myself this morning when my doctors nurse called and said “your TSH, is normal” my response what is normal , than I said what is my number she said 2.8, than I said that’s not my Normal. I went on and said do you know woman of child bearing age thyroid level should be below 2.5.

        Than I told her, tell my doctor I want my referral to endocrine or he can call me and I will discuss with him or I can make an appt to request the same thing.

        Well he called alright. He asked my rational to being .3 below.

        I said I know my body, I’m symptomatic at the level I am at right now hence my 30lb weight gain, my fibromyalgia acting on overdrive and me feeling crappy. I know the standards you use is the standards that is set for the nation not an individual, and I am an individual therefore I want my thyroid to be treated for me and how I feel… needless to say got my referral. Next step is to request for Armour (my doctor opposed this as well)

        On another note: what medicine combination are you on? Cytomel and Armour?

        Do you do both supplements as well?

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