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UPDATE: October 25, 2011. My antibody test came back <0.51 which according to my doctor's office, and this site: ClinLab Navigator, my results are negative for Graves' Disease.
Yesterday I told you about my diagnosis, and some of the misgivings that went along with learning that I have Graves' Disease.
I was pretty bummed out and stressed over what to do. What to do. What to do.
If you've been faithfully reading my blog, you'll know that I feel a lot of angst that GAPS alone has not healed me thoroughly. I was doing so awesome the first year. It will be two years in December, and the stress I have been through this entire year has been extremely detrimental to my health. I also don't feel that GAPS alone is going to take care of my thyroid issue that has been ongoing, at least for a decade, if not longer. I had hoped to find a natural way to heal, (meaning that I would rather not take prescription medication) but according to Mary Sholom it is unlikely.
Also, Bee, who I get the impression is pretty radically against medications (I could be wrong on that but that is my impression) has a page with information on thyroid and adrenal malfunction. Knowing this makes me feel a little better that I'm just not giving up and giving in.
For one thing, if I could quit my job and if my stress at home suddenly vanished, I would most definitely go on doing nothing but GAPS because that is my typical way to handle things. Shove my head right into the sand – which is what I've been doing all these years except for the two times I did actually ask for testing from “regular” doctors. And it's probably a good thing they did nothing because they likely would have prescribed Synthroid. Unfortunately, I cannot quit my job, because currently I am the main breadwinner. I am actually hoping and praying my husband quits his main business because it has caused both us much stress and anguish in 2011. He has been working as hard as he could, going without sleep and running on pure adrenaline and I have been worried sick about him. His schedule for the entire year has been like this:
- Work 7 days a week
- 2-3 hours of sleep three nights a week
- 4-5 hours of sleep two nights a week
- 8-10 hours of sleep one night
- At least one all-nighter each week
- One day a month collapse and sleep 12-24 hours
He has lost far too much weight, he looks gaunt and sickly. I have never seen him look this bad and I honestly don't know how he keeps going. I have been trying to get him to stop, and finally I started to think maybe he's sick and can't stop himself. And in fact, I had started to think that he had hyperthyroidism because he does have many of the symptoms! And here I turn out to have the very thing I suspected of him. I am hoping to get him to at least have some blood work done.
But back to me… yesterday I mentioned that my naturopath is not too keen on the amount of HC I'm on. She thinks it's “pretty high” but from my research I am just slightly above the recommended low dose. There is a way to find out if I'm at the right dose, and that is to take my temperature. I need to take my temperature three times a day, after being awake for three hours to get an average. For example, if I get up at 4am, I'm to take my temperature at 7am, 10am and 1pm. When my temperature is within a certain range (I'm seeing .1 in one place and .3 in another so I'm not exactly sure which is right or how I'm confused) for five days, I'm at the correct dosage to support my adrenals. This from the Stop the Thyroid Madness site:
You can determine your thyroid and adrenal status by following Dr. Rind with a temperature graph. You simply take your temp 3 times a day, starting three hours after you wake up, and every three hours after that, to equal three temps. (If you have eaten or exercised right before it’s time to take your temp, wait 20 more minutes.) Then average them for that day. Do this for AT LEAST 5 days. If your averaged temp is fluctuating from day to day more than .2 to .3 (says Rind in a telephone conversation with me), you need adrenal support. Your daily average temps should lean towards the .2. Summary: If your temps are fluctuating but overall low, you need more adrenal support and thyroid. If your temps are fluctuating but averaging 98.6, you just need adrenal support. If it is steady but low, you need more thyroid and adrenals are likely fine. (We note that mercury thermometers are the most accurate.)
For those already on cortisol, the above temperature test (comparing at LEAST 5 days of averages) is ideal to know if you are on enough. In other words, if each averaged temp is more than .2-.3 from each other (and several are .3 apart), you are not on enough cortisol, patients have learned.
That is pretty awesome if you ask me. If thyroid or adrenal issues are suspect, one can determine what is going on by taking one's temperature! However, please do not self-diagnose as adrenal dysfunction can be caused by low or high cortisol, and thyroid dysfunction can be hypo-or-hyper as I've learned. Which really to be honest with you blew me away to learn that I have the opposite problem of what I've suspected for years.
I have lots more to say on this. Like the post I promised to talk about the reverse T3 problem. But that will have to wait for another day. I've also come up with a plan to hopefully relieve some stress at my job, but I'll tell you about that another day, too.