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I’ve decided it’s time to step (back) up to the self-care plate and take on Hashimoto’s disease.
Every evening, I crash upon arrival in my bed after a day in the office.
Something just has to give.
A few weeks ago, I had a chat with the doctor, explaining that I am perpetually wiped out and as an aside, am constantly suffering from digestion tract issues.
Thyroid tests reviewed, recommendation to jack up my thyroid medication dosage and take Align Daily Probiotic Supplement to clean up the GI tract.
Well, after a retest, it’s ‘Oops, now the dosage is too high.’ Now I am being asked to alternate dosages every day and come back in a month to be retested.
Guess what? I am still wiped out.
Fed up, I finally made the plunge, with some gentle nudging from my mom.
I signed up for Dr. Isabella Wentz’s “Hashimoto’s Self-Management Program” (aka Hacking Hashimoto’s). Earlier this year, I started reading her ground-breaking book, Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back. (Highly recommend it!)
The program’s online root cause assessment test revealed that I potentially have severe toxicity – almost every category is in the ‘red’ or high risk zone.
The only ‘green’ (low risk) I got was ‘breast implant illness’ – sigh.
I’m at the start of what will likely be a lengthy journey to reclaim my health.
I will keep you posted along the way just in case my story might help you or a loved one.
Naturally, I should start at the beginning, but, guess what? I’m too tired.
I promise though, in the weeks ahead, I will explain why I got my initial hypothyroidism diagnosis and how it took living in Japan to learn that I specifically have Hashimoto’s, an auto-immune disease where the thyroid attacks (more like cannibalizes) itself.
Update: I requested several tests as recommended by Dr. Wentz. Of course, as to be expected, my doctor didn’t want to start with all of the tests, but she agreed to check my iron levels to check for anemia.
She indicated that another patient who was tired ended up having to go to the Emergency Room for intravenous iron supplementation because her iron saturation was 4%. (If you’re interested, my level was 9%–yes, I am anemic…ummm, no wonder I am always so exhausted!!)
I am working through Dr. Wentz’s course still (started Module 3), but here are a few self-care ideas I’d like to share, whether you have Hashimoto’s or just need to eliminate or reduce stress in your life!
Long overdue update: I will be writing a new update soon to let you know what I’ve been doing since last summer to optimize my health. Hint: I have been working with a fabulous holistic health coach who is a functional medicine practitioner based in Seattle, Kara Dowdall. Although Dr. Wentz has great information, I found that I needed a program tailored to my individual needs with one-on-one coaching and review of my test results
The Best Resource for Self-Care Tips
First, take some time to identify what makes you feel better. Then make time each day to actually take care of yourself.
Some self-care ideas for busy women include:
• ‘Me’ time – uninterrupted quiet time away from friends/family
• Exercise (swimming, hiking, cycling, walking around the neighborhood, etc.)
• Eating delicious, healthy foods
• Listening to waves crashing on the shore at the beach
• Gratitude journal
• Spending time in person (IRL)with friends
• Creating a vision board
• Helping others (volunteer work)
• Music (listening to relaxing music, playing an instrument, singing)
• Hobbies (e.g., painting, knitting, scrapbooking, pottery, photography)
• Quality time with family
• Quality sleep – if diagnosed with sleep apnea, using your CPAP machine!
For a short checklist of self-care inspiration, please join our newsletter to receive a free printable!
• Diffusing essential oils such as lavender, Citrus Fresh (see related post, Relaxation and Lavender)
• Skype or Facetime chat with a long-distance friend or family member
• and more….what’s helps you relax?
Next, identify what drains your energy (sucks the life out of your soul).
Remove these as much as possible. For example:
• Negative people (e.g., don’t feed the trolls on internet, limit interactions with toxic people)
• Poor food choices (e.g., binging on ice cream)
• Working long hours
• Overscheduling/over-commitment to non-essentials (it’s ok to say no!)
and more….which activities or behaviors lead to the ‘running on empty’ or frazzled feeling?