Posts Tagged ‘thyroid’

The Dark Days and Your Thyroid

???????????????????????????????Yesterday, winter officially arrived here in central Minnesota. I care not what the calendar says the season is, it is winter. My deck is covered in an icy mix. That is winter. My driveway is horrific. That is winter. It is bloody cold and windy. That is winter, so we might as well move from Halloween to Christmas as far as I am concerned and, in fact, I did yesterday.

Other than our premature introduction to Old Man Winter everything is pretty normal and chugging along. In the last few weeks I would not have been so bold as to report anything like “normal” but finally things seem a wee bit better and the short, cold days have a lot to do with the changes I experienced.

Old Man Winter and your thyroid

You see a couple of months ago my hands and feet started feeling cold again. My sleep was poor and I was feeling sluggish. After a night’s sleep I would get up and feel like a nap within an hour. One could put this all down to getting older but as you may know I don’t accept that excuse.

So I started taking my temperatures again and was horrified to see my daily high was under 98F degrees (one day it was 97.6) and my low or basal temperature was good if it hit 97F. What???? Needless to say, I increased my T3 by 6.25 mcg.

I stayed at that dose (56.25 mcg) for a week or more and kept checking my temperatures, erratically, but at least once a day. They were still really low, so after a number of weeks I increased again and was now taking 62.5 mcg of T3. I let that dose stabilize for a few weeks and then checked my temperatures again. Ridiculously low. Crikey!

At this point, I opened a new bottle of T3 thinking that perhaps my old bottle had sat unsupervised at customs too long and was rendered ineffective or less effective (probably neither were true). With the new bottle in hand I increased my dose by 6.25 mcg (6.25 mcg being 1/4 of a tablet). That was just a week ago and I recently checked my temperatures at 3:49 in the afternoon, it was 98.6 F. Yea! The next day I checked it in the morning and it was 98.4 F, double hooray. My current dose is 68.75 mcg per day and my temperature at 9:00 this morning was 98.

Why the need to increase thyroid meds and the big fluctuation? Most likely nothing to do with ineffective bottles of your meds nor anything else your mind can conjure up. It is primarily down to the shorter, colder days of autumn and winter. Perhaps because in order to stay warm your body is working harder and that increases the need for T3 or NDT.

Just remember, not only do you need to support your thyroid (meds, exercise, diet, sleep, etc.) through the dark days your adrenals need added support. One way to do this is to add the adrenal cocktail. After all if you increase thyroid meds you put a strain on the adrenals and they,too, will need extra support.

Krisinsight

So the other thing my mind conjured up as a culprit for my sudden need for more T3 is the iodine I started taking about a month ago. I started at a really low dose of 225 mcg which according to Iodine experts is way too low. I justify my low dose because I had a very real concern about taking Iodine after taking large doses several years ago and having my TSH rise to 13, something it has never done before or since.

Little by little I have increased my dose of potassium iodide and am now up to 1000 mcg or 1 mg of Iodine and other than the lowering of my temperatures there are no apparent side effects. It is possible that by detoxing bromide (something that Iodine does) I cleared the receptors in my thyroid and my thyroid suddenly could accept and needed more T3 to run my body efficiently.

This is all pure conjecture as I did not do an Iodine Loading test before I started the Iodine supplementation. If it weren’t for the acknowledged need to increase thyroid meds during autumn and winter and the fact that I started needing more T3 in September (the 17th to be exact and well before I started the Iodine) I might question Iodine’s role in my recent increased need for T3. What is more likely is that Iodine supplementation has contributed to my thyroid needing more T3 but is not the sole reason for my increased needs.

Before I go I must tell you that I have now been attuned to Reiki Master. “Master” to me means I can now teach others how to do Reiki on themselves, their loved ones or their beloved pets in addition to using Reiki’s healing energy when the need arises. I am most grateful to my Reiki Master, Donna Murray and our healing circle which includes Lynette VerBout, Jane Russo and myself. Namaste.

