Symptoms of Low Thyroid and Adrenal Fatigue
Well, it’s officially two months since the end of Round 5 of HCG Injections on the HCG Diet for me. I’m in Phase 4 (P4)- which is basically just normal, healthy, everyday eating.
I want to discuss my own personal health today because I think it could help others reading it to possibly recognize if they have any hidden health issues themselves. Sometimes we get used to what we might think of as certain little “quirks” to ourselves, that in actuality, are simply health symptoms, that if addressed, could let us lead a happier more full life.
If you have some of the symptoms that I mention below, but your doctor says your thyroid lab tests are normal, please don’t leave it at that. I have discovered many many people go untreated because they really DO have thyroid or adrenal issues- the standard tests that are done are woefully inadequate- the following are some resources to research this important topic. In fact, my own lab tests came back “normal” for a long time, until my condition finally got SO bad that it finally did show up the generic testing- but you shouldn’t have to wait several years to get treated as I did. The following are what I consider to be the best information out there on hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia.
Stop the Thyroid Madness Website- a wealth of information on thyroid and adrenal fatigue and all the things “they” never tell you.
Natural Thyroid Solutions – check the latest updates and news section and Q&A
I have been dealing with some chronic health issues for several years now and went untreated for most of it because I didn’t know what was wrong with me for many years (this was not for lack of diligent searching for a cause). But I’ve been pretty much symptom free and off all thyroid medication and adrenal support for over 9 months this past year. I never actually expected to be off my thyroid meds as usually the condition I have (hashimoto’s) and the resulting low or hypothyroid condition isn’t curable.
How I Got Off Thyroid Medication
My improved health happened over a number of months as I lost weight with this weight loss protocol, attended Crossfit and got more fit, completely eliminated gluten 100% from my diet, and saw a holistic “dude” (he’s not actually a “doc”) who helped me to address some chronic infections he discovered through muscle testing and treated with homeopathy and rife machine frequencies (google that one).
The only reason I even considered getting off my thyroid medication at all was because I was suddenly feeling very sick and yucky, in a way I’d never felt before, and the holistic guy I was seeing confirmed that my body was functioning very well on it’s own and that I no longer needed the thyroid meds technically. It made me very nervous to wean off it as I visualized what I used to feel like pre-medication, but as soon as I did, I felt much better, and spent the next 9 months living like a normal person- having normal energy, working out, all without medication, which was shocking to me considering how I used to feel without my thyroid medication (couldn’t work secularly, had to sleep many hours each day, had chronic fatigue and some fibromyalgia symptoms- extreme pain in my feet after standing in my kitchen to cook a simple dinner, etc.). That entire 9 months of 2012 I spent most of it feeling great with great energy and none of my old symptoms.
The 3 Amigos: Stress – Low Thyroid – Adrenal Fatigue
But stress is a killer isn’t it? Or maybe we should say stress is a life-sucker. You’ve probably heard that adage “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” right? I have yet to see this happen in my case. My chronic health issues started at just 21 years of age, when autoimmune triggers were turned on in my body from different stressful situations in my life. Stress and difficulties in life have always seemed to wreak a havoc on my body that have permanently changed how my body operates. My husband and I both came to the realization recently that I have not been myself the past couple months. Back in September we lost our house to foreclosure and the process of that, along with the stress of finding a new home and moving our whole home ourselves with a small 2 year old in tow wasn’t exactly stress free. I got through the actual process very well and was pretty proud of myself- almost felt like a small version of a female super hero, but I believe my body is now experiencing the delayed stress response to that period of time. Along with the fact that I now work secularly again- something I haven’t done in years.
I didn’t notice it at first because the symptoms were a bit subtle and infrequent, but after considering the past couple months, we realized that many of my old familiar symptoms that I used to experience when untreated were there again.
Uncommon Reaction to Social Interaction
For anyone who doesn’t know, one symptom of low thyroid function, which I experience in full force when my condition is not being managed well, is the inability to handle social interaction and feel good still. Even though it’s what you might call a “good stress”, social interaction is a stress on the body. If you’re a normal person, you might spend some time with family or friends and come home feeling happy and refreshed at the good time you just had. Or even if you didn’t have a good time, you might come home kind of irritated, go to sleep and wake up and go about your normal business just fine the following day.
What happens to me specifically is that after hanging out with people, whether I had a good time or not, I will later become very depressed for seemingly no reason. It will last for a couple days, before the depression cloud lifts and I feel normal again. The depression is bad enough that it’s pretty debilitating and something that makes you want to avoid scenarios that cause that. I want to mention this because it’s one of those things that is very difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it and even harder for them to understand. If you are reading this and realize that you experience this, please consider that you may have some unresolved health issues, that if addressed, could enable you to enjoy people’s company again.
I haven’t experienced this in quite some time, but lately noticed it was starting to happen again.
Uncommon Reaction to Physical Activity
Another symptom of low thyroid and or adrenal fatigue that I would experience is the same resulting depression after taking a walk on concrete for any length of time. I haven’t put my finger on it completely yet, but I have discovered a slow walk on the sidewalk for a half hour or more will cause me to feel very bad later- debilitating fatigue and depression. This seems especially silly to me now considering I still attend Crossfit 3-4 times a week, for an hour each time where I sweat like nobody’s business and my whole body get’s worked super hard, and I feel good after these sessions, yet a slow walk will cause me fatigue later. It’s a strange anomaly that I still don’t understand why it happens, but it does. Years ago before being treated this symptom was bad enough that any physical activity caused the chronic fatigue and depression reaction, no matter what it was. There could even be an endorphin rush initially, but within a matter of a couple hours, this dark cloud of depression would descend. We are not talking a mild case of the blues- we are talking an I-don’t-know-how-I-can-go-on-living hopeless kind of feeling.
More Cold Than Those Around You
Thirdly, I’ve been extremely cold again lately, and I don’t live in a snow state. I’ve been so cold that I’ve actually found myself googling “warmest coat” and considering specialized jacket options that only researchers in the antarctic usually wear because I can’t seem to find a coat that keeps me warm enough to enjoy the outdoors this winter.
There are many more symptoms that I won’t detail here today. These are the main ones that I’ve been experiencing again.
Treatment of Low Thyroid and Adrenal Fatigue
So what this means is that I’m trying myself back on a small dose of thyroid medication. I take Cytomel– also called T3 or active thyroid hormone. This is very different from what the majority of thyroid patients are put on by their doctors- most take T4 medication like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid or Unithroid. If you haven’t researched this yet, please look into the differences between T3 and T4 thyroid medications– it can mean the difference between feeling symptom free and feeling like crap.
I have yet to know if my current symptoms are mostly thyroid or mostly adrenal or a combination of both, or maybe it’s something entirely new or different. It’s a bit of a guessing game sometimes at this moment and takes time to figure out. I have experimented with taking small doses of cortisol again too in the form of Isocort. The results are mixed. Sometimes I feel better, sometimes I feel worse, so I don’t know all the answers yet. The important thing though is to do something. If I do nothing, I definitely won’t figure it out. By trying different things I hope to find the solution and the right balance for best wellness again.
What I will tell you is that, even though I’m once again experiencing a blip in my health, between taking Cytomel thyroid medication for 2 years and then somehow recovering my health and not needing it for almost a year, I have spent the last 3 years of my life feeling REALLY GOOD compared to the previous 6-8 years before that. If you can get proper treatment, you CAN feel good again. Don’t give up on yourself and finding wellness. Make the above links in this post a start to your research on this.
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- pep talks by yours truly
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