Christine Hanses, Thyroid Thrivers
One Woman’s Thyroid And Hormone Imbalance Journey To Success!
After gaining 5 pounds a year for several years, I was at my largest at 168 pounds. I was also unhappy and feeling terrible overall. I would complain to my doctor, but to no avail. His response, to my dismay, was always,
“Don’t eat so much and maybe you should be getting more exercise!”
At the time, I was doing landscape installations and maintenance, so I was getting plenty exercise and sun. I was also eating less than what a bird might eat, which was obviously very little. My middle area was huge, it felt like I was carrying a tire around my stomach. It was miserable. I was miserable and I was at the END of my rope. I wasn’t sure what else I could be doing, to lose weight and feel better.
Finally, after many hours looking, studying and researching on the internet, I went to my doctor again and asked him to do a thyroid test. Not just the TSH, the full thyroid panel. I had learned a lot online and I wasn’t about to stand by and not get the full treatment. Unbelievably, his response was, “NO, my sister had those tests done and it was a big waste of time and money.”
I left that office so fast and I never looked back. I had no idea who or where I would be going to next, but I knew that that doctor must have been a fraud, because surely no real doctor would say ‘NO’ to a patient wanting to get better. Especially saying ‘no’ to a patient wanting to spend money, to get some testing done, wasn’t in his favor either. From then on, when it came to my health, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands.
My wonderful hubby suggested that I visit HIS doctor. So, I made the appointment and went to see him; an MSU Family Doctor. I was blown away by his knowledge, experience and wonderful bedside manner. Immediately, he told me, “Not only are we going to do a complete thyroid test but we are also going to do a complete work-up on your hormones.”
I did the blood tests, got the results and to my horror, my hormone level was non-existent. I was, at that time, 57 years old and I had the hormones of a 96 year old woman. How could that be?! It was terrifying. No wonder I had been feeling the way I was. I was astonished, but ready to start feeling better as soon as possible.
He prescribed DHEA and sent me on my way. No other prescriptions, as my thyroid level results were LOW, but still within the ‘normal’ range. Four weeks later, I went back for a check up and he asked me how I felt. I told him, I felt the same horrible way, nothing had changed, symptom-wise. To my surprise, he then added a prescription of Armour Thyroid. I was confused since my thyroid blood tests said I was in ‘normal’ range. He actually said, “Humor me and just try it.” I had no other options and I was ready to feel better, so of course I did.
By my next follow-up visit with him, a month later, I told him how much my energy level had increased and that I thought we were headed in the right direction, but I still hadn’t lost very much of the weight I had so easily, all-of-a-sudden, gained. Getting the proper dosage was a challenge. I felt like I was getting better but not very fast. Overall, I probably lost 5 pounds in 3 years.
In 2010, we moved to a Southern state. I had already doubled my dosage of DHEA at this point, per his recommendation. Even after moving away, when I went back to visit family, I also went to see him. To this day, I still go to him, even though I don’t live close by anymore, as he is the BEST.
That’s getting way ahead of my story, though. So, as soon as I doubled my DHEA, the weight dropped off my body. I have been going back and forth to see him for over 4 years now. We are still working on the dosage – tweaks here and there- but, along with that I had to do some serious ME work. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it, as my weight went from 168 lbs. to 106 lbs. and I feel so much healthier.
Changing my lifestyle habits played a major role in my wellness routine. I gave up all sugar and ate a very healthy diet. This included: seeds, nuts, vegetables and fruits. I excluded fructose, all sodas and I even gave up meat for a while. Not to mention I gave up breads and baked goods, as well. When we go grocery shopping, we circle the outside perimeter of the store, only. We stay away from the middle isles that contain processed foods….only non-GMO’s and organic foods for this gal!
Although these changes were HUGE for me, it worked, because I did it slowly and gradually. Now I can eat little bits of breads and baked goods, but sugar is still out. Eventually, I introduced chia, flax and hemp seeds as well as coconut oil to my daily smoothies.
All the hard work that I’ve done, combined with working with a doctor that specializes in thyroid and hormones, definitely ensured my success. I’m now also a big believer that when our bodies are deficient in vitamins and minerals, we are fighting a losing battle. Finally getting all the supplements my body needed, played a large role in my overall wellness.
Thankfully, I am now at my ideal weight and I feel amazing. My thyroid and hormone levels seem to be balanced, for the time being, and I am grateful. I will continue my trek, 2 times a year, to visit my doctor at MSU. I will also continue to stay active and eat a healthy diet as I know this leads to a healthy me.
I am so thankful to have found such a wonderful doctor. He helped me find the answers I was looking for. And he set me on a course to live a more productive and healthy, happy life.
I hope that my thyroid journey story, is able to help you along your journey to health and well-being. I think anyone with unexplained weight gain and other symptoms of low thyroid and hormone imbalances, should find the help that they need, just as I did. This is what worked for me, but we are all survivors and Thrivers and will find our own paths to happiness. Much success to you!
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