The New Mom Epidemic – And What You Can Do About It

We are moms, and we are always tired, right?  We juggle a million little things a day, not the least of which include raising little ones and running a household.  We also work in and outside of the home with countless responsibilities on our shoulders.  It’s no wonder we have no energy.

Many new moms experience symptoms of fatigue and sluggishness following the birth of a baby.  While some of these symptoms are common after pregnancy – after all, your body has just created a human being – sometimes they can become debilitating and just don’t go away.  They limit our ability to function and lead us to ask, “What is the matter with me?”

There is a staggering epidemic on the rise affecting millions of new moms.  It is not all in your head, and there is something you can do about it.

Lifeworks Wellness Center reported:

On a global scale, a staggering 200 million people have problems with their thyroid glands, with over 50 percent remaining undiagnosed. In the U.S. alone, the instance of thyroid disease is running close to epidemic levels.

This small bowtie-shaped gland produces several hormones in both men and women, the two most important being triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones help convert oxygen and calories into energy, making the thyroid the master gland of metabolism. The hormones are also essential for the proper functioning of all our organs, including our heart, musculoskeletal system and brain.

Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding cause major hormonal changes in our bodies, and very often, women deal with what is referred to as postpartum thyroiditis — often nicknamed the “new mom” disease.”

Some of the more common symptoms other than fatigue include weight gain or inability to lose “baby” weight, brain fog, muscle weakness, dry skin, sensitivity to cold, hair loss, and even extreme depression.

Aviva Romm, M.D. even states on her blog,

Moms tell me that postpartum hypothyroidism is like taking care of a baby with one hand, and pushing an 18-wheeler up Mount Kilimanjaro with the other. Impossibly exhausting.”

Often after a few months postpartum, hormones level off and return to normal.  But for many women, their thyroid never recovers and they fall into chronic hypothyroidism.  And because women’s hormone levels fluctuate more than men’s during their lifetimes, hypothyroidism occurs in women in far greater numbers than men.

Very Well reported:

Postpartum thyroid dysfunction occurs in 1 of 12 women in the general population worldwide, and 1 of 17 women in the United States.While some women spontaneously recover by the end of the first postpartum year, a recently published article based on a large-scale study in Italy reported that 54% of women with postpartum thyroiditis have persistent hypothyroidism at the end of the first postpartum year.

But why is hypothyroidism becoming such an epidemic, especially in the United States?

While hormonal levels and genetics certainly play into development of the disease, many researchers are coming to the conclusion that our toxic way of life is the culprit.  The processed foods we eat, the toxic products we use every day, and everything we are exposed to in our environment can all work to destroy our thyroid glands – and every major function of our body’s systems along with it.

Hypothyroid Mom reported:

The 4 most common causes of thyroid issues are tied to what we eat, drink, breathe and put on our body.Toxicity – environmental, pesticides, water, heavy metals, Mineral deficiencies – iodine, selenium, Food intolerance – gluten, dairy, lectins, sugar, GMO, and Hormone imbalance – hormone disruptive chemicals in makeup, fragrance, hygiene products, high cortisol levels due to chronic stress, excess carbs, too little quality fats.

All of the above create inflammation. Inflammation causes pain and other nasty symptoms making life rather miserable.

Hypothyroidism is often misdiagnosed.  And if it is diagnosed, it is often not properly treated.  So what can women do if they suspect they have a thyroid issue?

First of all, any woman should see their physician and advocate for themselves.  A Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) lab test seems to be the golden goose for doctors, but this test does not tell the whole story.  Ask your physician for a full thyroid panel, and let them know you want real answers.  Many women find the overly prescribed synthetic thyroid hormones do little to curb their symptoms.

Because diet is such a factor in the body’s interference with thyroid production, experts agree that real foods with lots of good fats, like Omega 3 and coconut oils, and protein is key.  Gluten and sugar have been identified as inflammatory, and many women see improvement when purging them from their diets.

There are also several recommended ways to help boost thyroid hormone production naturally.  Iodine, Selenium, Vitamins B complex and D, Zinc, and Ashwagandha have all been reported as beneficial to symptom relief and return of energy levels.

And rubbing properly diluted essential oils like Lemongrass, Clove, and Frankincense on the skin is another technique being used by many women to stimulate the thyroid naturally.

While chronic hypothyroidism is a life-long condition for most women, you can minimize its impact by living a healthy and natural lifestyle.  There are many resources available online with advice from real women who have learned what works.

Above all, listen to your body and advocate for your health.  Because thyroid disease is increasingly common, physicians tend to treat it in the same fashion for everyone.  By eliminating inflammatory foods and toxic substances in your home, you can find what works for you.

Have you been diagnosed with hypothyroidism?  Leave us your thoughts, and continue to check in with Mommy Underground for great tips on leading a natural lifestyle!

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