Health Update + FitBit

I thought this would be a good time to post a health update.  I’ve been seeing my new awesome doctor since October.  He has me taking so many things, it’s hard to keep track.  But they’re working!  Here are some of the things that have helped me with my thyroid and adrenal issues:

  • Multivitamin – People with thyroid disease often have trouble absorbing vitamins, so it’s hard to get everything you need from diet alone.
  • Fish oil supplement - My doctor really advocates fish oil, especially for women.  I’m a vegetarian, so I avoided this for a while, but I decided my health is more important.
  • Advanced B-complex - This is another thing he strongly advocates for women who are taking birth control.
  • Magnesium - This made my heart palpitations go away!
  • Vitamin D3 - 3000 IUs before bed and I have had no seasonal depression this year!
  • Seriphos – My adrenal tests showed that while I produce the correct amount of cortisol during the day on average, my cortisol is way too high at night (making it hard to fall asleep), and way too low in the morning (making it hard to get out of bed).  This is supposed to “reset” that.  So far, it seems to be working – I’ve been getting up earlier and taking less time to fall asleep.
  • Pregnenolone – A steroid hormone that is the precursor to many other hormones in your body.  My hormone levels are all out of whack, and this has really helped with my energy levels.
  • DHEA – This hormone is produced by your adrenal glands.  My levels were very, very low.  I was scared to take this after reading other people’s experiences, because “hair loss” seems to be a recurring theme.  Luckily, that hasn’t been the case for me, and I felt better almost immediately after taking it.
  • Progesterone Cream – This has nothing to do with thyroid/adrenal issues, but my doctor met a gynecologist at a seminar who said she prescribes it to all of her patients who are taking birth control.  I agreed to try it out, and magically it has made ALL of my PMS symptoms go away.


This is how I’ve been feeling over the past few weeks:

  • I can stay awake for an entire day without needing a nap!
  • I can even exercise a little!
  • My fingernails aren’t breaking like they’re made of paper!
  • My hair is shiny and is actually growing!
  • My moods aren’t going up and down like a crazy vomit inducing roller coaster!
  • I have been able to work, pretty much for the first time in 6 months!

I’m really happy that I’m starting to feel almost like a normal human being again.  The main thing I want to focus on right now is fitness.  I need to gradually increase my activity level.

Dan got me a Fitbit for Christmas, which is a little device that you clip to your pocket (or your bra).

It’s basically a fancy pedometer that you also wear while sleeping, so it can tell you what a terrible night’s sleep you had.

This was the night my favourite neighbour decided to start practicing guitar below my bedroom window at 3:30am.

It gives you a picture of how active you are throughout the day.  For instance, this was yesterday:

I upgraded my account and activated the “Fitbit Trainer”.  It told me I’m sedentary and that I’m in the 14.7th percentile, meaning that 85.3% of FitBit users are more active than me. Way to make me feel like a lazy asshole!

It then recommended a goal for the number of calories I need to burn per week.  It slowly increases every week until April, where I will officially be considered “lightly active” instead of “sedentary”.

I’m a huge dork for charts and graphs, and this has actually helped me in two ways:  as motivation to increase my activity levels, and as a reminder not to do too much.  I might be feeling a lot better, but when I overdo it, it takes a long time to recover.  I have been totally kicking my chart’s ass this week:

Except today. But it's only 4:30pm.

On Monday, I walked on the treadmill for 25 minutes.  Tuesday, I walked to and from the optometrist’s office.  Wednesday, yoga.  Yesterday, 90 minutes of beginner’s tennis lessons.

I plan on starting the Couch to 5k program soon, in an effort to be able to play soccer when the season rolls around.  Last year, I missed most of the season because of fatigue, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, and all sorts of other fun hypothyroid symptoms.

Other things I’d like to try this year:  hiking, completing the Ride for Heart again, possibly registering for my first race since high school.

I’m feeling really positive about 2012!


  1. ee1 says

    Hi Jen, I'm interested in finding out who your thyroid doctor is. I also have Hashimoto's and am looking for a good doctor. Thank you!

    • says

      Absolutely! His name is Dr. Leonard Direnfeld, and he's located in Scarborough. Phone #416-282-5773. It took me about 3 months to get an appointment, but it was SO worth it.


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