Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My STUPID Thyroid!

Ok.. I have talked before about this issue.. Seems it is becoming a major player in my life these days.. I was diagnosed with what is called "Wilson's Syndrome" about 18 months ago..It is basically where your body is stuck in a state of constant "survival mode"..Survival mode meaning that my body thinks its in a constant state of high stress.. If anyone has been through a time of high stress, like when you lose a job or have a newborn, this is the type of stress Im talking about.. Thing is, my body gets stuck in the coping mechanism.. AND STAYS THERE!!!

What really sucks about that it is VERY HARD to lose weight when your body is in SURVIVAL MODE.. Your body will think its starving ( REALLY? STARVING?) and then it will conserve and you can eat basically next to nothing and exercise your butt off and not lose a pound..

Seems that my husband has this same thing.. I have been trying to figure out why we have it.. I do so much research on the internet and sometimes I cant tell what is fact and what is fabled.. I have pretty much come to this conclusion:

- We are both predisposed to this disorder due to autoimmune diseases that run in our family
- Something triggered this response in the both of us around the same time..Im thinking it could be related to our diets or outside contaminants?
- We both had flare ups in the past that went undiagnosed..

I had always thought I had a thyroid problem, dating back to after I had my oldest son, 18 years ago..Instead of losing the post baby weight, I gained about 15 more pounds AFTER he was born.. A year after he was born, I weighed MORE than what I weighed when I went into the hospital to give birth.. I am not going to say that I didnt eat.. I was eating.. But, I wasnt eating enough to constitute a major weight gain like that.. I went to the doctor and they said I needed to stop eating so much.. UM.. OK... They tested my blood, no thyroid issues..So I dieted like crazy and lost 25 pounds and got pregnant again..

I only gained 23 pounds the whole pregnancy.. A few weeks after his birth, I noticed that I couldnt sleep.. Fierce insomnia.. Very frustrating considering I had a newborn that had his days and nights turned around until he was 6 weeks old.. You would have thought I would have slept while he slept, but I didnt.. I would cry because I was so exhausted, but I couldnt fall asleep until about 30 min before he woke up to be fed.. At that point, I was exhausted to the point of STUPID.. Eventually, he started sleeping through the night and I filled that deficit of sleep..

When he was 3 mos old, I started having these PANIC ATTACKS.. I wasnt sure what was going on..It was quite strange.. I remember feeling like I was going to "fall out".. I even felt my arms go numb and my head would spin.. I even called the paramedics one time because I was lying on the floor and couldnt move.. They told me I might have an "inner ear" issue called Meniere's Disease.. I also developed this weird fear of driving, especially at night.. I am not sure if it was the stress of having 2 small children under the age of 3 or what.. But something was definately going on.. I went to a doc and I was finally diagnosed with Mitral Valve Prolapse with Dysautonomia.. I was told that I had basically "reflux" of blood in my mitral valve in my heart and sometimes it would send my parasympathetic nervous system into overdrive.. The result was panic attacks.. The doc put me on a beta blocker and an anti anxiety pill.. It worked.. I started to feel almost normal again..

When my son was a year old, I went to the doc and complained that I just couldnt lose weight.. He put me on Adipex and in 4 months, I lost 40 pounds! I felt WONDERFUL! I was wearing size 8 jeans..I looked so cute! Then I started college again and gained about 15 pounds, due to the stress.. Then, I got pregnant again.. UGHHH.. Gained all the weight I lost AND THEN SOME.. Then, depression took over.. I was put on antidepressant meds..

I have never been the same since my youngest was born, almost 12 years ago.. I have been through alot of life changes that probably didnt help my stress levels.. A divorce, single mom to 3 boys, a remarriage ( good thing, though) and 3 different jobs along with starting a business.. But what sucks is alot of people have major life changes and dont have issues like I have.. It just stinks!

Recently, I asked my doctor why my thyroid was so messed up.. I was told that during the times that I was tested for low thyroid, when I was younger, the reason I probably tested "within normal limits", was because my thyroid was probably in a HYPER state, trying to keep up with what was going on.. Meaning, it was slowly burning itself out.. The lack of doctors that understood the whole thyroid and autoimmune diseases was the problem.. They went solely on blood tests, rather than symptoms.. The whole if it walks like a duck its probably a duck, didnt apply.. They never considered that maybe something else was going on..Maybe some kind of connection wasnt being made..

All I know is I am on DIET PILLS and taking a thyroid replacement pill and Im still gaining weight.. The doc told me that my husband and I could have had a virus that caused this autoimmune response and its killing our thyroids.. He also said that it could have been Nutra Sweet.. I am thinking that all those years of dieting and eating those foods that were considered "light" but contained all those extra additives and preservatives are the main problem.. And it stinks because I ate those things thinking I was doing a good thing..


Leigh said...

Sorry you are feeling bad. But dont add to the stress worrying about your weight. I think you look fine! You're beautiful! I hope though that the docs can help. I have MVP but am lucky in the fact that the only time it bothers me is the heart flutters. When I "clear my throat" that helps it to subside. Additionally, I get the shakes sometimes, but I have to eat to make it go away.
LIke I said, try not to give it much worry. It will only aggrivate the issue.

Dullbert said...

Watch out for that research on the internet. On some of those sites if you answers the questions just right you'll be convinced you have Malaria.

Michelle said...

Leigh- You are so sweet to say that! But my pants and shirts are saying another thing.. lol I wouldnt be surprised if the incidence of MVP and autoimmune thyroid problems become more prevalent in society, due to all the preservatives and toxins.. Now I sound like a infomercial.. LOL

Dullbert- I know what you mean! Sometimes it sucks to have alot of knowledge on a subject like nurses do..My sister is a RN and she swears she has had symptoms of everything, including MS.. lol