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Maybe We Can Still Be Friends, Friends With Health Benefits

Post Published: 19 March 2010
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 22 responses. Leave a comment

(Written by Charise, Hashimoto’s Patient)

Dear Thyroid,

Truth be told, I’m not upset with you. If anything I sympathize with you because you are unfairly being blamed for my health issues. It’s not your fault that you sometimes generate too much or too little hormones. All you are doing is responding to the cues received from other organs in my body.

When my body went wacky, it was due to various factors. Unrelenting stress, emotional upset, poor nutrition, dehydration, you name it. Of course I didn’t realize how traumatized my body had become until physical symptoms started to manifest themselves.

Dramatic weight gain, hair loss, muscle fatigue & pain, mental fog, neurological issues, low body temperature, etc. Then the chronic conditions started…high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low estrogen. Of course none of the conditions that couldn’t be treated by prescription drugs held my doctor’s attention. But the ones that could be treated by drugs, well he was more than happy to write me a prescription.

The problem though, was that no one was interested in finding the source of all my ailments. No one other than me, that is.

From my various readings I’ve discovered that when the body goes into overload, that the autoimmune system goes haywire. That, dear thyroid, is what had traumatized my body, not you. Please forgive me for initially blaming you for my hypothyroidism symptoms.

I’ve worked hard for the last 2-3 years to get my life back on course and my body healthy. I’m eating healthier, am in less physical pain, removed a lot of stress from my life, and have stopped taking medications with the exception of a water pill. And you know what? I’ve never felt better, nor has my blood pressure been lower.

If anything, maybe I should be thanking you thyroid. Because if I hadn’t been thinking about you, and learning more about you, I probably wouldn’t have made all the changes in my life that I have.

Thank you thyroid for making me take a long hard look at my life. And for encouraging me to learn more about you, how my physical body works, and how to keep my emotional state in balance.

ChariseB

(Bio),   49-year old woman who was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease roughly three years ago. Spent approximately two years going to various doctors while exhibiting just about every symptom of hypothyroidism that has been documented.

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22 Responses to “Maybe We Can Still Be Friends, Friends With Health Benefits”

  1. Hypogirl says:

    Charise,
    Sounds like you found the right combination for you body. Congrats! I hope to one day be there with you. But I am kinda stubborn and can’t get it through my thick skull. The past few weeks I have been making a conscious effort to watch what I eat and what supplements I take. Your letter was a positive reinforcement of my findings. Which so far have been very much “duh” moments. 😉 and “why didn’t I do this before”?. But I am learning!

    I will admit, I am a little jealous of you – being stable and all. 😉

  2. Dear Thyroid says:

    Hypogirl;

    Love, appreciate and relate to what you’re saying. I admire your honesty.

    Charise’s story is such an inspiration, to be sure. Finding the right combination of nutrition, supplements and medication takes enormous work, time and commitment. All of which are vital to our overall wellbeing. I digress… it’s a process, all of it.

    Like you, I congratulate Charise!

  3. Joyce Ann says:

    Charise – you give me hope that one day my Hashimoto’s will be under control and I’ll feel “good” – so thank you for sharing and holding that glowing lantern at the end of the tunnel for the rest of your thyroid sisters….

  4. Anna says:

    That is a wonderful story and I AM so glad you shared it.

    Having Lupus for years all doctors would say it’s your lupus but blood tests say it wasn’t flaring up. My body has been in such mayhem and lupus making it worst that it completely overloaded. I eat healthy – exercise when possible and otherwise am a healthy person it wasn’t until a great regular practitioner said you just had a baby and you have low reflexes in your knees – i suspect your thyroid is off.
    He was right almost non-functioning at that time. Took meds leveled off then 1 yr later came back. Now that i know what the symptoms are i know when it is off and can be so more vigilant about it.
    So glad you found your peace…your thyroid should be thanked 🙂

  5. Dear Thyroid says:

    Joyce Ann – That is so true. What a beautiful point.

  6. Robyn says:

    Charise, what a wonderful letter! My stress level has a linear, direct effect on my thyroid as well. There is good stress and bad stress and the bad stress makes all my symptoms 100 times worse. I don’t spend enough time working on stress reduction, despite making so many other healthy changes. Your letter has reminded me how important it is, so I am going to start today!

    Congratulations on your balance, I know it’s “work”, but it has been an inspiration to me today!

  7. Dear Thyroid says:

    Anna – Question for you: If your blood tests revealed that your lupus was in remission, yet you were having symptoms, that seems to be a common complaint from patients with autoimmune diseases. What did your doctor say about that?

    What kind of nutritional changes have you made that yielded the highest benefits to you?

    Does your nutrition program help you manage your thyroid?

    How do you cope with multiple autoimmune diseases?

    Beautiful point re: “Your thyroid should be thanked”.

    xo

  8. Dear Thyroid says:

    Robyn;

    Great point – When our stress manages us instead of us managing our stress, it makes sense that our symptoms would worsen. Still looking for stress management tips.

