Guest blog: Lizzy’s story Pt. 2
Chapter 2 of a 3 part series
After 10+ years of feeling abnormal, I was totally fed up. I did the endo trip every 3/6 months for 10+ years and I still felt crappy… this after doing everything I was supposed to! I was eating healthy and I did exercise 3x a week. To be honest though, there were days when I barely could exercise and trust me, I cheated wherever I could when I felt bad – there is a great DVD called “Yoga for the Rest of Us.” It is designed for disabled and the elderly, – I felt disabled and certainly elderly! Anyway, .there came the time when I no longer trusted my “team” of doctors. I started reading more “thyroid-related” websites & forums (border-line obsessively!) and I found out the Synthroid medicine I was taking was only working on the T4, which is the inactive thyroid hormone/ and not the T3 which is the active thyroid hormone. Synthroid is a synthetic. Apparently, Hashimoto’s patients often experience T4 to T3 conversion problems. I learned that “we” need that T4 to T3 conversion to feel and be well! So there was my ah-ha moment: “If you have been on a T4 med only for any length of time, but still do not feel well, the addition of a synthetic T3 med may be helpful. Switching to a desiccated thyroid brand has helped many as it already contains both T4 and T3.” (This is where my University study came in – I agreed to take the non-FDA approved Desiccated Thyroid hormone replacement (which contains the T3/T4 combination).
At first, I was really confused about Hashimoto’s vs. Hyper & Hypo Thyroid. The best explanation I found was on the “Thyroid Sexy” FB Website so I’m quoting here: “Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease. Hypothyroidism is the result of it. Hashimoto’s antibodies slowly destroy the thyroid gland by the autoimmune “attack.” In the process, it is possible to experience symptoms of “hyperthyroidism” as the gland “struggles back to life”, (even more so when on hormone replacement) but eventually the gland becomes non-functional, rendering one completely hypothyroid.” And…. “The majority of thyroid illness is due to an autoimmune disease, whether it’s Hashimoto’s autoimmune induced hypothyroidism, or Graves’ autoimmune induced hyperthyroidism.”
A side note reads: **you can have Hashimoto’s and test negative for the antibodies on blood tests. Some ways that can determine it, is FNA of a nodule (Fine need aspiration) ultrasound and a biopsy of tissue post partial or total thyroidectomy surgery. An ultrasound is recommended for any patient with a diagnosis of Hashimoto’s/ hypothyroid to determine if there are nodules, goiter etc. ‘Most’ nodules are benign, but malignancy needs to be ruled out. ** I did have an ultrasound and repeated the test two years later – both ruled out any abnormalities.
The other paragraph that really stood out to me and made TOTAL sense was: “The best way to determine your thyroid hormone levels are the Free T3 and Free T4 tests. That is the actual circulating thyroid hormone available for cellular use. If you’re seeing a Dr. who insists on diagnosing and/or treating you based solely on the TSH test, it’s time to find a new Dr!”
Test you need to ask your doctor for:
Reverse T3 (Not all practitioners test this, ask)
For Hashimoto’s disease – Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb), Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TgAb)
For Graves’ disease – Thyroid Receptor Antibodies (TRAb), Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulin (TSI)
TIBC (Total Iron Binding Capacity)
Reproductive Hormones (If you are a woman who is still menstruating, the reproductive hormones should be tested 19 to 21 days past the first day of your last period)
This next note really speaks to eating healthy in the first place BEFORE considering any changes in medications! I started eating healthy in 2012 – before that I was on a career high and eating on the run constantly! NOTE: **If your iron, ferritin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 are too low, you may have trouble with thyroid hormone replacement. They need to be in optimal ranges for your body to tolerate and utilize thyroid hormone properly. Low or high cortisol (adrenal hormone) can present a problem as well. Cortisol levels should be at the highest when you wake in the morning and gradually come down throughout the day, with the lowest level between 10 and midnight. An 8-9am and 4-5pm serum cortisol test is recommended. A 24-hour saliva cortisol test is even better. Reproductive hormones also need to be balanced. Thyroid, Adrenal and Reproductive hormones all go hand in hand. When one is out of balance, it can throw the others out of balance. **
I apologize for not quoting sources. All quotes are on the Thyroid Sexy FB page which was compiled from various sources. I tried to follow sources but elected to just quote one source for less confusion and to save space. Less confusion more so than space. Ha!
Stay tuned for Pt. 3 of Lizzie’s story. The final chapter and big reveal 😉
Follow Lizzy on Twitter @LizzieTishy
Follow me on Twitter @TrueLifeDiva1
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