In this series I have talked about my negative experiences with sports bras as a youth soccer player, D-1 college soccer player & personal trainer.
Aside from my competitive sports experiences and working as a trainer another battle I have faced regarding “boob problems” is managing a condition called Hashimoto’s disease, also known as Hypothyroidism, a condition I developed at 16 years old.
At the time this was a relatively odd condition for a 16 year old to develop. I was sure I had cancer or some life threatening illness after seeing tons of doctors who were unable to diagnose what was wrong with me. Then one day we finally met with an endocrinologist who recommended I have my thyroid tested. What they found was unheard of. My results showed that I basically had no thyroid function so they ran the tests 3 more times to be sure. I was quickly referred to a world renowned specialist Dr. Nathan Becker who was likely to have seen it all. However, he couldn’t believe it. Dr. Becker wondered how I could even muster the energy to get out of bed each day let alone be playing soccer.
What I learned in this appointment was that I was going to be put on a medication for my entire life. There was no cure for Hashimoto’s disease and medication was my only option, especially due to the nature of how far my condition had progressed.
In my case my symptoms included weight gain, unrelenting fatigue, extreme joint and muscular pain and bringing us back to the point of a better sports bra, SWOLLEN & TENDER BREASTS.
Now that I am pregnant I can honestly say it was as if you were in a constant pregnant state. It took approximately 10 years for my thyroid numbers to balance themselves.
During that time my breasts were terribly heavy, tender and large and in charge. Making it excruciating to sprint in soccer without proper support. In addition to my “boob problems,” our training sessions would leave me with such significant joint pain & muscular pain that I would go overkill on my icing methods by sitting for way to long periods of time in trashcans filled with ice. At times I ended up with mild burns all over my body from overdoing the recommended time.
It was terribly frustrating trying to compete at the D1 with thyroid condition. The rigorous nature of the sport and level at which I was playing was not allowing my body to heal and leaving me with a consistently low thyroid.
Roomie, Best Friend & bridesmaid, Lauren and I in Costa Rica for pre-season training.
I eventually began seeking further medical attention and tried all sorts of alternative methods from acupuncture to going gluten free and for the first time I was seeing a significant change. No one at the time knew what a gluten free diet was though. People were so annoyed by me all the time asking what was in my food. Going out to eat was near to impossible. Turns out though there is a big connection between thyroid disease and gluten.
By the time I became a trainer I was running into a similar problem. The hours I was working and on the go nature of my job left me feeling stressed, anxious and unable to take care of myself the way I wanted and needed to.
My struggle managing my thyroid and the pain I experienced from playing college soccer with a poor functioning system and ergonomically incorrect bra lead me to where I am today. It is from these trials and tribulations with my health and performance that I committed myself to a lifelong exploration to better understanding the human body.
If you have any lady friends with a thyroid condition, here are a few thyroid resources that changed my life that I highly recommend sharing.
It is truly amazing to me how our life experiences can lead us to what we are meant to do on this planet. In a way I feel like I have experienced everything that can go wrong and learned everything that can go right.