Thyroid 101 -Part 1-

Last week I made an appointment with a doctor to check up my thyroid levels, something I do about twice a year, since I have stopped taking medicine – I have had a hypothyroid for the last 18 years, and have been on Levothyroxine, until a couple years ago, when I got myself into the right lifestyle, made tons of research and learnt more about my condition and how to bio hack my own body, here is a little post I wrote about how I managed to get off medicine, last year. If you know me, you would definitely know that I don’t necessarily hold a soft spot on my heart for doctors….! I would never go see one unless I REALLY have to, for something major. I do however go twice a year to an endocrinologist to ask for some blood work. I know what I am looking for exactly, so I ask him to prescribe specific blood tests, I do the blood work, ask for the results to be emailed to me and that’s it. This time the endocrinologist I usually go to (who is fairly good, listens to me and tries his best to have a more holistic view that fits me and my philosophy), this doctor was on leave so I did a random google search, and came up with a random name. I figured since I only need specific blood tests that I can ask for, it should be fine. So I go to see this doctor, I tell him about my history with my hypothyroid, and I ask him for the following tests:

TSH

T3

T4

RT3

Antibodies

Iodine

And as I am getting ready to say my last required test (Vitamin D), he interrupts me, saying one word, that leaves me astonished! He said: “NO”!!!

Yes, he actually said NO!! he refused to write down those tests I have asked for, and said that a simple TSH blood test would be more than enough. He actually even had the guts to tell me that this was “ancient medicine” and that no one does those tests anymore! I really couldn’t wrap my head around what was going on! What the heck?!! I have lived with my Hypothyroid for the last 18 years! I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis disease- which is actually an autoimmune disease- so how is testing for antibodies ancient medicine when it’s an autoimmune disease that we are talking about?!!! I tried to be as kind as I could (and believe me it wasn’t an easy task; no one wants to deal with an arrogant doctor!!) I thanked him for his opinion, and said that I would be more comfortable if he did write those specific tests for me….He still refused! It’s not as if he were to pay from his own pocket, and even if he was worried about my own pocket, he knew that my insurance will cover the costs, so why not!???? I knew then that our conversation was hopeless, so I thanked him for his time and left his office swearing that I NEEDED to write another post about Thyroid, inflammation and hormones, so women who also suffer from their thyroid malfunction can understand their conditions better, and know exactly what they need to deal with in order to have a normal life. So today I will start a mini-series of posts about the Thyroid gland, how it works, how to fix the root problem and not just the symptoms, and how to have a normal life even with a malfunctioning thyroid.

 

Usually whenever you go to see an endocrinologist, for anything related to your thyroid, they would ask for a TSH blood test.  TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) blood test is used to check for thyroid gland problems. TSH is produced when the hypothalamus releases a substance called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). TRH then triggers the pituitary gland to release TSH. TSH causes the thyroid gland to make two hormones: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). T3 and T4 help control your body’s metabolism. In other terms, it is the hormone that tells the Thyroid gland that it should work (less or more depending on the body’s needs). Now let’s see how it works:

T3 and T4 are needed for normal growth of the brain, especially during the first 3 years of life. A baby whose thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone (congenital hypothyroidism) may, in severe cases, be mentally retarded. Older children also need thyroid hormones to grow and develop normally. Now that we know these two essential hormones, let’s talk about how they function in our body:

 

The function of the thyroid gland is to take iodine found in many foods, and convert it into thyroid hormones: T4 and T3. Thyroid cells are the only cells in the body which can absorb iodine. These cells combine iodine and the amino acid tyrosine to make T3 and T4. T3 and T4 are then released into the blood stream and are transported throughout the body, where they control metabolism (conversion of oxygen and calories to energy).

Every cell in the body depends upon thyroid hormones for regulation of their metabolism. The normal thyroid gland produces about 80% T4 and about 20% T3, however, T3 possesses about four times the hormone “strength” as T4. So while a very small amount of T3 is produced by the Thyroid gland, the rest of the T3 is produced in a different way. The liver finishes up the thyroid gland’s job, by converting T4 to T3. However, in order to convert T4 to T3, the enzyme 5’- Deiodinase is required, and to activate this enzyme some minerals are needed such as: Selenium.

 

So, in order to determine if you have a functioning Thyroid gland or not, the process is much more complex than just having ONE blood test done. And that’s JUST the Thyroid itself, without even talking about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune disease, and needs many other tests to detect it, other than the famous TSH blood test.

