How I Realized I Had Hypothyroidism
Aug. 1, 2016
by DearCathy.com, Syndicated Columnist
Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com,
Self-Publishing and Business Coach at
Today I would like to discuss a topic up until a month ago, I knew very little about -- hypothyroidism. Like most people I googled the symptoms before so I wasn't totally in the dark when I realized the illness could be affecting me directly.
I was hoping by the time I turn 60 years old on October 6, 2016, I would fully understand how the human body actually operates. Because the medical industry is BIG BUSINESS, we are a society that have been left with fending for our ownselves with regards to our health.
Remember that most doctor's life span in conventional medicine is only 60 years old -- so in order for you to be able to live to be 100 years old, you will need to become ENTRENCHED in holistic and natural communities, which are located in every city.
Getting healthy is like putting a puzzle together and once you put all the pieces in the puzzle together, only then will you be able to reach your maximum level of health. However, keep in mind that as you age, "age-related" illnesses might pop up.
As a holistic and natural healer and Non-GMO health and wellness expert, as I write this article you need to understand that I don't consider myself to be an expert on hypothyroidism. My goal is to put the issues out there, then hopefully you can continue to conduct your own research.
It is my belief that I have suffered from the side effects of hypothyroidism for many years and recently, I sat out on a journey to truly understand the illness.
No one wants to admit that they might have some type of disease, especially an autoimmune disease so for the sake of this article, I will replace the word disease with illness or a condition.
My Past Health Woes and How I Healed My Ownself
Most of my audience members know my health story and background and how I became a Non-GMO educator in the first place, when I successfully cured my ownself.
Nine (9) years ago when living in Atlanta, GA, I had to save my own life after 6 doctors, including two specialists, failed to diagnose me with any type of illness or disease, despite having severe pain over half my body for 30 days.
How I Found Out I Had Hypothyroidism
Moving to Dallas, TX less than a month ago has not only been empowering for me mentally, physically and spiritually but it has totally launched my business, my empowerment company, Angels Press, in another direction.
After arriving in Dallas pumped up and ready to meet others in the community, I attended a
Holistic Life Fair
. Because I am so much into holistic healing, I was at the fair for 4 hours and spoke to every single fair vendor present.
One of my main reasons for attending was to meet other Non-GMO educators in the Dallas, TX area. However, despite a large vendor turnout for the event, there were no other Non-GMO educators in the room, and this in itself is a problem today because foods affects everything that you do.
A vendor, a holistic healer, called me over to his vending table and looked at my neck and made the statement to me, "You know you have hypothyroidism - right?....While giving me a handout on hypothyroidism.
I looked at him and thought back about many of the symptoms of the illness that I have experienced for years, even though my lab tests were always normal. He then told me because of the way the lines are located on my neck, the puffiness and apparent swelling that I hadn't noticed -- that I had the illness.
Alarming Statistics for Hypothyroidism Sufferers
According to the American Thyroid Association an estimated 20 million Americans have some type of thyroid disease, and about 60 percent of them don't even know it.
Hypothyroidism primarily affects middle-aged women but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children. It's even estimated by some natural and holistic healers that 80 to 90% of women have been suffering for years from hypothyroidism but will never know it.
What was also alarming is that I found out that nine (9) women to every one man suffer from hypothyroidism, which is also called a "slow moving thyroid."
Tons and tons of women are told by doctors that they need their thyroid taken out and they have to be on thyroid medications for the rest of their lives.
As a Speaker, Trainer and Coach at
, I can't tell you how many times I have spoken to women on the phone and I literally thought they were men because they did not have their thyroids.
What You Need To Know About Hypothyroidism
The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body's activities.
Hashimoto's disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam's apple.
The resulting inflammation from Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism).
So Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.
Hashimoto's disease is a "disease" and hypothyroidism is a "condition."
Hashimoto's thyroiditis is named after the Japanese surgeon who discovered it in 1912.
Undiagnosed thyroid disorders can put you at risk of developing several serious diseases, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and infertility.
Everyone should find out how to identify thyroid disorders and most importantly, how to bring your hormones back into balance for optimal health.
Undetected and misdiagnosed thyroid problems plague millions of Americans and conventional treatments are ineffective for 6 out of 7 thyroid disorders. Even those who are correctly diagnosed often find their thyroid problems are mismanaged by their healthcare providers.
