I get asked this question quite frequently. I thought it best to put my answer on the blog, so more of you can find it easily.
As you may remember, my health started declining a few years ago. I was constantly exhausted and anxious. I gained weight and couldn't get rid of it no matter how hard I tried. (Thankfully I'm feeling better now.)
Watching what I ate and exercising did absolutely nothing.
The weight is what first clued me into the possibility. After a while of beating myself up about it, I realized that I really was working hard, I wasn't a slacker, and there just might be something wrong.
I looked at my efforts and concluded that my current state of health and weight did not reflect my actions. Something was up. But what, I wasn't sure.
I read a little about thyroid health and did think that was a possibility, but there were soooo many possibilities, I just wasn't sure.
My inability to lose weight started bothering me extensively and my irritation and exhaustion levels skyrocketed. It was then that I figured I'd better go and see someone.
I went to see my Naturopath and she ran a basic wellness profile blood test.
It showed my TSH (Thyroid stimulating Hormone) was too high. This meant my thyroid was working overtime trying to produce enough hormones.
The test she ran was this one from Direct labs (you can order it yourself, if your doctor won't). It's just a basic wellness profile.
After that, I requested a test that would look at my thyroid antibodies. I had done some research and knew that Hashimoto's may be the problem.
Sure enough, it came back showing my TPO (thyroid peroxidase) was waaay to high. In the hundreds (when it should be below 50).
My naturopath practices functional medicine. I have since found a doctor that also practices functional medicine.
In general, they will search for the root cause of any health issues, rather than simply medicating and moving on. (Not to say they don't offer medication, just that they also look further.)
If you can find a doctor that practices Functional Medicine, I highly recommend it.
You can see if there is one in your area by searching this database.
So, that's it in a nut shell.
Looking back, I can see many warning signs, such as eczema, and IBS, but I didn't know then, what I know now.
I also ate a ton of gluten and have since been tested to find that I am gluten intolerant! I'm sure that didn't help matters.
If you can't find a doctor to run tests similar to these, you can order them yourself through Direct labs (if it's available in your area). I've done it many times and am thankful for the ability to test when I want and what I want!
(This is not a commercial for Direct Labs 🙂 I've just used their services many times!)
I hope that's helpful!