The Past Five Months Have Been Hell (Subacute Lymphocytic Thyroiditis?)

Discussion in 'Ask For Help or Advice' started by Tenacity, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    My first thread regarding this topic was here: Is This Hyperthyroidism?

    For the sake of context I'm going to retell that story (there's a TL;DR at the bottom, feel free to skip if you hate stories - it's a long one). Needless to say I am a little embarrassed about what has happened.

    The week before the incident, I noticed that consuming slightly more food than usual seemed to have consistently beneficial effects on my acne (which is only slight, but I still take it as a marker of poor health). I suspected that I might have been undereating, and I later confirmed that I had been losing weight.

    At that point, my diet and supplement regimen was an entirely fruit, honey and dairy based diet, totalling about 3200 kcal. I took about 240mg of caffeine in the form of coffee and 300mg of aspirin, twice daily.

    August

    On the 29th of August, I decided to eat more total food, eat more regularly, track the response of my pulse to the increased food intake, added another 80mg of caffeine via coffee and an additional 300mg of aspirin. What happened that day was not pretty.

    I had eaten about 2800kcal by 4PM, reaching that amount far sooner than I usually would have done. I decided to eat, and had a large serving of dates and a blend of milk, honey, and coconut oil. I noticed a sudden increase in hunger, quite unusually, and decided to have another milk, honey and coconut oil drink.

    At 6PM, I was browsing the forum when I noticed that my heart rate had suddenly shot up to about 120BPM, and a wave of anxiety/dread/impending doom washed over me. The tachycardia did not slow down for hours, and only begun to fall as I was being taken to the hospital. I waited for 2 hours to be seen, at which point my pulse was about 105BPM. After an ECG, and a decision not to conduct a blood test, I was sent home. "Sometimes this happens," the doctor said.

    The next morning, I woke up with a pulse rate of 99BPM. It would stay that high for the next two days. I came to recognise the anxiety/dread/doom reactions as panic attacks, and would have several very unpleasant ones, each lasting about half an hour, over the course of the next week. These events were not as severe as the initial panic attack. After that week things seemed to return to normal.

    September

    The week after was when $h1t really hit the fan. I had another panic attack in the evening, but fell asleep soon after. I expected to wake to feel semi-normal, but I would not feel anywhere close to normal again for another five months.

    The first thing I noticed was a complete absence of appetite and hunger. I could not bring myself to eat any solid food - I'd put solid food in my mouth and shivers would run up and down my spine, and I simply did not want to eat it. I subsisted on liquids only, in the form of milk and honey, for about a week. I'd estimate my daily caloric intake at that time was about 1600kcal, almost half of its usual amount, but sometimes even less.

    Other symptoms soon followed. I had a general sense of anxiety at all times (and I am not usually an anxious person in the slightest), and developed an irrational fear that I would starve to death. I would get brief sharp stabbing pains in my head, as if someone shoved a knife straight through my brain. I'd also get strange, pressure-like sensations in my head. I'd get other phantom pains too, especially in the eyes, throat and torso. I felt very weak and didn't feel like doing very much. My heart pounded, and would shift between a normal pulse rate and tachycardia. But the absolute worst symptom was the debilitating dissociation I experienced - the whole world suddenly seemed less vibrant, not vibrant at all. I lost about 8 pounds in weight, only recovering some when I force fed myself my usual caloric intake.

    I saw a GP at this point. I adamantly told him that the symptoms were not psychological in origin - up until that point I had been a rather jolly fellow (even looking back on my own forum posts seemed to reveal that much). He scheduled some blood tests, offered me valium (I declined), prescribed some 'pills to settle your stomach' (I later discovered these were PPIs and trashed the entire prescription), and sent me on my way.

    Two weeks later, the results of the blood tests came back. Everything came back 'in range' (and I was quite pleased to see there was no trace of diabeetus following my high sugar diet). TSH, the only thyroid-related hormone tested, was 1.5. He concluded I had no possible thyroid disorder. My appetite had slightly improved to an extent that it was no longer troubling me, and I felt less dissociated and hadn't had a panic attack, although other minor symptoms remained. I asked about other possibilities and he said he had no idea, and to see him again if it recurred. I went away feeling hopeful, but still with a deep sense of unease. I really hoped that was the end of this chapter of my life.

