So my story starts about 2 years ago. After an extremely stressful week at work I gained 10 pounds in the space a 5 days and then broke out in hives. So, off to the doctor I went and they started by prescribing antihistamines and sent me off for some blood work to try to get to the bottom of where the allergic reaction came from. Within a couple of months I was diagnosed as having hypothyroidism and then the real battle started.
My doctor started me at the smallest dose of synthroid and then it was wait a couple months get more blood work done and up the dosage. This went on through a couple of adjustments and the months of waiting to see if the change in dose would help. The whole time this is going on I'm taking more and more antihistamines and waiting to get into an allergist. Once I finally did get into the allergist he tells me that this is not total uncommon with people who have hypothyroidism and that there's nothing he can do. I just have to keep taking antihistamines and wait for my system to sort itself out.
So in the meantime I finally have a blood test come back showing in normal range and I don't feel so bad so life’s good. If only, a couple months later my blood work is showing that I'm low again and another adjustment. In the meantime I'm gaining weight still and starting to sleep upwards of 12 hours on weekends. On top of which I've had to tell co-workers that if I don't show up at work on time, phone me because chances are I've slept in. It got to the point where I'd take my dog for a walk at night and the entire time we are out I would be ready to curl up on the nearest lawn and go to sleep.
Back to my doctor I go to find out what we're going to do. Basically me doctor tells me that my tests are fine now and if I'd just stop being such a couch potato I'd loss weight and wouldn't be so tired all the time. Then when I continue to push the issue she finally refers me to a rheumatologist of all people and a physical therapist.
In the meantime I'm getting frustrated and tired of feeling tired all the time. Never mind that my work is starting to suffer because I just can't concentrate anymore. So at this point I decide to take advantage of a program that my work has that will set you up with various therapists etc. free of charge. Best decision of my life. I meet with a therapist just a couple of times, got to talk about my problems and frustrations and she was able to offer some advice and thoughts on how to deal with things and alternative ideas.
So, I decided to go down my own path while still trying to go down the road my doctor was sending me on. I saw the physical therapist who couldn't find anything major wrong with me but recommended I talk with a psychologist who specialized in sleep problems. I met him once and what a waste of time and money that was. All he did was lecture me about bad habits, such as eating, drinking, smoking blah blah blah and charge me 150 dollars for the pleasure. I could have gotten the same thing from my mother for free.
At the same time I started doing some research on the web and found a naturopath who specialized in thyroid problems. I made an appointment and went to see her. Well this was the best thing that I have ever done for myself. She spent a lot of time getting my history and going over what had brought me in to see her. Then she explained an alternative treatment that could help me. The first thing I had to do was stop taking my synthroid and then start taking my temperature every morning 3 hours after I woke up and then 3 hours later and chart it. What an eye opener that was. My temperature was all over the place both on a given day and over the two week span that we did this. I was always considerably colder than you are supposed to be and occasionally boring on hypothermic.
Once we had this she started me on a new set of pills that are a time release T3 instead of the T4 that synthroid gives you. You start at a low dose work your way up and then go back down again. The hard part is you have to take the pills every 12 hours as close to exact as you can to make sure that you maintain the levels properly and don't get too much into your system. I still took my temperature every day and I had to watch my heart rate as T3 can increase it.
Well 3 days after I started this I woke up got a cup of coffee, sat down with the paper and all of a sudden realized that for the first time in months I was truly awake. Wow, I'd forgotten what that felt like and it was fantastic. I continued following her instructions and noticed as the days went on that first of all my temperature was stabilizing instead of bouncing all over the place and then it was rising towards normal. After a couple of months I was able to stop taking all medication and felt great.
In the meantime I met with the rheumatologist who was dumbfounded that my doctor sent me to her instead of an endocrinologist and couldn't find a single reason for me to be referred to her. So, she sent me back to my doctor with the recommendation to refer me to an endocrinologist. I told my doctor not to bother as I'd solved the problem myself. My doctor tested my thyroid function and it came back normal even though by this point I hadn't taken anything for my thyroid for at least a couple of months.
Since then I've been feeling great and doing good. At least until a couple weeks ago. I had an ultrasound done of my thyroid and a couple of nodules where found. I've since had a nuclear scan done and the nodules are functioning so it's not cancer but I have another appointment with my doctor later today and I'll find out what my latest thyroid test shows and what the plan is to deal with the nodules. I don't feel like there's much wrong with my energy levels but I do feel like I've had a pill stuck in my throat for the last couple of weeks and that concerns me.
Maybe I'll finally see an endocrinologist. Then again I may end up checking out alternative therapies to see what my options are. As I've learned already sometimes other therapies are better and one size doesn't fit all.
I'll keep this blog posted on the continuing saga of my thyroid and what ends up happening and how it turns out.
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