Friday, August 15, 2008

New things

Almost a month since the cut, but here it is anyway.

Today was Spiderman's first day of Kindergarten. I, wait I mean, HE survived. I almost cried in the parking lot. Can't believe he is there already. He is definitely ready. He bragged about being the smartest one cause he can read and no one else can yet.
Their teacher expects them to write in journals which will be so fun to read later. I love the way he spells things just the way they sound. That's the way it should be really.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For those without thyroids

Special Considerations For People With No Thyroid

Without a functioning thyroid, you don't need to be particularly concerned about soy or other goitrogenic foods (i.e., brussel sprouts, broccoli, etc.) and their ability to interfere with your thyroid function .

Those without a functioning thyroid are totally dependent on thyroid hormone replacement for all their thyroid hormone. You may find that you have less fluctuation in thyroid function and find it easier to stabilize your dose and maintain an optimal TSH level on a consistent dose, as compared to patients with autoimmune thyroid disease who still have a gland. (This is because when the gland is still present and capable of functioning, it may occasionally sputter to life and produce thyroid hormone, making regulation of thyroid levels more difficult.)

Thyroid cancer patients who have had the thyroid gland removed are in a unique situation in that they are given thyroid hormone replacement drugs at "suppressive" levels. This means that the objective is to give sufficient level of medication so as to test at a nearly undetectable TSH level close to 0. This is considered "hyperthyroid" by most lab standards, but suppression is necessary to prevent cancer recurrence in most patients. So, some thyroid cancer patients refer to themselves as "hyperthyroid," although again, the underlying condition of having no thyroid gland means that the condition is actually hypothyroidism, and so much of the advice about hypothyroidism still applies.

When You Don't Feel Your Best

If you are still experiencing hypothyroidism symptoms, you may not be receiving optimal treatment for your condition. You'll need to proactively work with your practitioner to get better treatment.

This may involve:

  • Trying a different brand of levothyroxine
  • Increasing the dose, so that the TSH is lower. (Some patients report feeling the best when TSH levels are between 1 and 2.) (Again, remember that thyroid cancer patients often follow a different protocol to prevent recurrence).
  • Adding a T3 drug (i.e., Cytomel, or compounded T3), to the levothyroxine
  • Switching to a T4/T3 synthetic drug, such as liotrix (Thyrolar)
  • Switching to a natural desiccated thyroid drug, such as Armour
  • Complementing your treatment with alternative, nutritional and mind-body support to help improve overall health and relieve symptoms.

Help, I'm Hypothyroid and I Still Don't Feel Well

An article to help you determine what your next steps should be

By Mary Shomon,

Updated: August 31, 2005

Despite treatment for hypothyroidism, many of you continue to have symptoms that may be related to your thyroid problem. Even after you've been diagnosed and are on thyroid hormone replacement drugs, you may have persistent symptoms such as continued weight gain or difficulty losing weight, depression, brain fog or difficulty concentrating, hair loss, hand/feet/facial swelling, intolerance to heat and cold, muscle aches and joint pains, constipation, carpal tunnel or tendonitis, high cholesterol levels, difficulty getting pregnant, and more.

By way of overview, the first step for you is knowing your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) level, and other key thyroid levels such as T4 and T3. These levels allow you to help gauge where your doctor is in terms of treatment, and give you a common point of discussion.

More innovative doctors are beginning to believe that a TSH of around 1 - 2 --- in the low end of the normal range -- is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms. I know I feel terrible at 4-5, and at .2, but pretty good at 1 - 2. (NOTE: this TSH is usually kept even lower than 1-2 for thyroid cancer survivors to help prevent recurrence.) Dr. David Derry, for example, is one doctor who believes that TSH levels aren't even relevant to diagnosing or treating hypothyroidism and its symptoms.

For some people, even if the TSH level is normal, or even in some bases, low normal, there may still be a situation where one is hypothyroid at a cellular level, due to conversion problems, inadequate T3 hormone, or other factors. Inability to properly convert T4 to T3 can also result in fluctuating TSH, as the system struggles to keep balancing an out of whack T4 and T3 level, sending TSH levels up and down to compensate.

Some people also seem to need supplemental T3 to feel well. There was published February 11, 1999 in the New England Journal of Medicine a research report that says that many patients feel better on a combination of T4 and T3, not T4 (i.e., Synthroid) alone. Many people have a normal or even LOW-normal TSH level, yet still suffer continuing hypothyroidism symptoms. In these cases, the addition of T3 helped relieve depression, brain fog, fatigue and other symptoms. This information about T3 is groundbreaking and has major implications for people who don't feel well on their current thyroid therapies!!!

