I Finally Have Answers
Saturday, September 07, 2013
I'll get right to it. I FINALLY got confirmation that I do in fact have hypothyroidism! This is the best news I have received in years! For those of you who know me, know that I have been saying something was wrong with my body for years now. My last trip to the doctor made me feel crazy. When I told her what I was eating and how much I was exercising she looked at me like "Sure you are fatty!" When my test results came back normal, I got the "watch what you eat and exercise more" lecture. So I gave up. No one would listen to me and I didn't know what else to do. I'd tried less carbs, more fiber, more protein. No matter how I tweaked my diet, nothing really changed. I just accepted the fact that this was my life. Everyone has their burdens to bear and this was mine. I was destined to be fat. To be miserable. To be depressed, achy, forgetful, and irritable.
Then my nails started to separate from their nail beds. It was so incredibly painful. So I looked it up and what's at the top of the list? Yep, my good friend hypothyroidism. But what did it matter? No one believed me and the test results worked against me so I suffered on. And then I got sick. Nothing major, just a viral infection. I went to a new doctor on the recommendation of a friend. He doesn't take insurance, just $20/visit. We got to talking, about my weight of course, and I tentatively mentioned thinking something was wrong with my thyroid. He said, "It's swollen, I can see it from here." Wait, what? He then came over and felt my thyroid and suggested we do blood work. Did I dare hope? I'd done blood work before knowing for sure that it would show I had a problem, only to be disappointed, but maybe this time would be different. And it was. That call from the nurse with my test results was music to my ears. I'd never been so happy to be diagnosed with an illness. I felt validated, vindicated, hopeful, and most importantly I wasn't crazy. I didn't have to live this life.
I picked up my prescription from Walgreens and went home to do research. A pill in a bottle wasn't going to change my life, but information would. The first thing I learned was the difference between synthetic thyroid and desiccated thyroid. My doctor prescribed Armour Thyroid, which is desiccated...meaning it's derived from pig thyroid. I read lots of good things about it opposed to synthetic thyroid which doctors seem to love to prescribe even though it doesn't work well. So I took a poll with all my hypothyroid friends. All but 1 are on synthetic and all but 1 are miserable and see no change in their bodies, whether that be weight loss, body aches, depression, memory loss, fatigue, hair loss, etc. My doctor is a little holistic, a little naturalist, and I love him already.
So what does hypothyroidism mean for me? It's means going gluten-free, goodbye soy, more strength training, and limiting some of my favorite fruits/veggies like broccoli, kale, cabbage, peaches, etc. It means being my own researcher and advocate. It means work and uphill battles. If you think you might have a problem with your thyroid, get tested. If you think your current thyroid medication isn't working, get tested. In both cases, fast before your blood work and do not take your thyroid medicine. The doctor probably won't tell you this, but it will affect your test results. It's part of the reason I think my tests never showed a problem before. That and thyroid disease is just hard to diagnose.
I've done tons of research online. I've ordered the book The Thyroid Diet. I've started revamping my meal plans. I'm armed and ready to take charge of my life. It won't be easy, it won't be quick, but it WILL be doable!