Weight Gain: The Thyroid Symptom That Keeps on Giving

Last week I went to my endocrinologist. For those unfamiliar, that’s a doctor who specializes in areas like diabetes, or in my case, the thyroid. My endocrinologist comes across as brilliant, but blunt. When I inquired about my recent weight gain, she responded in a thick accent, “It’s not your thyroid, it’s you, dear.” I steadied myself after that sucker punch and went back to the well, asking what I could do to lose weight and have more energy. Her answer? “Eat less and exercise more, young lady.” I was thinking more of a like an increase in thyroid meds, but here she was being all practical and logical and I didn’t like that one bit. The debilitating fatigue and chronic pain that come with fibromyalgia don’t exactly lend themselves to a kick ass workout regime. But she wasn’t taking that into consideration, because endocrinology is not rheumatology, and fibromyalgia is not in her wheelhouse.

Here’s the thing: until 4 years ago, I was a string bean. I never had a weight problem whatsoever, but shortly after I adopted my middle son I started to experience depression. (Not his fault, just weird timing!) Consequently I began taking anti-depression meds. They are VERY effective but they are weight gainers. Literally the same month I began the meds, my thyroid hit the skids and was all over the place. It wasn’t long before I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroid disease. I also turned 36 around this time, and the perfect storm of age, meds, hypo-thyroid, and my propensity to eat at 2 AM while up feeding a baby all conspired against me, leading to a 40 lb weight gain.

It didn’t happen all at once. I was well on my way up, however, when I discovered I was pregnant with what can only be described as a medical miracle. I took that opportunity to eat everything within reach, assuming I’d snap back to a size zero like I did after my first pregnancy. This was not the case. To date, I have lost -2 lbs of the baby weight. My baby will be three in June. After three years, I’m not sure I can call it baby weight, but I’m gonna anyway.

Back to my endocrinologist. She’s a swell lady, but my research tells me that the person I need for thyroid troubles is a naturopathic physician. So I am going to do just that, in about three weeks, and I’m very excited about the possibility of a doctor who is interested in the root causes of my fatigue and weight gain and pain. How exciting would it be if she identified a trigger I could eliminate? My hopes are high that this will be the case. I’m fairly confident that she is going to tell me to go on a sugar elimination diet, which hurts me to my very soul, but I’ll do whatever it takes to get better. I’ll be updating my readers for sure on any symptom changes, good or bad, as they arise with this new change in care.

Thank you for reading! In the coming days I will be addressing my medical history and my lifelong journey navigating several chronic conditions…with style.

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