 

In my next post we will talk in details about Hashimoto, and other autoimmune disease related to the Thyroid gland, then on a third post I will be talking about how nutrition CAN reverse many autoimmune diseases if done right.

 

Almost 90% of the women I know are suffering silently from a hypothyroid, which is a disease that sucks life out of you, and turns you into someone you don’t want to be. It is strongly linked to depression, Lupus, infertility, and many other autoimmune diseases. While doctors only want to cover the symptoms by prescribing a synthetic version of T4 (such as Levothyroxine), the inflammation will still be there destroying every ounce of your thyroid gland, then move to destroy other vital organs. And if your liver isn’t doing a good job converting T4 into T3, you will still have a malfunctioning Thyroid gland even if you are taking your prescribed medicine. Therefore, it is crucial to fix the underlying problem rather than treating the symptoms only.

Stay tuned for Thyroid 101 (Part 2)

 

Ouiam

 

Nagging With Style!

 

 

 

Hello friends, so it has been a while right? Life has been FULL, isn’t it always full though? It’s crazy how no matter how you think you can balance it all, you always have to cave in, and admit defeat since the day is only 24hours long, and you will never ever get a minute extra!

 

So today I would like to talk about a very important topic, a topic that we- mamas- talk about a lot, especially on those rare girls’ nights out, that we get to have, once every blue moon; where we seem to take every opportunity we land on to exchange funny stories about all the crazy things our husbands do, and let’s face it we all have at least one of these stories that usually end up with some serious eye rolling and a bit of tongue twisting. Yes we laugh at each other’s husbands, and we all yell in solidarity with each other: “What the hell do they know…these husbands!?” and we leave at the end of the night a little more lighter and a little less bitter about those same stories we joked about; however, those stories and many many more happen on daily basis, we always have something to complain about when it comes to our significant others, and that’s exactly what I want to talk about today.

 

No one starts a marriage thinking of the hard times this same marriage is gonna go through, no one starts thinking about all the downs that will face this union, no one thinks about the natural, and inevitable consequences of living together under the same roof and leading the same hectic, stressful, unkind life we all live nowadays. We only think of the romance and the passion that usually and in most marriages fade after few years or after having the first baby, for the very simple reason: Life happens!!! We get busy, we get caught in the dark web of life’s excruciating demands, and we forget that there is a little seed that we need to nurture and keep close to our hearts, for the many years to come.

 

In a marriage, when you know a person inside out, and you know their weaknesses and their strengths, their perception of themselves and the way they like to be, their soft spots and their multiple selves, isn’t it enough data to embrace that human being fully and acknowledge their presence in your life just the way it is? The way they are and not the way you want them to be? Isn’t it enough to pass through and beyond the little details, such as who did not take the trash out last night and who left the front door open or who lost the only existing house key..? The answer might surprise you indeed!

 

I would like to think of it as an invitation to experience and test each other’s humorous side. What if we turned every fight and each argument into jokes? Just like we joke about them days later with girlfriends. Why don’t we try to find the funny side instead of calling out every dark thought we could get our “hands” on? What if we make that wicked, evil, irresponsible, forgetful husband of yours burst into a fit of laughter with each and every complaint you blurt out? Are you reading these last few lines out loud wondering what has happened to my sanity? Well it’s very simple: Humor is a very powerful tool that if used right can get you anywhere you want, in a very relaxing and fun way, so why not take advantage of that? Why not take at least one burden off your shoulders and deal with the biggest source of stress in our lives so lightly, softly and in a way that will definitely have a positive outcome for both parties: Husbands aaaand wives?!!

 

 

Life already does surprise us with few slaps in the face every now and then, and that to me is enough stress and discomfort any one should deal with. So when we don’t really take ourselves and each other so seriously, and let room for some fun and laughter, we discover a new level of satisfaction and fulfilment, of understanding and contentment.

 

So ladies, roll your sleeves up, and show those other halves of yours how women can crack jokes about that forgotten trash, that unfixed light bulb, those groceries that were never done and all those little things on the list that were never checked….Never done! Take a moment to breath and to remember that those little things are not the essence of your life together, they are not the true meaning of your story. Just breath and make fun of each other and make some space for all the new wrinkles on both your faces, from all the laughing you will be doing, that will mark a new start, and a completely different level, in your holy bond.

 

Ouiam

Disneyland Done Right!!

 

Alright, so just to clarify things: There is really nothing you can do right while having a toddler at your feet, for very obvious reasons-well it’s a toddler we are talking about- but we can definitely make things go smoother, aiming to minimize any collateral damage.

