Switching Thyroid Meds…again

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It’s been awhile since I gave an update on my Hypothyroidism journey and to be honest, that was in large part because I wasn’t sure what else to say.

This summer I was more intune with my body and how I was feeling than I had been in years.  When I got strep throat I was able to pinpoint the cause as exhaustion even before I actually got sick.  Both my stress levels and physical activity increased significantly causing a bit of adrenal fatigue and imbalance in cortisol levels.

One of the things I have had to learn over the past few years is that internalizing situations and trying to handle things myself has not worked.  I need to ask for help and be wise about what I say yes to.  The reality in life is that there are unavoidable stresses.  Having children, dealing with the sale of a house in another state, renters who aren’t great about paying rent and instead vacation is their priority….these things happen.  At the same time, not giving myself margin in my daily life giving no room for reaction or adjustment to a change in plan can certainly add unnecessary stress.

Whether it was in response to my stress this summer, the fact that I’ve lost even more weight, or just a natural adjustment, I began to find this summer that napping was again part of my daily routine.  My nails were brittle, my hair was falling out and I my emotions were a bit more extreme.  All this was a hard to attribute specifically to my thyroid at first because I was teaching swim lessons 4-6 hours each day, and chlorine can be a bear on our bodies.

A blood test confirmed that my T3 was yet again out of range and comparison wise it was actually worse than the last time a blood draw was done.  It seems that Armor Thyroid itself is not going to be be enough to keep my thyroid functioning so a new medicine has been added.

Cytomel, a specific T3 synthetic seems to be the aid I need right now.  5 days in I’m thinking clearly again and no longer crave that late afternoon nap.  There are side effects related to this drug when the dose isn’t correct, but for now things seem to be fine.

As I reflect on this additional change I have a few recurring thoughts.

Concerns: First, I have to admit, this is my second football season adjusting to medicine.  Football season itself can be our most stressful time of year and I’m disappointed to still be dealing with medicine adjustments.  Secondly, I’m a bit nervous to be on a synthetic drug.  Levothyroxine is a synthetic and is the cause of my thyroid decline.

Positives: It’s hard to trust a synthetic after having such good results with Armor.  At the same, time, I’m feeling better, and it’s always good to feel good!  I’m still losing and maintaining weight.  2 Augusts ago I was in a 16 by October and 18/20.  Last August a firm 14 for pants still and XL for shirts.  This August I’m in a firm 10 for pants and shirts really vary, mostly a M/L.  Some XL’s on name brand tight fitting cuts.

Where do I go from here?  My doctors have begun to disagree about my weight.  My OB/GYN says I’m fine where I’m at as long as my thyroid stays stable.  My endocrinologist says another 20 lbs will keep me stable longer and help me feel my best.  It’s hard to imagine what another 20lbs would look like, but until my thyroid levels stabilize again I’m not arguing on weight.

I’ve begun to crave sugar again, likely due to my exhaustion.  This is complicated because I have registered as insulin resistant in the past.  Nutrition wise I’ll be working to get my sugar intake back under control (no small feat during football season) and I’ll also be monitoring my gluten intake as well.  One thing that has come up in the past month specifically is consistent symptoms that may be related to a building gluten intolerance.  Of course, bread can also add to insulin resistance symptoms, so it’s possible bread and sugar are simply giving the same reaction.

Hypothyroidism is a life long battle for many, it seems I fall into that category.

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