How is Your Thyroid Doing?

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.

I scheduled an appointment with an excellent, progressive physician, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, at The Sanctuary in Boca Raton.  He started me on Armour Thyroid and long story short, I feel great now.  In fact, I can’t even believe how much better I feel.  This medication has helped me so much that I’d inject the stuff into my eyeballs if necessary.  My energy levels make me feel like I hit the jackpot every day.  I rejoined CFHC.  I no longer dread pushing through the wall I hit around 3 or 4PM.  I can think again.  That area of my brain feels reactivated, and my thoughts are sharp again.  Bonus:  my clothes fit right again, and I’m not even sure when that happened.  Confession:  If this is how I’m supposed to have been feeling all along, I’ve really been missing out.
Five weeks later, my lab results revealed TSH levels at 2.04.  WIN.  It is also worth noting that the components of a comprehensive thyroid test include TSH, T3, T4, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.
The take home message is this:  if you feel that something is “off,” it probably is.  Take the initiative to find out what it is.  Be an advocate for your own health and find a physician or a health organization which allows you to do that.  Life Extension is a great company that empowers consumers to take control of their own health, and you don’t have to live in this area to utilize their services.  You can order these blood tests through Life Extension online at lef.org (or go through your physician, but I like the more autonomous option).  I don’t work for Life Extension or The Sanctuary, nor has anyone ever asked me to share this experience.  I gladly do so because I am grateful for these resources, and I think you should know that they are available to you as well.
That’s all from South Florida today, folks.  Savanna started 1st grade at a new school, and boy has that been a huge change for us.  I have several new favorite finds this summer, including some health related apps and gadgets that I’ll share with you in a few upcoming posts.  Ciao for now!

 

Comments

  1. al says:

    Great article, I am a cross fit addict, S FL resident, grew up in Jamaica (never smoked pot) who discovered last fall that I had an under active thyroid. I absolutely relate – you have eloquently described my before and after..

  2. maverickmom says:

    Thanks so much for your comment, I am so glad to hear that you had a similar “after” experience. Now you can move forward Rx style, both in the box and in life :-) Keep taking good care of yourself and come back soon!

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