A common goal among all people is to live well. While this is true, we all have a different vision of what that truly means and how we are going to achieve it. However, if you have been diagnosed with a condition that alters or completely interrupts your life, living well usually equals feeling better.
It is no different for someone diagnosed hypothyroidism or any thyroid dysfunction. While some may see it as no big deal (usually those that don’t have it), those that have been diagnosed know the toll it can take on the body and how it affects your day-to-day living.
Thankfully there are a few things that you can do to allow yourself the opportunity to feel better.
1. Find a Good Doctor
I know that is easier said than done and most of the time doctors just write you off or write you a prescription for an antidepressant, but you have to push through and keep looking. It may take a while to find that one doctor that actually listens to you and doesn’t just see you as lab work or a medical record number, but you need someone who does that and more importantly, you deserve a doctor who takes time with you.
Finding a good doctor goes hand-in-hand with getting the right thyroid medication. If you find a doctor that is willing to listen, they may also be willing to go along side you on your journey to living well.
2. Find a Good Support Group
Hopefully you will be able to do this with those closest to you like family and friends. However, I understand that this doesn’t always happen. As stated earlier many people see this as no big deal and unfortunately that could include those closest to you. Many think that just because they can’t see the thyroid dysfunction and the pain it causes, it must not be there.
It is very important to have a support system for any illness and this is no different. When you have bad days (and you will have bad days) you need to be able to lean on people for encouragement. If you can’t find this in your close circle of friends, don’t forget about the thousands of people that are at your fingertips, literally! The internet is full of various support groups and forums for people with similar issues. In addition to NAH’s forum, Mary Shomon also has a support forum with lots of helpful tips and advice.
3. Find a Good Stress Reliever
Granted that support groups and forums could be good stress relievers, but you may need a little more than that and you may need to eliminate certain stress triggers if possible. This is especially important if you have a thyroid issue. Stress puts a huge strain on your adrenal glands which could result in low adrenal function. This in turn could have a negative effect on your thyroid causing the condition to worsen.
A big stress-relieving activity that has gotten a lot of attention lately is yoga. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea (which also could be beneficial to your thyroid), but it is worth a shot if it is going to help you.
4. Be Patient
This too is easier said than done, especially if you don’t feel well, but it is something that we do need to learn. Hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s, Graves’, and all of the other thyroid conditions do take time to address. It may take you months possibly even years to find the right thyroid medication and dose. After you find it, it could take even longer for you to actually feel well. Be patient with yourself, be patient with your body, and, to a certain extent, be patient with your doctor. It all takes time.
Living well isn’t the same for everyone, but for everyone dealing with a health condition there is a common goal; feeling better. If you have any tips or suggestions as to how you are living well with your condition, share them with us in the comments below! Who knows, you may get someone started on their path to living well.