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The Hypothyroid Elevator Speech

Many people suffer from hidden diseases. These are diseases that can be debilitating to the sufferer yet are invisible to the eye of the observer. Illnesses of the endocrine system, auto-immune disorders and chronic fatigue situations are all examples of hidden diseases. Hypothyroidism falls into one or all of these categories, which results in the need to explain the disease and symptoms to others.

Sometimes I’m so tired and foggy that it seems nearly impossible to explain what low thyroid is all about, however, it is important to do. People need and want to understand what I am going through and it is my responsibility to let people in my life know. One of my most prevalent symptoms has been an inability to think clearly at times and certainly to express my thoughts into words since the area formerly known as my brain has morphed into mashed potatoes. I have made several attempts to explain hypothyroidism to people, only to leave out important details, confuse the situation entirely and of course completely forget what I am saying mid-sentence. So to make things easier on myself as well as the person who was kind enough to ask about how I’m feeling, I have decided to construct my very own hypothyroid elevator speech. This way I can succinctly explain the basics in 60 seconds or less.

“I have hypothyroidism which means that my underactive thyroid does not produce enough hormones. These hormones affect many functions in the body including the adrenals, the ovarian system, the brain, metabolism and others. This results in a vast array of symptoms, many of which are not noticeable to anyone else. Some symptoms are physically apparent, like weight gain, muscle loss, hair loss, thinning of the eyebrows, dry skin and in some cases like mine, melasma which is a hyperpigmentation on the face. Symptoms that might not be so easily noticed are fatigue, migraines, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, extreme cold, joint pain, breast tenderness and dealing with heightened emotions. Many other symptoms exist as well and this is one of the reasons why it can be so hard to diagnose. Luckily, I have been recently diagnosed after dealing with this for many years and am on treatment. My treatment includes thyroid hormones, progesterone, multiple supplements and a specific nutritional plan. It can take a long time to feel better so I just take it one day at a time. I have to make sure that I get plenty of rest, otherwise I can be set back for a while. Please realize that it takes a lot of effort for me to just do regular things. Even though it might not be obvious, I’m exhausted much of the time. I make sure that I chronicle my symptoms and how I am feeling often so I can see a timeline of my progress. This allows me to tell what is working and what I need to modify. In the past five months since I started taking medication, some of my symptoms have gotten much better. I am grateful for people like you who want to understand this. The best thing you can do to support me is just simply be there with love and kindness. I will do my best to let you know what I need. I really appreciate you.”

So that is my attempt at my hypothyroid elevator speech…perhaps a bit longer than 60 seconds. Best used for an elevator in a really tall building I suppose. Hopefully just having an outline will help me better explain my situation to people. I’ll see how it goes and adjust when needed.

How do you explain a complicated situation to people in your life?

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.zenthyroid.com/2012/04/25/the-hypothyroid-elevator-speech/

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  1. Goddess in the Groove

    Good Morning!
    I just saw this, have you ever looked into David Wolfe? He would fit in with your diet too :).
    http://www.thebestdayever.com

    He talks of the importance of thyroids.
    Greetings,
    Heike

    1. Mikelle

      Hi Heike (my type O sister!)~ Thanks for your comment. I saw David Wolfe speak several years ago and went 100% raw shortly afterwards. He is truly brilliant. Unfortunately, I did not follow his plan entirely and ended up essentailly starving myself of nutrition as I liimted my caloric intake to the bare minimum. I believe this caused an enormous strain on my body, especially my thyroid. I was not aware of his thyroid info and I am looking forward to seeing what he says can help. I really appreciate the tip!

  2. Elaine

    This is great! Makes it so easy to understand what is going on for you and helps me be a better friend. I thought the last line about the really tall building was hilarious!!

    1. Mikelle

      You were a pretty great friend to begin with 🙂

  3. Janelle

    Hi Beautiful Mikelle, I had no idea of your struggles. Thanks for giving me a glimpse with your 60 second elevator speech. I am glad to read of your path toward healing and I have no doubt you will take on healing with the same zest you do for all other endeavors. I look forward to reading more and using our blogs as a way of reconnecting. I just got back from a wonderful Mindfulness Meditation retreat – I remember thinking, Mikelle would love this and now I know you are practicing and I am sure benefiting.
    Much love,
    Janelle

    1. Mikelle

      Much love to you too, Janelle. Thank you for reading my blog! How wonderful that you were able to take the time to do a retreat. With a full time job and two (beautiful) very young children, I think it is fantastic that you gave yourself time for self-care. I look forward to hopefully reading all about it on your incredibly inspirational blog.

  4. Kelly

    Check out Ray Peat and/or Danny Roddy and/or Matt Stone. Especially Peat, who while a little too strict diet-wise, knows all about what makes the thyroid worse, and what helps it.

    You’ll be shocked, but his suggestions include SUGAR, and avoiding most vegetables, especially those high in beta carotene, which inhibit thyroid hormones.

    1. Mikelle

      Hi Kelly. Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate the info and like hearing all points of view. I checked out the three people you suggested and while definitely controversial, they all make interesting points with facts to back it up. Without question, I believe that there is not just one way, one path, one diet, one protocol, one anything that can be applied to everyone. We are all so unique and it is crucial for us to each listen to our own bodies to determine what we need to nourish ourselves. I have also personally realized that this can and will change. What was best for me last year is commpletely different this year – it is an evolution. I try to keep checking in with myself so I can stay on top of what my body needs to function best, particularly as my thyroid and hormone imbalances heal. There are so many schools of thought on what is the best way to eat and reading what others have to say can gift us with so much wisdom. We can take what we need from each one and create our own perfect plan. Thanks again for taking the time to post some info that was new to me.

      1. Kelly

        You’re welcome. It’s new info to me too, and goes counter to most ‘experts’ advice online, but at least it does seem to be definitely helping some folks.

        As you suggestion, we’re all different, and will have different needs at different times in our lives.

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