Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Is My Heart Rate Being Affected by My Thyroid?

Mini-Me was laying up against my chest one day when she said, "Mommy, you're heartbeat is slow."  Then she proceeds to make sounds and use hand gestures to mimic the way her heart and then the way my heart sounds.  After that, she tells Miss La-Di-Da-Di listen to it as well.  She's surprised, too.  I guess the only person that isn't surprised is me.  I often feel like my heart rate is a little sluggish.  These are the times where I also find it difficult to breathe once I get to the top of the stairs in my home.  Sometimes I feel a little lightheaded after exercising, too.  I know it's the strain of the weight that my body carries around, but I also know it's the thyroid.  My thyroid is what got me here; to this unhealthy weight.  I know it's causing a lot of the things that go on with me.  Is it any wonder why those with thyroid disease have more chance of having a heart problem as well?  I think I'm going to research the correlation a bit and see what can be done to make things better.

Monday, November 9, 2009

November Update

I've been off of the generic Cytomel for awhile now and back on brand only. It has made a big difference. This week I'm still feeling a little more tired than usual, but I think it's because it is 'technically' my cycle despite not having one. I've noticed differences in how I feel since switching back, along with the make up of the two pills, and some other issues. I hope to do a post here in the next day or so in regards to these discoveries.

I try to post my experiences, so that others can learn something from it. Perhaps it might help in getting to the cause of some of their symptoms. I hope that what I post helps in some way. I want to get back to blogging about my life with Hashi and other thyroid subjects on a daily basis. Between school, family life, and the exhausted feeling I've had of late, it's been kind of hard to keep up. I will prevail though. :0)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Ten Days In....

I have been on the generic form of Cytomel for almost two weeks now. I still feel rather lethargic, and I've been requiring naps. I'm trying to see if this medication is what is causing this. My husband has also noticed that I have been, what he calls, "A lot bitchier." I do see that about myself. I feel a lot more irritable than usual. It's not good for me, because it causes stress on my mind and body. It's definitely not good for my family as they've been taking the brunt of it. I'm trying to wait this week out to see if my body is going to ever function the way it did with brand. I just have a feeling in a few days, I will be emailing my doctor to put me back on brand to function at least somewhat normal!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Generic Cytomel

When I first heard that the FDA approved the generic version of Cytomel, I was a little apprehensive about it. I researched as much as I could online to make some kind of informed decision on whether I wanted to switch or not all to save $10. Now I know $10 dollars might not seem like a big difference, but with the economy being what it is, I do have to try and watch what I spend. I'm sure that people will say, "But that doesn't mean you should play with your health!"

Anyways, armed with what I learned, I decided to make the switch and have been on the generics for two days. What I have noticed that in the last two days, I have been feeling a little more tired than usual. However, I can't decide if that's from the two days on generics or the fact I had to make my Cytomel last for 2 or 3 days while my prescriptions were being filled (also to the doctor closing out my scrips!). I think that for me to really know if the generics are the problem, I'll have to keep using them for awhile.

I've read that one of the generic drug manufacturers, Mylan, is now under an FDA investigation, for poor quality testing. Apparently, workers have been overriding the machines that were warning against some potential potentcy issues. Of course after reading that, I got a little worried. Then I saw someone comment that they were using generics from Paddock LA and didn't seem to have an issue. Yes, I ran and checked my bottle right away! LOL I, too, have generics from Paddock LA. So, now I'm a little less worried about it. But, I do know that if it doesn't work the same for me, I will not hesitate to ask to be put back on brand Cytomel. I just hope with what Kaiser does now with their drugs, give generics in place of brand to cut down their costs, that one, I can still get the brand, and two, that it won't cost me anymore than before.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Alli-Can it Affect Your Thyroid?

Awhile back, when Alli was getting ready to be released, I had mentioned that I had asked my ob/gyn if it would be safe to take with my thyroid condition. She had told me that it was also known as Orlistat, and was a fat blocker, that I needed to be able to deal with the possibility of oily stools that could come out on it's own. She also said that it would be safe. I never did try it, simply because I wasn't sure about the whole 'oily stool' thing.

Maybe it's a good thing, because the FDA just approved a warning label that is to be put on Alli and Xenical stating that it can decrease levothyroxine absorption and cause increased hypothyroidism. This is not to say that you can't safely take Alli if you are hypothyroid to help lose weight, but to say that those on thyroid medication should be careful. It is advised that Alli be taken four hours apart from thyroid medication, and that thyroid levels should be monitored to make sure that the medications don't need adjusting.

