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For years, I knew something was wrong.
I didn’t feel right. I was always tired. I was always stressed. I was always worried. And, yes… I was always depressed.
And, that wasn’t all…
I had also gained weight. I had joint pain. I was even cold all the time – so cold that my husband didn’t want me to put my feet anywhere near him in bed.
Now, I’m the type of person that researches everything… And, I do mean everything.
After an exhaustive dig into all of my symptoms, I felt I knew what was going on. It had to be a thyroid problem. After all, I fit all the symptoms. So, I went to my doctor armed with a list of my symptoms and a request to have my thyroid checked.
Let me tell you, I was floored when he told me that my tests came back negative and my thyroid was fine. Not only that, I felt even more alone – because then what WAS wrong with me?
According to my doctor, the answer was depression and anxiety. In other words, all of those symptoms – the weight gain, the fatigue, the cold hands and feet – all of them were because I was sad and anxious.
Could that be true?
It took years and multiple doctors to get the real answer.
And, it turned out that my instincts were right. It was my thyroid – just not the usual thyroid problems doctors look for, which is why it was overlooked for so long. So, if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms like I was, such as:
- Sensitivity to cold
- Weight gain
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Memory problems
Then read on… Because what your doctor won’t tell you and doesn’t test for can hurt you – sometimes for years!
Depression, anxiety and thyroiditis
You see, there’s a condition known as autoimmune thyroiditis. It’s also sometimes called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
And, it basically means that your immune system attacks and kills your thyroid gland so it doesn’t function the way it’s supposed to. That’s why you can end up with that long list of symptoms we just talked about.
In fact, a new study out of Germany has just proven that a lot of people (especially women) who are diagnosed with depression and anxiety may really be suffering from thyroiditis.
Because if you have the condition, you’re 3.5 times more likely to suffer from depression, or 2.3 times more likely to suffer from anxiety.
This may not sound like much at first, but since the three disorders are very common it means that patients with autoimmune thyroiditis account for more than 40 percent of all cases of depression and 30 percent of all cases of anxiety.
Those are some big numbers!
And, unfortunately, it’s super easy for doctors to miss the diagnosis or even misdiagnosis it as ‘menopausal symptoms’ or depression or anxiety alone.
Help overcoming autoimmune thyroid symptoms
So, if you suffer from autoimmune thyroid symptoms what can you do about it?
Well, according to the researchers, if you live with depression, you can ask your doctor to prescribe anti-depressants that don’t affect your weight.
But, it’s also vital to supplement with selenium since without it, your thyroid can’t maintain optimal health. That’s because selenium is a trace mineral that helps convert the relatively inactive T4s to the active thyroid hormone T3.
You should also add in ashwagandha root, which works as an immune modulator to help regulate autoimmune inflammation that contributes to thyroiditis.
Copper is also important since it helps stimulate the thyroid and protect the body from too much thyroxine building up in the blood.
Other important steps to take in dealing with autoimmune thyroiditis are to mitigate stress through regular light exercise, meditation and deep breathing exercise and through eating a healthy diet. And, if you’re sensitive to gluten, like I am, be sure to eliminate it from your diet since gluten sensitivity can increase immune reactions.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of autoimmune thyroiditis, don’t let your doctor blow off your symptoms as just depression, anxiety or menopause. Ask for blood work to confirm the diagnosis and use the tips above to modulate your immune response, get control of your thyroid function and finally feel better.