Monday, November 23, 2009

Raving Thyroid

In the last two months, I've gained twenty pounds and started to have an eerie resemblance to the Michelin Man. This is not because I'm eating Snickers bars for every meal or because I've stopped working out. It's because my thyroid levels are severely imbalanced. It began because my body was healing rapidly, which meant I was on far too high a dosage of thyroid medication.

What happens when one hyperthyroidic, even due to over-medication? I'll spare you a long list of physical symptoms and will simply say that absolutely everything is affected. Mood, weight, energy level, sex drive, ability to deal with stress, hunger level, irritability, etc., etc., etc. In a word, hyperthyroidism is HELL on earth. (And I don't use that term lightly. I promise.) For six weeks I was trapped with a personality I didn't recognize. I was, to be quite honest, really mean and extremely irritable. Other people noticed. Those who love me were willing to forgive me; those who didn't took offense and became as much a stranger to me as I was to myself. Some of those relationships have been healed. Others could not be.

Once we realized my medication levels were far too high, my doctor and I worked together to find a lower dose that worked. It took a while, but I eventually enjoyed one beautiful week where I was myself again. No nasty temper, no irritability, same sense of humor, same loving outlook, and same joy I'd always known. This was short-lived, because the medication I was on was under attack by the FDA and was no longer available. I was able to find a replacement, but the formula is not the same. This resulted in having far too little medication. I therefore went from being severely hyperthyroidic to being severely hypothyroidic within the span of a few short weeks.

What I'm experiencing now can't even be described with the word "exhaustion," because it includes an energy void physically, mentally and emotionally. The one good thing that resulted from this is that my patience in traffic is greatly improved because I even drive slower than normal. In addition to that, my heart beat has dropped more than 30 beats per minute, I could sleep 24 hours a day and still be tired, I have overwhelming brain fog, and my body is not digesting the food I eat. This is because hypothyroidism has substantially slowed everything in my body, including circulation, digestion, nerve conductivity, metabolism, etc. I should add that the one thing that has not slowed down is weight gain, resulting in my current resemblance to the Michelin Man. I'm currently waiting on test results to find out how we can adjust my meds to get things back in balance. Unfortunately, in spite of using many natural remedies to help my thyroid gland continue healing itself, this is one case where a prescription med is required. Having to wait for my MD to make that decision is tough, but necessary.

I share this partially so that you'll understand why I've been out of sight lately and so that those who see me will understand why I'm so huge. I also share this as an encouragement to others. Thyroid issues affect every aspect of your life. If you suspect your thyroid levels are imbalanced, please get your blood levels of TSH, T3 and T4 checked immediately. You'll be amazed at the changes you'll feel once you get things back in balance. If you'd like help and advice on balancing your thyroid levels naturally, please feel free to contact me.

Until then, I'm off to try on more tents. Have a blessed night!


  1. Sorry to hear you're going through all of that, Pamela! *HUGS* I can thoroughly understand because the Lyme has compromised my thyroid and my numbers nearly tripled in one month..and I've been gaining weight from it. :-/ I'm supplementing with iodine/iodide to see if that will help. Once my body heals from the Lyme, I'm sure my weight will go back into balance again. I'm sure the same will be true for you, too, once you find the right dosage of your new thyroid med. *Lots of hugs until then, though.*



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