This post is a long time coming, I'm sharing the full story behind my thyroid condition.
Thank you Walgreens for sponsoring this important conversation.
In the last few months, I've shared a bit about my thyroid condition. Want to know what blew my mind? How many messages I got that a lot of you were struggling with similar health issues. My thyroid condition story is a long one, and I feel like 27 years after my initial diagnosis I have a firm grasp on being an advocate for my own health needs.
Health Struggles: My Thyroid Condition
While a lot of women are diagnosed with a thyroid condition as adults, this was not my experience. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at age 13. During middle school, I had symptoms that stood out to my family and my pediatrician. I had consistent extreme fatigue, I was ALWAYS cold (I distinctly remember being on a family trip to Hawaii and shivering in a heavy sweatshirt half the time), and regardless of being fairly active (I used to take ballet classes 5-6 days a week), I seemed to be gaining weight at an alarming pace. Independently, these symptoms may not have stood out. But all together? I felt awful. This was more than teen angst or hormonal shifts. Something was WRONG.
After a LOT of bloodwork and monitoring, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. And I have to be honest, I'm so grateful that it was recognized at this young age. In many ways, I was equipped to be an advocate for myself as an adult. My thyroid condition effected my fertility and ability to carry a pregnancy to term (and I'm so glad I already had a team in place as we tried to start our family), and it effected my own postpartum recovery (thyroid conditions can effect milk production and hormonal balances after pregnancy).
In contrast, I can tell you……in hindsight, as a teenager and into my early twenties, I didn't take my condition as seriously as I should have. Did you know that nearly 100 million Americans do not follow their prescription requirements correctly – either because of forgetfulness, inconvenience or lack of education? And that 33% of prescriptions are never filled? I definitely fell within these statistics. And the more time I have lived with my thyroid condition, the more I've realized the importance of truly understanding my medication and how to take it correctly. This allows me AND my medical team to analyze each step or adjustment, and allows me to live with minimal symptoms.
One of the tools in my toolbelt as I live with my thyroid condition? The Walgreens app. It has a pill reminder feature that helps me to stay on track, and the option to chat with a pharmacist 24/7. I love that my questions can be answered easily!
And I'm happy to say, yes I live everyday with my thyroid condition…..but lately? I'm feeling pretty great!