I’m slowly starting to get my head around living with a dodgy thyroid. Now that I’m aware I can see more of the effects it’s been having on my life (unbeknown to me in the past.) It seems living with this condition is a bit of a roller coaster. You have bad days and better days. For me they manifest most in my energy levels and ‘brain fog’. Yesterday I felt pretty good all morning as I high tailed it around doing the grocery shopping while little pink was at 3yo kinder for her allotted 2.5 hours. But at about 3.00 o’clock (after getting the groceries away) my body hit the wall. Despite sleeping really well for the past week I was exhausted. The exhaustion seems to come out of the blue. Some days you just wake up there, before your feet even hit the floor. Other days I really don’t feel too bad. And then others, like yesterday it hits you mid way through without much warning.
Anyhoo – I am so determined not to let this condition rule my life. I’ve been reading and researching all week. The internet has provided me with much to think about. So many people seem to get so overwhelmed by this condition – but then there are others who just work really hard to make things change for the better. I will be one of those people. It’s almost like I’ve been handed a physical challenge - one that I’m determined to achieve. ”So you think I can’t lose weight and have energy because I have hypothyroidism - well watch me” (Finally the fact that I hate being told what to do is reaping its reward!!) I know I’m in the early stages of what I’m told is a life long marathon. I know this enthusiasm may not sustain me the entire journey. But while it’s here I’m going to use it.
I’ve been taking the synthetic hormone levothyroxine for six days now. So far I’m not having any side affect I’m aware of. I haven’t had any huge increase in physical energy either but I have to say I do seem to have more mental energy. That’s surprising – but in a good way. I no longer get overwhelmed at the thought of a busy day. Mentally I’m ready to take things on again – even though my body isn’t backing me up with the energy I need to do it. It seems that it can take a while to get the medication levels right. The medical world says once you do have them right things should return pretty much to normal. According to my internet research this doesn’t actually happen for many people and there is a big debate about synthetic versus natural hormones and whether the medical worlds test are taken in enough detail. For now I’m going to take the word of the medics and combine the synthetic medication with lifestyle changes. But I will be keeping an open mind to more alternative therapies if I don’t get good results within the next three months.
Life style change is going to be the big one for me. I’m just doing it – things I never thought I would before are happening. The below list is what my research has taught me so far about dealing with my hypothyroidism. This list will change as I discover more things and work out which ones make the biggest difference for me. A little annoying that if I’d chosen to do this before the big H entered my life I’d be feeling fabulously generic and probably shed a few kilos – but now with my slowed metabolism it’s going to be a long haul. But I’ll do it. I know I will.
I’ve also started an Australian facebook support group for Hypothyroid suffers. This is the link. Feel free to join in – because good support makes all the difference – what ever the challenge your facing.
What I’m doing right now to deal with my Hypothyroidism.
Eat 5-6 small meals a day – rather three big ones. (Boosts metabolism)
Avoid foods that slow down the absorption of thyroxine: Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, turnips, kale, spinach, peaches, strawberries, soy, pears, peanuts and cauliflower, pine nuts, strawberries, millet, walnuts, peanuts. You can evidentially eat them cooked – but only 1-2 times a week. They all contain a substance the limits the absorption.
Eat a whole food diet: Avoid as much processes food as you can. Eat foods rich in iodine and selenium (Brazil nuts). Eat mostly vegetables, fruit, lean meats, nuts, seeds, beans/legumes and whole grains. (There is also ALOT of talk around about a link between Hyperthyroid and Coeliacs Disease. If my energy levels have not improved by early next year I will look into trying a gluten free diet.)
Exercise daily: Movement boost the metabolism and just make you feel good.
Drink lots of water: Flushes out the sluggish system. I’m also cutting back on caffeine and drinking more green tea. This will be a slow process because I love my coffee. I’m not going cold turkey. I’ll start with no more than 2 cups a day and work it down to one eventually.
Supplements: Many people take Cold Pressed Organic Coconut Oil and say it’s great. I’m going to trial this for a few months and see if it helps with energy levels. I’m not keen to take other supplements until I get some indication of if the medication is helping or not.
Medication: I’m currently taking 100mg of levothyroxine. My GP will review this via blood tests in five weeks time. I take it first thing in the morning and wait 1 hours before eating and two hours before having any dairy. (Absorption is poor otherwise.) I REALLY miss having a coffee when I wake up