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Older Women and Low Thyroid

Posted Feb 23 2010 10:08pm

To recap my thyroid challenges for new readers; I was first told I was hypothyroid a few years ago and put on Armour Thyroid. It worked for a while but then my body developed resistance and I researched the reason and found that if your adrenals were low then treating the thyroid would not work. So I went on adrenal meds as well.

I felt better for a time then I got reverse T3 which is an odd thing the body produces from the T4 in Armour and which takes the place of real T3 in the cells so the Armour doesn’t work any more. Your thyroid actually runs on T3, that’s the active component, but most doctors don’t like to give you that, so they give most women Synthroid, a synthetic T4, which is supposed to be converted by your body into T3.  However as you get older your body has a hard time converting T4 to T3.

Anyway I was on T3 (Cytomel) and adrenal meds (Hydrocortisone) both in very small physiological doses, taking them 3 times a day to imitate my own hormone production and it was all working quite well. This was after a lot of research on my part and a lot of resistance on the part of my doctor. Way back there was an unfounded scare that T3 might cause heart problems and they’ve never gotten over it.

Then over a year ago I went on the raw fruit and greens diet and I suddenly didn’t need my meds any more. I was really happy about that and assumed that my body was now able to make anything I needed now I was giving it the right ingredients.

After about 9 months without meds my doc said I was getting low on thyroid again and now I’ve been told that I’m getting really low and I should go back on the T3.

Well, I did realize that it was happening because my energy had plateaued and then lowered but I was still so much more energetic than anyone around me that I was ignoring it. But suddenly, after being too skinny for the last 6 years, I gained 15 lbs in 3 months since Thanksgiving. I had gone off my diet significantly at this time and thought that was the reason but I really didn’t pig out that much. I’m actually happy to have the weight gain but I don’t want too much of a good thing, enough is enough.

Since I believe that my adrenals have really recovered I will not add those meds back at this time. I’ll see how I do on the T3. But here’s the point of this story - a woman called me this week who is 50 lbs overweight, has brain fog, is out of work, and has no energy. When I said that she sounded hypothyroid to me, she said “Oh, no, I’ve been on Synthroid for years.”

Well, hello! she may have been on it for years and it may have worked for her at some point in the beginning but obviously it is not working for her now.  But the TESTS may still indicate that she is low normal and many doctors measure your thyroid by your tests, not by looking at you or by asking how your life is going.

This woman is a walking example of clinically acceptable thyroid function that doesn’t serve her in real life. There is an epidemic of this now according to alternative physicians. It is another example of how making certain numbers ok and other numbers not ok without regard to the patient involved is just crazy making. Just look at all the body types and different genetic heritages you can see out on the street in the US and tell me that they will all need exactly the same amount of anything!

So, here is this woman spending a lot of time lying on the couch remembering when she was fit and healthy and wishing she could be that way again; but she can’t get to healthy from there. She knows there is something wrong, that life isn’t supposed to feel like this. Probably the next thing she’ll be given is a prescription for anti-depressants, that’s the standard of care for post-menopausal women.

If she did the research she could figure it out for herself but with brain fog that is difficult to do. She has put her doctor in the shoes of the authority figure in her life and she’s taking his word for her health. I wanted to tell her to kick him out of those shoes and step up herself to be her own authority on what was right for her. She knows she doesn’t feel good. Well, just read a list of low thyroid symptoms and she’s a fit for most of them. But I can’t tell her that, I’m not a medical professional.

So here I am writing in this blog at midnight because I can’t sleep thinking about all the women who are being short-changed in their lives because of test results that don’t mean diddly-squat. This is the only legitimate way I have of trying to clue women in. We’ve got to take charge of our own health, we’ve got to hang together and share information and tell our stories because they might help just one other person to get free and get healthy.

Ok, I hope I can sleep now.

Namaste, Pam

PS If you want to comment then please email me. I don’t have comments activated here because of spam problems but feel free to email, click on the right side.

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