Here is my update since November 2017…
When I left my doctor’s office that day after learning that finally my TSH level was at 1.71 (normal range is 0.4-4 mU/L) I was feeling sad and angry. I was frustrated that I had spent almost 1 year trying to get my TSH level down to the “normal” range. I had gained 15 lbs along the way. Multiple break downs, blood work, doctor’s appointments and Naturopath appointments to get to this number … AND I still didn’t feel like myself. I was frustrated not with my doctor, but with the medical system and how we are thought to believe that we need to be a certain number before we feel better. In my case, the TSH number didn’t matter to me anymore because I reached that magic number and I was still not myself. I was feeling depressed and more anxious about my health.
I went back to my doctor that week and cried in her office. Month after month, I would go back to see her and I was emotional about feeling like a lab rat. Frustrated that it was taking so long to see results in my blood work and to get me no where. I was getting caught up in my weight gain and the emotional roller coaster that goes with that. I asked her if she thought I was depressed; she thought I was so she prescribed an anti – depressant to take for the next month to see how I felt.
I filled my prescription and took the pills for 2 days. I remember looking at myself in the mirror on day 2 and crying. I didn’t like being on medication. In my heart, I knew that I could be doing something else for myself. I had lost who I was in all of this thyroid business and I needed to find that happy and energetic person again. I’m not saying that taking an anti – depressant is wrong or doesn’t work. I am just saying that for ME, I needed to try to find other methods to control my emotions and if it didn’t work, then I would consider going back on the medication.
So that was that. I chose to stop taking my thyroid medication. Stop any natural supplements. Stop my anti – depressants. The only supplement I continued to take was a multivitamin and iron.
I started going to the gym. I missed working out in a big gym setting. I needed someone else to challenge me and kick my butt. I started going to a variety of fitness classes and spin classes. I started doing more workouts at home in my studio as well. I was devoting more time to ME and reconnecting with my thoughts by writing in a journal. I went on a girls-only trip at the end of November with two of my best friends. I was making positive changes in my life that were making me happy.
I don’t know if it was having more ME time, going off my medication or both, but I FEEL AMAZING! I am stronger than I ever have been. I am way happier than I have been this past year. I enjoy spending time and laughing with my daughters. My husband and I have a way better relationship. I have more energy. I can think more clearly.
I had another round of blood work done to check my thyroid and iron levels; I was nervous to learn the results of stopping all my medication 3 months ago. The results are in … my thryoid levels AND iron levels have both improved. WHAT?! My doctor was super pleased. For once, I didn’t cry in her office. I laughed. I smiled. I was so happy. She said to me “Clearly, your body just needed a re-boot.” Yes it did!
She said that I had needed an anti – depressant butinstead of medication, exercise, eating healthy and finding time for myself was my answer. I couldn’t agree with her more!
So what did I learn from my medical journey this past year?
- I wish that I would have questioned my old doctor in the first place when he told me I MUST go on thyroid medication because my TSH level was high.
- I’m glad that I found a new doctor who has supported me and my decisions.
- In a way, I’m glad that I went on different thyroid medications from my doctor and Naturopath. I learnt a lot about how your thyroid works as well as all the other hormones in your body and that we need to address the entire picture, not just a number and if it’s in the “normal” range.
- I now have some knowledge to share with my clients.
- I learnt that I was wearing myself thin and I needed some self – care.
- I learnt that I should listen to my heart more often and that I know my body best.
So to all of you who are currently dealing with a thyroid issue…
I want you to ask questions. I want you to find a doctor who will support you with your decisions and treatment. I want you to follow your heart and listen to what it is saying. I want you to get a second opinion if you are not happy with your treatment. I want you to know your numbers…TSH, T3, T4. I want you to ask to get your cortisol, estrogen and testosterone tested … heck, ask to get a FULL BLOOD PANEL done so you know ALL of your numbers! I want you to assess your life and see what stress is effecting your health and how you can manage it better. I want you to start exercising and eating healthier.
You need to look at the bigger picture and not just 1 number that so many doctors focus on. There is hope for you on your wellness journey. If you are not happy, you need to change something!
My name is Rachelle and I am the owner and founder of Momentum Health & Wellness . I am devoted to inspire and promote health and wellness to individuals and families. I want to create a community where people feel motivated to share their wellness journey and to encourage one another to be positive role models in their home, at work and in the community. I offer prenatal fitness classes, postnatal fitness classes, fitcamp, personal training, injury rehabilitation, yoga for children and corporate wellness.
Contact me for more information on the services I provide!