Hypothyroidism and its Symptoms

I have been debating the past week if I should share this. I felt that it may be too personal and might not be relevant to a number of people, but the more I thought about it, the more I let this information sink in, the more right it seems to share it.

I have just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

Any medical website can give you a far better understanding than I can of what hypothyroidism actually is (Mayoclinic.org has a very useful description), however basically it is an underactive thyroid. In other words, my thyroid gland is not producing enough important hormones.

In some sense this has been a relief – a bit of a shock, but a relief.  You see, the last year, unbeknownst to me I have been showing typical symptoms of hypothyroidism. I just thought (rather depressingly) it was my body getting older (I’m turning 33 this year). Typical hypothyroidism symptoms include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Headaches
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory

I have highlighted the ones that I experienced, especially in the last six months.

All these symptoms have had a huge negative effect on me and my mental well being. I have been feeling so low and sluggish recently, with absolutely no energy to spare.  Have you noticed how both my blogs have been so quiet lately? But what was really upsetting me was my unexplained weight gain.

Here I am – a HUGE believer of LCHF and the benefits that this lifestyle has on your body, yet every time I stood on a scale, the numbers just kept on creeping up. I went from a solid 64kg in August to 68kg in October. You can bet that I not only started questioning the diet, but I started blaming and getting angry with myself. What was I doing wrong? Am I eating too much? Am I being too greedy (we all know I love my food!)  Maybe eating fat is not so good for me after all. Is LCHF really another fad diet? (I have to admit, that looking at all those “LCHF success stories” on the web and instagram did not help matters!)

However, every time I was close to throwing in the proverbial LCHF towel, something stopped me. Over the last two years I have read so much about LCHF, listened to so many talks and speeches on the topic that it all makes far too much sense just to give up and go back to how I ate before. So I just kind of  stuck with it and tried to come to grips with my ever increasing waistline.

Now I know – the weight gain, bad moods, headaches, feeling low and sluggish, my inability to concentrate had NOTHING to do with LCHF and EVERYTHING to do with a little gland in my throat!

So, yesterday I started to take my medication, a little pill that I will have to take every morning for the rest of my life. It sounds rather dramatic, but I am happy as I am looking forward to feeling like myself again. The doctor said it could take anything from 4 to 6 weeks before I start seeing changes – but that is fine. Now when I have no energy, or my clothes are sitting too tight, I know why and I am slightly more forgiving to myself. Why are we always our worst enemies?

I decided to share this information with you all, just in case there is someone out there like me, who has been working so hard to be healthy, changing their diet, exercising regularly but just not seeing results. However, more importantly, not feeling 100% . If you are experiencing any, or  a combination of these symptoms, go talk to your doctor and get a blood test done. I have subsequently found out that hypothyroidism is incredibly common, especially amongst women, and people go for years living with these symptoms and there is a relevantly easy fix.

But most importantly don’t give up on yourself!

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15 thoughts on “Hypothyroidism and its Symptoms

  1. Your last sentence is so apt. Well done! You seem to have cracked it. Love your posts. I’m currently in transition to LCHF with my mountain running and I’ve noticed a dramatic positive impact on stamina, well-being and health. A bit to go yet, but will keep trying your recipes. Have a nice day. 🙂 Keith

    • Thank you so much Keith for your nice words! It is comments like yours which makes me feel that I did the right thing and motivate me to continue. I wish you the very best on your LCHF journey, and please do drop back in and let me know how it goes 🙂

  2. A few months ago, I was very sick, zero energy, freezing cold, depressed, weight gain, thought I was dying. I read every word of your Hypothyroidism Revolution program and followed all the advice. My life turned around the first week. I started to feel human again. Within weeks my energy came back and I felt like living again.

  3. Thank you for posting this, I hope to see more about LCHF + HypoT in the future.

    I started LCHF in January 2015 and after losing 3kg in two weeks, I noticed a horizontal strip of skin in my neck looked puffy. Someone at work said I might have a “goiter” as a joke, but because it looked so different, I decided to see the doctor that evening. I have now been diagnosed with multinodular goitre, and while my T4 is normal, my TSH is high. I will be starting medication soon – and hope it’s successful in lowering my TSH.

    I will be LCHF for life though, as it’s all the foods I have always loved and I definitely feel much better eating this way. I will just have to see how I go combining it with HypoT as well. Please keep posting on your journey!

