So now the university hospital health care system to which my physician belongs offers you the ability to see all your test results online. I signed in, and all the way at the bottom, I see the results from the first pain in the neck endocrinologist I saw, two years ago. So I look at the thyroid test results, which are high but not unusually so.
And then I looked at my thyroid antibodies. Holy shit, they were off the chart!
I asked him about the results at the time. “Do I have Hashimoto’s disease?” I said. “No, your antibodies are fine,” he’d told me. (I guess it depends on your definition of “fine.”)
Let’s put it this way: When antibodies are supposed to be less than 35 units per milliliter, and yours are over 1000, you have a problem. My problem is most likely Hashimoto’s disease, a common chronic and progressive auto-immune inflammation of the thyroid gland. The reason it’s important is that it attacks your immune system for years before you finally test as hypothyroid — which is what happened to me and explains so many of the symptoms I have. So I have an appointment with a Hashi endo in a couple of weeks.
I kept telling my primary doctor that I felt even worse than I did when I was finally diagnosed. He shrugged. “I don’t know what to tell you, your numbers are fine.”
“But it feels like the medication doesn’t even work anymore.”
“I don’t know what to tell you. You can always get a second opinion.” (He’s a short, tidy fellow who’s a bit persnickety.) This is why I always end up arguing with doctors. They think they’re special, and to me, they’re just mechanics.
Anyway, they have no way of treating it, you can only slow it down. But I did a lot of reading over the past few days and apparently going on a gluten-free diet does wonders for the symptoms and even lowers the anti-bodies. Which means I have to learn to cook all over again. I’m also going back over all your helpful comments from the last time.
I guess I’m going to be one of those annoying gluten-free people! (Annoying because have you ever tried to pick a restaurant with a gluten-free person?) Oh well.