So, you’ve recently been diagnosed with a thyroid problem but where do you start?
The truth is, there is no magic answer to this. Welcome to the complexity of having a thyroid problem 😉 I wish it weren’t that way, but honestly, it is. There is no simple solution or magic fix.
BUT there are many things we can try/research and explore over time.
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 1996 and have spent a lot of the last almost 25 years, researching & trying all the things I can do aside from take my medication to feel good. I have to tell you, you deserve better than to be told just take your pills and you’ll be fine.
Without my medication I’d be dead, but if that’s all I did I’d still be miserable.
A holistic (meds + diet + lifestyle + mindset) approach is required to thrive not just survive. True story … my story.
What works for me might not for you. We all have to find our own way but there are certain things that, having been around the thyroid traps for a while, I’ve seen feature for most people throughout their journey.
These are the aspects covered in the CHECKLIST which you can download below.
What do you do FIRST though?
I’ve done my best (together with some advice from the Let’s Talk Thyroid Community) and put together these 10 steps.
They are roughly in an order you can follow.
Always seek advice from a qualified health professional.
A 10 STEP APPROACH TO LIVING AT THYROID-FRIENDLY LIFESTYLE
My health ‘philosophy’ that I’ve developed over 23+ years of having Hashimoto’s is that thyroid wellness (well all wellness really), must take a lifestyle approach. We have to be doing little things daily over time. You read more about this here.
Here are 10 steps to get you on the right path.
Take a breath. You don’t have to deal with this all at once.
Acknowledge that you have a long term health issue to deal with. You can’t bury your head in the sand. There will be grieving. That’s normal.
Have HOPE. Yes this is life long. No there isn’t a ‘fix’ BUT there are so many things you can do to manage your health, start to feel better and get on with your life.
Know that it’s a journey (with twists, turns, U turns and dead ends) but YOU are the driver not the passenger. You need to lead your own journey. Take responsibility.
Start building your thyroid support team. Get a good doctor or naturopath. You can use this template to start designing your thyroid dream team.
Keep a record. Get a journal/folder. In your journal start recording food, mood, chemical triggers, activities, stress levels and start paying attention to what you notice. In your folder keep all blood test results, notes from medical appts etc.
Forgive yourself, your doctors, your body for not knowing better in the past. Now you know better you can do better. Focus on the future not the past. This is an emotional as well as physical journey.
Ask for help. You can do this but it’s hard to do alone. That help might be from your kids, spouse or a professional. Those of us with thyroid issues tend to have a personality that likes to think we can do it all ourselves. We push ourselves. We like to help others, but we need help too.
Here is a checklist of things you’ll want to explore/investigate/try/educate yourself about over time. You do not need to do it all at once. For more info you can download a detailed printable checklist here.
Removing chemicals from your food, personal care products, cleaning etc.
💋 KISS = Keep it Super Simple 1 thing at a time. Many find starting with dietary changes a helpful place to start but for you it might be sleeping more, or removing toxins. It’s a marathon not a sprint, you don’t have to do it all at once, but you do need to take a step forward.
So, where will YOU start?
I hope at Step 1 – I know many of them really overlap but in my experience, all the steps matter. When you get to step 9 remember most of us take YEARS to work through these different aspects to find our unique thyroid friendly lifestyle.
If you’d like some help getting started, I’d love to see you in a Thyroid Strategy Session with me.
A SIMPLE PLACE TO START
I wrote my book, Let’s Talk Thyroid with the new thyroid patient in mind. It’s a great starting place because it starts the conversation about how to live well with your thyroid condition.
Thyroid health is complex, but I’ve made it simple.
A key concept in the book is to KISS (Keep It Super Simple) so you can make progress but not feel overwhelmed.
Another great starting place is to listen to my podcast (also called Let’s Talk Thyroid) as there are lots of great interviews and information. Start with whichever episode you like, but many like to start at the beginning as the initial episodes are foundational.
If you would like personalised support, I’d love to help with with a strategy session.