In honour of National Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month, Peloton instructor Hannah Corbin is opening up about her experiences with Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system turns against the body’s own tissues — in this case, the thyroid. The 31-year-old said she knew something was wrong when she started experiencing extreme exhaustion four years ago, telling TODAY that “every second was a battle to stay awake…It was like sandbags were coming down over my eyes.”
Hannah Corbin on living with Hashimoto’s disease
In 2018, Corbin first started feeling exhausted despite sleeping 10 to 12 hours a night before she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease later that year. “I’d fall asleep on the subway coming home from work and completely miss my stop,” the 31-year-old told TODAY. Though she was able to power through her Peloton classes by “running on pure adrenaline,” she couldn’t manage much else, cancelling extracurriculars and plans with friends. She knew something was “really wrong” when she gained 15 pounds (6.8 kg) seemingly out of nowhere and said her entire body felt “swollen,” at which point she received her diagnosis.
Hashimoto’s disease (aka Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, and chronic autoimmune thyroiditis) often causes inflammation and dysregulation of the thyroid. A butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck, the thyroid produces hormones that help regulate a range of functions, including body growth and development, body temperature, heart rate, menstrual cycle, and weight regulation, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM). That’s why those who have Hashimoto’s tend to have symptoms similar to Corbin’s, such as fatigue and weight gain or inability to lose weight. They, also like Corbin, might also develop symptoms slowly over the course of months to years.
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Though there is no cure for Hashimoto’s disease, hormone replacement therapy in the form of a daily medication can help restore thyroid function and mitigate symptoms, according to the Office on Women’s Health (OASH). Take, for example, Corbin, who is now four years post-diagnosis and taking medication to help manage her condition.
If you’re experiencing any sort of symptoms that are unusual to you and your body, it never hurts to check in with your doctor, who can run blood tests to figure out what’s going on, be it in relation to your thyroid or other bodily functions. As for Corbin, it seems she’s all about spreading awareness and showing love to fellow “#autoimmazing” folks. She put it flawlessly in a recent Instagram post, writing, “Our bodies are more than what they can’t do!”
This story first appeared on www.shape.com
(Main and Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of Peloton)
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