Saturday, October 19, 2013

Reaching the peak..

Hello!!!!  Once again I have been MIA, as I mentioned in a previous email I have a full plate.  As, a matter of fact my plate is so full, that I am surprised I am still functioning.  Actually, just as in previous years by the time I get to Thursday I am pretty much out of gas.   I don't know what it is with Thursday's, it's like my body says.. hello it's Thursday time for vacation.  Unfortunately, I don't have time for vactation.       This semester, has been very challenging for me.  I am enrolled in a Neurobiology class, and a Neurobiology Lab (which I don't have much time for),  my diet has gone down the drain, mostly because I am working all the time.  I get up early, travel around the city to do therapy, go to class, travel around  some more to do therapy again, get home late, shove down dinner,  work on stuff for work, get to bed at midnight or later,  and then repeat.     In addition to work, and school  I decided to help with an retreat at my church.   This was a difficult decision for me, as the last time I helped with a retreat I got sick, and got so angry at my body for letting me down.  I was also was mad at not having a thyroid, and not being able to function the way others do. It's like reality hits you in the face, and your mind starts to take over with negative thoughts.     
 Come to think of it, it's kind of weird because when I got called I say yes right away. However, prior to the phone call, I had already been thinking about my decision.  Something was telling me,  I needed to have a decision so my saying yes immediatly, was because I had already been thinking about it for several weeks, actually I think months before.     As, the time gets closer to the retreat, I find myself going in to freak out mode.   Of course, it doesn't help that my appointment with my endocrinologist is on Monday.   I am worried about how my blood work will come out, especially since I have no time to exercise and I have been eating nothing but junk!!!!    People keep saying I look good, but honestly  I feel like a Zombie and am pretty sure I look like one.    I am very close to hitting my maximum peak, however I have decided that I am not going to give in.     I am going to do my absolute best to push beyond my peak and create a new peak.    What do I plan to do if reach this  new peak???    I am going to take a step back, and say hey I did it, and if I don't reach the peak I am still going to take a step back and say hey look what I attempted. 
I do have to admit, that this home health therapy job is bring back some very vivid memories of why I left home health a couple years ago.      No thyroid + driving around all day =     energy drain
I also have to admit that I am very disappointed that  I did not get to complete my exercise, and nutrition goals I had set forth for myself.      I guess in the end I have to be proud of the things I do accomplish, and rethink strategies to get my health back in order.  Also, as a side note:    fingers crossed that my doctors appointment goes okay, and that I am able to find a job that better suits energy level and getting my health goals back.  

As I typed this up, I started to reflect on a mission I had accomoplished.       Earlier in the semester, before my job got super crazy,  I decided to go on a run. The challenge was to go up an area called towerview.  Well, these were not hills these were mountains (in my mind), especially if you are trying to run up them.  I ended up not being able to run up them, it was a very slow walk/climb.  As a matter of fact, one of the running coaches ended up waling/climbing with me.      I am beginning to think that this was a foretelling of my semester,  nothing but one large hill after another. However,   at the top the result was a beautiful view.    It was also a lesson,  when I reached the top I discovered that if I can do this without a thyroid, I can do anything I set my mind too.    So,  I hope everyone out there reaches for their peak, or beyond whatever that may be.   




Saturday, August 17, 2013

Yeah me 4.5 miles, and my poor stomach

Hello everyone!!!!     I am very proud of myself, ever since having my thyroid removed I have had a serious mental block.   I can't seem to get myself past running/walking 3 miles well the past couple weekends I have done a little more then 3 almost four, but today I smashed my mental block and did 4.5 miles!!!!!  While to some this may seem minuscule to me it is a great accomplishment.   I was even told that I should probably move up to the next pace group!!  As exciting as that is I am not exactly sure I am ready for that kind of challenge.  Small steps!!          

