Hi, I am Riya, a middle-aged working woman, continuously juggling between house, family and office. I have a strong belief that God has given women more strength and we are born multi-taskers. This belief helped me take all the madness and running around in a stride. But recently my body started taking a different graph.
It seemed I was at a constant war with my body. I gained weight like a balloon, my skin started feeling very dry and my hair was thinning. All this with the constant exhaustion and low energy. This alarmed me. My family and friends at my workplace suggested that these were the symptoms of premenopausal syndrome. Hence, I did not feel the need to see a doctor, assuming that this will pass soon. Until I started having pain and puffiness in my joints.
I discussed about my health status (which had suddenly become my priority) with my cousin who is a doctor. All my symptoms were discussed.
Some of the major symptoms were:
- My muscles felt weak, particularly the upper arms and thighs
- I had difficulty falling and staying asleep
- I felt exhausted all the time
- I frequently required more than 8 hours of sleep at night
- I started experiencing numbness or tingling in my hands and fingers
- My periods cycle was irregular
- I generally felt cold even on warm days
- I was more forgetful
- My hair was falling out
- I had no sex drive
- My eyes felt gritty, dry and sensitive to light
I then contacted Healthians and with the help of their representative got a good package booked. What followed was a pain free collection of blood sample from my house at the time of my convenience. The reports were mailed to me within 24 hours. My reports were altered, so I needed medical support. My Thyroid levels were quite below the desired range. Where the normal levels of TSH, T3 & T4 are 0.4-4.0mlU/L, 80-180ng/dl and 4.6-12ug/dl respectively, my TSH had reached 4.4mlU/L, T3 had reduced to 60ng/dl and T4 to 4ug/dl.
I was diagnosed with HYPOTHYROIDISM!
The report result was a shock for me as I had always been the most fit and active member in my family.
The doctor was very warm and told me one simple rule to follow to control hypothyroidism i.e. to take care of my body. I was advised to further book an appointment with an endocrinologist.
The endocrinologist advised a few changes in my lifestyle.
- I was told to eliminate caffeine and sugar, including refined carbohydrates. Wheat was to be my main staple.
- Included nuts and whole pulses to my daily diet.
- I started taking supplements of vitamin D, iron, copper, vitamin A, the B group of vitamins and iodine to ensure a constant supply of nutrients in my diet.
- Increased the anti-oxidants in my diet as it boosts the body’s ability to modulate and regulate the immune system.
The dietitian gave me an insight on how small changes in my diet would help me cure my hypothyroidism:
- Increase of dairy products like milk, cheese, butter, cottage cheese in my diet.
- Avoid raw cabbages, cauliflower and spinach. Cook them before eating.
- Increase sea salt in whatever I eat. Sea salt can be added to salads and fruits.
- I am a non-vegetarian so adding fish to increase omega 3 fatty acids helped.
- All packaged foods which has mono sodium glutamate were a big no.
One of the major symptom of hypothyroidism was weight gain. From a normal body weight of 58kgs I reached 73kgs. In a month I had gained 4-5kgs. This was bothering me most. I followed a regular exercise regime under the guidance of trainers and physiotherapists. Within a treatment of eight weeks my weight reduced to 70kgs. I also started yoga on a regular basis and now my thyroid levels are quite stable. My hair fall has reduced and there is a huge boost in my energy levels.
My experience taught me a lot and I would suggest to pay attention to your body. Symptoms are the signs which can tell you of any underlying disease. My symptoms have reduced a lot. With the help of regular exercise and some simple lifestyle changes I am now a much healthier and happier person.
“I do believe that I can win my battle with hypothyroidism.”
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