Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Scratch that Itch


Thanks to Tracie and Bunny, I went and got a full panel blood test after feeling increasingly tired and unmotivated near the end of this season.

Fatigue, thats almost manageable because I am a good german and I can push through that. But the lack of motivation was getting to me. I just didn't feel like doing anything, and I mean anything. Didn't feel like doing all the Velo Bella stuff that I used to love doing, didn't feel like putting on a cross race, didn't feel like remodeling the house. Didn't feel like calling up friends, going to the movies....or even riding my bike. Just didn't have the itch to do anything. And I am usually full of itches, too many itches. I was sad that I had no more itches.

So it turns out I am hypothryoid. Hashimoto's...so hot right now. I am of course, going to have to stop reading Velogirl's blog now. One, because I seem to be following in her health footsteps and two, because I am a clinical hypochondriac.

(And one thing that hypochondriacs should not do is play Googledoc. Yikes.)

Anyhow, I start my Synthroid today and I am hopeful that I find a dosage that works and get my itches back.

Good news was that my hematocrit was like 43%. Thats like 10% higher than my usual. Its too bad I've been too unmotivated to race, because I would be flying right now!

Okay...I'll try to think of a funnier post next time. Or at least one with some hot quad photos or something...

31 Comments:

At 12:07 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger chatterbox said...

Yes, you need to stop imitation of Velogirl in that arena. Following that road ain't so great.

Does this mean your quads will be shrinking? You better write to beth quickly and find out how to preserve your awesome quads when your metabolism picks up.

 
At 12:16 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

hot quads ...

did you go back to bed after that weird kitchen remodel dude left this morning?

 
At 12:51 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger suenago said...

Glad to hear you got the "itchlessness" diagnosed. now, you can get back on track! I had blood tests done for the first time in life last week( I am alergic to needles)and have a hematocrit of 42.2 so, lets find some end of year races and burn up the track, Sabine!

 
At 2:51 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

last week, my hematocrit came back a 33.6 which sucks, but the body is amazing and for some reason it adapts...your body has probaby been adapting too and now you will feel much better...and google doc is just scary...I try and not look anymore

 
At 3:00 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger disco piper said...

yay join our club!

i'm hypothyroid too. it's really fun to be on the meds (although i'm on levoxyl, not synthroid) b/c you get all this energy and feel warmer (that was my main problem pre meds - cold hands and feet).

you'll have your itches back in no time!

 
At 4:39 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger lauren said...

it's hereditary too, isn't it?

does your mom have thyroid issues?

 
At 5:00 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

yes she does. She's been on synthroid (or whatever they had back then) for about 40 years.

I have her bunions too.

And her nose.

 
At 5:31 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger velogirl said...

I promise I will never, ever get sick again! promise.

hypo isn't a death sentence. you'll get your meds dialed in and feel great again -- probably better than even.

Lorri

ps -- I could see it in you. really, I could. I can see these things now.

pps -- how does everyone know their hematocrit? I'm the queen of hypochondria and I don't know mine.

 
At 5:36 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Ippoc Amic said...

I have to take monthly blood tests for the RA medication...the tests monitor sed rate(inflammation)liver, kidney, and blood levels...

 
At 5:40 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

yeah Lorri, nothing else can happen to you!

I had a full blood panel done, including a CBC (I think thats what its called). You should have had a few CBCs when they discovered your DVT. And again during Thyca times. Its the basic blood panel work.

We should compare hematocrits to quad sizes.

Lorri sees thyroid people.

 
At 5:44 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger velogirl said...

ps -- nice symbolism with the b'fly!

 
At 5:50 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger marscat said...

but you were racing like three nights a week at the track, making me feel very unmotivated....

well...feel better.

 
At 5:52 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

that was only two nights a week, and really I needed those kinds of "tricks" to get me on the bike.

And there are no hills there.

 
At 8:17 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger monk said...

hey, I've been on synthroid for about 20 yrs. it IS very genetic and it IS very treatable.