Well after many years of not getting my stomach checked, I finally went to the gastro doctor and had an endoscopy and colonoscopy done.  For those of you who have never had this done, it sounds much worse then it is.   Basically they call you back, get your vitals hook you up to fluids, then wheel you off to the procedure room where they give you some nice medicine and then you wake up!   Thank goodness I don't remember the procedure at all!!!  Other then being wheeled in, and them putting a mouth piece in my mouth for the endoscopy I have to say the whole experience was probably easier then running/walking 4.5 miles.    The worst part of it was the prep, and now trying to get my system regulated again.      The other not sure fun part was the results.  I am still waiting for the results of the biopsies, however his first impressions were not surprising and very surprising.   He basically said I have reflux, erosive gastritis, and diverticulosis.  Now the reflux and the gastritis don't surprise me, but the diverticulosis I have to say I am very surprised.  Of course,  I probably did the worst thing anyone can do, I googled it.   This was not a good idea, because now I am freaked out and not sure what I can and can't eat. I do know however, that I do need to increase my fiber intake.  I thought I was eating enough, but apparently not.  In my search of stuff I also found out that many people have found that by cutting out gluten they are better able to manager their symptoms.   So here I am back at square one, with that GLUTEN warning flashing at me.  As if that wasn't enough, I then saw a episode of Dr. Oz on gluten sensitivity and I checked off 7 things.  So what does this tell me, something else I have been suspecting, I am pretty convinced I have a gluten sensitivity.  
What my next steps are, I am not sure.   Well I think I know, but I guess I need to come to reality and suck it up and change my eating habits.  So here is my list of to do:1) eat more fruits and vegetables, 2) eat less meat (which isn't a problem for me b/c I am not big on meat), 3) take fiber supplements, 4) drink more water, 5) eliminate bad carbs including cutting back on gluten, 6) figuring out if I can eat or if I can't eat things with seeds (much controversy on this with diverticulosis)...        UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    
So with all that, let the new lifestyle begin, and just like with running one step at a time.

I found this picture online and I think it pretty much sums things up :)   

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Where have I been???

Geez isn't that the question!   I have been very busy, lets see where do  I start???     I changed jobs, I was working as a Speech Pathologist in the school system and now am working in the home health setting.   I do enjoy it, but boy is it a lot of driving.      Why the change in jobs, well I have also been going to school to finish up a B.S. degree in Biology with a neuroscience concentration.. ......crazy right???  I am hoping the home health setting will allow me to schedule in my classes, the way I need to so I can finish.   Why am I doing that, because before I got my masters I had started on this degree and found out I only had 24 hours to finish it which is now 15.     My ultimate goal, of course would be to finish the degree, and eventually apply to a PhD program in my field or a related field.    
   So besides school and work, what else have I been doing?? Well I have started to run again, as in I signed up for half marathon training, but I don't know if  I am actually going to do the half marathon.  I am doing the training as more of a get myself into shape thing.      My health, well it's still not where I would like it to be, it's like a domino effect one things falls apart and everything falls apart.      My latest blood work, showed my tsh at a little over 2, my non-hdl cholesterol was 1 point over, and my glucose was 1 pt over, but my A1c level had come down and was normal.  I know it's only one point, but hey  I don't want 1 pt to turn into 10 and then 20, etc,   so I have been focusing on trying to eat better, however this has been a real challenge because of my new job which requires me to eat on the road a lot!!!!   
Let's see what else????   Oh, on Monday I am supposed to go for a colonoscopy and endoscopy, I am nervous about this, but it's time I stop putting if off and actually follow through.     My last appointment with my endo, basically went like this...  I feel better when  I don't eat bread... Endo.." Well don't eat bread and starches it's not good for you anyway."     Then he went on to say that even though my blood work showed that I didn't have a gluten intolerance, that it is very possible that I have a mild intolerance or a sensitivity.   Say What???????  An endocrinologist, actually saying that test don't always tell the truth.. hmmm.   However, in this case I think he may be on to something.    Although, I still have yet to completely cut out gluten from my diet,  I really need to and plan to.  This whole blood sugar thing, and increased diabetes risk due to Hashimotos and lack of thyroid really scares me.      The last thing I need is to be taking more medication, for something I could have tried to prevent.     So I have decided, I need to STOP coming up with excuses, and just cut the junk!!!!     When will this happen, I am hoping right after I get the colonoscopy and endoscopy done, why then because I know it too will scare me out of my socks!!!!!      