The conventional thyroid disorder treatment of hormone therapy is only effective for one out of the seven known categories of thyroid symptoms. Most other cases of thyroid disorders are mishandled, leading to stress and frustration for the patient as they move from one provider to another, looking for answers.
Those who are responsive to hormone treatment can expect inconsistent results, primarily because such treatments lack any sort of proper functional support.
Lab Tests Looks Normal
Many patients suffering from symptoms of thyroid disorders will be told that their lab work "looks normal," yet they continue to try to cope with the daily symptoms that adversely impact their daily lives.
The problem with testing is that most causes for hypothyroidism can be traced to stress of the immune system. Since this is not caused by the thyroid
directly, the problems won't show up in most standard lab tests, leaving the patient without the help he or she needs to avoid further health risks.
The Only Way To Truly Tell If You Have Hypothyroidism
During a period of research and education, I went back and looked at my TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) level on my physical last year because unlike many others, I keep a copy of all my physicals (Lipid Panel Profile) so I can compare the numbers every 6 months.
Last year the TSH number was 3.8, however, according to my research this number should be 1.8 or below and the only way to obtain an accurate reading is to have a COMPLETE THYROID PANEL, which is not offered by most doctors.
Not only is these panels not offered by most doctor's offices, but many doctors, whether they are your primary doctors (or internists) or OB/GYNs, don't even bother to check your thyroid levels at all - so you will need to ask for this test during your physical.
Also remember that there is no way you will be able to heal your thyroid unless you also look at your adrenal glands located on top of the kidneys, get rid of your leaky gut and you need to have a functional liver.
List of Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
It just made sense that I was suffering from hypothyroidism since I already had many of the symptoms of the illness which includes:
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Dry skin
- Weight gain
- Puffy face
- Muscle weakness
- Elevated blood cholesterol level
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
- Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
- Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
- Needing more sleep to function properly
- Thinning hair
- Slowed heart rate
- Impaired memory
- Ringing in your ears
- No outer eyebrows
- No bottom eyelashes
- Environmental allergies
Many people get hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism symptoms mixed up but you can actually have both conditions. Graves' disease is often the underlying cause of hyperthyroidism. Graves' disease is named for the doctor who first described it in Ireland, Robert J. Graves.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- heart palpitations
- Inward trembling
- Increased pulse rate, even at rest
- Feeling nervous and emotional
- Night sweats
- Difficulty gaining weight
Why You Need To Be Careful If You Are Type O Blood Type
What is so alarming is that I found out that many women (and men) with O blood types, have underwent thyroid surgery. So I have tested my theory many times. Every time I see someone with a scar on their throats from thyroid surgery, even women in their 20s or 30s, they always tell me they are O blood types so read the book
"Eat Right 4 Your Type"
because many O blood types are especially at risk for hypothyroidism.
My Past Hypothyroidism Diagnosis
Years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism by my OB/GYN doctor in Atlanta, not my internist, and chose to go on a natural supplement, however, I did not slow down long enough to self-educate myself like I am doing today on the illness. So my advice to everyone, especially all women, stop and slow down and educate yourself on this all too important illness that is plaguing many women today.
Why You Need To Listen To Your Body
The reason I knew something was wrong was when I moved to Dallas, I was eating less food and exercising more, however, I had an extremely hard time losing weight.
Many people make excuses for not losing weight, especially the fact that you are getting older. At 59 I still did not want to buy into this -- so once again, once more in my life, I sat out on another journey to figure out what was happening to my body. I looked back at some of my past symptoms which are listed above.
I always walked around my place in socks because my feet were always cold. I have had numb hands and feet in the past and even had stiff joints.
The goal is to avoid any type of radiation if you have thyroid issues. I had environmental allergy issues all the time and despite allowing a VA.gov doctor to give me a MRI, a few months ago to see what was happening with my sinuses, it probably also affected my thyroid since the MRI contained radiation and usually when you get this exam, they fail to cover your thyroid.
I also had an x-ray after injuring my shoulder at CampGladiator.com and the x-ray technician told me I was getting radiation in my thyroid.
Also when you get dental exams they fail to cover your thyroid, which can also cause hypothyroidism to flourish, especially in many women.
Years ago iodine was placed in many of the foods and the soil that grows the foods have been depleted of iodine because of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Many women in 3rd world countries have big goiters on their necks from a lack of iodine in their diets so iodine deficiency is a big, big issue today, especially with many women.
