Monday, April 15, 2013

Metabolic Meltdown

It's the journey that counts; not the destination.

Promises, promises. I know, I said I'd be writing more often. I don't know how it happens, but time just soars by sometimes. The last time I wrote, I was telling you about my RT3 problem and how I'm not sure, but I think IF may have been related to the T4-RT3 conversion issue. I still have not found proof of this, so take what I write with a grain of salt as it's all circumstantial. (If anyone reading this has had a similar experience, please let me know!)

Despite HOW it happened, my body has undergone a complete metabolic meltdown over the past 6 months to a year - maybe longer. As of my last post, all I knew was that my body was converting too much of my Synthroid (T4) into reverse T3, resulting in a hypoactive state despite 'normal' T3 levels in my blood. Well, about six weeks ago, my latest labs showed my DHEA was falling, my testosterone level of 17 was on the very low, low, LOW end of where a woman should be and I had nearly zero progesterone in my body. The plot thickens! Additionally, my iron saturation was a paltry 15% showing some kind of absorption issue.

New supplement regimen:

Armour Thyroid
25 mg Cytomel (started at 12mg, but I felt sluggish and started gaining weight again, so I bumped it up a bit more)
10 mg Testosterone (in the form of bio-idential cream 3x's a week)
progesterone cream (twice a day; every day for days 12-26 of my cycle)
Iron supplements
DHEA (very low dose of 5 mg since I am already estrogen dominant)

Plus I am taking a cocktail of vitamins, including our alphabet friends B, C, D, and E as well as Milk Thistle, digestive enzymes and selenium. I also take ZMA nightly which gives me wickedly detailed dreams and deep sleep.

I've also sworn off of gluten - finally - and am managing to avoid it quite easily. I guess it was just a matter of making the commitment. I'm not grain free yet as I still eat rice and oats, but I'll cut those later if need be.

It's been about 6 weeks on this new regime and I'm honestly feeling good for the first time in a long, long time. My energy is returning as is my strength. I'm sleeping better and my insomnia is gone. No more waking up at 2 or 3 am and staying awake for hours on end and I'm able to stay awake past the 10 o'clock news (most nights).

My training is back to the basics - RPT style powerlifting three days a week with A LOT of walking. Next month I'm adding back in HIIT to train for a short mud run event I'm participating in this June with some ladies from the gym where I work.

As for diet, I am not fasting on purpose. Some days I miss breakfast, but I'll have a fresh veggie/fruit juice that I make at home to at least give my body some nutrition. I'll also have BCAAs before and after I workout if I have not eaten. I'm eating more protein and veggies and mostly potatoes and rice on training days for my starchy carbs.

As for my labs, we'll see how they look when I go back in about a week. I wanted to give myself about two months on the new supplement program to let my body stabilize a bit before getting tested again. Stay tuned and I'll let you know how things look.

Until then; Remember: true health is a marathon, not a sprint.