Oh and guess what else???   Since I have so much time on my hands between work, school, and my never ending health concerns, I was called to help out on the ACTS retreat at my church.    While part of me wanted to say no,  I know it is for a reason  I am being called, I am not exactly sure what the reason is, but I am sure I will soon find out!    
On a fun note, I did get to travel to Florida!!!  I went through New Orleans, and Bioloxi and spent some time in Pensacola!!!   Wish I could go back and have another vacation!  

Well, that's all for now !  I just wanted to check in and give everyone an update as to why I have been MIA.    However, I have come across lots of interesting stuff and hope to share them very soon, hopefully this weekend since I will be home prepping for the procedure.        

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I have been doing my own little recipe and information search on Kale.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Kale, it is a vegetable that comes from the cabbage family.    It is said to be very nutrient rich, and have very good health benefits. 

I have also read that is has more protein then beef.    If you have ever tasted Kale by itself, it has kind of a bitter taste, however  I have come to enjoy putting it in my smoothies in the mornings.  This summer I really want to spend time, increasing my fruit and vegetable intake, as well as cutting out more gluten!!     It will be tough, but it never hurts to challenge yourself.    Not to mention, it gets so hot here in Texas, eating a big heavy meals isn't always pleasant.     Interestingly I came across this recipe, and I can't wait to try it!!!     I may try to modify it, but using gluten free lasagna noodles.. may be worth trying!       Have any of you tried Kale, and if so what have you done with it.     

Mushroom Kale Lasagna Rolls | Skinnytaste

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Shedding hair,to bad it's not pounds

One of the things that often accompanies thyroid problem is hair loss.    This is something that really bothers me.    I used to have nice thick curly hair, which sometimes  I do have to admit the thickness was annoying.     Although, having my hair thinner is kind of nice, I really hate it that so much of it falls out.      I find hair everywhere, some days more then other's and the longer it gets the more it falls out.     Unfortunately,  thyroid medications don't help because that can be one of the side effects:  hair loss.   TSH level to low, hair loss, TSH level to high, hair loss.   EEEEEEEEEEK!         So,  what's a girl to do, I am tired of feeling like a shedding sheep or dog or cat ha ha.   I really wish weight was that easy to lose.       I have tried some things, but never been consistent enough to know if it actually works, but  for those of you wondering what things may work here is a little bit of information.      

1)  Check your dosage of medication:   I know for me when my dosage was really off, my hair really started falling out more.       I also noticed that I have had less hair loss on Levoxyl vs Synthroid (which due to the recent Levoxyl recall,  I am a little worried about going back on Synthroid)
2)  Evening Primrose Oil :   I have never tried this only because I have had a hard time finding it and there can be side effects as with most things.    
3) Vitamins C and E
4) Biotin ( I did try this for a little while, but I really bad about taking pills so I don't think I saw the full effects)
5)  Ojon  and Aveda have thickening shampoos, again I haven't tried either I have samples of both which I plan to try soon, although I don't know how much benefit I would see from a small sample.
6)   Keeping your hair at a manageable length,  again I have noticed that as my hair gets longer it seems to fall out easier.        Of course my hair is also naturally curly which tends to get a drier a little easier.
7) Fish oil
8) The amino acids: L-lysine and L-arginine can stimulate hair growth.  You can take a supplement, or  by eating foods such as poultry, fish, and legumes
9) coconut oil  , now this I love !!!  You do have to be careful because if you put to much you hair might feel to oil, but just the right amount is great!    It smells good, and maybe it is just me but I do think it does help.  I prefer buying the extra virgin organic it comes in a jar, kind of pricey but hey coconut oil has many uses.       From cooking to skin.. here is a quick list I came across
10)     Rose Water:  I have tried this consistently either because I haven't had a chance to buy some but again it makes your hair smell nice and it has many other benefits.  My hairdresser told me about this one. 

That's about all I can think of right now, if anyone else has any other ideas please share!        I hope this is helpful to all :) 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

FYI: Levoxyl recall!!!!!