Stay warm and be sure to feed your body what it needs to get you through the dark days of the year.

Santé,
Kris

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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.

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

 

Blood Testing and the Results

IMG_1917 (2)As I stand at my computer the sun is shining on my back. I cannot tell you how good it feels to just see the sunshine after three days of low hanging clouds and on and off rain. I guess you could say I am solar-powered because I know my SU loves those low hanging cloudy days. He says they relax him and often he gets more done.

Speaking of getting things done, I had a little nudge this week from my homeopathic doctor to get a blood test done to check the status of my thyroid, so I finally went in and had a blood draw at LabCorp in Edina, MN.

If you haven’t heard me say it before I will say it again, I am a huge fan of LabCorp in Minnesota for several reasons. I find the staff are all consummate professionals. The facility is always clean and orderly. I have never been hurt by a blood draw nor ever left with a bruise or even so much as a sore spot. This doesn’t mean that you might not run in to a LabCorp that is not as good but if you are in the area, the office in Edina, MN has got to be one of the best.

The results are in

This year, as in years past, I ordered my thyroid panel from Life Extension when they had their blood panel sale in the spring. You do have to pay to have a membership at Life Extension but the blood panel sale alone makes it worthwhile. They also offer free consults with their medical staff and I have made use of that as well and it was professional and very helpful. If you aren’t a member the panels are still some of the most comprehensive blood tests offered, they will just cost you more. Also I will add if you follow (Like) them on Facebook they do offer free 6 month memberships once in a while and I have taken advantage of at least two of those offers as well.

I had my blood draw on Monday morning at 8 a.m. my results were in my e-box within two days. I think this is fantastic given how long it takes a doctor’s office to get results and then to let you know. The thyroid panel I chose cost me $56 and included TSH, FT3, FT4 and Thyroxine ( T4). My results were as follows:

  1. TSH- 0.084 range .450-4.5
  2. FT3-3.8 range 2.0-4.4
  3. FT4-0.06 range .82-1.77
  4. Thyroxine-0.5 range 4.5-12.0

How do you read these results?

Given conventional wisdom and the information your health providers have handed you, what do you think of my results? With a suppressed TSH can I sleep at night? Can a body survive with basically no T4? Is my FT3 too low? Were any of my results flagged as out of the normal range?

The answer

The answer to all the above questions is “yes”. First, I am sleeping quite well although my nights have been interspersed with nightmares of a sort. The sort that wake me up with a rapidly beating heart because I was either doing something physical or something upsetting in my dream. They don’t keep me awake for long and I can settle my heartbeat immediately. I know from experience that this means I am on a slightly too high dose of T3 but by slightly I mean only a fraction of a 25 mcg tablet and I think my body will adjust over time.

Current CT3M dose

I am currently taking a 25 mcg dose of T3 around 2 in the morning according to the CT3M method as described by Paul Robinson. Many of my dreams occur before 2 a.m. and once I take that 25 mcg dose my sleep improves and I sleep long and hard until 5-5:30. I am not absolutely certain what that means but I intend to find out with further research. My general feeling is I really need to take more T3 but I don’t think my adrenals are up to it yet and I need to obtain a diurnal cortisol test the next time I feel like spending $109 on tests.

Second answer; same as the first

Second, if you are on T3 only your FT4 and Thyroxine should be almost null. Your thyroid needs T3 to run smoothly and any T4 is actually converted to T3 before your thyroid can use it. For someone like me, with thyroid resistance, the T4 was actually blocking my cell receptors and interfering with my thyroid’s ability to get enough T3. The fact that I have basically no T4 is a little scary (to me) because it means my thyroid is dependent on the T3 I take and there is no T4 to convert to T3 but it is a good thing to see when you take T3-only and have a RT3 issue. Also bear in mind I hadn’t had any T3 for 13 hours when this blood draw was done, so the T3 is circulating for a long time.

