My Thyroid Journey Begins…….

I haven’t blogged in a while since I recently found out that I have thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s. My symptoms were extreme fatigue and I gained 9 pounds. Since I am an active energetic person I knew what I was feeling wasn’t right. In addition I haven’t gained weight in 15 years! I have been in menopause for about 5 years without any symptoms except a few hot flashes. Upon going to the doctor and getting a blood work up it was revealed that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was high. It should be between 0-3 and mine was 11. I wasn’t satisfied just going to a conventional endocrinologist so the journey began. Being a research hound I had to know everything about the condition in order to make an informed decision regarding treatment. The butterfly shaped thyroid gland makes hormones that regulate the way the body uses energy hence the fatigue. The endocrine system is very complicated therefore it’s really important to do your homework. The thyroid makes two hormones: thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). T4 converts to T3. If your T4 is unable to convert to T3 you may need a compound that includes T4 and T3. This is not the opinion of most convention doctors. They basically give you the standard treatment for hypothyroidism which is a drug called Synthroid. Synthroid is only T4 which is why many women don’t feel better with it. If their T3 is low they won’t feel better unless that is replaced as well. I decided to start taking Synthroid since there isn’t anything else that will replace the hormones. You can also take a more natural hormone that comes from a pig’s thyroid. In addition when you have Hashimotos that means your immune system is attacking itself and in my case it’s attacking my thyroid. A simple blood test that tests antibodies can reveal autoimmune disease. Autoimmune disorders affect 50 million people in America. The rate has increased dramatically over the last 30 years. According to allopathic medicine there isn’t a way to treat autoimmune disease and get your antibodies lower. However I don’t believe that. I know the body has the ability to heal anything and we have to provide a space for that to happen inside ourselves. The root of my thyroid problem is that my immune system is attacking my thyroid so I am focusing on my immune system to stop it from doing that.

As I prefer to treat everything with natural medicine I have always believed that the integration of conventional and alternative treatment is the future of medicine. In addition I have incorporated herbs, acupuncture and various Ayurveda techniques. If you don’t know what Ayurveda is, it means “the science of life”. It is the traditional Indian system of medicine and the sister to yoga. It has also made me take pause and slow down a bit. I have given up my treadmill and just focus on yoga and meditation. When we have hectic lives and add vigorous exercise we further deplete ourselves. I now prefer to take a nice walk in nature with my husband instead and doing more yoga than I did before – which is the best change I could have made. I start my day with yoga and meditation at 6am and it’s helped so much.

I will continue to blog about my journey as I discover new ways to manage and heal this. At this point I have lowered my TSH from 11 down to 2 in 5 weeks which my doctor says is extroidinary. I have lost the 9 pounds and the fatigue is starting to lift. If we choose to, we can learn so much with every new experience, but knowledge really is power. I have been reading and researching and meeting with doctors and healers. There is a lot to learn, but if you want to take control of your health you need to seek out information from different sources. Most of all I am taking this situation to revisit my diet, my exercise level and what fulfills me and what doesn’t. Be open to change and never stop learning.

If you suffer from thyroid disease and would like info on how to manage it please feel free to contact me.

Peace & health,
Maria



Comments

  1. Have you read about the study about the role of selenium in lowering thyroid antibodies (TPO)?

    • Hi, Yes. It is beneficial for the thyroid but like anything else there is a caution. It is not recommended to take more than 200 milligrams of selenium per day so you need to check your multi vitamin if you take one. You can also get that from eating 2 organic Brazil nuts each day. Taking too much selenium can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, and even hair loss so its good to have your doctor check your level. Best, Maria

  2. Hi Maria, I am curious to hear more. My doctor advised that I have a hypo thyroid put me on the meds but that was it. Im not sure of the questions I should be asking but I do know that I cannot control my weight, my legs are sore to touch and I dont feel like myself! I just need to know where to start. Thanking you in advance for your advice!
    Elyse

  3. Hi Elyse, I am in the process of writing my next blog on the importance of nutrition when dealing with thyroid issues. I have so much info to share with you. You can always email me at maria@theholisticroot.com. The meds need to be monitored with blood tests about every three months and you need to call your doctor if you aren’t feeling right. It can take months and months to regulate. I would strongly suggest you read Mary Shomon’s books on hypothyroidism. She also has a website. Just Google her and sign up for her newsletter. I have found that Endocrinologists have tunnel vision. Clearly you should see one however they are not usually open to holistic methods. They know how to diagnose and put you on meds. You really need to do your own research as to how to manage this. Are your antibodies at a normal level? What is your diet like? I lost the weight I put on by going on a gluten free, dairy free diet. Many alternative doctors believe gluten can be a problem even if you do not have Celiac Disease. Have you had your cortisol levels checked? Adrenal fatigue can be the problem for women as to why their thyroid is not functioning properly. We all do too much, have stress and don’t rest enough. Many Endocrinologists don’t even check cortisol levels. If you do have them checked insist on a saliva test instead of a blood test. Another great book is by Dr. Wilson call “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome”. Here is his website: http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/. Where do you live? Wishing you good health, Maria

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