During our thirties we
might start to see some grays and faint wrinkles, but overall we generally feel
Even our forties aren’t
that bad. Might start to feel the start of some achy arthritic joints, and see
more grays and wrinkles, but overall we’re still feeling pretty peppy.
Then the fifties hit and things really start to change, at least for me they did. Maybe not right away, but by my mid-fifties I could feel myself slowing down.
Part of the slowing down
process is certainly tied to Hashimotos, an autoimmune disorder involving
chronic inflammation of the thyroid. Over time, the ability of the thyroid
gland to produce thyroid hormones often becomes impaired and leads to a gradual
decline in function and eventually an underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism).
I was diagnosed with
Hashimotos in 2010 at the age of 49 after a bout with pneumonia that went
sepsis and wrecked havoc with my entire body.
Medication was not and
still is not an option because my thyroid levels remain within normal range.
Even after having half my thyroid removed last fall because of a suspicious
The nodule was benign Thank
God, so the threat of cancer was removed from the equation. Amen to that!
With meds out of the
question, I knew I had to find other methods to combat the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
The key symptoms being fatigue, weight gain and brain fog.
I discovered doctors were
not very helpful when it came to advice in this area and found out quickly I
was on my own.
Coincidently around the
same time, I caught an interview with Gina Lee Nolin, of Baywatch fame, where
she discussed her personal health struggles that went undiagnosed until she
found Dr. Alan Christianson, a naturopathic medical doctor for Integrative
Health in Scottsdale. His book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Thyroid Disease”
became my saving grace.
After reading Dr.
Christianson’s book, I started to play with diet changes and adding
supplements. In doing so, I was able to thwart off some of the fatigue, weight
gain and some brain fog.
The key thing was going
gluten and dairy free. Plus avoiding soy and fluoride, which can interfere with
the function of the thyroid. I also added ginkgo biloba and ashwaghanda, but my
endocrinologist recommended I stop the ashwaghanda because it can skew thyroid function
Over the years I have faired pretty well with this issue, but honestly I think I was too busy raising my Son and helping to care for my aging Mom to completely feel the impact. Or, should I say take the time to notice.
It’s only the past year
or two, as I hit my late fifties and my Son is off at college that I’ve truly
noticed how much I’m slowing down. My energy levels just aren’t what they used
to be. Some of it’s age, but I know part of it is my thyroid.
With my annual exodus to the beach to recharge my soul now behind me, I’m working hard at carrying the calm that comes from the sea air and surf with me as I face each day in the real world.
As I told a co-worker “I’m trying hard to hang onto my vacation
This is something I tell myself I’m going to do every year,
but a month or two into the real world
post vacation I’m working my way back into the “when is my next day off mind-set.”
I don’t mean the weekend;
I mean an actual vacation day, a day
with no real schedule, a day to play.
Like a day off is the cure all for the every day
stresses we all endure. Granted it
helps, but there has to be a way to find
peace throughout every day, not just on a vacation day. Especially when
they’re so few and far between.