I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a bit less than a year ago. I was exhausted, gaining weight rapidly, always cold, late & heavy periods, achy joints, acne etc. My primary started me on levothyroxine, about 88 mcg daily I believe. I saw an endo and she said that for my age and size it was an aggressive amount and dropped it to about 50 mcg. My levels improved after starting the meds and I was feeling a bit better, but it didn't last. Then I discovered Nancy on instagram, and shortly after in August my husband and I did our first slim down. I felt THE BEST I'd felt since before having kids, a Lyme diagnosis and the recent thyroid issue. Ironically, my thyroid levels hadn't improved after the slim down as I'd expected, but they weren't terribly worse. Saw my endo for a follow up in Nov and my numbers were climbing and she suggested to double up meds 1 day a week, but to keep the other 6 days at the same dosage. I've managed to stay gluten free, kicked dairy again after the holidays and am also cutting alcohol out again, aside from the occasional socializing. In the last month I've felt increasingly exhausted, cold, moody, and my period was it's usual late but extremely heavy. I know this is all boring TMI info. Stay with me.
I went for follow up bloodwork and my levels are still increasing. The endo has suggested increasing my dose again. Skeptical me feels this isn't a good hole to go down. Do I want to keep increasing a med I'll supposedly have to take for the rest of my life that isn't actually consistently making me feel better? Will I continue to have to increase the meds until they lose their effectiveness? Does that happen? Then what? What else is this med doing to my body? I don't know who else to talk to, or how to find a doc who will level with me instead of basing their medical advice off of what insurance dictates, etc. I don't know if this is what she does - but I am very unsure of the science myself and after years of complaining to docs I don't feel well and being pushed aside, I'm just very hesitant to put my trust in them or anyone with my health.
I've spoken with the endo about how diet can play in here and I've been told "eat a balanced diet". Most of the docs I've spoken with give this vague uninformative feedback. If it weren't for Nancy, I'm convinced I still wouldn't know what the actual answer to that is.
Does anybody have experience with hypothyroidism that has treated it with a much more holistic approach? Any suggestions how to find someone in my area (south NJ/outside Philly) who will line up with my medical viewpoints?
Lastly, I am exhausted and I am trying desperately to get the sleep I need, along with eating what my body needs vs what my head wants, and exercising because I know this is important and I feel better when I do it. I just find it SO hard when I'm not feeling well. It's also extremely defeating when you give your body what it needs, but you still wake up feeling like you need more rest and can't shake it. I don't really know where else to go with any of this.
Hey Jess- so sorry to hear about all of this. Nutrition in itself can't fix everything especially if it's a bigger issue. I have seen lots and lots of people fix hypo with diet, lifestyle and supplementation. There is actually belief that thyroid issues post partum are part of post partum depletion.
If you can get with Dr Hyman's clinic that could be great but I think there is a 2 year wait (i could be wrong) here is the link i believe.
Also Dr Jim lavalle is a functional medicine doctor arguably one of the best in the world. he can see patients remotely (of heydi his nurse who is also very good). They are based out of orange county CA 949-259-2790
Hope this helps!
I'm no expert here, and everyones health is certainly very different, but I just thought sharing my experience may help to broaden your perspective. I had a Dr that put me on levothyroxine the first time I was TTC, before I even had any problems. My numbers were a little bit high, and I only had a couple symptoms that may or may not have been related. I was hesitant to start the meds because people say you can never go off of them, but I didn't want to risk miscarriage because of my thyroid levels being off. Within a matter of weeks I went from being hypothyroidism to hypERthyroidism because the dosage was way too high. Headaches, palpitations, all sorts of fun stuff. I found a new Dr who said many people wouldn't even have recommended medication for me at my level. They reduced my dosage by a lot, I stayed on Synthroid throughout my pregnancy, and after I had my son I told my doctor that I didn't want to be on the medication anymore. She agreed I could try going off the medication (many doctors wouldn't have) and it turns out I no longer need to be on it at all. For me, I know reducing stress and sugar played a big role. There are also options other than levothyroxine, such as desiccated thyroid meds that some people consider more natural.
All this to say that in my experience, all doctors have a different opinion, and if I hadn't advocated for myself not wanting to be on the meds, I may have ended up being on them forever unnecessarily. Some people definitely need to stay on the medication, but I always urge people to get more opinions if what their Dr said isn't sitting right. Get ALL THE OPINIONS. Hope this rambling was somewhat useful 😉