How I Finally Conquered My Sluggish Thyroid

*This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures page for more info. 
How I Finally Conquered My Sluggish Thyroid

Friend, I have news! Glorious, happy, makes-me-want-to-do-cartwheels-through-my-house news!

You know how I've spent the past couple years struggling with thyroiditis and adrenal fatigue?

Well, I just got blood lab results back that prove all of my efforts finally paid off! My thyroid is officially back to normal. Woohoo!!

Here's the proof.

A little background: Two years ago I had lab work done after an unexpected trip the ER where I was ultimately diagnosed as having had an anxiety attack. The ER staff ran a thyroid screening on me that night. A few days later at a follow up appointment with my doctor, they confirmed I had a high TSH of 7.50 and told me it was hashimotos.

*I never knew at the time that there were other blood tests that needed to be run to confirm that diagnosis so I didn't push the issue.

I started 75mcg of levothyroxine. My body wigged out. It was too much. They dropped me to 50mcg. It still didn't feel right. I felt worse than ever. Thirteen days later I went off all medication and sought a second opinion.

The next doctor I talked to diagnosed my thyroid issue as being temporary, likely caused by an infection of some sort. He told me eventually my body would return to normal, yet he never tested me for an infection nor did he give me antibiotics. He also never prescribed thyroid medication, although he offered to if my symptoms became unmanageable.

I became my own health advocate at that point and decided to learn as much as I could about ways to naturally heal or at the very least support my thyroid. I made some lifestyle changes that I'm sure helped, but alone were not quite enough to bring about healing. I had good days, and I had bad days. I'd make wonderful progress and then have a major setback where I'd feel terrible again.

It all came to a head in September 2015 when I hit one of those major setbacks. I was so frustrated. My digestive system started flaring up again with issues, and I knew something was wrong. I just didn't know how to fix it. My doctor ran more thyroid blood tests. TSH was at 4.60. Free T4 was 0.95. Better than before, but still not really where it needed to be.

About a week later I attended a local wellness clinic about thyroid health and I don't know, it must have been a God thing because I won a free consultation with a clinical whole foods nutritionist. From that moment on, everything changed.

I had come quite a ways on my own, but really I'd only been throwing things up against the wall, so to speak, to see what worked and what didn't. I had no clue how nutrients worked together for better absorption into the body or how they worked for whole body balance and healing.

Well, praise God, I've spent the past 8 months working with my nutritionist (who does know how all of that works together) to treat the root cause of my thyroid problems from the inside out, and guess what? It worked!

For those of you who like to see numbers, here are my recent lab results (no thyroid medication):

  • TSH - 2.50
  • Free T4 - 1.01
  • Free T3 - 3.2
  • TPO antibodies - 7

I'm beyond thrilled with these results and couldn't wait to share them with you!

I know many of you subscribed to my blog after reading this post a year or so ago. There are so many of you who are right there, feeling terrible, wanting answers, desperate for healing, and who are losing hope.

I know right where you are. I get it. I was there too. That's why I wanted to share this news. Not to rub it in anyone's face or make you feel worse, but in hopes of encouraging you on your journey, which is no doubt very unique to mine.

What worked for me, may not work for you. I'm no doctor, and I'm not a nutritionist (at least not yet) so I can't offer you advice on what to do for your personal situation. What I can do, is share what I did and you can bounce that information off your health care team to see if it might be beneficial in your situation.

Here are 11 key changes I made the past 8 months that helped me to finally conquer my sluggish thyroid:

1.  I Went Off Birth Control Pills

I went off birth control pills after reading on my specific brand's website that there was a moderate risk of that pill altering thyroid function. By the way, NO REGRETS. Best decision I've made in a very long time. Now I track my cycle using an app on my phone called Glow, and I take my temperature every morning before getting out of bed. I'll share more about that in a different post.

2.  I Got Help From a Nutritionist Specializing in Natural Healing and Followed Her Plan

I followed a specific nutrition and supplement plan provided by my nutritionist that focused on repairing, supporting, and healing my very burned out adrenal glands. She and I both believed my adrenal glands were the root of my thyroid problem, and once they improved, so would my thyroid. We also worked on liver and gallbladder cleansing and detoxification. I checked in with her every 6 weeks to reevaluate where I was and we made changes in the plan as needed. The brands of whole food and herbal supplements I've used are Standard Process and Nutritional Frontiers.