Third; FT3

Third, my FT3 is a bit low. Now according to my functional medicine guy he liked my FT3 in the middle of the range, so he would have said this was almost borderline too high. However, when a patient is on T3-only your FT3 should be in the upper end of the range or perhaps slightly over. I feel pretty good with my FT3 at 3.8, so I think I will leave things as they are for now but I do like knowing that there is room for improvement.

Flags and other warnings

As for any flagging that was done, my TSH was flagged as “Low”. My FT4 was flagged as “Low” and my Thyroxine was flagged with the dreaded “ALERT”. If you are going to consider the path I have taken for treating your thyroid disease you really must educate yourself and have good, scientifically proven information for your guide. I would never do this on my own (I had a group of patients who had gone through the same thing and researched the subject thoroughly as my guide) nor as an uninformed novice because results like these are, to say the least, disturbing if you don’t know what they mean.

Krisinsight

I don’t know about my readers but I like knowing that things are okay because I know they aren’t perfect. My skin is still scaly especially if I bathe too regularly but it is summer and it has been hot (but isn’t at the moment). My sleep has its ups and downs and my dreams have been graphic lately (someone suggested no fermented food at bedtime and I have been drinking kefir every night, so no more of that). I have many nights when I ache especially my bum hip aches when laid on too long and my head has felt a bit muzzy lately. I keep trying to decide if all these things are part of aging or part of my disease.

I keep thinking that perhaps if I can eventually take 75 mcg of T3 or find that right remedy with the help of my homeopathic doctor things will be perfect. However, I am a human being, we, by nature, are not perfect. Is it so bad that my energy lags some days? I tend to think not, especially when most days my energy is good. As long as I can keep up with my two-year-old grandson hopping and skipping over cracks in the sidewalk and carrying him when he asks “Carry me?” Well I just feel blessed.  If sleep alludes me now and then that won’t kill me. As for aches and pains, if you increase your activity with muscles, tendons and ligaments that aren’t used to such activity you are going to ache a bit, so what do I expect?

I ask my readers, in all seriousness, what should I expect? Should I expect to be Suzanne Somers and be out there tooting my horn about my fabulous sex life and my 20-year-old body? Or should I be running a business where I work 24/7? I do neither of those but it makes me wonder. What is your energy like? How many aches and pains do you have? And to what do you attribute these good or bad things in your life?

Don’t be put off by the “S” word in the previous paragraph I just always wonder if she is on drugs or has had surgery, so Suzanne Somers is the first person who comes to mind when I feel a bit on the 50-ish side of life and start wondering if that is normal. That little detail cleared up, before I close I wanted to share a quick recipe for a blueberry elixir because blueberries are plentiful right now and it is the perfect time to make some of this to enjoy in the autumn. This recipe is from a book called Wild Medicinal Plants and it can be found on page 76.

Father Kneipp’s Elixir

  • 2 cups of Brandy (500 ml) do not get brandy with flavors added as they contain gluten sometimes
  • 7 ounces (200 g) organic blueberries, crushed
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves

Combine all the ingredients and macerate for 1 month away from any light. Stir from time to time. Strain after one month.

Drink one ounce (25 ml), pure or diluted, in the case of diabetes, gastritis, enteritis, colic, and intestinal gas, or poor night vision, or simply as a full-bodied and delicious digestive.

I made this a few years ago and it is so pleasant you will enjoy every drop but drink with reserve, it does contain alcohol and I can’t really think of any other way to make an elixir. If you can’t have alcohol then just enjoy some blueberries in whatever form you enjoy.

Santé,

Kris

 

Heat, Rapid Heartbeats and Me

IMG_1917 (2)I wasn’t going to post anything this week because I am at my mountain retreat, or as one of my dentists called it, my compound. It’s no compound but it is a retreat, a small dollhouse cabin with a blue tin roof  in the middle of the National Forest in Fairfield, Idaho. When we hike around our land and look back at our tiny footprint of a house in the middle of this gigantic  mountain it always leaves me in wonder.

