I was reluctant to post another health update because zzzz. But I’ll be glad to have a record of where I was at in January.
December was pretty rotten health-wise. January got off to a very rough start, but I am finally seeing a bit of improvement (insert very quiet and non-jinxy woo-hooing). I went to Utah to see specialists during the first of the month and learned some interesting things:
- My heart is doing really well. The Gore Helix device placed to close my PFO in 2012 looks great. I had the most thorough echocardiogram of my life (with Bubble test) and while I still have 3 faulty valves, the regurgitation is very slight and not the culprit of any of my issues. It’s a relief to rule out further heart surgery.
- Non-diabetic Hypoglycemia is something I’ve dealt with ever since I was a kid, but it may actually be playing a bigger role in my health problems than I would have thought.
- The introduction of sauna therapy is providing a lot of relief with my hives. WHO KNEW. Obviously this wouldn’t work for heat-sensitive Urticaria, but my hives calm down in a sweat lodge environment. My naturopath claims I am sweating out toxins while my mainstream MD doctor just believes getting my body temperature up (especially since I run low anyway) calms down my mast cells and histamine response via degranulation. Whatever it is, I’ll take it. Besides it’s uber relaxing.
- I’ve also been encouraged to more mindfully and regularly enjoy yoga and meditation. Initially I totally scoffed at meditation. Like, what? Lay around and picture myself on a beach? Not sure where to start I downloaded the headspace app. It’s nice (I appreciate how pretty it is and how cute the animations are) but once you go through the free modules, it’s pretty spendy to subscribe. I’m not able to do my favorite yoga DVDs yet, but I’m super loving Yoga with Adriene on Youtube. She has lots of gentle routines that are perfect for me right now, plus she’s adorable.
- My endo has not started me on T3 only meds as I had originally thought. Instead he’s been testing and tweaking other supplements and medications and we are watching my low thyroid levels come up. He does not think I have Hashimoto’s! Instead I have what he calls “secondary hypothyroidism” meaning my low thyroid test results and symptoms are being triggered / affected by something else.
- Among things he’s tweaked, he raised my potassium and iron. I’ve managed to keep my calcium and magnesium levels in the good range, but my potassium is perpetually too low. By tripling my prescription-strength potassium dose, and starting a stronger iron pill, I have seen a HUGE reduction in my fainting and tremoring episodes!
- Along those same lines, he suspects a possible progesterone deficiency. I am undergoing testing for this. Anyone with experience taking bio-identical hormones?
- Some new supplements the naturopath started me on seem to be helping as well. A probiotic without any histamine-inducing strains, something called Quercetin, Pycnogenol (don’t ask me to pronounce it), and Copper.
Ta dah. I hope you didn’t fall asleep on your keyboard. If you did, you can blame the comment your cheek left me below on your cat.
Hasta la pasta, lovers.