Don’t underestimate the effect hormones have!

So we all know every teenager turns into a raging hormone at some stage … and most women turn into horMOAN hags at that time of the month … but these are not the hormones I speak of in this post … instead I speak of Thyroid hormones.

Thyroid hormones are a bitch (scuze the language) if they are out of whack!  And they affect literally everything in your body from energy levels and metabolism to your skin and hair and even your cholesterol levels and mood!  As someone who has struggled for a while with thyroid problems, I can’t stress enough the importance of testing your thyroid levels when you are feeling well, this is honestly something I so wish I had known to do in my healthy 20s! I could have established my “normal levels” and saved myself years of unhappiness!

The problem with your thyroid, is the range of “normal” results is so broad, that your normal and my normal might be very different! My normal might be towards the top of that range, and I might feel absolutely terrible at the lower “normal” rate you feel great at. Team that up with an unsympathetic doctor who just looks at blood results and whether or not they fall within that band and ignores completely how you’re feeling … And you may become a very unhappy camper as I did.
At my worst a couple of months ago I was constantly exhausted, sleeping 12 hours PLUS a night and waking up exhausted, barely able to get through my work day before racing home to crash again.  I was down to one meal a day as eating a normal diet had me gaining roughly 2.5kgs a week.  My hair was falling out, my skin appalling, my periods horrendous, I was constipated and depressed … you get the idea … overshare no-one wants to hear!  And my original GP refused to change my levels as they were within the “normal” range.  Her advice was that I go see a dietitian and go on an anti-depressant!  REALLY?!?!?!  I’m probably the furthest from a depressed person I know – I was depressed about my health situation – but far from depressive!
About a month and a half ago I finally took time for myself and took my tired body to a new GP recommended by friends and thankfully I am a different person now!  Sometimes you don’t realise how kuk things are until they are way better!  A month at 50% higher dose and now a few weeks into double my initial dose I feel like myself again!  I have energy!  I’m sleeping a normal amount (about 7 hours) and waking up ready to face the day, I’m back at gym, I’m eating a normal diet (albeit Dukan Diet to try move the weight I gained over the past 6 months of thyroid misery), my mind is back to its positive self, my skin has improved, no more constipation and normal periods.

I have learned that a second opinion is invaluable!  I have also learned that you should listen to your body and your gut when it tells you something isn’t right and TAKE THE TIME TO MAKE IT RIGHT!  The lesson I wish I could teach others is test your hormone levels while you’re feeling well and have your levels on file somewhere – finding the right dose for you can be a two year exercise without this info!

How do you know you have a thyroid problem?  If ever you find yourself wondering if you’re mad, you may be suffering!  If you gain weight no matter how strictly you eat and how much you exercise!  If you are exhausted and down constantly!  If you’re suffering from constipation more than normal!  If you’re having heavy periods!  If your hair is thinning or falling out and you notice skin changes!  If you’re cold all the time or seem to feel the cold more than normal!  If you have no energy!  If you’re suffering from a few of these you may have an underactive thyroid – get it checked!

1 Comment

  1. Brigit on February 10, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks so much for that post! I have Hoshimoto’s. An auto immune disease that attacks your thyroid. I’ve not felt better since going on euthyrox and am eating broccoli and cauliflower for breakfast and lunch and am still not losing weight. Tired of being tired! Am going to look into things more carefully based on your story.