The majority of people with Hashimoto’s low thyroid are women, which means many moms are struggling to balance the demands of motherhood with their autoimmune thyroid condition. This can make mothers feel disappointed or inferior if they are not able to live up to their vision of motherhood due to fatigue, depression, and other Hashimoto’s symptoms. But perfection is unattainable, especially in motherhood. Even more, it’s possible your Hashimoto’s low thyroid may be developing good qualities in your kids. What’s more, some of the best functional medicine researchers and innovators today have helped thousands of Hashimoto’s sufferers, motivated and inspired by their mother’s autoimmune conditions.
Hashimoto’s low thyroid can cause fatigue, brain fog, depression, pain, and anxiety. Daily life may include long drives to other cities or states to visit the only doctor who understands how to treat Hashimoto’s. Your diet may be restricted and the house empty of processed junk foods and sugary drinks. You may have to spend one or two days a week devoted to batch cooking a week’s worth of meals to manage your condition, which means delegating chores to the kids. But none of this means you aren’t giving your kids love. In fact, these hardships may be making them better people..
A New York Times article explored how having a chronic autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s low thyroid can benefit your children:
Patience. Things move more slowly sometimes when you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid. This means kids learn to delay gratifications, which teaches them patience.
Flexibility. Having Hashimoto’s low thyroid can mean canceling fun plans when your thyroid flares up. Dealing with disappointment prepares children for the inevitable disappointments that are a part of life.
Self-sufficiency. When children have everything done for them they can suffer more when they move out on their own. The child of a Hashimoto’s mom has already been learning how to do their laundry, make their meals, walk the dog, clean the house, and so on. Adulthood won’t be as much of a shock as a result. Though difficult at times, learning self-sufficiency is a wonderful confidence builder.
Consideration. Having a mother with Hashimoto’s low thyroid teaches kids about the human suffering we all go through and that sometimes we need help.
Self-care. Hashimoto’s low thyroid means doing what you can when you feel good and resting when you feel bad. This teaches children why a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and other aspects of good health are so important.
Compassion. By seeing the person they love most suffer, children develop compassion, including for themselves. They may also be more understanding of grumpiness, impatience, or depression in others as symptoms of not feeling well.
Emotions. Having Hashimoto’s low thyroid can be hard work. Sometimes the fatigue or disappointment can be very emotional. Seeing a parent go through negative emotions around suffering can help children be more ok with their own emotional turmoil when it arises.
How to learn if you have Hashimoto’s low thyroid
Many patients are not diagnosed with hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s until after several years and going through several doctors. It is a demoralizing journey richly illustrated in my book The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, through real-life stories from patients in my practice. Managing Hashimoto’s goes far beyond using thyroid medication as you must work to stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid. For more information on identifying and managing Hashimoto’s low thyroid, contact my office.
About Dr. Josh Redd, Chiropractic Physician — Utah, Arizona, New Mexico functional medicine
Dr. Joshua J. Redd, DC, MS, DABFM, DAAIM, author of The Truth About Low Thyroid: Stories of Hope and Healing for Those Suffering With Hashimoto’s Low Thyroid Disease, is a chiropractic physician and the founder of RedRiver Health and Wellness Center with practices in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. He sees patients from around the world who suffer from challenging thyroid disorders, Hashimoto’s disease, and other autoimmune conditions. In addition to his chiropractic degree, Dr. Redd has a BS in Health and Wellness, a BS in Anatomy, and a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine. He speaks across the nation, teaching physicians about functional blood chemistry, low thyroid, Hashimoto’s, and autoimmunity. You can join his Facebook page here.