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 include Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies.

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 and I got well.

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

I founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby I lost to hypothyroidism. Hypothyroid Mom 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 to favorite resources including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Connect with me on Google+

Comments

  1. Kathy Smith says:

    Dana,
    Love your blog! What medications/diet/etc. eventually worked for you?
    Thanks so much,
    Kathy Smith

    • I am just seeing your site. Im very concerned! My health is declining to the point i was in the hospital with infection which they couldnt tell where or what it was. I am 52. I have been taking levoxol for yrs now, I Think it worked …for a while. Now in the last year I feel all the usual symptoms and brain drain so bad. I’m desperate, because I don’t look normal anymore, I don’t act normal and people who know me can tell. I have severe sjin disorders that dont go away easily and are ready to erupt at any time. 125mcg thats my dose. But ladt blood work up showed my t4,t3 just on the low side ofnormal. So no problems not my thyroid. Then the this shows 8.5. That’s 2 times the hormone but it’s not going to the low t4,t3. I’ve never had a reverse or any other test done. Do not know if insurance will cover it. My hair started coming out by the handfuls, I started a period this month-after almost 2 yrs of menopause. I’m scared. I feel like I might have cancer but they say no. My liver is already compromised hep c, but took a treatment and it is negative for 2 yrs. But recently it’s been a fight to just get up other than to go to the bathroom 100 times. I need a list of the tests I can take please. Any info about vitamins what to take /not to take. I’m scared and confused. Not alone looks like I found help. Ty,sherry

  2. I have had problems with my thyroid since my early 20s, and Have been diagnosed with hyperthrodism as well. The thing is the drug to help only stops your little gland from working, it does not help get it working again.. that’s why I’m choosing to see a natural path on using the right dose of iodine and take protandim to work with my cells to kick start my cells again:)

    • Astara Ariel says:

      Hi Deborah,
      Thank you for your post.
      I have Hashimoto’s disease and currently take 2 grains of natural desiccated thyroid medication and 50microgram of T3.
      Works very well… I noticed you take Protandim which I am about to start taking. Do you know if it affects thyroid medication and if so, do I reduce the dosage of med?
      I would appreciate if you could share your knowledge.
      Many thanks
      Astara

  3. so most of the time no one understands me and think I’m either lazy or can’t be bothered.
    my brain is frazzled and feel like I’m in a constant black fog.
    I feel down and I get moody quite frequently so after reading all your blogs,I’m looking for advice on how to get myself out of this pls k hole I feel I’m in ☹

  4. Sue Waters says:

    I am now 63 and was diagnosed when I was 34 and life has been terrible since, the fog horrible and I have struggled to work and function, with memory not the best, and not being able to concentrate, losing my thought process. Studying has been impossible, not being able to absorb information, only the simplest. I will certainly ask the dr for those blood tests for sure, thanks so much.

  5. Reading this article is like reading my current life story…Im at a complete loss. I can’t get diagnosed with anything other than depression/anxiety. Here take these pills so you will.still have symptoms but just won’t care…Cant get a doctor to test anything other than TSH…it is beyond frustrating…diagbised with major hyperthyroidism while pregnant with my 1st child. Had RAI 7 years ago…Endo dropped me after my 2nd pregnancy…no follow up-nothing…at a compete loss…feel awful…exploring all options on my own that I can afford…this is such a long and frustrating process…

    • Get the test straight from the lab. Then take results to a doctor. No reason they shouldn’t be testing you seeing as you have a history. You need new doctors for sure.

  6. Debbie Paris says:

    Diagnosed with Hashimoto/hypothyroidism about 30 yrs ago and have been on synthroid/levothyroxine ever since. I’ve had an ectopic pregnancy back in 1975. Was put on clomid to help get pregnant afterwards. Miscarried that baby and have 3 grown children now. However my oldest daughter has a kidney condition she was told she was “born with” that overproduces kidney stones. Clomid related? I wonder. About 2001 I almost bled to death and had to have a uteral ablation and a major blood transfusion. Lately I’ve developed hives on my hands and arms that itch like crazy. I need to find a good endocrinologist ASAP

  7. Debora Garcia says:

    Getting my doctors at Kaiser to run anything other than the standard tests has been impossible. I am infuriated! I have Hashimoto’s thyroid, as well as lupus, diagnosed in 1991. Lately, my hair, lashes and browns are falling out like crazy, and I just feel awful. So, you’d think… But NO!
    Anyone have any advice for pushing these imbeciles into more proactive care?
    At my wit’s and….

    I really look forward to this series!

  8. It’s unacceptable that so many doctors could not treat my hypothyroidism, a disease that is so common. And that no-one holds them responsible for it. It’s unbelievable. Their incompetence or carelessness cost me several miscarriages , most of my hair, my job, relationships, years of my life. I finally feel better on NDTs but still struggling to reverse years of decline. Your blog has been one of the first sources of useful information that I found, which led me to reading several books, and eventually finding a better doctor. I am paying out of pocket for the new doctor, and it’s a lot of money, but at least she listens to me and I am slowly getting my life back. And it is not a scam; I could finally get out of home and do things, my hair loss and weight gain stopped, although neither ever recovered to my original and normal, and I even became pregnant again and is currently much further into my pregnancy than any of my prior losses, fingers crossed… Even with the new doctor I have to be the one who knows things and demands tests and asks about supplements and solutions. Thank you for doing this Dana. I hope I can one day say I am back to my normal brain. It is definitely a journey.

