“I’m not crazy, but there’s something wrong with me!” I wanted to throw a tantrum, but I was physically and mentally exhausted. I was desperate for an answer. Why was I suddenly flaring up with hives and skin rashes, when I’d never experienced any type of allergy besides normal sneezes?
I wasn’t my usual, energetic self, ever since I had strep last January. I put off concentrating on the symptoms, because I didn’t have time to, and it was bearable. At first, my body’s constant cries for relaxation were easy to ignore. Then co-workers noticed my constant irritability. And when the demands at the office became overwhelming, I spiraled to emotional breakdowns. I was only convinced to see a doctor when every waking moment was fixated on feeling well.
Before thoroughly examining me, my primary care doctor established the hives were suddenly appearing due to my hectic schedule and commitments, and suggested I meditate and continue my thyroid medication as prescribed. (Two years ago I was diagnosed by another doctor with hypothyroidism.)
She mentioned an allergist would require extensive testing, and she decided my crammed schedule wouldn’t afford me the time. I left the exam room even more confused and annoyed with my inexplicable, sluggish demeanour. Yes, my lifestyle was draining, but not depressive. I was overworked and had the same anxieties as many married women do — nothing out of the ordinary.
Two days later, the hives appeared again. Obsessed with finding the truth, and disregarded by own physician, I consulted another doctor — a dear friend of 30 years, an internist for eight years. I phoned my friend and emailed her pictures of the hives.
After reviewing the photographs, she asked me a few questions, and concluded it was a body yeast infection skin rash. “Antibiotics usually cause body yeast infection rashes, and you took antibiotics for strep. Tomorrow, after you show your doctor these photos, I’m sure she’ll prescribe you an antifungal cream.”
The next morning, my doctor examined me for only a moment, before concluding there weren’t any signs of a yeast infection skin rash, and was quick to judge that I wasn’t getting enough sleep. She prescribed a ‘soothing cream’ and explained that all thyroid patients have skin sensitivity.I’m glad I confided in my friend/second opinion doctor before dropping off my prescriptions at the pharmacy. I discovered my primary care doctor actually prescribed yeast infection treatments!
The yeast infection skin rash cleared up, but the hives weren’t controlled. My friend suggested I see an allergist. Even though I wasn’t convinced to see an allergist, I followed some of my friend’s suggestions: I changed my diet, kept a daily journal of everything I ate. But I still broke out in hives.I began to experience severe sensitivity issues from any clothing to a strand of hair on my skin. I finally made an appointment to see an allergist.
After reviewing new blood test reports, Dr Agnieszka Matczuk, Connecticut-based allergist and board certified immunologist, said, “The hypothyroidism has developed into hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This is an auto immune deficiency, in which your immune system is attacking your own gland, and is releasing too much histamine. These chronic hives stem from an underactive thyroid, and the levels are very low.” Dr Matczuk also said I should’ve been prescribed a higher dosage of thyroid medication from the beginning. Also, my vitamin D levels were extremely low.
Dr Matczuk confirmed low thyroid levels and allergy-decongestion antihistamine pills cause heart palpitations when thyroid levels are off.This wake-up call forced a lifestyle change for me. For the remainder of the year, I consistently took the proper dosage of thyroid hormone pill, plus an antihistamine tablet once a day. I incorporated a daily multivitamin and a B-complex vitamin to increase energy and to build resistance. I had added to my diet more fresh veggies, fish and low fat yogurt, and removed all additives, like unnatural sweeteners, low fat cooking sprays, and diet beverages. But this was a treatment that I discussed with my doctor and a plan that worked best for me; it may not be for everyone.
Today, after sticking to a rigid diet, filled with proteins, veggies and fresh mosombee juice, plus a daily exercise routine my hives are a thing of the past! And I don’t even need to take an antihistamine tablet either. Fatigue no longer hits me like a wrecking ball, as long as I remember to take my thyroid pill at the same time every day.And what’s incredible is that my thyroid dosage has also decreased significantly. Now staying focused has become easier. I sleep better now and am not irritable either.
Category: Kona's Korner