Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue

I guess it is time to get a little personal on my blog. I would like to begin talking about hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue, very common problems plaguing us today. This not just something interesting to me that I want to tell you all about and how to treat. I have both. I understand being so fatigued that you cannot function, but you are so exhausted that you cannot sleep. Going to doctors saying something wrong, you feel off and being told you are fine. These posts are personal, been there, done it and continue to work on healing my body.

The high lights of my story:
My symptoms started when I was two weeks old! When my mom took me in for my appointment, I had lost so much weight the doctor told her if I lost a few more ounces I would be put into the NCUI and tube feed. At a year, I was something like, 12-15 pounds and had no hair, everyone thought I was a little boy. Growing up, I was always very lean and we always said it was due to being a competitive gymnast. Once about 13 or 14, I began complaining of fatigue, being cold, not feeling well, like something was off and some nasty dry skin. I always had bad allergies as well. I would go to the doctor and be told everything was fine. I was just depressed and dealing with a lot. I had to quite gymnast due to a serious break of my right leg, had chronic pain, a condition called complex regional pain syndrome these days, going through high school, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life, it was just depression. My symptoms would get worse and I would have even more, so back I would go and be told the same thing, depression. When I got to college my symptoms really took a turn for the worse. I was having extreme difficulties thinking, concentrating, remembering anything, even after hours of studying. I thought I was stupid. I would look at my friends and classmates and ask why I was even there because I could not cut it. I was getting to the point that it could be 95 degrees outside and I would be in sweats because I was SO cold. I always felt like I was getting sick. My skin was very dry, I had huge deep cracks in my heels, my hands were flaky and very time I moved, it felt like my skin was being rubbed over sand paper. I had acne all the time. I was failing classes no matter how hard I worked and tried, nothing made a difference. I can remember at one point telling someone, I was at the bottom of a down world spiral, hanging on by a finger tip. No matter how hard I tried to crab onto life, I could not. I was afraid I was going to have a complete break down and end up in the hospital. No one would listen to me. I was always told, I was just depressed and needed to take an anti-depressant. I refused to take them because I knew I was not depressed, this was a secondary symptom, something was wrong.

I married my husband and moved out of state.  At this point, some things became a little less stressful. I was not going to school full time, working part time, planning a wedding, moving out of state, failing classes, feeling like I was stupid. My symptoms got a little better.

I found a great doctor there in Wichita Ks. When I told him what was going on, he told me I had hypothyroidism right on the spot. He did blood work to confirm it, which with the blood work he told me I had sever hypothyroidism. My TSH came back at 6.4, I will talk about the blood work later.   He put me on Armour thyroid and from there treated me symptom based, increasing medication on symptoms. I ended up on 240 mg. I felt like a million bucks! I could not believe the difference this made for me. After several months of working with this doctor, we moved back to Utah.

My symptoms started getting worse again, and so I had to find another doctor. They began treating my only based on blood work. I was taken off of the Armour and put on Synthyroid, which I hated. I did not like the way it made me feel, I noticed a difference between the natural hormones from Armour and the synthetic ones. So, I was really bad and put myself back on the Armour and started searching for another doctor who would prescribe Armour. I did find one, but he kept me on an extremely low does. I was taking 240 mg when I came to Utah, he had me on 60ish mg. My symptoms became outrages. My skin was turning yellow, could not think, concentrate, remember anything, I had a hard time breathing, severe, debilitating chronic fatigue, could not sleep, my whole body ached from head to toe. I did not want my husband to even give a hug, I ached so bad. I was freezing cold. I could have four layers of clothes on, several blankets, sit in front of my fire place and still be cold. I was blacking out, getting dizzy, my balance was off. It was getting scary. But, they had the brilliant idea of taking my off my Armour because of my blood work. In this six week period, I almost died and divorced my husband. I had no life left in my eyes, family and friends were very worried about me, for good reason. This time, my blood work came back even worse than when I was originally diagnosed, my TSH was 10. I was told by a new doctor that if I had not already been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, they would not do anything for me, but because I had been diagnosed, they would put my a small does of Synthyroid. I explained I do not do well on this and I would prefer to be on the Armour. They would not prescribe it to me unless I saw the doctor, who I could not get into for over a month. When I told them I would be dead in a month, they did not care. Needless to say, I did not go back to this doctor.

I was able to find a doctor who is a D.O. and would treat more symptom based, not just blood work. He ended up putting my back on the 240 mg of Armour. My symptoms were much better, but I still had them. He checked me for adrenal fatigue, but this came back negative, which is normal even if you have adrenal fatigue. Everything he tested for came back normal, they could not figure out what was wrong.

Then, I shattered my wrist. In 18 months, I had 6 surgeries and 10 producers done. I ended up with the same complex regional pain syndrome, CRPS, I had in my leg. At one point, I decided to stop taking my pain medication cold turkey, decided to do it again. DO NOT ever do this unless under medical supervision. I finally decided to ask my chiropractor if there was anything he could do to help me, I was desperate for help. He told me of course he could. I went in to to see him and he had me fill out a health questioner, from this he informed me, I had adrenal fatigue, they were shot, gone, not functioning. Go figure with everything I had been through. He put me on whole food supplements and things began to take a turn for the better. I was still on the Armour. After several months, I thought I was ok and went off of the supplements. Symptoms got worse, again. I had to find a new doctor again for my thyroid, who is treating me only blood work based so I am all over the map with my dosage of Armour. I am know back on my supplements from my chiropractor for adrenal fatigue.

My added complication to my hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue is the CRPS. Being in significant amounts of pain on a daily bases, puts a lot of stress on the adrenal glands. This adds a layer of difficulty to treatment.

That is my story in a nutshell of dealing with both hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. If you have any symptoms of these, stick around. I plan on writing much much more on these issues. I wrote out my story so you do understand I am coming from a place of true understanding, not just because it is interesting. Maybe something I have tried will help you on your journey of healing your hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue.

Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God bless,

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