  9. I have had an over active and now.an under active thyroid, I take levothyroxine, for many years but feel awful. I have blood tests every year and my dose has never changed, but.I have a vit B and D deficiency, high cholesterol, high liver function test came back positive and I have a constant infection showing up.in my blood test, but no symptoms. My question, in the UK does anyone know can I ask for a different thyroid medication, or is levothyroxine the only choice.

    • Lisa wykoff says:

      I was on Armour thyroid for many years with much success

      • That’s wonderful to hear Lisa. Thank you for sharing. It reminds my readers here at Hypothyroid Mom that there is hope to find wellness even with hypothyroidism.

        Best,
        Dana (Hypothyroid Mom)

    • It depends on your Gp and their location. I’m in Scotland & have one friend who gets the desiccated animal thyroid treatment & finds it makes a huge difference. I have another friend who cannot find anyone who will prescribe it

  10. Diane,
    I love reading your blog!! It’s helped me and my daughter so much!!! Are you familiar with Standard Process?

  11. Tiffani Buss says:

    Hello

    I would like to know a good thyroid doctor here in Texas? Any recommendations?

    Thank you

  12. Omg, It makes me sad to read this. It’s like you are here with me writing my life. I also have celiac so some symptoms are doubled. My drs just blow everything off, it’s either the thyroid or celiac. It’s sometimes frightening knowing it’s neither, like gallbladder that they kept ignoring. Thank you for blogging.

  13. Chris Blevins says:

    I have had Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disease, for 25 years. One major change that I have found to be essential for me is to eliminate gluten from my diet! Any person with an autoimmune disease should avoid gluten at all costs! I wish that any doctor over the years would have told me this. It really makes a huge difference with brain fog, joint pain and many other issues. It is a hard thing to do but is worth it. I dont know if they check your thyroid during pregnancy but if not, request it. My thyroid was completely burned out with no function by the time I went for my 6 week check up after my 2nd child (25 years ago). My daughter was born with Down’s syndrome. I firmly believe there is a connection.

  14. Anna Kesikiadou says:

    I am from Greece. Iwould like to thank you for this article.I had a lot of the symptoms that yoy had and I really believed that I was getting crazy, and loosing my brain.I have diagnosed with Hipothiroidism Hashimoto desease.I want to learn more and more for my desease and I also want to know the connection between Hashimoto and Nutrition.

  15. Wow! Your story is nearly identical to mine! Except I was hospitalized with a blood clot vs kidney stones and I knew I was going to die from whatever was happening in my body. My diagnosis with low thyroid came shortly after my daughter was born, seven years ago. I told my doctor that I have never felt so fatigued in my life! I was put on levothyroxine and told I was good to go. Except I wasn’t. I had HORRIBLE symptoms, the list is too long for here. I went to the ER about twelve times. Finally I had a nurse practitioner who listened to my crying story and told me to keep a symptom journal. I did and she was quite perplexed by my huge list of symptoms. I told her, I think it’s my thyroid. She suggested testing for Hashimotos Disease since none of my previous doctors had done so. Within 24 hours I had my diagnosis. She immediately switched me to name brand synthroid because she felt my symptoms were related to the reliability and efficacy of the generic from dose to dose. Happily, a lot of my symptoms that I had had for years disappeared! But I was still not functioning at what I felt was a good quality of life. I fought for the next four years to see an endocrinologist. WHY is it so difficult for doctors to do this? I was told “”NO”time after time. FINALLY I saw a new NP who reluctantly agreed. Wow. The first day I saw my Endo, he said he wished he had seen me seven years earlier because the treatment I was getting from my doctors was as if I had never been treated at all. I sobbed with relief in the office that day. My synthroid dose was doubled and I was put on very high doses of Vitamin D and B12. I am on a gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free diet. I finally have my life back, and while I am sad looking back on my long struggle and how it affected my life and that of my family, I rejoice that I persisted and am thankful for the stories and blogs and experiences of others to know I am not alone. I will re-post on my Pinterest board for others searching like myself.

  16. Wow!! This was me for over a year! I thought I was going crazy because I didn’t understand how I went from running marathons to feeling sluggish and brain fogged all the time? My body started shutting down on me and I felt like I was slowly dying. No one can understand what a person with hypothyroidism really goes through. I’m still in the process of getting back to being myself, but all of the health issues I was experiencing have slowly started to disappear. Thank you for sharing your story!!

  17. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism back when I was 11 or 12 and am now 56. I currently take armour thyroid but was at my best when on proloid which is no longer available. This is a challenging life and triggers so many other health issues.

  18. Thank you for sharing your story. I am in a never ending cycle of doctors without any answers. I am meeting a doctor next week, so I pray that they can help get rid of my brain fog. It is frustrating when you meet with other doctors because they just want to chalk it up to your memory.

  19. Hi everyone, im so happy to find this post from pintrest. I am going through the same symptoms. My brain is just not working right. I am so embarrassed,I had to change my kid doctor cause I can’t seem to remember their appointment. Any appointment as a matter of fact. My doctor try putting me on antidepressant and anxiety medicine but I refuse to take them cause I’m afraid of getting worse than it is now. My question is, how do I get off levothyroxin to try some nature food that can help me.

  20. Is there anyway to treat Hashi naturally?

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