Since I was a little girl, I’d say I have had a sluggish thyroid. My mom once joked that I could eat an apple and gain weight whereas other kids could eat all the junk food they wanted and be fine. I was an active child and am an active adult, but I have been obese for the majority of my life. I can’t say I eat perfectly. I’d love to, but I can’t.
Even with my background in nutrition and wellness, I do make poor choices sometimes. I’m getting better at it. In December, I went to see a Functional Medicine Doctor (FMD) for the first time. She encouraged me to get off of all artificial sweeteners. I am also limiting dairy, eating no gluten and reducing sugar and alcohol. Some days are better than others and I could probably improve my fruit and vegetable intake, but I’m a work in progress and I don’t pretend to be perfect. I tell my clients I’ve been where they’ve been and still have to work at it day in and day out.
That’s not a lie.
Now, I’ve had a sort of hate-hate relationship with my thyroid for a very long time. I felt it was to blame for a lot of my problems. In taking IIN’s Hormone Health Course, I’ve discovered that I’m not that far off with respect to my lack of love for my thyroid. However, I need my thyroid to survive and thrive so I need to make peace with it.
I’m working on it.
In July of 2022, I got COVID. I didn’t know it at the time – and there’s no scientific proof as of this writing to back me up – that my thyroid somehow got out of whack from the experience. Why do I suspect that? Well, a few things came up after my bout with coronavirus.
- I was extremely fatigued. My doctor said it was due to long COVID and one day, I’d just magically feel better. That day did not happen well over five months later.
- I had brittle nails and hair. Usually my nails are strong and my hair is lustrous. My nails would crack easily and my hair looked like a bristle brush. I have colored and curly hair, but my hair stylist assured me it was fairly healthy. He couldn’t explain why it was this way – and neither could my primary care doctor.
- I had cold hands and feet – even during the Texas summer. The could not get warm.
- I gained weight. I put on about 10-15 pounds in about three months. When I told my primary care doctor, he seemed unfazed by it and suggested I look at how much I was eating. Urgh! Same old story, different doctor.
My cardiologist did extensive blood tests as he usually does for my annual visit with him and we discovered that my thyroid was seriously low. I contacted my primary care doctor with a screenshot of the evidence. He suggested we re-test my thyroid in his lab, where they found out that my T3 was low. His course of action was to put me on more levothyroxine (Synthroid) which is synthetic T4. I called bull shit and saw a functional medicine doctor who put me on Amour thyroid, which is desiccated pig thyroid hormone and it mimics human thyroid hormone. It’s more natural and impacts both T3 and T4.
I’ve been on Amour for almost two months and although the scale is not really moving, all of my other symptoms are gone. Hmmm? We are re-testing my thyroid hormones in about two weeks and checking my thyroid antibodies to see if I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune condition where the thyroid hormones are treated as a foreign invader. The immune system essentially ‘attacks’ your thyroid hormone. The symptoms are close to hypothyroidism, but if this is I do have Hashimoto’s, we may be one step closer to figuring out my thyroid dysfunction puzzle.