Hashimoto, Health, Life, Weight Loss

My Crazy Hormones: Part 2

My Hormones Make Me Crazy.

Last year I wrote a post about how my hormones were making me crazy. I never really revisited that after that post so I wanted to write one. When I had my hormones tested last year I had a Mirena IUD and wasn’t having periods at all (TMI? Sorry…) I did use the prescribed creams for awhile but I still felt off. One of the problems is that Progesterone rises and falls as a woman progresses through her cycle, and at that point I wasn’t having one. I had plans to have my IUD removed and decided at that point to stop using the creams just to see what my body would do on its own. That was back in May of last year. My cycle came back pretty quickly and was pretty regular for the first few months, even with my surgery and everything. Once I got through my recovery and started to figure out what normal felt like again I was still feeling off. Foggy brain, sluggish, tired despite getting 8 hours of sleep on average, and most of all a more noticeable difficultly losing weight. I had even gained close to 10lbs since my Surgery and despite my best efforts with food and exercise I haven’t been able to lose it. I also started having some weird period issues… going from 28 days most cycles to 52 days at my longest cycle. Not too mention the PMS, cramps, mood swings were horrible. This article about the symptoms of low progesterone pretty much sums up my life lately.

Symptoms of Low Progesterone

At the recommendation of my nutrition coach (after following detailed nutrition plans and seeing little to no body composition changes) I made an appointment with RevitaLive Wellness Center. I actually made the appointment last year, November I think? They were booked for 3+ Months! I decided to go to a specialist who works with hormone issues regularly instead of my general practitioner, which is what I did last time I got my levels checked. I went in January and got a bunch of tests done and went back last week to finally get the results. I absolutely loved that they did such a wide range of tests, including genetic testing for heart issues which my family has a history of. They tested not just my hormone levels, but also some vitamin and mineral levels, tested for markers of celiac, cholesterol, and tons of other things. I literally have a stack of around 20 pages of test results and explanations. A few things came back flagged. I’ll touch on each one a little bit.

Low Vitamin D and Omega 3 Levels – My Omega 3 Index came back at a 4.8% when the optimal levels are anything above 8%. This wasn’t terribly surprising as I don’t really eat fish and have been sporadic at best with my Fish Oil Supplements. My Vitamin D level came back at a 32, she said the optimal level is above 50.

Low Progesterone/High Estrogen/Low Testosterone- This would be classified as Estrogen Dominance. My estrogen wasn’t extremely over range, it was at 175 where the highest they like to see is 200. So on the higher end of normal. My progesterone, however, was super low. I had a 0.56 and she said they like to see a level between 5-10. My testosterone came back at 28 and she said they like to see it between 30-50.

Hashimoto’s/Hypothyroid- It’s no surprise that my markers came back positive for the autoimmune condition Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I was diagnosed back in 2009. I’ve been on Synthroid/Levothyroxine for almost 6 years now. My TSH levels have fluctuated in that time from a 9.0 down to 0.5 and averages somewhere around a 2 most testing periods. They tested me out at 2.49. The acceptable levels are anywhere from .5-4.0 depending on the lab. I have always said I feel better when I’m closer to a 1.0. She said they like to keep patients under a 2.0. She also said because of my hashimoto’s that my body has a harder time converting the Synthyroid to Free T3. She suggested upping my dose and switching me over to Nature’s Throid, which is supposedly more easily converted to what the body needs despite my autoimmune condition.

So, what now?

The first thing we changed was my thyroid medication and dosage. I’m now taking a higher dose of Nature Throid instead of Levothyroxine. I also got a small injection of testosterone to bring those levels to the optimal range. They recommend the injection monthly, but will test my levels again so see where they are. Finally, I’m going to be taking a progesterone pill to bring those levels up to a normal range. I’ll be cycling those pills for 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off. I haven’t started them yet, as I have to wait for a certain time during my cycle to do so.

This is all just me sharing my experience with you. I’m not a doctor or medical professional. I know some people have very purist ideas about hormones and doing it all naturally and while I’ve tried to do that as best I can on my own I’m looking forward to seeing how this process works for me. I’m trying to have an open mind and pay attention to my body as best as I can to see what works for me. I’ve been on the new Thyroid medicine for about a week now and I’m noticing small changes, like not feeling as foggy mentally and not feeling like I need to go back to sleep as soon as I wake up. I’ll check in after my first round of progesterone and let you know if I felt like it worked or not.

