The condition is more common that you think and management requires a proactive approach, patience and an understanding of the symptoms.
How to Manage Hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid gland, is an illness that affects an estimated 30 million US citizens. Once thought of as a condition confined to the aging population, but is distressing increasing numbers of young people too.
Often undetected for several years, and often misdiagnosed as depression. The misdiagnosis is understandable considering the debilitating effect that it has on the body, and the all too common “brain fog” that many sufferers complain of. However, a simple blood test can identify the condition. The causes of hypothyroidism are as varied as the particular symptoms experienced, and there is no cure.
The most common treatment involves hormone therapy usually synthroid or one of its derivatives, and it can take some time to regain the balance and to feel “normal” again. Patience is certainly a virtue when managing hypothyroidism; do not expect immediate relief from all symptoms.
However there are some things you can do to help;
1. Have a regular check-up with your doctor. Your doctor will require blood tests to be taken at least every three months to check if normal hormonal levels have returned, or if your prescription needs to be altered.
2. Watch your diet. Consumption of certain foods or drinks can prevent the absorption of synthroid, especially soy products and caffeine. DO eat plenty of fish and chicken because they help to boost thyroid function. Vitamin B supplements are helpful in boosting your metabolism.
What makes me a pseudo-expert on hypothyroidism?
Put all the science aside for a moment (although researchers are obtaining more and more information on causes and best practices for treatment). I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism six years ago. Until fairly recently, I was still perplexed (and very frustrated) at trying to manage it. There have been good days and bad, and the best advice I can give to anyone with this condition is to know your own body. Know what sets the symptoms off, and conduct research. There is much conflicting information on the internet, and I learned that for me, eating soy products had contributed to my “bad” days.