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Personal Thryoid & Weight Loss Discovery

I have slowly been losing weight. Now if you know anything about thyroid disease, that's a feat in itself. But when I mean slowly, I mean roughly about 15 pounds in a year and half. I will be honest, I tried a lot of things, and when I was working, I was constantly on the move for 7 hours (hr for break time). I'm discovering things along the way.

Here's what I'm discovering:

  1. Had it not been for my asking to be put on T3 meds, I would probably still be taking 3-4 hour naps just to get through the day.
  2. Now that I'm on the T3 meds, I am functioning a lot better and my labs have been good for almost 2 yrs now.
  3. I've been finally able to lose some kind of weight. I never could in the first ten years. I either kept from gaining, or when my meds weren't right, I would just gain & gain.
  4. There are certain things that I know will trigger swelling if I eat or drink them.
  5. I need to find more will power to stay away from those triggers.
  6. Soda is probably my biggest downfall despite the fact that I have been slowly tapering off.
  7. Extreme heat/sun makes me swell and feel bad.
  8. Soda makes me swell BIG time.
  9. I have to exercise at least 5x a week for 30 minutes without fail. The minute I cut down to two or three times a week, I start gaining again. It's unfair really.
  10. If I forget to take my Cytomel just once during the day, I'm feeling it the next day.

Knowing all these things, I still do them. It's time for me to break out of this habit and start kicking butt.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Clinical Exam Important In Thyroid Diagnosis

A lot of doctors, when getting initially tested for thyroid disease and even after diagnosis, rely only on blood tests. These are only part of the equation. The hardest part of getting an accurate thyroid diagnosis comes from the clinical thyroid exam.

During a thorough thyroid exam, the doctor include: (taken from

  • Feel (known as “palpate”) your neck for thyroid abnormalities
  • Listen to your thyroid using a stethoscope.
  • Test your reflexes
  • Check your heart rate, rhythm and blood pressure
  • Measure your weight, and discuss changes
  • Measure body temperature
  • Examine your face for puffiness and eyebrow loss
  • Examine your eyes for protrusion, eyelid retraction and other potentially thyroid-related signs
  • Discuss changes in the quality/quantity of your hair
  • Examine your skin, for hives, lesions or roughness on the shins, and blister-like bumps on the face
  • Note any tremor, shakiness, slowness in movement or speech, hoarseness of voice, and swelling of hands/feet
  • Discuss your personal and family history of thyroid and autoimmune disease
  • Listen carefully to your medical history, and your symptoms

“A doctor who doesn’t do a complete clinical thyroid exam,” says Shomon, “is shortchanging patients, and will miss many cases of thyroid disease. Unfortunately, in this day of managed care and 5 minute doctor visits, patients may have to push for the doctor to actually perform a full thyroid exam.”

The key will be finding the right thyroid doctor. I’ve yet to find one myself, and I think it’s because I’m dealing with an HMO with standard way of treating thyroid disease. Here’s a good place to start in finding a good thyroid doctor

Monday, January 26, 2009

Basic Thyroid Tests You Should Receive or Ask For

A lot of doctors tend to base whether or not you have thyroid disease SOLELY on TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) tests. This was probably the reason mine was not discovered for a long time, because it was always in the normal range. If it had not been for the doctor that discovered my kidney stone, after years of being told I had only UTIs (urinary tract infection), I probably would not have had my thyroid checked out completely by and endocrinologist.

With that said, I wanted to share with you the most basic profile you should get or ask for when testing for thyroid disease.

* Thyroid (TSH)
* Free T4 (FT4)-measures that total amount of circulating thyroxine in the blood.
* Free T3 (FT3)-measures free unbound triiodothyronine in your bloodstream.
* Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody (TPO)-this is the test that is used to check for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, post partum thyroid disease, and other types of thyroiditis.
* Thyroid Antibody (Anti-thyroid AB)-this is to test for hyperthyroidism

For more information regarding these tests, you can visit here, here, and here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Could It Be Thyroid Disease? Signs and Symptoms

There are signs and symptoms that can signal thyroid disease. Some people get only one or two of these symptoms, some get several of these. For myself I had, and still have on occasion, every symptom listed here with the exception of five of them. Here is a list that is taken from, but can be find almost anywhere during research into thyroid disease. If you find yourself with some of these symptoms, have your thyroid check. My next post will be the suggest ‘first time’ labs that should be done and what your exam should be like when getting checked for thyroid disease.

