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      Responding to this message from wacomom:

      I am so happy I found you. It has been 4 months since I got on this roller coaster ride and I am ready to get off. I was diagnosed, took RAI, and now starting thyroid treatment.
      I have 3 very active boys, I run my own preschool and a very loving husband, but I feel I am not being fair to any of them. I am tired, cranky, mean at times and never know if I am up or down. My Mother is a manic depressant so I start to freak out all the time thinking I am going to be like her. I know it is the Graves, but it can be scary. Since I started the treatment my hands, legs, feet, ears feel like they are falling asleep. My ears have a ringing in them all day which leads to a headache. Is this normal or am I having weird reactions to the thyroid treatment? I feel like I have overdosed on Nyquil every single day. I walk along in a daze, numb. Can anybody tell me if this is a normal feeling and it will go away or is it weird side effects from the hormone?

      On another note, is there anything like diet or anything naturally that I can do to make life better, make me feel better?

      Any help is appreciated, I am sure glad there is a place for all of us to have a sounding board.

      Hi wacomom,

      First, welcome to the group! I know you didn’t really want to join the club, but we’re glad you’re here. <img decoding=” title=”Very Happy” />

      Four months after RAI (or four months after diagnosis) is very early on in this process. It’s quite possible that your body is still in some kind of shock over the assault of hyperthyroidism. Your symptoms don’t sound like classic Graves’ symptoms, but one of the most challenging aspects of Graves’ is that we all react differently. Any parts of our body that are vulnerable become doubly vulnerable while hyperthyroid, so strange things happen. You’d be well advised to call your doctor now and let them know about the more severe symptoms, see if the doctor has some idea of the cause behind them and how to treat them. Afterwards, keep a "symptom log" for at least a couple of weeks, and make sure it’s detailed ("rate" your discomfort on some scale the doctor can comprehend, for example), then discuss it with the doctor next time you visit. MOST symptoms start to ease up when our thyroid hormone levels come back into normal range. Still, remember please that hyperthyroidism is an attack on every cell, so once your thyroid hormone levels are normal, and stay that way a while, then your body can BEGIN to heal itself from the attack. Take it easy on yourself for now. Teach your family how to take care of things that are appropriate for them to take care of ~ OR, choose some things that can be left undone for a little while.

      As far as diet recommendations, truly, the best possible diet is just what everyone else recommends ~ no empty calories, eat whole grains, lots of fresh fruits & vegetables, etc. etc. Keeping your body strong is going to help you heal.

      Alternative treatments are valuable for getting yourself back "into balance," and I think almost anything you commit to and enjoy will give you a benefit. Nothing "alternative" will affect thyroid hormone levels specifically, but they can ease your symptoms. As a matter of fact, just having a social support group can help, believe it or not!

      Right now though, strenuous exercise would NOT be the thing to do. Let your body take it easy while it gets back to normal.

      Keep writing, we’re happy to answer your questions!

        Post count: 284

        Wacomom – My own rollercoaster is starting to slow down after hyper and then hypo – not back in normal range. You post brought to mind a time last summer when I was on my walk, crossing the main drag in my rural community – I had the light with 15 seconds left to finish the last lane of traffic. Some fellow in an SUV gets into the intersection and starts honking and yelling at me to hurry up. Without a blink – I turned around and yelled back that I had the light and I would be happy to call the cops if he wanted a legal opinion on who had the right away. Not me – but not bad for someone who is often too flexible when others get demanding. My bout with those symptoms taught me how to stand up for my rights without fear <img decoding=” title=”Very Happy” /> (There were several similar incidents – some before I was diagnosed and I thought I changing personality).

        As far as strategies – I found going out of my way to focus on gratitude was most helpful. Sometimes, it was after my thyroid had reacted. But – I have thought of that man in the SUV 1,000 times thinking how unhappy he must have been in that moment to be so mad at me for slowing him down 10 seconds. And then I look at my own reaction and see the unhappiness. I found taking time to smell the roses and write down things I appreciate helped a lot. Good luck! Wishing you health and healing. Cathy

          Post count: 29

          Wow! I thought I was going crazy, too! I used to be kinda meek – and standing up for myself took a lot of nerve. But about 3 years ago, I started becoming different. My family attributed it to my divorce in 2002 after too many years of mental abuse. They figured I had "found my voice" or something. My sons learned that when I said "no" I really, really meant it! It took me a couple of years to tone it down and learn to control myself. I learned to use this "new found voice" to stand up for myself without being too, um….witchy, I guess you could say.
          I remarried and moved from my little hometown to the city in 2004, and no one here knows what I used to be like. I got a new career and have quickly "rose in the ranks"….partly because of this new "attitude". I’m not afraid to say what’s on my mind, and I don’t say things I don’t mean (no brown-nosing). Our vice president tells people they shouldn’t ask me questions they don’t want honest answers to! It’s a new kind of respect I’ve never gotten before.
          When I was diagnosed with GD in Feb 2007, the doctor said it seems like it’s been coming on for a while. In 2002 I rapidly lost about 20 pounds and thought it was stress from the divorce. When I met my current husband two years later, I started gaining (happy at last, I thought.). But when I tried to control it to make sure I didn’t gain too much….I couldn’t. I actually got dizzy and fell off the treadmill one night and my heart was racing. That’s when I got diagnosed.
          So…my new found voice was just one of many symptoms. I know that as my thyroid levels fluctuate, so does my "witch" level! I can be happy and cheerful one day, and either weepy or aggravated the next. And since my personality is "dependent" upon my levels, traditional antidepressents and mood meds just don’t work. So I have to keep myself in check when I feel these changes coming.
          Wacomom – I don’t know if this makes you feel any better, but I hope it does. I was adopted, so I don’t know just how many problems I have in my genes. Sometimes that’s a good thing – sometimes not. But my parents told me when I was a teenager that my birth mother was a "woman of loose morals". So I wondered if I had that in me, too. And I STRIVED to be a good mother and prove that I wasn’t like her. So I kinda understand what you’re feeling (a little maybe). Don’t give up just because you think you’re "supposed" to be like that due to genes. You control your body and mind. Try to teach yourself to use those moods to your advantage and control them. Maybe it’s all just hormones.
          BTW – I love Waco – my son graduated from Baylor last year and I really miss visiting your city!

            Post count: 3

            Thanks to all of you! It does help to know that there are others out there going though what I am. It helps to be able to talk to you. I guess this all went very quickly for me. I was diagnosed in late July with GD, took RAI in early August and was down to Hypo by end of October. I have just started the treatment and to tell you the truth, I don’t know what is worse being hyper or hypo. I guess I got so used to living with the other symptoms, that these new ones are just a little too much. Thank you all for saying it is okay not to do ALL the things I was used to doing. I think sometimes we just need to hear it, to reafirm that we are not just trying to be lazy, it truly is something our body needs.

            I hope all of you lots of health and happiness!! Thank you all for being here to listen.

              Post count: 284

              Wacomom – How true of the bounce to hypo. I go from shooting drivers on main street to crying in business meetings! All we can do is laugh at ourselves, I guess. I agree – just feeling validated is huge. I am sure it helps us to heal faster. I would love to do research on Graves patients who used this board vs those who did not have external support to see who healed faster with fewer complications! Anyway – you and I got our treatment about the same time and I was hypo by early Oct – so we are at similar places in our healing journey.

              I have an older endo who put me on the low iodine diet for 2 weeks before the scan and had me stay on it for another 10 days until they could order in my RAI – and then for 5 more days. It sounds like that is not the norm to do the diet – has anyone else had to follow the LID (low iodine diet) pre scan or RAI? Just curious. Cathy

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