Friday, March 27, 2009

DI In A Bad Phase?

This is somewhat embarrassing, but I almost peed myself this week, TWICE! The first time we went for a walk at the park and I went before leaving the house. We got to the park and my bladder filled up so fast. I was ready to pee in the woods, but there wasn't enough cover. haha We had to cut our walk short, but I walked 2 miles on a full bladder...I still don't know how I did it.

The other time was when we went grocery shopping a few nights ago. I had to go so bad when we got there, then about 5 minutes after we pulled away, I had to go again. We don't spend a lot of time in the store, so it made no sense that I had to go again.

These two near accidents has me taking my DDAVP again for the time being. It's helped a lot. I just wish I could understand why this happens to me. Everytime I take a spray, I have to cross off a dose because each bottle only has 50 full dose sprays but there's always left over fluid. I put the date on each dose. I skipped almost all of February, but january I took it every single day. March was sort of weird. Some weeks I took it others I didn't. I have a feeling that April I will be taking it every day.

Since my DI is bad, I wonder what my TSH is doing. I can't wait to see what this new doc says about my crazy labs. I was told he loves puzzles and is interested in complex cases. This gives me hope. :-)

Today I feel pretty good overall. I am tired because we had to get up early, but aside from the lack of sleep, I'm thirsty but good.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I Already Feel Less Bloated

I'm not great, but I can already tell a difference in the bloat. Last night though was quite hellish to say the least. I woke up like 5 times having major night sweats. I don't know if that was my body's way of shedding the extra water or what.

I was dying of heat for most of the night and had to kick the cat away from my feet and move my husband over to the other side of the bed! haha I was burning up and dying of thirst. I gulped down 16 ounces of water in about 10 seconds and was still desert mouth (that's what I call it). Obviously this is something OTHER than diabetes insipidus because I took my meds at 11:30 PM last night. I went to bed pretty late last night because I was working, but the meds should have last well through out the night and into the today.

When I woke up my pee was a normal dark color so it is working, but it didn't stop the dying of thirst feeling I'm getting. I am drinking more water right now to see when my thirst goes away. Obviously my body wants the water, so I'm drinking to see how much it wants.

The constant battling of dehydration is so damned irritating. I don't know anyone else that goes through this and it really pisses me off.

I lost 4 pounds from yesterday. My legs feel thinner. I can see more definition in the muscles, so the salt is cut...for now.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Salt Supping Is Making Me Blow UP!

Well I've finally figured out what is making me gain so much weight and I think it's the salt supping.

I've put on 12lbs since I start adding a little sea salt in water 2-3 times a day depending upon my salt wasting symptoms. My entire body looks puffy and my face looks like a balloon. I don't know what to do. My blood pressure isn't rising at all, so I'm not worried about that.

Not being able to fit into my clothes is a problem though and I've been too sick to deal with trying clothes on in the store. It's also difficult to even FIND pants these days since every store is ready for summer. I hate that...

130 is officially the heaviest I've been in probably about 8 years and I'm certainly not PROUD of that achievement. I'm going to lay off the sea salt and see what happens.

The past 2 weeks have been TERRIBLE for me. The fatigue is out of control. Anything that is stressful or requires extra concentration makes me crash within an hour. I tried target shooting and I couldn't even do it. The noise made me shake and I had a panic attack. Thankfully it was just me and my husband. We came home and I slept for 2 hours or so.

It's been a pretty terrible week, which is why you haven't heard from me.

Time to make coffee or I'll be going back to bed.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Feeling Agitated

Today I am feeling so agitated. Right now I feel like screaming, throwing stuff and punching holes in the walls. AHHHHHHH!

What is causing this? I can't think straight either. My fatigue has been really bad today because I pushed myself to go grocery shopping last night. I had no choice, downed some caffeine, just so I could stand up. I woke up in the middle of the night last night with swollen fingers, had to pee and was itching. My fingers get so swollen I can't even move my wedding ring when usually it is pretty loose.

