Fill that cup and come sit with me…
It’s time to finish our little “Thyroid” journey and share all of the great stuff I learned:)
Then, you don’t have to do it all alone … if ya have to do it at all. I’ve got ya.
So, we talked about the need for you to advocate for yourself – and, how tough that can be at times, right? I mean, here you are in that sterile little room waiting for the white coat to come in and tell you exactly what is wrong and exactly what to do to cure it.
Okay, not so much.
YOU know how you feel. And, he/she really doesn’t. They are looking at numbers they’ve memorized in medical school (what…30 years ago) and applying them to you right now….and, according to those numbers, you are not feeling tired, fat, unable to summon energy, etc. They are going to give you some T4 (Levoxyl or some generic version thereof) and say that you will be ok.
But, here’s what you can do.
First and foremost, read all you can about thyroid in general. Try not to jump into one exact diagnosis or another. Soak it up. All of it helps.
Then, take action. Talk to family who’ve had thyroid issues. Reel in some pals who’ve dealt with it too. Ask questions….LOTS of them. And keep asking them.
Next, try the T4 that you’ve been given. How do YOU feel on it after a month or so? Did it put any sort of dent in your fatigue? Are you still losing hair and enjoying those brittle nails? Really notice … if there is NO change, it’s time to take a more aggressive stance.
I finally (after lots of specialists and PCPs…) found a physician who would really listen. Sadly, this is a rarity. Push and ask until you find one. Remember, they work for YOU – not the other way around. Try them out and if they don’t work – FIRE THEM. Keep moving…the right one is out there.
LEARN YOUR NUMBERS. But, more importantly, learn how it feels when you begin to feel better. And, learn THOSE numbers and feelings.
I had to “guinea pig” it several times. Now, I have a big advantage in that I have The Good Doctor at home so I could bounce my ideas off of him.
As most of you know by now, I went back to school to pursue my passion….I wanted to know why some of us age better than others. I wanted to know why food is as important in staying/aging well as movement is and how it all affects our brain and gut. So I began to research. What a surprise!
Our thyroid has control over SO MANY of our functions. As does our liver.
But, one of the most interesting parts of this journey was that going through Menopause was akin to jumping off a cliff … without a parachute.
That once you lose estrogen and progesterone everything goes haywire AND those in the medical field are just not trained to help you navigate the road.
Ask about Hormone Replacement and what it might offer you as you age. Don’t be afraid. The “studies” they often refer to were done YEARS ago and often had the WRONG types of patients in them. I use HRT and it has made my life a happier spot.
Okay, back to the Big T – Try T3 (Cytomel) if the T4 jazz isn’t working well (know that your T4 may need “tweaking” – higher dose / lower dose….it can take a while to get this regulated). You will have to beg and gravel to get it…..but, if you are like me and it works, you will hear angels singing. It’s not a quick fix even with a saavy doc.
My physician, Dr. Celinde, listened AND was open to doing what I wanted to do in finding my correct level of medication. I wanted to reduce my dosage and wait 3 months before taking more blood work and adjusting the medication. I then wanted, if I felt better – to add T3 to assist with conversion of my T4 for more energy.
Because my overall numbers (they are ascertained via bloodwork/labs) were great, she was open to letting me roll with my request.
I am so thankful for this kind doc who sits and listens patiently and tolerates my endless ranting about new findings. The brutal reality is that medicine has been taught in roughly the same manner since 1955….and, in most cases, remains that way today. I asked some fresh-faced, new residents about Nutrition being taught in medical school today…they get about a week’s worth.
Now, to be fair, schools like Cornell, Stanford, Harvard and in the forefront of studying the effects of nutrition on illness…but, we need more.
If you have medical concerns you may not be able to “push your plan” forward. .. PLEASE, as always, chat with your favorite medical professional before doing anything new with meds or with experimenting.
My journey took 2 years and too many “doctor interviews” to arrive at a point where I felt “back to normal” again. I’m hoping some of these tips will save you time on your journey. But, most of all, I hope you don’t have this particular journey to fix:)
Wishing you healthy living and a HUGE smile,