 I have been meaning to post about this, but was busy with trying to take a final for my class.   Last week, I found out that Levoxyl (which is another name  brand on levothyroxine sodium)  , was being recalled.     Of course I went into major panic mode.     Synthroid, has a tendency to upset my stomach, and I felt better on Levoxyl.     Unfortunately, when you don't have a thyroid it's not like you can just say.. Oh it's okay I just won't take my medication.        So,   I called my doctor, and they have switched me over to Synthroid, oh Joy!    I just hope it doesn't upset my stomach.       

Anyways, regardless of all that, I just wanted to get this information out to everyone.    If you take Levoxyl, be prepared for them to switch you to either a generic or to Synthroid.      Also, I had some friends ask me questions about Levoxl, because apparently there is some confusion.       So let me see if I can explain this a little bit:

Levothyroxine Sodium is the main ingredient in thyroid medication  it is T4. T4, is what your thyroid naturally produces, so Levothyroxine Sodium is the synthetic form.  When it comes to thyroid medication (in particular if you are hypothyroid)  there are many kinds: there is both the genetic and name brand.  Some of my friends were confused because they take generic and assumed that Levoxyl was generic.   It is not a generic!!!!!!       Name brands  include:   Eltroxin, Euthyrox, Letrox, Levaxin, L-thyroxine, Thyrax, and Thyrax Duotab in Europe; Thyrox in South Asia; Eutirox, Levoxyl, Synthroid, and Tirosint in North and South America, Thyrolar in Bangladesh.

*If it is generic your bottle will typically say: Levothyroxine Sodium substituted for (and it will specifiy which one it's subsitututed for: ex: Synthroid)

So what's the big deal between the brands and generic and b/w the different brands?
Well Levoxyl was know to have less fillers then Synthroid
Synthroid contains lactose, and never stated if there were gluten free.  Levoxyl was lactose and gluten free!   This could be very important for many people!   
I have heard that Triosint which is one of the newer ones, has the least amount of fillers so it may be worth a try if, you have problems with the fillers.

Generic brands I have heard are often not consistent with their dosaging, because different manufacturers produce it, and often the dosage isn't necessairly consistent.  That is one of the selling points of Synthroid, is that they dosage is always consistent since it's the same manufacturer.    

So what do you do, if you are on Levoxyl and that what works?? Well, you just hope and pray that Synthroid will be okay!  Levoxyl may not be back on the shelves until 2014!   My plan is to try the Synthroid again, and if it messes up my stomach, then I will inquire about Triosint.   Sadly, I would rather deal with an upset stomach , then the possibility of going in to a coma or die, due to lack of thyroid hormone.       

Here is the information on the recall, in case anyone hasn't seen this!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

To be or not to be Gluten free.. soon to be determined

It's been a while since I have had a chance to log in,  between work, and school and giving up cheese for lent my world has been crazy  ha ha :)      

A while back,  I posted about gluten intolerance and my postulation that perhaps I may have a gluten intolerance or sensitivity.       Unfortunately,  I have yet to find out any answers, however I have continued to "experiment" with it a little bit.     I did go to a gastroenterologist,   he basically kind of indicated that I was a candidate for someone who needed to be tested, since I do have Hashimotos, however because I am not stick thin he also debunked the idea.  I was supposed to go during my Spring Break, however they called to let me know that he would be out of town and needed to reschedule.  So, on that note, I won't be going until may.    I however, decided to do my own research, and of course I have read that not everyone loses weight when they have a gluten sensitivity or a gluten intolerance such as Celiac, some people actually gain weight....  hmm  Mr. Doctor I may take some of this information to you.      Of course, I also read that it can be difficult to diagnose especially if it is a sensitivity rather then Celiac. So,  like I said in my previous post whether it reveals itself as positive or negative I am still going to make every effort to cut it out of my diet eventually.   I haven't completely cut it out because I have also read that in order for it to be diagnosed you have to be eating it.     So here is what I have noticed, when I don't eat it I feel pretty good,  when I do eat it I don't feel all that great and get that weird feeling in my stomach sometimes, or sometimes I get that foggy brain feeling.   Of course, some of it is denial that it could be that, because how can anyone give up glorious bread lol, but if that is what has to be done that is what has to be done.     Basically,  what the Gastro told me, was that if I am not gluten intolerant then I could still cut it out, but at least I would know that I didn't have to cut it out.           

