Hypothyroidism Sucks

Some of you may know that I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism last year.  Even fewer know that the treatment hasn’t been working very well, and that I continue to struggle with overwhelming fatigue…especially when under stress.  And getting a novel ready in time for its release date is extremely stressful.  At least in Enza’s case, since many things that could go wrong did go wrong.

And so I have been slacking off a bit (a lot) on visiting other blogs, my own blog, and Twitter.  When there’s no energy to spare, you have to get efficient at prioritizing.  What is the most important thing on the to-do list?  Right now that’s Enza.

But that’s not all.  I’ve been researching, trying to find anything that might help me feel better (since the medicine regarded as the gold standard by physicians is having so little impact).  Hopefully some of the things I’ve discovered will put me back on track.  Until then I’m just going to keep sucking down a variety of supplements, napping when I need to, and trying to reduce the stress in my life.  And really hoping that I don’t have to go back to a gluten-free diet, because that sucks, too.

If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism, or know someone who has been diagnosed with it, the following video is worth your time to watch.  The Mayo Clinic lists symptoms that include:  fatigue, unexplained weight gain, constipation, dry skin, puffy face, muscle aches, and painful joints.  Other symptoms include brain fog, fluid retention, inability to lose weight (even with a low-calorie diet and exercise), decreased libido and hair loss.

In other words, hypothyroidism can adversely affect your life in almost every area.  Not everyone with the disease is going to experience all of the symptoms, but fatigue seems to be pretty universal…and is always at the top of every list I’ve ever come across.



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16 responses to “Hypothyroidism Sucks

  1. That sucks Kristy. I know how just one symptom can derail a day, but there’s so many things that can mess you up with hypothyroidism. My grandmother, mom and brother were all diagnosed with it–so i get tested every year. I hope you can find something to help you get back in balance!

    • It’s good you get tested, Coleen. It does seem to run in families. My mom has it, and I’m pretty sure my sister does, too, but she won’t go in to be tested.

      And I will find something that works. Much as I hate the thought, I did feel better gluten-free so I’m starting back on that on Monday. After a gluten orgy this weekend, lol. 🙂

  2. Katrina

    I’m sorry this is happening to you. Hang in there, my prays are with you.

  3. I am so sorry you are dealing with this Kristy. What a horrible feeling to have. I went through a period a year or two ago when I felt that way and it really sucked. I can’t imagine feeling that way most or all of the time. My thoughts and prayers go out to you. Sending you my best wishes.

  4. Shelly Immel

    Hi, Kristy. I’m hypo, too. Thyroid medication comes in many forms. If one medicine doesn’t work, you can try another. I prefer Armour Thyroid, which is not synthetic. My body knows the difference. Maybe yours does, too. (You can find a doctor to champion any medication, and do it with utter confidence. If the med you’re taking isn’t right for you and your doctor won’t change it, consider checking out a doctor who will. It’s YOUR health, and you are the captain of that ship.)

    Also, dosing is very idiosyncratic. Even going by test results isn’t the most accurate way. If you feel bad, you could try adjusting the dose a tiny bit, up or down, and see if there’s any improvement.

    And for added fun, the optimal dosage isn’t always exactly the same. Changing dosages is tricky, so I take the same amount all the time, but I can tell there a months when it’s not quite enough…and then it comes back into line.

    So sorry to hear you are having trouble with this! Something else to look at with any hormone imbalance: is your body not producing enough? or is it not using what’s produced properly? It might be time to try treating the root cause, if you can find it.

    Wishing you much better fortune as you balance your priorities (oh, I hear you on that!) and seek better solutions!

  5. Fascinating information. I’m not hypo, I don’t think. but now i’m going to have to check things out.

    • I didn’t think I was either, Louise. In fact, I was fairly surprised when the doctor said I was. I had just gone in to have my vitamin D levels checked because I don’t like being in the sun, and I sure don’t drink a lot of milk. So she decided to check my TSH.

      I’m not sure what your symptoms are, but mine was just the overwhelming fatigue…and I couldn’t lose a pound no matter how hard I tried (four months, zero cheating the last time before testing).

      It’s worth getting tested if you have problems with either of those things (or both). Just pay attention to your test results and don’t go strictly by what your doctor says. Apparently there are new standards that say anything over 3 is hypo, but many doctors still go by the ‘old rules’ that say anything over 5. Mine was 6 so there was no question.

      Something else to know is that TSH is not the best test for it. I guess free T3/4 and thyroid antibodies (?) are the best but most doctors won’t test for them, and of those who do, they still hold the TSH to be the the most important.

