Long Journey to Health

I am totally off the digestive tract this week but I know if I don’t just blog about the thing that is nearest and dearest to me I will simply not publish anything this week. I will at a later date return to digestive health issues but would ask your indulgence dear reader and listen to my journey to thyroid health thus far.

Thirteen weeks ago I began a rather tortuous process of clearing a Reverse T3 (RT3) issue. RT3 is basically ignored by health care professionals but those with longstanding and under treated thyroid disease know or should know that RT3 is a real problem. I first heard about RT3 from Janie Bowthorpe in her book and on her website “Stop the Thyroid Madness”. When I read this statement “A small percentage of thyroid patients, who are treating their adrenals to the best of their ability, continue to have symptoms which imply they are making far too much RT3. Those include the subjective experience of feeling toxic as they raise their thyroid medications, or simply having problems with raising. Or, as patients report firsthand: not quite feeling right, strange reactions, not getting benefits like others do.” a light went on for me. In the past whenever my blood levels were checked I was always being given an increased dose of , at that time, Levothyroxine, and then I would literally feel toxic, racing heart, nervousness, shaky hands, toxic with a capitol T.

These may soon be your best friends if you have a Reverse T3 issue coupled with weak adrenals

Armed with this bit of knowledge from “Stop the Thyroid Madness” I began investigating the issue of RT3. Somehow I already felt better knowing it wasn’t my imagination, I wasn’t crazy or inferior to everyone else I had a problem. The best place to go if you suspect you may have a RT3 problem is a Yahoo! Group discussion led by one Val Harly and her assistants Nick and Margery, so I headed over to that group and literally hung out reading everything people had to say and learned a veritable encyclopedia of information and most of all I eventually learned I had a RT3 problem. How did I find out about my RT3 issue  you might ask?

You first need to request a RT3 test (I recently had my daughter request a RT3 test and she, too, has a bad ratio of 9 even worse than mine) and most doctors will not even request it, so find one that will. My functional medicine doctor was willing to make the request but when the results came back his written comments were “ok-no Wilson’s Syndrome” so I  quit just  lurking on the discussion group and got involved. I sent Val my  RT3 number and my FT3 number and from that a ratio can be determined. What my doctor had said was “okay” was anything but. To have an optimally functioning thyroid you want a ratio of 20 or higher and mine was 12 indicating a RT3 problem. I was taking thyroid hormones, even natural dessicated thyroid hormones, but they weren’t actually getting into the receptors and making me feel better.

This is week 14 for me and finally things are getting better but it has been a journey and one done without a medically licensed professional. I think this was one of the scariest moves I have ever made and I still have days when I wonder if I have done the right thing. I love to exchange ideas with people with similar medical issues but I have found it impossible to share ideas with people who won’t do anything without their doctor’s prescription, they simply will not understand and you will be treated like a candidate for electric shock therapy. I know, it has happened to me, so I am very close with my information and share very little of what I am doing with anyone who knows me personally. I only share it now because this is amazing and the difference it has made is something everyone who suffers from under treated hypothyroidism should know.

While I am not at the end of my journey, and maybe we never are because as human beings we and our surroundings are always changing, here are a few things I can report already.  I have not had a normal body temperature for decades but now I am almost at a normal body temperature all day (normal 98.6 mine 98.2-98.4) and my basal body temperature is already normal (range of 97.8-98.2).

My sleep which has been pathetic since I became a mother some 37 1/2 years ago is now so much deeper and restorative and I take my fourth dose of thyroid medication right before I fall asleep “as the light goes off”. (What I have learned from Val is you “dump” T3 around midnight, so if you take T3 right before you go to sleep when you “dump” the T3 there will be some to replace it and you will not awaken with a start at midnight) I also take 3 mg of Melatonin before bed and the combination of T3 and Melatonin has been nothing short of miraculous. It is all about the hormones, those pesky hormones.

I had aches and pains like you would not believe. I tried every natural gel I could think of to alleviate the pain (I do not take Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen) but the pain persisted. My right elbow was sore to the touch, it felt like it was bruised but there was no black and blue mark. I was in the habit of throwing a Frisbee for one of my poodles every day and my elbow hurt so bad I could hardly get the Frisbee out of my hand much less across the yard. My knees were stiff and sore and bending down meant hobbling up again or sitting down on my butt and pushing my way up with my hands so I didn’t use my knees. Honestly, I thought it was just my age at the time but I suddenly realized the other day the pain is gone, I can bend down and get back up, I can throw the Frisbee until my big guy is down on the ground panting and that is a good thing.

I am a dental hygienist and my neck and shoulders are always sore but the pain used to be overwhelming and I was constantly massaging muscles and trying to get some relief. I would often be awakened in the night over and over with numb and tingling hands and arms. I still have some tightness in my neck but I am not awakened by numb and tingling hands or pains shooting up through my occipital bones from tension in my neck and shoulders.