An Informative post today

To raise awareness......
The following was written by Andi S Green on

Thyroid cancers are quite rare. There are several types of thyroid cancer, papillary, medullar and anaplastic. If you find an abnormal lump in your throat or unusual swelling then it is still best to visit your Dr to have it checked out. You may have other symptoms such as temperature changes, appetite changes or energy level changes.

1) Thyroid cancer is linked to previous problem with the thyroid gland, even if benign.

2) Thyroid cancer is also linked to previous exposure to radiation. In the 1950's and 60's children were often treated with high dose x-rays to treat acne, enlarged tonsils or scalp infections. This deep x-ray treatment is a risk factor. Also people exposed to radioactive particles during atomic tests or nuclear accidents are also at risk.

3) Genetic causes/family history of thyroid cancer is again a risk factor. Medullary thyroid cancer can be caused by an alteration in a gene called RET. This has a strong inherited component. So if there is family history of medullary thyroid cancer then Drs may suggest removing your thyroid to avoid cancer occurring.

4) Certain other inherited conditions are linked with an increased risk from the disease. Gardner's Syndrome or Cowden disease are linked to a higher rate of incidence of thyroid cancer. Also a bowel condition called FAP is linked to the disease.

5) Females are 2.5 times more likely than males to acquire the disease.

6) Apparently white Americans are more likely than black Americans to acquire the disease.

7) Poor diet has been linked to the disease, especially a diet short in iodine.

8) Late pregnancy has been linked to greater susceptibility to the disease.

9) Age is a factor. Papillary and follicular cancers are more common in young adulthood where medullar is more common in adults.

Hopefully this gives a good overview of some of the general causes of thyroid cancer.


The following I found on

When cancerous thyroid nodules are discovered during the first or second trimester, surgery should be offered in the second trimester. Well-differentiated thyroid cancers grow slowly, so if the evaluation indicates that the cancer is papillary or follicular, and there is no evidence of advanced disease, a woman may be offered the opportunity to wait until after childbirth for surgery.

A pregnant woman who has previously had thyroid cancer or a woman who has a confirmed thyroid cancer who is waiting until after delivery for thyroid surgery can receive treatment that will allow TSH to remain suppressed but detectable. Ideally, the free T4 or total T4 levels should remain within the normal range for pregnancy.

Radioactive iodine should not be given to women who are breastfeeding.

Women who receive therapeutic doses of radioactive iodine should wait six months to a year to become pregnant, to ensure that thyroid function is stable, and the thyroid cancer is in remission.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Feeling groovy

Well, I didn't get the job I wanted at the scrapbook store. They will be sorry I guess. Don't know what they are missing.

I got rid of my perm and got a fun little chin length cut. The perm just wasn't me. But I kept it for 4 months any way. I will post a pic of the new look sometime when I remember to take a pic of myself.

Here is a peek at the old look. Batman says I go through little cycles of hair styles. I will cut it shorter and then let it grow out a while and then cut it again when I get tired of the ponytail or clippy look. Maybe someday, someone will give me a free makeover (that's the only way I will get one) and then I will look smashing with perfectly styled and colored hair and no noticeable dark under eye circles.

Who has time for looks when you have 2 awesomely fun little boys to play with all day? We are planning on going to a local amusement park one of these weekends soon. Spiderman's first day of Kindergarten is the 15th. I think I am more nervous than he is. He is so excited for school and really wants to learn things and play with new friends. He has a Spiderman backpack that he wanted and super hero themed supplies.

I am sad that our summer is coming to an end. It seems like we didn't get to do all the fun stuff we wanted because of the move and the break-in. I really hope all the drama in our life is in the past and we can move onward and upward. Soon we will be hunting for a new house. I can't wait for my own home to paint and decorate. I am going back to school soon too. I want to major in something art related. Probably leaning towards Graphic Design or Desktop Publishing. Of course Photography is always a very possible choice. I remember when I wanted to be an English teacher, and then a magazine editor, and then a midwife. Now I am being realistic instead of dreamy.

I got a really cool shot of the boys playing in their matching Batman pajamas. Its not often that I can get them both to look at me and smile at the same time and have the camera go off while they are still looking. Yay! If you come to my house in the future, you will see this one in a frame probably. That is the plan.