My Battle with Graves Disease, part 10: here we go again ?!

The months before my vacation in August were hectic and stressfull both at work and at home. As i mentioned in my previous blog we started looking for a house and i was looking for a new job, which i took. So i was really tired and very much looking forward to a vacation.

I also did not sleep well that much and during the vacation, almost right after an intense workout a got sick for a few days, fever like symptoms . Following that i also started feeling certain symptoms again, like being nervous, lost a bit of weight, tight chest, etc… Normally i would ascribed that to stress but in my case it could also be something else. So right after i got back from vacation i thought i’d do a checkup (bloodtest) of my thyroid values just to make sure nothing was wrong.

When i got the results my first thoughts were: “oh no, not again” and “was all this effort a waste of time and money?” Below are the results of TSH, FT4 and 1 extra check of the T3 requested by the doctor.

TSH results

This what was scary, my TSH values were extremely low when i did the check on 26 august. The normal range is between 0,4 and 4.0. Although the FT4 (below) value was within range of 9-24 it was still rising compared to previous

FT4 results
T3 results

So i called the docter myself as i wanted to see what they said. Because the FT4 is still in the right range, there was no panic (on their side) but it was cause for concern. They wanted me to do another bloodtest including a T3 test. The results ( 3 september) were, at least for me, even more reason for concern as the TSH was even lower and the FT4 higher (but still within range). However because the T3 value was OK, the agreement was to do another bloodtest in 6 weeks.

I also called the orhtomoleculair doctor i was seeing and wanted his input. Although he wanted to see what the results were of the second test, he did adviced me to double the dosage for gypsywort as it seems to have a natural effect on thyroid hormones.

So quite a big scare and especially on the day i saw the results my body really started acting up, most likely the result of a psychological effect from seeing the results. However, in the days after the results i slowly started feeling better and better. I did take it a bit easy in my workouts and tried to go to bed earlier. But i am now at a point where i feel quite OK, (almost) none of the symptoms are present anymore so i’m quite interested in seeing the results in a few weeks.

Impact of Stress

My personally believe is that stress has a bigger effect on me, or at least my auto-immune system, than i thought. You can find lots of resources for this. And taking away the stress of my current job, choosing a new job, vacation is a big reason why i’m feeling ok now. Don’t know for sure how much the doubling of the gypsywort dosage contributed, but i’ll take it.

So next step is to see how i can incorporate more stress-reducing activities like simple breathing excersice and longer walks. Another aspect is sports and for me, sport is stress reducing. But it can also cause a lot of stress on the body, especially when doing Crossfit which is often high intensity. So i will also start reducing the intensity a bit by not going all-out all the time, which i already started doing a more of lately.

To summarize, a long period of stress is what likely got me even more stressfull when seeing the result, but reducing the stress is what likely contributed to feeling OK now. I’ll let you know if 6 weeks what the results are.

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