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.


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.


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.



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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini M.A., Ed.M., 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+


  1. Having my first baby broke me. My thyroid completely quit. I take the highest dose of levo you can before mixing your own cocktail. I now have 2 kids and have gained so much weight. My body hurts my pride hurts and I felt terrible all the time even on meds. I have been doing a lot of my own research because none of the Drs I saw ever explained diet for hypothyroidism. Turns out you CAN LOSE WEIGHT WITH THIS DISORDER. anyone suffering, watch what you eat! You will need to do a calorie deficit diet only. No weight watchers or other fade diets you will gain weight with them. Do your homework about what hypothyroid folks can and should eat. Don’t stop taking the meds! You can lose weight! Keep on your meds and eat right for your disorder, you got this!

  2. WOW! I saw the title on Pinterest aand knew I hsd to read!! Every single one is me except miscarriage since about 3 years ago. I’m 47. I talked to my doctor. I kept getting interrupted and was told I am getting older and believe her your body starts to change the mind starts to not work as well. I told my husband I felt like I’m rotting from the inside out for lack of better words. Out of 3 children I’m still raising one and feel like I’m failing her miserably because I can’t think straight and have a granddaughter that I help with! I NEED to feel good. Even without that who wants to feel like this!!! Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me, maybe not, but something to look into!

  3. Thanks for sharing your article. I was diagnosed with having hypothyroid. I was in the early thirties and lived in fog, forgetful, no energy, weight gain, or sex drive. My most horrible symptom was depression. I went through such a horrible time it was like I was outside of my body looking in I knew something was terribly wrong but thought it was all mental. It lasted for about 6 weeks. What was even more terrifying is after I got to work I could not remember if I dropped off my 18 month old baby at the babysitter. Finally I found a regular MD that notice nodules on my thyroid six months later I had half of it removed. For 25 years I was taking Levothyroxine thinking I was doing great. While taking this medication my neck always looked swollen and I never could lose the weight that I had gained prior to being diagnosed. 5 years ago I asked my position to put me on regular Synthroid not a generic and it has made a world of difference. The swelling in my neck is gone and I’m 20 pounds from my ideal weight. I feel like a new person. I still have bouts of fatigue but my physician has given me a very high dose of vitamin D that I take once a week. I couldn’t live without it.

    • Wow. I’ve been struggling with depression, weight gain, thinning hair and joint pain for years. I’ve been on generic synthroid for 18 years but my now doctor refuses to listen when I say I need a change. I can not find a doctor that actually understands this condition. My thyroid doctor passed away 13 yrs ago and its been difficult to get the proper treatment since.

  4. Allyn Harad says:

    WOW Ladies, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and had my thyroid zapped a year ago. Some positive things is that through extensive blood tests and now medication, my hair is no longer wavy but curlier.
    The flip side is that my eyes are totally different, bulging, pained and baggy. I am embarrassed to go out with friends, at work, and there is no understanding as to what to do.
    “Sleep sitting up”. (haha). “Put cold water compresses on your eyes” (sometimes that works for a couple of hours). “Use a cream for hernias”. (Haven’t tried that one yet).
    Surgery is out because I am not “that bad”. Just my face has changed, my eyes hurt and my vision is compromised. Nothing major (sarcasm). Anyone have ideas or information?

    • I, too, have been through Graves’ disease with radioactive iodine treatment. I suffered for years until I asked my general practitioner if I could try a different drug approach. I asked him for levothyronine combined with synthroid. I even told him the dosage. I have been on this drug combo for years and I am so much better. Still have vision problems and I need to lose 20 more pounds. But my face looks normal again and my hair is no longer falling out in handfuls. I feel myself again. My advice is to do your research and ask for the treatment you would like to try.

  5. Angela Latham says:

    I take synthroid only for hypothyroidism; not surprisingly my doctor never discussed any supplements with me. Which ones have you found most beneficial? I’d really like my Magna cum Laude brain back.

    • I’ve been digging into all the articles I can about hypothyroidism. I found that tumeric and magnesium help w the inflammation. Iodine,selenium and vita D are important too

  6. First, I am so sorry for your loss, I too know that heartbreak. I had my thyroid removed years ago and armour thyroid was the drug that worked well for me until it didn’t. I had everything go wrong at once, ending up in the hospital and still no one could figure out what was wrong because my levels were normal. No one knew what to do with me so I was sent to see a heart doctor who just happen to be a personal friend and when I told him I felt like I was going through a “thyroid storm” he sent me to , I hope, the right place. We have to always fight and learn but must of all share what we are going through and I thank you for starting.

  7. I am 47 years old and was officially diagnosed little over a week ago. I so need help. Trying natural meds and hormones until I test again, if no improvement I will be on meds for hypothyroidism for life 🙁

    • Christina C says:

      I know it sounds scary and it feels like a big piece of you is being pulled out from under you, but please don’t think of it that way. Once you start your medication be it vitamins or synthroid/levothyroxine you will feel better and be able to think clearer. I’ve been diagnosed with hypo since I was 14. I’ve been there so many times. I also know that I would be dead if I gave up. So meds for life isn’t that bad. Keep your chin up and don’t worry, you aren’t alone.

  8. Wow. I’m still fighting to get the correct dx. I am so tired. There are so many things going on. I am on my second doctor in 10 years. I thank you for giving me the courage to continue to fight.

  9. O-M-G…
    I thought I was reading my experience the past 30 yrs!
    I have been dx sooo many disorders, diseases that it fills up page after page! And all them symptoms on them pages come down to mostly hashis.
    I totally relate. Im going to look up the suppliments you suggest. I already take d3, methyl b12 for 1 MYTHEL GENE..and armour thyroid.
    Had food allergies tested knew I was in trouble..confirmed eggs, wheats, rice few others have come to a hault. Scoped up and down..totally inflamed and tummy erosive was the word used on report ugh
    Antidepressants adderall for so called ADHD..now I get it.
    All started at 16 started gaining weight like crazy..to fibro, lupus, MCTD, to sjogrens, then fast forward to last baby at 25
    Then what I was told PPD..
    It has just spiraling. 25 yrs later thyroid biopsy..hashis confirmed. For crying out loud!
    This is aggrivating irritating and exhausting. I stumbled on your post. Thank you for sharing..gigi

  10. Wow. Amazing to be able to relate with all of your posts. I know that we all feel alone in our bodies. You have hit the nail on the head. Lazy, figgity, tired, hives, irritable…it goes on & on. Scared that my job asks more than i have the strength to give. Of too much coming at me at once. Of doctors not working together with naturopaths. Of spending so much money in health stores. Its a struggle and we should not tolerate shitty doctors who dont care. Keep up the good fight to feel better ladies.

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