Keeping It Real…

I’ve made mention that I am undergoing medical testing, so I decided to share what I know so far…

For the last 4 months, I have seen an increase in the following medical symptoms…

  • Increased fatigue…not the kind of fatigue that comes with exercise, but the kind of fatigue that drains every ounce of energy you thought you had, not just the energy you truly had.
  • Increased sensitivity to cold…my fingers and toes are nearly always cold. We used to keep the house set at 65F during the day and 62F at night…lately I’ve been turning the temperature up to 68F during the day (and I could turn it up even more if it wouldn’t cook the Iron Hippie and my girls) and 64F at night. I have also noticed that I my lips easily turn purple and my fingers and toes easily turn white due to the cold.
  • Dry skin…I’ve always had dry skin, but lately it has gotten worse. Even when drowning my body in lotion, my skin just keeps soaking the lotion up like a sponge. I can’t get enough lotion on my skin to make it not look like that of an alligator and prevent my skin from cracking and bleeding.
  • Unexplained weight gain…I have put on nearly 20 pounds in 4 months. I eat like a bird (typically less than 2000 calories a day) and exercise 12-14 hours a week, but keep gaining weight. GRRRR
  • Muscle weakness…I have lost the ability for my left hamstring to fire during exercise. I’m not talking about the small stabilizing muscles around the hamstring, I’m talking about the BIG bellied muscle that is suppose to be contracting while I walk, run, cycle, climb stairs, etc. It is so frustrating.
  • I’ve had lots of muscle aches and stiffness…I get a massage every other week. Nick, my masseur, spends a whole hour on just my legs and that doesn’t even put a dent on releasing the tension in my legs…the rest of my body is drastically neglected and needs the work too, but my legs take precedence. Nick always says, “You are one of the only people I know that I can spend a whole hour just on your legs and not get them to release the tension in them.”
  • Much heavier than normal menstrual cycles…sorry guys, but as I prefaced, this is real. I typically don’t have much of a period, but for the last few months my period has been heavier than normal.
  • Bouts of constipation…I’ve been prescribed medication for hemorrhoids due to constipation many times in the past for this.
  • Depression…I am not “depressed,” but have noticed that continual weight gain and constant fatigue have really diminished my happiness. I randomly start crying…ok, maybe I am slightly “depressed.” I just want to be HAPPY again!!

With all of these symptoms, I contacted my doctor and she suggested a variety of tests be conducted. My blood work results from October showed that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels were not in the “normal” range…5.17 (normal is 0.35-4.90 mIU/mL) which is an indicator of hypothyroidism. I had a 2nd test conducted in December and my TSH levels were 4.05, which is inside of the normal range, but my doctor said, “Your TSH has improved slightly and is still borderline for hypothyroidism.” I had my 3rd blood draw yesterday and meet with my doctor in February for a 2nd consultation to figure out what happens next. During the 1st consultation with my doctor, we decided that we would not seek medical treatment at this time and continue testing my blood every couple of months.

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At this point, I don’t exhibit all 16 symptoms listed on the Mayo Clinic website (which are the same symptoms my doctor referred to during our 1st consultation), but I do exhibit quite a number of them and I don’t want to keep playing the waiting game until I exhibit all of them. While I am not fond of the idea of taking medication everyday for the rest of my life, I am definitely not ok with exhibiting these symptoms and potentially having it get worse with time…so I’ve decided medication might be my best option.

Do you or someone you know have hypothyroidism? If so, do you have any tips for regulating it without medication?

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47 thoughts on “Keeping It Real…

  1. I am no expert, but I have found benefit to significantly changing my nutrition over the last six months to resolve my bloodwork issues. It fixed all my cholesterol and other blood values that were out of range. The protocol I follow is a mix of the Zone diet and Paleo food choices.

    Some people in the paleo and zone worlds have used this protocol to treat patients that exhibit thyroid conditions.

    http://paleozonenutrition.com/2010/08/26/hashimotos-auto-immune-thyroid-disease-avoid-gluten-like-the-plague/

    Tim McCollough

  2. I am so sorry to hear about all the trouble Kecia! A family friend was diagnosed with the same condition (she is a runner) she went with the medication and from my recollection it worked really well for her. I was really back and forth with the idea of having to take drugs daily for my sleep disorder but having been on it now for almost a year honestly I would never go back.
    I know it is so hard being who we are to rely on something synthetic daily but medicine is there for a reason. You wouldn’t be giving in or up (that was my line of though for my lack of desire to do daily drugs) but giving yourself back the normal you once had (or in my case the normal other people get naturally). If you are unsure a second medical opinion is always an option especially a specialist in this case.

