Health… the good, bad, why we must be persistent as women!

Anyone who has Hypothyroidism or even Hyperthyroidism for that matter is most likely familiar with this list below. Not too long ago I stumbled upon this excellent source of information on the StopTheThyroidMadness.com website – awesome!

Ive been battling PCOS and Hypothyroidism and Endometriosis for years. Years of pain, discomfort and feeling just down right awful – not to mention all the other wonderful symptoms that go along with it. All three of these “illnesses” are “invisible”, to look at me I look “fine” yes Im a curvy girl – heck I like that, would I love to trim some off my belly, of course, its hard however to do when you feel all the above.

Almost exactly 1 year ago I remember waking up and saying to my husband, Ive had enough Im booking my hysterectomy. Best thing I ever did. Any woman with PCOS and Endometriosis will know and feel my pain. To say somedays was pure hell was putting it lightly. The surgery helped SO much. Up until I had my surgery I had even less energy, motivation, was always tired, always in pain and thus very irritable and cranky. Not fun. Also not many people understand these illnesses. I rarely do talk about them as I am not one to use an illness or daily pain as an excuse for anything – that is until I get to the comfort of my home and my kids and husband are very familiar with mommy not feeling good or being tired. Now that they are getting older, its getting easier on mommy.

One thing that has bothered me since trying to get pregnant with our first child was the fact that my family dr immediately jumped to the diagnosis of “infertility”, granted this is what was happening, he was not about to help me with this and rather wanted to send me off to London to a doctor there… Anyone who has gone through infertility knows, its not a simple process, you have daily, weekly and monthly appointments. So I took this into my own hands and found an amazing Reproductive Encronologist in Harriston, he took me on and advised he would do what he could for me because he was unfortunately retiring in December… but hey no pressure!

After months of feeling awful, gaining weight with everything I ate (literally), crazy messed up cycles and not getting pregnant, he had answers for me within minutes! Which of course he followed through with blood tests to confirm and we then began the process of helping me feel better. This was a very hard time for me as I very much felt broken. However Dr Tyson figured out I had not just Endometriois – which I knew for years and had already had 2-3 surgeries for, but I also have Hypothyroidism AND PCOS. Both of which work against me …

Fast forward and I end up getting pregnant in our last month with him, December, found out in January we were expecting! Awesome 🙂 I have our child and not long after my family dr lowers my thyroid medication. Telling me that diet and exercise will be better for me. I knew in my gut this was wrong and over the years have gone back for test after test, all of which telling me the same – you are within the “normal range” – I have protested this MANY times as I am in the very low end of the “normal” range… besides the fact of who decides what the normal range is – everyone is different…

For years I have been battling this. Both of these illnesses. One day feeling on top of the world and the next could be feeling the complete opposite. Or even arriving home from work and just being completely wiped out. After our daughter was born my dr’s solution was put me on iron.

Fast forward again… I had my surgery last year – great! Feeling MUCH better, but still not great. So I again do more research into more blood work and things I should have a doctor testing and finally went. Of course now waiting for results to come back to see him again, however he is a doctor who for one did my surgery last year and two who I feel truly listens to me – and yes he is a man!

Feeling almost “refreshed” last evening after coming home from work and spending some time with my camera and my girl out on a jeep photography tour I finally feel like I may finally get a handle on this, especially with the endometriosis pain 85% completely gone (still get some).

Then… last night I see this article and video circling online. Watching it made my jaw drop. Reading comments by some of the viewers made it drop even further!

Here is the link… http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/bully-messes-with-wrong-newswoman-as-hser-response-goes-viral/article4584932/

Some of the comments go on to say about how one woman once was fat and now is a personal trainer and according to her this woman did not handle this viewers email well at all and that she knows health and nutrition.

Completely boggles my mind. As a person who also battles with her weight and health I think this woman handled it perfectly well. Yes this “man” who emailed her is a coward, he is a bully emailing her to tell her she needs to be a better role model to young girls. … So what about all those magazines out there with all the women in them who are about 90-95% photoshopped… is that “right” or “normal” NO! I shared one on my facebook page just the other day, showing how the liquify tool in photoshop can take a “fat” woman and make her “thin” – words of the “photographer” – disgusting! You can see that link here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbCCN0xtD7o&feature=share .

Regardless of what this woman’s story is, thats her story. I dont know if she is dealing with health issues, its really none of my business. However one thing that is very dear to my heart is the fact that women have to PUSH to make our own health a priority. We have to push ourselves, we have to push our doctors and health care. We have to push to get an answer. This is not right. I know my body, yet when I tell my Dr something is wrong I am told to exercise and eat better. Telling someone with PCOS & Hypothyroidism this is useless and a waste of time. Of course I am physically active, of course I want to lose weight, I know I would have more energy and feel better if I did/could lose weight. However there comes a point when you try and try and try and when you are only putting on weight and still feeling awful its hard to stay motivated.

For those of you looking for more information on PCOS and Hypothyroidism… www.stopthethryoidmadness.com is a great source of information for hypothyroidism, also provides you with a list of tests you NEED to ask for and should have yearly. There are so many women who go undiagnosed each day/year with PCOS who could be better understanding their health and bodies.

What is truly sad is how women react to each other, if a woman is very thin or quite over weight, even in between. Women, more than men are so very cruel to each other. And why? Why do women need to treat each other with such disrespect? We do not have to all be friends, we do not have to all even like each other. It can be no different than weight or men. Women can be truly hurtful to each other and without a care, without an ounce of self respect, or respect for others. Why can everyone accept each other for who they are, it is easier when you’ve been in a situation yourself where you are forced to accept your own body which is in a sense fighting against you.

