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The Thyroid Jigsaw Puzzle

TW: mental health, suicidal thoughts, body image, disordered eating

I have always said that getting well with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s is like piecing together a big thyroid jigsaw puzzle. 

Rachel in Bruges

I’ve mentioned it various times in my blogs, articles, books, podcast features, on social media and pretty much everywhere!

Why? Because this has been the biggest lesson of all that I have learnt since being diagnosed with autoimmune hypothyroidism and beginning the quest to take my health back. My physical health, mental health and just about everything. Continue reading “The Thyroid Jigsaw Puzzle”

Black Thyroid Disease

Black Thyroid, also sometimes called Black Thyroid Syndrome or Black Thyroid Disease is a rare pigmented change of the thyroid gland seen almost exclusively in people taking minocycline, an antibiotic used to treat a number of bacterial infections such as pneumonia, as well as in the treatment of acne and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Continue reading “Black Thyroid Disease”

How Getting Angry Saved My Life With Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s

I was listening to Jessie’s podcast, Chronically Healing, specifically the episode ‘Get Mad and Take Back Your Life’ which discussed Jessie’s experiences and frustrations surrounding her thyroid disease diagnosis and management and what made her realise she needed to take back control of her health.

I asked her if she’d be willing to share more on this in a blog post, so here it is.

Written by Jessie Fritz, Thyroid Advocate and Coach

Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s: How Getting Angry Saved My Life Continue reading “How Getting Angry Saved My Life With Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s”

Migraines With Hypothyroidism

Originally published on 5th June 2018 
Last updated on 30th May 2020

I hear from many thyroid patients who also experience migraines. Some frequent, some every now and then. 

But what’s the link?

Continue reading “Migraines With Hypothyroidism”

May 25th – 31st is International Thyroid Awareness Week 2020

International Thyroid Awareness Week 2020 begins on May 25th and continues through to May 31st. 

An orange centered butterfly with black and orange wings

The worldwide week-long event is a good opportunity for raising awareness of thyroid conditions, both how it affects those of us with them, but also the signs and symptoms to get more people diagnosed sooner. In this way, we can avoid as many people living poor quality lives with thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, sooner. Continue reading “May 25th – 31st is International Thyroid Awareness Week 2020”

World Thyroid Day – 25th May 2020

This World Thyroid Day post has been sponsored by Monitor My Health online blood tests.

Every year, the 25th May is World Thyroid Day; an international event for raising awareness of what the thyroid gland is, what different thyroid conditions there are and symptoms of them, the importance of diagnosis and treatment, but also the many things that we face as thyroid patients.

Rachel Looking Out at Water Continue reading “World Thyroid Day – 25th May 2020”

Take Back Control: Order Your Own Thyroid Tests

Originally published on 3rd November 2017 
Last updated on 23rd May 2020

Do you still feel unwell on thyroid medication even though your doctor is insistent that your test results are coming  back ‘fine’ or ‘normal’? Perhaps your doctor isn’t running all the thyroid tests that you need?

Many thyroid patients benefit from being more involved in their thyroid care and treatment, which is where self-testing and the ability to order your own tests can be critical tools for empowering yourself. Continue reading “Take Back Control: Order Your Own Thyroid Tests”

Where Can I Order My Own Tests?

Originally published on 19th August 2016 
Last updated on 23rd May 2020

Your doctor may not run all the thyroid tests you want – you want to make sure that TSH, Free T3 and Free T4 are done at the very least. Most patients benefit from being highly involved in their thyroid care and treatment, which is where self-testing and the ability to order your own tests can be critical tools for empowering a patient.

This list has been compiled from thyroid patients who have told me where they order their own tests from.

Please note that any places included in this list are not necessarily endorsed or recommended by myself. 

Continue reading “Where Can I Order My Own Tests?”

Tests You Need and Optimal Levels as a Hypothyroid Patient

Originally published on 11th March 2016
Last updated on 23rd May 2020

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”

Podcasts for Thyroid Patients

The popularity of podcasts is forever increasing. With the ability to listen to them on the move – perhaps on your daily commute, when completing housework, cooking dinner, getting ready in the morning and just about whenever you want – they are an incredibly useful way to take in information concerning your thyroid health and wellbeing. 