    Symptoms ebbed and flowed. The anxiety had escalated into a frenzied search for an answer, worrying that I had any number of degenerative diseases, including cancer (at the time, pheochromocytoma seemed like a good fit, despite the lack of several major symptoms). Nothing made sense. The thyroid solution was off the table, and as the symptoms were largely psychological/neurological in nature my irrational mind came to the most damning hypothesis - was the problem in my head?

    October

    I suffered from appetite loss, anxiety, dissociation, palpitations, reduced sleep duration, nausea at this point - the icepick headaches were slowly reducing in frequency, and I no longer had tachycardia. My caloric intake could have been as low as 1000 kcal here, and the irrational fear of starving to death emerged again. My girlfriend noted that I felt very cold in bed. At the time it honestly felt like I would never feel healthy ever again.

    I made an emergency appointment to see another GP. Unfortunately I couldn't see the original GP who had seen me. After describing my symptoms to him, the first question he asked was 'so, what's going on in your life right now?' I immediately told him the issue was not psychological, and I knew that for a fact. He checked my pulse, blood pressure, eyes and ears. After he had done this he said to me 'I think you have generalised anxiety disorder'. I reiterated my disbelief in a psychological origin. 'What else is there?' He said. 'Your blood test results were okay, your thyroid is okay.' I suggested the problem might literally be with my brain, and, putting the words in my mouth, said 'you think it's a brain tumour? I highly doubt it.' He offered me an MRI test just to put my mind at ease, which I accepted.

    The interim between that doctor's visit and the MRI scan was one of the worst periods of my life. I seemed to sink into an immovable depression, and the dissociation had intensified to an unbearable point. At one point I broke into uncharacteristic sobs, my mind alternating between the fear of starving to death, and the fear that I was seriously sick. On one occasion, I began crying on public transport on a trip out with my girlfriend, unable to think about anything but my dissociation. We did not go to the garden that day.

    I went for an MRI scan. It came back all clear - my brain appears normal.

    November

    I was still suffering from these symptoms, non-stop, even into November. Unfortunately an ugly new symptom had appeared - persistent unwanted thoughts about death. I had no suicidal impulses, and did not think about killing myself, but I could not stop thinking about the brevity of everyone's time on earth, and how soon each and every one of our death's could be. My mind kept thinking about things like what it'd be like if family members died, if my girlfriend died, about the nature of life and death (is there an afterlife?), and the myriad number of ways I could die without warning, such as heart failure, stroke, or traffic accident. I also became a very resentful person, being angry at any part anyone could have played somehow in my ill health.

    I had scheduled a vacation at this time earlier in the year - needless to say, I did not enjoy it due to lack of energy and the dissociation. Before I left for the vacation, I must have felt I had no other option but to concede the mental health diagnosis, because I began trying to tackle the problem from the angle that I had depression and anxiety. In fact, I was optimistic that I might experience healing from the vacation, as Peat has once said that a vacation is one of the best treatments for depression. That was not my experience. I even suffered another panic attack during the middle of it, whilst resting in bed at night, seemingly for no apparent reason. It was not as intense as previous panic attacks - my heart rate was not elevated, and I had a new, tingly sensation down the front of my head.

    Four days after the vacation, I once again slipped into a deep depression, and was very tearful, seemingly for no obvious reason other than that there was a mystery illness hanging over me.

    Then something changed.

    December

    On the 10th of December, towards the evening, after a day of very poor eating, I experienced an episode of tachycardia (102BPM), with a very slight feeling of panic. I went to bed.

    I woke up the next morning, and everything seemed completely different inside my head. Like a light had come on. I felt no anxiety, no depression. I had no symptoms whatsoever. And my appetite had returned! That week I ate my usual amount of about 3000kcal every single day, felt joyful and happy, and generally felt alive once again. My only complaints were very brief moments of anxiety and head sensations, but I was suddenly very optimistic that I would become healthy again. The warmth that usually made my girlfriend feel uncomfortable in bed returned. I immediately discarded the notion that I was mentally ill, and assumed that whatever physiological burden that had been plaguing me had lifted. Unfortunately it didn't last.

