Living Well with Hypothyroidism

A post on Stop the Thyroid Madness led me to this woman’s blog post about how well she feels taking natural thyroid hormone vs. levothyroxine (Synthroid).  I thought it might be a good time to review how I’ve been feeling.

When I started this blog, I was feeling pretty awful.  I had been taking Synthroid for about 8 months, and my doctor told me that my TSH was normal, so any symptoms I might be experiencing weren’t actually symptoms, they were psychological problems.  Here are a few of the biggest symptoms I was experiencing:

  • Extreme fatigue (at its worst, I was sleeping about 18+ hours a day)
  • Serious depression, mood swings, anxiety, and general crankiness
  • Choking feeling / pressure and occasional pain in my neck
  • All-over soreness like I did the hardest workout of my life the day before, and constantly aching joints
  • Heart palpitations
  • Inability to exercise (as soon as my heart rate went up, I would get dizzy and feel like I was going to pass out, or my hands would go numb)
  • Inability to do my job (as a photographer, I didn’t have enough energy or strength to be on my feet for hours at a time, and I couldn’t book things in advance because I didn’t know how I would feel)
  • Weakness, especially in the upper body
  • Weight gain and a complete inability to lose weight no matter how hard I tried
  • Getting a cold/flu every few weeks
  • Daily headaches and frequent migraines
  • Dry skin, hair, and nails; nails that break like they’re made of paper and a ton of hair loss

It took four doctors to find someone amazing, several months of playing around with my dose of Thyroid, cutting gluten 100% out of my life, and then following a primal diet, to finally get my list of symptoms down to this:

  • Occasional fatigue or general “blah” feeling
  • Occasional mild depression/irritability

Both of those things usually happen after I eat something I’m not supposed to eat (like grains or sugar).

There might be a few other little things, but overall I feel amazing, and I’m so grateful I finally found a solution.

Last year on my 27th birthday, I said: “I bet by next year I will be feeling the healthiest I’ve ever felt!”  And it was true.  High five, past self.

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