Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What you might be missing, Part 2



We left off the Series, with me still not having answers to all my questions but at least I was coping. I found a pain pill that helped with my dizziness, headaches, and neck pain. It didn't seem to have any bad side effects and my life kinda-sorta became manageable. I wasn't in a hole anymore and I felt like the gray cloud had been lifted. It didn't take away the severe fatigue but I felt like that was a trade-off I could live with since I could now drive and turn my head without shooting pains.

I had been diagnosed with Occipital Neuralgia back in the early Fall by a Neurosurgeon. My neck is a mess with bone problems and narrowing of the foramen (little holes the nerves run through). But he didn't think my symptoms were related to those issues. I was sent back to my Cervical Spine Specialist and had a Nerve Block done twice last Fall. It helped, and verified the diagnosis, but wore off after a few weeks. That's when I started on the pain pills. (Muscle relaxers don't work for me, just cause me to have horrible dreams).

Then came Christmas and I was talking with my two daughters about Thyroid issues. One of them said she took a dose of T3 along with her regular Levothyroxine. WHAT..., you take another Thyroid Hormone replacement pill? that's the first time I'd heard of this.

The one thing I didn't know about Thyroid Replacement Therapy was that there are two hormones that can be used to supplement an underactive Thyroid. The usual replacement medication is Synthroid or Levothyroxine which is the T4 hormone. In theory T4 converts over to the most important, but much more difficult to administer, T3 hormone.

At my next doctor appointment I asked my Internist/Primary Care doctor about this and she said yes, but we would have to do a current Thyroid test to see where I was. Holy Cow,  my fabulous all purpose pain pill for my Occipital Neuralgia (literally a pain in the neck...and back of the head) had really screwed me up. It was causing my Thyroid to go crazy and put me in the HYPERthyroid area. Plus I was taking multiple supplements that included iodine, and iodine is used to treat underactive thyroid issues. The iodine was masquerading as seaweed, kelp, etc. energy synergy blah, blah, blah. in bone and joint supplements, nerve rebuilders, vitamins, healthy green drink smoothie powder, and whey protein. If you take a Thyroid supplement or medication don't take iodine, because it will mess with your meds and thyroid labs. I also learned it was in my B Vitamin Supplements as I was consuming mass quantities of because my B12 was in the tank. Also learned too much B12 can mimick signs of overactive Graves's disease with heart palpatations, increased pulse and angina. Good grief, I've now learned to check everything and read the ingredients in EV.ER.Y. Thing.
I decided to get off the pain pill and had to wait 6 LONG weeks to get my lab tests rechecked before she could even think about prescribing the T3. I begged, she said no.

I try to research all my meds and problems on the Internet. You know how people say, "Well, you just can't believe everything you read on the Internet." (with a finger wag). In some things that's a very true statement, but when you're going to websites like Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Heart Clinic, and Mayo Clinic, I think you can generally rely on what you read as being somewhat reliable and based in science. When you don't research things on your own you're at a real disadvantage because even the doctors aren't up on the latest findings. Research Papers, journals, etc. lie unread in their email inboxes and on the top of their to-do reading lists.

Well, I had been lulled into complacency by years of doctors telling me my Thyroid Lab tests were "normal". oh people, get the numbers and ranges and look at them yourselves. Don't trust someone to say your normal in Thyroid Labs, they are notoriously not to be trusted. The ranges are crazy and change from lab to lab. Look at them yourself, then question your health care person in person, eye to eye.

So as I said in my last post, I've been on the T3 Replacement for almost a month and I'm seeing a little improvement. When I went off the pain pill, Tramadol, within just a few days the severe neck pain, headaches, and fatigue were back. The Tramadol had messed with my thyroid so when it started to go back down the nerve pain came back. That's where I am now. I'm hoping the T3 will help build up the outer layer of the nerves, (the Myelin coating) I've read where it can cause the neuropathy to reverse and the nerves to heal. But I'm going to ask to see a Neurologist to check for the root cause of the Occipital Neuralgia. First place to check is other Auto-immune related illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Guillian-Barre (which I've had before). I'm tired of messing around and I want answers to all this. I think I deserve them.

2 comments:

  1. Bless you! This thyroid journey has been a long haul for me. I will have to read your part one. I learned the hard way about my thyroid meds. Take on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and then don't eat or drink anything for at least an hour. Especially coffee. I gave up coffee and drink PERO. Not difficult. Coffee can interfere with the absorption of meds. When getting TSH checked, fast before blood is drawn and have draw early in the morning before even taking thyroid meds. Two hours after you take your thyroid med, it peaks and if you take blood during this time you'll get a false reading. All the talk about ARMOUR being unstable isn't accurate. Synthroid is the unstable med. Political game going on with pig products. Since ARMOUR is a pig by product, some ethnic groups such as muslim and jewish do not promote pig products. The synthetic thyroid meds like Synthroid are promoted as good. After much research about the Thyroid Associations and who is on the boards, I figured that the ethnic groups that were on the boards of the Thyroid Associations would not promote pig products due to their religious beliefs. Synthroid is like the number one drug sold in the united states. Big money. Politics involved. ARMOUR has T4, T3, T2, T1, and a number of other things a healthy thyroid produces. Synthroid is T4 only treatment. You'll be told that Synthroid is just like what a thyroid puts out, identical. Not possible. It may be similar T4, but a healthy thyroid puts out more than just T4 and if the synthetic T4 were identical to what a thyroid makes, the pharmaceutical companies could not sell it at the price they do. Find a doctor that will give you a thyroid med with T4 and T3 together. The magic word when reading thyroid levels is OPTIMAL not normal. When you fall in the normal range, you may be under treated. OPTIMAL treatment, etc. All the best!

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  2. I know that last comment was lengthy, but forgot to say when taking thyroid meds on an empty stomach, don't take any other meds for at least 4 hours after taking thyroid meds. Including vitamins and supplements. All can effect the thyroid meds.

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