    1. Thanks so much De! I have felt like I might be giving in or giving up, so it is nice to hear your very wise version…I’m giving myself back my normal 😉

  3. Wow, I have most of your symptoms (other then the menstrual cycles 🙂 ). My fingers go numb in 60 degree weather and if I don’t do hill runs constantly, my legs are very fatigued and weak.

    I’m going to make an appt with my family Dr. I was talking to someone at work today and he suggested hypothyroidism as a possibility (and that was before I read your post).

    Thanks for the post and I hope you find an answer soon.

    1. Thanks Tom…it has been a difficult road, but I hope the medicine will help regulate all of that!! I wish you luck on finding a solution to your symptoms too 😉

  4. KEICIA,
    I am on natural thyroid medication & highly recommend it.
    Kelly Stewart is also a wonderful resource.
    Tried synthetic too many side effects! And was taking forever to regulate.
    Hormones play a huge role it this condition. I studied a lot when I was working on regulating.
    Hang in there!
    Love,
    Sheri

  5. I’m so sorry you haven’t been feeling well! It’s tough to keep happy and positive when you know things aren’t ‘right’. Hopefully you’ll get things figured out and are back to feeling great soon.

  6. I am so sorry to hear you are going through this, Kecia! I do not know a lot about hypothyroidism, but I know the thyroid controls a lot of the hormones that provide balance in our bodies. It must be incredibly frustrating to feel thrown off balance when you are trying to live a life that is active and healthy. You’re an inspiration girl – keep your head up! Did the symptoms just slowing start to creep up or have you noticed them in the past as well?

  7. I am sorry to hear of your trouble. My grandma and my mom both have hyperthyroidism and are on medication, they both say it was so worth going on the meds, it made things so much better. My doc says that most likely I will have to go on meds at some point too. I don’t have any recommendations just hoping you feel like yourself again soon!

  8. I can’t imagine how frustrating this must be, but I applaud you — not only for being proactive, but also for sharing your story. I have a friend who had similar symptoms (her mother had same issues, so she went & got checked out right away) & she’s on thyroid medication (doing much better), so hopefully spreading word like this will inspire others to get in to their doctors & get checked out. I know you (and your medical team) will get it figured out, as well — and you’ll be back on your feet (and training at full capacity) in no time. In the meantime, hang in there; I’m sure there will be some short-term adjustments, but you’ll be much better off in the long run. Hoping you get some more answers soon! xo

  9. Unbelievably frustrating, I am so sorry Kecia. Are there any alternatives to medication? But I totally get where you are coming from, just knowing for certain so you can take the steps to relieving these symptoms. Hang in there!

  10. Oh dang!! That is no good. As soon as I started reading your symptoms I thought thyroid! It is such a small but important gland! Good luck with figuring it out. I am sure once you start meds or do something naturally you will be much more yourself. Keep your head up!! More positive vibes to you!!! (Maybe you just need to move somewhere warmer) 🙂

  11. You’re doing an amazing job of pushing through, especially for not being 100%. Hopefully they figure out an answer and solution for you soon so you can just focus on what you love!

  12. Kecia – So sorry to hear that you are dealing with this, and hopefully you’ll have definitive answers soon. Good luck as you figure out what’s best for you.

  13. Hang in there girl! I can only imagine your frustration with all this. I am impressed with how in tune you are to all your symptoms. I know you will make the best decision for you and no matter what, I hope you start feeling like yourself again soon! Stay strong!!!

    1. Thanks Lee!! Triathlon has taught me to be more in tune with my body, which has helped through all of this. I will definitely stay strong and keep doing what I love!! 😃

  14. Oh, man… I’m so sorry to hear this, Kecia. Take care of yourself and do what’s best for YOU to get better. Hope your start feeling more like yourself asap! Thinking of you 🙂

  15. I am so sorry to here this my Tri sister, I am truly trying to understand why do we as women have to go through so freaking much… I am hoping the medicine will balance everything out.. geez.. and me with my early menopause issues every night burning up and sweating every night, and off and on like i light switch.. i have had these issues going on for the last 10 yrs.. my doctor at the time told me things would get worse.. boy she was not telling any fibs. I really hope you get better, and i think it’s a smart choice not to let everything continue to break down before you do anything about it. I’m sure will do lots of research before you make any decisions.

    1. Thank you! I meet with my dr next week and possibly an endocrinologist after that, so it could still be a while before I get the results I need/want. I’ll keep doing what I love and push forward one day at a time 😉

  16. I’m so behind on comments, but I wanted to say sorry to hear that you are having all these symptoms and I truly hope you figure out what works going forward.

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