3.  I Drank My Daily Dose of Dense Nutrition

I've been drinking Shakeology every day for over a year now. I know. It seems like I'm beating this "lifestyle change" to death. I'm being completely, authentically honest, though. Even my nutritionist agreed that I should continue drinking it daily. Many of the ingredients in Shakeology are adaptogen herbs that help bring the body (and hormones) into balance. I drink chocolate mostly, and that particular flavor also has a full multi-vitamin in it, too, as well as probiotics and digestive enzymes.

4.  I Moved My Body Regularly

I exercised regularly (averaging 4-5 days per week), but made sure to listen to my body and not overdo it. I've been known to get a little crazy at times with my workouts which is in part why my adrenal glands were so burned out in the first place, so really forcing myself to take it easy and listen to my body was key. Exercise is important for hormone balance which is why I didn't stop doing it. Most workouts were low-impact and 30 minutes or less.

5.  I Got Lots of Sleep

I sent myself to bed (grudgingly many nights) no later than 10:30pm to ensure I was getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night. By the way, I learned that using an eye mask at night resulted in much deeper and more restful sleep.

6.  I Changed My Eating Habits

I completed a Nutritional Frontiers 10-day food cleanse eliminating gluten, dairy, refined sugar, soy, and certain grains. Afterward, I returned to most foods, but with a Paleo influence in mind as I prepared meal plans and recipes. I would say I eat about 85% Paleo now and I don't feel deprived or like I need to pig out on restricted foods when given the opportunity to eat them.

7.  I Removed Toxins From My Daily Life

I changed my beauty products and our household cleaning products to those with natural, toxin-free ingredients. Checking them against EWG.org was a great resource. My most favorite changes were making my own laundry detergent, and switching to mineral makeup.

8.  I Turned to the Power of Essential Oils

I used the following doTerra Essential Oils daily: Clary Calm on my pelvic area at night, Lavender on my neck/thyroid region at night, Zendocrine on my lower right abdomen at night. I also bought a few diffusers and diffuse a variety of essential oils through my home daily.

9.  I Walked Away From Refined Sugar

I quit refined sugar, mostly. I'm not perfect at it. We have kids with birthdays and the occasional treat in our house, but I consistently choose foods without refined sugar. I did not give up dark chocolate. I allow myself to enjoy two squares of Ghirardelli Intense Dark Sea Salt Soiree per night. It curbs my sweet tooth without overindulging because the sugar content is very low, and dark chocolate is healthy!

10. I Focused on Stress Reducing Activities

I allowed myself to sit down and relax with a good book, a jigsaw puzzle, a favorite television show, or the occasional nap. Nightly soaks in a hot bath with a cup or two of epsom salts poured in is something I look forward to all day. Chronic stress is really hard on the adrenal glands so taking time for myself is a very worthy investment in my health. I allow myself this time guilt-free.

11.  I Quit Being Such a Control Freak

I fired myself from always trying to do God's job. I came to the acceptance that I cannot control everything or everyone in my life, nor should I try to. Setting my type-A personality aside and just breathing in the moment - good or bad - has been a huge help in this journey. No, it doesn't come naturally or easily. I have to work at it everyday, but I've found the more I stick my nose into the pages of my Bible, the less I feel the need to be in control when I'm reminded God can do so much more than I can.

Have you found natural healing through whole food supplements and herbs? I'd love for you to share your story!

Pink Signature

 

The following two tabs change content below.

Rosann Cunningham

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Author at Rosann Cunningham
Rosann is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach specializing in hormone health. She is also a fitness junkie, with a specific passion for mixed martial arts style kickboxing and is trained in Krav Maga - a military self-defense fighting system. After a Hashimotos diagnosis which turned out to be a very wrong call, Rosann became her own health advocate and fought her way back to optimal health and wellness. She is determined to help her clients dig deep to find the root cause of their hormone health struggles, so they too, can thrive and live the abundant life of health and happiness they deserve. Rosann believes nobody should be a victim in life or in their health, so in her coaching practice she loves to integrate a martial arts style and sense of accountability.

2 Comments

  1. Anne Voght
    Such good news!! You deserve it it after all the hard work!
    • Rosann Cunningham
      Thanks Anne! ☺️ It is such a relief after this long journey. I just have to keep up the healthy habits to avoid taking a step backwards.

Leave a Comment