    The following Sunday, during the evening, whilst watching a movie with my girlfriend, I noticed that I had become dissociated again. I began to worry that my symptoms would become severe again... but they never did. Other than mild dissociation, reduced appetite, returning thoughts of death (though not nearly as troubling), and phantom pain. I was cold to touch again. New symptoms showed up - extreme lethargy and tiredness. I could sleep 12 hours every day if I were so inclined at this point. My weight had also returned to my pre-September weight, despite consistently eating 33% less than what would have been normal. Fortunately extreme anxiety and depression has not returned, and I feel about 75% myself, compared to before this whole incident.

    I was able to enjoy Christmas despite these symptoms. On New Year's Eve I suffered a very very brief (4 seconds) panic reaction whilst watching a movie on television, surrounded by my family. Interestingly after this passed my mood was very good for the rest of the evening.

    January

    And that brings me to the end of my tale. I currently suffer from a low appetite (2000kcal daily, although I do not perceive eating this much to be suffering anymore. I am not 'starving' like I thought I was from September-December), lethargy, occasional phantom pain, slight dissociation and occasional intrusive thoughts about death. I feel myself enjoying life again, though I'm still troubled by my symptoms and everything feels less vibrant.

    TL;DR

    September - early December: Panic attacks, dissociation, stabbing icepick headaches, strange head sensations, phantom pain, anxiety, irrational health anxiety, irrational death anxiety, depression, palpitations, appetite loss (1000-1600 kcal daily), weight loss, nausea, tachycardia (until October), decreased sleep needs.

    Mid December: Normal appetite (3000 kcal daily), joy, happiness, strange head sensations, slight occasional anxiety.

    Late December - January: Low appetite (2000 kcal daily), stable weight, slight dissociation, lethargy, increased sleep needs, occasional phantom pain, slight death anxiety.

    The only explanation I have right now is that I am currently suffering from subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis. From what I understand, there's a phase of hyperthyroidism, followed by a return to the euthyroid state, then a phase of hypothyroidism, and then finally a return to the euthyroid state.

    I'm going to have blood test results come back (private, because I'm done dealing with the useless medical system in this country) tomorrow. I've had my TSH, T4, T3, FT4 and antibodies measured. What I'm hypothesising is that the antibodies will be elevated, and that'll finally confirm in my mind that I'm not suffering from some strange unknown illness, and that the issue is not psychological in origin. This experience has really highlighted to me the role of physiology in psychological disorder, and has changed the way I see human nature and reality. I never knew how bad it could get until I came face to face with the abyss.

    I post this for two reasons: to get this series of events in written form, in case I need to remember it, and to get feedback and commentary. Does anyone have any experience with subacute lymphocytic thyroiditis? Was your experience similar to mine? If anyone else has any ideas as to the nature of my illness, I'd be grateful to hear them.

    Thanks for reading.
     
  2. theLaw

    theLaw Member

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    Are you using anything regularly to keep your gut sterile?
     
  3. OP
    Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    I haven't been, although I'm planning to add the raw carrot and cooked mushrooms daily to my diet.
     
  4. theLaw

    theLaw Member

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    There's a lot of talk about endotoxin here, but people rarely mention how truly nasty it can be if allowed to flourish w/unhealthy gut bacteria.

    You might consider some general antibiotics just to test your reactions. Just imagine if you experienced a complete mood change after taking some tetracycline.............food for thought.

    Are you also eating liver and oysters?
     
  5. OP
    Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    It's possible that there's an issue with my gut, but the one thing that sticks out in my mind is that near-normal week I experienced in December. I didn't do anything to clear endotoxin then, so I'm not sure that's the issue - although I do concede it's probably wise to include some antimicrobial agent in a routine.

    If the blood test comes back looking okay I'll try and get my hands on some tetracycline, and see what happens. I'm confident I'm on the road to healing right now, unless I suddenly take a turn for the worse (and considering how this whole ordeal struck me out of nowhere, I wouldn't doubt it could happen).

