Alright, you’ve been a good girl, your gut is cleansed of Candida, and you’re still listless, lethargic, bloated, well on your way to Baldsville, and for some reason you don’t even really care that much.
You used to have this HUGE barrel full of craps to give, and now that thing is so empty, hippies use it for their drum circle.
It’s not you, darling. It’s your thyroid.
I lost a beloved family member late last summer, and I was already deficient in B vitamins (because I’d gotten sloppy about my self-care and hadn’t taken my vitamins regularly in months), and in iodine (because I use the pretty pink salt instead of the iodized stuff, and my chickens were molting, which meant: no eggs). The trifecta of those deficiencies plus the increased cortisol levels from stress sent my thyroid off a cliff in September.
My hair fell out by the handfuls for over two months; I’d lost a good 80% of it by the time it stopped. My waist thickened even though I’m not a comfort eater: I was fatigued, depressed…when you’re rapidly going bald and you don’t even care, there should be klaxons going off in your head, girlfriend.
I half-heartedly did a few charcoal cleanses during that time, since the depression, fatigue, and bloating mimicked Candida symptoms, and I thought I was losing hair from stress because that’s happened before, but nothing improved, and then in mid-November I started having arrhythmia.
Heart palpitations are NOT a sign of Candida overgrowth. Suddenly, a light bulb came on in my brain, and the hair loss, weight gain, depression, and palpitations pattern came together and spelled “hypothyroid“.
- Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
- Coarse, dry hair
- Dry, rough pale skin
- Hair loss
- Cold intolerance
- Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
- Memory loss
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Decreased libido
- Slower/irregular heartbeat
(Typically: An increased heart rate + palpitations = hyperthyroid. Slower heart rate + irregular beat = hypothyroid)
I’d thought that hypothyroidism only happened to other women.
Older women. You know, mid-30’s and up. Old people. Not me.
Wait a minute…I just turned 36.
Okay, I jest. I was too depressed to be that melodramatic about it.
There are many causes of hypothyroidism: it can be triggered by a deficiency in a number of elements, like selenium and Vitamin D. For a list of them complete with exceptions and warnings, click here.
If you have reason to think you may have a more serious underlying problem with your thyroid than a simple deficiency (like if you’ve already tried supplementing and didn’t see improvement), you should definitely make an appointment with an endocrinologist and get bloodwork done.
When I looked it up, B vitamins and iodine jumped out at me because I hadn’t been taking my vitamins, and hadn’t been getting iodine from my usual source. I decided to try those since I already had them, and there was no reason to suspect I had Hashimoto’s or Graves’ (for which iodine is contraindicated).
I got right back on my vitamins, which contain the complete B complex, and I had potassium iodide on hand so I started taking two of those a day. Within 7 days my hair stopped falling out and I was already feeling much better, emotionally. Over the next month, everything gradually normalized, with my waist slimming back down and my hair visibly starting to re-grow like gangbusters.
I’d had to cut 6″ off and wear the skimpy remainder in a bun, because I had nothing left to braid and it made the saddest little ponytail you ever saw.
I started supplements the week of Thanksgiving and was back to feeling like myself again around Christmas.
A week later, the Staph From Hell began. A week after I finally killed that infection, I developed a UTI, which I killed off….a week ago…..