A powerful story of disappointment, “normal” diagnoses, extreme hair loss, and finally finding out about natural desiccated thyroid and feeling alive again…with past symptoms GONE!
My story isn’t about experiencing the joys of natural thyroid medications after bad bouts with synthetics. If you had asked me what a thyroid was even a year ago, I would have looked at you funny and said “I don’t know”.
I moved to Australia in July to do my Masters. About a month after being there I started to notice my hair falling out. A few months earlier in the States I had been losing hair as well and the doctor had assured me it was just a combination of natural shedding and going off long-term birth control medication. It had stopped without help after 6 weeks and I forgot about it until it began to happen again. I decided to wait it out and see if it would stop again.
A few weeks later I caught strep throat and went to the doctor for antibiotics. In passing, I mentioned the hair falling out and he agreed to run some basic blood tests including thyroid, iron, etc. Everything came back normal of course and I let it go.
Fast-forward a few weeks and nothing has changed. I still had strep and my hair was still falling out at an alarming rate. Back to the doctor I went for more extensive blood work. This time they did hormone levels, thyroid again, autoimmune diseases, etc. When everything was deemed “normal” again, I was told the hair loss was most likely due to the stress of being an international student missing home (said after I burst into tears at yet another normal result in his office). The only recommendation I was given was to “de-stress” and wait for it to stop naturally.
I went home that day completely discouraged. It was like a bad joke. So I cried a bit and then turned to the internet to search for any and all things that might cause a 22 year old to suddenly start going bald. At some point in my Googling, I ran across this site. The first place I went was to the “long and pathetic list of symptoms”. As I read the list, it was if the last puzzle piece fell into place. I had struggled with depression through the majority of my teen years, tried all the medications and never felt any difference. I finally gave up on them and accepted that I was just going to have to deal with the fact that I was not a “happy” person. I had also suddenly gained 40 pounds my sophomore year and then my weight remained stagnant despite dieting, a regular exercise program, etc. My personal trainer accused me of cheating on my diet when my weight didn’t budge after 6 weeks of training 2 hours every day. And so many other symptoms fit as well.
When I went home to the States for the holidays, I used the links on this site to find a “good” thyroid doctor. I learned as much as I could about the lab work used to diagnose thyroid issues, and went into the appointment prepared to be ruthless if I had to and demand that the right tests be done. I didn’t have to worry though, the doctor was well informed and spent 2 hours with me the first visit explaining everything and running through my symptoms. He started me on Armour and called me three days later to diagnose me with Hashimoto’s.
To be honest, in those first few weeks on the pills I was skeptical that this one doctor found something three others had missed for months. Out of desperation to feel better I continued to take the pills though. I cannot even begin to describe the changes that have happened since then. I am a different person now. Insomnia? Gone. Hair loss? Stopped.
And best of all, I learned that I am generally a happy, hopeful, optimistic person. Not the depressed shadow I lived for years. So thank you STTM and Janie and all the others who shared their stories here. Without all of you, I would never have put it all together and gotten diagnosed properly. —– Sincerely, Lauren