Here is where I am...
My doctor decided to have my thyroid tested ten months ago after I complained of constant fatigue that wasn't helped by getting sleep. I had been feeling poorly for quite some time (years?) but it crept up on me so steadily that it almost became a regular part of my life.
When we tested 10 months ago we found that I had high TSH and low free T3. I started out on a low dosage of Naturethroid and I have gradually worked up from there. I went through a few months of a "crisis" where I decided to quit the medication to see if it was really helping (I was in a bit of denial, I think). That was a mistake, and I began the medication again.
Last month I did a salivary 24 hour cortisol test and also tested for thyroid antibodies. I had low cortisol results and tested positive for antibodies. Hello, Hashimoto's! Now I am trying to figure out how to heal my adrenal glands and get my thyroid levels balanced. Meanwhile I am still having daily symptoms: fatigue and thick "brain fog" starting around 3pm daily, stubborn weight gain, exhaustion but unable to sleep well, lack of physical stamina, low body temp, high cholesterol...
It is really hard to be patient. I know it can take time, years often, to find the right combination of medication, figuring out autoimmune triggers and eliminating them, and bringing all the body symptoms back into balance. I am so tired of feeling so tired, though, and it is hard to be patient!
I feel fortunate to have such a proactive and open minded doctor. I've talked to several people who went undiagnosed for years or decades because their doctors did not consider low thyroid as a possibility. My doctor has been amazing about ordering the correct lambs and interpreting them, as well as treating the symptoms AND looking for and treating underlying causes. Several of my family members have had the opposite experience: "Take your T4. Your labs now say your TSH level is good. Feeling crappy? Too bad, deal with it. We don't want to over-medicate you."
I am currently trying to fix B12, zinc, and selenium deficiencies. I am temporarily taking cortisol throughout the mornings and in the afternoon to give the adrenal glands a break, and in the meantime am taking adrenal supporting herbs and DHEA. I am on a T3/T4 thyroid medication. Soon I will need to try to figure out what is triggering the autoimmune response (I have had odd autoimmune responses in the past, as well as Hashi's), and if it is diet related will need to make some significant changes.
It feels really overwhelming to consider the path ahead, and I keep telling myself that a lot of that is due to my lack of energy now. But I am afraid that I will wind up like several of my family members: having had Hashimotos for 20 years and are still feeling bad.
I would welcome hearing about any experiences that others have had.