In my previous post i ended with stating that knowing what’s wrong is only the beginning. This post i wanted to tell what i did next after i found out what was wrong with me.
I’m a pretty down to earth guy who follows science and wants to know more about the ‘WHY’ behind my disease. One book in particulair, Overdiagnosed by H. Gilbert Welch, made me more wary of just following doctor’s advice and always ask more questions because you are the patient, not the doctor. And the fact that i had thrombisis followed by a pulmenary embolism and graves’ disease at the same time, while the medical world told me that there is no relation…..just didn’t sit well with me.
Getting answers from mainstream medicine was hard and they simply didn’t know and only looked at my symptoms, not at any other things. So i wanted to go beyond standard medicine and try and find out if other people could help me. My wife (and her family) were already aquinted with an orthomoleculair therapist but i was sceptical because this field of alternative medicine has a hard time proving it’s research is emperically sound. But i thought what the hell, it’s worth a shot. He was a nice guy with >30 years of experience and he had me run bloodtests on minerals and vitamins through the regular channels. His statement was, and i agree, your body has to be in balance and an auto-immune disease is not something you just get (although you can be genetically predispositioned), it’s often a result of being out of balance. And he was very straightforward, there is no magical cure, it’s finding the right buttons to push and that differs per person.
The results were worrysome as he put it. According to international standards to which he holds the results (because the Dutch standards are way too broad in his perspective) i had an enormous deficiancy in Selenium, Magnesium, B12 and vitamin D3. The question is of course: was this part of the cause or the effect of loosing so much weight. So he got me on a bunch of supplements including some extra like Q10, K2 and B1 (or 2, i forgot). This gave me a sense of control. Because anything is better that the alternatives:
- Medicine: keep taking medicine but can cause live damage and reduce the number of white bloodcells
- Surgery (thyroidectomy): surgically remove most or all of the thyroid, followed by a life long of medicine.
- Radioactive iodine: a ‘pil’ which, if dosed correctly, destroys only half of your thyroid (but often more which results in hypothyroidism for which you need medication the rest of your live)
But the really weird part and the reason why i didn’t go for these option is that the Thyroid is actually just fine! It’s your auto-immune system which causes the thyroid to react. So why remove a healthy organ and not try to find the actual cause.
But anyway, i got this so, no need to worry. Never drank, smoked, no coffee, drugs, ate healthy, exersiced regularly. I’ll be done in no time. So during the next year i took my supplement, started reducing bloodthinners. Changed my diet by altering my breakfast with cottage cheere (kwark in dutch), fruit, nuts and seeds and oatmeal. Work was good, relationship was better and i started getting stronger (i stopped crossfit 😦 after it happened and started slowly in the gym). And then at one point i got the ok to stop taking medicine and almost a year later i was a patient no more. A year without medicine and no relapse, i wasn’t sick anymore (in my mind i was never really sick)!
For a while things went really well, even started crossfit 🙂 at a box nearby despite the concerns of my wife because she associated my disease with crossfit (which of course doesn’t cause it but the extremity of the sport can have an effect on the auto-immune system). And things were looking good, i was stable at 100kg for about 2 years now and still no relapse. So i was part of lucky group that ‘survived’ the disease…….untill the summer of 2018. Which i will write about in my next blog.
2 thoughts on “My Battle With Graves Disease, part 2”