I can't take this anymore!

Lower Back Ache

For the past ~1 1/2 weeks I've been getting a dull ache in my lower back. I know what kidney pain feels like and it is in that same region, but I'm betting it's the adrenals! Kidney pain is usually much more severe, hurts to whack on it and typically follows a UTI with blood in the urine. I've had true kidney pain before and this isn't it.

In the morning before I get up for the day, this ache has been a common occurrence with me for years. In fact the back pain is usually what gets my butt OUT of bed! haha

However it is different now because the pain can be at any time. I've been trying to pinpoint exactly when it occurs and still haven't figured it out. It switches sides too!

In addition to this, the chest pain was back today. It was so sharp for about an hour and then went away. I thought it would continue throughout the day, but it's completely gone. Muscle pain doesn't go away like that! Especially when it hurts just sitting in a chair...

Somehow all of this, the itching, back ache and chest pains must be related.

Some Answers for the Labs

Well I had 2 of the most knowledgeable people online that I know give me their opinions on my lab results.

First off, the lab ranges Quest Diagnostics use are pathetic. The one lady suggest I get everything retested on Day 3 of my cycle at Labcorp or some other lab. I'm still thinking about what I will do. If I had known that Quest's lab ranges were so terrible, I would have gone to labcorp for these. Ugh...I feel like all the effort I put into this was for nothing. I don't want to pester Dr. Goldstein again AND my biggest fear is that the insurance company will deny it the 2nd time around! The blood work would have cost about $2500 out of pocket!

The lab ranges specifically for cortisol, ACTH, IGF-1 were awful. The one lady said that the IGF-1 result looks terrible, but with the really weird lab range she has no idea how to interpret it! My growth hormone is very low too, but I know some people say this isn't accurate because it goes out in pulses. Who knows. Considering I'm only 24 years old, it should be pretty high IMO.

Secondly, they both say that my results clearly indicated secondary adrenal insufficiency because of the low potassium, low sodium and low renin. My low aldosterone goes along with all of this.

Thirdly, serum cortisol is both free and bound so I can't compare saliva results to blood results. For some reason I have a lot of bound cortisol (which can't be used by the body) and a very small amount of free cortisol (that can be used by the body). One lady suggested testing Total & Free cortisol and CBG in the blood, but only Quest Diagnostics can do this! haha

The one lady asked me a bunch of questions, but I have yet to hear back from her. She was wondering why my saliva progesterone was so high and thought I was taking HRT for it! I had to set her straight on that.

Fourthly, regardless whether it is primary or secondary, I am definitely hypothyroid according to both women. No surprise there either, but I wish I understood why I go through weird cycles.

In addition to the lab results, today I went up 5 pounds now 130#. I couldn't even make this up! I ate about 800 calories, went for a short walk and yet up and up I go. At around 7:30PM I just about collapsed from fatigue. Obviously caloric intake has nothing to do with this weight gain, so I'm just going to eat whatever I want. Since my fasting glucose was kind of high, I didn't buy any sweets this week. I want to see how I feel without the chocolate! heh

I am itchy tonight and definitely didn't have any wheat, so I don't know what in the hell is going on. I might have to take a benadryl at this point so I can sleep. Zyrtec tends to keep me up for some reason.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Keep Gaining Weight

I keep going up and up. I am now up to 125 pounds. My pants definitely don't fit me now and will probably have to go buy some. This is the heaviest I've been since I married my husband 5 years ago! YIKES! I have to figure this out or I'm going to go crazy.

Being fat is one of my biggest fears. Emotionally I'm already a wreck. It makes me extremely depressed. At one point in my life, I used to self-mutilate by burning lines into my arms with needles. If one looks real close at my forearms you can see the scars, but thankfully they healed pretty well. In the summer, they are more obvious because they won't tan.

