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My Take On Hypothyroidism

Updated on April 16, 2020
Mitchelle Peter profile image

All the information I share comes from my life experiences-things I've learnt on how to live a healthier life that has worked for me.

I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism more than 10 years ago.

Unlike some people I don’t think I handled it very well initially. The thought of being on medication for life really scared me and I gave into letting it affect every aspect of my life. Weight gain was always an issue for me, and this didn’t make it any easier. Whatever I tried just barely helped me lose even 1 kilo. Every morning I would wake up and stare at that tiny little tablet I had to take first thing on an empty stomach. It became a constant reminder of all the things that came with it - weight gain, hair loss, forgetfulness, always feeling cold, low energy levels and a bit of depression. It took me awhile to accept all this as part of my daily life.

So, what’s my journey so far been like and what do I recommend?

I think the key to dealing with health issues is to first understand what it is and how it affects your body.

What is Hypothyroidism?

It is a disorder where your thyroid gland cannot produce enough hormones which is required for the body to run smoothly.

The thyroid gland is vital to the functioning of your body as it provides energy to almost every organ in your body.

When your body is lacking production of hormones it is called hypothyroidism and when there is an overproduction of hormones by your thyroid gland, it is called hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism is found more in women but that does not mean men do not get it.

People think that if you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism your life can never be normal again. Let me tell you that often such a conclusion is due to the fact that doctors tell us you need to be on medication for life. Its disappointing news but by understanding it better, you can tackle it better.

Challenges with hypothyroidism

The biggest challenge with this is weight gain, that’s one of the major signs of hypothyroidism. However, it is not always the case for everyone. Believe it or not losing weight actually helps with most health issues including hypothyroidism. Achieving that takes a lot of time and patience but it can be done. It took me a long time with a lot of will power and determination, before I found a diet combined with a suitable workout and the right dosage of medication to eventually help me lose weight and bring my thyroid levels to normal.

Sensitivity to cold is another factor you will have to deal with. I honestly had fun with this, though everyone made fun of me for always being in a hoodie or jacket even in summer months, I really didn’t mind. It gave me a chance to go shopping for hoodies and jackets which is something I love and what my closet is always full of till date.

Muscle pain, tiredness, depression, anxiety and sleep changes surely will come and go but if you’re sticking to a good exercise routine and diet, as hard as it can be it makes a big difference to how you will feel physically and mentally.

If you can get your diet, workout and medication sorted out then you’ll find yourself in control of your body in no time.

Recommendation and remedies

Diet – this is a tough one and depending on your body type the key is healthy eating and portion control. I’m not going to tell you to go vegan or vegetarian, but it does help. I am still very much a non-vegetarian but the little time I did get off meat and controlled my portions I did lose a lot of weight way faster. Whichever you choose, try to eat less carbs and no sugar would obviously help too. If you can ensure that you don’t eat after sunset or at least 4 hours before you go to bed, it will definitely make a difference in helping you lose belly fat as well. Another thing that worked for me is, I started preparing meals at home and I would pack them in mason jars and stack them in the fridge. This takes care of your portion control and when there’s food in the fridge, there are less chances of you looking around for other unhealthy treats to munch on. Add more fruits and maybe Greek yogurt to your diet to substitute for your unhealthy cravings.

Workout – find something that you like to do. Don’t get on a treadmill and walk or run if you hate it. You’ll find that you won’t be able to keep that up for long. I for one, am not a fan of the gym or treadmill and after experimenting with different workout regimes found that swimming or yoga works for me. If you love to swim, there’s nothing like it. Doing a couple of laps everyday at the pool will give you results in weight loss as it is a workout for your entire body. Yoga is not for everyone but if it works for you, again it’s a total workout for your full body, doesn’t require a gym, you can do it in the comfort of your home and ladies its perfect if you want to achieve those curves you’ve always wanted

Checkups – you need to regularly check your thyroid levels. 50mcg of Levothyroxine is the minimum that can usually be prescribed to you. There may be different brands but if you could keep your dosage at 50mcg of Levothyroxine then that’s an achievement. Thyroid levels fluctuate due to various factors such as weight gain, stress to name a few. This is why, you need to ensure you check your levels initially every 3 months and once you have it under control once in 6 months should do.

Stress – I cannot tell you how much of a contributor stress is to health issues. Though we may not always be able to control our stress levels if you can ensure that at least once a day for an hour you are in a calm state whether it may be through music, watching shows, meditation, talking to a friend or even cooking – it makes a huge difference.

When you have a condition such as a thyroid disorder, it is vital to give your mental health priority as it is a lifelong process and having the proper pillars of support is the only way to go. I believe laughter and positivity which you can get by surrounding yourself with positive people will be one of the biggest factors in your life that will help you get through not just hypothyroid but any health issues. It most certainly will put you on the right path of healing both physically and mentally.

Thank you for your time and reading.

Comments

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    • Mitchelle Peter profile imageAUTHOR

      Mitchelle Peter 

      11 months ago from Dubai, U.A.E

      Music is definitely my go to as well Mitara, always takes me to a better place.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      11 months ago from South Africa

      Can relate, I am on the same journey. Huge difference from before being diagnosed, you have good days and some with a little to much more effort. Music is my go to place, always playing. Keeps me in a good balanced on those down days.

    • Mitchelle Peter profile imageAUTHOR

      Mitchelle Peter 

      11 months ago from Dubai, U.A.E

      Thank you for your kind words.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      11 months ago from USA

      Several of my relatives and I have this too and I could identify with a lot of what you were saying. Thanks for presenting the information.

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