    I have an aversion to both liver and oysters unfortunately, especially the latter. I did use liver regularly at one point, and I'm fairly certain I was using it at the time of the incident, but since then I don't see much justification for eating a food I'm not at least neutral to. The whole thing has made me much more careful about diet in general, to be honest.

    Here's what I was eating on a daily basis around that time, excluding the huge quantity of dates. This is actually a log of what I expected to eat the day this started.

    Screen Shot 2018-01-09 at 22.50.01.png

    The caloric intake of that day was on track to be about 4000, more if my hunger hadn't been interrupted by the whole ordeal.
     
  6. raypeatclips

    raypeatclips Member

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    @Tenacity Had you been eating starch prior to this?
     
  7. OP
    Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    Only when eating out or when sharing a meal with my family. I have since begun eating baked potatoes regularly, and enjoy them. They don't seem to bother me.

    Since the incident I try not to do extremes with my diet anymore - e.g. low fat, no starch, etc. As far as I can tell root vegetables are a human food, and that includes starchy potatoes, so I partake in them.
     
  8. raypeatclips

    raypeatclips Member

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    I ask because I had an almost identical 3 months of hell to you earlier this year a bit before you, our diets at the time of the problems happening were very similar too, although yours were a lot higher in calories than me.

    Once I started to eat starch again (very well cooked rice) as a base of my meals, things started to turn around.

    I have wondered in my head a few times why all this started, I wondered if my liver was not able to process the fructose etc, so I became under stress, not being able to provide my body with the carbohydrates it needed, and that glucose provides a more useable form of energy for me, makes me feel good etc.

    The truth is I have no idea why it all started and I now, similarly to you, eat fairly "normally", no extremes of anything in the diet
     
  9. theLaw

    theLaw Member

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    That's quite a bit of fiber if you have any gut issues, and the dates alone are around 28G (2 medium potatoes are around 7G by comparison).

    Antibiotics or Activated Charcoal + mct/coconut oil might be the way to go, but I'd bet that it's the fiber that causing the problem.

    Antibiotics would probably be more definitive as they work very quickly, so you can see results faster that are more pronounced.

    You might also consider increasing fat to around 1/3 of your calories in the short term using sf (mct/coconut oil works well) until you feel better, which will then make it easier to improve liver and digestive health.
     
  10. Janelle525

    Janelle525 Member

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    Your story reminds me of my own. It happened Oct. 2016, after drinking about half of my strong coffee I suddenly felt doom like sheer terror. It kept going the entire day in waves. I thought it was the coffee so I quit it cold turkey, I definitely can't handle coffee. I had a history of panic attacks before this but they had gotten much better until that day as I had re introduced coffee.

    What sticks out to me about your story is the dates. One of my panic triggers is dried fruit. I have tried multiple times and it always ends the same. I don't think this is just thyroid related. It was brought up already that it is your gut. Although when I first started getting panic attacks I was soo out of control as far as thyroid and adrenal stuff it was like an all out crash.

    One thing I started doing was high dose ascorbic acid, and that was really healing for me and my gut.
     
  11. raypeatclips

    raypeatclips Member

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    Not meaning to detail the topic but I'll ask one question, how do you do with decaf?
     
  12. Diokine

    Diokine Member

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    Please check references as everything I'm about to say is essentially made up.

    _______________________________

    You are probably currently allergic to milk. Stop drinking so much of it. What you are experiencing is autonomic dysfunction, specifically sympathetic disregulation. The dissociation, random pain and headaches are typical of NMDA activation, indicating an abrupt change in the autonomic setpoint generated by your basal ganglia and spinal dorsal horn neurons. I would imagine you're not sleeping well, and this is greatly contributing to your feelings of dread and anxiety.

    You've been pushing your sympathetic nervous system very hard and it has become very fatigued. This has either uncovered or precipitated an issue with methylation, making regulation of sympathetic nervous tone even more difficult for your body. Constant use of aspirin can potentially contribute to this - COX is activated during removal of sympathetic nervous tone to maintain proper polarization and oxygen tension.

