August 19, 2012

My Story: How the Circadian T3 Method Has Changed My Life

My Story: How the Circadian T3 Method Has Changed My Life

By the beginning of 2012, I had been on synthetic T4-only medication for close to 11 years.  I had gained 100 pounds and was depressed, anxious, suicidal, chronically fatigued, having reproductive issues, and more. 

At that time,
I struggled to get out of bed in the mornings and once I did, I still struggled to wake up for about three hours.  I would have a burst of energy for one to two hours then crash.

Taking care of my children, showering, and eating were arduous tasks.  Any sort of decision-making would send me into a tail-spin.  I was hardly able to leave the house and when I did, it took me days to recover.  Any sort of significant physical exertion was exhausting. 

All of this affected my family as well.  I relied on my mom to help me on a regular basis.  My struggles gave my husband constant stress and worry.  He was doing the grocery shopping and meal preparations nearly all of the time.  I agonized over my inability to be the mother that I wanted to be, and longed to be able to do simple things like take my young daughters to the library and play groups, craft and learn with them at hTome, and just enjoy each other's company without worrying how every little thing would affect me physically or mentally.  

During the worst period of my health issues, I would lay in bed at night wondering if I was dying from a deadly disease - and yet I was petrified that I was not dying and that this was the way I was going to be for the rest of my life. 

I had heard about natural dessicated thyroid (NDT) and switched, but I was knew there was more to my problems than just hypothyroidism.  I started learning more about thyroid and adrenal dysfunction through the patient-to-patient organization "Stop the Thyroid Madness." 

It was through the STTM discussion groups that I met Paul Robinson and learned about his book and the Circadian T3 Method.  I did a 24-hour cortisol saliva test, and learned that I had low daytime cortisol with elevated night time levels.  And so I began CT3M with my NDT.

Within a few weeks of starting the method, I noted that my fatigue was no longer extreme.  Also, waking up in the mornings wasn't as much of a struggle and I wasn't pining for caffeine as much. 

My flu-like aches, afternoon "slump," and chronic low back pain were improved.  I was no longer taking days to recuperate from every day things like grocery shopping or running a couple of errands with my young children.

I had less anxiety and depression, and my suicidal thoughts were gone.  I was able to hold my children while standing up for longer periods of time.  I was no longer easily winded.  I started ovulating again and my endometriosis pain lessened.  I started losing some excess weight.  I also found that my feet were no longer itching, burning, and sore. 

The changes I was going through were dramatic, but I was still far from well.  After about 4-6 weeks of using the method, I began having trouble increasing my dose.  I found out I had very low storage iron, which was preventing my body from properly converting the T4 in my NDT into T3. 

With Paul's guidance, I decided to change my early morning dose to T3-only and to take my NDT in the afternoon. I knew this would help give me the T3 I was lacking while I was raising my iron levels.
The second day of taking T3 for my CM dose, my temps rose earlier in the day and went higher by mid-afternoon.  I was less irritable, had less dizziness, less nausea.  My afternoon sleepiness hit me later in the afternoon.

After a few weeks of using T3 for my CM dose, I found that I was able to raise my dose from 15 mcg to 18.75 mcg.  I also raised my afternoon NDT dose from 1 grain to 1.5 and then later to 2 grains.  This told me that my adrenals were healing, which meant my cortisol was rising and allowing more T3 to enter my cells as well.

In addition to using the Circadian Method, I am also taking supplements, including iron bis-glycinate, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, magnesium, iodine, selenium, methyl-B12 and astaxanthin.  I work hard to ensure that I get adequate sleep at night by going to bed and waking at the same time every day.  I eliminated gluten which gives me reactions identical to my old hypothyroid and adrenal fatigue symptoms.  I focus on eating nutritious, non-processed foods.  Finally, I have learned how to pace myself and listen attentively to my body.

Now I feel better than I have felt in years.  I have no depression or anxiety, I'm losing weight, and I rise in the mornings with only a little effort.  I can prepare meals, clean the house, care for and play with my children, run errands, and live life with much less caution and concern for how every little thing might affect my adrenals.  I confidently look forward to more improvement with continued use of the method, listening to my body, good nutrition and quality sleep.

(Also, you can read my update here about all the things I'm doing to help heal my body.)