Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thyroid, Tirosint and Menopause Update

There are quite a number of readers on my Blog who find my site by searching for Dr. Blanchard, my "famous" and sympathetic endocrinologist and Tirosint, the form of thyroid medication I was prescribed. Also, there are those readers who find my site by doing searches on menopause and perimenopause. I wanted to update all those old and new readers on how things are going for me on all that and more. Plus, I wanted to say thank you for bringing my readership up over 1600 page views,  all since my humble start in October of 2011. I am most grateful.

You may recall from a previous post that I was not doing well on the daily dose 25mcg of Tirosint. I stopped it last November and decided to get through the holidays and see how things went. By January I was feeling the sluggishness and semi-brain fog coming back, plus winters tend to be tough on me mood wise, so I started up my Tirosint on the lowest daily dose: 13mcg per day in January. I did get a few days of nausea, and some diarrhea but no rapid heart beat or feeling like I was just too hyper. It went much smoother for me and it continues to do so.

In the last week or perhaps longer, I have begun to feel my allergies kicking in, which makes me sluggish and tired. So I may look to have my dose of Tirosint increased to 25mcgs if I feel it is adding to my "slowed down" effect. It is hard to interpret sometimes what are thyroid induced issues and what is related to seasonal allergies, or getting sick or just plain ol' being tired! I think that is what makes thyroid patients among some of the most emotional and difficult people for a lot of doctors to manage. That is why it is great to have people like Dr. Blanchard, in Newton , MA who understands all this and takes it into account.

His background in endocrinology, while very traditional, has grown to embrace the fact that you cannot go by just a number on a blood test as an indicator of how you feel. You need to assess it, but you also need patient feed back in order to determine if the dosing is right for them. Too often doctors just look at your thyroid numbers, and not your symptoms, as an indicator of you functioning at the correct dosage. So, like  many other better versed and well spoken thyroid advocates tell you, do the research, know your body and demand better "service" from your doctor. If they won't listen, find someone who will. It is NOT easy. And believe me I know this only too well from my own personal journey. But that is why so many people have written books, and blogs and websites to help people understand that it is a challenging place to be in when your thyroid is not in balance. And there are so many factors that influence it.

In addition to my periodic thyroid updates,  in the upcoming weeks  I am going to post more details about all the things I am doing personally to help me manage the wave of approaching menopause. There are things I have tried that work great and some that I have left by the way side. The important thing to remember in all this, including your own personal search to be the best you can possibly be, is that what works for one may not for another. And try not to listen to all those women who tell you they are not having any problems, as it does not mean "it is all in your head" as it is not! Read, Read Read.....arm yourself with knowledge and take a good deal of comfort in the fact of knowing there are indeed many women just like you struggling to make sense of it all. And more importantly, know that somebody does care, because I know first hand just how emotional and draining this perimenopause time can be. 

I am indeed in a much better place then I was one, or even to two years a go, and that is due in large part to my tireless, and often frustrating search to find answers. There is no simple answer, there is no magic pill to make it all better, you have to come with a willingness to try new things and a desire to understand that where you are in the process is OK. In fact, the most important aspect of this whole approach to menopause is coming to the realization that there is indeed NOTHING wrong with you. It simply is, what it is for you at this particular moment in time. And what you feel today changes, again and again and again. Instead of fighting the waves, learn to let them wash over you or better yet, float on top of them, it feels so much better that way! And yes, some days are easier to do this then others, but keep coming back to the knowledge that everything changes, nothing is constant and you just might be able to ride the wave longer next time.

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