If you feel like you might be struggling with thyroid issues, I know it can be a lonely and frustrating feeling. It doesn’t have to be that way, however.
By shedding light on the five stages of dealing with hypothyroidism, I hope to convey that there is help for your symptoms. It’s possible to come out on the other side feeling healthier, stronger, and more like yourself again.
This is where there is nothing in your wheelhouse that would suggest you have a thyroid condition. You might feel tired. You might have a little bit of depression or sadness, or just a feeling that all is not right in your world.
You might be a little bit anxious here and there. Maybe your weight doesn’t come off as easily as it used to. And then you think, “I just need more willpower” or “I’m getting older.”
On the other hand, when these issues are happening routinely, there could be something connected to your dysregulated or dysfunctional thyroid gland way before a diagnosis even happens. Note that this stage can last a really long time, and it looks a bit different for everyone.
This is where your fatigue becomes more of a regular routine—to where you actually think, “Gosh, I might be depressed, or I might actually have anxiety.”
You start to exercise more. But you notice you’re still struggling with your weight.
“So, I will just reduce more calories,” you think. You start putting your calories and exercise expenditures into some kind of app, maybe to the point of disordered eating—adding to your feelings of anxiety and depression.
It becomes a vicious cycle. And you also might notice that you’re getting sick more often.
Now you finally seek out help, because you have some awareness that all of this isn’t normal. Hoping for a thyroid diagnosis, you get tested, and your doctor runs various labs. Everything comes back “normal,” and they brush off your feelings, saying this is just what happens when we age.
Oh, and by the way, there’s a medication for that—antidepressants, anti-anxieties, weight loss medications, medications to deal with blood sugar imbalance. You name it.
The problem, though, is the meds don’t actually deal with the root cause of what is going on, and you’re not even aware of what that might be.
You keep struggling. You become more of everything that I’ve already mentioned: more depressed, more anxious, more dissatisfied with your body composition.
You might crave more. You might exercise more but feel more tired from that. You aren’t able to manage stress very well.
At this point, you might get diagnosed with:
- A gut health disorder or an autoimmune condition like celiac disease
- Clinical depression, meaning another antidepressant
- Anemia, and you start taking over-the-counter iron, leading to side effects like nausea and constipation
You go back to the doctor. At this point, you might be on several medications. Maybe you finally find someone who will actually test more than just one thyroid marker. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a full panel.
You might finally get a diagnosis of hypothyroidism with an option to take medication. Maybe you decline because you don’t want to take more meds. Then your symptoms worsen.
You might end up with an autoimmune thyroid condition called Hashimoto’s. So you start taking the medication that you got from your thyroid diagnosis, and you begin to feel a little bit better. Eventually, it’s not doing the trick because you have not dealt with all of the other things that go into supporting the thyroid gland.
When you find someone like me who will actually help you, this is stage five. Here’s where you will finally get the help you need to overcome thyroid fatigue, depression, anxiety, and lack of motivation.
And whatever you’ve told yourself, you don’t have to restrict calories. You don’t have to over-exercise to get your energy back. You don’t necessarily need to be on an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication.
I’m not saying you should never be on those medications. I’m saying that in order to overcome the symptoms that you’ve been struggling with for 10 or 20 years, we have to dig deep to get to those root causes.
I invested in someone who actually understood what I was going through and told me that what I was feeling was legitimate. Within a short amount of time, the light at the end of the tunnel became brighter and brighter and brighter.
Out of all the things I’ve said, I want you to know that there is hope. With my help, you can emerge feeling amazing and live a full, energetic life once again.
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