Monday, July 24, 2017

Running With Hypothyroidisn

This year I turned 52.  And apparently for me, that brings some changes.  Some more welcome then others.   I like to think that as an athlete I am pretty well in tune with my body.  I rarely have ever gotten sick (I can't even think of the last time I had the flu and I've never taken a flu shot).  But this year, I noticed some changes that I didn't think were good.

It started with my hair.  Most women love their hair.  It is our crowning glory.  When I was younger I had amazing thick hair.   And then I had 3 children.  And so it thinned.  Which is so very common after giving birth.  Now my children have super thick hair.  But now I was losing it.  By the handfuls. After I showered, I'd seen a ton of it in the drain.  After I brushed my hair, I'd see a ton of it in the sink.  I would get out of the car and have long strands all over my clothes.

Then I noticed a kind of overall sadness.  Not depression but just sadness.  No Mojo.  No desire.  No wanting to do much of anything.  And the fatigue.  O M G.  The Fatigue.  I'd sleep 10 hours and be exchausted after being awake for 2 hours.  So I'd nap.

Then the running just got all crazy.  I knew I would have to rebuild to the longer distances slowly so I started smart - with intervals.  But after 30 seconds I'd be exhausted.  So I pushed even harder - after all I have a half marathon in a few months to run!  So now, I've managed to work myself up to 1 1/2 miles before having to take a very long walking break.  It's a struggle to get 4 miles, a challenge to make it to 5.

Let's not forget about the numbness in my fingers, followed by tingling.  And my body thermostat was reeking havoc -   No, things were not normal at all in my body. Let's also not forget that I was having conversations I couldn't remember, asking the same question a dozen times without remembering the answer, watching movies I couldn't remember.

So I started doing some research.  Yes, I googled my symptoms.  I knew it had to by my thyroid or maybe even my testosterone levels.  So I set an appointment with my doctor.  Recited to her all my symptoms since I was tracking them and making notes on my iPhone.

Pretty much a checklist for thyroid issues.  Yet, I felt that I was being dismissed when she said, "You probably just need sleep" and then wrote me a script for Ambien.  After I persisted and insisted that she do some blood work, she finally sent me to the lab for a T4 and TSH.  

3 days later, she called and said that indeed my T4 was low and proceeded to call in a script for levothyroxine.  1 pill, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, eat one hour later.  
 So I did just that and began researching some more.  I am one of those who wants to know symptoms, side effects, nutritional impact and the such.  That's when I learned that was a lot more to a blood work up for Thyroid then the two she ran.

The medication I am on is currently not working so I am off to an endocrinologist to get a full load of thyroid blood work done.  What I have found in the meantime about running with Hypothyroidism is that it can indeed be done.  But I just have to be smarter about it.  I can't always push myself.  I will have to listen my body and respect it.  There's a really great article about athletes and hypothyroidism here

I've also learned that Hypothyroid could actually be Hashimoto's, an autoimmune deficiency.  I also learned that their are foods that will help my thyroid such as Brazilian nuts (because of their selenium) seaweed, Omega 3 Fatty Acids (which can be found in wild caught fish and salmon).

I am not a dr and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn, but if you listen to your body and think you might have a thyroid issue to talk to your doctor about it.  Don't let yourself be dismissed but instead, insist on them exploring the possibility.

There's some great online resources - currently I am loving - she is a doctor with low thyroid so she gets it.  You can find her blog at

Another great resource regarding nutrition and your low thyroid can be found here.

Are you running with hypothyroidism?  Got any tips you want to pass along?

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