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Sunday, February 04, 2018

A Personal Update, 23 And Living With A Thyroid Condition

(I wasn't sure what photo to use for this post but this book seems relatable!)

For the past two years I’ve struggled with my weight, not because I’m someone that eats or drinks badly, but because of my thyroid condition. If you’re a long time reader of my blog (high five) then you may remember a post a 5 years ago now (here) about living with a thyroid condition. So it only seemed right to give you all an update of what’s happened since then, the side effects I get and how I’ve been dealing with them.

So I bet you’re all wondering what is a thyroid gland?
First of all your thyroid gland is inside your neck and it releases hormones that control metabolism and the way your body uses energy.

What are the symptoms of having a thyroid condition?
I found out that I had a thyroid issue when a tumour (the size of a Satsuma) was inside my neck. However, aside from that you may have the following symptoms, which include fatigue, muscle weakness, mood swings, memory problems, depression, low libido, weight gain, dry or thinning hair, increased awareness of the cold (to name a few symptoms) which could result to having your thyroid levels checked.

How does it affect your daily life?
 I’ve had my full thyroid gland removed, due to lumpy tumours inside it and have been on hormone replacement (thyroxine) since I was 18 years old and I’m now 23! The symptoms I’ve personally suffered from have varied throughout the years but here are just a few…

Hair Loss
I’ve lost a lot of hair over the years due to my condition and it’s something I’ve tried numerous shampoos and treatments for. I always know when my thyroid levels need checking as my hair falls out in larger clumps then it normally would. Two things which have helped me are my Wet Brush and Salon Science hair products.

Weight Gain
Pre-surgery and blogging days my weight was a lot more on the lighter side and I was two sizes smaller than I am now. I’m currently going to the gym (I’ve even taken up personal training sessions) and I am feeling more confident and happy with myself then I have been for a long time and it can only get better right?

Tiredness
 I genuinely feel sometimes like I can fall asleep anywhere. It’s not really a normal day unless I take a nap as my body is constantly exhausted. It’s only since I have been a member of the gym that I’ve noticed my energy levels have increased and I have not been napping as much (yay!)

 Being Sensitive To The Cold 
If you know me well, you’ll know that I am always cold. I am never seen without wearing a scarf and most of the time you’ll catch me wearing a jumper to keep warm. I can be freezing but the person next to me can feel really warm, no matter how hot or cold it may be in the room.

Who can get affected with a thyroid condition?
 Anyone can, but it’s usually found in women. In the UK it affects 15 in every 1,000 women and its only now in my adult life I have discovered other people, which suffer with the condition.

What am I doing to help my condition?
 It’s a difficult one as there isn’t much help/guidance around for people, which have issues with their thyroid. There’s a website called Health Unlocked, which you can use to find out information but aside from online, I haven’t been able to discover or find out much.

One thing I will say is that I don’t believe that there are a lot of doctors who know how to help people, who have had thyroid issues, I go to mine and get no answers, no help and no alternative suggestions. It’s got to the point where I am now looking into changing doctors in the hope of getting better support and guidance.

What am I doing on a daily basis to help myself?
It’s taken me a long time to find solutions to help myself, but there’s a few which I believe are helping me mentally and physically with my condition.

Keeping Active
I joined Xercise 4 Less in November and I haven’t regretted it. I think it’s really helped me mentally and physically to feel better and loose a few pounds (and hopefully some more!)

Eating Healthier/Cutting Out Alcohol
I’d be lying if I said I’ve cut out alcohol because I haven’t it’s strictly for Friday and Saturdays only. I am also making a conscious effort to eat healthier. I’ve changed my diet to also include foods, which are supposed to ‘help’ the condition, so more fish, spinach, nuts, pumpkin seeds to name a few foods.

I hope this post has been helpful, or just an insight into a condition you may not have heard before and if you have any questions or queries please feel free to email me, tweet me, DM me on Instagram and I really hope I can help! 
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6 comments

Clare said...

thank you for sharing this! i'm glad that you've found exercise helps!

claresloves.blogspot.com

Linda Libra Loca said...

A very important symptom to add is not being able to get pregnant despite trying. Your thyroid gland should always be checked when that happens.

Anne - Linda, Libra, Loca

Unknown said...

I've found cutting out gluten makes a big difference as well. There really isn't a lot of help out there from doctors, I was diagnosed in 2000 when I was 19 and as long as your blood test comes back in the accepted range they won't do anything even though the accepted range is actually quite large and can make a big difference in how you feel ☹️.

Sarah.

Unknown said...

I've found cutting out gluten makes a big difference as well. There really isn't a lot of help out there from doctors, I was diagnosed in 2000 when I was 19 and as long as your blood test comes back in the accepted range they won't do anything even though the accepted range is actually quite large and can make a big difference in how you feel ☹️.

Sarah.

Unknown said...

I've found cutting out gluten makes a big difference as well. There really isn't a lot of help out there from doctors, I was diagnosed in 2000 when I was 19 and as long as your blood test comes back in the accepted range they won't do anything even though the accepted range is actually quite large and can make a big difference in how you feel ☹️.

Sarah.

Frankly Flawless - said...

It's so good of you to share and it's good to know about these things. Well done on keeping active and doing everything you can to stay positive x

franklyflawless.com

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