I’m so tired.
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (which is autoimmune hypothyroidism) last year after going to my doctor for hormonal acne. I guess at that point I was tired, had some weight gain… but I was also in graduate school and 3 months before the biggest exams in my life…
Everyone was tired and overweight during exams.
But after discovering that my TSH was over 90 (normally under 4), my doctor put me on 125mcg of levothyroxine. After school was over, and I started taking my medicine I felt…. EXHAUSTED. I was sleeping 12+ hours a day, light headed with a pounding headache whenever I stood up, and loosing hair by the fistfuls.
Without the excuse of school and a caffeine headache… I finally realized “wow, something must really be wrong with me.”
My doctor told me I would feel better in a few weeks… and you know what? I actually felt worse than when I was pulling 6 hours study sessions at the library! BUT the symptom that I went in for (severe acne) slowly did get better. AND my face (which sudden grew giant in size during grad school) shrunk back to it’s only slightly massive size. 6 months later I started feeling like 60% of myself in terms of my energy level and fatigue… I reassured myself that it can only get better from here!
Now I’m 1 year out from starting medications and I STILL FEEL LIKE I’m at 60%…
I’m finally working in a career I’ve been in school for WAY TOO LONG, and all I can manage is 40 hours a week before passing out at home every night. Going out on weekends is exhausting. And this is the same girl who changed her major 3 times, had 4 minors, and was president of a student organization just a few years prior.
I would like to be a 26 year old with a life please?
OH! And get this: My doctor dismissed my abnormal fatigue, and hair loss because my thyroid levels looked good now.
MY COMPLAINT IS HOW I’M FEELING NOT MY LEVELS
I FELT FINE EVEN WHEN MY LEVELS WERE NOT
…. I’m sorry I hate when people type in CAPS since it feels like they’re shouting in my head. But I was literally shouting so it was appropriate, I believe.
So I’m probably not going back there.
I’m pretty happy with my friends, family, and boyfriend… so I don’t think I’m tired because of depression or anything… but honestly if someone told me I had to live the rest of my life this way I would fall into a deep spiral of depression.
So I did what you probably did.
I read things on T3 levels, gluten, and a million other things to see why I was tired.
And I wanted to share my findings.
I stumbled across a truly helpful article about Functional Medicine while looking for a new Endocrinologist that will listen to me. It was written by a Dr. Izabella Wentz: https://thyroidpharmacist.com/articles/functional-medicine-approach-to-the-thyroid/
I became interested in finding a Functional Medicine Practitioner, or a Naturopathic medicine, or even a dietician.
Here’s a link to finding functional medicine providers:
Unfortunately I discovered that a lot/some of these functional medicine providers don’t deal with insurance… meaning that I have to front the $300 + big ones to see them… Fortunately, many of these places offer free consultations so you can decide if it’s right for you.
For me, just having returned from a my endocrinologist’s office (which has a $50 copay by the way) for him to take my blood pressure, weight, and read my test results (which I already had access to, along with the interpretation on my Quest app)… I’m feeling a little shy to shell out more money to another doctor that won’t listen to me.
Also things that have helped with my symptoms include a lot of dietary changes such as:
- Eating less gluten: Gluten gives me brain-fog! (When you feel almost light-headed, can’t focus, etc) This is truly tragic as bread is my favorite food in the world. I have found however that supplementing my carb love with rice-based alternatives such as:
- Mochi: As a dessert item
- Rice and grains… instead of pasta and bread
- Eating oatmeal instead of cereal: Overnight oats is like the best thing ever (if you like parfait-esque things), and warm oatmeal with honey?? Yum…
- Eating less dairy: There are so many yummy replacements to straight up milk (which you know if you’re lactose intolerant). I personally love almond milk with vanilla. Just make sure your dairy replacement doesn’t have a ton of sugar in it… because this works into the next thing
- Eating less sugar: Sugar does bad things for your teeth, your skin… but in your gut it causes a TON of inflammation. That’s something you don’t want in your system if you have a autoimmune disorder, swelling, or acne! Think of anything that is red and angry (like your unhappy thyroid)… don’t add fuel to the fire! Try sugar replacements like Stevia, honey, or even get your sweet tooth satisfied with whole fruits.
- Make your tummy happy with probiotics
And lastly the most important thing during my transition to a new diet….
Let yourself have a cheat day.
Lastly as well as being a source of information, I wanted to ask any of you that might have stumbled across my post….
Have you seen a functional medicine doctor? Was it worth it for you? What dietary and lifestyle changes has helped you out the most?
Stay happy and healthy