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Last week I had a visit with a naturopath to begin my journey of finally addressing my hypothyroidism. I began addressing my adrenal fatigue when I had my saliva test a few months ago, and so the next step is looking into my thyroid.
The visit went pretty good. We are not exactly on the same page, but close enough. As I anticipated, Dr. E was okay with my using the hydrocortisone cream, but she feels I'm on a “pretty big dose”. Right now I'm on 27.5mg daily, and from my research that is not really a “big” dose. She said she would like to prescribe the pills but she would put me on a “much smaller” dose. Since I seem to need the amount I'm using right now, we agreed that I would just continue with what I'm doing. It's true that this product is a steroid, granted it is in a form that is similar to what our body produces, but it is still a steroid, and I'm not real happy about needing to use it. She also doesn't want to see me on HC for longer than six months, and she has the impression I've been on it for three months. That misunderstanding came about because she asked when I began using the HC, and I told her on August 29th, but then admitted to using it on occasion for stress dosing since June. So she got into her head that I've been on it three months, and would like to see me taper off by six months.
She did acknowledge understanding the purpose for using HC, which was big to me. And she also said she would like to help me cut down on the amount I'm using while beginning an adrenal support, and slowly increase that while decreasing the HC. This sounds like a good idea.
To be honest, I'd love to see myself off the HC tomorrow and at most six months, but I realize that may not be too realistic at this point in my life. I was so ecstatic to be off my asthma medication and it really bothers me to be currently dependent on this over the counter medication. But I believe it is for a short period of time only, to give my adrenals the chance to rest and heal. I guess I just need to take it one day at a time and see how it goes. If we get to six months and I try to taper and I'm wiped out, then I can't see that she'll expect me to become a zombie.
She mentioned that she would like to have some baseline tests done, and I shared the list of tests I wanted to have done. She was okay with all of them, and she wrote out the prescription. The only thing we differed on is the aldosterone test. She wants me to do a 24 hour urine collection for this test, and her office staff told me she said there is no problem with eating my normal amount of salt, and they also didn't think the HC was a problem. However, from my research I see that I should avoid salt for 24 hours, and also I should not take HC before the blood draw. I will wait to do the urine collection until I am able to clarify with her next week. I wonder if she responds to email?
Oh, she did sell me a bottle of DHEA, and asked me to take it in the morning with my first dose of HC. It is a 25mg pill and I am told that is a whopping amount for a woman to take, more like the amount a man would need, and furthermore DHEA lowers cortisol. So I would be applying HC (cortisol) and taking a pill to lower it. Not the goal I have in mind. This concerns me a little bit that she made this suggestion, and I'm also annoyed with myself that I bought the product – it was $16. I have a hard time saying no to things like that. Now I have this bottle of product that I cannot and will not be using, and they don't take back anything. Once you buy it, no returns or refunds…
I had my blood drawn on Friday morning. I had to fast since midnight. I was pretty much okay on the way there and that kind of surprised me and also was encouraging because I was able to make it without my morning dose of HC. I did bring food with me to eat after the blood draw, and also applied the HC.
I was super careful to stay off salt and oh was that a challenge for me. I am well known for my love of salt. I currently take 16 ounces morning and night with a level teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. I love it, and I feel much better when I drink it to start my day and just before going to bed.
I still have too much stress going on in my life though. Two big things that are happening right now is my job and our personal income taxes. I filed an extension and I need to be done by October 15th, which is less than two weeks from now. I've also misplaced my code for the software and so I might need to actually mail our return, instead of printing it and mailing it. And I just realized it's not due until October 17th, so I've got a couple more days. At my job we are being forced to comply with the state and learn a new billing system and I am the person responsible for helping everyone else get comfortable with the system. So I am spending a lot of time on this new billing system, and in the meantime I am behind on accounting tasks, and this week we have an event being held on Thursday night, which I am obligated to attend. I would need to be on my deathbed in order to not show up.
I won't be able to see my lab results until the following week, since my doctor wants me to come in and talk to her about the results before I get to see the labs myself. Since work is so crazy busy I can't take the time to go to a doctor's appointment. It will work out okay though since this gives me time to get clarification on the aldosterone testing before going through the hassle of collecting my urine for twenty four hours. Ugh.
All said, I guess it went pretty good. She listened to my whole entire story about what I think is going on, and why I got so stressed out. I brought Dr. Natasha's Gut and Psychology Syndrome book with me, and showed it to her. I don't remember if she had heard of the diet before, but she took down the title. I also shared with her my list of healing from my first six months on GAPS. She seemed impressed, and she was really pleased with the healing I've done so far.
Something else I really liked about her office was when I first arrived and they took my blood pressure, it was a “little high” if I remember correctly it was something like 146/84. I mentioned that my wrist cuff indicated it was typically around 120/80 and she said they would do a second reading after I talked to the doctor to see if it would go down, and if not she would like me to bring my wrist cuff in and we could check and see how it compared to her reading the next time. After I talked to the doctor they took my blood pressure again and it was down to 124/73 which the doctor was happy to see that.
I have never had a doctor take my blood pressure a second time to see if it would go down.
Also, I have never had an hour appointment with a doctor, so that was very nice. The initial consultation visit was $175 for one hour, and follow up visits are $75 for half an hour.
Oh, they did ask me to step on the scale. I never did update at the blog here with my September 1 weight, but it was 179. At the doctor's office it was 185, and I stepped on the scale here at home today and it was 184. I'm not too worried… anyway… I understand I may be gaining some weight due to my body healing itself as I begin to address the thyroid issue.
The doctor mentioned something about Wilson's with regards to my thyroid, and she also, curiously, said something like maybe my tests would come back not showing that I had any thyroid problems. That would be interesting indeed, and frustrating since I would then have to start trying to figure out what is wrong with me all over again. I am pretty sure it is thyroid though, since this problem runs in my family. I just want to address it, and feel better! I have a lot of responsibility in my life, and I need to be functioning at my very best.
I'll let you know when I learn more about what is going on with me. In the meantime, have a wonderful day!