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Weightvest For Osteoporosis

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My mother

Weightvest my mother

Mum struggled to keep her head up because she felt so bad to be so bent over. She walked more miles in her life than anyone I have known and was as strong as a horse but her bones let her down.

My Own Experience with Hormones

This is a long story but I wanted to cover everything because I think it will be useful to some women. There is a shorter version in my blog dated April 9, 2008.

My nurse-practitioner told me in January 2007 that I was hypothyroid. I did some research on the net and found out that most doctors prescribe Synthroid, a synthetic drug, but it often did not help with the symptoms. So I asked her for Armour thyroid instead. That was the  original solution used for many years, made out of pig thyroid.

The symptoms of hypothyroid are many and varied, ranging from overweight and fatigue to hair loss and dry skin. I didn’t seem to be suffering from any debilitating ones, but I was always cold, which is a very good indication of thyroid problems.
If you want to find out if you have a thyroid problem without testing, then go to DrRind.com and download his free temperature chart. Then follow the directions about which thermometer to buy and take your temperature three times a day and chart it for a while. More about that later.

I started taking the Armour thyroid and I did feel brighter for a time but then worse. I felt emotional, anxious, easily irritated and more obsessive than usual. When I investigated on the net I found a site called stopthethyroidmadness.com which was very informative. What
they have found from thousands of people with thyroid problems is that many have adrenal problems as well.

If you think of thyroid hormones as being the gas in your tank, then adrenal hormones, cortisol mainly, are the ones that help you cope with the stresses of life. Apparently, if you take thyroid hormones without addressing any adrenal problems first, your body may not be able to absorb the thyroid and it will stay in your bloodstream making you feel  hyperthyroid – which is where the anxiety and emotionality came in.

So I stopped taking the Armour and started doing a temperature chart. If you are low in thyroid alone your temperatures will be pretty even but low, mine were sometimes below 97. If you have adrenal problems as well as thyroid, you’re your temps will be below 98.6 but also up and down like a yoyo. It was very clear after a week that I had an adrenal problem.

To make sure I took a saliva test through a company online to measure my hormonal output 4 times in 24 hours. It came back showing me extremely low on pretty much everything – estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and cortisol. At the time I wasn’t worried about the
sexual hormones since I am choosing to be single, but I did want my adrenal output increased. I decided to go with homeopathics to heal my adrenals naturally. I took them for about three months along with some adrenal supplements and nothing changed. That was very disappointing.

I realized that I would have to take hydrocortisone, which is a version of cortisone that matches the one your body makes. You take it in small, physiological doses that your body would be making if it was healthy. It is not dangerous like the synthetic cortisone used in high doses for certain diseases. I was resistant to adding another drug that I might have to take for life but, since I have to take insulin for the diabetes anyway, I thought I may as well
get on with it.

I think it was about this time that I realized, through my own research, that I had diabetes 1.5, adult onset auto-immune diabetes, not diabetes 2 as I had been diagnosed. If I had been diagnosed correctly two years ago perhaps my pancreas would not have been totally burnt out. This made me even more determined to take charge of my own health and not leave it in the hands of people who are not up on the latest research.

I started the hydrocortisone and gradually worked up to 30 mgs a day in divided doses and I did feel better. So after a while I added the Armour back and expected to feel like a million dollars. My main desire was to gain some weight, mostly muscle, improve my hair, which is thin and slow-growing, and to have vibrant energy – like I always used to have – when I was actively burning out my adrenals in my type A stage of life.

I felt better at first, once again, but then felt worse. This time it was an extremely high pulse rate that started to worry me. I researched some more and found a book, The Hormone Solution, by Thierry Hertogue, that explained a lot about our hormonal system very clearly.
Apparently you can’t take bits of the endocrine system and try to fix them one at a time. You have to address the whole system and give every gland the help it needs so they can all pull together and make you well.

I looked on his list of doctors and decided I would go to the Holtorf Medical Center near Los Angeles, which is just a couple of hours away. It would cost about $2000 and I had no insurance but I thought it would be worth it at this point to go to people who knew what they
were doing. Well, I hoped so!