I honestly began this entire thyroid  journey because of an irregular heartbeat (most likely fibrillation) that started about three years ago. I maintained then that it was being  triggered by adrenaline because it would come out of nowhere around 11:00 in the morning and worsen through the afternoon until I was coughing with the pressure it caused in my chest. It usually didn’t bother me at night but occasionally it did, I hated those night when it blipped and blathered and woke me up to read or drink chamomile tea, anything to calm it down and make it go away. My guestimation three years ago was that my thyroid was malfunctioning and triggering a release of adrenaline but my doctor wouldn’t concur without wearing the halter and going through extensive tests. Now I know I wasn’t far off because it is most likely that my malfunctioning thyroid caused weak adrenals and the weak adrenals released adrenaline to compensate for what my thyroid wasn’t doing. (I was able to confirm my adrenal health with a salivary cortisol test from Canary Club.) I am almost afraid to say it but in the last few weeks of resolving my RT3 issue the irregularity has all but disappeared. I am thrilled but cautious  to report that monumental detail. I think my heart issue is fodder for an entire blog itself, so will go into detail at a later date.

Lat but not least there is my memory, as my friends can attest, my memory was far from perfect. I couldn’t remember who I told what and as my mother had dementia this is not a pleasant situation to contemplate. I wasn’t misplacing keys or getting lost but my memory was not where it should be and I felt foggy much of the time. I am happy to report that the fog has lifted. I will also tell you it was at its worst while I cleared the T4 out of my receptors. The clearance process is not always nice and you do go through a lot of stages like suddenly low blood pressure, or suddenly high body temps, shakiness, panic attacks, you name it it can happen but that is what the group is for, those fine folks really do help you through the crises points and are there for you when you come out of the other end of the tunnel.

I know now these maladies were a result of my thyroid condition because your thyroid controls so many bodily functions. When your thyroid is not optimally treated your body runs out of gas and you will die prematurely if you let it go under treated. I am happy to say that I am not the only person who has reported these fabulous improvements once their treatment is optimal and if you go to the RT3 site you can read about a variety of health related symptoms people resolved with optimal treatment.

I have no way of knowing what the future holds but for now the tortuous journey has become just a long and winding road.

Here’s to loving my healthier happier butterfly shaped organ,

Kris

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14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Josiah Page on 16:09 at Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Hi Kris
    Thanks, my name on Facebook is Josh Page

    Reply

    • Josiah, I have sent you an email per Facebook but who knows if that will be delivered. I have also asked other members of my Krisinsight group who may have been added by their request how they did it, so if that helps I will add you in that manner. Facebook makes everything difficult and especially if you run a private group but it is interesting to get the input of the members of the group, so it seems worthwhile to me. My wish for you is good health and if we can help we will.

      Kris

      Reply

    • Josiah, I sent an email invite on Facebook. I have no idea where that goes but I would check all your messages including the ones called “Other”. I often find messages there from other health oriented types who aren’t “friends” of mine but share a common interest in a healthy lifestyle. I sent an email invite to Josiah Page and to Josh Page. If that doesn’t work you can “friend” me (Kris Carver Peterson) and I will then add you to the private group. Since my FB normal page is full of jokes or other nonsense the “friendship” can be deleted but you will still be on the Krisinsight group. We could use some male perspective.

      Reply

  2. Posted by Josiah Page on 12:55 at Thursday, August 8, 2013

    Hi Kris

    I tried looking up your Facebook page. I confess I’ve had very minimal experience with Facebook, but I was logged into my Facebook page and I typed “Krisinsight” into the search box and search results were the usual Google results including this blog, but no facebook page.

    Josiah

    Reply

    • Josiah, I will check on this. My group is private, so that presents some issues for people wanting to join but group members can add members, so let me look into that. If possible I would add your name and if you are on Facebook as Josiah Page you might see a request.

      Reply

  3. Posted by Josiah Page on 12:09 at Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    I’ve enjoyed all of Pilcher’s novels, but my favorite was The Shell Seekers.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Josiah Page on 10:32 at Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Hi Kris,
    You asked if I was under a doctor’s care. I’ve relied on the VA for healthcare for years but despite years of my complaints about lack of energy, I had to take the initiative and order a complete thyroid panel from LabCorp. The results showed me with extremely high Rt3 and below range T3.

    I’m not even going to bother approaching the VA about this. I have been in contact with the moderators at the RT3_T3 yahoo group and they expressed unhesitating willingness to guide me through their T3 only protocol.

