I have some exciting news! We have an amazing new Health Blogger who will be appearing on the blog. Nadia Stennett is an absolute wealth of information and has been featured in a lot of top publications including CLEO and Cosmopolitan magazine. In today’s post she will be talking about something that most women experience but have no idea what on earth is happening and sadly, most doctors don’t either -Thyroid issues. Experiencing weight gain, fatigue and depression and you have no idea why? Nadia experienced these same issues too and after heartache and a lot of money spent to find out why, she finally discovered what was going wrong all along. I urge you to read on…
Nadia Stennett is a writer/columnist/author-in-the-making with a focus on health and wellbeing, a topic she found a passion for after undergoing her own health issues. When she’s not eating or talking with her mouth full, she’s giving her ten cents worth in the pages of CLEO, Cosmopolitan and Women’s Health & Fitness Australia and sharing her healthy, guilt-free treat recipes on her blog, nadiashealtholution.com.
Guest Post by Nadia Stennett from nadiashealtholution.com
My personal ‘healtholution’ (a term I’ve fondly invented to describe the journey to true health) began rather innocuously.
After years of unexplained health issues spanning from digestive complaints to hormonal and mental health issues as well as mounting unexplained weight gain, and hundreds of wasted trips to doctors who told me I was ‘normal’ (despite feeling as though I’d had a run-in with The Hulk), I eventually made the tough decision to leave my office job as a deputy editor for a glossy magazine and take my health into my own hands.
Giving up on GPs who continuously sent me away or told me to take anti-depressants (convinced I was delusional), I stumbled upon an incredible natropath, at Alkaline in Potts Point, who immediately tested my adrenals and found they were almost burned out and urged me to seek out a holistic endocrinologist for further testing.
The specialist performed a Thyroflex test – currently the most accurate system for measuring thyroid fuction in the world – widely used in Europe and the U.S, it’s frustratingly not recognised by most Aussie GPs and conventional specialists.
The test showed that my adrenal fatigue had pushed my thyroid over the edge and put my body into a state of hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland slows down. It was a life-changing revelation after dozens of tests with GPs that had always come back telling me my thyroid was normal.
The thyroid, located in the neck, is essential to the functioning of almost every system in the body, foremostly, your metabolism. When it slows, so does your metabolism. A slow metabolism forces the brain to make serious ‘budget cuts’ to compensate for the lower level of metabolic energy it has to work with. This tends to mean slowed functioning of the brain, digestive and endocrine systems. Prolonged stress caused by dieting, over-exercising or emotional strain is all it takes for the thyroid to start to shut down.
After years of wasted doctors appointments, specialist bills, operations and pills, all it took was a simple prescription for natural thyroid extract (made from dessicated porcine – yep, pig! I still have to try not to think about it!) to start to correct the disordered hell that had been happening inside of me for so long.
Unfortunately in Australia today, our understanding of thyroid health is seriously lagging behind the rest of the world. Most developed countries have already changed their test ranges to recognise that women can suffer these issues in a much wider result range than initially thought. Our range for ‘abnormal’ is still incredibly narrow in comparison, and subsequently it’s now estimated up to one in five Aussie women are suffering undiagnosed hypothyroidism.
I’m now a huge advocate for thyroid health, wellbeing and nutrition. Like Peta, food has played a major role in my journey to healing, and I’ve learned to distinguish between health food ‘hype’ and food labelling lies and simplify my diet back to nutritious, organic, unpackaged foods that continue to support my recovery. And I’ve combined my love of good food and spreading the health message working as a freelance health writer from home as I continue to heal and share my recipes and discoveries on my blog, nadiashealtholution.com.
If you’re going through your own health battle, and are suffering frustrating trips to your doc, you may like to research hypothyroidism and seek out a skilled specialist who practices Thyroflex testing. Here’s a list of some of the common symptoms you could be suffering if your thyroid is under-functioning:
• Menstrual issues
• Water retention
• Puffy ‘moonface’ appearance
• Hair loss
• Thinning eyebrows
• Brain fog/confusion
• Dry skin
• Inability to lose weight
• Unexplained weight gain
• Acute bloating/stomach distention
You can find my specialist recommendations and healthy living tips on my blog.
Check out Nadia’s Facebook page too! She often shares tips, recipes and little gems of information that you need to know!