As a teenager, I was never still for a moment. Always on my feet, trotting hither and thither, bursting with energy. Skinny as a rake.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when that energy level started dropping, but it was certainly at least 15 years ago. I’d find myself feeling suddenly overwhelmed with fatigue, falling asleep if I sat down. Being a vegetarian I put it down to possible anaemia, and took iron tablets or tonics, which helped a little, but not a lot.
Five years ago I seemed to be asleep more than awake, always, always tired. Sometimes too tired to clean my teeth, to get dressed, even to read. If I started reading, I’d be asleep in seconds. Likewise if I sat in a parked car. Zzzzzzz
During a routine visit to the doctor a couple of years ago, I mentioned in passing that I was always tired and needed to buy some iron tablets. No, he said, you need a thyroid check. Which I had and which revealed that I was indeed suffering from hypothyroidism.
I’ve been on thyroxine since then, and haven’t really felt any better. My idea of a perfect day would be to stay in bed and do nothing. That’s neither practical nor possible. I drag myself around, plucking up a weed from time to time, loading the washing machine, cooking a meal, when in truth I’d sooner be sitting doing nothing. The tiredness is like a veil hanging over me, draining my energy.
Since we came to live in France, I’ve always bought natural Guérande salt, both in crystal form for cooking, and fine for seasoning. But having high blood pressure, I was told by the doctor to minimise my salt intake, so I use it sparingly.
Recently I was reading an article on hypothyroidism, and the fact that lack of iodine can be a contributory factor.
A couple of weeks ago I began taking iodised salt. Natural sea salt does not contain iodine. During the last week I have felt definite small spurts of energy. I’m less lethargic, less prone to falling asleep during the day, and also finding it a little difficult to get to sleep. Dare I hope that iodised salt could be the answer?
Bearing in mind the doctor’s stern advice to limit my salt intake, I have to balance the increased risk of heart attack against constant draining weariness. Thinning eyebrows, dry skin and the impossibility of losing weight I can cope with, but the fatigue really drags me down. So I’ll take the risk.