Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Search for a new GP

Wow!!  Forgot about this blog again and no entries for 6 months.

OK so here is the latest news. My old family GP has retired. He has been practising Family Medicine for 20 years and he wanted to "pursue other interests". Don't Laugh. I am quoting the letter he gave to all his patients. My whole family has been with this GP for 14 years.

Fortunately last year I had done some searching  around and found me a new GP who has been known to prescribe ERFA thyroid to his Hypothyroid patients so I joined his practise.

2 days ago I went to see him again. First off I have to get blood tests done, which I have done. Next week I will go back and discuss the results. My fingers are crossed that he will prescribe me some Erfa. My insurance does cover Erfa!!

In the meantime, I have been buying and taking my Thyrogold all year!!!!!  But it is getting quite expensive now. Last year in 2014 the Canadian and US dollars were at parity. This year they are not.

AS of now I am taking 1050 mcg of Thyrogold - 3x 300 and 1 x 150 mcg capsules. I know its a lot but if I take anything less, I feel quite BLAAAAH for the day until I take more.

I also had my annual cardio appointment in November 2015 and he said that my heart was still doing OK despite the increase in weight.. I told him that I was taking NOTHING else except the Thyrogold because it is NDT.

I think my adrenal glands are fatigued because I have a huge craving for chocolate and carbs and just cannot say NO to them!!  This does NOT help my weight issues at all!!!

In the meantime my spouse and son are now looking for a new GP. My son is diabetic so he gets most of his treatment done at the Sick Kids Hospital. My spouse has LOTS of medical issues and was given 3 months worth of drugs to cover the time he is looking for a new GP.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Add Back Therapy

I cannot believe that I forgot about this blog for 9 months!!  Not Good. Not Good.  Giving myself a small slap on the wrist for that!!

Anyway, for the last 6 months - since January 2015 - I have been following the Add Back Therapy. This is where I take small amounts of both NDT - Natural Desiccated Thyroid (Thyrogold) - and ATD - Anti Thyroid Drugs (Methimazole aka Tapazole) - in order for my body to be receiving the T3 it needs and also getting treatment to control the Graves Anti-bodies still raging around.

Last year when I tried to follow the plan of taking Thyrogold for 2 weeks before increasing, I ended up taking far too much and developing Graves Symptoms again (heart palpitations mostly) and so I stopped and backed off for a few weeks. The T3 had begun pooling in my body which caused my heart to palpitate, because I was taking far too much.

In January 2015 I tried again.  Only this time I followed a different plan. This time I stayed on the lowest dose until symptoms started and then increased the dosage. This worked perfectly.

I stayed on the lowest dose of Thyrogold, which is 150 mg, daily for 3 weeks. When I began to feel bad, especially with pain in my hip joints, I knew it was time to increase, so I upped the daily dose to 300 mg. That was back in February 2015, and 5 months later, I am still on the 300 mg dose since I still dont have any symptoms.

And I feel absolutely wonderful too!!  The best I have been for a very long time.

Whenever I go and see my GP, I do so only to get blood tests and results. I have asked him to test my blood for Graves Anti-bodies, but he refuses to do so. He actually said that an antibody test was ONLY needed for diagnostic purposes and since I was diagnosed 5 years ago, I do not need any further anti body tests!!

The last anti body test results I have, are dated June 2012 when I was being treated by an endocrinologist. She discharged me back to the GP in early 2013 because I was "cured" and yes she actually spoke the word Cured. What she meant was that my TSH was now within the normal range and that was good enough for her.

Can you believe just how uneducated these conventional doctors and specialists are?? 

This is why I am doing the add back therapy. I have to go against convention in order to be treated.

So far my GP has not offered me any Synthroid. If he did, I might fill in the prescription, but would NEVER actually TAKE any of those synthetic meds. The GP however is giving me prescriptions for Methimazole, but I have to pay for these as this drug is NOT covered by my insurance.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

OK I'm Hypo - now what?

On September 10, 2014, I had an appointment to see my cardiologist  After enduring the usual tests (echocardiogram, electrocardiogram), I finally got to see my cardiologist. I asked him if he had access to my blood tests results from the previous month, and he had a look.

"This is not good." he said, "You are now Hypothyroid. Your TSH is very high and your Frees are both low."

Frees refer to Free T3 and Free T4 - the 2 main types of Thyroid Hormone freely available in the blood.

 "Well that explains all the weight gain I have had lately." I said.

I was quite annoyed with my family doctor, He should not have prescribed that last Tapazole raise.

I resolved to start taking Natural Desiccated Thyroid immediately.

Over the last 4 and a half years ever since I was first diagnosed with Graves disease, I have been reading up all about the Thyroid, thyroid illness, how it is treated and what the research says.

I don't like taking synthetic drugs. I prefer to take natural substances as much as possible.

Now 100 years ago in the early 1900's, thyroid illness was treated with Natural Desiccated Thyroid which comes from pigs. Many women who were hypothyroid, and who had put on weight, were treated with this porcine thyroid and after losing the weight, their thyroids went back to working normally - as long as the patient continued to take the porcine thyroid.

The below proof comes from an article dated 1915 - almost 100 years ago. 

