Good Health (Australia) - - Health Coach / Autoimmune Disease -

Bev­er­ley Gar­side, 60, from Syd­ney, had Hashimoto’s dis­ease, which led to an underactive thyroid, and also Grave’s dis­ease, which had the op­po­site ef­fect. She is the chief ex­ec­u­tive of The Aus­tralian Thyroid Foun­da­tion. “A few months af­ter I had a baby, in my early 30s, my neck felt sore – it was hard and rub­bery. I was tired and had aching limbs and ter­ri­ble brain fog. I put ev­ery­thing down to hav­ing kids, but the sore neck made me see my doc­tor.

A thyroid func­tion test mea­sured my thyroid hor­mone and an ul­tra­sound showed the thyroid was in­flamed and had been for some time. I had Hashimoto’s dis­ease, but later I dis­cov­ered I also had Grave’s dis­ease, so I’d swing from an underactive thyroid to over-ac­tiv­ity.

I’d go from be­ing tired, gain­ing weight, not think­ing straight and be­ing con­sti­pated to be­ing al­most manic and do­ing house­work in the mid­dle of the night. I’d lose weight and have er­ratic think­ing and di­ar­rhoea. Ev­ery week to three weeks I’d go the op­po­site way.

I needed to take a thyroid re­place­ment hor­mone for Grave’s dis­ease, but be­cause I’d swing it was dif­fi­cult to find an ap­pro­pri­ate dose. It’s bet­ter now with block-and-re­place treat­ment – a drug to slow down the thyroid and thyroid re­place­ment hor­mone to bal­ance that.

Even­tu­ally I had my thyroid re­moved be­cause it was badly dis­eased and I now take a thyroid re­place­ment hor­mone tablet first thing in the morn­ing. The day my thyroid was re­moved was the day my life be­gan.

A lot of peo­ple put symp­toms down to life­style or age or hor­mones. I talk to women ev­ery day who don’t re­alise that how they’re feel­ing is not just about what’s go­ing on in their world – it could be a thyroid dis­or­der.”

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