The below podcasts are ones that I follow or have listened to in the past and have found useful or insightful in my own experiences as someone with hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, mental health struggles etc. Continue reading “Podcasts for Thyroid Patients”

Thyroid Patients Explain How It Has Affected Their Work Life

Many people around the world with thyroid conditions such as hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s are struggling at work.

My work has been one of the most affected areas of my life since having thyroid issues. Brain fog has made it hard to work efficiently, heavy fatigue has led to me falling asleep at my desk and poor mental health caused by my thyroid condition meant that panic attacks would interrupt work tasks. Continue reading “Thyroid Patients Explain How It Has Affected Their Work Life”

Thyroid Flare Ups While Pregnant

Before experiencing pregnancy, one of my expectations as a thyroid patient was that it would be full of thyroid flare up days.

I had an image in my head of pregnancy on top of Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism causing me extra fatigue, and whilst I did expect some flare up days, I felt very lucky in that they were certainly not frequent. 

However, when they did strike, I noticed a slight difference in my approach to these more difficult days with thyroid disease, now I was pregnant. 

Rachel Looking Down at Pregnant Bump

Continue reading “Thyroid Flare Ups While Pregnant”

How Xenoestrogens Can Be Making Your Thyroid Health Worse

As people with thyroid issues, we are often told to avoid xenoestrogens – chemicals that, once in our bodies, can alter the normal function of our hormones.

Xenoestrogens mimic the effect of the hormone oestrogen, primarily seen as a ‘female hormone’, but is in fact possessed by both men and women.

Simply put, xenoestrogens are endocrine disruptors that have oestrogen-like effects on the body, which can affect thyroid health, fertility, men’s hormonal health and more.

Sources of xenoestrogens are scarily ten times more potent if they are applied to the skin through things such as cosmetics and toiletries, compared to when taken orally. When they are applied directly to the skin, they pass into the body without the detoxification process of the liver.  Continue reading “How Xenoestrogens Can Be Making Your Thyroid Health Worse”

Book Review: The Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy

‘Self-care’ is a buzzword that we hear a lot online these days. But what does it mean?

Jayne Hardy, CEO of The Blurt Foundation, discusses what self-care is, why it’s important to implement and why so many of us struggle, which leads to a lot of frazzled, exhausted, drained, depressed and anxious people. Self-care is especially important to anyone living with a physical or mental health condition as it helps us to get the balance right between work, play and taking care of our health. The Self-Care Project Book Review

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

Continue reading “Book Review: The Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy”

I Don’t Want to Take Thyroid Medication. Can I Take Something ‘Natural’ Instead?

I hear the same question everyday in my Facebook support group. It can vary, but often sounds something like this:

“I don’t want to take thyroid medication. Can I just take something natural instead?”

“What natural alternative is there to thyroid meds?”

“How are people managing their hypothyroidism naturally instead of taking their meds?”

Continue reading “I Don’t Want to Take Thyroid Medication. Can I Take Something ‘Natural’ Instead?”

5 Tips For a Healthy Thyroid Pregnancy

I often hear from fellow thyroid patients with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s who want to know what they can do to ensure they have a healthy pregnancy and good chance of conceiving a child.

I have covered what I did personally to optimise conceiving with Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism in another post. Dr. Brittany Henderson has covered her top five suggestions below. Continue reading “5 Tips For a Healthy Thyroid Pregnancy”

The Thyroid Books to Change Your Life

There are two thyroid books which help those with hypothyroidism to thrive and get the most out of life, by working together. Learn why these books could be the answer to getting your thyroid health and life back on track below. 

Rachel with the wind blowing her hair Continue reading “The Thyroid Books to Change Your Life”

Hair Loss and Hypothyroidism

Originally published on 6th December 2016
Last updated on 3rd April 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”

What is the Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s?

I hear from many readers who are confused about the difference between hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s. A lot are unsure of which they have, whether they have one or both and what difference it makes to their symptoms and treatment.

Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s are the most common types of thyroid disease. They share a lot of the same symptoms as both can equal a reduced amount of thyroid hormone in the body.  Continue reading “What is the Difference Between Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s?”

9 Celebrities That Have Spoken out About Their Thyroid Disease

As well as all the millions of people with thyroid conditions worldwide, there are many people in the public eye who also have experience of thyroid disease. 

See my list of people here, but also read on for those celebrities who have openly spoken about their experiences and helped to raise awareness of the effects.

Continue reading “9 Celebrities That Have Spoken out About Their Thyroid Disease”