When last we left the riveting story of my ongoing adventures in functional medicine, it was August, and I'd just been to my first appointment...Read More
Good News Re: The Frankenneck
Long-time readers know: I’ve got a Frankenneck… which is how I think of my no-longer-there thyroid and the associated scar (which is so faded now, thank goodness!, it mostly looks like a wrinkle instead of a throat slash through which a doctor removed what’s turned out to be pretty f*cking vital to my overall happiness and well-being.
The first thyroid meltdown happened in 2009 when I had most of my thyroid removed because of a nodule (which turned out to be non-cancerous… whew!), and the second meltdown occurred about a year or so ago when the remaining bit of thyroid left over just completely conked out.
My endocrinologist and I have been slowly increasing my dose of thyroid hormones to get me to a good place, and it looks like the experimentation has paid off. My latest lab work looks great! I’ve been feeling upbeat and strong and energetic most of the time for the last month or so, and it’s really nice to have the blood work numbers to make me think this trend will continue.
I’m sharing these numbers for those of you who might be struggling with your own Frankenneck adventures. Keep your diet clean and try to remain optimistic; you will find your answers eventually. And a few words of caution: keep in mind that every experience with thyroid issues – whether they’re hypo or hyper – is unique to you. You are a special, delicate flower all in your own way. I’m sharing my experience just so you know there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
What’s it all mean, jelly bean?
This diagram explains the basic relationship between the pituitary gland in the brain, TSH, the thyroid, and thyroid hormones (T3, T4). Whew.
My endocrinologist wants my TSH below 1 and I do, too! The last time I went, it was up to 1.7, my free T4 was normal, and my free T3 was low… which meant that my brain was yelling (in the form of TSH) for more thyroid hormone. But there was thyroid hormone (T4) in my blood, it just wasn’t being converted (because I don’t have a thyroid) to T3, which is the form my body can actually use.
So my endo prescribed some T3 to go along with my Synthroid (T4). It’s been three months on my new doses, and these are my results. YAY!
TSH = .6 (that’s point-6… yay! no more yelling for thyroid hormones!)
Free T4 = 1.54 (good range is .73 – 1.95)
Free T3 = 2.5 (good range is 2.3 – 4.2)
If you have thyroid issues or think you might have thyroid issues, I recommend this book one billion percent: The Thyroid Solution: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Program for Regaining Your Emotional and Physical Health. The emotional and psychological effects of a wonky thyroid can be just as devastating as the physical, and this book did an excellent job of assuring me I wasn’t losing my mind… I was just having some hormone issues. I also recommend the site Stop The Thyroid Madness.
For the full story on my thyroid meltdown, use the Frankenneck or thyroid tags. You can take a romp through my thyroid adventures in reverse chronological order and re-live the exciting moments of emotional meltdowns and violent napping. And if you have any questions about my experience, feel free to post below or shoot me an email. I’m no expert, but I’m glad to share my stories if it helps you with your own.