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Living with Hashimoto’s Disease

When it’s spelled out and said aloud, the word Hashimoto sounds insanely intimidating if
said correctly. It’s pronounced H-ah-she-moe-toe, and it’s Japanese meaning is “base of bridge.”
Hashimoto’s Disease is a thyroid and autoimmune disease in which essentially the body
interprets the thyroid as a foreign invader, like the flu. Because of this, the gut sends antibodies
to attack and kill the thyroid.
Because the thyroid has antibodies attacking it, it is unable to produce and distribute
hormones to the rest of the body. The thyroid is vital because it sends hormones to the rest of the
body which controls the rate of metabolism. During the time of attack, the thyroid will produce
an excess of hormones leading to hyperthyroidism. Essentially, the body is working on overtime
and influences rapid weight loss and rapid irregular heart rate. Because the thyroid will distribute
so many hormones, it will be unable to produce enough hormones which leads to
hypothyroidism. The symptoms of hypothyroidism are extensive, but the major signs are
depression, sensitivity to the cold, and constant fatigue.
Because there are many stages to Hashimoto disease, it is challenging for doctors to
properly diagnose the disease. That means many people go undiagnosed until the thyroid dies
and will have to be removed. Because it is a relatively new disease, doctors cannot pinpoint why
the disease occurs in some people and not others.
There is good news is, though, while there is no cure for Hashimoto’s Disease, it can be
managed through a proper diet. When I was first diagnosed at 16, it was recommended for me to
participate in a 21 Day Elimination Diet. The diet essentially took out major food groups for

twenty-one days to do two things. One, it reset my gut and immune system to slow the rate of
antibodies attacking my thyroid. Two, it allowed me to figure out which foods I’m the most
sensitive to and which ones will upset my gut area which in turn which foods produce the most
antibodies. For me, my food sensitivity is dairy. For others, it could be gluten or wheat or other
that a person may not think to consider.
Getting help to manage Hashimoto Disease early-on is much more beneficial to your
health than waiting until it’s too late. Have an open discussion with your doctors if you believe
that there’s a possibility that you could have a thyroid condition. Above all, you may feel alone
and afraid. Please, do not ever be afraid to reach out to someone to talk about your experience
and what you’re going through.

Communication Major Political Science Major Concentration in Human Communication Member of the UIndy Honors College Her Campus at Indy Vice President and Co-Social Media Director
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