Well, if you are like me and a female, the thyroid has plenty to do with weight. I want to share my experience for those who have had a hard time losing and keeping weight off, feeling tired all the time, unable to get motivated, and just not feeling good.
A few months after having my second child, I noticed I was becoming increasingly tired. I was rapidly gaining weight. I felt sluggish and achy. My family noticed I was losing a lot of hair because they would find my hair all over the house. My skin was increasingly getting drier. I seemed to forget things and I felt clumsy. I was also intolerant to cold temperatures, I always needed lots of extra sweaters or blankets. Another thing I did not realize at the time was that I had a bit of depression, but I think its from gaining weight, losing hair, and always being tired. I did not want to talk to or see anyone.
During several years, I tried to self diagnose myself. One main thing I thought about was that it had to do with my metabolism and weight. I could literally walk by food and gain weight. I had participated in a couple diets after my first child and several diets after my second. Instead of getting healthy and losing weight, I was getting sicker and gaining weight.
My usual OB / GYN was not available but I was seen by another for a routine check up. She notice that there was something protruding in front of my neck. She asked if I had a thyroid condition. I said, '' no. "She suggested I have my thyroid examined.
I was seen by an endocrinologist and had blood work done and an (FNA) fine needle aspiration biopsy of my thyroid. He reviewed the results with me and prescribed some thyroid medication because I was not producing enough thyroid hormone according to my blood work. He also mentioned that my biopsy came back inconclusive and that I should have surgery right away, just in case there could be cancer. That is a very scary statement to my ears and I really considered doing just that. But, I wanted to do some of my own research first, since he actually specialized in diabetes and not the thyroid.
From my own research, I came across many stories and statistics. It seems that of all the people who had their thyroid removed in case in could be cancer, only 5% actually were. I also learned that most thyroid cancers are slow growing but there is one that does spread fast and should be carefully considered.
I decided that I was not going to have surgery to remove my thyroid on inconclusive results. Instead, I proceeded to look for a thyroid specialist. I am so glad that I did. He worked with me and explained things to me and he did his own blood testing and FNA biopsy.
He reviewed the results with me and said that there is definitely no cancer in your thyroid. That was a really big relief. But at the same time, I am wondering what is wrong with me. He did mention that my blood work showed that I was not producing enough thyroid hormone so my thyroid function was low like being hypothyroid. In turn, since my thyroid controls metabolism, my metabolic rate is running slow as well. And if you ask me, I would say it was going in reverse.
Another shocking thing he told me was that I had a multinodular goiter, which is almost always not cancerous. Usually, when you think of goiters, you think of not enough iodine. Well, in my case, it was the other way around. I had too much iodine. He suggested I reduce my iodine intake, which includes multivitamins! I could not believe I was hurting myself with vitamins and diet plans that had iodine.
I started being aware of what had iodine in it. I started taking my thyroid medication. I researched and found the best foods I should eat and what to avoid. I am increasingly feeling better and more energized and started exercising. I found a very good yoga program that not only helped me lose weight but it seems to help my thyroid.
Right now, I am under the watch of my Thyroid Specialist and all I need to do is to check my medication dosage from time to time. I am hoping to stop taking the medication all together. Also, if the goiter starts to get bigger, there is a plan in place to have radiation therapy to shrink it.
It is important to find a doctor you can communicate with. Also, finding the most suitable nutrition plan that is best for you. Include an exercise program that works best for you. For myself, I also include looking for things that benefit not only my thyroid but my immune system.
In conclusion, if there is anyone that has had a hard time losing weight, just feeling lousy all the time, or you may have experienced the same symptoms that I did and you have tried everything, consider having your thyroid examined.