Well,   the plot thickens   I had a conference in Dallas and before I left I had been feeling kind of funny, so I decided to call my endocrinologist to see if he would move up my appointment.  I started thinking that maybe my thyroid medication was to high or to low.   Luckily, they moved up my appointment and I went in yesterday.    Described my symptoms, and .......   he said he is going to do a blood test for Celiac.    Yippee!!!!!    He said it was very possible that I do have it, and that it often goes under diagnosed.    He also said that since I have Hashimotos, and don't have a thyroid I should cut back on carbs in general.     So here was the freak out moment:  He said that while I don't have diabetes or prediabetes I have a tendency to lean towards being prediabetic and that basically I should be cutting back "breads/carbs" anyway.   He was happy to see I had lost some weight, and of course when I went into him that day I felt great so who knows if my levels will actually show anything.    Except now of course I have to play the waiting game.. ugh and here comes the questions????  Did my blood sugar levels spike up into the prediabetic category and is that why I feel weird?  Is there something with my TSH level,  my parathyroid level, my calcium, .... ugh what is it?  If it comes back negative for Celiac will  people  think I am crazy, because I feel there is something there?   Maybe I have a gluten sensitivity and not an intolerance?? Maybe I need to work out more? Maybe, Maybe,  Maybe???        Either way I have decided that if it is prediabetes I am going to do every thing in my power to get rid of it.   I have also decided which I had decided before that even if my blood test for gluten comes back negative I am still going to try to eliminate it when I can, but not completely until I can get into the gastro.       I think this pretty much describes how I feel

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Am I a Dough girl?

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the connection between thyroid disorders and gluten.  I think it has been coming to my mind because lately I have been feeling like the dough girl.    A dough girl is basically the same as the Pillsbury dough boy, but in my case since I am a girl I will call it dough girl.  Sometimes, I get this feeling like my stomach has dough in it, or that it is expanding with every little bite of 'bad carbs" I eat.  Unfortunately,  because I am not a cartoon, I don't think it's very attractive, and I am sure others don't find my bulging stomach very attractive either lol!    
    I have talked about this before in previous blogs, sometimes wishing I had given my self a chance to try a gluten free diet before having my surgery to see if perhaps my thyroid would shrink to normal levels.    I remember someone telling me, try it or you might regret it.  I thought me regret it,nah  I will defeat this.  Well guess what, sometimes I have a slight regret and this week has been one of those weeks for me. 

 I have noticed this dough girl feeling in the past, but I think even more so now that I have been having so many issues with my stomach and I have been trying to figure out what my triggers are.   Some of my triggers I know, and some I know and choose to pretend there is nothing wrong, and some I am not sure.     For example, I love cheese I mean not love it's more like LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   However, cheese is not exactly the healthiest thing, not to mention  I think somewhere deep deep down I know that it does a number on my stomach but I refuse to believe that such a glorious thing could make my stomach angry. After all everything taste better with cheese!!!!    Lately, though I have been trying to cut back on cheese, and have noticed that after I ate a flour tortilla, ouch, after I ate a piece of wheat bread indigestion,  spaghetti well I have always attributed the sauce to giving me indigestion but could it be the pasta??   Today, I ate pancakes and along came to dough girl sensation.     I don't know if it's in my head, or is it possible that perhaps I do have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance.  I mean after all both Celiac and Hashimotos are autoimmune disorders and I have read that they can be linked.      I am not sure that I have celic because I don't always get reactions or maybe I do and just attribute to other things, or maybe it is the other things.   

