http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/2010/02/h ... n-there-1/
She calls autoimmune sufferers "the proverbial canaries down the mineshaft" – although her problem is an underactive thyroid, many of her thoughts can apply to all of us with an "autoimmune" disease.
Autoimmune disease is a condition that sees the body attack its own cells, resulting in a colourful array of diseases, including Crohns and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s said to be among the top ten causes of death for women under 65. This “about thyroid http://thyroid.about.com/library/links/blthyroid.htm)" site gives more detail.
I first got the condition at 21 in the form of Graves disease (a hyperactive thyroid). Thirteen years later (at the end of 2007) it switched to Hashimotos (an underactive thyroid). It often goes this way. A bit like a star that burns too brightly and eventually implodes.
Did I get fat?
I put on 12kg in a matter of months. Which was hard, given not long after I was plonked on a national TV show with 4.5 million Australians watching. Thankfully it was a show about food. And my co-hosts were chubby! I’ve lost about 3kg since then.
To be sure, Hashimotos is not a kind disease to the female ego. Other charming symptoms: my hair thinned, my nails flaked off to the nail pit, and I got to a point where I couldn’t walk. I’d stand and fall over. Oh, yes, and I got depressed. And inflamed. I HATE the inflammation. On “thyroidy” days, my right side swells up and tingles. My lips feel like they’re burning. I still get this when I overdo things (don’t sleep enough, do a little too much exercise or eat certain foods); it’s like a little red flag that tells me be to back off and look after myself. I also still get very tired some days and find it hard to move about. Again. Helpful red flag.
I also lost all my female hormones and my periods stopped for about a year, which caused a bunch of other issues (brittle bones and, oooooh, mood fluctuations), and got me real worried I’d never be able to have kids.
The weirdest symptom?
I lost the outer third of my eyebrows (weird, but quite common). I now have to pencil them in. And I have a really good eyebrow shaper who corrals them into shape (Gee in Double Bay 0404 034 312).
I think she is finding improvement with a gluten-free diet.