Like so many other people, my health journey has been nothing short of a roller coaster ride.
The picture on the left was when I noticed my health had started to take a turn for the worst. I had gained about 15 pounds and even after exercising 5 days a week and eating relatively “healthy,” I STILL could NOT lose weight. Over the next 3 years I battled the following symptoms: hair loss, extreme fatigue (I was sleeping 16 hours a day), anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings, cystic acne, insomnia, food allergies, stomach aches, puffy face, brain fog/ forgetfulness, weight gain, weight loss, cold hands and feet (even in 80 degree weather), heart palpitations and rashes.
One day, I was getting my hair done and I had mentioned to my hair dresser that my hair had been falling out like crazy. She told me that many of her clients had this also and that I might want to get my thyroid checked. After my hair appointment, I immediately started researching thyroid issues and quickly made a doctors appointment with my primary care conventional doctor. When I met with my doctor, I asked if I could get labs done to check my thyroid due to my many symptoms. The doctors response was, “I will run the tests, but you probably just need anxiety medication.” A few days later, the doctor called me back and told me that my thyroid levels were in fact off and labeled me with “subclinical hypothyroid.” I felt relieved to at least have an answer to why I was feeling so terrible.
I started thyroid medication right away. Over the course of a year I still was not feeling great. Some of my symptoms subsided and some got worse. I went back to the doctor several times to get labs done to see if there was any improvement. During that year, it was the same process over and over. The doctor would say, “Your labs look great!” and I would say, “Well, that’s odd, because I feel awful!” Still feeling awful, I requested to be put on a different thyroid medication after doing some of my own research. The doctor laughed at my request and said, ” Oh, that one doesn’t work.” I left that appointment feeling insulted and defeated.
I began to research holistic and alternative medicine as I was looking for a completely different perspective. I made a consultation with a local naturopath. What struck me right away was my health questionnaire that I was asked to fill out. It asked, “When was the last time you felt your best?” I knew I was in the right place. No other doctor had ever cared to ask me that question before. I got bloodwork done and met with the naturopath to go over them. When she got to my thyroid labs, she said, “Have you heard of Hashimotos?” I said, “Yes, but I’m not exactly sure what it is.” The doctor explained that antibodies were attacking my thyroid gland. Testing for antibodies was THE missing puzzle piece that my conventional doctors failed to look into. I felt relieved that I finally got a proper diagnosis. I wanted to get to the root of my symptoms instead of masking them with more medication and being treated as if they didn’t exist. I knew working with a functional medicine doctor was the best place to do that.
A year later, I have made huge progress in my symptoms and wellbeing (future blog posts on how I have made progress-stay tuned!)
My body still has a great deal of healing to do. Join me on my journey to wellness!