Posts Tagged ‘Endocrine Disorders’

Wind in My Sails

IMG_1917 (2)I have just arrived home after a whirlwind trip to northern Minnesota. It was one of those last-minute decisions that worked out perfectly, something that often doesn’t happen with those bees up-the-rear-end- type of events.

It was not a happy occasion but a necessary one. Our aunt died in October and left no children just nephews and nieces (by marriage) who loved her and cared what happened to her. My SU was ultimately responsible for her estate, so he and I spent all day Saturday emptying a house of Janet. We had moments when we laughed and moments when we cried. We had some difficult moments when something precious just had to go in the dumpster but others when we could think of a place for something else that will always remind us of her life.

In the end, I have to question the acquisition of things.  I keep thinking if someone came to my house today to empty it of “me” where would all of “me” go? Unfortunately, I know all too well after this weekend. I am trying to find solace in knowing that our life’s accumulation might help someone, somewhere, furnish a home. I know Janet would, but still, I think I will be more careful about adding things to my life in the future.

Updates galore

Or perhaps just, updates, would be more accurate. I have had a rough month now. It started as a rough week when Janet died, and then other things fell apart but it just keeps coming at me, so now I will call it a rough month. This on top of a trip abroad in September, which I love, but it always takes its toll. Have you noticed that you don’t recover as well from time change holidays? I sure do. First it takes me a week to get back on my time. Secondly, my adrenals get shaky and that’s not a good thing for someone whose endocrine system is already challenged.

By the end of October, I was feeling pretty good but there were blips. One blip was my irregular heartbeat. Everything was pretty stable in the morning but by afternoon and my second dose of T3 at noon my heart races at the slightest provocation and then it blips every so often. I hate that, I really do and it was happening frequently by the third week of October. My sleep was pretty good but the daylight hours from 1-3 p.m. were often marred by an occasional bur-blip, bur-blip and a cough. It varies by the day and by the stress in my day.

Here is what I noticed, warm hands and feet, something that is abnormal for me, so I randomly checked my temperatures. They were running really normal and slightly above. Hurrah! Perhaps I was slightly hyper but in any case things were better than average. My sleep was fair to good, also a good measure of thyroid output. My aches and pains were lessening.

What to do when it seems your world is falling apart

In general, I think things were/are pretty good despite the heart blips (sometimes called arrhythmia). Then just when you think things are going right with your world again something comes along to shake your foundation. Within the last week a family member informed me that I was difficult to be around and we needed a “break”. This is beyond upsetting to me and I wouldn’t normally share such goings on with the world but I think it is important for thyroid folks to know that family arguments, like deaths of loved ones, are very destructive and you need time to recover. The recovery will not happen overnight.

For two days my limbs visibly shook if I faced any tense moments (getting behind schedule at work for instance). I heard from this person via email and just reading the email caused me to shake and feel weak all over. As I read through the email I found that some of what was said was very true (I do comment on thyroid health a lot. I do try to be sympathetic to this person’s family situation.) Some statements were patently untrue and the untruths undid me even more. By the time the day ended I had that “wired but tired” feeling that I had when I had taken myself off all my thyroid medication (By the way, not something I ever recommend. I have been recovering for about 8 years now).

My nights were and are restless. I am waking early in the morning (around 3:30). As soon as my brain is awake it is recalling all the things I might have said and/or done and I get up and start my day. There is always a positive side to our ups and downs and my early morning schedule worked really well this weekend as we started both Saturday and Sunday around 4 a.m. We accomplished in one and a half days what would have taken much longer had things been normal.

What the……..?

So I would say my world kind of went topsy-turvy, wouldn’t you? You want to know something interesting? My heart has quit acting up, The breathless feeling I was getting walking upstairs or chasing dogs has gone. The heartbeat that wanted to race at the least amount of exertion has all but gone.

Krisinsight

In summary, it is obvious my adrenal health is not perfect. I think my adrenals are still a problem and that causes this roller coaster when presented with day-to-day stresses or worse, family issues. I know I need a cortisol test so that I can adjust my CT3M dose of T3 and heal them completely but I am still trying to catch up from my September holiday and subsequent unexpected days off due to the death in our family. In other words, it will be awhile.