A woman who is over weight, or who may not dress “in style”, who may not be the most popular or whatever… why are women so critical and two faced to each other. Much like this one comment I read of this woman who used to be fat and is now into fitness and nutrition – so what? What right does that give her to now come down on the woman who is facing her bully. Why are women so concerned with what each other has or is doing? Is life a game? Is life about having more or doing more than the other person? I personally feel great knowing what my outlook is, my goals and plans are and knowing that I am doing what I can to be who I am.

Aren’t women supposed to “stand united” – nah that went by the wayside years ago, well for some that is. I myself and many women I know have amazing and wonderful morals and ethics, who not only stand up for themselves, they also do and stand by the women in their lives with much love and support.

My husband laughs when I make the comment about how easy men have it, men certainly do not have the monthly issues we do, nor the health issues that go along with this – health issues I have as well as many other invisible illnesses. These women who would in one second flat throw another under the bus to save her ass, or who when she turns away is making a move on another womans man or who is so easy to criticize another woman. Men can joke with each other about anything, call each other the rudest of names (lol my hubby and cousin come to mind 😉 ) and its all good, women omg no.

I truly applaud Jennifer for standing up and going public with this email, not only for herself but for her children – especially for young women! As a parent I want to set an example for my children, they know mommy has days she isn’t feeling well, but they don’t need to know exactly why, they know mommy exercises to help feel better and be healthy, they like to show me up doing push-ups and showing off their muscles haha! My children also know that mommy isn’t perfect, well according to them I am, but they see me, see I have a tummy, I joke that they did it to me, but also that it was the best thing that ever happened to me! One day I will finally get everything under control, until then I take it one day at a time. A year makes a lot of difference and since after my surgery its been the year of growth and change in an awesome direction!

Sending hugs out to those fellow women who are also suffering from PCOS and/or Hypothyroidism and/or Endometriosis…

http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/long-and-pathetic/ – Symptoms of Hypothyroidism.

PCOS

If you have been diagnosed with PCOS you should be getting a yearly checkup. This should include a visit to your OB/GYN for an annual exam, as well as a visit to your primary for a physical and lab tests. I was SO lucky to have now found (few years ago) an awesome and local doctor who listens and takes my feelings into consideration!

The purpose of these labs are to watch your PCOS and what its doing to your body. Even if you feel your condition is being controlled, either by medications or supplements, you should still have these labs done — just to be sure. PCOS can wreck havoc on your body, causing a number of serious health issues. Take the time to get these values checked, every year.

The following is a list of labs every PCOS’er should have done yearly:

•           Fasting glucose

•           Glucose tolerance test (GTT) *remember, even if these tests come back within normal limits, you can still have insulin resistance*

•           LH (luteinizing hormone)

•           FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)

•           LH/FSH ratio

•           Testosterone – total and free

•           DHEAS (dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate)

•           SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin)

•           Prolactin

•           TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) *this is also an important value as many with PCOS have thyroid issues that go undetected for quite some time. Thyroid conditions tend to have many of the same symptoms as PCOS*

•           Lipid profile (cholesterol, triglycerides) *extremely important. These values are often high in PCOS’ers and they are what lead to our increased risk of heart disease, and stroke*

• free T3 & free T4

Copy this list and take it with you to your next yearly exam. Your primary or OB/GYN can perform these for you.

HYPOTHYROIDISM

Signs of Thyroid problems

  • Fatigue
  • Inability to focus
  • Weight gain
  • Heat and/or cold intolerance
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Constipation
  • Irritability, anxiety and      panic attacks
  • Hair loss
  • Fluid retention
  • Low sex drive
  • Testosterone and Vascular      Issues

Tests for Hypothyroidism

  1. TSHfor diagnosis of hypopituitary, NOT to diagnose or dose your hypothyroidism. If you allow a doctor to diagnose or dose you by this lab test and range, you’ll still be hypothyroid.
  2. Free T4 and Free T3 (note the word “free”–important since it measures what is unbound and available.)
  3. Reverse T3:  to be done at the same time you do the Free T3. Then calculate your ratio with the results and measurements.
  4. Thyroid Antibodiesanti-TPO and TgAb will help discern Hashimotos. You can add TSI for the Graves antibodies–some have all three.
  5. Four iron labs:  Ferritin, % Saturation, TIBC and serum iron (sometimes the latter will just say Iron, or total iron). A high ferritin can also point to inflammation.
  6. Adrenal Cortisol levels: Saliva, NOT blood. Blood does NOT give accurate results. See below, because you don’t need a prescription)
  7. B-12 and Folate
  8. Magnesium and Potassium, plus Calcium, Sodium, Glucose, etc (All the latter are part of the Comprehensive Metabolic Profile–CMP blood test–as well. You can also ask for the RBC (Red Blood Cell) versions of Mag. and Pot, which measures cellular levels.  For potassium, make sure the rubber tourniquet is not left on more than 60 seconds, says this study. Also note that the Buccal Mg lab test is finally available and seems to be more correlated to cardiac health than RBC Mg,but is expensive and not always easy to get.)
  9. Vitamin D3 (25-hydroxyvitamin D lab test…)
  10. Sex hormones: progesterone, estrogen, testosterone.
  11. …plus others your doctor may recommend.
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