Right around the time of my diagnosis, I became extremely fatigued, had dried skin in weird places, and felt bloated, with unexplained weight loss. I went back to the doctor for a follow up on my diagnosis and told her about these new symptoms, beginning with the lack of energy. I thought at first that my schedule of teaching high school full time and bartending a few times a week was taking it’s toll. She ordered a blood test and the results came back void of T3 and T4, the two hormones responsible for your thyroid.
This is common in women especially when your hormones change. For me it was the change in estrogen from my diagnosis . Many women find this an issue when getting pregnant or after being pregnant. If you want to read about the scientific, make you yawn stuff, this source is helpful. However, I think sharing my experience can be more helpful for people.
What I have decided to do for treatment:
Due to my lifestyle, I opted to not take the synthetic thyroid (synthroid) for the last coupleo f years. When I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism, the natural medicine (Armour) had been taken off the market because it was going through reregulation by the FDA. I started on a thyroid medicine that had to be compounded. Think about the old fashion pharmacy in your neighborhood growing up, complete with one of everything, no more no less, and a soda fountain. That is where I went for this. I would call and order a refill and it took a couple of days for the pharmacist to mix the exact amount of avian and bovine thyroid. Yes, I supplemented my own thyroid with that of thyroid from birds and cows. But, it worked because you could play with the amount of T4 and T3 that worked for you.
Armour is back on the market and I am graduate student with student health insurance, so no more compounding for this girl. But, things started going weird again since I have been on Armour. I have spoken to a couple of different doctors at my clinic and they think that although Armour is now FDA approved and suppose to contain the same dosage in each pill, that may not be the case. So, right after the marathon (I don’t want to mess with thyroid levels) I will start on the synthetic.
How it effects me as an athlete:
The thyroid controls a constellation of networking process in the body. When it is under active, everything can slows down. Your hear rate and blood flow. This decreases muscle exertion as well as muscle recovery. You are tired to the point that you can’t focus and fogginess takes over. All of these things can affect you as an athlete.
For me as an athlete, I don’t really feel the difference except that weight does not come off. Right around the time of diagnosis of this and the other issue, I gained about 10 lbs-without changing my diet and exercise- and ever since then (2.5 years ago), I haven’t shook it. But, my running times are just as good, if not better, as are my times on the bike.
It took a while to get my thyroid level elevated. I had to have blood tests every 6 weeks, then every 6 months for the first two years. I can tell when I miss a day. By 3 or 4 o’clock, I feel as if I have been hit by a brick. I can fall asleep standing up. If I miss two days in a row or for some reason it gets low, I get these weird patches of dry skin on my chin and my thigh. These reasons are why I am back to trying a new medication.
Taking the medication can be a bit of an art when you are not used to even taking a mutli vitamin daily. It must be taken on an empty stomach with no food for one hour at the same time every day. Certain supplements can interact with it like calcium and iron. However, other supplements can help with it like B6 and B12, Vitamin D, and Folic Acid. It is also connected to autoimmune diseases. Eliminating or cutting back on gluten and soy can aid with feeling better as well. (Source)
Anyone else have a hypo/hyper thyroid?Any diet/supplement suggestions?How does it interfere with your training?