Friday, November 4, 2011

Thyroid Balance and Menopause

You may recall from earlier posts of mine that I began taking thyroid meds in the last two or so weeks. Initially I was so "amped" up in that first 48 to 72 hours that I felt and acted like the energizer bunny on speed! Then on night 3 I started waking quite often all night long with a rapidly, pounding heart beat that left me tired and groggy the next day. Not fun! I spoke to the doctor who thought this might all be caused by my medication working against my dropping estradiol. Suffice it to say this is the drop in estrogen that begins to occur as menopause is advancing and frequently causes hot flashes and heart palpitations. He also noted that I tend to be hypersensive to any and all medications in my system, so he lowered my dose from:

25 mcg of Tirosint per day, to 25mcg for three days per week.

This slower approach would allow my body to adjust and regulate my thyroid without the initial charge of the the daily dose. He also had me stop the meds for a period of 3 days prior to starting at the lowered dose. This is the typical pattern suggested for patients when increasing or decreasing thyroids meds.

The Results: One week after starting the meds at the new lowered dose I am actually starting to feel, dare I say it, GOOD?

This is a new feeling for me because I have felt so "crappy," to put it bluntly, for so long, that I was not even sure what good meant, and would I even know it when I felt it? I know it sounds ridiculous, but trust me, those of you in the throes of hormonal imbalances in your own life know what I am referring to quite well!

This "good" feeling I have only just begun to experience has come with its share of side effects from the Tirosint such as nausea, diarrhea, increased heart rate/pulse, feeling really "up" for part of the day, then dropping off as the day goes on, sleep disturbances and/or night wakings and a mildly salty taste in my mouth at times.

All these are side effects of the thyroid regulating process. There is no exact science here and it can take weeks and months to balance you out. Once you are deemed "in balance" you will very likely need adjustments every so often annually, or more or less often depending on how you are feeling. A lot of endocrinologists and doctors use your TSH levels or numbers as the "gold standard" indicator for being "in balance" and use this as their sole guide. I have chosen to work with a more enlightened endocrinologist who bases his adjustment process on both your levels and on how you are feeling. He has been doing this for over 30 years and knows how beneficial this is to his patients.

The thyroid is a difficult glad to regulate. There are so many variables. A little to much of the meds and you are hyper and anxious, conversely, too little and your are lethargic and depressed. Oddly enough, these are the same symptoms for hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Also, there are many other factors that coexist to complicate matters. If you are like me and going through hormonal fluctuations due to perimenopause or menopause, it makes regulating the thyroid that much more trickier, which may at some point need to be supplemented with progesterone and estrogen to help smooth things out.

This is not an easy road by any stretch of the imagination. All I know is the doctor told me that the person I am today is going to be an even better version of me 6 months to one year from now and I have to trust my instinct on this one folks and say "bring it on!" The feeling of calm and focus that is slowly starting to creep back into my life is indication enough for me that my thyroid is waking up to regulate my metabolism. I had no idea how bad I really was feeling till these recent glimpses of "good" started appearing. WOW!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.