So what to write for my first blog post? Something I have been debating for weeks, so I’m going to bite the bullet and write about what affects me the most in my life, my fucked up thyroid! First and foremost, I am not a doctor, and can even boast a failed attempt at training to be Nurse, my experience is just that and I have a variety of doctors give me contradicting advise, so my first piece of advice is get a good GP, build on your relationship and getting a handle on this means learning about what your putting into your body, and being aware of what affects you differently.
So back to the beginning, my mum is Supermum she can see through any lie, get any stain out and one of her hugs and cups of tea can cure almost anything. Since my granny had thyroid problems, and when I was a young teenager she could see how my throat was so swollen compared to my friends so I was tested maybe two if not three times a year from when I was about 13.
At 20 my GP (who is brilliant and has been the family GP since before my mum was pregnant with me) finally decided to start me on a daily 25mg dose of eltroxin. The symptoms I had been experiencing varied from aches and pains, pins and needles, hair loss, constant weight gain no matter what diet I tried, varying periods of depression, tiredness like I have never experienced, even after 12 hours sleep. And last the side effect that affects me the most my IBS, how glamourous is my life.
After 4 years and a bad period of depression, my GP finally up my dose to 50mg per day. I of course was in denial I was depressed and avoided going to the GP for a long period of time, but once I did and upped my dose it was literally like a fog had been lifted. In regards to the other side effects I have less drastic advise, try and keep active, I am the original couch-potatoe, but even 20 – 30 mins walk a day helps me so much with the muscle cramps and pins and needles and the fresh air is great for good mental health in opinion.
For the exhaustion rest is really the only way to maintain a life, which is so difficult as a student, I need a lot more in the last two years, and looking back on how many hours I used to do in my part time job and university and socialise, and all my coursework and see my family, if I had to do that now I would literally collapse.
The main torment in my life is my stomach and my IBS, it’s a nightmare, and I like my food so it’s very traumatic. It first flared up when I was about 19 and living in Brighton, was relatively unaware of what IBS was and was so embarrassed, I didn’t know what was wrong or what was causing it.
Now I have a much better handle on how to manage it as best as I possibly can, I have a long list of things I must avoid at all costs, I avoid caffeine as much as possible, I don’t drink coffee as it’s on my lists of no-gos for my IBS, but I do understand that it’ll be difficult for people, I love herbal teas, and am completely addicted to Starbucks Hibiscus Ice Tea Lemonade, but I also enjoy the occasional can of coke which is so instant for those last boosts you need when finishing an assignment, but if I can I’ll have ginger ale if I’m going to have something that sugary. I also try to be as gluten free as possible, I’m no saint though when I’m back home in Ireland I’ll have my mums homemade bread, which she makes especially for us as she’s a coeliac and can’t have any of it, but more on that later.
My other no-gos include onions or anything related to it (celery), minimal garlic, no tomatoes, no broccoli, no mayonnaise, no lactose but I am a cheese lover so sometimes I’ll just take one for the team and be bold and more than likely ill.
The weight gain is another part of this disease that drives me up the wall, I’ve gone to numerous dieticians and thyroid specialists and they all have said the same thing, as someone with hypothyroidism, I can put on weight much easier than other people and for every pound I put on it’ll take twice as much effort to loose it compared to other people.
As tough as it can be having hypothyroidism, after having treatment for five years I really feel I understand my illness and my body a lot better now, and it doesn’t weigh down on my shoulders as much as it used to, but I have a long road ahead of me yet, and this week I have been blessed with cramps in my writing hand once again the glamour. That’s all for now but if anyone wants to ask me anything or give me any tips they’ve found works, please get in touch I would love to hear from ye.