I have not scheduled any other blood tests but I did schedule an appointment with my Homeopath/MD. My energy feels more positive after a few days of mulling over my course of action and getting back in charge of my emotions but I feel Dr. Lane will help me right now more than a blood test. She can help me work through my emotions and connect with the deeply buried hurt that now exists and is draining my endocrine system.

I also have not been taking my slow release potassium regularly. I forgot to take it at all last week. I was feeling an acute need this weekend, so I did eat bananas (something I normally don’t do) because I had forgotten to bring my potassium tabs along for the trip. In addition to my adrenal short comings I am sure my electrolytes are off and that always affects my heartbeat

Over the course of the past month my aches and pains have decreased.  I rode all morning today in a Ford F-250 and when I got out of the vehicle for a rest stop I could walk without stalling while my joints got in gear. Up until now I have had to stand for a few minutes to get my body to work properly and propel myself forward. This would also point to a more optimally treated thyroid. If you are hypothyroid everything gets stiff with inflammation and aches. That is one reason there is a general feeling that many fibromyalgia cases have their roots in under-treated thyroid disease.

The facts stated, now comes my latest experiment and my insight. The decrease in pain and the feeling of being optimal started when I started taking two capsules of Vital Choice Curcumin every day approximately two weeks ago. It is known that curcumin reduces inflammation but finding the right formula to optimize the effects of the turmeric is difficult. I looked at various formulas and decided this one was right for me as it’s base is Alaskan salmon oil. In subsequent blog entries I will try to update you on how the old aches and pains are doing.

The current turbulence in my life continues.  Just when I think I am in calm winds a gust of wind speeds me along my way and then the wind changes  and knocks the wind out of my sails. Believe me the wind will fill my sails again and things will be on an even keel again very soon but this only happens when you take charge of your life.  One thing this disease has proven to me is I am the captain of my ship and what happens is ultimately up to me.

See you the first Monday of December.

Santé,

Kris

P.S. I have edited this because I felt it was necessary. This gives me the opportunity to tell my readers that I had a really good night’s sleep last night. I went to bed at 8:30 and basically slept until 5:30, my normal time to get up. My mind did not race nor did it seem troubled BUT I did have an Epsom salts (3 pounds because we have a big Jacuzzi style tub) soak last night with 2 cups of baking soda and I wore some detox foot pads to bed. Did that make the difference? I don’t know but it sure felt great.

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Myxedema Coma

IMG_1917 (2)Another week has come and gone and as with all weeks there were ups and downs. I had the joy of meeting up with friends on not just one day but two with lots of healthy laughter and some moments of poignancy. My birds entertained me royally from my kitchen window and my garden produced a plethora of multicolored beans.

On the downside our own private Idaho seems to be surrounded by forest fires that are spreading precipitously every day thanks to high winds and no precipitation. Our cabin is small and on the side of a mountain, so we watch and worry about seeing it every morning when we check our webcams. My prayers go out to all those who live and work in the area of the fires as these fires threaten not just their mountain cabins; the mere lick of a wind-swept flame could put their families in harm’s way.

While not really a downside the more serious issue of my health was discussed with my homeopathic/MD doctor and we are now trying to decide what all my food sensitivities are. There is a blood test I could do for $750 (“Should you win the lottery, or somehow find yourself with some spare cash.”) or I can keep a food diary and see if I can figure out what causes my burning mouth syndrome. Suspects include rosemary (for the moment) but who knows I haven’t kept a food diary in a long time and while this issue has plagued me for several years I can never connect it to anything in particular.

Anyway I wonder how your week was, did you have any health revelations? Did you see friends and spend lots of time laughing and enjoying just a touch of civil disobedience? Whatever your week presented you with I hope it was a week not wasted with something learned every day and every moment experienced even if not always enjoyed. After all even the bad things in life are to be appreciated. When you conquer the “bad things” you feel such a sense of relief and contentment.

I forgot my T3

One of my “Oh No” moments this week was being contacted on Krisinsight by a group member/friend. Her note stated that she was flying out-of-town for the weekend and she forgot her T3. Would she be okay? At first I panicked for her because there is a good chance she wouldn’t be okay.

After I gathered my wits, which can often be scattered under stress, I had some suggestions. What I didn’t want to tell her was the possible consequences of not taking your T3, especially if your thyroid no longer makes its own hormones, so I avoided the bad stuff and just tried to think of possible solutions.

