A Second Diagnosis

Remember me?
Yes, I became one of those people, who all but abandoned their blog for a few months. Can I ever be forgiven? Please, let me explain.
First, let me start off by saying that I mean no disrespect by not replying to any of your comments. The blog template that I'm currently using has had a bug in it, and I'm unable to reply to comments. So, I'm in the process of redesigning the blog, as well as the format . It's sort of a longer process because I'm still having 'good days' and 'bad days.' Plus, we've recently made a big leap and have moved away from Ohio, but I'll save that post for another day.
After my last post, things got a bit more complicated for me.  The longer I took the Nature-Throid, the more intense my hypo symptoms got, but I also began experiencing hyper symptoms, such as unnecessary sweating, anxiety, heart palps (and I never had heart issues before), irritability, jittery, etc. Still, I was feeling immense fatigue, hair loss, bloating, puffiness, and many other hypo symptoms all simultaneously with the hyper symptoms. I knew something was egging the aggressive hyper symptoms. Once again, the educated girl in me prevailed over the sick girl. I had a hunch, and I followed it. Thank-God I still have my brain, despite the fog. I contacted my doctor and told him that I thought that I was possibly dealing with the Graves antibodies too. I know what you're thinking- you can have both Hashimoto's and Graves disease? Unfortunately, the answer is yes, though it's uncommon. And the results in my case, were positive. I tested positive for the TSI (Thyroid-Stimulating Immunoglobulin) antibodies. So, I have antibodies attacking my thyroid in two ways. This posed a new challenge for us, and frankly, a newer identity to my overall condition. The roller coaster of symptoms that I was experiencing was indeed one crazy ride, but I was relieved to hear that there was a clinical explanation for my roller coaster ride.  
One night, Aaron and I were listening to blog talk radio (a great source of information and supportive, thyroid experts and doctors- http://www.blogtalkradio.com/mthfrsupport ), and we decided to call in to the show and ask for insight to why my antibodies had increased so drastically upon taking natural dessicated thyroid medications. One of the doctors agreed that there was probably a malfunction with my immune system (no surprise), which was causing my body to also attack the thyroid medication because it couldn't tell the difference between the replacement hormones and my own. This scenario was another uncommon one, and although rare, they suggested that I try a synthetic replacement. The next day, I contacted Dr. Maxwell and he agreed with the other doctor's theory, so I started taking a newer synthetic, which is a Levothyroxine (T4-ONLY) called Tirosint This pill is hypoallergenic and does not contain any fillers or binders. It's also the only thyroid medication that comes in a gelcap that's easier to absorb than the other forms. Genius! You would think that someone would have thought of making gel caps before, since most of us with thyroid disease have digestive woes. In addition to the Tirosint, he added Cytomel, which is a synthetic T3 hormone replacement. 
After a few weeks on the new medications, I noticed that my fatigue had drastically subsided and my brain fog had lifted, but I was still dealing with a lot of hyper symptoms, including heart palps, a rapid pulse, angina (chest pain), particularly severe bloating, and confusion. Symptoms involving the heart are among the scariest I've personally experienced because the first thing that comes to my mind is heart attack. In fact, one night when I was experiencing heart palps and chest pain, my left arm started getting numb and tingly, and I felt a pressure in my jaw. I was also dealing with dizziness upon standing, and my pulse was drastically increasing upon standing. This is known as Orthostatic Hypotension. There are several causes of it, but adrenal fatigue and insufficiency is a common cause of it. Dr. Lam, a leading expert on the adrenals, discuses the link between adrenal fatigue and the heart HERE. After several hours of dealing with these scary symptoms, Aaron and I decided to go to the hospital and get it checked out. Although we had multiple bad experiences with the emergency room, we thought that this time would be different because I clearly had an issue with my heart. So we thought. The time that we spent there was another waste of precious life space. Not only did they dismiss my symptoms, they first failed to run proper tests, until I insisted that they check my electrolytes and thyroid numbers to ensure that I was not dealing with a condition associated with hyperthyroid called a Thyroid Storm. This dangerous complication of Graves disease involves symptoms such as a high heart rate, dehydration, sudden heart failure, confusion, confusion/disorientation, etc. The emergency room staff was quick to point out that "You do know that Hashimoto's and Grave's disease are two different diseases, right." In the state I was in that night, I felt like screaming at them, but I politely replied, "yes, I know the difference, and I have both. You do know that it is possible to have both conditions, right?" Readers, please do your best never to end up at Bethesda North Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. Anyway, when the test results came back, they vaguely mentioned that my electrolytes were low, I had dehydration, and literally discharged me without treatment. In truth, it wasn't feasible for me to have dealt with either problem because I actually drank multiple bottles of electrolyte water that evening alone, and had ate multiple healthy meals throughout the day. Now, I was not in the 'right mind' during this time and could not advocate for myself like I can when I'm healthier, so I didn't not argue my case for electrolyte treatment. And bless Aaron, but he's not one to speak up or argue with hospital employees, though I think he's learned to do so going forward. This wasn't the first that I had symptoms that warranted a trip to the emergency room, and ended up being low electrolytes. Never meds with low electrolytes. When they become low enough, they can cause the heart to work harder and also interfere with other electrolytes and minerals. 

