I try to keep my posts about Flash but one thing that affects my relationship with my horse is my graves disease. While no one would ever know that I have such a dangerous disease, unless they saw me shaking, it still makes things hard for me on some days.
Graves disease is hyperthyroidism. The thyroid is running rampant, like a steam engine that is constantly being fed coal, non stop, 24/7. I haven't been taking care to eat decent, take my meds, and get good sleep the last few days so my whole body is trembling at the moment. I have to get to bed as soon as I'm done with this post.
I saw the endocrinologist in January. He was not very supportive and told me that he wasn't ordering anymore labs for me and my only option was to tell him if I wanted RAI or surgery. Then he gave me a 3 month prescription for my meds and told me to call him as soon as I had made my decision.
Let's see... my decision is to choose neither of those 2 options. The first, RAI, is radioactive iodine. It completely kills the thyroid using radiation that has been ingested. They put on lead suits and hand you the pill using tongs. After that, you are hypothyroid for the rest of your life. No thanks. The other option is surgery. Does anyone think that surgery to the neck sounds like a real great idea? Not to mention the hospital costs. Yikes! No thanks to that either.
Anyways, after that doctor visit, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I implemented life style changes and by golly, 6 weeks later, my labs are almost into range for the first time in over 5 years. That's what this post is really about. I wanted to share what I've been doing just in case someone else out there is struggling with this disease.
1. Get lots of sleep and relax. I've started watching TV for the first time in years. But no watching news! That's too stressful!
2. Take the meds in equally divided doses 3 times a day. This is absolutely the biggest most important thing.
3. Eat lots of goitrogens - broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, kale, cabbage, and peaches are my favorites. They have to be raw or steamed though. No cooking them or the goitrogenic qualities go away.
4. NO SODA!!! (This is the hardest for me!) I love soda :(
5. Take acetyl-L-carnitine or just L-carnitine. I'm thinking this supplement may have been my breakthrough.
6. I don't know if this would apply to everyone but I have a terrible allergy problem that I didn't realize. I went to an allergist and now I'm taking allergy meds that seem to be helping.
All these things together have put me on the road to recovery for the first time in a long time. I hope these ideas help someone else who doesn't want to be rushed into having RAI or surgery. Different things work for different people and I think I've finally found my combination.