Please have your thyroid checked for optimal levels (not the damn normal lab values that are guidelines) for issues like fatigue & depression. I suffered for years with hypothyroidism (BUT I WAS “NORMAL” according to standard lab test) until finally my thyroid was so diseased it was growing nodules and they had to surgically remove half of it! Thank goodness I at least have the other half!
WHY do we wait until it is a full blown disease before we treat an obvious problem? If someone would have actually LOOKED at me I WAS the picture of hypothyroidism! Just LOOKING would have shown that! Sadly, that’s not a criteria on how we are diagnosed these days. Many of my years were lost due to every freaking sign and symptom of hypothyroidism yet I was “normal” and then diagnosed depressed because THE test result was normal. I KNEW I wasn’t normal regardless of the damn test. I was the walking billboard of HYPOTHYROIDISM. But because my labs were all NORMAL (normal was determined by a group of people that included hypothyroid people as well), I didn’t receive help. (By the way, I wear a size 7 shoe and you wear a size 9 shoe. Both are normal and average sizes but if I go on a hiking trip in your size 9 and you wear my size 7 shoe, we will both be feeling a lot of pain in a matter of minutes wearing each others “normal” size shoe. Because…it’s not YOUR normal!)
After YEARS of diagnosed clinic depression, suicidal thoughts, postpartum depression, weight gain, inability to lose any weight, fatigue, hair loss, constipation, IBS, other digestive issues, skin issues, swollen neck, etc. and a crazy amount of pharmaceuticals (I couldn’t not begin to tell you how many) later I WAS worse than ever (and one even triggered non-stop seizures that landed me on life support even when I was told directly that it was safe)?!? I was on a sinking ship and didn’t even have a lifeboat!
WHY…because my thyroid was very, very sick!!! All those things I was experiencing was a SYMPTOM not a disease! Every cell in the body has thyroid receptors so every part of your body will be less efficient without thyroid hormone. Everything!
The standard test for determining hypothyroidism then and still today is the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). Only the TSH. I hate to tell you but the TSH does not even test the actual thyroid. It is checking the pituitary’s (in the brain) ability to secreet T4 in response to the thyroid “calling out” that we need more thyroid hormone down here! The brain is going to be the last part of the body that will show a deficiency in thyroid hormone. By the time it (the TSH) test low, the rest of the body has been suffering tremendously for years! Remember, chronic illness does not happen in a few days. It is a slow and long process. This goes for thyroid, diabetes, dementia, Alzheimer,s, and even Cancer.
My body did NOT need anti-depressants (not even with a family history of depression-which is ironic because we also have on one side of the family a history of THYROID problems and no one took meds for it. It showed up as goiters.), it didn’t need stomach pills to reduce acid (I wasn’t making enough anyway due to the low thyroid function), it didn’t need therapy because THE LAB TEST showed nothing wrong so it must be in my head, I didn’t need pills to help me sleep and pills to help me stay awake, pills to clear up acne, etc!!! This is complete madness and I still see it daily! It absolutely infuriates me to see people suffering!
How do we make this STOP?!? Keep in mind too that when we have a low functioning thyroid, many times, the adrenals over compensate to keep you going and eventually adrenal fatigue sets in and then even thyroid medications won’t show improvement until that is addressed and corrected! Taking thyroid meds can make you feel worse! UHHHGGGG and here we go again…BUT…it can be corrected with a little time! You don’t have broken adrenals yet, just not optimal and YOU can work on that if you know how!
The point of all this is not to bash anyone or anything. Not to bash any healthcare professional. It’s really not! If you are reading it in that frame of mind, then start over because you are reading this the wrong way. This is to empower YOU the patient. To get back your life! Times ticking and it’s your life. FIGHT for yourself!
You the patient need to understand that the standard test to check for thyroid problems is TSH and that is many times the only test they will check because the others will not be paid by your insurance. Your overall health and wellness can not be determined by a price. You won’t have to remortgage your house to have the test ran. It’s not that crazy expensive. You have to ask specifically for a full thyroid panel with antibodies and TAKE in a write out of exactly what you want tested and be prepared to PAY out of pocket for those test that YOU asked for! Physicians hands are tied by the insurance industry. That is unfortunate, but YOU are still in charge of your health. YOU! Is paying a couple or few hundred dollars to see if your thyroid is functioning properly worth losing years of your life because you are so damn sick and tired?!? NO it’s not. It’s not too expensive.
My lab test all came back normal for over a decade (10+ YEARS) because all I was being tested for was TSH. Once I educated myself (out of complete and total desperation) years later, I requested and paid out of pocket, for a full thyroid panel. I found out that I DID make some inactive T4 thyroid hormone, but I didn’t convert it to the active form of T3. I also found that even when I added a pharmaceutical T3 med, that it caused me to get worse because, further testing showed…the active T3 was not getting IN to the Cell where it needed to be for ME to feel “normal”! So I could have kept increasing the dose of Synthroid but I was NEVER going to feel better even when the TSH was “perfect” with medications! Without the full panel, we were missing a HUGE part of the problem. I wasn’t converting to the active form (happens in the liver), and when adding in T3, it wasn’t going in to the cell! You will never know that with just a TSH test!
In order for the thyroid to work normally, ANY nutritional deficiencies (even JUST one deficiency including Vit D, B12, Folate (NOT folic acid), Selenium, Iodine) can block or prevent the conversion and then can block the hormone from getting in to the cells (it won’t do any good only floating in your bloodstream)! Proper DIET (not A diet), sleep, stress less, water, movement and sunshine are your necessities. They are critical!
