It’s not as trendy as the gluten debate but it holds personal appeal. Why? Well, I happen to have hashimotos induced hypothyroidism. Recently, I joined a thyroid support group on Facebook. Let me say that there is a lot of support and a lot of good info but I’ve also noticed some bad info. It’s bugging me enough that I’m going to blog it. So here goes:

What is the thyroid?

It’s is a butterfly shaped gland in the neck that secretes hormones which regulate the body’s metabolism. (Mayo clinic.com) 

What is hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism occurs when the gland does not produce enough of the necessary hormones to regulate metabolism.

Who can get it? What causes it?

Anyone can get it but it is most common in women. There are many causes! Mayoclinic.com has an exhaustive list. A few causes are autoimmune disorders and even medications. 

Is it hard to treat?

No! Not in theory but you might a few visits and dose adjustments to get things up and running proper again.

This is a very cursory introduction to hypothyroidism. I recommend you consult an endocrinologist for more information. Also, you can read up on the thyroid via the web but proceed with caution. Choose credible medical sources!!! Endocrine web.com has articles authored by physicians. 

Hypothyroidism that is properly treated should have you feeling back to normal. You should also be able to lose weight. One small study presented at the 2013 American Thyroid Association meeting showed, however, that just over half of the patients in the study lost weight. It was undetermined as to why that occurred. It would be nice to see a study done to better understand why so few seem to lose the weight they may have gained. 

Here are my personal observations based solely on my own experiences (I am not a medical professional and this is not medical advice!)

1. Just because you are feeling symptomatic doesn’t mean your levels are off. It’s possible that you might have some other deficiency. Get your doctor to run some tests. If you still feel off, get a second opinion.

2. It’s very important to eat healthy, unprocessed foods. Keep a food journal. Often, I’ve found that I was consuming far more than I was expending. Be brutally honest with yourself about your diet. 

3. If you afford it, get a device like a Fitbit or vivofit that tracks your steps and daily calorie burn. Fatigue can stem from too much sitting just as it can stem from hormonal imbalances. If you are only burning 2000 calories in a day and you are eating 2500, you will gain weight! 

4. Accept that you are going to need to get in tune with your body. Pay attention to your skin, your bowels, your mental state-everything! Over the years, I’ve come to recognize when things feel off. Sometimes it’s been my thyroid; sometimes not!

Your best resource is your treating physician. If you are unhappy, be a proactive patient and seek a second opinion. It may be that a change in providers is needed. It’s not a personal dig on the doctor, it’s your health! 

Stay healthy my friends!

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