Happy to hear you found a reasonable explanation for your lack of energy!
M

 
At 8:43 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

Sabine: If you take synthroid and don't notice a big difference in the way you feel, PLEASE get a 2nd opinion. Some people don't do well on pure T4 formulations like Synthroid, and there are other options! It took me 2 years but hopefully others won't have to go through that pain...please email me at profkim33(at)hotmail(dot)com if you want more information. I take Armour thyroid now, and feel about a bazillion percent better. Synthroid/Levoxyl did nothing for me. And for the record, synthroid worked just fine for my mother (I have Hashimoto's, too).

 
At 9:09 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger T. Marie said...

WOW looks like the cycling world is in the midst of a hypothyroidism epidemic! Glad to hear you went to the doc and are on your way to getting better!

p.s. how the heck did you get tested and on meds so quickly? I got my blood tests done 6 weeks ago and they made me get a second blood test yesterday, and it'll probably be at least 2 weeks before I get the "Results" and any kind of prescription. Yay, Kaiser.

 
At 10:19 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger b-luv said...

hey woman...i've been on thyroid for 15 years. love to chat with you about the different meds i've taken for it!

 
At 10:50 PM, August 29, 2007, Blogger PAB(a.k.a.CID) said...

ok, practiclly everyone i know is a cyclist.

and prctcally everyone i know is either on some sort of medication or is recovering from a crash (or two).

this can't be coincidence.

I thought cycling was supposed to be a HEALTHY sport...

 
At 7:21 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger X Bunny said...

i hate to burst your bubble

but your not a hypochondriac

 
At 7:35 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Beth said...

oh, yuck yuck. i do hope you start to feel better soon. maybe try eating a stick or two of butter a day so you don't lose your 62.5 cm with the new medication.

 
At 8:51 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger velogirl said...

there are a number of alternatives to stratight synthroid/levoxyl (T4). besides armour (dessicated pig thyroid) which doc kim mentions, there is also cytomel (T3). my body doesn't convert the T4 to T3 very efficiently so I'm on both. the nice thing about the T3 is that it's effect on your body is instantaneous -- like drinking a cup of coffee, while the T4 takes 4-6 weeks to build up in your system. there is also a combo drug called thyroxin which is both T3 and T4 together. I prefer taking them separately so I can adjust my T3 dose if needed (ie I don't take the T3 on race days because my HR is too darn high).

btw, not sure if your doc or pharmacist mentioned, but thyroid meds are very heat and humidity sensitive. they will go bad if stored in the bathroom or even if you leave them in the car for 10 minutes or on a counter in the sunshine. I keep mine in the kitchen and they travel with me in a triple zip-lock (to keep out moisture) in a cooler.

thyroid meds also bind with calcium (don't take them with your morning coffee) and are absorbed in your small intestine. the standard is 5 hours AFTER eating and one hour BEFORE eating. I typically take mine when I wake up in the middle of the night so I don't have to delay breakfast (or my morning latte).

the last piece of advice I have (shut up already) is to be 100% consistent with your meds. make sure to take them every day and do your best to also take them at the same time each day.

it may take a while to find the right dose, but you will definitely feel better soon.

 
At 8:59 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Flandria said...

i heard that hypo-thyroid is common, is it more common with cyclists?

when i felt fatigued a this end of the season I was asked to check my thyroid level...it is normal

it looks like a common thing...still unsure how you get it

 
At 10:11 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger chatterbox said...

flandria - it's pretty common in women - especially those over the big 4-oh. I think it's something like an estimated 30% of women over 40. Often, it comes on after pregnancy. So, it might be related to hormonal changes, but I don't think there is any solid linkage in the medical literature yet - mostly theories.

My mom and grandmas are/were all hypo, so it's probably only a matter of time for me....

 
At 10:18 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger bbElf (a.k.a. panda) said...

Wow, that is a lot of thyroid stuff. My mom is always trying to get me in to the doc to check on my thyroid because I have such a whacked out metabolism, but I went in and everything was normal. When I get home tonight I'll have to scope out my hematocrit on the report...

Glad you're on the road back! Blackberry fro-yo will help.

 
At 10:20 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

I did not know that about the synthroid and the heat. Nothing in the paper that came with it mentioned it. I left the pills in the car yesterday after lunch and it was like 100 degrees here yesterday.

Did I fuck up my pills?

And I am pretty bad. I already forgot to take my pill this morning. But I remembered just as I was leaving my driveway so I turned around and went back.

 
At 10:32 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger velogirl said...