That said, this time it is hotter than I remember it ever being. It is a scorcher everywhere in the west, southwest. I read today that planes aren’t taking off from LAX because of the extreme heat. It seems planes can’t get aloft as easily when it is hot and must either take a much smaller load or not fly at all. I think I must be related to airplanes because this heat is grounding me.

The thyroid person and debauchery

Ever since I started the CT3M my oral temperatures have been coming up nicely but I am now always warm. I really don’t know if this means I am slightly hyper or if this is just the way people feel when their body temperature at the end of the day is 99. What I do know is even though I am better medicated I am still not as “normal” as I want to be nor able to handle what seems like normal activity to everyone else.

The past day we were really warm for a mountain location and by bedtime last night I was just miserable. During the day we went to an altitude of 9100 feet which may have had some effect. We took a two-hour hike early in the day and that left me feeling slightly drained. While we were at 9100 feet I had two drinks containing alcohol (gin and tonic to be exact) because they just seemed refreshing at the time but they may have had an effect.

When we got home (back to 6000 feet) from our day of play at a slightly higher altitude in Ketchum, Idaho we had another icy drink and that may have had some effect. Whatever the cause I think the effect is a bit of a storm for my body and it isn’t up to the upset. I knew it when I went to bed and  I know it now at midnight as I write this blog entry heat, debauchery, high altitude and thyroid disease do not make for a happy body.

What I do when I wake up with a rapid heartbeat

My main issue as I write is that I am up at midnight with an elevated heart beat. When I was eating gluten and not being particularly careful I would wake up with this horrible rapid heartbeat, a pounding head and the overwhelming feeling of sweatiness. In the past few months, after swearing off gluten entirely (not even in lotions or potions) I have managed to avoid these episodes.

What I have now is not that miserable. When I awoke I was sweaty and my heart beat was elevated but the pounding head wasn’t an issue and the rapid beat was only mildly elevated; perhaps as in a hot flash. I was having rather vivid dreams but nothing disturbing and when I finally got up I realized I had been dreaming the book I had read until I turned off the light, as in I was dreaming every word and every action of the pages I had been reading. I also needed to go to the bathroom and I won’t bore you with details but this type of evacuation is not abnormal when my heart is beating fast.

Anyway the only thing I can do when this happens is get up, drink 1 teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt in water and wait to get tired again. Now, as I always do when I am awake and it seems the rest of the world is sleeping,  I wonder if anyone else has experienced this reaction and what they do when it happens.

Krisinsight

There isn’t much insight from me at midnight on a too warm, too still night. I am guessing this bit of a storm my body is experiencing is a combination of factors, no one of which would be a problem but combined they add up to a sleepless night. Everyone has a sleepless night now and then and as my mother-in-law told my SU when he was a sleepless little boy, no one ever died of not sleeping one night.

Before I close (and hopefully go back to bed) I did want to share a snack idea with you that I think is really tasty and good for your thyroid.

Toasted Chips of Coconut

Heat your oven to 350°. Once the oven is hot place the coconut oil in a 9×13 pan and melt it in the oven. Add the coconut chips and toss well to coat the chips with coconut oil. If you are a thyroid person, salt liberally and toss again. If your adrenals don’t need salt, salt less liberally. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Watch carefully as the chips will brown very quickly. As soon as they are lightly golden remove from the oven and toss again, adding more salt if you want. Let cool in the pan and then store in an airtight container.

The taste is salty/sweet and satisfies that need for a snack such as chips or popcorn in a slightly more healthful way.

On that note, she says with a yawn, I think I will leave my garage (where we cook and have our computers) and head back to the dollhouse. Night, night.

Santé,

Kris

 

You Gotta Have Heart

IMG_1917 (2)I nearly finished another blog posting when I found out that today, the first of February, is “Women’s Healthy Heart” day and red is THE color, so I revamped my blog and my photo and February’s blog was born again.