Myxedema Coma

One consequence of not taking your T3, in case you didn’t know by now, is a condition called myxedema coma (a decompensated thyroid). If your body isn’t getting T3 (whether from taking T3 or taking a natural desiccated thyroid product or Syncrap)  you suffer loss of brain function due to low levels, over an extended period of time, of thyroid hormone.

Symptoms are severe mental changes, hallucinations, edema, difficulty breathing, abnormally low body temperature (80 degrees is possible) pleural effusion, etc. Myxedema coma is more likely caused by the failure of the pituitary gland or hypothalamus to make the thyroid hormone it is capable of making or you are not supplying the hormone in the case of someone who is already being treated for hypothyroidism.

There are various triggers for myxedema coma. Triggers might include various drugs (especially narcotics, anesthesia), stroke, trauma, heart failure, internal bleeding and last but not least forgetting to take your thyroid hormones. Ultimately a person who suffers myxedema coma may die if not treated promptly and correctly. This was the news I did not want to relay to my friend.

What can you do?

Instead I told her the first thing that popped in to my head. Perhaps she could try to find someone in her host city that would have T3 she could use until she got home. This would necessitate contacting the RT3 group and crying out for help which may or may not be very productive but it was the first thing I thought of and relayed to her.

Another idea would be to look up a health food store (even Wholefoods) that carries thyroid gland supplements. Taking that will supply you with T1, T2, T3 and T4, so once you are home you might have to go through a clearance process but at least you would prevent an issue of myxedema coma.

As I thought about this more I realized the best thing to do is contact your doctor or pharmacist and see what they can do to help you. In her case, she contacted her compounding pharmacy on Saturday morning. She was able to find a compounding pharmacy that was open  near her hotel and they were able to fill her prescription. That is where she left me as I am sure she got busy with the business of a class reunion and hopefully attended all the functions with no repercussions nor lack of thyroid medication.

Krisinsight

Thankfully most of us reading this will never suffer from myxedema coma but I thought it was something everyone should be aware of in case, just in case. I always travel with medication in several different places (but never in checked baggage) just to be sure I don’t leave home without my T3. It is a worry because to forget your T3 at home can have serious ramifications especially for those of us on T3-only.

I wonder if another good practice would be to investigate possible sources of thyroid meds wherever you are going. Google health food stores in the area and perhaps even call or email them and ask if they carry thyroid gland supplements. Talking to your doctor before you leave might serve the purpose of letting them know, if they get a call from out-of-state, you might have to call in case of emergency. I know I could do this with my homeopathic/ MD because she is a one person practice and sooner or later she would respond. Can you think of any other possible solutions to what could be a deadly omission to your holiday plans?

Summer’s Bounty Recipe

IMG_2211 (2)

My garden continues to produce but it is being very parsimonious this year. To use the word “bounty” is generous but it sounds good to my ears. Any other word would just  sound pathetic. For instance this year I planted an entire long row (at least 6 feet long) of little round French carrots and got perhaps as many as 12 carrots. Each one being precious I have only tasted one or two but yesterday I pulled six of them, washed and polished them like precious gems, and roasted them for supper.

When I was done I had these gorgeous carrot tops resting on my kitchen counter and I couldn’t throw them away, so I got this great idea of making pesto with them and found a recipe to provide amounts and possible ingredients. Did you know that carrot greens are high in potassium? We thyroid types always need potassium, so what better way than eating carrot green basil pesto?

Carrot Green-Basil Pesto

  • 1 large handful of carrot leaves without stems
  • 1 large handful of basil leaves
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 0r instead of seeds 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
  • 3/4 cup oil of your choice (I used 1/4 flax-seed oil and 1/2 cup olive oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • generous grinding of pepper

I put this all in my processor in the order as written and processed it until I had a smooth paste. It was pretty thick, so I added more oil but you could add the lemon juice the original recipe called for. Despite the fact that the article said carrot leaves can be bitter, the pesto is quite sweet and pleasant and I will use it as I would any pesto on gluten-free pasta, on sandwiches made with gluten-free bread or as a dip for fresh vegetables. Bon Appetito!

Santé,
Kris