Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy

Since my hemithyroidectomy, I have been oh-so-sleepy later in the day, every single day. Once I can convince myself to get out of bed (which is super difficult despite being in bed at least 9 hours each night), have my Shakeology and my coffee, I’m good to go until roughly 1:30pm. That means I only feel alert and like myself for 6-7 hours a day. It’s getting old really fast. I’m fairly sure this is an indication that the remaining half of my thyroid just isn’t picking up the slack from removing the left half, but I’m also fairly sure my symptoms are milder than many others who have clinical hypothyroidism. I’m worried that my numbers will come back in the clinically normal range when I go in for my blood draw sometime in the next few days, and that my doctor will treat the lab results rather than the symptoms. I’ve read many accounts from other thyroid patients who have had a difficult time finding a doctor who will treat the symptoms and not just the lab results, and I’m not sure yet what my doctor will want to do. She’s a wonderful family doctor, and I will be disappointed if I have to go to someone else.

On the other hand, I’m not terribly excited about taking thyroid hormone replacement medication as there can be difficulties in finding the right brand and dosage, and I would likely have to take it every single day for the rest of my life. I’ve been medication free nearly my whole life other than the occasional antibiotic or pain reliever and birth control for just a couple of years in between pregnancies, and I’ve never been successful at remembering to take a multivitamin on a regular basis.

Some people with Hashimoto’s have discovered that their symptoms and antibodies are greatly improved by making dietary changes. There’s some similarities on a molecular level between gluten and thyroid cells, and since Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune attack on the thyroid, consuming gluten can push that attack into overdrive if the immune system mistakes gluten for more thyroid to attack. Other people say they did elimination diets to figure out what foods their bodies may be sensitive to, and removing those foods made a difference for them whether gluten was the culprit or not. I tried an elimination diet last summer and had no reaction to gluten whatsoever, but I did react to dairy and soy. I’m not completely sold on the idea that autoimmune disorders can always be improved by healing a leaky gut, but I am sold on the idea of giving up dairy and soy to help my body feel better. I’m not totally convinced it will improve my hypothyroid symptoms, but maybe it will.

So for now, I’m muddling through until I get my lab results and can talk to my doctor about a plan of attack. I’m grateful that my symptoms seem milder than some people’s (some people can’t muster the energy to workout at all, and I’d be terribly disappointed if that were the case for me!), but I’m ready to figure out how to kick this foggy, tired feeling to the curb. I’ve had enough.

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