This week began a new Functional Medicine journey for me.
One I now know I should have started a long time ago.
For anyone new to my blog, I’ve suffered from Hypothyroidism for 13 years. THIRTEEN YEARS. To some that’s not long, to others it is but to me it’s an eternity. Symptoms have surfaced at different points along the way. Some have faded (thanks to AIP) but new ones always seem to rear their ugly head.
About a month ago I made the decision to find a local doctor after having lived in this new-to-us town for about 8 months. If you have an autoimmune disease, you know how frustrating it is to re-explain years and years of agony to a different doctor just to be met with the same lack of interest or concern as the old one.
As usual, I received the same ‘ol dreaded summary after getting my blood work results back, “Well, everything seems fine! Your levels are within the normal range. I don’t think we need to switch up your medication.”
In that moment, after his ignorant, apathetic words floated through the air and registered in my brain, something in me snapped. Surely this isn’t happening to me AGAIN.
No, my ears did not deceive me.
To make it worse, he would not even entertain the idea of switching to Armour Thyroid like I asked. His reason? Because it contains both T3 and T4 hormones. However, he decided to prescribe me Liothyronine… a T3 hormone.
He said he wanted to supplement my T4 medication (Levothyroxine) with T3.
But he wouldn’t just let me *try* Armour Thyroid, which contains both and is a more natural form of hormone.
My rage reached unimaginable levels.
I walked out of the office knowing FULL WELL I would never return. I deserve to have a doctor that will give me the attentive care my health deserves, even if I have to doctor jump for years.
My thyroid lobectomy was in 2006 so unfortunately, I’ll forever be medicated to balance my hormones. I’ve finally come to terms with that even though it has taken me a while. My bubbly, optimistic nature, as if on autopilot, always says “I’m fine”, even to myself, but that’s a lie. I’m tired of pretending like I am because I’m not.
While the Autoimmune Protocol has drastically helped, my body needs what it simply cannot balance on it’s own.
My New Journey: Functional Medicine
I saw a Functional Medicine doctor this past Monday.
While a part of me is hopeful, an even bigger part of me has major anxiety. All of my eggs are in this basket and I don’t think I can handle more of the same treatment.
I’ve read so many positive things about Functional Medicine online and that has helped fuel my desire to try this type of doctor, despite 13 years of Family Physicians and Endocrinologists failing me. Thanks to the referral of a couple friends, I finally scheduled an appointment and went.
Praise God I did.
The attentive care I received was at a level I didn’t dare hope for yet was immeasurably grateful to accept.
I was literally in tears as I sat there and poured out all of my health concerns, symptoms, feelings and life situations to this doctor. We talked about how, when and why I feel my autoimmune disease started, every symptom I’ve ever had, what blood tests are available to me (many I had no idea existed!), what course of action we’ll take, realistic expectations of where I want to be and a budget to do this all in (cash pay).
He affirmed that my symptoms are indeed real, they’re debilitating (getting through an 8hr work day is anguish) and that I shouldn’t have to live this way. PREACH! Just him saying that brought me down to a sobbing level. After 13 years of being told I’m normal, I’ve started to think it must all be in my head and I’m just stupid. The mind goes to some crazy dark places when dealing with over a decade of constant, overwhelming health issues.
After much discussion (over an hour and a half) he feels like I suffer from the following:
- Hashimotos, instead of Hypothyroidism. Apparently, one can still have this type of thyroid disease with only half a thyroid gland. For some reason, and I have no idea why, I didn’t think that was possible.
- Severe Adrenal Fatigue, which seems about right to me.
- Insulin issues, also seems about right.
Of course, we have to see what my blood work says but we’re both pretty confident we won’t be wrong. Honestly, I don’t care what’s wrong with me as long as it has a name and has a treatment plan that will help me feel human again.
My next appointment is April 17th and that’s when we’ll go over my blood results. In the meantime, I’ll be sticking to AIP and taking an in-home Salivary Hormone test to send out via FedEx.
For the first time in a very long time, I have hope again. There just might be a small flicker of light at the end of this long tunnel of darkness.
Stay tuned! I’ll update more on my Functional Medicine experience after my next appointment.
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