I have written about thyroid health numerous times here in the past, including articles about the importance of getting a comprehensive thyroid test and the numerous problems your thyroid can mimic. I have even written about the fact that broccoli can slow down your thyroid gland when eaten in larger quantities. This time, however, it’s personal.
This summer, I got really tired. Not the type of tired you might feel after, say, an all nighter or a monster workout. I’m talking about the kind of tired that two Venti Starbucks a day can’t fix……bone ass, drag-yourself-through-the-day kind of tired. At first, I thought maybe the summer heat was leaving me feeling drained and lethargic. Then, I began to wonder if something was really wrong with me. I kept thinking I was fighting something and always hit a wall around 3pm in the afternoon. I had trouble doing CrossFit and decided to take a break for awhile. It gets tough to do an intense WOD when you don’t even have the energy to get through the normal daily routines.
I even had a weird brain fog going on. At times, I felt like someone replaced my brain with a large bag of cotton. I drove to Target several times, only to forget that I went there for a specific item in the first place. I just couldn’t think clearly at all. In fact, I felt like there was an entire area of my brain that wasn’t even getting blood flow or something.
At that point, I decided to be proactive and get a full blood panel, including comprehensive thyroid testing. I really wanted to know what was going on that might cause me to feel so fatigued most of the time. Thank goodness for Life Extension, an organization which offers blood testing at their retail location in Fort Lauderdale. You can walk in, ask for your desired blood tests, and walk out in 20 minutes. The total cost for the full chemistry/lipid panel, hormones, cortisol, Vitamin D, and comprehensive thyroid panel was $260. Most physicians and labs would charge anywhere from $1500-$2500 for this panel.
My lab results looked great…….until I scrolled down to TSH levels. BAM. Check it.
I was kind of horrified, yet relieved. Number one, thyroid problems are one of the most common causes of miscarriage. Number two, wow……what a relief to find the problem so that I could fix it.
The updated standards for diagnosing hypothyroidism are important. In the past, TSH levels under 4.0 were considered normal but in 2003, the American Association of Clinical Endrocrinologists lowered those standards to 2.5 or below. These days, I know a few physicians who believe TSH levels should be below 1.0. In other words, my thyroid was the reason I felt like ass this summer.