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Signs of Ageing or Hypothyroidism?

Many symptoms of hypothyroidism mimic the process of getting older. So could older members of our population be going undiagnosed with hypothyroidism due to signs and symptoms being put down to their age? Continue reading “Signs of Ageing or Hypothyroidism?”

How Your Thyroid Can Cause Period Problems

Originally published on 29th August 2017
Last updated on 14th January 2020

Along with many of the other symptoms of hypothyroidism, menstrual issues is a common one. Thyroid hormone is needed for pretty much every function and cell in the body so when you’re hypothyroid, many processes — including your menstrual cycle — can be affected. 

Continue reading “How Your Thyroid Can Cause Period Problems”

Hypothyroidism and Disability Benefits

Originally published on 16th November 2018
Last updated on 14th January 2020

In the Facebook support group I created for thyroid patients, the question of whether we can claim financial support or government/state benefits crops up fairly often. 

And the responses can get controversial. 

Continue reading “Hypothyroidism and Disability Benefits”

Book Review: The Nourished Thyroid: A gluten-free and thyroid friendly cookbook for all lifestyles by Nicole Morgan RDN LD CLT

The Nourished Thyroid is a thyroid nutrition cookbook suitable for all lifestyles and all thyroid conditions, written by thyroid nutrition expert, Nicole Morgan, RDN, LD, CLT, AKA The Thyroid Dietitian. The Nourished Thyroid Cookbook Cover

Nicole has Hashimoto’s herself and works with other thyroid patients to help them reclaim their quality of life. As explained in the introduction of her cookbook, she lives an active and fulfilling life instead of feeling unwell due to Hashimoto’s, as she has managed to reduce most of her symptoms significantly. She shares how what she eats and drinks has helped with this, via the cookbook.

I may reference back to this book and what I’ve learnt from it throughout my blog posts.  Continue reading “Book Review: The Nourished Thyroid: A gluten-free and thyroid friendly cookbook for all lifestyles by Nicole Morgan RDN LD CLT”

10 Songs For Thyroid Patients: Part Six

This is Part Six of my selection of songs that motivate, inspire, uplift or otherwise connect with me on tough health days.

You can also see: part onepart twopart three, part four, part five

I find music to be the best remedy for when I’m feeling low, fed up, defeated or frustrated, especially during thyroid flare up periods, so I’m going to share my favourites for when I feel down, defeated, frustrated or otherwise struggling. I hope you like them too.

You can find the playlist on my YouTube channel here. Continue reading “10 Songs For Thyroid Patients: Part Six”

Thinning Eyebrows with Hypothyroidism

Originally published on 20th November 2018
Last updated on 7th January 2020

Thinning eyebrows, especially of the outer third which is commonly seen in thyroid patients, can be frustrating and distressing. Many people take to investing in make-up or procedures such as micro-blading each and every year to ‘correct’ their eyebrow hair loss, but what if it could be down to your thyroid?

Continue reading “Thinning Eyebrows with Hypothyroidism”

Hair Loss and Hypothyroidism

Originally published on 6th December 2016
Last updated on 7th January 2020

Losing your hair can be very upsetting. It’s not just down to vanity, it also contributes to your identity and is yet another way that hypothyroidism can wreak its havoc.

I’m going to cover the many possible causes and treatments for hair loss in relation to thyroid health. 

The Truth

Before you spend a lot of time and money on shampoos and ‘magical’ hair loss products trying to treat the symptom (hair loss), you should instead explore all the possible causes for the hair loss in the first place. No shampoo is going to encourage hair growth or stop it thinning, it will just make it appear thicker. It won’t be a miracle product!

Treating the actual cause is the best approach to saving your hair.

Continue reading “Hair Loss and Hypothyroidism”

Thyroid Awareness Month 2020

TW: Mental health, suicide

January is Thyroid Awareness Month. A month dedicated to talking about thyroid disease – the conditions and symptoms, importance of diagnosis and treatment, but also the many issues we often face as thyroid patients.

Rachel Thinking as She Looks Out to a Lake

Many people with thyroid conditions, especially hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, do not get the treatment or testing they need to get better and the effects of this can be shocking. Mental health problems, struggling to remain in employment, the breakdown of relationshipsinfertility and even death. I’ve heard from countless people who became suicidal or had family members who tragically acted on these feelings due to an undiagnosed or inadequately treated thyroid condition.

We have a lot of progress to make in how we are treated medically, but if the general public can understand the effects of thyroid disease just a little bit more, even that would be progress. Continue reading “Thyroid Awareness Month 2020”

Thyroid Patients: 6 New Year Resolutions You Should Make

Originally published on 1st January 2017
Last updated on 1st January 2020

I’m writing this blog post after Christmas Day, having overindulged in food and spending the last few days feeling grateful for the friends and family in my life who have made the festive season special.

However, now that Christmas is (sadly) over, we’re approaching New Year celebrations, which always gets us reflecting over the past year, what the high and low points have been and what (if any) resolutions we may make for the next year. Continue reading “Thyroid Patients: 6 New Year Resolutions You Should Make”

4 Habits to Address to Get Back into a Thyroid Healthy Routine

Originally published on 1st January 2019 
Last updated on 1st January 2020

Whether you’ve just celebrated an event like Christmas, a wedding or the New Year, or perhaps went on holiday or took any other kind of break, you may be finding that getting back in to a good routine is daunting and tricky. 

But it’s crucial for your thyroid health.

