Dreams Cut Short: The Real Reason the Holiday Season Exhausts You

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Catherine Hughes

Director of the 8 Women Dream Project at 8 Women Dream
Catherine’s dream is to make 8 Women Dream the premier online publication for women looking to pursue their dreams. She is a published author, a freelance writer, and a guide for those who want their dreams to come true online. Catherine would someday like to be invited to speak at TED about her observations about her 8WD project inviting women to take a chance on their dreams. Wine was required... Catherine posts on Sunday evenings and fills in dream stories as needed. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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Abnormal Thyroid Scan

Today I am happy to share some space on 8 Women Dream for a woman who helped me change my life. In 2003 I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, a hereditary disease that lead to my hypothyroidism. I was pretty sick when I stumbled upon the website, Stop The Thyroid Madness in 2004.

Until that fateful day, I thought the way I was feeling was my fault, but the truth was that the medication protocol I was on was keeping me sick. After spending 12 hours reading everything on Janie Bowthorpe’s website, I asked my endocrinologist for Armour thyroid medicine — something more than the T4 synthetic medication I had been on.

He said yes, and my friends will tell you that changing my medication change my life. I was able to get up off the couch and take on the world. Because of this experience I decided to start 8 Women Dream. People need to be encouraged to get up of the couch and fight for their dream lives!

Coming in 2012 on my personal website, A Week in the Life of a Redhead, I am going to share my journey of exploring what it takes to get your body back after hypothyroidism takes over.  We’ll do it together.  I look forward to sharing this journey with you.

I want the world to understand what Oprah, Gena Lee Nolin, Linda Ronstadt, Mary Shomon, and others are going through with their Hashimoto’s disease — except have the story be told by a single mom raising her son and fighting this disease on her own.  If I can do this — you can do anything!

Stop the thyroid madness

Here’s the first of what I hope to be many shared stories from Janie Bowthorpe and her dream to Stop The Thyroid Madness


Undiagnosed or Under-treated thyroid problems may be the reason

December is a time for celebration! There are gifts to be wrapped, decorations to hang, parties to attend and food to be cooked. It’s no wonder that along with holiday cheer, we also feel just plain exhausted.

But being exhausted during the holidays may not be as normal as you think. It could be your thyroid, even if your doctor has pronounced you “normal”, and even if you are already on medication for a thyroid problem.

Two reasons for the holiday blues

For years, thyroid patients have reported being left undiagnosed or under-treated due to the TSH lab test (the medical gold standard of thyroid testing), or they have been forced to cope with lingering hypothyroid symptoms by being placed on the oft-prescribed “T4-only medications” like Synthroid. (The problem with that? The thyroid makes 5 hormones, not just the one.)

Even worse, your TSH lab test can remain “normal” for years before it rises high enough to reveal the hypothyroid state you’ve had all along. So you live your life in the so-called “normal” state, yet you are tired, or gaining weight, depressed, or seeing other health issues crop up.

Once treated on a T4-only medication, a huge body of thyroid patients are left to cope with a myriad of symptoms then band-aided by more meds (i.e. Prozac for depression), in which case the holidays are only happy for the pockets of the pharmaceutical companies.

How to bring the “Ho! Ho! Ho!” back to the holidays

If the holiday hustle and bustle saps your energy or even leaves you feeling blue, the best gift you can give yourself and your family this season is an education on more effective thyroid testing and treatment. If you suspect your thyroid is an issue, don’t be afraid to request proper testing from your doctor.

Buy Stop the Thyroid Madness

On www.stopthethyroidmadness.com, you’ll find out about thyroid patient experiences with a far superior medication and better labwork, plus you can learn how to discover and treat other problems related to being left hypothyroid–adrenal fatigue, low iron, low vitamin and mineral levels, and more.

Janie Bowthorpe, M.Ed., is the spearhead of a patient-to-patient movement revolutionizing the thyroid community and founder of Stop the Thyroid Madness, which started as a website and is now the number one-rated book on thyroid disorders. Visit www.stopthethyroidmadness.com

And a special shout out to PR agent, Elaine … thank you.


  • Flo

    Western medicine, for the most part is all about making money, which means patient care falls to the wayside, period. The goal, in my opinion, and speaking only for myself, is finding an integrative doctor willing to work with me to feel healthy. Many thyroid patients, myself included don’t feel healthy. Yet, by implementing nutritional changes, I do feel better. I do feel that I am on the road to being healthy again and living with my thyroid disease. Great story.

  • Katie

    Brave you are to share this story and journey.

    I am all for shedding light on this issue, as it’s something that plagues every woman in my family. I will share this with them, too.

    Thank you!

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  • I would also add that there is a thyroid “look” to people experiencing thyroid disease before they are diagnosed. I notice that many of us have these “moon” or round faces and if you catch us right in a photo we look like we are saying “ahhh” in a tired sigh. It’s like we are there .. but not really there.

    There is also a lack of motivation that comes which seems to split your personality. Your body wants to sleep, but you cannot relax and your mind is going a mile a minute. You have emotions that don’t go with who you really are and sleep is never rejuvenating — no matter how much you sleep.

    I also started getting male-pattern baldness which was completely reversed when I got on Armour thyroid. A friend of mine just went into the hospital to have her thyroid removed and they found she was extremely deficient in vitamin D — another common problem with thyroid sufferers.

    I am hoping that all of us together can raise awareness of this disease and we can find a cure.

    Thanks for stopping by! And thank you to all the thyroid advocates out there — you are amazing!

    8 Women Dream