Weight Loss Stall & Health Issues: I’m So Fed Up!

As many of you know, I have been having ongoing health issues for months now.  I posted about some of these issues a few blog posts back, so if you haven’t read it, you can do so here.

I still have no idea what my issue is!  But, I am the QUEEN of research.  When I want to figure something out, I don’t stop until I have the answer.  With that said, I have been researching a ton on hypothyroidism.  I am almost certain that is most, if not all, of my problem.

What the Heck Is Going On?!

I have been eating a Ketogenic diet since October of last year.  Everything was going great!  I was losing weight, and a ton of inches.  So I thought, finally, I was going to get this weight off!  But, life said, not so fast!  In March, my weight loss stalled.  I was still losing inches so I didn’t think much about it.  Then, in April, I stopped losing inches too.

Nothing has changed.  I still eat the same diet, and I workout 4 days per week.  I started getting a lot of unexplained symptoms though.  Some of them include:

  • hair loss (a TON of hair!)
  • inability to lose weight, despite eating healthy and working out
  • fatigue (pure exhaustion- it is a struggle to do daily tasks)
  • low body temperature (I take my basal body temperature every morning, and it’s always low)
  • puffy face, neck, hands, and feet
  • increased insulin requirements
  • dry skin/scalp
  • constant bloating

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  None of this is normal.  So, after having these symptoms for a month I decide to make an appointment with my primary care doctor.  I will get more into that shortly.

Fat Fueled

In the meantime, I decided to do more research.  That’s what I’m good at, after all!  I started to wonder if my Keto diet had something to do with all the problems I had been experiencing.  I found a lot of information.  Some sources said doing a Keto diet long-term can cause hypothyroidism, and some sources said no way.

That’s when I came across Leanne Vogel’s website the Healthful Pursuit.  (http://www.healthfulpursuit.com)

Leanne Vogel is well known in the Keto community.  She views Keto a little differently than most, so if you are interested go check out her website!  I ended up purchasing her book Fat Fueled.  I read the whole thing in a day and a half and I learned so much!  One thing that stuck out to me, was that she said doing Keto long-term can cause hypothyroidism (especially in women.)

 

A page from Leanne Vogel’s book, Fat Fueled (www.healthfulpursuit.com)

A lot of things I read in her book resonated with me, and I trusted what she was saying.  So, I started adding in carb-ups to my diet (usually 1-2 times per week.)  On the day I do a carb-up, I eat Keto all day until dinner time.  For dinner, I eat 50g carbs, moderate protein, and low fat.  My blood sugar can’t handle much more than 50g carbs, so that’s what works best for me.  I have been doing carb-ups in the form of fruit, because my blood sugar reacts well to it.

One interesting thing I notice after doing a carb-up, is that I become very insulin sensitive for 1-2 days afterward. I find this very interesting!

The morning after my first carb-up I felt better than I had in a LONG time.  I had more energy and I was in a much better mood.  While doing this is helping, it sure didn’t solve my problems.  I feel a little better, but not like I did before.

One of my carb-up dinners: chicken breast, carrots & fruit

My Problem with Doctors

Before I went to my doctors appointment, I wrote down all my symptoms so I made sure I didn’t forget to tell him anything.  I was determined to get him to listen to me, and run the necessary tests I needed to figure things out.

When I got there, and told him what I thought was going on, he looked at me like I was crazy.  He said, “Well, we tested your thyroid last year and it was fine.  Maybe something else is going on.”  Really?  Okay, fine. Whatever.  I left there feeling defeated, but I was hoping and praying that my blood work would show something that would point me in the right direction.

A few days later, I got a phone call from his office.  I heard exactly what I was afraid of.  “Bryanna, your test results are normal.”  UGH.  There is nothing normal about what I’m going through, so hearing that just frustrated me even more.

When I was doing my thyroid research, I read that in order to get the full picture of your thyroid function you have to get a full thyroid panel done.  My doctor refused to run anything more than TSH and free T4.  I knew I had to find a way to get those tests done.

Free T3

I was finally able to get a doctor to run additional thyroid tests for me.  But, when I got the script, I noticed the only additional test on there that I hadn’t had yet was Free T3.  It was better than nothing.  I was feeling hopeful and I had a feeling I was getting closer to figuring things out.

I waited patiently for my test results, and…..my tests were NORMAL.  Again.  No! *shaking fists in the air*

At first, I was so angry.  I didn’t understand how I could have so many hypothyroid symptoms, but still be “normal.” It made no sense.  Then, I took a closer look at my test results.  Both my Free T4 and Free T3 were very low normal. During my research, I read that in order for most patients to feel optimal, the free T4 and free T3 should be in the top half of the normal range (5oth-75th percentile and above.)

I suspect that even though my thyroid tests came back “normal” according to the lab ranges, my thyroid isn’t functioning optimally.  This could very well be why I’m having so many symptoms.  Online, I found so many people that are in my same position.  They feel awful, but they can’t get any doctor to treat them.

Trying to Help Myself

I have realized over the years, that in order to feel my best, I have to help myself.  It has been that way with my Diabetes management, and it will be that way with other things as well.  I’m currently trying to find some supplements that might help me, and natural ways to help my thyroid function better.

Doctors only help so much, at least in my experience.  I don’t know why it is so hard to get doctors to run certain tests, or give certain treatments.  Patients sometimes have to fight tooth and nail to get what they so desperately need.

I’m kind of at a loss of what to do at this point.  I hope that I can improve the situation on my own, but if not, I guess I will have to search for ANOTHER doctor who might listen.  Who knows, maybe the third time’s a charm!

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