busy is a choice. stress is a choice. joy is a choice.
Normally, in modern health care, someone wouldn’t choose to use this quote to start talking about the thyroid. But I am not normal. I think differently. The thyroid is a gland I’m totally in love with for a myriad of reasons, many physiologic and some metaphysical.
I became most obsessed when I realized how many women suffer from thyroiditis of some kind, but thought it was postpartum depression in the first year postpartum. This obsession lead me to my thesis that it needs to be common practice for women to have a full thyroid panel completed in that first year postpartum. If diagnosed, she deserves care and a conversation about thyroid health that fits and supports her lifestyle. Before I go further, watch this little video and learn about your thyroid:
My favorite quote, “Your thyroid is like your COO.”
We all know how important it is to have a Chief Operating Officer overseeing the health of a thriving business. So, if your thyroid delegates and spreads little hormones throughout your body that manage and maintain your metabolism, why wouldn’t you want to know about it’s overall health and function? We (the providers) get a full picture of your thyroid health when we run a full thyroid panel. Just knowing your TSH isn’t enough information.
I’ve dabbled with hypothyroidism. A few years ago, my system was significantly compromised from sleep deprivation, diet, an extremely stressful job, not enough exercise, and a recent big move. Lots of cortisol in my life and I’m pretty tuned into my body, so I knew something was off. Since I worked in a clinic, I did a full thyroid panel to try to rule out thyroiditis of any kind. Once I read my lab results, I was bummed. My numbers were up, and I was in full swing sub-clinical bullshit.
Over the next week, I consulted with five different medical providers. The advice I stuck with was from my athletic MD back in Montana who managed her overworked thyroid without medication. She said, “Rebecca, do less of what is stressing you out and do more things that bring you joy. Exercise and eat better. Relax more. Consider acupuncture. You know how to take really good care of yourself, but don’t medicate unless you really have to.” Per my physicians advice, I didn’t medicate.
But, I did give my overall health and spiritual health the major overhaul it needed to get back to feeling good. You will not have the same story as me, especially if you have or might have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. That's legit and you will need support. We'll talk more about Hashimoto's in the future.
For some, medication is the answer. For others, it is not. Whatever you choose, know how your thyroid is functioning for your overall health. If you have not had your thyroid checked recently, now is the time.
Oh btw, LMH has a great card that explains the difference postpartum thyroiditis and postpartum anxiety. Oddly, the signs and symptoms are very similar. Download the app if you're curious what's happening to your body, or feel free to ask questions here!
Remember, busy is a choice. Stress is a choice. Choose well.