I'd get a new bottle 'o pills. My biggest challenge is when I'm bike touring. How do I keep my meds cool in the panniers? I finally found a carrying case for diabetics that seems to work and operates on batteries. I've gone super-hypo again twice in the past 2.5 years because of heat-zapping my meds. and you don't know until it's too late because of the 4-6 week loading. of course, in my case, without a thyroid gland at all, it's miserable.

I think probably 80% of the American public will suffer from some sort of thyroid disease in their lifetime. Not sure why, but probably because of all the chemicals and hormones we put in our bodies. Our entire endocrine system is inter-related (ie our thyroid also affects our reproductive hormones and vice versa).

and for those of you who had thyroid tested negative, make sure they're testing the entire panel (including free T3 and T4 and thyroid antibodies), not just TSH. your TSH can be normal but your T3/T4 off due to auto-immune disorders like hashimoto's or graves disease.

I actually think there is probably a relationship between chronic athletic training and auto-immune disorders such as thyroid, RA, lupus, etc. Exercise stresses your immune system. If you do that over and over and over for many years, something has to give. Just my opinion -- athletes aren't really very healthy, we're just fit.

 
At 11:23 AM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Velo Bella said...

oh yes, Bunny I am. I am just a very self aware one and have developed some coping mechanisms over the years. I also hide it very well. Making fun of it helps me, so I make light of it and laugh at myself.

I was diagnosed with GAD and Health Anxiety in my mid twenties.

And its actually quite awful and probably worse than some of the diseases I dream up I have.

The very real overwhelming sense of doom that accompanies it is awful and debilitating. In its throes I cannot eat, sleep or focus on anything except my vague symptoms and the diseases I think (actually KNOW)it means. I am glad I have come as far as I have in managing my health anxiety, and it really only strikes in waves every few years and when it does I can usually break the cycle (with a little help from my friend Klonopin too).

But I am considering some CBT if it comes up again because it really sucks and it freaks Michael out.

Okay, now I gotta go google temp and synthroid.

And 80% sounds whacked. Sometimes I think we think our population is more affected because that is the population we are surrounded by. But my mom is sure no athlete! However, she is a fabulous dancer.

 
At 1:12 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Flandria said...

thanks...and very interesting, 80% is a significant number

my sis-in-law was diagnosed with Grave's disease - it's no fun for sure...it's a lot of pill management

but interestingly, the stress level affects her thyroid which causes many effects like depression, weakness, fatigue and weight loss - that is a pretty extreme case though

take care and thanks for sharing something that can be important to think about in my future...

 
At 6:24 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger X Bunny said...

can you be a hypochondriac for thinking you are a hypochondriac?

don't mean to be too light with something that plagues you, but i can see hypochondriac people like lorri can see thyroid people and my crystal ball didn't tell me that

oh, and you can have my opinion on the care, handling, and administration of thyroid pills when i see you without even asking me

 
At 8:22 PM, August 30, 2007, Blogger Kimberly (aka. DrKim) said...

I didn't like cytomel/levoxyl combo...still did nothing for me. It might have been, however, that levoxyl was jsut not a good choice regardless. However....I did like the T4/T3 compounded medication from a compounding pharmacy. That worked almost as well as armour for me (armour is just cheaper on my insurance plan and works great for me).

Once my thyroid was balanced, all of my other health problems disappeared! I had bad seasonal allergies/athsma, and they ALL disappeared! I haven't needed a claritin or an advair dose in over 2 years! It is amazing how it's all related. I also NEVER get sick. I can train my heart out, exhaust myself at work, travel through many time zones, and I just don't get sick. Not even a little cold! It's truly amazing how the balanced immune system works!

VB..best of luck!! I know you'll feel so much better once you get it straightened out. And Velogirl--thanks for that tip about the meds and heat--I had no idea!!!

 
At 10:26 AM, September 07, 2007, Blogger Brent said...

ah a new member to the Thyroid gang. :)

Sorry to hear Sabine, I have struggled with the meds for many years.

All i can say is get a doc who is willing to let you try a few.
I have had HUGE differnces in results with diff meds.

The T3/T4 combo worked well for me.. I lost a ton of weight.
Thyrolar and Armour are ones that people really like when syntroid and levoxyl dont work.

Just popped my pills for you (300mcg of levoxyl)

 

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