January in Minnesota has left us all a bit stunned and hidden. There is nothing quite like below zero to cause even the hardiest of  America’s citizens to stay inside. We have just had several of those days and they weren’t just cold, they were blustery, brutally cold. Now, on the first day of February, the thermometer read -17F at 6 a.m. this morning and even the bunny that lives in my landscaping was stepping gingerly through the icy snow.

It may be cold here in Minnesota but my heart is warm and ticking along very well with only the occasional blip. It has not always been the case and I had to do a lot of information gathering to finally improve these critical issues. Now with today being dedicated to healthy hearts, I can get to the heart of what is on my mind and clarify and expound upon two issues that I have dealt with before on Krisinsight, goitrogenic foods and breast cancer.

Goitrogens, do we or don’t we?

Some of my readers may not be aware that the original impetus for starting my blog was an almost unbearable heart issue that plagued me for years and no one wanted to deal with the underlying cause, so I took it upon myself to find the missing piece of the puzzle. My endless research and experimentation led to sharing what I had learned along the way and how things worked for me.

I get several questions, several times a year about one issue I studied carefully for some time, goitrogens. Goitrogenic foods and other items have the potential to interfere with our thyroids and its ability to utilize the T4/T3 that is necessary to run properly. My blog posting “No Goitrogens Please” catches the eye of new readers in particular who are looking for an answer to their still under-treated thyroid disease.

Over the course of several years I have concluded that goitrogenic foods and supplements are not the real problem, we can eat them in moderation, take them in moderation and do just fine. The real problem for those of us who never quite get it right is improper treatment of our thyroid dis-ease. Very few medical personnel understand thyroid resistance and even fewer understand how to properly treat with T3-only. Most doctors will include some extra T3 to see if that improves our “condition” but in almost all cases if they include a T4 medication with T3 we will not resolve our issues.

If a doctor doesn’t understand the high-wire act of balancing our electrolytes and adrenal hormones we start to fumble and then we fall. When that occurs we start looking for anything and everything that might be wrong. I looked at excitotoxins, goitrogenic foods and a host of other culprits but, in the end, I had thyroid resistance, stage 2 adrenal fatigue and totally out of balance electrolytes and no one caught it until I self treated.

Now that I am treating my thyroid optimally (or almost optimally, it still needs some tweaking) and things are more normal I can eat a modicum of goitrogenic foods and take some supplements that also can have some goitrogenic effects.  I am going to repost a quote from “No Goitrogens Please” because the undisclosed person who wrote it said it best about goitrogens:

“People who have resilient health while eating these foods should continue to eat them with impunity. However, people who have thyroid problems or other problems associated with iodine deficiency or cyanide exposure should consider experimenting with the following dietary restrictions: 1) eliminate millet; 2) moderate soy and only consume it with additional sources of iodine; 3) limit crucifer intake to five servings per week, only eat more than this if it is boiled, and match one’s crucifer intake with extra iodine; 4)avoid foods with cyanogenic glycosides unless they are extensively boiled or crushed and leached in running water for several days, and match one’s cyanogen intake with extra iodine and vitamin B12-containing foods or supplements (but not cyanocobalamin). These foods are not inherently unhealthy but simply contain chemicals that have the capacity to harm the health of some people under some circumstances; this is true of all foods. Experience always trumps theory, so the individual should use this information as but one tool with which she or he can experiment to find the most appropriate diet for herself or himself.”

The cure

Although February is “Healthy Heart” month for women another issue that affects we thyroid types, especially if we have an autoimmune form of thyroid disease, is illness of all kinds. If undertreated or improperly treated our autoimmune issues can make us more vulnerable to diseases like cancer, breast cancer in particular and we need to be very proactive doing everything we can to prevent the cancer in the first place.

I am bringing this up because this past month I had a close friend who was considered “cured” by those who do the curing (chemotherapy and radiation that is). She had made it past the dreaded 5 year mark when suddenly an unusual spot showed up on her treated breast. At first, she thought it was nothing but she had it biopsied. She and her family went from thinking she was “cured” to wondering what was next in the matter of one phone call and they were heartbroken (in fact we are all heart-broken).