My goodness, I don't want to start down that destructive path. I need to get this sorted very soon before it does. Weight gain is no laughing matter for me. It can lead to serious psychological problems.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Round 10, Day 3 Mercury Detox

I got through the second night taking 25mg of DMSA every 4 hours. Wow I forgot how annoying it was to take the pills in the night. It's really kicking my butt! Every 4 hours is much easier than every 3 though. Waking up only twice isn't so bad!

These past two days I've barely been sleeping. I wake up suddenly having to check the timer to see if I missed it. I'm not sure why I am doing this, but it's driving me crazy. I put new batteries in the timer, so it's louder than ever and there's NO way I can sleep through the buzzing, flashing light and annoying beeping sound.

The good news is that I have no detoxing symptoms. I've been feeling pretty good (aside from all of my other problems) and haven't even had a headache! I was a little concerned starting back up on the higher dose of DMSA after taking many months off. I will end this round when I go to sleep tonight.

I have decided my rounds will be 3 days, 2 nights. Rather than 3 days, 3 nights or 4 days, 4 nights. I think that may have too much for me and the interruption of sleep is not good. It really messes with my adrenals and this lets me sleep the whole night through after a round of chelation. With equal days/nights, I was chelating through the last night and then having to wake up tired, weak and without my body repairing itself overnight.

I've been having stabbing lower back pain right over my kidneys/adrenals area for over a week now (started before chelation). But with my new test results, I'm not even sure what to believe. I'm just going to keep chelating until it makes me crash again. Sort of stupid, but I'll use that crash to check my thyroid again to see what's going on with it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Feeling Pretty Lost, Depressed

I got the lab results back and I am lost. I feel everything I've researched has failed me. Nothing is making sense anymore. My labs are just insane contradicting my saliva results! If any of you have any suggestions, idea or thoughts please leave me a message. These past 2 days I've been extremely depressed. I don't think I'm ever going to get better now.

I'm still waiting for a reply on the hormone support forum to see what they think. I posted on the naturalthyroidhormones yahoo group and they think I could have Hashi's even though the antibodies aren't showing OR that my pituitary is going through cycles. I think these are two very good ideas that I need to consider. I know that I go through cycles, but I can't figure out what is happening. Unfortunately there isn't a commercially available lab to check for pituitary antibodies. If there were I'd be begging to have them checked.

Since I got these labs, I started to chelate. Today is day 2 of Round 10. I am using 25mg of DMSA every 4 hours and have been doing good. Actually I haven't had any symptoms at all, but we'll see how I do tomorrow when I stop.

Here's the test results! I know nothing about sex hormones, so I can't even comment on those.

Basic Metabolic Panel
Glucose-------------91 (70-99) Seem rather high considering I was fasting.
Bun------------------10 (7-22)
Creatinine----------0.8 (0.5-1.3)
Bun/Creat----------12.5 (8-27)
Sodium-------------139 (136-147) Low Normal
Potassium----------3.7 (3.6-5.3) Low Normal
CO2 Content-------28 (22-34)
Anion Gap----------7 (2-12)
Calc Osmol---------276 (269-297)
Calcium-------------9.5 (8.7-10.7)

Aldosterone--------6 (<=28) Very Low
Renin----------------2.4 (0.65-5.0) This isn't the salt fasting range.
Cortisol-AM---------26.7 (3.7-19.4) HIGH!
ACTH----------------37 Female (5-27) HIGH!
DHEA-S-------------215 (45-320) My doc wrote in the range he uses (150-250)
TSH------------------3.804 (.35-4.94) This result was the most shocking!
Free T4-------------0.9 (0.7-1.5) Low normal
Free T3-------------3.0 (1.71-3.71) The lab range changed from last time. It used to be (2.3-4.2)
TGA-----------------<20 (<20) I wish this lab would test to 0. If this is a 19, then I have Hashi's.
TPO-----------------<10 (<35)

Sex hormones were tested on Day 21 of my cycle.

