National Thyroid Month
Happy New Year! I don't know about you but the New Year doesn't always bring me joy. I think there is so much anticipation of the new year and a looking-forward feeling to all things new. Then I realize that all the previous year's problems have just bled into the next year with Christmas bills! So with that said, I've been trying to pull myself together in the past couple of weeks. Getting kids back on a schedule after they've been sleeping until 12 and 1pm and really trying to get a better handle on my personal health. I definitely indulged over the holidays and I feel like I am paying for it now.
One of my main concerns is getting my Thyroid health under control. January is National Thyroid Month to help bring awareness to this ever growing health problem. Shortly after my dad passed away my body just tapped out. I had no energy, felt fatigue, napping during the day, extremely bad brain fog along with other symptoms and realized I had to have some blood work done. I ordered a complete Thyroid panel of blood work, but before I did that I made an appointment with my doctor. I explained how I had been feeling and felt like I may have adrenal fatigue. She then looked at me and rolled her eyes and said, "Everybody has adrenal fatigue". I proceeded to tell her that my thyroid had been noted as hypothyroid in the past by other doctors and then she said, "Every woman over 40 has a hyper or hypo thyroid". I refused to believe that God designed my body to fail after 40! So I ordered my own blood work, which IS SOMETHING YOU CAN DO IF YOUR DOCTOR ISN'T WILLING TO LISTEN. (I got mine from Ulta Labs for a fraction of the cost it would have been at a doctors office)
Long story short when I gave my doctor the blood work she wanted me to come in immediately to review it together. She was stunned at the numbers is was showing. She said she had never seen numbers that high and she wanted to immediately refer me to an endocrinologist. In SC you can't just make an appointment with an endocrinologist. We don't have enough of them, so you have to be referred. Well, they NEVER called me back after being referred 3 times. I became so frustrated with the medical field knowing something was not right in my body and I could not seem to find anyone who could help me. After much research of my own I discovered I have Hoshimotos (and my old doctor told me I had Graves!). I started with reading a book a friend gave me called, The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution by Dr. Aviva Romm. Her book is what got me on the right track and even told me what blood work to order. I then began following Dr. Izabella Wenz who has dedicated her career to helping women & men with Thyroid conditions, focusing on Hoshimotos. It's been over a year of me trying to get the Hoshimotos into remission. I was told several times that my thyroid was hypo, but no doctor ever took the time to explain to me what that really meant, the dangers of it being ignored or what I could do about it except take synthroid, which was something I did not want to do. (sidenote: after learning so much about it I honestly feel this is a problem my dad had because he had everything that could happen to you if it is ignored. No doctor ever even mentioned checking his thyroid). All I knew was that a hypo thyroid caused weight gain and hair loss and I wasn't having either of those. What I didn't know were all of the other symptoms I was having was related to a thyroid condition. I have learned so much and still learning about this autoimmune disease.
My heart this year is to help others who have been told "it's all in your head" or "you're just depressed" to really get to the bottom of what's going on in their health. It's time we take control of our health! We have to be our own advocate because I have news for you, nobody really cares about you like you do.
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in front of the neck.
The thyroid is the thermostat of your body. It releases hormones, controls metabolism, energy, mood, immune system, body temperature and more.
Up to 20 million Americans have a thyroid condition and 60% of those don't even know they have a thyroid disorder. Women are 5 - 8 times more likely to have a thyroid problem and 1 in 8 women will develop a thyroid disorder during her lifetime.
Hypothyroidism is where the thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone. This is what I have. Symptoms include fatigue, brain fog, depression, weight gain, dry-brittle fingernails, cold feet, hair loss, anxiety, loss of sleep, muscle weakness, abnormal menstrual cycles, numbness or tingling in hands, constipation and lack of energy and motivation.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition causing the gland to produce too much thyroid hormone. Symptoms are irritability, muscle weakness, nervousness, unexplained weigh loss, vision problems, loss of sleep, excessive sweating, diarrhea, and irregular menstrual cycles.
The good news is that you can manage this with a lifestyle change, supplements and sometimes a thyroid supplement is also needed. The good news is that it is possible to get this condition into remission. The key is researching for yourself and learning about what is going on in your body and not just leaving it up to a doctor. Although I have had bad experiences with finding help through a doctor to date, I do appreciate them and what they do. We are blessed to have doctors to help us when we need them in our country. I encourage you to speak up and not let anyone practice on your or just tell you it's all in your head. The difference with traditional doctors and functional doctors is that traditional medicine typically treats the symptom and functional medicine asks what is the cause or trigger?
Find the Root Cause of Thyroid Disease
How we handle Stress
There is so much to learn but I continue to ask God to highlight to me what I need to do. We are all different and that is what is so unique about treating the thyroid. What one person does may not be exactly what you need to do, but there are steps to getting healthy.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, take your health into your own hands. We are on this journey together!
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”