She was informed that she had a rare form of cancer that was directly caused by the radiation therapy (this is straight from the horse’s mouth at University of Wisconsin Hospital). She had her breast removed on Wednesday. She cannot have reconstructive surgery due to the virulence of this particular kind of cancer and they would not remove her other breast, so now she has one large breast on her right side.

My friend will go down in the books as another cancer victim who was “cured” by chemotherapy and radiation and it simply is not true. She was not cured, she was poisoned and they even gave her another more virulent form of cancer. I am angry, I admit, but the best I can do is inform my readers of this travesty and then share with you some preventive things you can do.

First talk to your physician about doing two tests that will help determine if you are prone to breast cancer. One is the ION test and the other is Estronex.

If you are found to have too much of the cancer promoting estrogen, you can:

  • Take Indolplex daily (I am bothered by additives in this product and the soy content but it is recommended).
  • Take Calcium D-Glucarate twice a day (Thorne makes an additive free version and it is available at iHerb and others. For money off first time orders remember to use my coupon code YAN884)
  • Take one capsule of Triple Action Cruciferous Vegetable Extract (iHerb carries this and you can get money off your first order by using my coupon code YAN884)
  • Make sure your food (and your makeup, lotions) is clean. No hormones, no chemicals like BPA and other endocrine disruptive chemicals.
  • Teresa Tapp has a fabulous DVD available for healthy breasts and skin brushing daily will clean lymph and keep it that way
  • Find a reputable brand of Poke root tincture and take it either daily or take it the first month of every season to clean the lymph.
  • Check your CoQ10 levels and get them optimal if they are deficient.
  • Check your Vitamin D levels and get them optimal. For those of us with autoimmune disease between 90-100 ng.ml is ideal

These things can’t guarantee you won’t get breast cancer but they are a way of doing everything possible. I strongly believe that if I do all I can to prevent I will be better able to fight it if something does occur. What you believe can make or break you, so, as Teresa Tapp likes to say “Yes, you can!” prevent this disease.

Krisinsight

I am making a real effort to not be so verbose these days but try as I might my blogs always seem to go on longer than they should. I guess I always have a lot to share and now that I have limited myself to one blog entry a month it is hard to not have  a certain amount of prolixity. Oh well, sigh.

I look forward to seeing you back here on the first Monday of  March. In the meantime take care of your heart and your breasts but most of all treat your thyroid disease optimally. Do not settle for low body temperatures, unusual weight gain, constant state of coldness, dry hair or hair that is falling out, irregular heartbeats or unexplained heart disease. Get a full thyroid panel and at least once get an antibody test to determine if you have an autoimmune issue. You can order it yourself at Life Extension Foundation  if you can’t get a doctor to assist you. Remember sometimes doctors have their own agenda and sad to say it isn’t necessarily your good health.

Santé,

Kris

Good News for Bone Health

I have just returned from a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday along the coast of Oregon. It always feels good to get back home but I find the sea feeds my emotionally needy soul and leaving the vast water behind is akin to leaving a small part of me behind. Fear not, I shall recover that small but important entity on my next visit to the ocean.

Inbox: BioBalance Report

While I was away my trusty computer was along and I easily kept track of emails and the latest news when our internet connection would allow such vacation interruptions. One piece of mail that arrived was most welcome- my December NTx results.

That piece of mail had the potential to be most unwelcome but upon opening the email I found, to my great relief, that my NTx results showed remarkable improvement from the results I had in November 2010. The improvement in my results made me think that perhaps many of my female readers and especially my fellow thyroid people might not know about the NTx test and now I could provide some valuable insight.

Online Links to Articles About NTx Testing

If you want to know more details about the NTx test I have listed two sites that explain the test and why you might want to have it done:

http://www.betterbones.com/bonehealth/bonebreakdowntests.aspx

http://www.womentowomen.com/understandyourbody/tests/ntxforbones.aspx

Very unscientifically put the NTx test measures the N-Telopeptides in your urine which shows your bone loss on a daily basis. I now have had four NTx tests and have some insight of my own, so we can compare the results and I can share my insight with you my readers.

