Let’s talk about your Thyroid! What is it, where is it, and why is it so important?
As I first mentioned in my bio, my journey into health and fitness began 11 years ago when I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I struggled with many symptoms that pointed in the direction of having a thyroid disorder (weight gain, extreme fatigue, hair loss, brain fog and heart palpitations) however, not knowing that my endocrine system was under attack, it took me seeing multiple doctors and many blood tests to finally pinpoint the issues of having a slow thyroid (hypothyroid) and burned out adrenals.
After finding the right doctor who understood the underlying issues happening in my body, I was put on synthetic hormone replacement to manage and balance my thyroid. Initially, it helped regulate my under-active thyroid with positive outcomes such as; losing the extra 30lbs of weight I had gained, reversing my overworked adrenals, and for a period time, the chronic fatigue and heart palpitations subsided. However, I once again began to feel slightly foggy, even when I was religiously taking my hormone replacement. Despite the fact that my blood labs were telling me my thyroid levels were normal, I started to feel “off” again. Although Western medicine was a huge starting point in my healing, I eventually decided to take my health into my own hands and get proactive about researching how diet and exercise would aid in a holistic approach to thyroid health and healing.
For two years I slowly eased off my thyroid replacement hormones and replaced those meds with a diet of whole foods like greens, lean protein and healthy fats. I limited my intake of processed foods, gluten and most grains, and in response, my body decreased inflammation and my gut began to do its job properly. I started working out daily in ways that focused on building muscle and increasing my metabolism. I began researching the effects that certain foods have on the thyroid while adding healing foods into my diet and eliminating foods that attacked the thyroid. In addition to my new found nutrient rich diet, I also added gut healing supplements to my daily regimen. In that process, I discovered the importance of a healthy gut and its connection to hormone health.
My journey from first being diagnosed with hypothyroidism till now, synthetic drug free and in remission, has been a challenging one with many ups and downs. Thankfully, with everything I have learned and found to be healing and beneficial, I’ve been able to create my Thyroid/Hormone Healing Guide! My hopes are that through what I have experienced, you too can find hormonal healing! Whether it be your thyroid, PCOS, endometriosis, or any other hormonal dysfunction, I truly believe taking care of our gut health, and changing our lifestyles can aid in hormonal health.
The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped gland that is located in the front/middle of your neck, and although small, it is the master hormone gland for your entire body! The thyroid gland controls everything from keeping your thyroid hormones at their proper levels, to controlling the metabolic rate of each and every organ in your body. This includes; your adrenals, sex hormones, body temperature, brain function, metabolism and heart rate. As you can imagine, if your thyroid is not working properly, it can send a spiral of chaos throughout your entire body.
What are the differences between Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto's?
- Hypothyroid (Hypo = slow/thyroid) Typical symptoms of hypothyroidism include but are not limited to: Hair loss, brain fog, inability to focus and concentrate, weight gain, low energy, anxiety, chronic fatigue, feeling cold, low libido, weakness in your body, digestive issues, allergies, swelling and inflammation.
- Hyperthyroid (Hyper = fast/ thyroid) Typical Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include but are not limited to: Weight loss -hard time keeping on weight, insomnia, body heat increased, inflammation, bulging eyes, heart palpitations, thyroid nodules, increased bowel movements/diarrhea, shakiness, anxiety and panic attacks.
- Hashimoto's (when your immune system attacks your thyroid gland) Typical Symptoms of Hashimoto's include but are not limited to: Feeling symptoms that are similar to both hypothyroid & hyperthyroid, fatigue, dry skin/hair and brittle nails, depression, colder body temp, weight gain, constipation.