Last week I posted about hypo and hyper thyroid and explained the signs and symptoms of each one. But what happens if you are both? This is sometimes referred to as Hashitoxicosis, which effectively is a blend of Hashimoto’s and Grave’s disease.
Obviously you do not experience these at the same time, and it is more common to go from Grave’s to Hashimoto’s rather than the other way around. If this is the case then the state of your antibodies determines your thyroid function.
This particular situation is of personal interest to me as I often fluctuate. I have mild thyroiditis and show antibodies for Grave’s but have the signs and symptoms of hypothyroid function. So without testing I never really know which one I am except for my symptoms.
My thyroid journey started after the birth of my twins, which is a common trigger. I had a goitre on my right side (often indicating hyperthyroid) and a cold nodule on my left (often indicating hypothyroid). I was struggling with weight gain (not uncommon for my age), fatigue and brain fog. I had no energy to do anything along with low mood.
When this was first discovered I had an appointment with a general surgeon who stated he would take the whole thyroid out and be done with it. I was not very keen for this to happen. So I got a second opinion with an Endocrinologist, who specialised in thyroid function. He was great and retested everything and after 7 takes on a fine needle aspiration (FNA) it was determined I was fine. A cold nodule is when there is little uptake of iodine, and is considered suspect, hence all the testing to be sure it wasn’t cancerous.
Re-testing via FNA happened many times over the next few years, to check if there were any changes in the cells. But after 10 years, and a very stressful situation, it all changed and it was decided to take the left half out. Luckily the results all came back negative.
So for the last 7 years I have been functioning with only half a thyroid which is fine, except that this one also now has a nodule (along with the goitre). I am not sure what will be next as I currently wait to evaluate what the next step is.
What I do know is that as Naturopath I can help treat either of these conditions. Naturopathy can use nutrition and herbal medicines to help achieve healthy thyroid function. Hyperthyroid conditions are mostly are set off by stress, and again herbs and nutrition can assist to reduce your stress responses.
If you are experiencing thyroid dysfunction and want to talk with someone who understands how you feel, then book in for an appointment with me.
This article was written by Jan Caton Bachelor of Health Sciences – Naturopathy. Jan is the Director, Naturopath and Nutritionist at Magnolia Apothecary. Jan practices in the Yarra Ranges and the Shire of Knox.