Progesterone------12.5 (3.3-26.0) Luteal Gotta love that my saliva results were >1000!
Estradiol------------182 (48-309) Luteal
Testosterone,Total---20 (2-45)
Testosterone,%,Free---1.07 (0.50-2.00%)
Testosterone,Free----2.1 (0.1-6.4) My doctor wrote in the range he uses (3.2-6.4) Low
Prolactin-------------15.9 (3.0-30) Luteal
LH----------------------6.8 (0.5-16.9) Luteal
FSH--------------------2.7 (1.5-9.1) Luteal
IGF-1------------------53.5 (13-73)
Growth Hormone----0.7--(<=10.0)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Self-Reflection Volume I

When I started this blog, I really had no idea what it would be about or what would come of it. Sure I knew I'd be talking about adrenal fatigue, but looking back I was so naive. I had no idea what was to come in the next few years. This blog has allowed you (the readers) to follow me through my struggle with searching for answers to my health concerns. In addition to my struggles, this blog has allowed you to see me grow as a person, by breaking down old paradigms and rebuilding new ones. Sometimes my posts are frantic, upset, a little over the top. Other times you can hear the frustration in my words. I type what I am feeling at that moment even if it seems a little out there.

Within these past 2 years, I've gone from the all natural, never take medicine girl, to a person who finally understands why some medicines are necessary. Some examples I am thinking of off the top of my head includes cortef (HC), armour, bio-identical sex therapies, DDAVP etc. All of you have seen this change first hand.

I truly feel that my fear of taking prescription pills (whether synthetic or bio identical) has kept me sick far longer than necessary. That's not to say all Rx's are equal. There are more than plenty out there that will make you sick and even kill you. I see people on the FDC yahoo group that have this fear of medications too. Even with saliva results far worse than mine, they REFUSE to accept the fact that they need to take medicine. They'd rather stay sick than get better!

I found a post of mine from almost 2 years ago on the now closed STTM (stopthethyroidmadness) forum. The moderators were trying to work with me, telling me that I would probably need to take cortef and florinef to feel better. I completely dismissed this idea and said that I would only take licorice or adrenal cortex extract. It's fair to say that I was a total idiot. No wonder they didn't want to deal with me. If I had listened to the moderators, I might have at least felt better for a short time.

I look back at the person I used to be and want to hide my head in shame. I was so naive.

Some of the biggest breakthroughs this year was the discovery of mercury toxicity. It made me change the name and focus of my blog! Everything I thought I knew about chelation was completely wrong. All of these natural chelators are in fact more unpredictable than the synthetic ones such as DMPS and DMSA. If I wasn't open-minded to Dr. Cutler's research, I would have continued to use chlorella making myself sicker and sicker.

I have realized that without an open mind, there's no way I'll ever get better. I can't be afraid to accept whatever diagnosis I am given. I can't be afraid to take low dose hormone support, to give me back the life I used to have--(It's been so long I've almost completely forgotten what that was.)--

If you have found this website through google and suffer from a lot of the same problems as me, are you ready to accept it? Are you ready to take the steps necessary to get better? Even though it may require you to take medications, it will likely require you to make changes to your diets and lifestyles.

Are you ready? I'm definitely ready to do this and move on.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Itchiness Is Back

Remember that rash I was getting a few months ago? Well it is back, but this time I think I know what it is from. No DMSA this time, no supplements this time.

For 8 weeks my husband and I went on a wheat free, gluten free, egg free and almond free diet. He was holding all dairy but I still had a little in my coffee since I HATE goat milk. YUCK.

The day we added wheat back into our diet, I was itchy. I didn't think about it though. Then the one day I had a sandwich on some sprouted bread and within 45 minutes I had tiny little itchy bumps on my arm, face and legs. It is the same exact spots that itched before.

