Living With a Thyroid Disorder

by Leisa on July 5, 2011

One of the best ways to learn about something, is to experience it yourself. Many naturopaths come to this industry due to their own health issues, which they found didn’t respond to mainstream medicine and they went on the search for alternatives. Their experience of ill health and recovery gives them a lot of empathy and understanding.

I was a little different, being interested in health and healing from a very young age, but my experience with severe adrenal fatigue and a thyroid disorder sent me delving into this subject in-depth, and has led me to have a great knowledge of these issues.

While that is fantastic and I’ve been able to assist hundreds of people to recover from their thyroid problems, my own journey is still ongoing in this area. Even though my health has improved a thousand fold from when I was very ill and bed-ridden with what appeared to be “chronic fatigue” – but was actually adrenal and thyroid failure – I still don’t consider myself cured as yet.

So what is it like living with glands that are incredibly sensitive?

Well, in some ways it is a good thing! My adrenals will soon tell me if I’ve been pushing myself too hard, so the perfectionist, workaholic has had to learn some balance! Which I am still not very good at, but I am improving. If I don’t take enough time out to rest, I will end up having what I call a “fatigue” day, a day where I have brain fog, a great need to rest and a feeling of weakness. Luckily these don’t happen too often now.

Easy weight gain is another issue. When my thyroid is not at it’s optimal function, it is very easy to put on weight. Then it is recognising what is going on with the thyroid and supporting and nourishing it. Stress certainly is implicated here, and I find that the thyroid is very sensitive to stress, so the happier and more balanced my life is, the better my thyroid works.

So for me, there has been some amazing gifts and learnings from having these health issues, and of course there is a big emotional component that goes into the creation of these disorders in the first place. So I approach my healing as a multi-faceted, integrated journey, where there is not just one answer to healing, but many factors that all play a role.

So, day to day I would consider myself pretty healthy, but I know my areas of sensitivity and where I still have things to learn and to heal. So that is one reason why I understand and have great empathy for anyone dealing with fatigue issues – I’ve been there and know how debilitating it can be. However, I am living proof that it doesn’t have to be a life-sentence and you can recover and live a life full of energy and vitality, even if you do need to curb those perfectionist, workaholic tendencies a bit 🙂



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3 commentsAdd comment

Dagmar Carter July 14, 2011 at 2:40 am

Thank you for your article – I read it with great interest.
I do not quite fall into the categories you are talking about. I had a goiter and had my thyroid removed in 1996. So I have my annual test and have the thyroxine adjusted if necessay. It does not seem to work any longer. In the last two and a half years I have gained 20 kilos and am not my usual vibrant self any longer. I use herbal based food supplementation every day – maybe that’swhy I am still “ticking over” somewhat o.k. Is it possible that thyroxine after all these years does not work any longer? Looking forward to your reply and/or suggestions, Dagmar 🙂

Leisa July 16, 2011 at 5:48 am

Hi Dagmar,
Thanks so much for your message – I totally understand what you are going through and yes, there are options to help. I am actually writing a book on this very topic at the moment, for people like yourself who is quite likely (and of course I can’t “diagnose” on a simple comment) hypothyroid on thyroxine. Thyroxine is a medication containing the T4 type of thyroid hormone, however T3 is the most active of the thyroid hormones and is the one your body uses on a cellular level. We need many factors working properly in our body to convert T4 to T3 – such as good function, healthy selenium and zinc levels, progesterone etc – so if any of these areas is not optimal, then your conversion can diminish and you will have hypothyroid symptoms. Of course there is too much to go into in the comment here, but if you did want a consult, we can work with you to see if we can get your treatment working properly for you.

Debbie Tennant July 27, 2011 at 1:11 am

Hello Leisa,
Thankyou for your website and all your great work you are doing.
I was diagnosed with Hashimotos about three years ago and subsequently had a thyroid biopsy (saw some nodules when i had it scanned) that was inconclusive.Endocrinologist suggested I have Thyroid removed.Surgeon said..”I will just take out half to reduce the risk of damaging your larynx(I am a singer) and get a closer look at the gland to see if there is any thing nasty growing there.I agonised for a few months over surgery but decide to proceed.
It had a non-life- threatening amount of cancer cells.
I have a 50/50 raw cooked diet and research food and health and healing endlessly looking for ways to be in optimal health knowing that ones hormonal system is soooo complex!!
What prompted me to write to you is that i was wondering if it would be of any use having a saliva test analysed by you.I thought perhaps levels would vary too much from day to day to get a reliable indication of whats going on.
The financial investment is more than I can make right now but I could certainly put aside some money to save for it .
I value any money I spend on my health and just at the moment I am putting money into training myself to be a health and nutrition coach. I want to make the sort of difference that you do!…so in short what i am asking is do you think investing in a saliva test would help me make a difference to my health, given my circumstances. …peace and love.Debbie
P.S. Your holiday looked AMAZING..i want to go to that Blue Water place !!

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