In my last post I talked about the discouragement I was feeling about my health. In this post, I’m happy to say that I’ve made some progress! As I’ve said before, health has its ups and downs. But true progress is something to watch out for and celebrate, no matter how small. Sometimes I wonder, who really cares what my test results are and how I’m feeling? But then I remember that it’s the stories of others’ progress that encourage me. When we can watch others on the journey toward health we see the possibilities for our own lives. We get ideas, motivation, and a reminder that a healthier life is possible. So I want to add my own voice to the chorus of encouragement!
I recently had my routine thyroid blood work done and I actually received good news. So I’ll celebrate and let you in on how things are going and what’s been working for me.
My Health Progress
I’ve been working with functional doctors for a little over a year now. When I started, my thyroid wasn’t at its worst, but it was steadily getting worse. The first doctor I saw was the first to bother diagnosing me with Hashimoto’s, but had limited availability and didn’t seem to have a sense of urgency toward optimizing my medications and such. That just goes to show, just because you find a more holistic doctor doesn’t mean they’re right for you! So I moved on to another doctor who was determined to help me get my immune system and thyroid stabilized.
I began slowly making changes to my diet, cutting out gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar over time. Then I started adding in supplements, especially for my very low vitamins D and B12. I started taking a natural dessicated thyroid medication that not only supplemented T4 but also T3 (both of which are thyroid hormones, T4 in a form that your body needs to break down, T3 in its usable state). I started to sleep more and do light exercise. All of these measures made me feel significantly better, but still my thyroid antibodies and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) climbed. But then I discovered Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN), and asked my doctor if we could try it. I thank God that I came across information about LDN! It has bridged the gap between what diet and supplements could do and the healing I was looking for.
Low Dose Naltrexone and My Health Progress
Since taking LDN, and especially since gradually moving up to the highest dose, my health finally seems to be on a consistent, upward trajectory. My thyroid antibodies went from 548 during my last blood test down to 475 in two months! Also, my TSH went from 18 (yikes!) down to 10 during that same time frame. My T4 is finally up in range, though still on the low end, and my T3 was actually a little high! For the first time in years, my vitamin D levels are optimal, and B12 was high, so I’m no longer having to supplement either one! I’m even almost down to my pre-Hashimoto’s weight! These are things I want to take time to celebrate. There is still much to be done, but as a result of LDN, I’m confident I’ll get there.
My doctor has been so sweet and positive during this journey. At my last appointment she told me I was doing a great job, and that she was so happy to see the progress I’m making. She was genuinely shocked by my vitamin D levels, which really just reinforces to me that my body is working better. I came away from this appointment so encouraged and thankful for all the answers God has revealed to me, and the resources he’s provided.
It’s Important to Celebrate Progress
Despite the good news, it was tempting to only see how far I still have to go. I think that’s a trap we can fall into so easily on the healing journey, whether we’re dealing with things like autoimmune disease, weight loss, or anxiety. If we never stop to celebrate how far we’ve come, we’ll probably never make it to the finish line. Flare ups and mistakes can really suck the wind out of our sails, and there will always be those times. So when we make progress, no matter how small, we need to savor it!
You may not have a doctor who says, “well done!” But if you’ve got a strong support system you’ll definitely have people who will congratulate you! Take the time to tell the good news to the people who care about your progress. If you have a platform, share with people online about your journey. Shout it from the rooftops! Working toward health is a really tough process in which we have to make a lot of sacrifices. So every chance you get, celebrate progress. It will keep you going and help motivate you to continue working toward your goals.
I hope all of you are making strides in your health journey! If you have a thyroid disease and have any questions about the ways I’ve treated my Hashimoto’s, please contact me! My greatest passion is helping others overcome the overwhelm associated with making healthy life changes. Also, feel free to comment about your own progress and what’s worked for you! As I said, our stories encourage one another, so please share.