It has taken me some time and a lot of courage to sit down to write this. The truth is, if I look back on the last five years of my life, it all makes sense how I got here.
I write this blog post for ALL WOMEN; to empower, advocate and teach what you may not be aware of and to increase your knowledge, but most importantly your health and vitality!
If you are a woman and have ever suffered with hormonal imbalance or THYROID imbalance, you must read this. This might look like the following:
struggle/inability to lose weight despite doing everything right
VERY bloated, and hold it all around the middle
hard time focusing
hair loss and/or change in hair texture
anxiety/feelings of overwhelm
Any woman who has ever experienced any of these symptoms and had not a clue what to do, please read on. I aim to inspire YOU, the way my mentor, Dr. Sara Gottfried MD, inspired me. I have been learning about and interested in our hormones and the deep connection to our cortisol levels, stress levels, mood, libido, weight, and our whole vitality for a long time! But after recently discovering an imbalance in my own thyroid, I have had to re hit the books!!
I have learned a lot in the last few weeks alone. I’ve learned how important it is that with hormones – we take a very holistic look at how we are living our lives when trying to treat them. It is also important you know what to ask for, and what symptoms are connected to what organ imbalance and WHY.
I am going to tell you my story exactly so that if you are suffering with any of the above symptoms and your doctor only ordered one hormone test (which is common), that you know how and why to advocate yourself.
My journey started in June 2018. I was about 18 months post-partum with my second child, Lyon, and at my happy set point weight. Living 80/20 with my diet, exercising, doing yoga – all good!
I went to Europe in June and lived it up for four days! I truly do practice what I preach, so for me, letting go like that and enjoying the baguettes and cheese to my heart’s desire added up! I came home and had gained about 6 lbs. No big deal, I would lose it when I went back to normal eating… well, it’s now September and I am about 8 lbs heavier and have been doing everything right the whole summer! (to be honest, when I started gaining more weight, I started to restrict and eat very minimally, I was working out like crazy and still the weight stood still). It was maddening!
When I started to put on weight, I freaked, like most women, and went to 95/5 and was still gaining. Then my hair started to change texture and fall out very frequently at the end of August. I realized something had to be wrong. I also became EXTREMELY bloated in my mid-section despite eating very clean. I felt like I looked 5 months pregnant all the time.
I knew it was my thyroid because of my knowledge, and after two months of these symptoms, I also knew I had to figure out what was going on.
EDUCATE TO EMPOWER – IMPORTANT!
I knew to ask my doctor to not only test my TSH, but also my T3 and T4. Most doctors would refuse because TSH is the standard medical test. I guided my doctor and they did it (thank gd)! My TSH was completely normal, so was my T4, but my T3 was very low. If I had not asked for T3 they never would have known something was wrong and I would be walking around with these symptoms and no answers! Please educate and empower yourselves!!! When my doctor saw my T3 was low, she sent me for an ultrasound which showed 3 nodules on my thyroid! (1 nodule being over 2 cm and a little bit worrisome). Again, thankfully I asked for T3 because had my doctor only tested for TSH, I never would have had the ultrasound and these nodules (one of which is quite large and needs to be monitored) would never have been discovered.
Dr. Sara Gottfried who is a medical Harvard trained MD, but practices like an ND, always taught me T3 is KEY to energy, metabolism, etc. If it is slow, you are in BIG trouble… things need to change. Cortisol KILLS T3, so I knew that was a place to start. Cortisol uses up selenium and zinc, the cofactors needed to make T3 and therefore doesn’t allow the body to make it. We need T3 for a healthy metabolism, mood, hair, skin, libido and ENERGY!
IMPORTANT: Conventional doctors DO NOT look at this at all; they only look at one factor which can leave a lot of women suffering from these symptoms and thinking everything is normal. This makes me so sad to I think of how many women are walking around with these symptoms with no hope or answers.
I had to take an honest look at my life and I realized that I haven’t slept properly since Lyon was born. I was very attached to him; different than Cole. Maybe because he was the baby… I don’t know. But I never let him cry… EVER. He was still waking up 2 – 3 times per night and up at 5 or 6 am for the day at almost 2 and I was working full time running my own business, family, LIFE. Not sleeping takes a toll! My nervous system was also coming off a cancer journey with my dad, his death and the grief that followed with two kids in between. My body was screaming for help and sleep!
My GP did say she felt it was sleep deprivation causing this. I had to agree. I also decided to listen to my body (especially when the nodules were found).
So, for any of you still reading and not sleeping, you must deal with it! With a newborn, ok, but past a year, you need to fix it! I am currently working on this… I need to get my metabolism, mood, energy and health back!
For me, the hardest part by far has been the weight gain and the growths that have to be monitored. Not feeling comfortable in my own body, when I am exercising more than I ever have in my whole life, is challenging! Feeling very bloated all the time is challenging for me (especially because I eat so well). So, if I want to fix it, I also have to let go of some things with Lyon. I need to pull back more, rest more, meditate more, but for real now! My body is showing me! Our symptoms are deep messengers, please see them as that. I will continue to tell my patients, but now I have to tell it to myself.
I am also taking some thyroid supplements and have shifted my diet. I am eating a TON of greens and exercising a lot. I am studying with the natural health thyroid gurus.
It’s a journey and I know it will take time. As a woman dedicated to helping and teaching, I PROMISE to my whole health tribe, to keep learning, and sharing for and with all of YOU. To keep teaching you about how your bodies work, so you can empower yourself with the knowledge to make the changes necessary to live your best life!
I will be talking A LOT about the thyroid this Fall, so please follow along on Instagram @drjodilarry
UPDATE: Since writing this article, I have started on a thyroid supplement and other supplements, I have sleep trained Lyon, and am getting much more sleep. I am happy to report the bloating has gone down A TON, and I have finally started to lose weight for the first time since June! The growths are concerning and I am still trying to figure that out, but thankfully am in a much better place…
I aim to keep sharing my journey to help inspire and educate others.
If you are suffering from these symptoms, or can relate to this post, please feel free to reach out! I would be more than happy to work with you.
IF YOU RELATE TO THIS BLOG POST AND WANT TO LEARN MORE, PLEASE JOIN ME FOR A THYROID MASTERCLASS IN APRIL 2019 – https://www.jodilarrynd.com/bookings/thyroid-health-masterclass-workshop
“The body keeps score and it always wins” – Brene Brown