Graves Disease…It blows!

Posted on March 25, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Last month at my check up, which I have once a month, my doctor informed that in fact I do have Grave’s Disease, not just hyperthyroidism. He also informed me that if I was diagnosed with this when I was older, I would have been hospitalized. Because my t-3 free level was so high. It was 5.6, when normal is .1 . Since January is has lowered to .8 . To simplify a long explanation, it means my heart rate, metabolism, pituitary gland, thyroid hormone, and adrenal glands were going way to fast in my body. Basically they were out of control. And now they are back in control.

I am just glad that my medication (methimazole and propranolol)are working. Well, they are working to lower my levels. But now something interesting is happening to me…I am gaining an abnormal amount of weight. It is unknown how long I have had Grave’s Disease. For sure I had it since May 2008. That’s when I clearly remember some of the symptoms starting (shakiness, muscle fatigue, irritability, depression, rapid heart rate, heat flashes, and a stop of my menstrual cycle). But I don’t know how long I had it before that, and was just unaware of the symptoms. In 2008 I remember thinking, wow, this is the easiest it has ever been for me to loose weight. I would just cut out desserts, or processed carbs, and I would shed 1 pound a day or like 2ish a week. At this time I had no idea that I had a disease that was helping me loose the weight quicker and easier. In January I started my medications.

January was my month to recover from some vacations we had taken in December. New York city, and visiting family in Georgia. So while I was there my exercise routine and eating habits were sort of thrown out the window. Which was fine, because if January would be anything like the rest of 2008, I should be back to my normal weight in about 2 weeks. And in 2 weeks I basically was. I mean, maybe I had 1 or 2 pounds to tone up, but, what the heck, I was on my way, so no biggy.

But then in February the medication really kicked in. And my metabolism and heart rate slowed WAY down. I was starting to find it almost impossible to ever feel hungry, even if I hadn’t eaten, and no matter what I did, I wouldn’t loose an ounce. I didn’t worry at first, because I sort of expected a few pounds to come on since my metabolism used to be out of control and was now getting under control.

But then March hit. And it hit me hard. In March I have gained 5 pounds. And the month isn’t even over. I have also not had 1 single dessert in March. Lent started, and I gave up desserts. And have been very diligent about it. I try not to eat processed food, partially hydrogenated oils, aspartame or high fructose corn syrup either. Ya, sometimes I do, but as a general rule, I do not allow them in my mouth. And I have been diligent about that as well.

All this to say, I am frustrated. This week it hit me, I do not fit into any of my clothes comfortably anymore. If 7 pounds is 1 clothing size, then it makes sense why my clothes feel very uncomfortable, because I have gained 8 pounds since my clothes felt most comfortable (in September and October 2008). I am okay gaining this weight, if it is for my health. If I need to gain it to be healthy, then so be it.

But I do have reservations about it. A lot of the blogs and the info I have read online say that the people who gained more then a couple pounds were being prescribed the wrong meds. Their doctors were too lazy or just ignored the patients concerns, and never bothered to change their meds. I have a general lack of trust in toady’s medical industry anyways. And this weight gain has not made that any better. I trust that I do need to be receiving treatment for Graves Disease. But could it be that I need to change medication? Is this normal? 5 pounds in 1 month? So now I am reading up on different diets that graves Disease patients go on and have success with. The most common I have found so far is the raw diet. With some fish and chicken. Graves Disease depletes muscle mass, so we have to be conscious of getting enough protein daily.

And my research continues…

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