 

Last month we traveled to Paris, the city of love and pastries, yet we were aiming  for a different kind of adventures. My genius husband had come up with a fantastic plan, in just a couple of days of researching “Where to go on a holiday with a toddler” –yup he is this cool! And he soon announced that we were to visit the one place on earth where you can pretend to be a kid, and no one will have a problem with that. I was mostly excited that my 3 years old son will finally meet his number one idol, the one and only Mickey Mouse! Yes Mickey the Mouse himself! The trip was going to be 5 days (or so we thought, little did we know that adults also can’t get enough of that magical land!). From the airport we headed straight to Disneyland filled with excitement and joy. I really didn’t know what to expect, after all I had never been to Disneyland before!

I would say, to do Disneyland right, you ll first and foremost need one thing: MY HUSBAND (just kidding lol). He really did such a great job researching and figuring out all the tips, dos and don’ts, and thanks to him we had a wonderful experience, so through this post, I will try to share his wisdom with all of you out there 😉 Here are some of the tips that helped us greatly:

Download the Parc de Disneyland® app: It’s a MUST!! It gives you all the info you need while in Disneyland: The location of the rides/games, how long you ll need to queue for, where to get food/ice cream from…etc!

 

Make sure you choose the right season to visit: as obvious as this might be, it can also be tricky. In Summer prices are obviously very high compared to winter, however, in winter it might be too cold especially if you are with kids, in addition to the fact that in winter some rides can be closed for maintenance. So you really have to choose carefully.

 

The park opens its doors at 10am, but you can aim to be there at 9 or 9:30am. First because the road from the doors to the actual park is very long, then because you would like to escape the crowds, and do at least one or two rides before you start queuing for crazy amounts of time.

The majority of the park’s visitors choose to go with the flow: clockwise around the park, try going against the grain: either go anti-clockwise or start from the back of the park (make sure to pick up a map or use the app) and work your way forward.

If your child is less than 3 years old, he/she gets a “child’s rate”, but you will be required to show proof, either his passport or birth certificate.

 

If you are new parents, make sure you use your ‘Baby Switch’ priority. If you’re bringing along a baby, you can definitely ask for a ‘Baby Switch’ card at the entrance. This will allow one of the two adults to queue up, while the other looks after the baby. And once the ride is done, the other parent can use the card to re-visit the attraction, this time without having to queue.

 

 FASTPASS: Quite simply, the best way to avoid the queues. Available to pick up as you go in, these special FASTPASS are valid for only an hour, so in order to fit the most into your day, I suggest picking up passes every two hours or so. You can move between the two parks as and when you wish. Some rides aren’t included in the FASTPASS scheme, so make sure to check out the list of those that are, beforehand.

 

You can rent a stroller for your toddler, at the entrance, for 20Euros. If you want to use it freely between the 2 parks, you can add a 50Euros deposit, and you will get a paper that you can show the staff at the entrance of each park in order to move freely between parks.

 

Now remember, you will be doing lots of running around, queuing, and walking, so NO HEALS!!  Choose your most comfortable shoes! You will also need to be wearing comfy clothes, that will allow you to move freely. Hats are a MUST too!! Especially for kids.

 

SNACKS!!!!!!!!!! Stock up on them! You will need them all day long! It also makes the wait much easier, especially with kids. Besides, everything there costs an arm and a leg, so you might wanna fill up that backpack. You can even pack a light lunch just in case the queues are too long and you (or your toddler) are too hungry to wait.

 

Be aware that some shops actually close at 6pm so always check what time everything closes (again, you can use the app for that).

 

If your kid is a Mickey Mouse junky –like mine- then make sure you don’t miss the “Mickey Mouse Club House Show”, available in both French and English, at the Walt Disney Studios.

 

Usually around the closing time (One park closes at 7pm and the other one at 11pm), The crowds tend to die down, so keep one or two rides in mind for that last hour.

One of the best rides that our whole family enjoyed was “Ratatouille”!! So so much fun. You will also find there one of the best restaurants in Disneyland: “Bistrot Chez Remy”, where you’ll get what it feels like to be a rat in a big restaurant lol.

Instead of Five days we stayed a week, this is how fun, and enjoyable Disneyland was, to all of us, not only to my 3 years old son!! We loved every minute of it. After that week, I sure had blisters and missed my sofa so so much, but it was aaaaaaaaaaaall worth it!

 

Ouiam