___ Low body temperature
___ Particularly low or high pulse re
___ Unusually low or high blood pressure
___ Enlarged, tender, or sensitive neck or lump in neck
___ Hoarse, husky, or gravelly voice
___ Extreme thirst or hunger
___ Noticeable change in weight (gain or loss) despite no change in diet and exercise
___ Feeling warm or hot when others are cold, or cold when others are warm
___ Heart palpitations, flutters, skipped beats, strange patterns or rhythms
___ Constipation and or diarrhea/loose stools
___ Fatigued, weakeness
___ Pains, aches, and stiffness in various joints, hands, and feet.
___ Carpal tunnel, tarsal tunnel, plantar’s fascitis
___ Puffiness around my eyes
___ Loss of outer eyebrow hair
___ Lesions on lower legs, feet, toes, arms, face, shoulders and/or trunk.
___ Hair loss
___ Dry eyes
___ Swollen hands or feet
___ Dry, sensitive, gritty or achy eyes
___ Changeable moods
___ Brain fog, difficulty concentrating or remembering
___ Depression
___ Anxiety, panic attacks, jumpy
___ Tremors
___ Insomnia
___ Irregular periods
___ Low sex drive
___ Infertility
___ Miscarriage or multiple miscarriages
___ Difficulty breastfeeding
___ Leaking milk when not lactating or breastfeeding
___ Difficult perimenopause/menopause symptoms

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thyroid Awareness Month

This was first written at my new blog One Weigh at a Time. I'll be writing about thyroid disease there for the rest of this month as well as including stuff here.

Some of you may not know that part of my weight problem stems from having Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is when your immune system attacks your thyroid as it thinks it's a foreign body. I have been dealing with this disease about 10+ years now. It's said that about 60 million people are afflicted with thyroid disease. It often goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because a lot of the symptoms of the disease are also symptoms of other diseases such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and various other diseases.

Have you heard that Oprah Winfrey had to see FOUR doctors and gained forty pounds before she was diagnosed? I know what that is like considering it took me four YEARS to get diagnosed. Lot of doctors only know of the thyroid what they learned in medical school. There's vast information out there with plenty of doctors who can deal with thyroid disease properly. Unfortunately, I have not found one yet, but then I have been dealing with an HMO. I've already switched primary physicians about five times. But I digress.

January is Thyroid Awareness Month. So this month my posts will be dedicated to thyroid disease. This is the first. One site that I visit often is It's a blog ran by patient advocate Mary Shomon, who herself has Hashimoto's. It also have lots of information in regards to thyroid disease and information in regards to other sites on thyroid disease.

This year's logo for Thyroid Awareness Month is Check Your Neck, Change Your Life. Mary Shomon has created a campaign along with a free ebook that you can download. Simply click on the banner.
This informative site will tell you some of the symptoms of thyroid disease, how to check your neck, what you should look for in a clinical exam, and how to find a doctor.

Here are the steps for doing a thyroid self-check: **important note: This will not rule out thyroid disease or thyroid cancer. For accurate diagnosis, please see your physician**
1. Stand in front of a mirror

2. Stretch neck back

3. Swallow water

4. Look for enlargement in neck (below the Adam's Apple, above the collar bone)

5. Feel area to confirm enlargement or bump

6. If any problem is detected, see a doctor

I've posted this particular item on my thyroid blog Life with Hashi, and you can find it on the site mentioned above. Stay tuned for more thyroid information.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Brrrr....It's Cold in Here

I started off with a stomach bug, and got runny nose, congestion, etc., to boot! I think I'm on day five of this whole ordeal. The last two or three nights I had my freezing moments...teeth-chattering kind. The first time was due to a slight fever, the last two was due to a drop in body temperature. One was 97.4, and last night was 97.1 which is the lowest I've been in awhile. It felt like I was out in some freezing cold snowy place. I don't like freezing cold snowy places. lol

Guess it's good to laugh about it. I don't want to be serious all the time in regards to my thyroid disease, because it's something that I live with everyday. I am SERIOUS about it when I need to get my TSH regulated, finding a doctor who knows more than the basic medical school crap and actually LISTENS. It's proven difficult so far as I have changed primary physicians about five times in the last four years. But, I digress.

These low temps are why many people with hypothyroidism are cold when no one else is. You can read about my little basal temperature experiment here. If you have Hashimoto's/hypothyroidism, and you take the basal temperature experiment, let me know your results. It will be interesting to see how many are or aren't like me in regards to the temps and overall wellness.