Thursday, October 8, 2009

VenanMoFo Day 8 - Hypothyroid

Most likely I've been hypo since childhood. I was born fat, was a round baby, toddler, youth and adult. I found out a few years ago that my thyroid was officially low over 20 years ago but the medical practice that I go to doesn't believe in treating anyone if their TSH is still below 10, and mine was 8 (normal range then was 0.3 to 5.5; the upper limit is a wee bit lower now on the lab slips, but the endocrinology associations want it reduced further still to 3.3). Neither of the docs in that practice believed that a sluggish thyroid contributed to my low pulse rate, high blood pressure, high cholesterol (well, high for a vegan, that is) or excess weight of over 150 pounds above the "healthy" range. Three years ago it hit 7 again and it took a student doctor showing my doc his endocrinology text book before my doc would write a script for the lowest dose of Synthroid possible. In the past 3 years my dosage has been up and down, my TSH has been up and down, and for a three month period last year I was even off all thyroid meds because of what I feel was a lab error (Somehow they had me going from 6 to 0.01 in 6 weeks with no change in dosage). This past summer I was finally switched to natural dessicated thyroid replacement and my dose was increased twice in three months and I was finally feeling human again.

Then my heart thing happened.

And my primary care doc got scared that the thyroid med may have contributed to it and immediately cut my dose in half. I asked the cardiologist about this and he said that's ridiculous, that having a sluggish thyroid may have contributed to it, not a well-controlled one, but my doc won't budge. My TSH is now back up to 5.8 but he refuses to increase the dosage back to where it was before, even though my blood pressure is again creeping up, my pulse is again dropping down into the 30's at rest, I can barely stay awake, everything aches, and my rosacea is making my face look like a hormonal teenager's. He said if my TSH is still down in 2 months when I have the lab repeated he'll increase it.

Of course, I'm still recuperating from the heart thing, going to cardiac rehab three times a week and leaving the place looking as if I just walked out a sauna. The nurses are getting upset because my blood pressure is higher than it was when I first started coming three weeks ago and it should be lower. They also noticed that I'm getting tired out much sooner and not putting as much effort into the workout as I was a few weeks ago. I explained to them about the thyroid. I have a feeling that one of them is going to make a phone call to my doc and give him hell, or tell the cardiologist what's happening and have him phone my primary care doc and have the dosage increased.

What has all this to do with VeganMoFo? I'm just too pooped to cook elaborate meals, or even most everyday fare, lately. My fatigue is causing me to nap at least 3 mornings a week after rehab and every day in the afternoon. I'm falling asleep while watching Jeopardy at 7pm, too, then waking up multiple times during the night, sometimes waking at 3am and can't get back to sleep before the 4:45am alarm.

Yesterday's stew was great - dump everything into a pot and let it simmer all afternoon. Today my guys are getting spaghetti and I'll eat some leftover stew, as I'm in no mood to make pasta sauce from scratch (none of the lower salt brands in the stores here come without oil or cheese in it). I'm not even making the bread for it - my husband will grab a loaf on the way home from work.

I know I just saw the doc Monday, but maybe I'll phone him later when he has hours and beg him again to increase the dosage. I can't keep this up for another 2 months!


  1. I hope you start feeling better! Nothing matters more than your health. Get well.

  2. It might benefit you in this crisis to check out this page on the patient-to-patient Stop the Thyroid Madness website: Because I'm wondering if you had other issues that caused that heart problem. Another good one is http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.comm/things-we-have-learned

  3. I'm well aware of STTM site, as well as Mary Shomon's writings. It was printouts from those sites that finally convinced my doctor to switch from Synthroid to Armour.

    But nothing is going to convince him or the other doctors in their practice to change their protocol, to treat to they symptoms, not the lab findings. This is how their grandfather and father did it before them, and this is how they're going to continue, unfortunately.

    And it seems that all the doctors in my area feel the same way, especially the endocrinologists, especially if the Free T3 and T4 levels are within normal ranges. "Sub-acute hypothyroid" is what they call it. There's nothing "sub-acute" about all my symptoms, that's for sure!