Cruciferous Vegetables That Blocks Iodine:
The goal is to avoid foods that blocks iodine. A list of these cruciferous vegetables in the mustard family that can block your daily iodine intake include:
- African cassava
- Babassu (a palm-tree coconut fruit found in Brazil and Africa)
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
- Chinese Broccoli
- Pine nuts
- Red Radish
Avoid These Foods Also
Other foods and items to avoid include:
- fatty foods
- sugary foods
- processed foods (especially GMO foods)
- excess fiber
What Else is Blocking Your Iodine
Chlorine is now used to purify water instead of iodine. Fluoride is almost universally found in toothpaste and drinking water. And bromide replaced iodine in commercial baked goods over 30 years ago.
Unfortunately, these minerals aren't just toxic for your thyroid, they's dangerous for your health overall. Fluoride is a problem because it blocks the ability of the thyroid gland to concentrate iodine and bromide can cause depression, headaches, and even hallucinations.
Minerals and Supplements That Can Heal Your Thyroid
I also found out that it's imperative to get on the following daily supplements mentioned in this article if you think you have this illness, especially the herb selenium (200 mcg) daily, which goes hand-in-hand with any thyroid therapy.
Other supplements needed because of hypothyroidism, which also supports your adrenals include:
- Multi-Vitamin for Women (or Men)
- Selenium (200 mc) daily
- Probiotic (helps with leaky gut)
- Milk Thistle (regenerates your liver)
- Vitamin C & E (which are antioxidants) (be careful with E because it's a blood thinner)
- Ginkgo Biloba (be careful because it's a blood thinner)
- Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement
- Vitamin D3 (take along with Calcium and Magnesium and try to take these away from other vitamins because calcium can strip other supplements of nutrients)
- Ginseng (Ginseng can raise your blood pressure so not every blood type can do ginseng so read "Eat Right 4 Your Type")
I buy most of my supplements from health or wholefood stores, VitaminShoppe.com or other health sites that deals specifically with selling vitamins and minerals. You can't buy these supplements from Walmart, Target, CVS or other stores. Vitamins bought at these venues can cause more harm than good.
My Action Plan to Deal With the Hypothyroidism
I plan on holding several webinars, seminars and workshops, book club and meetup.com discussions around this all too important topic, especially through my platform at
Many women suffer from depression, weight gain, and hair loss, which I believe are three (3) of the most depressing symptoms of hypothyroidism, which can cause any women to fall into a state of hopelessness.
Initially, as I started to conduct my own research, I thought I would need to write another health book on the topic if there were not good information out there. But during the research stage, I came across several great books and teachings on YouTube.com about hypothyroidism.
But I know for sure there will be a chapter on hypothyroidism in my next book entitled
"Forever Young: How To Reach Your Maximum Level of Health While Feeling Good and Looking Great" -- due to be released after my 60th birthday in October.
The biggest disappointed was that I had to totally revamp my diet again, which was a lot of work. I found out all the green foods in the mustard family (cruciferous vegetables), that I was eating by juicing, steaming and blending at least 3 times a day, was blocking my daily intake of iodine.
However, I self-educated myself by reading books, listening to audiobooks on
watching presentations by holistic and natural healers, especially many chiropractors on YouTube.com.
The holistic healer at the fair referred me to a
in Dallas who offers FREE 15 minute consultations. He also gave me a link for a lab where I can obtain a COMPLETE thyroid panel.
To learn more about your thyroid read this book
Supposedly after 3 weeks to 3 months after following some of the action steps in this article and conducting your own research, you should feel much better.
I am very happy to announce that I feel like my old energetic self again.
The information was not only empowering for me but as usual, whatever I learn about the human body will be shared in my network with my waiting audience.
Again, I count my blessings everyday because if I never moved to Dallas, TX, and never attended this Holistic Life Fair, I never would have known I had hypothyroidism issues. Change can be good and it certainly can be empowering.
Cathy Harris is the author of 23 non-fiction books including 4 books on health. She provides webinars, seminars and workshops through her speaking platform at
http://www.cathyharrisinternational.com and can be reach through her empowerment company, Angels Press, CEO, President, Publisher, P.O. Box 800511, Dallas, TX 75380, Phone: (512) 909-7365, Website: