Thyroid Problems And Fatigue
Mary was a 44 year old Lebanese lady who came to see me for help with extreme exhaustion. She had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis a year ago and was taking 75 mcg of thyroxine daily.
Mary suffered with extreme exhaustion, and the thyroid hormone supplement didn’t help to increase her energy at all. Her hormone levels now looked good on paper when she went to have blood tests, yet she still barely had enough energy to get through the day.
Mary had a lot of joint pain and muscle pain. The pain kept changing locations; it moved from her hips, to her elbows, knees and ankles. The muscle pain in her arms was fairly constant and her arm muscles felt so weak that she had difficulties holding a hair dryer to blow dry her hair.
Mary was not significantly overweight, but she did suffer with a lot of fluid retention. There were days she could not take her rings off, and most days her lower legs ached and throbbed.
Mary wasn’t diagnosed with any specific digestive disorder, but she did complain of constantly feeling uncomfortable in her stomach. She had mild cramps and constantly loose bowel motions. Mary didn’t enjoy eating because she always felt unwell afterwards and the fatigue she felt was always much worse after meals.
Mary presented a long history of blood test results to me and I found many abnormalities.
Mary had mildly raised liver enzymes, low vitamin D, low white blood cells and she was positive for rheumatoid factor. Her doctor suggested that she was heading towards developing several other autoimmune diseases; lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, or even chronic fatigue syndrome. I was quite concerned for Mary because there were many red flags for possible serious health problems in the future.
<h3>Follow up appointments</h3>
One month later, Mary was still quite tired but was feeling significantly better in her digestive system. She was able to enjoy meals and not dread the pain and discomfort that usually followed. She found it difficult initially to stick to a gluten free diet because her husband loved Lebanese bread and there was always some in the house.
I saw Mary again one month later. Her energy level was starting to pick up and she no longer suffered with aches and pains or fluid retention. She commented that the magnesium was helping her to sleep more deeply and soundly. That gave her a lot more energy in the mornings and it greatly improved her mood and motivation.
Mary had been to her local doctor and had some new blood tests. Initially her thyroid antibodies had been significantly elevated, and this is what led to her diagnosis of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I was extremely pleased to see that her thyroid antibodies were no longer raised. In fact they were normal for the first time in a year. This result, combined with the improvements in how she was feeling gave Mary the confirmation that she was definitely on the right track with her health.
I will monitor her regularly and check her thyroid hormone levels. Now that her thyroid antibody levels are normal, it is quite possible she will be able to reduce her dose of thyroxine or come off it altogether. Often the thyroid gland can repair itself if we stop the autoimmune destruction and allow the tissue to repair itself.