Welcome to Candidly Vixxen, my weekly blog post sharing my journey back to true health with you. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in my early twenties. Fast forward to my mid thirties and my health has has gotten even worse. After doing research I have determined that I am most likely suffering from severe adrenal fatigue. As a result I chose to start working with a Functional Medicine Practitioner to regain my health and my life. So join me in my candid journey, I’m sure we will both learn a lot along the way.
Growing up, my mom suffered from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. When I got into high school they started to test me once a year to check for the same thing. It was then that I learned that it is hereditary for women in the family to develop thyroid issues if a direct female relative like your mother had it. I eventually developed the same condition by my early 20’s. However, I began to experience symptoms of the condition for two years before my results finally confirmed that I had the same condition. You can’t imagine how frustrating it was to watch my health decline and have the doctors do nothing about it because my results didn’t say so. After going to different doctors and firing a few of them, I eventually found one who appeared to listen to me. At least I thought he did. I didn’t know too much about my condition at the time, I just knew that I had gained a bunch of weight and lost my naturally curly hair that I really loved.
My weight eventually reached 170 lbs at 5’1. You can imagine how big I was. In fact, you can see how big I was on my “About Me” page if you’re really that interested. The endocrinologist I was seeing at the time had regulated my thyroid with synthroid and cytomel. He also added a weight loss medication called phentermine. I lost 40 lbs with the phentermine. The bad part was that I hadn’t learned a damn thing about changing what I ate or getting any exercise in. Pretty sad coming from a girl who was on the swim team growing up. Once I had lost the weight, I got a breast reduction. Unfortunately the weight had come off everywhere except for my chest. I literally looked like I was going to fall over. Getting the reduction was one of the best things I did do for myself. Following the weight loss and the reduction I enrolled in massage school. Once I graduated, I went to work for a fitness club and spa. This is where I met my friend Nathan, one of the personal trainers, who introduced me to the paleo lifestyle. I didn’t really take the lifestyle seriously till a few years ago, but I definitely have him to thank for it.
I spent the next 6 years working with chiropractors and their patients full-time. During that time I decided I wanted another challenge and decided to go back to school to be a paralegal. I went back to school full-time while working full-time. I was the top student in my class, being very competitive and never stopped for one second. This, however, is what killed my health without my knowing it.
Before things started to decline, I got into boxing and doing TRX for my workouts. Turns out that I was pretty good at boxing. It definitely beat getting on a treadmill to get that cardio in. I even went to Hawaii for my best friends wedding where I went hiking, snorkeling and swimming with the manta rays. I was having fun living an active lifestyle. But, gradually my energy levels started to go down making it hard to keep up with my workouts. Eventually the workouts stopped altogether and life basically came to a stop for me. I started to experience a total lack of energy, muscle loss and muscle fatigue, weight fluctuations, slow metabolism, tendonitis in my wrists, change in the texture of hair and more hair loss. While everything I have already described really sucks, that’s not even the worst part of it all. The worst part of it has been the massive brain fog and cognitive issues that have developed. Imagine waking up after having had a full 8 hours of sleep but still feel like a zombie. You’re body is awake but your brain isn’t. Having been the top student in my legal classes, I was very skilled at legal research to argue certain points in a case, or form legal theories based on the facts. I was also very good at legal debates. Having been so good at these things you can imagine how frustrated I am when I can’t remember things from two seconds ago to several weeks ago. Or, trying to recall the proper words while in the middle of a conversation and then fumbling them like I have a speech impediment. I truly have never felt more stupid in my life like I do now.
After three years of just sitting on the sidelines of my life and watching things get worse, I finally decided it was time to do something about it. I recently started listening to podcasts during my free time. I happened to be listening to The Model Health podcast with Shawn Stevenson one day. He was interviewing a guy by the name of Evan Brand. Evan Brand is a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and blogger known as Not Just Paleo. After listening to the podcast I realized that I was already following Evan (and I say this loosely) on instagram and Facebook. I just hadn’t paid that close of attention to him before. So I looked up his website and scheduled a free 15 minute consultation. We got on the phone where I discussed my medical history and everything I am currently experiencing. I decided that I would give him a shot and see where things lead. Prior to my first appointment with Evan, I took an assessment test that asked all kinds of questions. This assessment would give Evan an idea of what kind of issues I am dealing with aside from what I had described.
As you can see from the graph, I am dealing with several issues. I really wasn’t all that surprised by the results when I saw them. The next step is to take a saliva test. A saliva test is a 24 hour test where you spit into a tube at different times of the day. The lab tests your saliva for your cortisol levels to see where your highs and lows are. Typically, your cortisol levels should be high in the morning and tapering off throughout the day so you can prepare for bed in the evening. I should be getting my test kit tomorrow. Once I take the test and send it in, it will take about 3-4 weeks to get the results. Again, I am not going to be surprised if the test reveals that my adrenals have completely bottomed out at this point. I think I will be more surprised if it says the opposite. When Evan gets the results, he and I will then discuss the types of supplements I will need to use in addition to how we will structure my diet.
I think I better wrap this post here. Next week I will probably discuss what I have already been doing for myself based on the research I have done on my own as well as what my diet currently looks like. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section of the blog post below. Also remember to follow me on Facebook and instagram so you can keep up with Candidly Vixxen and everything else that I am up to. Thanks for taking the time to ready my post and I look forward to seeing you next week.