Today’s blog post was inspired by my three year journey of chronic fatigue. It started when I got pregnant with Finley. Her pregnancy seemed so much harder than my other two and I complained to my doctor that the entire time I was so very tired.
After I had Finley I went to several doctors trying to figure out why I was tired. I was concerned about my thyroid because my twin sister had recently had thyroid cancer. The blood work showed my thyroid levels to be normal.
Just because your thyroid levels are normal, doesn’t mean your thyroid is working properly. Christa’s thyroid levels were always normal, even when she had thyroid cancer. All women should have their necked scanned to make sure there is not any growths on your thyroid. Most gynecologists will use their ultrasound machine to do a neck scan. This is how I found out I had non-cancerous growths on my thyroid. I now have half of my thyroid and have to take synthroid for the rest of my life.
I finally got my thyroid levels where they needed to be, but still felt tired all of the time. I was convinced I needed to up my thyroid medicine, but my doctors wouldn’t because my thyroid levels looked great.
The problem was that I did not feel great. I hired a personal trainer who comes to my house three times a week at 5:30 AM. I helped start a weight loss group and took crazy amounts of steps (up to 20-30,000 a day). I watched what I ate and cut back on carbs. I tried Advocare and Weight Watchers. I was doing EVERYTHING right but I was still SOOO tired and the scale was not budging.
Do not give up trying to find out what is wrong.
I was tired and started getting depressed because I didn’t know what to do. I was still convinced it was my thyroid. I found a counselor in my network and started going to her so that I could talk and try and figure out what was wrong with me. She referred me to a psychiatrist because she thought I had depression. I went to a WONDERFUL psychiatrist who spent an hour listening to my whole story. She told me I wasn’t depressed and it had to be my thyroid.
I went back to my endocrinologist and told her that I had to figure out why I was so tired every day. Throughout this journey I was frustrated because I had so many doctors say that I was probably tired because I had three small children. I knew this was not true because I have always had energy. I finished my first masters degree while working full time and having a small child. At one point I was pregnant, had two small children, worked full time, and was working on my second masters degree. This exhaustion was not environmental. It really had started to impact my day to day life. I started paying my niece to take my kids to extracurricular activities because all I wanted to do was be in bed.
Listen to your instincts.
My endocrinologist decided to test me for EVERYTHING! She tested my thyroid levels, glucose levels, for autoimmune diseases, you name it, she tested me for it. She said if we couldn’t figure out the cause of my exhaustion, she would refer me to a rheumatologist.
Imagine my surprise and gratitude when the blood work came back and we finally had an answer!!!! Praise God I wasn’t crazy and there were answers! My thyroid is in fact fine, but I am hypoglycemic (low blood sugar). I had to go back and have blood samples taken every 30 minutes over the course of three hours to see how my body processed sugar. Basically around hour 3 my body crashed and my blood sugar plummets. This is the reason I felt like I just wanted to be in bed. This is also the reason I have not been able to lose any weight!
Don’t give up!
So now I start my journey dealing with having low blood sugar. I have to set up an appointment with a dietitian so that I know what types of foods to eat and avoid. I basically have to eat small meals throughout the day so that my blood sugar levels stay normal. The good news is that this is what everyone should do anyway to stay healthy. My endocrinologist has also prescribed Metformin, which is supposed to help regulate my blood sugar levels.
So, there you have my story. I am so VERY grateful for all of my friends and family who have put up with listening to my struggle for the past few years. I want to give a great big shout out to one of the nicest people I know, my friend Lindsey Havel who has been such a wonderful support! Lindsey in a nurse practitioner and has listened to my struggle and given me lots of great advice. I am so grateful to finally know what is wrong with me and get on the road to being my old, energetic self.
My question for you, who is ready to find out the REAL reason you are tired?