Living with Hypothyroidism

As I sit here and type this I have this uncomfortable feeling in my neck area. It feels swollen, and tender. In fact, it also looks swollen. I don’t have a sore throat, but I do feel run down. I’m exhausted. I’m so exhausted, I feel like I could fall asleep, right this very minute. My brain feels foggy. It doesn’t feel clear, and sharp. In fact, if you asked me to remember everything I have to do today, I will most likely have to grab my calendar, and not because I’m a super busy mom, and it’s easy to forget, but because lately I’ve suffered from memory loss. And speaking of loss, I’ve been loosing handfuls of hair, which leaves me with a ton of baby hair at the front of my hair-line, and a thin pony tail. As I type on the keyboard I can feel my nails which were thick and strong six months ago, now feel brittle. A simple tap on the keyboard could bend them right back, causing them to break.  And finally, I’m freezing. I’m wearing a sweater ( which I notice fits a bit tight) socks, slippers, the heats on, and I still feel like I’m sitting in an ice rink!

Six months ago, I didn’t feel this way. I was full of energy, my hair and nails were thick. I rarely felt cold. My memory felt sharp, and I felt clarity. I did not feel like I was getting the flu everyday! My clothes fit me, and I simply felt normal. In other words, I wasn’t suffering from symptoms of my Hashimoto’s disease. However, that’s the thing about living with a chronic autoimmune disorder like Hypothyroidism; sometimes you feel great, and sometimes your body and mind feel off.

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Over a decade ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease. Hashimoto’s disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body’s activities.

The resulting inflammation from Hashimoto’s disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to a underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).

The doctors thought it was odd that at such a young age, (I was twenty when I was diagnosed) I was suffering from hypothyroidism. However, the test results proved them wrong, and since then, I’ve taken a daily dose of synthroid, along with regular blood tests to test my levels. Over the course of the decade, I’ve had to adjust my levels accordingly a few times. Sometimes the blood results would show that I was wasn’t balanced, therefore the doctors would adjust my medication.

This past year, has been a busy one. I admittedly haven’t always put myself and my health first. Recently I went in for blood work because I’ve felt off-balance and the woman at the clinic was concerned because the last time I came in for some testing was in January. I swear it felt like I was there maybe five months ago. Needless to say, it was clear to me in that moment, how fast time flies, and that I was taking my health for granted. I wasn’t making my health my number one priority.

The reason I’m opening up about living with hypothyroidism is because it’s a huge part of my life and it affects me internally, and physically. It may seem like I look healthy on the outside, and for the most part I am. However, right now I’m feeling completely off balance. And, I don’t want to suffer in silence.

There are also millions of people out there living with this disease who are unaware of it because the signs and symptoms can be ignored as being tired from being busy.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue and sluggishness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Pale, dry skin
  • A puffy face
  • Hoarse voice
  • Unexplained weight gain — occurring infrequently and rarely exceeding 10 to 20 pounds, most of which is fluid
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips
  • Pain and stiffness in your joints and swelling in your knees or the small joints in your hands and feet
  • Muscle weakness, especially in your lower extremities
  • Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)
  • Depression

If you’ve been feeling like this, I would go and get some blood work done. If a disease like this is left untreated it can cause a variety of complications.

 In conclusion, I want to feel better. I want my hair and nails to feel thick again. I want to remember my appointments and feel energetic.  I don’t want to let this disease take over my life. After all, I only get this one life and I ultimately want to feel good on the inside. More importantly, I want to take action on ways I can treat this disease naturally with whole foods, and exercise, rather than simply relying on a pill to make me feel better. If you have any suggestions, or know of any holistic approaches I am very open to learning more.

Sincerely,

A girl fighting an autoimmune disease who wants to live life to the fullest.

Xxxx

17 thoughts on “Living with Hypothyroidism

  1. Big hugs friend! My mom was just diagnosed with this in the last couple of years, in her fifties. It’s something I’ve had on the front of my mind as it can at times be hereditary. I wish I had advice or a way to cure it, but if you ever need a coffee or a hug, I’m here!

    1. Thanks so much friend. I saw the doc today and my blood results show my thyroid hormones aren’t in a normal range. I guess I was right about feeling off. It’s time to start taking care of number 1. Thanks for the kind words. If I find any natural remedies that work I’ll pass them along for your mom. xxx

  2. This post caught my eye because my husband also suffers from hypothyrodism (I think – he also takes synthroid). He didn’t have quite the same symptoms that you do, though… or I think he probably had an under-functioning thyroid for years (a decade or more) before a doctor finally sent him for tests and diagnosed it. Sorry to hear you have to deal with this, but I’m glad that at least you know what the problem is and that it’s treatable. 🙂 Hugs!

  3. I’m so glad you shared this. Even though I’m a nurse (let’s be clear, I deal with postpartum women and their babies), I was completely unclear as to the effects of this disease. You have such a tremendous following and so many women value your words, I hope this post will have touched and helped some. And I’m so sorry for how you feel. Get better soon. xoxo

    1. Thanks so much Sandra. I saw the doc today after my vacation and \i was right, my thyroid level are completely out of balance according to my blood results. It’s time to start taking care of number 1. Thanks again for all of your support. It means the world!

  4. glad you shared this! I was diagnosed about 8 months ago with Hashimotos after suffering from hypothyroidism for months at only 26. I was to the point where I had no energy what so ever, dry skin, brittle nails and the forgetfulness I experience was awful, oh and the weight gain was impossible to get rid of, considering I train everyday. I have gone gluten free, dairy free and soy free…my weight has gone down, im not bloated anymore and feel 20 times better. I would suggest you try changing your diet first it will make a difference. also check out DR.Wentz blog online, she also has a book that has helped me tremendously. If you ever need to vent or talk please feel free to reach out, sometimes I feel so alone, like no one understand my struggle because our disease is a silent and hidden one.

  5. Your sister Teri-Lynn sent me your blog because all the symptoms you listed I currently have and after talking and stressing out to your sister about this she has some what calmed me down and told me to go get checked which I did the blood work yesterday for and waiting till Monday to see Doctor for results. Teri was very worried about my state of mind so sent me your link and as soon as I read it I didn’t feel so strange or alone anymore. it is very scary when clumps of hair fall out and your so tired but when I read your blog and you spoke of constipation I knew I was on the right track.

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