Yesterday we had some pizza and I was so itchy that I had to take a zyrtec! It was unbearable.

I think I might be allergic to wheat. That's the only thing that makes sense. I'm am going to restrict my wheat/gluten intake for a week and see how I feel.

Saliva Test Results Back

Yesterday the saliva test results came back and it is pretty interesting. Click on any picture to see it larger.

Feb '09 (new test)

Saliva Cortisol Chart
--This shows that my noon is the highest throughout the day, which is not normal. The morning value is supposed to be the highest, near the top of the range at 23. Then fall throughout the day. I was wondering if the blood draw from that morning made my cortisol higher at noon. I was turned away at the outpatient lab and had to go to the hospital. The lady there wasn't that good at finding my small veins. I definitely think it's a possibility, but why would it affect my result 3 1/2 hours later?

Sex Hormone Results
--Some people say saliva isn't a good indicator, but the crazy high progesterone is interesting considering I don't supplement with it. We'll have to see what the serum levels show. Look at the Luteal lab ranges.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weight Gain: I can't take it

In the past few months, I've been dealing with some weight gain. It is very strange though. I go through cycles where I lose a ton of weight for no reason. Then the cycle switches and every little thing I eat goes right to my butt and hips. Meanwhile my upper body looks emaciated and sickly with my ribs jutting out in my back. My body is very fat and puffing, even though I'm thin. There is a lot of fat where muscle used to be. I don't know what has caused this to happen, but my toned legs have become soft. My stomach used to be very toned is soft too.

My arms have nothing left on them and anytime I get my blood pressure taken or blood work done, that's what everyone talks about. "You sure do have small arms". Thanks jackass! I wasn't already self-conscious about it.

It's this cycle that gets me in trouble because I haven't been able to figure it out. My thyroid antibodies were normal and nothing in my diet changes. There is no reason for these cycles to occur, but they do. I have to keep several pants sizes in my house just so I have clothes for each cycle. Weird...I know. The pants I buy to replace the ones I have on, will probably only last me a few weeks. Then I'll have to buy new bigger ones. That's how it's been these past few months. As soon as I wear in the pants, I need new ones because I wake up one day and they no longer fit.

I've gone from wearing a size 1/2 comfortably to being unable to wear my new size 5/6 jeans. I'm going to have to go up to a size 7/8. I haven't been this size for at least 5 years and it is making it very nervous. Eight years ago I suffered from anorexia and almost killed myself from it. I abused Stacker 3's and probably should have died a few times, but somehow I made it through all of that hell. There were some nights, where I didn't think I'd wake up. I'd write goodbye letters to all of my friends.

I went from 142# down to 105# in a few weeks time and kept it there for months. For the first time in my life though, I actually enjoyed clothes shopping. I actually enjoyed going to the beach. I actually enjoyed wearing a pair of shorts. It was absolutely amazing. Too bad though I was dying inside.

I went to the doctor and got "help", which consisted of pills. I had to deal with my psychological problems myself because I didn't want any of this on my record. I was "cured", but it took a lot of time and discipline. My family did not support me through this whatsoever. Thank God, I went off of the pills and didn't suffer from any withdrawal symptoms.

About 2 years ago, I decided I wanted to start eating healthier. We ditched all of the packaged crap in our house and really get back to eating real, whole foods. I went from 125 to 117 in a few weeks time and felt fantastic. I was thinner than when I was anorexic and I did all of this eating 3 meals a day. I was so happy for myself and knew this was the size I was meant to be.

Now I am only 122#, but nothing is fitting me. I have no idea what is going on. I only gained about 5 pounds from when I was wearing a size 2, but apparently these pounds are all in my lower body. Part of me thinks it has to do with my pituitary, but I have no idea.

Unfortunately I just wait and see what happens. Will a new weight loss cycle kick in soon? Or will I continue to put on weight?

Having nearly undetectable TSH (with low frees) might have something to do with it...