My Battle With Graves Disease, Part 15: Rollercoaster

It’s been a while since my last blog regarding my ‘battle’ with graves and it’s been sort of a rollercoaster with some highs and lows. So here’s an update.

Let me first show you 3 graphs of the last period with results of the bloodtests.

FT4

TSH

TRAK

Strictly looking at the numbers and range it seems everything is good (except for the last TRAK value which was a bit too much). But like many with Graves can attest, the numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

If you look at the FT4 values, it has been going up and around november this year I didn’t feel well. Same is for the TSH which has been declining for a while. At first I thought this might the result of taking a lower dosage of medication. I want from 5mg to 2,5mg around that time and it takes some time for your body to adjust. But the feeling of low energy, poor sleeping and my gut seemingly in overdrive (going for #2 at least 5 or 7 times a day) raised a lot of red flags.

So I contacted my doctor and decided to do another bloodtest to see how things are, which is 1 month after I felt poorly. My feeling was that I would get an even worse outcome seeing the way I felt. However, when the results came back I was positively surprised, the FT4 value went down and the decline of TSH was far less than anticipated.

She did ask the question if there were stressrelated issues going on. And well, actually, quite a lot: 1) selling our house, 2) geting things arranged for our new, to be constructed, house, 3) finding a new rental place for at least a year untill the new house is build, 4) my wife had sort of a burn-out related to meno-pause setting in, 5) hectic at work and 6) my father was diagnosed with throatcancer. So yeah, a bit of stress here and there to put it mildly.

As research shows, stress can cause havoc on your digestive system, which, in result, can cause you to feel really bad and low on energy. Fortunatly it has been going much better lately with all the house related issues out of the way and other things improving. The last 2 weeks I felt much better, which resulted in much better sleep and working out (Crossfit) went way better than the weeks before. Learning point for me is to better take care of my stress-levels, some is good, but this one snuck up on me a bit with many things happening after one another.

So for now I’m good, still on medication for at least 3 months, with the lowerst dosage possible. The question is, what then. I can’t take this medication for the rest of my life as there is a (small) risk of compromising the immune system. I have to stop, but then it almost feels like a countdown is starting and you never really know when it ends. The other alternative, the iodine-therapy, is still not sitting well with me. But I did come to the conclusion that if it happens again, I will take the nuclear route. For now it’s about better handling and managing stress-factors.

Luckily I am now on a 2 week holiday to get some well deserved rest and turn of my brain a bit and charging my innerbattery to get ready for the new year!

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