My 2nd Visit with Dr. Maxwell

I had a second appointment with Dr. Maxwell, the award winning, amazing, and engaged doctor (Check him out here- Dr. Maxwell), and he spent another two hours with us. During the appointment, he reviewed all of the lab results that I already discussed in this POST .  He was mostly concerned with the level of Candida (type of yeast) that is existing in my system because it was seven times the normal range, thus he determined that in addition to the Hashimoto's, I am also dealing with Candida Syndrome, and it is common to find this syndrome in thyroid and other autoimmune disease.  At first, his diagnosis was a bit discerning to me because he explained that common causes of it include the use of antibiotics because they kill off the 'good bacteria', stress, and diets high in carbohydrates.  I haven't taken antibiotics since I was a teenager and I currently take a daily pro-biotic. I can say that I have dealt with stress in recent years and I LOVE carbohydrates, but I don't think that I eat them more than the next person. I had never heard of an actual yeast syndrome before, but did not think that I had traditional symptoms of yeast problems, however I was floored after I read its list of symptoms.  Candida can be the cause of many of my symptoms, including the digestive problems that I still face almost daily. Since Hashimoto's patients often have gut issues to begin with (likely due to its ability to slow the metabolism process), their bodies can become perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and fungus. Candida is a fungus and when the digestive process is compromised and food is left to settle longer in the digestive system, this yeast is likely multiplying in the stomach, which gives yeast and some bacteria a fighting chance at survival.
Like many other conditions, tests, and treatments, the Candida theory is not so common in the mainstream world of medicine.
Here are some common symptoms found in people with Candida overgrowth-

Brain fog
Memory problems
White tongue (oral candida)
Fatigue, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Irritability and confusion
Cold feet, hands, nose
Muscle and joint pain
Restless Leg Syndrome
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
High blood pressure or cholesterol
Skin and nail infections (including fungal)
Autoimmune diseases

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD and ADHD)
Anxiety and/or panic attacks
Numbness and/or tingling of extremities
Difficulty organizing or messiness
Feelings of being out of mind/body
Sugar cravings

The list goes on.  Some experts believe that Candida is the actual cause of diseases. The good news? It's incredibly easy to treat and rid the body of it, simply by taking either a prescription or a supplement for 30 days. I choose the supplement route because I am semi anti-pharma treatments. I prefer the natural route in most circumstances.  I have been taking this supplement for a few days now and so far, haven't felt any symptoms that I've experienced with detoxes.

The moral of the Candida story is that if you have an autoimmune disease or have symptoms of Candida overgrowth, ask your doctor to run the Candida Antibodies test, or there are some detoxes that you can  purchase from health stores. I prefer to purchase my supplements and detoxes from Vitacost because they have a wide selection and their prices are almost always lower than local or online stores.

I'll post a follow-up to the Candida issue after I complete my treatment.  Fingers crossed!

So, I've talked about how the Candida is running rampant in my system. As for the rest of my appointment with Dr. Maxwell, I addressed my ongoing symptoms that have not subsided, despite the treatment with Armour.  He decided to increase my dosage from 60 mg. (or 1 grain) to 120 mg. (or 2 grains), which is still a small dosage. I talked with him about my concern over whether or not my body was properly utilizing the T3 because I had been having about an hour of energy, and then it would suddenly plummet. I learned that the super low dose is like eating one Skittle out of the package. In addition, absorption issues can affect the quality of the medication in the body. So, once my digestive system has more time to heal and the anti-thyroid antibodies decrease, I may start seeing more positives  changes in my health.

The doctor also ordered a nuclear medicine test on my thyroid because like I previously mentioned in a post, I have a small nodule on my thyroid. Nodules are quite common in Hashimoto's and he was not concerned over the findings. Nuclear medicine tests can get quite costly, especially for people like us, who have HSA accounts and have higher deductibles on their health insurance plans, therefore I made the decision to hold off on this test for now. I know that some people may feel that I am gambling on my health, but based on the fact that thyroid cancer is extremely rare and has additional signs and symptoms, it is a test that I am going to put on the shelf for a short while.

 So, Dr. Maxwell also gave me the kit to conduct the salivia cortisol test. I'm going to publish a seperate post about the adrenals and how they affect the body in Hashimoto's. My standard blood cortisol level was normal, but this test will outline how well my adrenals are responding to normal stress or exercise during the day.  With this kit, I will have to literally spit in to four test tubes throughout the day and mail it to the lab. There, they will test the cortisol levels and my female hormones.  I'm going to start spitting tomorrow!

Now, an update on my favorite symptom: Hair Loss.

 I once read that women with Hashimoto's don't like what they see when they look in the mirror, aside from the common weight gain, their skin and hair are affected, and they tend to just generally have dull appearances. Just to give you an idea, when I get out of the shower, it now takes me several minutes to strategically brush the knots out of my hair. I'm obviously losing some along the way too. It's brittle, course, and thin. I have random hair breakage towards the front of my head too.  I'm not sure that cutting my hair will help because the breakage is shorter than I would wear my hair, so I'm going to start looking in to treatments and supplements that will not interfere with the disease.