  6. Anonymous

    I just started Armour 3 months ago. Doc just added cytomel..some days I feel okay to better….today, I feel all terrible symptoms. I’m just so tired..headachy..and so on. I think eliminating gluten whether you have celiac desease or not, is probably right on. I can hardly wait for relief : ) taking one day at a time, being patient and positive as possible, I’m sure is key. Video was cool. Thanx. Theresa

    • Hi, Theresa. It’s nice to meet you! Have you given u p gluten? When? I know when I first gave it up last year, it took a couple of months before I saw much of an improvement. I’ve ‘fallen off the wagon’ a few times…once because of a hot dog (and I don’t even really like them), and the second time because of a raspberry bismark. Both times led to a few months eating everything gluten. But I found out quickly that I must have some sort of allergy. When I eat it more than once a week, I start retaining fluid and getting out of breath easily (from the edema). So, slow learner that I am, I’m going to really limit the gluten from now on. It takes a couple of weeks to get back to the new normal.

      As for the thyroid treatment…in nearly a year and a half, my TSH has only been in the optimal levels twice, and both times just barely (at the top of the scale). It’s never once been near the 1 or 2 it should be for me to actually feel better. I’m going to have to do some research on the Cytomel.

      I know the things that help me the most, and this has been through trial and error. You can read about it at my other blog if you want. It’s kind of a diary, mostly for me, but just to keep track of what works and what doesn’t.

      I take a tablespoon of expeller pressed coconut oil 30 minutes after my Synthroid now. I try to remember to do that three times a day, but am only good about that first one. You do NOT want to take it within about 4 hours of bedtime though, or you may be counting sheep a lot longer than you planned.

      I’ve also gotten very diligent about taking women’s multi-vitamins, along with a B-complex, at least 1 time-released B12, digestive enzymes, and a couple of months ago I started buying dessicated adrenal supplements from Amazon. Adrenal fatigue seems to go hand-in-hand with hypothyroidism.

      Just be patient. I’ve learned that my doctor doesn’t know everything, and I continue to research and tweak what I’m doing…because feeling good again is one of my biggest goals right now. I hope you find some things that help you feel better, too. 🙂

  7. rachael

    I was 17 when diagnosed which was a month ago with hypothyroidism and Celia disease when I was 16. The worst part for me is the weight gain and depression. Any tips?

    • I wish I had some tips for weight loss, Rachael. I know the 5:2 diet (modified fasting at 500 calories for two non-consecutive days a week) can help. I’ve done it, but the Gaia Adrenal Health (mentioned below) needs to be taken twice a day with meals so it’s kind of hard for me to do this diet.

      As for depression, I found that what I thought was depression was actually thyroid-related fatigue. I can’t advise you what to do, but I can share what I do. I do ALL of this without running it by my doctor, which probably isn’t really smart, but what I do has been after much research.

      Organic coconut oil (preferably virgin or extra virgin) can really help with fatigue, and if limited to 2-3 tablespoons a day, it won’t cause more weight gain. The liver uses it immediately. I got through several pint jars a year, and just recently started buying 54 oz. canisters of it.

      Vitamin C is a major help in making me feel better, and I try to take 500 mg at least twice a day. I also take Alive! women’s vitamins (with iron), B-complex, B12, B6, and Gaia Adrenal Health. I’ve recently added chromium picolinate and100 mcg selenium.

      Vitamin D3 is very important, and most people (according to the Vitamin D council) who live north of Atlanta are deficient. I take 5000 i.u. a day, along with a CoQ10 (and a little fat-containing snack) so they absorb correctly.

      I also take a lot of acidophilus, and try to remember probiotics.

      Something a lot of people wouldn’t do is organic vinegar (I use Bragg’s) with the mother. Two teaspoons in a bottle of water sipped throughout the day can make a big difference in energy.

      That’s pretty much what I do. I wind up taking something – or several somethings – roughly every two hours while I’m awake. It’s the only way I can function.

      Oops. I forgot. I take a magnesium product called Natural Calm once a day and try to do 2 tablespoons of beef gelatin powder twice a day. It’s like Knox Gelatin – no flavor. I buy the Great Lakes brand that doesn’t gel up and add juice once it’s dissolved. It’s a good source of protein.

      Okay. That is all I do. Again, I don’t recommend anyone try any of this without checking with your doctor. That said, most doctors (and nutritionists) aren’t much into supplementation so they probably wouldn’t approve of what I do. But I’m over 18 and tired of feeling like I need a nap two or three times a day.

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