In the 1960's a new drug was made in the labs - Levothyroxine. This is a T4 synthetic hormone. The idea behind its use is that everyone naturally converts T4 into T3 which is what the body uses.

On a good day when the thyroid is not compromised, yes that is what should be happening.

BUT if the body is out of whack and is now either Hyper active or Hypo active, the body no longer does what is normal. This is NOT the time to be making the Thyroid work even harder to do its job. This is when we should be helping the Thyroid to do its job better by giving it what it can no longer make.

This is why Natural Desiccated Thyroid works so much better than Levothyroxine (aka Synthroid or Levoxyl or Eltroxin etc).

Since the 1960's Big Pharma have been steadily telling lies about NDT's - and pushing their synthetic drugs instead. Basically they tell the Medical school students that the only way to fix HYPO-Thyroidism is to give the patient Levothyroxine.

The reason for this is because Big Pharma have patents on the various T4 drugs. They cannot take out patents on pig thyroid because it comes from nature - the drug companies did not make it. Big Pharma makes huge amounts of money from Synthroid. It is now the biggest selling thyroid drug of all time.

Anyway, enough of the history lesson. When I finally got to see my family doctor a week after the cardiologist visit, I confirmed the results and waited for him to offer me some Synthroid. He did not do that., Instead he told me to go off the Tapazole, (which I had already done immedoately after the cardiologist visit) and then he said, "Lets wait 6 weeks and see what happens, and test again."

What? He's going to do NOTHING - and leave me in this hypothyroid state?  No Thank you.

Sure I can stop taking the tapazole. I had already done that. He didnt even apologise for putting me into this HYPO state in the first place. I was only following his instructions.

So as of Sept 11, 2014, I have been taking one capsule of Thyrogold - a dietary supplement containing 150 mcg of natural desiccated thyroid - and also one 200 mcg Selenium tablet. why selenium? Because the research says that Thyroid usually works better in the presence of Selenium. Two weeks after that start date, I will increase the NDT from 150 up to 300 mcg and continue at that level also for 2 weeks. Staying at one level for 2 weeks allows the body to adjust slowly and for you to see how your body reacts. When the next blood tests are done in 6 weeks time, then I will know just how well this works.

Other patients taking Thyrogold  said that they were feeling their optimal best, taking as much as a  total of 750 mcg of NDT daily.But every person is different.

The doctor did also tell me sometime ago - It's up to me whether or not I follow his instructions, but when I don't, that's when he could get into trouble for not giving me medically sound advice.

My problem is that for him to tell me why I should be taking T4 is NOT medically sound advice.

The remainder of this blog will be my journey with Natural Desiccated Thyroid, how much I am taking and how I feel on it, and how the doctors react as well. In the 9 days I have been taking it already, I have lost 10 pounds, so I know it is working already.

Oh and if you wondering why I have not gone to see a naturopath, - well here in Canada, their fees are very expensive, and I simply dont have any health insurance to cover their costs. And they cannot prescribe drugs either.

Going Hypo

Four years and nine months ago I was admitted to hospital suffering from a Thyrotoxicosis Storm.

For the previous eighteen months I had been losing weight without even trying. I was not dieting, but I had no idea why I was losing weight. and it never occurred to me to research the reasons online. Besides, I had gone back in school in the hopes of being able to update my skills, so I was quite busy with homework and looking after my family,

I was released from the hospital 6 days later with a diagnosis of Graves Disease which means my thyroid was HYPER active. I was given a prescription for Methimazole (aka Tapazole) which is an anti-thyroid drug (ATD). My blood results showed that my Antibodies were through the roof, and my TSH was severely suppressed.

The TSH is a measurement of the pituitary gland to determine how much thyroid hormone is in the blood. If there is little Thyroid hormone in the blood, the pituitary sends a message to the thyroid to make more thyroid hormone. If there is too much Thyroid hormone in the blood, the pituitary tells the thyroid to stop making it.

Too little Thyroid hormone usually means an underactive thyroid, or HYPO thyroid state. Too much thyroid hormone and we call that a HYPER thyroid state.

The idea of this Tapazole was to help my hyroid to stop making so much Thyroid hormone. For most of the last 3 years I have been taking this Tapazole, and sometimes my TSH rose and other times it fell. Each time the TSH rose or fell, my Tapazole dose had to be adjusted.

The results of my blood tests done in May 2014, showed that my TSH was back down to being suppressed ( as in < 0.1). So my doctor told me to increase my tapazole from 5mcg daily to 10 mcg daily. In order to bring it up. So this is what I did.

Over the next four months the weight piled on and I began to find it harder to move around, to breathe and most of my clothes no longer fit me any more. So I stopped going out unless I absolutely had to.

Last month, August 2014, I went back to the doctor for more blood tests. The very next day my apartment was in chaos as the floor people moved in, and spent the next 4 days uprooting our lives, ripping out the carpet and laying down a wooden floor. During this time of chaos the doctor's nurse called asking me to come in and discuss my blood test results. I was not told that it was urgent, so I didn't go in. My apartment was in chaos and it was taking us a while to get everything back into some decent order.

My weight was slowly climbing and there wasn't anything I could do about it. I knew I was having hypo symptoms, but the last blood test said I was not hypo. Things really couldn't change that fast, could they?