Hypothyroidism – My Follow Up!

Two months ago I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism – which came as both a relief and shock all at the same time. Shock at the fact that I had something wrong with me, yet relief because I finally had a reason as to why I was not only feeling so low but also putting on weight. (you can read about it here)

The endocrinologist prescribed me a generic levothyroxine medication which I was to take everyday for two months and then come in for a check-up! Well, I had my check-up today and I am so pleased with the results!

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My TSH level has come down dramatically from 9.85 to 3.73 μUI/ml. Basically this means I am well within the healthy range of where my TSH level should be (0.35 – 5.50 μUI/ml). In other words, the medication is working!

Although I’m happy with the results, I am not surprised. I have definitely felt a ‘shift’ in my body, especially in the last three weeks. Mentally I am far happier, I feel more alert and less lethargic than I was just a few weeks ago. But the most telling sign for me, is my weight. I have gone down 3.5kg.

As I never really trust scales – I also measured myself when I first started the medication. I thought it would be interesting to see if there was a difference. Here are the results

Weight & Measurements 27th January 2015 31st March 2015 TOTAL Loss
Weight 68 kg (150 lbs) 64.4 KG (142 lbs) 3.5 kg
Waist 82 cm (32 in) 77 cm (30 in) 5 cm
Belly Button 88 cm (35 in) 84 cm (33 in) 4 cm
Abdominal 93 cm (37 in) 88 cm (35 in) 5 cm

This is quite a big difference, especially when you take into consideration that apart from taking the medication I have done nothing actively to lose weight. In fact, apart from continuing to eat a healthy diet (LCHF of course) I haven’t done any exercise for the last four weeks due to a muscle injury I have sustained.

I came back from the doctors today feeling happy and positive. The doctor would like to see my TSH levels drop a little more, so I will be going back for another check-up in two months and I would be interested to see if there will be any more changes both physically and mentally. But right now, I feel so positive.

As always the point of sharing this story – is to hopefully offer some encouragement! For those of you who are doing everything right on LCHF yet are not seeing any results or worse still, your weight is increasing and you feel low- there could be an underlying problem that is outside of your control. Go see your doctor it could make such a difference in your life.

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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!