Hi everyone!! Last week I found the most amazing photo of myself at age 29… before treatment for hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue!! This before photo is so hard to look at but I think it helps show my journey. About six years ago I threw away almost all my pre-treatment photos because they were so upsetting. Before treatment I was overweight, and this photo wasn’t the worst of it! I was so tired I didn’t have energy to care about work, exercise, home, doing my hair, makeup, or nails. All those fun things being a girl were just too exhausting. Watch my video to hear the whole story! Miss Lizzy!
Here is my new video about Hypothyroidism and the winter blues on Youtube!
REPOST FROM FEB 2011
Here it is March 2014 and I am thinking “Wow, I’ve been feeling kind of blue lately.” It’s the yearly seasonal thyroid drop, which always happens around early March and goes until May. Late winter through early spring can be hard for those of us with hypothyroidism. Even when we are on good thyroid medicine! It reminded me of my blog post from last year on this exact topic. Sheesh, even I have a hard time seeing my own symptoms!
This time of year is always tough for me. The days are getting longer, there is more light and I feel like I should be feeling great. But sure enough, I feel the low-grade depression sneaking up on me again. It usually sets in just before the forsythia bloom (so early March here in New England). When I finally got treatment for hypothyroidism I learned this depression is actually low thyroid!
Apparently thyroid function drops in the late winter/early spring months which creates a low-grade depression for many of us. It feels like SAD (seasonal affective disorder), general depression, or just a heaviness. I know it’s not SAD because I still have it even when I get plenty of sunlight. And I know it’s not traditional depression because it lasts only a few months, and it’s always around this time of year.
So this is a reminder… to help get through the winter blues many of us need to increase our thyroid medicine about 1/4 pill just for a few months. (I might add, who wants to take anti-depressants and gain weight?!) For me the depression starts around now and sometimes lasts through May. When I start to feel light and buoyant again I know I can ease back to my normal dose of thyroid medicine.
One of the many unfortunate symptoms of Hypothyroidism is Depression, but its easy to think they are unrelated conditions and treat them separately with separate medicine. In some cases they are unrelated, but on Stop the Thyroid Madness (STTM) there is a long list of inspiring stories of depression that went away when people started using natural desiccated thyroid medicine like Naturthroid to treat Hypothyroidism. I am one of these success stories.
I didn’t have full-blown, year-round depression, so I never thought I was one of those people who needed anti depressants. What I did experience was a low-level sadness that felt almost like the muscles in my face were heavy, making the act of smiling unthinkable. It wasn’t a long-lasting depression or hurtful to those around me. Just a general weight-of-the-world, dragging feeling.
The unusual part is I felt this “Hypothyroid depression” most noticeably during the months of March, April and May, which always seemed odd to me. One would think the dark part of winter would be the worst time for depression. Not in the spring when the days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, and everyone is happy. I should have felt great, but instead I felt miserable. Every year starting at age 13, I dreaded the doldrums of spring.
When I started researching Hypothyroidism, I learned something really interesting about depression. According to nutritionist and Leptin expert, Byron J. Richards, when daytime high temperatures vary 25 – 40 degrees over a period of a few days, the thyroid system really struggles to keep up. This means fall and spring seasons are hard on the thyroid and can cause a mental funk or depression. So that was it, incredible! Finally an answer that made sense.
This type of depression is so subtle, its easy to pass it off as related to other things in life, or not even call it Depression. While other Hypothyroid sufferers experience depression that is much more intense. The good news is depression has gone away for so many of us after Hypothyroid treatment with natural desiccated thyroid medicine. After getting my thyroid medicine to the right dose I am happy to report I can finally enjoy a spring.