As I write this all, believe it or not, I am grateful now for that long sick process because had I not lived through it, I wouldn’t be in the position to help others! I had to live it to be a voice for it! It was hard. The many dark, sick, scary years were a necessary part of my journey (even though I wouldn’t want to go through it again). I’m just thankful that I had a family that was so supportive and lived through it with me. My husband was my angel. He had to live through those dark years too remember! Oh how horrible it was. The key word here is WAS! It’s a memory. I want it to be a memory for you too.
My goal for this post is to get you to look at the root problem of WHY you feel so bad. You are not deficient in “insert any anti-depressant/pharmaceutical here”. You are deficient in something(s) but it is not a mind-altering drug that has serious side effects and even worse side effects when you decide to get off said medication. (I am NOT opposed to the use of pharmaceuticals. I am opposed to the use of pharmaceuticals INSTEAD of fixing the real problem. I’m not looking for a band-aid. I’m looking for WHY I am not well. I wan’t you to look at it that way as well.)
It is easier to get a prescription for anti-depressants (mind-altering drugs) than to get a Full Panel Thyroid test. It’s even harder to find a health care provider that will treat you optimally regardless of if the test shows “normal”. Is it YOUR normal? You went to see them because you feel like crap! You are NOT normal! and you are MOST DEFINITELY NOT crazy or depressed. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. You just feel bad and are tired of feeling bad! Depression (the real deal depression) is not even in the same category as just being sad and frustrated because you aren’t getting answers!
I am so very proud to say that after all the horrible sick years that I am well. Am I 100%? No not yet but I work at it every single day. What other choice do I have but to work at it?!? Time will pass. Either I work at getting better or I do nothing and go back to that sick state again. It’s an easy choice for me. I can tell you today that it has take me years to get well. My initial journey didn’t actually start with trying to get healthy! Crazy I know, but I really just wanted to get my thyroid medicine adjusted and to lose some weight! That’s all. Guess what. It worked for a few months. And then it stopped working. All I was doing again was using a bandaid to cover a gunshot wound. Until the body is balanced, weight loss may not happen no matter how hard you try and can even backfire.
I changed my thinking of ‘I need to lose weight now’ to ‘I need to get my body healthy and balanced’. I had to practice thinking that way because I’ve never thought that way before. Again, it took work and a lot of time. Several years later, I am now at a place where I can say, I do not have a need for any pharmaceuticals anymore. I fixed the underlying problems and then slowly was able to take away the medications because the “problems” starting disappearing slowly. I do not have depression (despite having a strong family history). I do not have any of the stomach issues (cleaned up my diet). I do not have many of the things I was “diagnosed” with. I do still have some hypothyroid symptoms (like hair loss, fatigue, skin issues which flare up when I eat off plan). I have been and still am working with a fantastic Functional Nurse Practitioner to reduce those symptoms and it is totally working. I used to have mostly bad days and the occasional good day. Now I have mostly great days with the occasional bad day. I can usually pinpoint exactly what caused the “bad day”. It is something I did that caused it and then I learn from it and try not to do it again. I do take ONE (out of the dozens and dozens of pharmaceuticals) medication today. Only my thyroid medicine. I have tried them all and the one that works the best for me is the WP Thyroid (it’s actually cheaper than the other ones). I asked my NP if I could try it and she thought it would be a great idea especially since I had food sensitivities and the very medicine I took 2 times a day contained the ingredients I was tryng to avoid! She works WITH me. We are a team. Your doctor should work for and with you not the other way around. (This doesn’t mean if you ask for a dangerous drug and he/she says no that you should fire him/her and leave to search for one that will.) You both work together and DISCUSS options, ALL options, even the non-pharmaceutical ones to, to treat you and your health concerns. It is a two-way street. You have to do the work. You are so worth it! I only take the one pharmaceutical but I do take MANY supplements. I have to for now but given time to heal, I do not expect to have to take them all forever.
I need you to understand that you can get well. You can change your health. How bad do you want it? I wanted it bad. Then I got well, then I forgot how sick I was, stopped doing what I was supposed to do and started getting sick again. That reminded me of WHY I was getting better. So, the slip-ups are good reminders of WHY we stay on track. It’s about healing at the core! Heal thy self! If you weren’t born with a disease, chances are you can reverse the disease (or at least manage it) or keep it from getting worse and turning in to new problems.
The body is made to heal. You are in charge of that healing process. It can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be. I can help you take the first steps. Have faith and take the first step to healing. Read the attached article to get started with healing. She even provides a link to do your own testing without a physician if you need that option. You can see your optimal levels and work with a health care professional or Health Coach to learn how to supplement in order to make things work more efficiently. Don’t wait for the diagnosis. You can start fixing your entire body now!
You are awesome and deserve the best life! Let’s get going and heal!
Here is a Thyroid Adrenal program that I recommend and have used to get things in balance. There are many excellent programs so look around for the experts and learn from them! Find one that is perfect for you and your needs!
(I am NOT a physician or nurse practitioner. I don’t even pretend to be! I do not treat anyone. I never want you to just take my word. I want you to do your research. No matter how busy you are, you DO have time to learn. As a Health Coach and Nutritional Consultant, it is my job to empower YOU with information so that you can be proactive in your treatment and overall health. I love that I can help people accomplish their health goals using foods and supplements. If more is needed in addition, then this is where working with your health care practitioner for proper COMPLETE testing and in some cases natural thyroid medicines are essential. The great news with a “normal” thyroid test is YOU don’t have a full blown disease. You have dysfunction and now we can work together to provide lifestyle options to make things run more efficiently. Don’t wait. Heal yourself now!)