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  • Fatigue, sleep disorders, allergies & thyroid

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    Old 02-16-2004, 10:03 AM   #1
    GracesMomMom
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    Lightbulb Fatigue, sleep disorders, allergies & thyroid

    Hi folks,
    I feel like I've been able to move back from the edge of the abyss in the last week. I'm hoping what I'm doing to take care of myself continues to work. And I'm still on the trail of that elusive thyroid diagnosis... but that's another story. I just wanted to mention a couple of things that might help the rest of you with the horrible fatigue. I've been investigating the abovementioned topics... allergies I've steeped myself in for a couple of years now. The rest are things I've gradually added to my interests, with more urgency of late.

    Anyway. Last Tuesday I was tired to the point that my heart felt tired - like it was laboring in it's efforts. Just wasn't sure how much longer I could continue. I'd been diagnosed with sleep apnea after a sleep study and Wednesday of last week, I hooked up with my CPAP for the first time. I didn't care how uncomfortable it made sleeping as long as I could sleep. I still don't. I've been waking up groggy, but I'm already feeling the positive effects. More energy, little more mental clarity, and more endurance. I haven't been on it very long and I don't know if long term it will help. Some people, I've read, it does help, a lot. Some people can't handle it. Some people regress.

    I'm convinced I'm at least hypoT. Also wonder sometimes still if I have Hashi's.

    I also have developed severe allergies. The most important thing I've learned about the allergies is to remove the allergen entirely. That's the ONLY way to get relief. Now, the 2nd most important thing I've discovered is that most people have no clue they have allergies, or if they know they have allergies, they don't find out what they're allergic to. This is VERY important. I suspect food allergies in so many people that I know. They complain of the same allergy symptoms as I. I think what many people don't know is that food allergies can affect your respiratory tract, your digestive tract (IBS), as well as your skin (hives). With multiple allergies, each reaction to another allergen compounds the symptoms... the reactions just get worse. Also, allergies left untreated will get worse over time. Some people end up with analphylaxis (sp) and the allergic reactions become life-threatening.

    Ok, with that said, I'd like to point out that a lot of people who have trouble sleeping aren't getting enough oxygen. And also that the nasal passages can swell nearly shut. I think it's possible that over time, this can contribute to sleeping disorders. I'd also like to point out that many thyroid sufferers have sinus difficulties. And that it's well known that organ systems start shutting down as the thyroid condition worsens.

    I have effectively removed almost all of my allergens. That has tremendously helped relieve my sinus problems. They haven't gone away entirely, but I can breathe a lot better. Part of my problem is a food allergy to corn. Corn is in most everything as a preservative, a thickener, for sweetness, you name it. Corn makes me very sick. But I digress.

    I have started on a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine to assist with my breathing at night. It keeps my throat from collapsing in on itself. This condition (sleep apnea) is thought to be caused by architectural problems (receding chin is a characteristic), weakened muscles of the soft palate and some other stuff. Don't remember the details. I suspect a link between the weakened muscles and the huge amounts of stress my body has gone through, particularly my respiratory tract. Anyway, back to the CPAP, it is definitely helping me and I'd encourage anyone with fatigue to talk to your doctor about sleep disorders and to see what can be done to test for it. I've checked out the sleep disorder boards on this site and find that many of them could very well have thyroid problems and don't know about it.

    My own personal big picture theory is that due to some kind of stress (probably severe - physical, mental, emotional) the thyroid stops functioning properly causing your digestive system to stop functioning properly, so the needed nutrients aren't absorbed correctly (affecting the rest of the body) and it is busy fending off foods it can't handle (sidetracks the immune system). Thus begins the downward cyclical spiral from thyroid all the way to the farthest reaches of the body. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it.

    Sorry this has been so long, but I've just needed to say it. I keep seeing different versions of the same patterns over and over. I don't think the sleep disorders and allergies are the answer to the whole fatigue problem, I think they're symptoms of the bigger thyroid problem (this is common knowledge). I do think treating them can help at least slow down the cycle and improve the chances of recovery from the thyroid problem. So I think it's worth the time and expense involved, particularly if it makes you able to function again, as it has me (so far). And now I'm ready for a nap.

     
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    Old 02-16-2004, 03:51 PM   #2
    opalfire
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    Re: Fatigue, sleep disorders, allergies & thyroid

    My big question is, why haven't you had lab work? Why keep guessing? If your present doctor won't order the lab work, find someone who will. You sound as though you've suffered long enough!
    The lab work that you want to request are the following: TSH, Free T3 and Free T4. Although the "normal" range is to be under 3 for the TSH (no matter what your local lab ranges are....the updated one is UNDER 3), you may still feel bad, so the purpose of the FT3 and FT4 is to give you some indication of where you stand. You should be in the mid - upper range of the lab normal ranges for those two.
    When you do get the lab work done, please post them, along with your local labs normal ranges, and we will try to help you make sense of them!
    Good luck and keep us posted!

     
    Old 02-16-2004, 04:30 PM   #3
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    Re: Fatigue, sleep disorders, allergies & thyroid

    Hi! I agree with Opal. You not only need someone who will test you but will treat you based on your symptoms, not just the #'s.
    I also wanted to add one more thing about allergies. My ds has a slight allergy to peanuts. He has an asthma attack the day AFTER eating peanuts.
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    Last edited by LuvMyLilDoggie; 02-16-2004 at 04:33 PM.

     
    Old 02-16-2004, 06:27 PM   #4
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    Re: Fatigue, sleep disorders, allergies & thyroid

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bosmom
    Hi! I agree with Opal. You not only need someone who will test you but will treat you based on your symptoms, not just the #'s.
    I also wanted to add one more thing about allergies. My ds has a slight allergy to peanuts. He has an asthma attack the day AFTER eating peanuts.
    Barb
    Hi. I'm working on it. I have a doctor who's listening. She wanted to follow my temperatures for a week at the beginning of my menstrual cycle. It hasn't started yet, it is in fact late. As soon as I get those numbers for her, we'll get together again and if she doesn't suggest the tests, I'll demand it or find another doctor. In the mean time, I know that I've had these other issues and am working on them at the same time. She's 2 hours away. I've spoken to 3 doctors here while waiting and they're not willing to test beyond the usual useless tests. I only have so much time off work, I have a toddler who just turned two, I'm doing what I can when I can. This post was really intended to encourage people to get all the symptoms treated as well if the fatigue is dragging them down or if the sinus infections don't stop.

     
    Old 02-16-2004, 07:37 PM   #5
    LuvMyLilDoggie
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    Re: Fatigue, sleep disorders, allergies & thyroid

    Oh I agree with you in that if the symptoms can be aleviated by treatment other than thyroid, go for it. But many times (if it's the thyroid) treatment of the symptoms won't help until the cause is addressed.
    I understand that it's very difficult to get all these things done as soon as we would like with life going on around us.
    We should'nt put all our symptoms down as being thyroid related until other things are ruled out unless it's obvious like in my case. My last TSH was 32. Much higher than the 5.5 that my lab considers to be the upper limit. So I can say in all reality that at least most of my symptoms are thyroid related.
    Good luck with your next doctor visit. It sounds like you won't have a problem getting what you need from him/her.
    Barb
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