Thursday, January 12, 2012

More Meds, Less Meds

Having Hashimoto's means getting my blood tested every 6-8 weeks until the right amount of thyroid replacement medication is taken. Now, keep in mind that Hashimotos disease is indicative to periods of hyper, hypo, and euthroid. So, if my blood test today shows I'm hyper, retesting next week may show I'm hypo. The problems come when I get a TSH value of 0.02 - hyper - then the doctor lowers my medication. Not fun. Less thyroid replacement means more symptoms. More exhaustion, more anxiety, more confusion, more depression. But still the doctors do it. Then, after 6 weeks in hell, my blood is tested again. My results are usually 2.2, maybe 3.2, which is hypo. That would mean I need an increase in my thyroid medication. NOW, if the doctors would just leave the dose alone, I think they would find that it all balances out. Adjusting to each dose takes a few weeks and the constant dosage change just becomes insufferable. More thyroid medication, less thyroid medication. The thyroid 'talks' to everything in the body. So the fluctuations in the thyroid medications has an enormous impact on the body as a whole.  This week the hormones are almost fine, next week the hormones are all on vacation, the following week they're at an all time high. If any man thought PMS was bad, they should see what it's like to add PMS to the constantly changing thyroid levels/pituitary functions/hormone levels/adrenal levels/serotonin levels/human hormone growth levels, etc. It's like a roller coaster inside the body.
And with all the changes, that thing is bound to jump the track one day.
So what I did, and I never, never, never recommend anyone do this - I started to regulate my own medication. I had so many different doses that I was able to pick and choose what I was going to take. I chose a mid-range dose out of what I had and started there. I didn't want to be taking more than I needed. My goal was to find one dose and only one dose that allowed me to feel ok while keeping me within what the doctors considered a good range. It wasn't easy and I don't suggest anyone ever do it. And anyone reading this - don't do what I did. I was lucky. I was taking my Medical Assistant degree and I had access to a great deal of information. I also never withheld the information from my doctor. EVER. I always told him what I was taking, how I felt, etc. So I was still under doctor supervision. I even phoned him when I had a question. We discussed at length the effects of too much thyroid replacement medication, different vitamins, different ways of eating, how much exercise to get and when. I'm certain he had to book me extra time for my office visits because he knew I wasn't going to just sit there and accept anything he said. I insisted he prove things to me. I made him tell me why he thought the way he did. And if there was something I was unsure of, I researched it with an open mind.
So after all that, at the end of 2010 I finally knew what dose I needed to be on.

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