    I’m 43, have lost 4.8kg and 9cm off my waist in those 5 weeks. GO LCHF!!

    • Did you have an ultrasound on your goitre? I had multi nodulal goitre which I was told a few years back was “OK” and my thyroid was functioning well, and not to worry unless the goitre became so big is was unsightly…. Nearly 2 years ago I went to a new doctor to have this checked again, and was told I have thyroid cancer (thyroid was still functioning well). I had total thyroidectomy and have to take replacement Thyroxine for the rest of my life. I gained 12kgs after TT, and have problems losing this weight. Started LCHF in January and have lost about 3kgs, but that was initially and at the moment the weight loss is at a stand still. I feel better with this new way of eating, so will continue, but would love some tips on how to get the weight loss to continue.

      • Hi Laila, I too felt stalled early on, but looked at my macro nutrients using online tools – and recording what I ate on “my fitness pal”, which was very helpful and free. I only did that for two weeks and it helped me to balance my fat / protein / veg serves for better weight loss. It’s been 11 weeks and I have lost a total of 7.5kg now with no specific exercising. Also, drink more water, that can also help. Thank you for your info, I will be checking my neck regularly.

      • Hi Laila, Have you tired intermittent Fasting?? It’s the only thing that seems to work for me.

        LCHF for 3 months 10kgs down and about the same in cms around waist.

  4. I started my LCHF journey in January, on a Friday, of all days!

    I have not regretted it once. It has been life-changing. I did, however, find it difficult to find others in my boat. I started feeling a bit down, as the scale is a bit slow in dropping. Then I discovered your blog yesterday (23/02/2015).

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have inspired me to continue on my journey, which has turned out to be more a marathon than the sprint I had hoped it would be. But that’s ok, I will not judge myself too harshly. I refuse to be my worst enemy.

    Please keep sharing and caring. It makes a difference!

  5. Pingback: Hypothyroidism – My Follow Up! | The LCHF Club!

  6. nothing with LCHF and everything with a little thing in your throat?… what kind of logic this is?… your body doesn’t live separately from you, it is in the most direct contact with everything you eat.
    LCHF forces the body to keep insulin levels to a minimum. and insulin, as you know, is a hormone. you create misbalance, and it comes in form of disfunction of the organs. thyroid gland is in direct contact with insulin and other hormones – you offer it less work with less insulin and it slows down naturally. now you take medication (which from works like a chemical hammer to our bodies) to speed it up again, while it is still not receiving the necessary material to handle. your poor thyroid will be exhausted, expect some other troubles.
    nothing in your body happens JUST BECAUSE, unless its genetic. to be honest, if I were you I would make an effort to step back from your comfort zone of confidence in a chosen diet and try out something less comforting to think of, but more balanced.
    i’m sorry for saying all of this, but this idea that your thyroid gland just got lazy and its the one to blame here is ridiculous. you say that you’ve read so much about dieting and nutrition, but it looks like it all went totally in vain, as you haven’t learned basic facts about your body. and the truth here is only one – our body is a system so complex that goes beyond our poor imagination. trying to reduce it to the level of our understanding by putting it to some insane limits is going to cause misbalance which comes as a disease. simple.

    • Thanks for commenting Maria, however, my thyroid was playing up since before 2010, I only started LCHF in January 2015. So it definitely wasn’t a LCHF that created the thyroid problem. Cheers.

  7. You do realize a low card diet could cause thyroid issues right? How long were you low carb before getting tested? Do you ever carb up, say one night every 2 weeks? This purports to help with hormonal down regulation related to low carb and or low calorie dieting for too long.

    • Hi Mike, when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I naturally read up on it as much as I could – and I was worried that maybe my low carb diet could have contributed. However, I didn’t really find any information that I thought credible at the time to support this theory. However if you have recent information I would love to see it.

      Furthermore when I had a look at my diet it was never that extreme. A low carb diet is not a no carb diet so I was still consuming carbs, I had just cut out the major groups such as rice, pasta and bread.

      Another aspect which also made me skeptical that low carb contributes to thyroid issues, is the fact that hypothyroidism is very common, especially amongst women – according to the American Thyroid Association 20 million Americans are estimated to have problems with their thyroid in their lifetime, and I am pretty sure the number of people in those 20 million who live a LCHF lifestyle is pretty slim.

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