Hello, lovers. You’re in for a treat this week; a guest blogger! Meet Dr. Rachel Sterry, who very kindly agreed to write this super helpful post. Enjoy …

headshot3I recently picked up a copy of, Crime and Punishment, written in Dostoyevsky’s native tongue and didn’t understand one damn word. In the interest of full disclosure I should probably tell you that I’ve never studied Russian.

Sounds a little ridiculous, I know. But how is it any different from understanding a diagnosis, it’s implications and recommended treatments with the guidance of a doctor who has 5-10 minutes to devote to your entire healthcare experience?

Having been on both sides of this coin I’m going to take a moment and offer an apology on behalf of all of the healthcare professionals out there who have made you feel ignorant and unheard.  Secondly, I would like to offer guidance so that the next time you’re confronted with health challenge you don’t suddenly feel like your body has started speaking a completely foreign language.

Specifically, I’d like to share what I can about the thyroid.

Not only because it’s one of the most under-diagnosed and underestimated parts of the body, but also because it’s an area that I’ve had to come face to face with myself.

In the interest of time and space I have chosen to touch upon the key points in understanding the thyroid gland. Have another area that you are burning to better understand? No worries, I’m only an email away.

Ok, back to the thyroid. This is an area that effects many women and is often skimmed over by the mainstream medical community, being treated with a pill, a recommendation for repeat lab work in 6 months, and a pat on the back. I’m not saying that this isn’t a valid means of dealing with negative symptoms, but I would argue that this is far from treating the root cause of the imbalance.

Here’s the translated version.

Your thyroid gland is a key player in the regulation of mood, temperature, digestion, metabolism…The most common condition effecting the thyroid is due to an autoimmune disorder (Hoshimoto’s hypothyroidism) that causes all of the above system to slow down, leading to symptoms such as depression, constipation, fatigue, and weight gain.

Not only is the incidence of this condition on the rise, but its’ occurrence is 10 times more likely in women than men. Let’s break that down a step further. The gland that ensures you are able to maintain homeostasis is 10 times more likely to be attacked by your own immune cells if you are a woman.

Why?

Well, if you’re like most women who walk through my office door, myself included, you can relate to how much easier it feels to put your head down and push through instead of asking for help. And, if you dig a little deeper you might also be able to admit that this tactic leaves you feeling overworked and overwhelmed.

As women we often pride ourselves on being superhuman…laughing in the face of balance, swallowing any frustrations or requests we might have to maintain the illusion of perfection. So, is it really any surprise that the thyroid, a gland sitting right in the middle of our throat, is so susceptible to self-induced destruction?

Just consider how it would feel to put the full force of your abilities behind yourself.

Think how it might change your daily experience if you made sure to take care of you in the same way you care for everyone else. There is no need to continue to stoically suffer in silence. Using your voice is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of incredible self-assuredness and strength.

For those of you shaking your head in disbelief I would ask you, how many times have you chosen not to say something because you didn’t want to upset another person, or thought it would be easier to allow things to continue rather than make a fuss in advocating for any changes?

If you found yourself nodding your head in agreement at anytime then I’m willing to guess that you need to start a practice in self-advocacy. A practice that will start right now, with your commitment to using the word ‘no’ at least once daily. This is actually harder than it may sound. It requires that you turn off autopilot and sit with the requests of others before contorting yourself to please each and every person that knocks on your door.

Take it from me, if you are unwilling to make yourself a priority no one else will either.

We all deserve to feel supported, loved and healthy and that starts by recognising the connection between each of our actions and the reactions they cause in all of the thousands of cells in our bodies.

My invitation to you, and millions of other women around the world, is to find the strength to stop doing it all alone. Ask for some help to allow for the support needed to do more than mask symptoms, the support needed to begin true healing.

Dr. Rachel Sterry is board certified Naturopath and Primary Care Physician in the State of Oregon. She has worked with hundreds of women who want to feel like themselves again without more medication. For more information visit: http://DrRachelSterry.com

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