For the past two years, I’ve been dealing with my own health battle. It’s been the hardest and most challenging thing I’ve faced in a long time. I promised myself I would not write about it until I had healed. I needed to give myself the space to heal, and the time to fully comprehend what was happening to my body.
Please forgive me. I did this for my sanity, and now I’m safely on the road to recovery and understand my diagnosis on a personal and professional level, it’s time to open up my own struggles with thyroid disease. I’d like you to come along the journey with me towards optimal health. We all go through challenges, and it’s so important to support one another. Let’s start the conversation.
My thyroid condition
In 2014, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder that is 4 to 10 times more common in women. Hashimoto’s is usually associated with hypothyroidism, that underactive thyroid condition.
Basically, it’s when your own immune system starts attacking your thyroid. When it happens, your body is in a state of inflammation and compromised immunity. I know what you’re thinking – “what on earth?!” I was exactly the same.
Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
- Fatigue – deep, deep tiredness
- Difficulty focusing
- Foggy head
- Poor sleep
- Dry skin and hair
- Bodily responses to cold temperatures
- Muscle and joint pain
- Heavy periods
- Weight gain – inability to lose weight despite good efforts
The journey to diagnosis
After years of being incredibly healthy, I started feeling bad. Really bad.
I was away in South Africa for six weeks when I started noticing symptoms that were very unlike me. I had a puffy face, fluid retention around the thighs, heart palpitations, dry skin and suddenly gained three kilos. I was very irritable, and fatigued all the time. Everything felt heavy and hard. Intuitively, I knew something wasn’t right.
When I arrived home in Sydney, I went straight to the doctor to do my annual blood tests, only to find out my thyroid was collapsing on me. My TSH had jumped up (it should be below 3, and optimally 2 (mine was 4.4) and my thyroid antibodies were on the rise.
Cue absolute shock. I was dumbfounded.
These were some of the thoughts running through my head: “What was happening to me? I eat so well, I don’t take any prescription medicine, I manage my stress well, and I live a balanced life. This doesn’t make sense. I’m a nutritionist and health nut!”
It was devastating and it knocked my self-esteem massively.
This was the start of one of the most confusing times of my life. I feel I’ve only just recovered.
The worst part of this diagnosis? I felt like no one could help me. The only way to treat Hashimoto’s is to treat the trigger, the underlying cause, and we weren’t sure what triggered mine. Nobody could piece the story together, and it drove me mad.
I stopped trusting my body - It took a toll on my body image.
Something I thought I had healed – I mean, I’d written an entire book about it!
The thyroid drama brought up my old demons of not feeling good enough, thin enough, perfect enough. Now I had a ‘disease’, so I wasn’t in ‘perfect health’ – this was a huge battle for my mind to overcome.
In my Program I talk about the factors that can affect thyroid function such as stress, hormonal changes, environmental toxins and nutrient deficiencies - you can find more about it here!
What I did next – the ultimate healing treatment
I buckled down and did my own research. I tuned into my body.
I simplified the information.
I then began doing everything I could to heal and restore my thyroid. I started a strict thyroid protocol, which I created based on everything I’d learned – I’ve shared this in my online Program.
I hope my story resonates with some of you. If you feel like any of the symptoms relate to your own experience, I encourage you to speak up and seek professional help.