The Thyroid Diaries

At the age of 19, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease – an overactive autoimmune thyroid disorder. This is my journey with thyroid disease, along with other health related posts.

The Thyroid Diaries

Prescription: Wine


I once had a doctor “prescribe” wine for my anxiety…

Between the end of 2009 and somewhere in 2012, my anxiety hit an all time high. To the point where by the end of 2011 I had a three month stint on Xanax, and before I hit 30 I said, “hello” to high blood pressure medication.

I quickly learned that Xanax – was not my way of life. The tiniest dose, cut in half, still left me completely numb. Life lived it a trance, if I was awake at all – It just wasn’t for me. Especially when I *knew* the HBP and anxiety were both spawns of my nonexistent thyroid.

The sick circle of life, everything was connected.

After trying all the things, month after month, my doctor – who I have seen for more than half of my life – sighed while shifting his glance from computer to me as he swiveled his chair. The shift, from doctor to friend, was enacted…it was the middle ground of “You’re struggling, I know. But medication isn’t the answer…” without ever saying those exact words.

“Do you know that the Italians and French have some of the lowest stress levels of any country?”

I did not, and I shook my head to show him that I had none of that knowledge while he continued…

“They have a way of life – la dolche vita – ‘the sweet life’ or ‘the good life’ – it’s a life of pleasure…without any worries. You pretty much have that…” and I shook my head in agreement this time. My life was awesome, I just couldn’t breathe.

He paused…then, “Red Wine.” 

I perked up as my eyes met his, “Do you like it?” He asked. I assured him I did, “This might be your answer then. A glass of red wine whenever you feel the world creep up on you…the Italians and the French…they work to live. Do that. Don’t live to work. Find time to sleep and refresh. Don’t apologize when you need moments to yourself – that is who you are, and sometimes that person needs quiet reflection. Take care of yourself first – before anyone else – ENJOY each moment as it is, BREATHE, and…” he made sure our eyes met, “Have a glass of red wine.” 

Perhaps that isn’t the “best” medical advice to give someone…but, to this day, it is the best advice a doctor has ever given me. 



La dolche vita.

read more