Archive for the ‘Amino Acids’ Category

December Thyroid News:The Hypothyroid Heartbeat

It is trite I know but I will say it anyway, I simply cannot believe how time passes us by. One day you are 10 without a care in the world and the next you are 57 with all the cares of the world on your shoulders. Being  a person with autoimmune dis-ease does not make it simpler but there are few if any dull moments and you constantly learn something new and unusual. With that in mind I thought an update on my thyroid health would be timely.

On Sleeping on Your Left Side

Many of my readers and fellow hypo’s will know that my hallmark of thyroid health is being able to lie on my left side and without further ado let me say, I am sleeping on my left side. Not all the time but when my right side is sore from use I can turn to my left side and even if I hear my heart beat it is not irregular and it is not pounding. Just for the sake of feeding my thyroid health superstitions I will add that it is not consistent, there are times when my heartbeat blips or pounds (read below for other reasons) but for the most part I can turn to my left side and fall back in to a relaxing, rejuvenating sleep without any particular upset.

A Brief on the Hypo’s Heartbeat

The above statement may be hard to comprehend if you have never experienced the hypothyroid heartbeat, so let me briefly tell you. When your thyroid is not producing enough thyroid hormone to adequately feed the needs of your body your body produces unnatural amounts of adrenaline to compensate. This over compensation by your adrenal glands, in my opinion, not only causes adrenal fatigue it affects your heartbeat causing palpitations. This often ends with  you sitting in a cardiologist’s office, then being put through a myriad of tests only to be prescribed this and that medication and still suffering the palpitations.

Bear in mind, we “hypos” aren’t used to a normal heartbeat because our hearts often beat too slowly and too softly to be heard, so as we start medicating our thyroids adequately, either with a doctor’s assistance or on our own,  we suddenly hear a pounding heartbeat if we lay on our left side in particular. Add to this “pounding” (but probably normal) heartbeat any kind of irregularity and you have a person who never sleeps on their left side. Never, that is, when they are under-treated or incorrectly treated for thyroid resistance.

Life Changes

I hate to go so far as to say I live in fear of the irregular heartbeat but I have blogged on this subject ad nauseum, so I must dread it. A few weeks ago I found myself at my computer at midnight with a heartbeat in excess of 100 bpm. This always leads to researching online, first to my groups and then to other online comments or studies. This particular knowledge gleaning moment led me to a conclusion that was the end of my world as I knew it, after reading  a hundred entries or so on many different forums I realized what the problem was. I needed to cease my evening tipple.

Yes, you read that right and it pains me to say because I love my traditions (not addictions because I can give them up without bad side effects) many of which I learned while living in Europe, a time that is full of pleasant memories and custom. I love my English “tea ceremony” every morning and I thoroughly enjoyed two glasses of wine in the evening. What I didn’t realize is that my adrenal fatigue had reared its ugly head and adrenal fatigue and alcohol do not mix.

If you have adrenal fatigue alcohol acts as a stimulant akin to having caffeinated coffee or perhaps even Ephedra or other like stimulants (I have never taken Ephedra but I have read about its effects). I knew those were stimulants to avoid just like the nerve racking television which I avoid after 8 p.m. because the lights and noise stimulate me like a cup of coffee or worse.

What I didn’t seem to associate with my sleeplessness and racing heartbeat was the wine before supper that “relaxed” me. Seriously, how could it be a stimulant? It is specifically supposed to help me relax. I felt betrayed (not really) but clearly I needed to stop that long standing custom, so I did. If someone would have told me that putting that particularly bad nightmare scenario to bed was this simple I would have been all over it ages ago.

I know, I know, I can hear all the health conscious folks reading my soliloquy asking with wonder “Doesn’t she know alcohol is bad for her?” Mercola and many others preach and preach on the evils of alcohol but honestly I still don’t think a glass of wine is going to kill you but there is a time and place and I am not in either at the moment.

In Conclusion

With that admission behind me I feel like my shoulders are less rounded as if a weight has been lifted from them. I have to say that other than a few niggling issues I have been exceptionally well. I am still taking 50 mcg of T3 which results in normal energy and slightly below normal basal temperatures. I have recently started taking Ashwaghanda again and I added 5-HTP to my repertoire of supplements to elevate my moods slightly and help me sleep even better.

There are things that still need attention and the one that plagues me at the moment is my dry eyes and mouth. It could be Sjogren’s as that often accompanies Hashimoto’s Disease but I have never had that diagnosis, so my quest for an answer to that problem continues. If you have successfully treated this issue please share your experience by leaving a comment.

I conclude that with almost everything in my life I have come to expect the unexpected and I glean from all I experience what I can. I am fascinated by the stories of the world and the challenges we all face. If you come across this blog while on your own midnight quest for knowledge I hope you find it comforting that you are not alone. We are truly in this together and we share the weight of the world’s health issues on collective shoulders.

To your good health,

Kris

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Recovery Time

I have just returned from 5 days on an isolated Idaho mountainside and the crush of humanity in the big city is almost but not quite overwhelming me. If you have never experienced the mountains of south central Idaho they are amazing and I highly recommend a visit to the Sun Valley area (Ketchum, Hailey, Stanley, Fairfield) and all the mountains that radiate from that quaint valley of the west.  Thanks to my time in the land where the deer and the antelope play I am now in recovery mode but I have missed my blogging, so I am up and running.

Before I left for my mountain retreat I received my regular order of a supplement I exclusively get from Professional Supplement Center and enclosed in the envelope was what I found to be a very helpful brochure. I always feel if I find something of interest others might also benefit, so the following is quoted from the brochure they sent me with my comments in italics.

A Guide to Taking Supplements

Nutritional supplements should be taken with meals to promote increased absorption. Fat-soluble vitamins (such as Vitamin A, beta-carotene, vitamin e and the essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha linoleic acid) should be taken during the day with the meal which contains the most fat. (Vitamin D should also be taken with a fat source)

Amino Acid supplements should be taken on an empty stomach at least an hour before or after a meal, and taken with fruit juice to help promote absorption. When taking an increased dosage of an isolated amino acid, be sure to supplement with (an) amino acid blend.

If you become nauseated when you take tablet supplements, consider taking a liquid form diluted in a beverage or supplementing with HCL (that is hydochloric acid because so many of us have too little stomach acid not too much as often reported.)

If you are taking high doses, do not take the supplements all at one time, but divide them into smaller doses taken throughout the day.

Take mineral supplements away from the highest fiber meals of the day as fiber can decrease mineral absorption.

When taking an increased dosage of an isolated B Vitamin, be sure to supplement with a B complex. (Also if taking something like Alpha Lipoic Acid you need a B complex as ALA lowers your levels of B vitamins according to Dr. Bert Berkson)

When taking nutrients, be sure to take adequate amounts of liquid to mix with digestive juices and prevent side effects.

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There are many more caveats to taking supplements but I thought this brochure was a nice summary of cautionary advice.  Later I have a great article to discuss on “cross reactivity problems” for those with celiac disease or at least a sensitivity to grains. I found it informative and I felt it explained some issues I have had and thought I was imagining.

Journeying to your good health,

Kris