Tag Archives: functional

Where do I begin?

Well at the time, I didn’t really want to begin.

Or need to.

I mean, I wasn’t feeling completely awful. Yes, my life had taken a turn for the worse and I wasn’t feeling like myself anymore. But I’ve learned the hard way that we need to reach a certain threshold of pain, whether physical, mental or emotional, to be willing to go in a new direction. And I wasn’t there yet.

At this point in the diagnosis process, I had a thyroid ultrasound that looked like beeswax, full of holes where my thyroid had been eaten away by my immune system. But my thyroid levels were low “normal”.

I also did not test positive for thyroid antibodies.  What this means is that my antibody levels were low enough to be undetectable.  I took this to be good news.

I am hopeful that what this means is that we caught this monster early enough to be able to make a dent in it and bring it to a grinding halt.

And because medication only brings thyroid hormone in the blood to an optimal level for a limited time, I wanted to find a more sustainable way of managing my newfound disease.

After much googling, I stumbled upon Dr. Kharrazian who wrote a book called

Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? when My Lab Tests Are Normal

This book changed my entire understanding of Hashimoto’s and for that I will forever be grateful to Dr. Kharrazian.  By the way, I am not paid to endorse him or his book, I just really love anything he has to say regarding Hashimoto’s and find it to be based on real patients and their symptoms as well as successful management of said symptoms.

So if you have Hashimoto’s and have no idea where to start, I highly recommend his approach.  It’s very detailed but understandable by regular people.  I especially enjoy the thorough explanations of what takes place in an auto-immune situation on a cellular level.

Another great thing I found thanks to Dr. Kharrazian is the Hashimoto’s 411 support group on Facebook.  There are several Hashimoto’s support groups on Facebook but I found this particular group to be the most helpful and not as judgemental and bossy as some of the other groups (just from my own personal experience).  Those ladies (mostly ladies 🙂 are FULL of buckets of knowledge about this disease.

So now I was armed with knowledge.  Thanks to the lovely people at Hashimoto’s 411, I found out there was a special type of doctor called Integrative or Functional.  These doctors go through special training to take the entire body into consideration instead of looking at it through the lens of a particular organ or body part (urology, cardiac, etc).  The idea is that everything is interrelated and can affect everything else.  I strongly believe in this concept in my own life so it made perfect sense to me to seek out this type of treatment.

According to Functionalmedicine.org:

Functional medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership…functional medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms. Functional medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors …In this way, functional medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.

After lots of phone calls, I finally struck on a nutritionist who was also a certified functional practitioner who was not too awfully far away from me (a few hours).  I should not that this field is relatively new and while there are lots of doctors listed in a 100 mile radius, not all of them align with my particular issue.  So weeding through the list and getting someone to actually call me back was an arduous task.

I found this to be the case with most things regarding this disease.  There is no clear cut “best” option.  There are many paths, many providers, many opinions, many courses of action.  In the end, the only way to know if some path will help is to try it (after some prayer and meditation on it lol).  This is, in a way, terrifying.  What if, by going down this particular path, I’m wasting the chance to fix this problem at THIS point in time with some other remedy?  I’m certain this is a malady facing lots of patients with chronic or urgent issues to address.

I guess we just make the best decision we can with the best information we have at the time.

And hope for the best.