My Thyroid Journey: Signs You May Have a Thyroid Issue
Ok, so we may have to rewind a bit here, but as some of you may know because I have mentioned it on stories, I was diagnosed as hypothyroid when I was 23 years old. People can be hypothyroid like me (where the gland is under-active), hyperthyroid (where the gland is overactive) or have their thyroid surgically removed and have no thyroid. The thyroid gland that sits in the back of the throat and regulates all of your hormones and your metabolism. Your thyroid keeps all of your hormones balanced and ensures that each area of your body has the proper amount.
If you have a hyperthyroid (a less likely condition), your symptoms will likely be the exact opposite of what mine were. After dealing with my condition for about 5 years now, I want to share what I went through and how I got to a good place with my thyroid.
When I was diagnosed at 23, here are some of the symptoms I started feeling:
This was the first thing that was EXTREMELY disturbing to me. I would take a shower and wash my hair and see a clump of hair in my drain or have to clean my brush WAY more often than normal. I naturally have more fine hair but over the months after I graduated from college I could tell my ponytail was starting to get thinner and no hair vitamins were working. This was the major reason I went and had my blood tested.
Irritability and Moodiness
It was like I could not put up with anyone. I was so snappy and testy. Even when everything was going right in my life (I had an amazing boyfriend that is now my husband, I had a great new job and I was moving to NYC) I found the worst in every situation and even when I tried to suppress my irritability it didn’t always work. Over the years I have found things like journaling, yoga and time with friends really help if this particular symptom ever creeps back up.
Everyone thinks that the weight gain happens in college, but for me since my thyroid condition reared its ugly head right after that, that’s when my weight gain happened. No longer were the nights of mixed drinks and late night pizza, I was working out and eating healthy and could not shake an extra 15 pounds that had creeped up on me.
At this point I was living in an apartment alone and sleeping 8-9 hours per night. I would go to bed around 10 and not wake up again until 7 in the morning, and still feel EXHAUSTED. I could never make it through a TV show (which is still the case) or read my book at night without passing right out. Then I would get to work and take naps in my office (so embarrassing, especially when youre type A like me). With the weight gain and the exhaustion being the first things that I noticed, there were multiple months before I got my period that I thought I might have been pregnant!
Throughout my childhood and teenage years I always had more oily skin. I suffered from some pretty bad acne in high school that cleared up but as soon as I noticed all of these other symptoms, I definitely noticed how dry my skin was too. Even with all the moisturizer in the world, my skin was still flaking. It was the worst on my face around my nose. The dermatologist tried giving me different steroid creams but nothing worked until I got my thyroid regulated.
This was probably the worst symptom for me. I absolutely hate feeling forgetful and like I’m not being useful both at work and at home. I was constantly forgetting big things like where I was in a presentation at work to small things like where I left my keys. Getting my thyroid regulated was the key to ensuring that my levels of productivity went back to where they should be.
Unfortunately extremely frustrating and super uncomfortable. This also definitely lead to some of my moodiness and irritability because who wants to feel weighed down, bloated and heavy amirighttttt? I know that this is probably an overshare but its extremely toxic to the human body to be constipated so this is something youll want to get sorted out first. With the supplementation of magnesium, movement and a change in diet I now have it all under control
So now Im sure all of you are wondering “what did you do to get it under control?” and I have a list for you
1. Starting Naturthroid
Naturthroid is a plant-based medication that can be prescribed by your doctor or naturopath to supplement how much your own thyroid has slowed down. Every 6 months my doctor runs tests to make sure the medication levels are still correct and working in my body. She likes to check TSH, T3, T4 and Reverse T3
2. Stress Reduction
This was critical for me. I realized that my time of diagnosis was when I was extremely stressed in my life. I had just moved from LA to Las Vegas and was planning to move to NYC 6 months later, my long-distance relationship with my now husband was going sideways and I was trying to navigate what it was like to be a working professional. I have since picked up a ton of self-care habits like journaling, yoga and taking long baths in order to keep my life balanced. For me, this is still a journey that I’m navigating!
3. Removing gluten and dairy from my diet
This was the next step I took after starting Naturthroid. I did a ton of research on hypothyroidism and quickly noted that in many studies removing gluten and dairy can improve thyroid health. Just from that swap alone, I have noticed a huge shift and feel much lighter. It has also helped lessen the load of medication I need to be on.
4. Celery Juice
As many of you likely know I started drinking celery juice on an empty stomach about 6 months ago and the benefits have been so life changing. When I started drinking celery juice I was able to take less medication again. It also has given me so much more energy and improved my digestion more than any medication ever could. Its really important to drink PURE celery juice on an empty stomach for maximum effect.
Here are some of the amazing benefits:
Fights the EBV virus and cleanses the thyroid to boost production of thyroid hormones which is important for people like me with hypothyroidism
Cleanses and detoxifies the liver by removing mold, fungus and viruses
Lowers blood pressure and cholesterol to keep your heart healthy
Works as an anti-inflammatory. Celery contains luteolin which is a potent flavonoid that can calm inflammation.
Prevents digestive disorders and rebuilds the intestinal lining to promote optimal digestion
Brightens skin and clears any rashes and acne
Increases energy naturally
So here’s where it gets real, 10s of millions of people are living in the world right now with a thyroid condition and think that is the way they’re supposed to feel because they’ve been battling it for so long. If you’re feeling these symptoms collectively it may be time to visit your doctor and see whats up. Once you know what is going on with your body, hypothyroidism is a pretty easy condition to manage. I have been on my same dose of medication for awhile now. I hope that this post can bring light to this chronic condition and help any of you out there who may be struggling.
Kelley aka Wilson