If you were just diagnosed or have been dealing with hashimoto’s/hypothyroidism for awhile now, please know you are not alone. I was diagnosed in the summer of 2018. You would think I would have it all figured out now that its been over 2 years, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I still am on my hashimoto’s journey. I would even consider myself to still be at the beginning of my journey. And that’s ok! I want to be open and honest about my journey in order to open up the conversation about the real struggles I’ve been experiencing with hashimoto’s.
Having hashimoto’s and mentally trying to deal with it every day is one of the hardest things I’ve had to do. I feel like I’m continuing to learn more and more about my body every day. For me, my thyroid levels are within the recommended range, but that hasn’t meant that all of my symptoms have gone away. I’m realizing there is so much more to it than simply getting your T4 levels within range.
My goal is to create a community of people who are dealing with hashimoto’s. Some of these symptoms can be scary! Coming together to share our experiences and simply talk through it is exactly what we need!
Like I stated above, I’m still in the beginning phases of my journey. I’m by no means an expert, but I want to share what has been working for me so far in my journey. Here are 10 ways to stay on top of your thyroid journey:
1. Get Your Thyroid Levels Checked
We have to start here. If you haven’t already had your thyroid levels checked, do so at your next doctor visit. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms tied to hypothyroidism or hashimoto’s, talk with your doctor. It wasn’t until my doctor brought it up to me until I heard what your thyroid even was and how it effects your body.
Your thyroid helps your body regulate your hormones and plays a major role with your metabolism. If your levels are even slightly off, it can disrupt these vital parts of your body. Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune disease so it literally is attacking your metabolism, hormones, mood swings/period, all of the good stuff. I gained 70 lbs in a year and a half. I’m currently trying to lose those “hypo/hash pounds” and relearning how to enjoying life with getting my energy back after and keeping my energy up long term.
I have a dear friend who wasn’t diagnosed until much later in life. Her thyroid levels were so high that she ended up having depression issues that effected every aspect of her life. I know going to the doctor is a tough thing for some, but if you are feeling extreme fatigue, excessive weight gain or loss, no sex drive, issues with menstrual cycles, etc. please get your levels checked.
Sometimes, getting a third party, non-biased point of view is exactly what you need. This has been a game changer for me. Having someone challenge you but also truly listen means the world of a difference. It also can help keep you accountable on your journey. What I’ve learned the most is truly giving myself grace on where I’m currently at in my journey. I’ve learned to focus on celebrating the little wins which will eventually add up to the big wins. One step at a time.
3. Keep Yourself Busy
Make a routine and stick to it. It’s incredibly easy to fall into a deep funk with hashimoto’s. I know this can sound like a huge ask, especially with the lack of energy, but you have to fight it. Making a schedule will help if you have a “to do” list for your day. Eating healthier and being more mindful about the types of food you are eating is huge. Also, I know you might not want to hear this, but exercising WILL make the world of a difference. Doing this helps me be successful during my week. Figure out what your routine looks like and know consistency is the key.
4. Stay Hydrated
I’ve completely underestimated the power of drinking enough water. Personally, staying hydrated helps me from over eating and keeps me thinking clearly. I don’t know if this is true, but I once heard if you are feeling that afternoon fatigue to reach for water instead of coffee. It’s worked for me so far! It also has been aiding in weight loss and keeps my skin super clear!
Plus, I love that saying “if you drink enough water you’ll be too busy peeing to deal with other people’s drama”. So, there’s that too 🙂
5. Stay Active
How many times has someone told you to walk at least 10K steps a day to stay active and healthy? For someone who has a desk job, this is a huge struggle for me. Like I stated above, keeping a routine and sticking to it is extremely important for long term success. Scheduling in even a quick walk on your lunch will do wonders! I can tell a huge difference in my energy level and joints if I don’t keep up with my daily walks.
Even if no one reads what I’m writing, its therapeutic for me. I obviously want to reach people and create a community, but you have to start somewhere. Writing has helped me almost understand my emotions better. I find if I write it down, I have to literally explain it to myself. I’ve enjoyed learning more and more about myself through writing. Hopefully, the same will be true for you!
7. Drink Tea
For those of you who aren’t tea fans, this is my small attempt to change your mind. There are so many amazing types of tea out there that give you different remedies. I’m literally drinking tea as I write this; berry tea from Yogi to be exact. Do you have a stomachache? Drink ginger tea. Are you stressed? Drink herbal or peppermint tea. Do you need help sleeping? Drink chamomile tea. Do you need a boost of energy? Drink green tea. You get the picture, tea is good for you. Plus it helps you drink more water! 🙂
8. Find a Community
Having a community who shares in my beliefs/goals has been the biggest asset in my health journey. Having hashimoto’s can give me crazy mood swings and irrational thoughts. I’m actively building more connections with others who are going through the same thing I’ve been experiencing. I’ve also been surrounding myself with friends and family that I trust, that I can always open up to and that aid in my journey.
Find yourself someone who you can cry and laugh to. It means everything! I would be lost without these people in my life.
9. Make Realistic Goals
I’m currently trying to shed my hypo/hash pounds, or the pounds I gained over the past year and a half because of my thyroid issues. One mistake I’ve made is not making realistic goals on how long it will take to get this weight off. I gained 70 lbs in a year and a half. It’s going to take longer than a couple months to get this weight off. Having a goal to lose a specific amount of weight is great, just make sure to give yourself grace – ESPECIALLY if you have hashimoto’s like I do. Our bodies are literally attacking our metabolism. It’s going to take a lot of extra effort!
10. Love Yourself for Who You Are Today!
This is so important. Even if I was 70 lbs down today, that wouldn’t make me love myself any more than I do today. I keep saying this but give yourself grace. Love yourself enough to go on a journey to get yourself into the best head space that you can. Mental health is just as important as anything else. This is something I struggle with every day. I’m learning to love myself as someone who has hashimoto’s.
I still have a ways to go on my journey but hopefully I can empower women like me along the way. There is still so much to learn and I would love to hear what has worked for you and even what hasn’t!
Together let’s kick hashimoto’s a$$!