Not easy, still not impossible.
It’s been two years. And I’m still figuring this entire thing out. I have good days, when everything seems just fine, and others so bad that it looks like the end of the world. This is how a hypothyroidism carrier life looks like, when it’s all new. However, there’s always a way. After all, once you have it, it’s a lifelong company, so you better take care of it.
Your hormones tell all of the cells in your body how it should proceed and at what speed. However some people lack this balance which causes problems in the communication. The lack of balance may be for two main reasons: over-production of hormones (Hyperthyroidism), which makes your body overwork, or in my case (Hypothyroidism), not enough thyroid hormone, which makes your body slow down.
In the early stages, you barely recognize the symptoms of hypothyroidism, but as your system gets slower you may develop more signs. Some of them being:
- Unexplained weight gain/Puffy face
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Hair loss
- Dry Skin/ Weak nails
- Slower heart rate
- Muscle weakness/pain
- High Cholesterol levels
…and so many more.
Good news: It can easily be diagnosed with a blood test and treated with, usually, a pill per day (containing synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine). The dosage can change depending on your body’s need to balance your system. It can take some time to determine the proper amount, but in a few weeks you should experience the changes.
Bad news: These pills will be with you for your entire life. BUT untreated hypothyroidism will offer you other health problems, such as: obesity, joint pain, infertility/birth defects, heart disease, mental health issues and some others, very critical, but rare.
Anyone can develop this disease, but that can come with an explanation: Autoimmune disease (when your immune system produces antibodies that attack your own tissues); use of certain medication; pregnancy; Iodine deficiency (mineral essential to produce hormones), etc. The risk usually is for (most) women older than 60, but well, I’m 22.
I still cannot control it properly and I’m changing my medication a lot lately. I am experiencing some new symptoms and it is getting me really nervous. Nevertheless, I have to live with it and find my balance. So my advice is to learn all about it, and all the options to help you stabilise. For me the worse thing is how it gets through your emotions and most of times you just feel depressed, or without the will to be happy.
Also you have no strength to do anything: hobbies, work, have fun, socialise. Therefore, it happens that some days, or a few of them consecutively, you are just down. But don’t let it get you. At least, that’s what I keep saying to myself and that’s what I keep fighting against.
Some friends or even family members of a hypothyroidism carrier don’t understand or don’t realise that some behaviour can be connected with this, which is normal. But being there it’s enough. Thus, we apologise for any inconvenience! It’s a long road, but there are many people who’s able to manage it easily.
I believe it just depends on each individual, and how they want to face it. There are so many other worse things in life, so many worse diseases some people fight, why going down now? I had a pulmonary embolism, and thanks to that I figure the hypothyroidism faster, just in time to start doing something, so can I complain?
Therefore, with my recent research, I’ll give some, small, still important, tips for all my mates in this lifetime marathon:
- Choose what you eat properly:
- Avoid: Soy; certain vegetables like cabbage and broccoli; gluten; fast, processed and sugary foods; too much fiber; coffee; and alcohol.
- Go for: Fish; nuts; whole grains (balanced and hours after medication); fresh fruits and certain vegetables; seaweed; beans; and dairy.
- Try to balance your body weight:
- Eat properly and have small and frequent meals.
- Exercise often.
- Take the medicine.
- Deal with your emotions:
- Reduce stress.
- Get good sleep (fresh bedroom; avoid big snacks before bed; relax; have a comfy bed).
- Talk to a therapist (will help with the attitude towards the condition; and depression).
- Be social.
- Most important: Get support
- Your doctor (you need someone who knows better and you need to be doing tests frequently) or/and therapist.
- Your family.
- Your friends.
- A support group (maybe).
As you can see, there’s a lot going on with hypothyroidisms. But it can happen in everyone lives, so it’s better to be prepared. Anyway, this is an excuse for nothing; just live a normal life because you can!!