05 February 2010

Thyroid Update

I saw my endocrinologist today for the first time in two years. Since my last appointment, I'd mostly been euthyroid, meaning that my thyroid decided to start acting like a normal thyroid and do it's job properly. Then suddenly last year, it decided that, no, it was tired of that shtick and would be a slacker again, thank you very much. So we'd been keeping in contact via phone calls and faxes.

Since I worked at a hospital and had easy access to a doctor, I got the doctor in my department to order the lab tests I needed and got the blood draws I needed while I was at work. Then I just faxed the results to my endocrinologist. She'd called me, let me know her thoughts, adjust my meds, etc. Lather, rinse, repeat.

It wasn't SUPPOSED to be two years lag time between appointments, but her office is out in the 'burbs, not easily accessible via public transit, and she's kind of a pain in the ass to get to. But, you know, not having a job kind of made that easier. Yay, I guess. Heh.

My thyroid levels are great, and my thyroid itself (she always does an ultrasound) is small (which pleases me in a ridiculous kind of way) and abnormal, but in a normal kind of way, given the kind of thyroid disease that I have.

However, she's worried about my sugar levels. I had a random mid-day glucose level several months ago that was 144 (normal is under 100). So she had me do a fasting blood test last week. This one came back as 98. But my HA1C (this gives you a six-month history of your blood sugars) was 5.7 in July. The range for at-risk for diabetes (what the CDC used to call "pre-diabetes) is 5.5-6.4.

So since I'm JUST under the norm for glucose AND I'm in the range for "at-risk for diabetes" AND I'm in one of the high risk ethnicities for diabetes (hello, one of the downfalls of being Asian) AND we don't know my family medical history, we're choosing to be very conservative about this.

As soon as she said this, I said, "Yes, I need to weigh less, watch what I eat, and exercise more." She smiled and said, "Clearly, you've heard this before." I said, "I have, but Doctor, here's the thing. It's very frustrating. I worked REALLY hard and lost 14 pounds before I even met you. Then I got the thyroid problem and gained it all back plus two pounds. And I won't tell you that word I used when that happened, because it wasn't polite. And that's how I got diagnosed thyroid. Then you stabilised me. I joined Weight Watchers, and I lost 10.4 pounds. Then I suddenly gained it all back. That's when I realised my thyroid problem was back again. I'm not trying to avoid responsibility for my health or my weight. In fact, I've tried REALLY hard and worked REALLY hard to BE responsible, but I feel like my thyroid sabotages me EVERY time, and that's really freaking frustrating."

So she told me that for awhile, since my thyroid is erratic, we're going to test my thyroid levels every three months to keep a closer eye on it. So instead of being REactive, we can be PROactive. So instead of gaining 10-12 pounds and then knowing that my thyroid is acting up because I'm gaining weight, we can know that my thyroid levels are off and that I MIGHT gain a couple a pounds if I'm not careful in the coming weeks. And she talked to me about taking control of my thyroid and not letting it control me.

In the end, I felt like she really listened to me and that we made a plan together that made sense.



  1. Sounds like you and she have come up with a workable plan. :-)

  2. I'm so glad you have a doctor like that - it can be tough (I'm sure I don't have to tell you) to find a doctor that really listens to you. Especially in a specialist.

  3. Min - to answer the question you posted on my blog, Weight Watchers.