    Charise’s letter is a definite inspiration. I love that she found the perfect combination and is able to keep her thyroid in check and her symptoms.

    xo

  9. Joanna says:

    Charise, what an awesome letter! You have a refreshing point of view. Hats off to you for taking your wellness into your own hands…it’s so very inspiring.

    xoxo,
    Joanna

  10. Dear Thyroid says:

    Agreed, Joanna. Charise’s letter is very inspiring and refreshing.

    Her letter is a wonderful reminder that we’ll get our lives back, it just takes time, work and patience.

    xo

  11. Jennifer says:

    I love this statement “Thank you thyroid for making me take a long hard look at my life. And for encouraging me to learn more about you, how my physical body works, and how to keep my emotional state in balance.”

    Thank you for sharing Charise! I am in the beginning stages where I am just trying to learn about my body and how I can help myself because I refuse to be drugged up the rest of my life! I have all the symptoms as well but my blood work does not show underactive yet so it’s kind of a waiting game until I do hit hypo. I am doing just as you said finding out about my body, is there any supplements or foods you would recommend?

  12. lathaarasea says:

    Can we really live without medicine??? That sounds like something I REALLY want to know more about!!! PLEASE

  13. Dear Thyroid says:

    Hi Jennifer;

    The statement you referenced in Charise’s letter was one of my favorites, too.

    Being new to all of this, I know it’s a lot of work and research, but your commitment is outstanding and that is what will yield great results, to be sure.

    For nutritional ideas and information regarding the science of nutrition, I would recommend you read Liz’s column “How to Kick your Thyroid’s Ass”, which goes live every Sunday. here is a link to her archives: http://bit.ly/7c2m4X

    Please keep us posted on how you’re doing and keep connecting with us.

    Wishing you the world,
    DT

  14. Dear Thyroid says:

    Lathaarasea;

    I’m very glad that you asked that question, I think it’s an important one to ask. In my opinion, I think there are a few answers.

    1) Everything we do must be under a doctor’s supervision.
    2) Many patients have had great luck with nutrition and supplements, while others haven’t quite found what works best for them.
    3) Some patients do a combination of medications, supplements and nutrition.

    What are your thoughts?

  15. ChariseB says:

    Hi Hypogirl,

    Thanks for the congrats. You’ll be where I am before you know it. I still deal with stuff day-to-day, and you know what? That’s okay. Just take it one day at a time. And if today doesn’t go well, there’s always tomorrow to make things better.

    Good luck,
    Charise

  16. ChariseB says:

    Hi Joyce Ann,

    Thank you for the kind words. I think that we all have a lantern. It just takes a while to figure out how to light it for ourselves.

    Best wishes,
    Charise

  17. ChariseB says:

    Hi Anna,

    Yes, I’ve thanked my thyroid more than once. And it sounds like yours should be too. 🙂 I’m sorry to hear that you have lupus, however I’m glad to hear that you are managing it well. I admire you for that. Congrats on your baby.

    Be strong,
    Charise

  18. ChariseB says:

    Hi Robin,

    I’m pleased that my letter has been a positive influence for you. I’m flattered. I’m not sure if what I do now is considered “stress reduction”. What I think I do is to NOT let day-to-day nonsense ruin my life. In other words, I no longer allow other people’s drama to drag me down. It’s amazing how draining it is to be around negative people.

    Stay positive,
    Charise

  19. ChariseB says:

    Drats, I misspelled Robyn’s name! I’m so sorry. 🙁

  20. ChariseB says:

    Hi Joanna,

    Thank you for the kudos, much appreciated.

    Warmest wishes,
    Charise

  21. ChariseB says:

    Hi Jennifer,

    I’m pleased to hear that you are now starting on your journey to learning more about your body. For me that was the hardest part, just making the decision to begin and to actually start taking action. As far as food & supplements go, I don’t think that there is a “one size fits all” solution since our bodies are different from each others. What I do recommend though is that you read everything you can about vitamins/minerals/supplements in general. Then read about specific issues such as thyroid and what foods can trigger malfunctions.

    It was through this extensive reading (I also read about natural alternatives to prescription drugs) that I was able to compile a list of vitamins, amino acids, etc. that would help support my thyroid and help to strengthen my weakened adrenal glands. I also spoke to a few medical professionals and an alternative medical professional.

    I’m sure that you’ll find out what works best for you. Just be patient. Remember, it took time for your body to reach this state. So it will take some time for it to find it’s way back to better health.

    Good luck on your journey,
    Charise

  22. ChariseB says:

    Hi Lathaarasea,

    I believe that some people can live without medicines. While others have conditions that can only be kept in check with medicines. Personally, I prefer to live without medications. So I try to do everything that I can to live my life medication-free.

    Sometimes I don’t eat as healthy as I should, or exercise as much as I should, or drink as much water as I should. However, I think that having an awareness of this is important, so that gives me an advantage. Bottom line, my body is going to treat me as well as I treat it. So I try to shower it with kindness as often as I can.

    Don’t give up hope,
    Charise

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