Continue reading “4 Habits to Address to Get Back into a Thyroid Healthy Routine”

My First Trimester: Pregnancy with NDT, Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s

Going through a pregnancy with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism and being on unconventional medication for this (NDT – Armour) definitely presented some extra questions and challenges.

I was very anxious about the prospect of a pregnancy with my thyroid conditions, and in particular, in regards to whether me not being on Levothyroxine (like most people with hypothyroidism) would make it a more stressful experience. I wanted to blog about my experiences of going through pregnancy on NDT to give an insight in to how this medication worked for me during this time, but also as to how medical professionals reacted to it.  Continue reading “My First Trimester: Pregnancy with NDT, Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s”

Book Review: The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga

The Courage To Be Disliked Book ReviewI have said often that mental health and wellbeing are a big, though not often spoken about, part of being a thyroid patient. When your physical health takes a nosedive, mental health is often not far behind and so finding tools to support your mental health and wellbeing can be useful as a thyroid patient. 

The Courage To Be Disliked is an interesting read. Based on a mix of Adlerian psychology and philosophy, it had me rethinking a lot of my perceptions about the world, my life and relationships with others.

I may reference back to this book and what I’ve learnt from it throughout my blog posts.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Courage To Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga”

Reflecting on 2019

2019 has been a busy, eventful, yet wonderful year for my thyroid advocacy work. So, as we approach the end of 2019, I thought it would be nice to reflect on this.

Continue reading “Reflecting on 2019”

What You Need To Know About Doing Thyroid Blood Tests

Originally published on 30th May 2017
Last updated on 23rd December 2019

Common questions about thyroid blood tests for those with medical conditions such as a thyroid disorder include:

How to Find a Good Medical Professional for Your Thyroid Condition

Finding the right medical professional for you can be time-consuming but very much worth the time. 

Many thyroid patients complain about feeling dismissed and unheard by their doctors, and are not happy with their current testing and treatment.

However, do know that you don’t have to stay with one doctor or practitioner if you don’t feel that they have your health in their best interest, or if you are struggling to build a positive relationship with them. Continue reading “How to Find a Good Medical Professional for Your Thyroid Condition”

A Rant: Why It’s Important to Be Your Own Health Advocate

‘Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate’ is literally the tagline of my website and name of my first book – I’ve made it no secret that the reason I was able to go from barely functioning thanks to an undiagnosed thyroid condition, to getting my health back on track again and resuming a normal quality of life, is because I took ‘be your own thyroid advocate’ literally. 

I had to learn to be my own advocate when it came to my health. Being passive meant I got sick and stayed sick.

Too many people are being let down by medical systems and medical practitioners who miss crucial diagnoses and symptoms which should point them towards possible causes.

Continue reading “A Rant: Why It’s Important to Be Your Own Health Advocate”

3 Ways To Make a Gluten-Free Guest Feel Welcome at Christmas

Many of us with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s adapt to a gluten-free diet to help us manage symptoms and lower thyroid antibodies.

However, it can be stressful and daunting when eating out, including at other peoples’ houses, if you’re worrying about being catered for and whether you’ll accidentally be ‘glutened‘. After all, being ‘glutened’ is no fun and can really make us feel unwell!

Hosting a meal or event with gluten-free guests does not have to be complicated or stressful, though. Here are some ways to make it easier, and thyroid patients who are gluten-free, you may wish to pass this article on! Continue reading “3 Ways To Make a Gluten-Free Guest Feel Welcome at Christmas”

Can Hypothyroidism Be Cured?

Originally published on 9th May 2017  
Last updated on 5th December 2019

The topic of whether hypothyroidism can be ‘cured’ comes up a lot.

Can Hypothyroidism Be Cured?

Continue reading “Can Hypothyroidism Be Cured?”

Thyroid Patients Share What Triggers Their Flare Ups

Flare ups seems to be rather common among those with a thyroid condition. They are defined as an increase in symptoms of the thyroid condition. A thyroid flare up usually lasts from a day to a week or so. Mine usually last one to two days.

Symptoms can differ from person to person, although the most commonly reported in a flare up are:

  • Increased fatigue
  • Heaviness (as if your body is being weighed down)
  • Worsened mental health
  • Brain fog
  • Migraines
  • Flu-like symptoms (aches and pains)
  • Switching between feeling really cold and really hot

Common triggers are said to be alcohol, poor food choices, mental or physical overexertion, stress, poor sleep, viral/bacterial or fungal infections, pregnancy and menstruation. However, as with everything, there is no set of rules for a thyroid flare up.

Over time, I have got better at knowing what triggers my thyroid flare ups, so that I can avoid them and reduce the number greatly. However, sometimes I’m still surprised and caught off guard as I discover an unlikely trigger. Read more about preventing, overcoming and coping with thyroid flare ups here.

So, I asked the thyroid community:

What has been the most unexpected cause of a thyroid flare up for you?

Continue reading “Thyroid Patients Share What Triggers Their Flare Ups”

Tests You Need and Optimal Levels as a Hypothyroid Patient

Originally published on 11th March 2016
Last updated on 2nd December 2019

As a thyroid patient, the below blood tests are recommended to get the full picture of what’s going on. If you still have symptoms, despite being on thyroid medication, explore these. If you feel well on your thyroid medication, monitor these regularly.

Really, everyone should monitor their thyroid levels. 

You may have to repeatedly ask doctor or try a few different types of medical professionals before you find one who will do all of them. Alternatively, you could order them yourself if this is an option. I have linked to some places below, next to each test.

Continue reading “Tests You Need and Optimal Levels as a Hypothyroid Patient”