Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"when life gives you lemons, instead of champagne, don't worry little children, and don't complain, remember you're golden, so find some sugar cane. when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" the "lemonade" song, by alex boye

this song, as i have said before, could be my theme song . i have had to make lots and lots of lemonade! the news from my endocrinologist and my test results were  about as good as i could have hoped for,though. my thyroglobulin (TG) count  is under 1, thank goodness. it was elevated for about 3 years, and that is sometimes on my mind. this measures any thyroid cancer cells  that may have moved somewhere else in the body. i had to have two of my parathyroids removed, along with my thyroid, because they were cancerous also . more than one doctor has told me that having cancer move to the parathyroids from the thyroid  is very unusual. leave it to me to be different, i guess. in one of my earlier blogs, i joked and said that those two parathyroids had packed up and moved to paraguay, leaving my other two to do all of the work. perhaps my TG finally decided to go with them. i only hope the TG stays there, and does not cause any more problems.

my fatigue, at least for the most part, has probably been coming from the fact that my T3 was very low. my T4 was actually a little bit high which makes dosing a little tricky for me. my body sure does like to make things difficult for everyone. here is why i love my endocrinologist. instead of just wishing me well and sending me on my way , she decided to go more on how i was feeling than strictly the lab results. my doctor changed the type of  medicine this time, not just the dose. i have been on levoxyl, a synthetic T4 only drug, for some time now. my doctor added some synthetic T3 ( generic Cytomel ) to my regiment, but it did not help very much. before i tell you the name of the medication that i am taking now, i wanted to give you a quick review of what T3 and T4 do. and i do mean quick! a person could write an entire book about these two guys. anyway, in our healthy bodies, T4 is converted to T3. T3 drives the plane, you might say. it is the "juice" that keeps us going. T3 is about 4 times as potent as T4. if a person takes only T4, it is up the body to break it down to T3. we are all different. our bodies metabolize drugs differently due to our age, general health,etc. we could possibly have a problem on the cellular level breaking down the T4, so what then?

i have always said that synthetic T4 only drugs ( levoxyl, synthroid, generic levothyroxine, to name a few) are fine if they work for that particular patient. this worked for me for a while, but it does not work anymore. my doctor decided i needed to try a drug called "Nature-Throid". this is a naturally derived product, and contains both T4 and T3. what does  " naturally derived "mean? well, it means that the drug comes from porcine thyroid glands. it does have a light coating on the tablets to make it easier to swallow( they are smaller than an aspirin tablet), and more importantly, to reduce odor. a long time ago, i tried some "Armour" thyroid tablets, also a naturally derived product containing both T3 and T4. the Armour worked for a while, but the company reformulated it, and it stopped working for me. also, their tablets did not have the coating, and to put it bluntly, it smells very, very bad ! if anyone out there is reading this, and taking the Armour, if you will keep the medication in the refrigerator, it will reduce the smell somewhat.

so, i have only been taking the Nature-Throid for about one week. i can already tell a difference in the way that i feel- my energy level is not there yet, but it is improving every day. my moods are better- you can ask my husband how happy he is about this one! the Nature-Throid is referred to as a "hypoallergenic" drug by the manufacturer. i have a lot of allergies, thanks to all of the cancers i have had and what they have done to my immune system, so this is also important to me. i have the prescription for the synthetic T3 that i can take in the afternoon if i need it. i am going to wait just a little while for my body to adjust to the new medication before i add the" T3 only" back. a person can have too much T3 in the body, and it is not comfortable. it is a slippery slope coming up with the correct drug at the correct dose  for hypothyroid patients. i know i am preaching to the choir for anyone reading this- you guys know this already. what i would like to remind everyone is that things change, our bodies change, and our medicine - the drug that we take or the dose- may need to change,too.

for now, i am cautiously optimistic. i am feeling some better, and i think that in time, i will feel even more like my old self. or at least, as close as i can get to it. even though i like lemonade, i am a little tired of making it. i need a break!