So, what's one cause of unnecessary, chronically low electrolytes, despite proper intake of them? Answer- adrenal issues. Of course, modern medicine hasn't a clue how to diagnose or treat adrenal issues, including adrenal fatigue. 
When we left the hospital, my symptoms were actually worse than before I went in, and that's due to the fact that this hospital did absolutely nothing to treat my low electrolytes. Both sodium and potassium levels have a very short range and even a small decrease of either can be dangerous to the heart. Unable to find a better solution at 3:00 AM, we bought some organic, Non-GMO potato chips (only three ingredients too) at the grocery store and I ate almost half the bag. About an hour later, my symptoms drastically subsided. From that point on, we always made sure that our house was stocked with Kettle Brand potato chips. Potatoes have a large amount of potassium without all the sugar that are in bananas. I also began putting pink Himalayan sea salt on my food. I'd never salted my food much before mainly because I didn't want to endure the health problems associated with too much salt. Most Americans get too much salt and have higher potassium, which can contribute to high blood pressure. So, low electrolytes are uncommon for the majority of the population. 

Now days, I drink adrenal cocktails, which are made with orange juice. If you think that you're suffering from symptoms of adrenal fatigue, taking thyroid medication, and are not dealing with HIGH sodium levels (healthy adrenals are important for thyroid health and vice-versa), try the following recipe 1-2 times/day:

  • 4 Oz. of Orange Juice – fresh squeezed is best, but not essential (the Vit-C helps the liver process the electrolytes for adequate absorption)
  • 1/4 tsp of Cream of Tartar (for potassium)
  • 1/4 tsp of fresh ground Himalayan Sea Salt (great source of sodium)
In the next few posts, I'm going to discuss the most recent changes to my health and treatment plan. I can't believe It's been over a year since my diagnosis. I feel like it was yesterday. 
Are you dealing with heart symptoms or complications of thyroid disease? Heart disease also runs on both sides of my mom's side of the family, and two of my uncles have both recently had heart procedures. I'll fill you all in on my 23 And Me Results soon too. Until then, be kind to your butterflies. 


"A hospital is no place to be sick."-Samual Goldwyn 


  1. Nice blog. Really very informative blog.
    Can you provide me more information on antibody sigma ???

  2. Hi,

    Just wanted to share with you (if you havent already come across it) that there is a very strong link between "pyroluria" and Hashimotos. Pyroluria is a condition in the liver that makes you chronically deficient in zinc and B6 and other minerals/vitamins. My Hashimoto symptoms haver greatly calmed down by treating my Pyroluria. I live in Australia and most integrated medical doctors/naturopaths are very aware of this condition.
    Just wanted to share this as it helped me...