    25-50mg of niacinamide every 2 hours can help to "mop up" excess methyl groups. Taurine and Glycine are also useful as sympatholytics (lowering of sympathetic tone.)

    Get on that bag breathing train, and learn to release the band of tension in your head with your breath. This the key to recognizing when you are pushing your sympathetics too hard.

    reduction in ascorbic acid levels is essentially synonymous with sympathetic fatigue, so 2-3 grams/day might be prudent.

    Get lots of sunshine and notice how it makes you feel behind your nose - how it opens up the space in your head. Notice how you integrate reality better when this space is embiggened. Get the area behind your navel nice and juicy and full of mystical energies.

    Coffee is not helping you at all at this point and is encouraging the production of compounds of the adrenal cortex, which is most likely very fatigued. Take some big breaths and get your medullas medullating and making DHEA and all them other good bits.



    EDIT: Irritation in your gut will make restoring proper NMDA activity very difficult or nearly impossible, so don't eat any food.


    edit edit: slightly kidding about not eating any food.
     
  13. Janelle525

    Janelle525 Member

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    I never tried. I was worried about the chemicals. I can take coffee up the butt though haha.
     
  14. OP
    Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    If you don't mind me asking, what were the specifics of your episode?

    That's true, and I must admit that since the incident I'm become a bit averse to dates (perhaps understandably)!

    I'll definitely give it a shot if necessary. I'll report back here if I do.

    It's interesting you mention the fat, because I noticed a distinct craving for whole milk a couple of months ago, and have been drinking it since.
     
  15. danishispsychic

    danishispsychic Member

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    maybe the coconut oil triggered die off from parasites and / or candida - i have had really similar episodes of the heart racing thing and the death awareness thing and have heard that when you kill parasites that they will tell your brain that you are starving to death so they can survive. they are all about mind control really. coconut oil can be a major vermifuge. just a thought. you dr. will never ever deal with parasites if you live in the US. they pretend they dont exsist.
     
  16. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    So true.
     
  17. Dhair

    Dhair Member

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    @Tenacity Your experience sounds a lot like mine. I stacked way too many supplements (including thyroid) and spiraled into a hell exactly like you're describing. All hell broke lose around the end of August, and my pulse and adrenergic mental symptoms didn't begin to calm down significantly until maybe a month ago.
    I think the Peat diet alone is enough to resolve hypothyroid symptoms for most people. Adding in other supplements that could be stimulating can cause problems quickly.
    @Diokine gave me some good advice that helped me through this. You may feel that you are losing your mind, but you aren't. I would try to be less strict about what you eat. Maybe less sugar and more starch for a while. Try to be around your girlfriend or family as much as you can. I don't blame you for not wanting to deal with doctors. They have been useless for me. Red light can be relaxing and repair some of these issues without being overstimulating. I also found vitamin E, cyproheptadine and low dose progesterone to have a direct effect on the anxiety issues. If you are having trouble functioning day to day in terms of basic self care (which I was at the beginning), it may not hurt to see a psychiatrist to get some Xanax and a prescription for something like mirtazapine or maybe even trazadone.
     
  18. OP
    Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    I got my test results back from the lab:

    TSH: 1.79 miU/L (0.27-4.2)
    Free T4: 17.8 pmol/L (12-22)
    Total T4: 109 mmol/L (59-154)
    Free T3: 6.63 pmol/L (3.10/6.8)

    Thyroglobulin antibody: <10 IU/mL (0-115)
    Thyroid peroxidase antibodies: 23.3 IU/mL (0-34)

    TSH is in a healthy range but not optimal. Everything else seems normal.

    Today I felt basically normal, except I no longer require as much food. I'm eating about 1800kcal a day right now. I don't know why my intake has nearly halved, yet thyroid remains normal.
     
  19. raypeatclips

    raypeatclips Member

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    Are you doing less exercise now it is cold and dark out?
     
  20. OP
    Tenacity

    Tenacity Member

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    I haven't undertaken my usual exercise routine since September. I'm not sure how that could account for a 1600 calorie drop. I did exercise once in December, when I was consuming 3000 kcal for a week - the hunger increase preceded the desire to work out.
     
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