Have you ever had your hormones tested?

 

 

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12 Comments

  • Reply Eryn at A Glimpse into Eryn's World February 11, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I went through a whole series of tests last year to try to figure out what was causing such a huge weight gain. We thought hypothyroidism since it runs in the family, but everything came back fine. I do have super low doses of Vitamin D, so I’ve been treating that.

    Love your blog! Just cam across it. It’s fantastic!
    Eryn at A Glimpse into Eryn’s World recently posted..Thoughts on a Blog RebrandMy Profile

    • Reply Courtney February 12, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks for stopping by! When you tested for Hypothyroidism did you just test your T3 & T4 or did you also test TSH and Thyroid Antibodies?

      Low Vitamin D is so weird for me to have! I grew up in Florida and never lacked for good old sunshine. Now I live in the midwest and forget what the sun looks like half the year!

  • Reply MacKensey February 11, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Wow this is fascinating! I’ve never been tested but wondering if I should now. I experience a lot of the same symptoms as your describes with low progesterone. Thanks for sharing!
    MacKensey recently posted..10 things I hate about Valentine’s DayMy Profile

    • Reply Courtney February 12, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Testing never hurt!

  • Reply MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog February 11, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I have never had my hormones checked but maybe I should. It’s frustrating sometimes feeling kind of “out of it” without a way to seemingly get out of my own way!

    Very interesting!
    MB
    MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog recently posted..Eight Saturday MilesMy Profile

    • Reply Courtney February 12, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      Yes, so frustrating to not be able to explain how I feel or know why I feel this way!

  • Reply Lisa February 11, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this! I’ve been debating going to he doctor to get my hormones tested. Ive never had an irregular cycle and I’m on birth control now but I have every other symptom. What did you ask the doctor to test for? I’ve had my thyroid tested twice and everything came back normal so I’m not sure what to ask the doctor about. Do you just say test my hormones?

    • Reply Courtney February 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      I went to an actual hormone specialist, so they knew exactly what they are looking for. My first doctor who tested for my thyroid issues they tested my TSH, T3, & T4.

  • Reply Jenny February 18, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I went to Revitalife as well and like you, love how thorough the testing was. My results showed I had low testosterone and hypothyroidism so I got on thyroid meds and the testosterone shots monthly. After about 6 months I got retested, thyroid was great but testosterone was still low so she has me doing the testosterone shots every 2 weeks now (low dosage). As I was doing the shots, there seemed to be a period of time where I felt a bit crazy, I’m guessing as my body got used to the more frequent doses. But after about 5 weeks I’m down 2 inches in my waist and hip area so something must be going right now that my dosages are correct. Keep at it, it will pay off!

  • Reply Jeannette vargas March 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

    Hello !..

    I’m so glad I came across your blog I was just diagnosis with Hasimoto’s. One of my concern is to continued with Crossfit I’ve been crossfiting since almost 2 years ago. Just had a baby 8 months ago and was having weight gain right after the baby got here. I haven’t lost any weight since I had him. I have noticed when I CrossFit my body aches for about 3 days. I enjoy workng out and the intensity but can’t handle the pain. How do you stay motivate to workout? Thank you!..

    • Reply Courtney March 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Jeannette! I’m so glad you stopped by. I’ve been dealing with my Hashimoto’s since before I had my daughter back in 2010, and way before I started CrossFit. I don’t find that the pain is related to my Thyroid issues. If I am painfully sore I usually find it is because I am not getting the right foods to refuel my body. I drink BCAA’s while I workout to help rebuild the muscle quicker and that helps cut down on the soreness as well. For me now working out is just a part of my every day routine. If I’m not feeling up for the intensity I scale back the WOD. It’s all about learning your body!

  • Reply kris February 2, 2016 at 8:20 pm

    Courtney, Have you ever heard of or dealt with Progesterone Dermititus? It is under speculation that is what I have been dealing with for the last 4 years. I will be making sure that I keep demanding all of these tests. Thank you for an amazing blog! Kris

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