Anyone with an underactive (or non existent) thyroid knows how challenging it can be to get through the ickiness of hypothyroidism. There’s a reason people call it “hypo-hell”. It is really hard to rise above the fatigue, dizziness, discomfort, muscle pain, inability to concentrate, memory loss, depressive mood and various other symptoms that come with going off your medication for treatment purposes.
Personally I had to go off my medication twice to prepare for doses of radioactive iodine to treat my thyroid cancer.
Just because my thyroid (or lack thereof) isn’t working doesn’t mean I don’t have to, so I need to keep going despite my thyroid levels being in the toilet.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health care professional. I am only trying to help my fellow thyroid condition peeps with some tips that have worked for me. Please do not implement any dietary or lifestyle changes without speaking to your own health care professional first.
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Here are a few strategies I use to deal with my hypothyroidism symptoms:
Don’t be too hard on yourself.
I don’t know about you but on most days I run around like a chicken without a head. Between school drop off and pick up there’s work, grocery shopping, trying to fit in a gym class, laundry, keeping the house clean etc. The list goes on and on.
When I’m off my medication and completely drained I have to let some of it go (cue Elsa). I might get less done at work, leave the laundry in the basket a bit longer and let R watch more tv than usual.
I have to remember that I’m missing a vital organ and the medication used to keep that part of my body working despite missing the organ has been depleted by taking thyrogen shots and going off my meds for radioactive iodine treatment. I can’t expect myself to feel my version of “normal” and need to remember not to be too hard on myself for not doing everything I can usually do. I also need to remember that it takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks for my levels to normalize a bit.
It helps to have an amazing husband and an extended family around to pick up some of the slack. Don’t be shy – ask for help.
If you need help with your kids and live in the Greater Toronto Area you can reach out to The Nanny Angel Network whose Angels can help you with free childcare.
This is a toughy. It is so difficult to keep a positive attitude in the face of all of the junk life throws at you sometimes. Every once in awhile when I’m faced with the hypothyroid ickies I just feel completely depleted, which leads to negativity and sadness.
I try to remember that the really awful symptoms of hypothyroidism are temporary. Once my medicine gets back on track I will be able to remember my son’s middle name and I will be able to keep my eyes open past 8:30 p.m. It just takes time.
In addition to reminding myself of the temporary nature of all of this, I also try to stay grateful. If it’s a beautiful day I go outside. If I’m not up for a walk then I’ll sit and take in the sun. I’ll listen to R sing, laugh and play with his toys and remember that in a couple of weeks I’ll be up to playing more with him.
Remember that you do have positive things in your life. Whether it’s a best friend who makes you smile, a pet that licks your nose or a hobby that you love – hold on to these things and remember that soon enough you’ll feel better.