Effed-Up Signals

I’ve gone and done it. Finally.

That’s right, peeps. Stubborn Emily finally broke down and saw her primary doc today. Not for just the common cold or flu bug; no … I saw her because I’ve been feeling craptastic for the past five months or so. Specifically, I’ve been feeling fatigued.

Now, normally I’d chalk it up to stress and anxiety. After all, my current career path has certainly given me enough gastric reflux. And well, i fully admit that I’m prone to over-analyze and freak myself out over things I can’t control.

But this fatigue is just downright … exhausting; for lack of better words.

I mean, I can’t even wake up from my alarm clock until close to an hour afer it went off!

And even though I want to blame it on the fact that I just can’t stay asleep, I don’t think that’s the case. Because when I do have the ability to stay asleep and/or sleep in, I still wake up with the same fatigue.

This is what makes me think it has something to do with my body. And specifically with my endocrine system; my metabolic system. And given that I have a history of PCOS also which affects my pituitary, I’m thinking that this could be closely related to my body’s ability to produce adequate thyroid hormones. Which could consequently cause hypothyroidism.

Without going too much into pathophysiology, if the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) which help to control a person’s metabolism, then the pituitary sends signals to the adrenal glands to produce TSH; a hormone that “stimulates” the thyroid to make more T3 and T4.

How do I associate PCOS with hypothyroidism? Well, it has to do with the pituitary gland. In a woman’s reproductive cycle, the pituitary gland is responsible for producing the Lutenizing Hormone (LH), which sends a signal to the ovaries to mature and release an egg to be fertilized. In PCOS,┬áthe pituitary gland gets its signals mixed up and secretes too much LH. Which can, in turn cause the ovaries to secrete more than usual amounts of testosterone in a woman’s body … which then can create a situation of the inability to have regular menstrual cycles. In addition, the higher amounts of LH can also cause a lack of ovulation on the ovaries’ part. In turn, the pituitary gland continues to secrete LH, thinking that the ovaries still haven’t “done their job.”

SO … Because of how the pituitary relates to my PCOS, I’m also wondering if it has a part in the fatigue I’ve been feeling; which is one of the big symptoms of hypothyroidism. Perhaps my pitiuary is also getting its signals crossed with the secretion of TSH for my thyroid as well as with LH for my ovaries.

Which brings me to the reason why I went to my Doc. I told her about my fatigue and my concerns about my PCOS possibly contibuting to it … And, as expected, she ordered the specific lab tests to see if my T3/T4 and TSH are out of whack. She ALSO gave me a prescription for a sleeping pill; as she seems to think may also be contributing to my fatigue. <– Hmmph!

So we’ll see … and if I am right about having hypothyroidism, this may ALSO explain the ridges on my finger nails and the increased loss of hair I’ve recently been experiencing.

If not, then I guess my fatigue has nothing to do with my metabolism. Which would mean that I’m just a lazy-a$$ person who just doesn’t want to do anything more but work and sleep.

I hope I’m right about the hypothyroidism …

~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~

Six more days! Until then, here’s my Daily Lenten exercise:

Good Deed Du jour: I actually “made” someone’s day today. At least that’s what the lab tech told me when I complimented her on a pain-free poke to my arm when she drew my blood. Apparently the previous patients were not happy with her technique. So when I told her that I’d been poked enough times during my active (but failed) baby-making yearsand that she was supberb … Well, I made her day!

Grateful Thought Du jour: Health Insurance. Glad I currently have it; glad that the rest of the country will, too.

6 Replies to “Effed-Up Signals”

  1. Sorry you are feeling so fatigued lately, that totally blow. I know on occasion I am exhausted, but it would be difficult to feel that everyday. I hope you and the doc get to the bottom of it. I assume hypothyroidism can be treated?

  2. I swear I have my thyroid levels checked every. single. time. I go to the doctor, because I complain about fatigue every time I go to the doctor! They check and check and check, but it’s never been out of whack at all. Fatigue has been my one constant complaint since I can remember, and they’ve never been able to give me any sort of diagnosis. Seeing as I, too, have the testosterone issues typically associated with PCOS, I wonder whether that may be linked to the fatigue. I wonder…

  3. Hi Emily — catching up on some blog reading, & I see you have new digs! (AND that you’ve been keeping up with your post a day — awesome!!) Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so exhausted. I was diagnosed hypothyroid about 13 years ago, & I’ve been on eltroxin/synthyroid ever since then. I have my levels tested once or twice a year, just to be sure they’re staying steady. And that’s about it. I was quite nervous when I was first diagnosed, but I hardly think about it anymore. My high blood pressure is another story…

    Hope you get to the bottom of whatever is ailing you soon! (((hugs)))

  4. It sounds like you are hypothyroid! I came back with a 7.6 or something as a TSH level (definitely hypothyroid), and I don’t think I have increased hair loss or anything objective except fatigue (how deep are fingernail ridges SUPPOSED to be?). So here’s the news you might want to be prepared for: sometimes the thyroid meds don’t solve the problem. 50 mcg of synthroid later (which I later switched to 30 mcg of dessicated thyroid), my TSH levels are perfect and I don’t feel any better. I still hit “snooze” until an hour has passed, no matter when I go to bed. (Of course, this has resulted in my HUSBAND getting to work quite early every day…) Tons of running and a much healthier diet, and herbal energy supplements, have helped some, but five years ago, this regimen would have lost me thirty pounds by now and probably put me in the hospital from malnourishment. Instead, I’ve lost eight pounds in three months. Something is different. I hope your doctor can diagnose you and provide helpful medicine, but if she doesn’t, DON’T QUIT and DON’T fall into the trap of thinking you’re a lazy hypochondriac. If your body is behaving differently, it’s worth persistence to work to make it well!

  5. Hi Emily — catching up on some blog reading, & I see you have new digs! (AND that you’ve been keeping up with your post a day — awesome!!) Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling so exhausted. I was diagnosed hypothyroid about 13 years ago, & I’ve been on eltroxin/synthyroid ever since then. I have my levels tested once or twice a year, just to be sure they’re staying steady. And that’s about it. I was quite nervous when I was first diagnosed, but I hardly think about it anymore. My high blood pressure is another story…

    Hope you get to the bottom of whatever is ailing you soon! (((hugs)))

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.