If you have read my previous post, What the hell is Hypothyroidism?!, then you have already seen that symptoms of this disease could be so easily explained by other factors. This is my personal story of how I found out I had Hypothyroidism & how I finally got a doctor to correctly diagnose me.
For those that are close to me, you would know that I was on a healthy/fitness kick for quite some time in 2015. I had weighed myself in August 2014 & realized I was the heaviest I had ever been. This also was the same month my mom got diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. I wanted to get back to good habits & joined a T25 challenge group, became a Beachbody Coach, continued working out & dieting like crazy & by the summer of 2015 I had lost close to 15 pounds & was in the best shape/health I feel like I had ever been. This is the same time I started my Instagram, @angelaisfierce, & if you look back in my pictures you can see this transformation.
After the summer in 2015, I began to slack off a bit in my gym routine & eating habits, but not a ton. I still ate salads, veggies, clean meats, & overall felt like I was doing okay. It was around this time when my mother’s health got worse. She stopped taking her medication & I began to worry more & more each day. I got a gym membership & began working out again in November 2015 once I began noticing how much weight I was gaining. By December of 2015 I weighed 20-25 pounds more than I did in September. IT WAS INSANE. How could I just gain back all the weight I had just worked so hard to lose PLUS 5-10 more pounds?! I didn’t get it. I was working out, not eating crazy & fairly healthy, & I still gained weight. In the past, I’ve gone months without working out & eating right & I still NEVER gained so much weight so quickly.
I knew something was wrong.
In December 2015, I went to my doctor’s office & expressed my concerns. She took a blood test & said it was normal. She told me to workout & diet. That’s it. I was confused. I told her I had been doing that, but I guess it was just that simple.
At the beginning of 2016, I began to notice how exhausted I always was. I would have the hardest time waking up in the morning, was late for work most of the time, & would be extremely tired at 5pm. I still went to the gym from time to time when I wasn’t tired, but honestly I barely went because of the fatigue. My anxiety was horrible at this point. I would have panic attacks constantly & I decided to see a new doctor to start talking about my anxiety.
In March 2016, I saw a brand new doctor & she gave me anxiety medication & took my blood. Again, she said my tests were normal & told me to just take anxiety medication & to workout & diet. That’s it. At this point, I believe I was almost 30 pounds over what I weighed the summer before.
I was so frustrated, depressed, discouraged, & honestly started to feel like there was just nothing I could do since I had been working out & nothing was changing. My weight kept increasing, my anxiety was off the charts, I was exhausted all the time, & I was getting more & more depressed.
My handy dandy FitBit came into play here. One day I remember saying out loud to my younger sister that my resting heart rate was 40 bpm. She told me that was not normal which made me research even more! During these first few months, I was talking with a friend who had Hyperthyroidism. I began to research what Hypothyroidism was & WebMD became my friend. I started reading the symptoms online & was shocked how each one of these symptoms was EXACTLY what I was experiencing. The weight gain, the fatigue, the anxiety, & the low heart rate. I went to my doctor AGAIN & she told me the heart rate was fine, even though according to online resources a heart rate that low should be for someone who is a runner or Olympic Athlete or something. Two things I definitely am NOT.
Finally, I called my insurance around April 2016 & asked if I could go see a specialist. I was referred by a friend to an Endocrinologist who was AMAZING. FINALLY someone asked me questions that I felt were related to what I was experiencing. She asked me questions about my weight as a kid, my fatigue, & noticed my low heart rate. She took a TON of blood tests & tested my blood for different thyroid hormones than my 2 previous doctor’s did. & what do ya know….. she found out I had Hypothyroidism!
Since mid-April 2016 I have been taking Levothyroxine for my Thyroid. I noticed some improvements, but overall the weight still stuck & wouldn’t budge. I started working out 4 times a week & eating right, & still it barely moved. I am still on a continuous journey with my Hypothyroidism & most recently, began seeing a nutritionist and a new endocrinologist who just prescribed me Liothyronine (T3) in addition to my meds & have stopped taking my anxiety meds.
Stay tuned to see how this new medication & new Purification Program is going for me & my condition. If anything, I hope this blog post shows you that YOU KNOW YOUR BODY BETTER THAN A DOCTOR! It took me 3 doctors to discover my health condition. Do not give up. Keep seeking answers. If you know something is wrong, trust your gut & seek another opinion.