So with all that, what question popped into my head.. Is  indigestion a sign of gluten intolerance/sensitivity?  Well guess what it is.        As a matter of fact, I picked up a book today called the Wheat Belly cookbook  , and low and behold what did I magically turn to.......................... the page about gluten and how it affects people with and without Celiac (acid reflux, heartburn, gas,....). It also mentioned what I have read time and time again wheat and Hashimoto's, amongst other disease and it's worsening of these diseases.   If that wasn't enough as if in bold print, the word inflammation sticks out to me.  Inflammation, my dough girl feeling, hmm  so maybe there is something to this madness.    Maybe I am not crazy, or maybe I am either way I will be going to the gastro soon and I have decided that even if he tells me that I am not gluten sensitive or intolerance I am still going to cut back.   Basically because from what I have read it seems lots of people get false negatives and still suffer.  Now of course, this doesn't mean I am going to run out and buy every single gluten free thing out there because some of those things are very healthy either,  I think it just means that I need to be more diligent and see if I too can get rid of my dough girl feeling or wheat belly, or whatever it is you want to call it.       Now of course, I also realize that this has also become a "fad" diet for some,  but it does raise my curiosity.  

In case you are curious here are some symptoms of gluten intolerance/sensitivity and more information.  I happened to come across this website and it seems like it has some good information. if you scroll down it talks about the symptoms.   Unfortunately, I think what makes it confusing is that so many symptoms overlap so it's always hard to know.

Here are some other websites that may be helpful

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Prediabetes Scare...

You know how people say sometimes something has to scare you into bettering yourself, well that is exactly what happened to me.     Last Friday, I went to my endocrinologist for my routine thyroid blood work.   As always this makes me nervous for some reason, I guess because  it just takes me back to that place long long ago when I was first diagnosed, and then the surgery, and then recently the parathyroid stuff.   Luckily,  the doctor's office I go to emails you the results from the previous visit, so I always go in there knowing if something is up.  

Well this time they threw me for a major loop!!! Typically, the doctor sees you, goes over what blood test he is running , then they take you to the lab and your done.   Previously, my endocrinologist had informed me that he would be monitoring my A1C levels since thyroid medications can increase your chances of diabetes, not to mention I do have a family member with Diabetes so that increases my chances even more.     In case you are unfamiliar with A1C it is a blood test that is run that measures your blood sugar over a 6-12 week period and gives an average.    The fact that he runs this test, scares me but it also makes me "glad" to know that if something is up they would catch it!

Anyway, this  time they wanted to take me back to the lab to run my blood work before I got to see the doctor.     I went into panic mode, because I know they usually only do this with people who have diabetes that way the doctor will have the results when he sees you.    I immediately freaked and said, why are you bringing me back here, I don't have diabetes, he always sees me first.   The nurse said well,  are you sure ,  I said "Yes, I reviewed my previous blood work and A1C was fine, another nurse walks over and says "So you aren't diabetic?"    Again, in a panic I said no, then she said well go back and sit down and then I heard a whispering ..."It says prediabetic on the chart."   I said no I am not prediabetic either he has never told me that.     Eventually, I went back again so they could go over my medications and stuff, went back to waiting room and then the nurse came out,  they want you to do your blood work before, the chart says prediabetes..   Again, I hit the panic button,   "NO"  I told her my blood work doesn't say that.  The nurse said, "The doctor just wants to run the test, he wants to monitor you"  So off I went.     The remainder of my wait I sat on edge, on the verge of tears thinking why didn't I exercise more, eat healthier,  I don't need any more problems.     Luckily I was put to ease once I actually spoke to my doctor and he said everything was fine.   He reminded me that one time it came out on the high side of normal and out of concern he wanted to monitor me.  I felt like jumping up and screaming,  YIPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE .  
It was this whole experience that brought me to the realization,  it is time to be very serious.  I escaped this time but what about next time or in the years to come, so with that I called a friend and we decided enough is enough!    I went out and bought a book by Dr. Furman,  I have posted about him before he has another book called "Eat to Live" and he recently came out with a book called "The end of Diabetes",  no I don't have diabetes but I am going to read this book front to back as a preventative measure,  while I will admit his "Eat to Live" plan is a good one, it can be hard to follow as it's focus is mainly on fruits and vegetables, but I think there are some good things that can be take from it. 
So with all this being said,  I am off to go exercise! 

Adventures in weight loss

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