Hundreds of millions of people suffer from thyroid issues everyday, and about 70% of those people affected are women. Slogging through life, feeling extremely lethargic for no reason whatsoever can be a pain in the butt.
From weight gain, muscle pain, irregular periods, dry skin, hair loss, brain fog to the unexplainable mood swings and anxiety, there’s no doubt many people feel generally crappy and think it’s normal.
While we’re supposed to feel good everyday and shrug off these symptoms, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor and get tested before assuming anything. Maybe it’s due to a couple days of eating junk, lack of sleep, or stress in general.
That said, what happens if we’re doing everything right?
That’s how I felt. My diet hadn’t changed. I was active enough, taking the dog for the routine hour long walk daily. I may have been stressed out at work, but it was nothing out of the ordinary kind of stress. Despite my regular workout sessions at the neighborhood gym, I was consistently putting on weight, feeling anxious as the day go by, never mind my occasional difficulty getting out of bed after sleeping up to 10 hours.
Being the nervous nelly that I am, I finally went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Lyme disease and found out my thyroid had been affected as well. Turns out there were many folks like me with untreated Lyme who have developed an underactive thyroid.
For those who aren’t sure what the thyroid gland does, it runs the ship when it comes to our metabolism. Being quite the workhorse, it produces several hormones, the T3 (triiodothyronine) and T4 (thyroxine). These hormones regulate our metabolism and growth, assist our cells convert calories and oxygen into energy, and work to increase our Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), the amount of energy we burn at rest).
When my blood levels were tested, my doctor suggested that I may have hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid where the gland makes reduced amounts of either one or both the T3/T4 hormones.
Needless to say, I’ve been feeling really confused and disappointed with what’s happening to my thyroid. Even with the help of my doctor, it’s an huge thing to take care of. Because my main issue was Lyme disease and my blood levels are not as high, I have to decide if I should automatically start a medication like Synthroid.
In the meantime, I am cutting down on gluten, corn, dairy and meat products, focusing on foods that are friendlier to my thyroid like kelp, spirulina, goji berries, leafy greens, brazil nuts, wild salmon, blueberries, pumpkin, red peppers, and coconut oil.
Have you struggled with a thyroid disease? Let me know in the comments section below so we can help and learn from each other!