Past NTx Test Results

My first NTx test was in October 2008. At that time my bone loss was elevated as was shown by a result of  53nM BCE (bone collagen equivalent). Six months before the test I had begun taking bio-identical hormones (E1, E2 compounded cream and Progesterone) as suggested by Dr. Robert Bruley to halt bone loss. I was also taking compounded T4 with some additional T3 for my thyroid.

Then in November 2009, approximately a year later I performed another NTx test and my results were still elevated at 51.53 nM BCE. At that time I was taking Armour (60 mg dose) plus E1 and E2 cream and oral Progesterone.

In November 2010 I took the NTx test again and my results were  shockingly high at 219.37 / 187.97 nM BCE (urine collected at 5:30 and 6 am). Normal readings should be <38. Elevated readings are considered to be in the range of 38-60 and anything over 60 is considered to be a high rate of bone loss on a daily basis. My T3 dose at that time was 87.5 mcg, I was using E1 and E2 and Testosterone creams, plus oral progesterone and I was headed for trouble.

2011 NTx Test Results

You might now understand the trepidation with which I looked at my recent December 2011 results. In 2010, I had the feeling that the extremely high rate of bone loss was due to my thyroid treatment at the time but I didn’t know for sure. Now with the results of my most recent test in hand I knew I had been correct.

With great relief I read my results: 32.93nM BCE (remember anything less than 38 is considered normal for a pre-menopausal female). Hurrah! A normal test result, perhaps I am more in balance than even I thought I was. This time I was on a dose of 50 mcg of T3 and taking Estradiol 2-4 mg per day and the oral Progesterone 200 mg every day.

What Happened in 2010?

What was happening in November 2010? I was in the throes of adjusting to T3- only (7 months after switching to T3) and was on a dose that was too high for my body to handle. I was actually in a hyperthyroid state (due to T3 pooling instead of being used) and it is known that people with hyperthyroidism have a high rate of bone loss and a subsequent risk of fracture.

My T3 journey has been the topic of so many of my blog postings I will not go in to detail here (you can search for my blogs on hypothyroidism by typing “hypothyroid” in to the search box and at the end of each page of listings you will find “older entries” for even more). Suffice it to say that at the time I was trying to dose according to basal temperatures. Despite being on a dose of T3 that was causing rapid bone loss my temperatures never did show a normal reading or if they did they would spike and then the next day be low again (a sure sign of too much T3 causing adrenal stress).

Kris Insight

NTx testing can show you your daily bone loss and help you tweak your diet and exercise to maximize bone formation. The following is my to-do list to get you started:

  • Normalize your thyroid and sex hormones as quickly and naturally as possible.
  •  Limit sugary foods including most fruit. Eat foods high in Magnesium and K2 (dark green vegetables). If you tolerate dairy, you can add raw milk and raw milk products like kefir, yogurt, butter and cheese for your calcium.
  •  Optimize your Vitamin D levels preferably by exposing your skin to midday sun for 20 minutes or using a safe tanning option. If you live above the equator, especially at 45 degrees as I do, sun exposure is only useful from May-September. Mercola.com sells a safe tanning system and I use the Sunsplash Renew.
  • Adding supplements like magnesium, (Mark Sircus would say magnesium chloride transdermally as well as orally) K2, and Strontium will also help.
  •  Weight bearing exercise is known to cause the formation of bone and thus is of vital importance. Biking and swimming while useful exercise do not help build bone as there is no weight bearing on your limbs. You need to lift weights (the ligaments pull on the bone), run and/or walk. Sadly being overweight actually helps build bone but the risks of being obese are too great to justify it for load bearing reasons.
  • Order an NTx test here if your doctor doesn’t know about it.

To your good bone health,

Kris