Journey of Undiagnosed Hypothyroidism and Unnecessary Weight Gain

Melissa Kermani, Thyroid Thrivers
Thyroid Nation

41 years old
Delmar, New York

“Cut the carbs and exercise more. Seriously?”

Shortly after I got married in 2001, I
started to gain a little weight. I didn’t really think much about it until my skin and hair changed. My mother referred to my face as having a “ruddy” complexion. Year after year, I went to my GP for my annual physical and he told me we all have a few pounds to lose. “Cut the carbs and exercise more.” I never questioned what he said, after all, he was the doctor and was supposed to know everything. Right!? Wrong!

In a strange twist of fate, in 2008 my general practitioner happened to be out of the office and I saw the physician’s assistant (what a lucky break, I later decided). I complained to her about how I was feeling: couldn’t lose weight, cold all the time, no energy, etc. and she asked if I ever had my thyroid checked. I thought it was a strange question, but told her no. I finally got a diagnosis —Hypothyroidism. I was relieved. Strange, but I was.

During 2009, I saw 2 endocrinologists. They both, separately, put me on Synthroid for my Hypothyroidism. Over the course of the year, I gained 60 pounds, got very puffy and developed terrible heart burn. I was a mess. At my last appointment with the endocrinologist, I poured my heart out and cried in her office. I told her how horrible I felt, sharing my innermost thoughts, feelings and secrets about my health. I will never forget the next words she spoke to me…..

 “You are within the normal ranges and I recommend you go see a diet doctor!”

I was insulted, saddened and devastated, to say the least.

Thankfully, my parents were seeing a holistic doctor at the time. They ranted and raved about how wonderful the practice was and how much different it was from conventional doctors. As a Christmas Present, they paid for my initial visit. In January 2010, I saw Dr. Korey DiRoma. My first appointment was an hour and a half. I couldn’t believe it.  I had seen so many other doctors in the last few years who barely spent 20 minutes with me. He was fantastic, knowledgeable, friendly and so different from the other doctors. He actually LISTENED to me and my needs, concerns, fears, ailments etc.  We talked and talked.  When I told him my health history, I was amazed and relieved because he said a lot of people have that same exact reaction to Synthroid.  He didn’t look at me like I was crazy. He didn’t make me feel like I was crazy or that something was wrong with me. He made me feel normal. For the first time in my life, I was confident that he was going to help me feel better and lead me to my path of recovery.

Unbelievably, this was the kind of doctor who cared and took time to look at my blood work history.  I was still showing signs of being Hypothyroidism. He immediately changed my medication, put me on Armour Thyroid and ordered more blood tests. Once the medication started to take affect, my heartburn disappeared, I wasn’t as puffy and I looked and felt better overall.  WOW! It was a very validating feeling.

Then, over the course of the next few years, I tried compounding medications to try to get my numbers where they needed to be so that I could be at my optimal health. Like most, I eventually discovered that I do not convert T4 to T3 properly. They call it Thyroid Hormone Resistance (THR). I visited a neuro-endocrinologist in New York City, after hearing he was having success with patients that also had THR. He put me on Cytomel (T3 only) and I developed an increased heart rate which led me to an appointment with a cardiologist.  The beta blocker they prescribed, made me feel worse than I had ever felt, in my entire life. UGH! My inflammation was high, blood tests showed my kidneys were leaking and I had some signs of tissue damage. Not to mention, my feet were swelling like a frightened puffer-fish. Dr. DiRoma immediately took me off the Cytomel. He was very concerned for me, that made two of us, and for my health. (and my feet)  🙂

Finally, about a year ago, Dr. DiRoma put me on 1 grain of Nature-Throid, twice a day. I have started to see some of the puffiness go away. Seeing the knuckles in my hands again, is a miraculous feeling.  A feeling you cannot explain to very many people, much less friends and family.  Five months ago he suggested becoming a vegetarian, hoping this would help with loosing the unnecessary weight I had put on since being undiagnosed for many years. I always had high levels of inflammation in my body. My SED rate was usually over 50. Being on this new diet plan, my SED rate is now at 23. (Under 20 is normal, so I am close) Hopefully soon, I will be able to lose the weight I gained over the years, being misdiagnosed and improperly treated. I truly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have Dr. DiRoma as my doctor. He really saved my life.

I am forever grateful to Dr. Di Roma– I have my life back, thanks to him and I am happy to be back.

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