WHEE (Weight, Health, Eating and Exercise) is a community support diary for Kossacks who are currently or planning to start losing, gaining or maintaining their weight through diet and exercise or fitness. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are working on your weight or fitness, please -- join us! You can also click the WHEE tag to view all diary posts.
Hey, it's my diary morning, and previous polls suggested that personal stories are the most interesting to our fellow WHEEbles. I know they are to me. I have been through a plethora of doctors, after obtaining a permanent job, relocating to northern Virginia on a shoestring, and having a major auto accident that yes, very nearly killed me - but didn't.
I'm going to physical therapy, but due to my rare and exotic adrenal disorder, the physical therapy just about did me in last week after I stopped taking pain meds. There's only so much pain one can endure before you shut down, and I hit that point Thursday at the end of the day, when I left work promptly, and good thing I did because I got a good look at both of those Pentagon guards - as I do every day I take my bus - before they both got shot. And then I went home, bypassed dinner (HORRORS), took my medicine, and pulled the covers up over my head. I didn't leave the house till midday Saturday, and even then, toddling along.
And after my mind began to function somewhat - after playing piano for a brief period, getting to the post office for a very delayed delivery of a package, which involved walking half a mile on a severely injured knee - ow ow ow ow ow - I spent some time in correspondence and study of my medical records to see what I could see.
And lo what did I find? Back in July, at the probably highest weight of my life, 344 pounds, I joined this group, I joined a 100-pounds-to-lose group with a weight goal for a year of 230 pounds, which would mean 114 pounds to lose. OMG you might think, what a horrible overweight overeater Louisev must be! The truth was more bizarre than can be believed: because I managed to DIET my way to that weight on a gluten-free diet with careful choices of foods and little to no added sugar, refined fats or junk food. If one is going to be 344 pounds one should at least ENJOY THE KFC. But I didn't. The first stop was my doctor, for baseline tests, and the second stop was my nutritionist, who found nothing wrong, and the third stop was back to my doctor again, who performed a TSH with Reflex.
TSH for those who haven't ever looked it up, is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. And yeah, I'm only an engineer with an IQ in the second standard deviation above the norm, but I know how to do a search with a search engine. And neither that nutritionist, NOR the doctor - whom I cannot fault for the effort he took to get me to a specialist, I have no criticism of Dr. Shah whatsoever, because he did his best. However, he was NOT up to date on latest research on thyroid disorders. And my value of 3.91 TSH with reflex was a warning sign of hypothyroidism - and nobody told me. Because the old value was 5. Even so: the new wisdom - since 2002 that is, is that a TSH of over 3 is a red flag for hypothyroidism in the presence of other symptoms.
The common wisdom is changing regarding thyroid function, and there's a new host of auto-immune disorders that cause low thyroid function, and if your thyroid does not perform properly, it doesn't really matter how much you eat: you WILL gain weight, on obscenely small amounts of food. I have had this information from women I know who have had long-term thyroid disorders and are being treated with synthetic thyroid. Even AFTER thyroid treatment, things are not normal for them, and there's no such thing as a free lunch.
Here is a little blurb on the THS test:
Another problem with going by TSH levels is that because TSH is a pituitary hormone, sometimes it doesn't tell the thyroid story. If there's a problem with the pituitary gland, or the hypothalamus (which controls the pituitary), TSH could be at an optimal level, but your actual thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) could be too low, or too high. Using the TSH test to check for thyroid problems in this situation is like looking at the thermostat to check the temperature of a house when the thermostat itself is broken.
For those of you who have had your thyroid THS value drawn, you may want to re-examine your test results, and push for treatment if you have symptoms, here's another quote from Alt.Support.Thyroid:
The main problem with the TSH test is that the reference range for it is too wide at most labs. The upper end of the range at some labs goes as high as 6, but according to the hundreds of references that we've compiled, symptoms of hypothyroidism accompanied by a TSH level over 2, sometimes lower, are suspect. Whenever you get lab tests, ask for a copy of the results. Don't just let someone tell you that your TSH level is "normal."
Now of course, we have to ask ourselves the question: why, in the presence of every darn symptom of hypothyroidism, have I never been treated for hypothyroidism?
And this is where I point a link back to my diary "The Stigma of Obesity." Obesity - as a disease definition - is an excuse: it is not evidence-based medicine. It is CAUSED by something, and that something involves doctors actually working for a living instead of cutting and pasting, assuming and following quasi-religious beliefs regarding what causes us to be fat.
So the docs have been wrong on two counts - at least, with me.
Upcoming WHEE diaries.
Scheduled WHEE diaries:
Mon AM - NC Dem
Mon PM - WHEE Open
Tue AM - WHEE Open
Tue PM - Debbieleft
Wed AM - WHEE Open
Wed PM - Edward Spurlock (Kolata, Ch. 4)
Thur AM - WHEE Open
Thur PM - WHEE Open
Fri AM - WHEE Open
Fri PM - Wee Mama (weekly diary)
Sat AM - bloomin (weekly diary)
Sat PM - Edward Spurlock (Wansink, Ch. 2)
Sun AM - louisev (weekly diary)
Sat PM - WHEE Open