My friends and family that know me well, know much about my struggle with the metabolic disorder, hypothyroidism and thyroid disease. For those of you that do not know what thyroid disease is, let me break it down for you in an incredibly basic (you can read more about the disease if you want, this is just an overview) sort-of way:
Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the front middle of your neck that secretes hormones, specifically T-4 (or thyroxine), among others. These hormones influence your metabolism, overall growth and development, as well as your body temperature. There are two types of thyroid malfunction:
- Hyperthyroidism is the increased (high) production of thyroid hormones, including T-4. Often individuals with hyperthyroidism have a very fast metabolism, are underweight, often warm/hot to the touch, have an increased heart rate and may even feel nervous or jittery.
- Hypothyroidism (the much more popular of the two) is a decreased or low production of thyroid hormones, including T-4. Individuals with hypothyroidism tend to feel cool often, have slow metabolic reaction to foods (metabolism), gain weight or find it hard to lose weight, may experience bouts of sluggishness, lack of energy, hair loss or thinning and even problems with regular hormonal and reproductive function.
Both of these diseases MUST be controlled with medicine for your body to function normally and the only way for you to find out if you have either is to get a blood test administered by your doctor's office.
Now that we are clear... I wanted to share a little of my experience with you just in case you are going through the same thing. I am hyperthyroid and was originally diagnosed with the disease when I was 19 years old (I am 28 now). I have been taking medicine on and off (yes, I know the off part is bad - that never should have happened) for 9 years now. I originally began on thyroxine, the drug used to treat hypothyroidism, my dose was 25mcg. Today I take 135mcg. A huge step, huh? I attribute A LOT of that to my previous dietary habits (and heredity, but since my mother only takes 50mcg daily, I don't think that's mainly it).
Prior to eating clean, my body would react to my new medicine dosage doing exactly what the doctors wanted it to do and then BANG! All of a sudden, it was like I hit a brick wall and the medicine would no longer work... they would increase my dosage and the cycle would start again. Since I have been eating clean consistently (6 months), my dosage has NOT been altered and I can see gains in my energy levels. I no longer crawl back into bed at 10 am in the morning, my hair no longer falls out and I have faith that this will continue! Nourish your body correctly and with aid from the right dosage of medication, your body will begin to heal itself.
DO NOT let people tell you they are overweight because of a thyroid problem (unless it is untreated)! And don't think that is the reason you are either (if you have a thyroid problem). There are NO excuses HERE - just hard work! I work EXTREMELY hard and watch everything that goes into my body and I am 5'2'' tall, 120 lbs, and 19.5% bodyfat. It CAN be done! I am living proof! You can do it too - don't fall into the trap of excuses.
Good luck on your journey! Even if my story touches one of you today, it's worth it!