Friday, June 19, 2009

The adrenal and digestive system..and possibly tmi

Well, this is more of a health recap than anything else. I went to the Dr. today (a different Dr.), and received the results of some more tests that my new Dr. performed. Here's basically the gist:
1. I am type 2 hypothyroid. I am a "peripheral non-conformer." This means, I have enough TSH and T4, but no T3. Long story short, the pituitary monitors the amount of T4 in your blood. If there's not enough, it puts off TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) which stimulates the thyroid to make more T4. These things are fine for me. Here's my hiccup- THEN the body converts it to T3- which is what it actively USES in order to maintain daily living, moving, adrenals, hormones, etc. This is the start of the problem. This will be helped by taking non-radioactive iodine for the next few months to see if it comes up naturally. **Side note, the Dr. believes that this could have been an issue for me since puberty...yes, these kind of things do go back that far!!!***
2. Since my body is GROSSLY deficient in T3, it has caused a state of "adrenal fatigue." Basically, my adrenals don't work like they should. The tests showed results that I'm essentially in "hybernation mode." With two boys 5 and under, a part time job, and a crazy house-situation, my life is a far cry from hybernation! In addition, I do not make enough estrogen, progesterone, serotonin, or cortisol to be thriving on a daily basis. The only one I make enough of is melatonin. I don't ovulate regularly(sorry, tmi), and the Dr. stated that he was surprised I was able to carry the boys to term without miscarrying(thank you, natural progesterone cream!!!). With some supplemental support, we're hoping to keep me off prescriptions. The Dr. stated that I'm not "that far gone" and with my younger age, I should be able to recover quickly. By quickly, I mean within 14 months. This also explains the debilitating fatigue I get and why I have never had an endorphin rush after exercise- and why I passed out on the treadmill in February. Once my hormones are stabilized, the healthy eating habits I've already been on should start to show weight loss.
3. While I still struggle with digestive issues, another issue has come to light. The Dr. thinks I may have a sensitivity to gluten. Celiac hasn't been brought up, but instead of trying to go in and do a biopsy (cha-ching!!!), I'm to avoid gluten for the next 30 days to allow the villi in my stomach to repair themselves, and reintroduce it to see what happens. Believe it or not, approximately 80% of people with ulcers/ulcerative colitis/Crohn's have a gluten sensitivity! So tonight, while the boys had pizza (it's pizza/movie night, after all), I had PB&J rice cakes. Mmmmmm. Seriously, I had NO idea how much stuff gluten is in! Even the lemonade we give the boys has gluten!
I keep thinking of the Dave Ramsey line, "beans and rice, rice and beans..."
Yep, that's me for the next 30 days.
I'm actually very ok with it all...I'm looking forward to expanding my culinary horizons and eating a little fresher ingredients for a bit. Thank goodness this is happening in the summer when I can hit farmer's markets some in-season yumminess!
4. I still have a vitamin D deficiency. So, for the next month, I'll be taking a "loading dose" to get it up in the optimal range. Apparently, a vitamin D deficiency is dangerous for your heart. So, we're getting it back up. Welcome to Michigan...:)
Seriously, I really feel like we're on the right track to wellness. I'm actually excited to have some real and potential answers, and I'm even more excited to have a Dr. who is treating Me, the patient, not the medical chart. Dave is on board with all of it, and is really being supportive of this new lifestyle...even looking some recipes for bean salad, etc. He said that he's not going to "watch dog" me (because he knows I'll kill him), but he's willing to try some gluten free dinners, etc. I think he's excited to get his "old" wife back. But then again, tonight he said "'re perfect just the way you are." Awhhhhh, how sweet is that!?!?!
I wonder what he wants. :)


Emily said...

Hey Sandy - Kathy told me that you will be needing to go on a gluten free diet for a while. If you need help locating GF items or any suggestions, let me know. My niece has celiac disease, so I have gotten some firsthand knowledge and experience there. As far as GF regular foods off the top of my head, Rice or Corn Chex, Peter Pan PB. Also Wal-mart has cheaper prices on GF pasta than Meijer does

Sandy Hop said...

Thanks, Emily!!! I haven't seen much as far as gf products at WalMart! The one near us is older and smaller...I'll look at the one in G. Haven next time I'm there. I've found some good blogs, but can always use any help!

Rach said...

Wow Sandy! This is all so crazy. I enjoyed your "cha-ching" sound effect. I probably have some sort of gluten sensitivity too. I always say bring on the beans! Peter disagrees.

Kathy said...

I actually read this yesterday and instantly told Emily she should contact you since I knew she had some experience with it. And then today I just saw that Elizabeth Hasselback is being sued over a book she wrote about celiac's disease because of copyright infringement or something. But I think it was called "The G-Free Diet". Maybe the libary has it?? I hope you start feeling better. :)

Heidi said...


Emily said...

To clarify - the NEW Corn Chex is gluten free, the OLD is not. Sorry if that caused a bit of confusion! Many manufacturers are taking a closer look at how they make their products as Celiac's is being diagnosed much more frequently. Also make sure that items do not have caramel coloring added as this contains gluten. There is also a GF soy sauce available. Ooh, you also need to avoid all things with MSG.