The doctor there told me that I was making reverse T3 out of the Armour thyroid instead of straight T3 and it was blocking the cell receptors so that T3 was not getting into the cells. She
said I should go on straight T3 which is the active component of the thyroid hormone  cascade.
She took very little history and did almost no examination but prescribed a bunch of tests and some bio-identical estrogen and progesterone. Plus a bunch of vitamins and minerals that turned out to be marked up almost 300%. My impression of the Center was that the bottom line was big money. Better health for desperate women was the means
to that goal.

After the tests came back she said I had auto-immune hypothyroid and gave me the T3. I had specifically asked for testosterone because it builds muscle and my tests showed I was very low in it but she didn’t want to give it to me because she didn’t know much about it. So
much for going to the experts! She finally gave in and sent it to me. She told me that it would take 6 weeks to get the reverse T3 out of my body but she gave me no clue as to the black
hole I was about to fall into.

I went through a period of about 5 weeks that was really bad. I was brain-fogged, exhausted, depressed and barely functioning. It made me realize how bad it could be to have no active thyroid. I was so sorry for people who felt like this all the time. I kept going by telling
myself it was only 6 weeks and I’d be back to normal.

When your own body is making all the hormones you need exactly when you need them, it is easy to take your good health for granted. Although I now have all the substitutes for my own hormones I can only approximate the wisdom of my body in a very crude way by taking pills several times a day. Anyone who is not willing to be extremely conscious and aware about the taking of the bio-identicals would probably be better off not to start. Since I have to pay close attention all day long because of the diabetes, it was not a stretch for me to incorporate all the other stuff. But I can imagine that women who have heavy responsibilities might have a much harder time.

One thing I found out about the auto-immune diseases is that there are many things that can trigger the whole cascade and one of them is a blow to the head. When I read that I immediately remembered whitewater rafting many years ago, getting thrown out of the boat, bashed against rocks, then resurfacing in time to be hit on the head by the boat. Interesting!

There are women on the thyroid self-help forums who swear that it was a thyroid problem that led to their diabetes and adrenal exhaustion. So it is a good thing for women to be aware
that as they age they should check up on the thyroid status by doing the temperature chart for a week or two.

It can take up to two years for the deficiencies in some of the hormones to correct. What I have realized is that most people are not as lucky as I am to have the time and research ability to track down the answers for themselves. Also I remember my brain fog days when I forgot my own social security number and I feel so sorry that so many women are just given anti-depressants for problems that are hormonally rooted.

Many of the women that I speak to on the phone about the weight vest say they have thyroid problems and they have been on Synthroid for years but they aren’t feeling much better on it. So here are some sites that helped me a lot – but get the book first, it’s really a good place to start, The Hormone Solution, by Thierry Hertogue.

Stopthethyroidmadness.com
Lots of great basic information.
Drrind.com Temperature charts.
Realthyroidhelp.com Wonderful
forum run by people who have healed themselves.
Drlowe.com Some good information here
about T3.
Thecanaryclub.org – hormone saliva
test by mail.

Then you can also google any topic. What I found was that the allopathic medicine sites were usually way behind the times. You need alternative doctors to be up on this information. Most regular endocrinologists don’t believe in bio-identicals and won’t prescribe straight
T3, only Synthroid. The synthroid makers have a market lock on thyroid problems and have brainwashed doctors completely.

Good luck and blessings on your journey back to health.

Update- January 2010: It’s been 2 years since I wrote this article. The blog has updates throughout that time but right now I am extremely healthy. I cut out the thryroid and adrenal meds and only take the hormone cream for estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. I’m feeling energetic, happy and full of ideas and projects.

Update- May 2015: I am back to taking thyroid meds but at a lower dose than before. I just got retested for all of the hormones and my prescription was adjusted minimally. I have to pay for the testing and consultation every year in order to get a new prescription because it is not covered by Medicare but it is definitely worth it. My brain is functioning very well, I’m
enjoying life, I’m spending more time having fun, my memory is better than anyone I know 😉 Life is good!

Disclaimer: Nothing on this site is to be construed as medical advice. I am not a medical
practitioner and have no ability to diagnose or treat disease. This site is intended for informational purposes only. Everyone should make their own health decisions after getting all the information they need.