Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

About Me

I am a female in my thirties. I live in the UK. I am educated to postgraduate degree level and I have an IQ of around 150.

I have autoimmune thyroid disease. I am hypothyroid. I have both Hashimotos Thyroiditis and Graves Disease antibodies, and I have Thyroid Eye Disease.

I spent 20 years misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia/ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome because my blood tests showed “normal” thyroid levels. Since taking thyroxine, I have been cured of these symptoms. Due to the current failings in diagnosis and detection of thyroid problems, I have been suffering unnecessarily for a long time.

I used to score very highly on tests designed to detect Asperger’s Syndrome, though I avoided official diagnosis. I have had Asperger’s-like personality traits since childhood. Since taking thyroxine, I no longer score in the Asperger’s range. I have comorbid Attention Deficit Disorder, which has much improved since taking thyroxine, though it is not cured. This is because hypothyroidism causes low levels of dopamine and serotonin.

Hypothyroidism caused me to develop severe food intolerances, due to its effect on metabolism through the liver and kidneys, which I managed for several years with the “Failsafe Diet“, a diet that is additive-free and low in salicylates, amines, and glutamates.

I am gluten free, as gluten seems to exacerbate my autoimmunity, and I eat a low carbohydrate, additive-free, moderately low salicylate diet.

My interests are in science, atheism, genetics, medicine and nutrition, the main topics of this blog.

I support conventional/allopathic medicine 99% of the time, though I am resistant to the use of some drugs since I am someone who is prone to massive side effects. Through accident rather than design I am relatively familiar with the curious world of alternative medicine and I spend a significant amount of my time debunking alternative ‘treatments’ and mind-traps, though when allopathic medicine is lacking in scientific rigour, I will challenge established dogma too. I am happy to support complementary medicine treatments that have evidence to back them up – for example, the use of vitamins and diets to gently hinder the progression of disease.

One major bone of contention I have with conventional medicine relates to the cholesterol hypothesis and the usefulness of low carbohydrate diets in treating various diseases – a disagreement based on personal experience of a low carbohydrate diet. Low carbohydrate diets are now starting to be exonerated by science, whilst many regular GPs in the UK question the use of statins for the lowering of cholesterol. I believe that low carbohydrate diets are extremely important in the correct treatment of diabetes.

The second bone of contention I have with conventional medicine is in the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases. The blood tests that doctors use simply aren’t sensitive enough to detect thyroid disease in all people. Often doctors do not even test the levels of the active thyroid hormone, T3, or provide thorough enough or sensitive enough antibody tests to detect autoimmune disease. In addition, not everyone with a thyroid problem gets better when they take levothyroxine. Some people require Natural Dessicated Thyroid tablets in order to see an improvement. Doctors rely far too heavily on questionable blood tests, instead of treating the patient. My own experience of standard medical treatment has thus far been frustrating, and I often find myself doing what I know feels best for my body, rather than sticking to ‘the rules’.

As well as frequent bouts of low-carbing, I loosely follow a diet called the failsafe diet. The failsafe diet is not alternative medicine, it is a medical diet developed by the allergy department at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and prescribed widely in Australia for salicylate (aspirin) intolerance and intolerance to related food chemicals. This diet has helped me with a variety of symptoms, including my concentration problems, which I now know are largely thyroid/autoimmune related.

Few people have heard of the failsafe diet outside of Australia, though it could help many people with food intolerance symptoms. It is very good for children with Attention Deficit Disorder. The autistic UK writer and artist Donna Williams follows a diet similar to mine.

This blog centres around my health journey and eventual diagnosis, and on the discoveries I have made and the connections I have found between various health problems.

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Written by alienrobotgirl

4 September, 2010 at 11:03 pm

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