    I’ve also made an appointment with a doctor on Jimmy Moore’s low carb doctors list who specializes in metabolic disorders. That appointment isn’t until early October. I’m inclined to wait until that appointment before making up my mind about proceeding with the RT3_T3 yahoo group protocol.

    Here’s my question, would it make any sense to just take a very low dose of Cytomel to boost my T3 just a little as a risk free protocol until October when I would make the decision whether of not to proceed with the Rt3 clearing protocol?

    Josiah

    Reply

    • Hi Josiah, As I understand it adding T3 wouldn’t be a problem. I will tell you that from my experience it didn’t do much for me as my doctor did add T3 (although to be completely honest it was a compounded T3) to my T4 meds. I continued to have my irregular heartbeat until I finally started the T3-only protocol and that was a process of which you will already know since you have read through some of my blog entries. I will mention that I also think getting gluten out of my life has been a life changing experience. I discovered that if I had gluten my heart would act up as well. I am guessing this was due to an autoimmune attack but since eliminating anything with gluten my heart irregularities have practically disappeared. If you haven’t eliminated gluten my advice is get rid of it. Don’t use products on your hair that could potentially contain gluten. Don’t use flavorings like vanilla unless you can ascertain that it is strictly gluten free. Supplements are full of gluten containing ingredients, so I now call and ask about certain ones to make sure I am not ingesting gluten in something that should be entirely free of gluten. It is rather overwhelming to take in all at once but little by little you can make changes that will improve your health dramatically. BTW, my favorite Rosamunde Pilcher book is Winter Solstice and The Shell Seekers runs a close second. I love her writing style and am just sad that she is probably done writing due to advancing age.

      Take care, Kris

      Reply

  5. Posted by Josiah Page on 12:15 at Tuesday, August 6, 2013

    Hi Kris,

    Just came upon your blog and haven’t had the opportunity to read anything but your most recent offerings. I intend to read it all because I’m getting ready to embark with great trepidation on the same trip that you are on.

    Josiah

    Reply

    • Josiah, welcome to Krisinsight. I have been on this thyroid journey for a long time and if I can help even one person with my musings and experiments it will have all been worthwhile. I am not a doctor; I am a person just like you and thousands of others who find themselves under treated or treated poorly by traditional medicine. At some point we just say enough is enough I will take care of me better than you can and there starts your journey.
      I wish you the best of luck and I hope you are amused by my posts and will comment when you agree or disagree. All comments are welcome.
      Kris

      Reply

    • Posted by Josiah Page on 12:51 at Tuesday, August 6, 2013

      Hi Kris,

      My ears perked up when I read that you were experiencing some irregular heart beat episodes. My first venture into taking full responsibility for my health involved dealing with an atrial fibrillation condition that was progressively getting worse. I credit the kind people at afibbers.com with the fact that I haven’t had an episode in over 18 months. One doesn’t claim they’re cured of AFIB, I just have found the correct mix of supplements to keep AFIB at bay. . .and I’m quite worried that the T3 protocol might play havoc with that delicate balance that keeps me in NSR (normal sinus rhythm)

      Josiah

      Reply

      • Do be careful with the T3 protocol and AFIB. Mine is not AFIB apparently because with the correct dose of T3 I can mostly get rid of the irregularity. I have a Facebook page called Krisinsight and in that group there is at least one person with AFIB who tried and tried with the T3-only protocol and about two months ago had a stroke. She is still convinced that it is improper release of adrenaline that initiates the AFIB and is determined to get her T3 dosing just right. As you say, AFIB is nothing to trifle with. I have not done a RT3 blood test again because, by and large, I know I have a RT3 issue or thyroid resistance and if I stay on T3-only I do very well. I have only the slightest temptation to try NDT again because I have no desire to start this process over. Are you working with a doctor? A good doctor can help you with T3 and AFIB but a doctor who isn’t in the know could do you harm in my opinion. I have had to do this all on my own because even the best doctor I could find didn’t understand thyroid resistance. He was more than willing to try NDT but he never considered T3 only. Do you have adrenal fatigue? If so, if you haven’t you should read Paul Robinson’s book “Recovering With T3”? It is worth buying and studying very carefully. He tested every step of the way and based his treatment on a fairly scientific approach. If you have weak adrenals it can heal adrenal health as well as treat your thyroid issue. He has a thyroid group on Facebook and will personally help people with their numbers. He will insist on a diurnal cortisol test to show adrenal fatigue before trying the CT3M methodology but the book is a good read. I could go on and on but I will spare you (LOL as they say) and await further questions.

        Take care Josiah.

  6. Just started my blog journey with multiple thyroid conditions, etc. Thanks for blogging about this.

    Reply

    • It is a long tortuous road as I have found out but I cannot tell you how good it feels to finally have warm hands. Who knew? I wish you good fortune with your thyroid treatment and hope all goes well.

      Reply

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