October 13, 2015

Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism

I gained 30lbs in 3 years. Years of weight problems, years of being tired, and years of failed diets. I decided to try 21 Day Fix. Man, this program was easy. Clean eating, work out 30 min a day and drink my superfood. I got this!

4 months in I had lost 16 inches and 12 pounds, I was stronger, I had muscles and I wasn’t out of breath all the time! It felt amazing! With all that good though I still was so tired, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I was still losing hair and my brain was a cloudy mess. I could no longer blame my lack of energy and mile long list of health issues on my lack of diet and exercise.

I did my research and decided I should have my thyroid tested…for the millionth time. My primary care physician refused the test. He informed me it was expensive and previous testing had shown my thyroid was fine. He also informed me I was anemic and overweight. He said, if I lost weight everything would iron out. I wasn’t buying it; I knew something was wrong. I proved my success with my 21 Day Fix results and yet he was still sticking to his guns.

I refused to accept his answer and I kept pushing. Finally, after a year of complaining, I informed him he was not paying my bills and I can pay for the test if I want to. He reluctantly granted permission for me to have the blood test performed (partly to get me off his back I am sure).

He called with the results a week later. Everything was “fine” he said. After pulling up the results myself (on MyChart), and of course doing some online research, my numbers were incredibly low. Like the lowest number in the “normal” range low. With a family history of thyroid cancer, I was not taking any chances.

I started researching women’s health doctors who specialize in endocrine systems and women’s hormones. A friend referred me to an amazing doctor who took one look at my results and was astonished no follow up testing had been done. She ordered a full panel including a lupus test, anemia, vitamin D, vitamin B, T4 and T3 and a huge list of other possible issues.

Her results showed close to the same numbers as my previous testing had showed, but with more information giving a bigger and better picture of what was wrong.

She was 100% confident in diagnosing me with Hypothyroidism. This was the middle of August.

This would explain my hair loss, weight gain, unexplained loss of a pregnancy at 22 weeks (a whole other post for that story), extreme sleepiness along with a million other symptoms I had been fighting for a long time.

The doctor and the pharmacist were confident I would see “significant weight loss” with the medication prescribed. This of course meant I could take the month of August off from my extreme clean eating and working out (totally stupid conclusion I realize). I was on vacation baby! This is where denial set in. I was in full denial that I still needed a weight loss and healthy lifestyle program to keep me on track.

I waited and weighted…see what I did there? 😉 No weight loss. In fact I gained back 6 of the 12 lbs. I had worked so hard to lose. Gah!

I was still tired, I was still losing hair like crazy and I was gaining weight…again. This is when extreme self-loathing set in. I realized the medication was not the answer; I would have a lifelong battle with thyroid medication, weight issues and balancing hypothyroid symptoms with daily life. I’m not going to lie, for the full month of September, I self-medicated with sugar, Starbucks, chips and really any food I knew was bad for me. Deep down I knew this was wrong and that I was punishing myself, but I was mad. I was furious, depressed, angry and irritated! Why can’t one thing be easy in my life; just one thing? Some people use drugs or alcohol to mask their feelings; I used food.

The beginning of October, I went on a family vacation in the woods that required a lot of hiking. I was out of breath, weak and slow. I missed the strength and endurance I had worked so hard for and achieved as of the beginning of August. Even though I still had weight to lose, I was hardly ever out of breath and I had stamina to play with my kids!

I had accomplished a personal goal in that week in the woods, I was elated. However, I was very disappointed in my lack of stamina to really push through those woods and see the nature God had made for me to enjoy.

I decided then, in the sunny woods that morning it was time to get back on track. Stop the denial, stop the self-loathing, and stop the eating crap; time to get my health back on track.

I made a plan and here I am day 1 of 21 day Fix. I have decided to use this as a platform to encourage those with hypothyroidism, chronic illnesses or those of you who just want to lose a few pounds; join me on my journey! I am here to encourage and be encouraged! Let’s do this!


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