Hypothyroid Mom is a blog on a mission – to build awareness of this little-understood condition so that more time, money, and research are directed towards finding better treatments. This mission is laser-focused and directed by Dana Trentini, the blogger we love behind Hypothyroid Mom.
The story behind the Hypothyroid Mom blog
Dana’s story is the driving force behind Hypothyroid Mom. In 2006, Dana was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after giving birth to her first child. Her symptoms were typical of this condition and included chronic fatigue and difficulty losing weight. Dana’s other symptoms were perplexing and a constant threat to her health and sanity.
In her words:
“My hair was falling out. The heels of my feet were cracked and my scalp itched. My legs were numb to the touch. Unusually heavy menstrual bleeding, chronic constipation, and constant infections plagued me. Kidney stones landed me in the emergency room. A healthy woman prior to pregnancy now I had blood levels indicating I was at high risk for a heart attack and pre-diabetic. What had happened to me?”
Dana followed her doctor’s drug treatment protocols to the letter, trusting them as the authorities on her care. The standard of care has been to treat patients with levothyroxine, the synthetic version of the T4 hormone that properly regulates the thyroid. The goal with this treatment is to get the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) down, indicating a properly active thyroid.
Dana took the levothyroxine but didn’t feel any better. Then Dana became pregnant in 2008. For pregnant women, the best level is to get the TSH down below 2.5. In Dana’s case, her doctors said below 8 was safe, and she followed their treatments, not knowing any better. She miscarried after the drugs she was taking failed to control her thyroid hormone levels.
“I would later learn that my Ivy League medical school trained and top awarded doctors did not know enough about hypothyroidism, especially the dangers of hypothyroidism and pregnancy…How could I have trusted my doctors unquestioningly and not been a better advocate for my child?”
These questions and the regret Dana felt over the miscarriage of her child led her to start Hypothyroid Mom with zero blogging experience and no experience with Twitter or Facebook.
Hypothyroid Mom launched on October 1, 2012. October is Miscarriage Awareness Month, and Dana wanted honor the child she lost due to lack of awareness and dedicate herself to her two sons that survived her treatments.
Building awareness on Hypothyroid Mom
Dana’s focus on building awareness is crucial when it comes to hypothyroidism, and it’s just one of the reasons Hypothyroid Mom is a blogger we love. She makes the connection between underactive thyroid and many deadly diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Much of the severe health issues due to hypothyroidism arise because the disease is not properly diagnosed.
“The Thyroid Federation International estimates there are up to 300 million people, mostly women, with thyroid dysfunction worldwide, yet over half are unaware of their condition. Scientific research shows the dangers of hypothyroidism in pregnancy including miscarriage, still birth, infertility, maternal anemia, pre-eclampsia, placental abruption, postpartum hemorrhage, premature delivery, low birth weight, deficits in intellectual development in infants, ADD/ADHD, and Autism. Despite the dangers of maternal hypothyroidism in pregnancy, there is currently NO universal thyroid screening in pregnancy.”
Some of the best parts of Hypothyroid Mom are the blogs themselves. Dana is an active blogger who also curates blogs from guests suffering from not only hypothyroidism but also other related diseases, such as Hashimoto’s disease.
Hypothyroid Mom’s reach in the community
In just three years, Hypothyroid Mom has built a blog that has 2.3 million monthly page views and 713,466 monthly unique visitors from 209 countries all over the world. Many readers come for the initial information and stay for the support. In addition to her blog, Dana maintains a list of the top thyroid resources that include books, movies, websites, and other resources for education and support. She also connects her readers to other blogs that offer different insights and experiences with hypothyroidism.
One of our favorite resources is Stop The Thyroid Madness! (STTM), a patient-to-patient site that connects patients all over the world to each other. Janie Bowethorpe, founder of STTM, welcomes visitors with enthusiasm and a clear purpose that is right in line with Hypothyroid Mom’s own mission:
“Welcome to the INFORMATIONAL MOTHERSHIP WEBSITE OF REPORTED ‘PATIENT EXPERIENCES AND WISDOM’! There’s nothing more powerful than the successful experiences and wisdom of thyroid patients worldwide who’ve walked the path before you. I hope you find this informational site to be a great resource for your journey back to optimal health and being your own best advocate while working with your doctor! Seize the wisdom!”
Hypothyroid Mom is also gaining attention on the national stage. In 2015, Dana was featured in an article in The Atlantic. A skeptical journalist approached Dana to talk about her disease, worried that some of what Dana advocates (changes in diet and oil pulling among them) was just so much snake oil. The journalist found that Dana’s approach to her own treatment worked for her, supporting much of what Hypothyroid Mom is all about: taking responsibility for and control of your treatment and advocating for yourself by asking questions and actively searching for the answers.
One year later, Hypothyroid Mom was featured in The Wall Street Journal, discussing her focus on hypothyroidism testing and treatment for pregnant women. Dana’s mission to make universal hypothyroidism screening the standard of care for pregnant women just furthers her goal to bring awareness to the disease.
For her drive and dedication to hypothyroidism screening for pregnant women all across the globe, Hypothyroid Mom is a blogger we love. Check out her reading list for book recommendations and to learn more about hypothyroidism.