2007 - Pride and Accomplishment

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Day 13 Tuesday

Weight: 123.6lb
Body Temp: 35.7

Food intake:

None - day off

Jog/Walk 45 mins - 5 mins warm up, jog 1 min, walk 1 min, for 40 mins.

Woke up early, 5am, so not ideal sleep but I actually feel pretty good. Very sore from descending sets on hammies, and still DOMS hangover from hack squats so might see if I can change my massage from tomorrow to today. That would be nice. My body feels quite sore all over, joints and things starting to feel the heavier weights I am using and my wrist/forearm tendonitis is coming back. Upright Rows hurt my wrists, curls kill my forearms. Still as long as I can hold a bar, I will be pumping iron :)

Last day of work before we go to Japan. Weird, have no expectations, have not really done any research on where we are going, due to lack of time (not high on priority list).

Fitday is an awesome tool, can't believe I haven't used it before. I do think they estimate my daily required calories a bit too high though, even though I entered "seated work" as my job. One thing I don't like is that it's all done on weight, and not body fat.

Well, did not get to have a massage today - real bummer, but at least I have it to look forward to tomorrow!

Today I have been really hungry. I have kept to my meal plan perfectly.

I have now closed the office from incoming mail and will be working on some update programs tomorrow and finishing off feedback.

We went out for dinner to Fasta Pasta last night - I had my eye on the special - it was prawns and fettucine with sundried tomatoes, pine nuts and pesto. Just one of those things that really jumped out at me and without even seeing the menu I knew that was what I wanted. It was packed, Damien went up to order, and they had run out of my special! BUMMED. Anyway he ordered me gnocchi which is another favourite, but it wasn't the greatest. Ok, I'm starving, off to eat my chicken and veg.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Day 12 Monday Off day

Weight: 123.6
Body Temp: 35.9

Have had this pain/ache in the right side of my abdomen, for a few days now - today it's worse. I am thinking it could be 'women's business' because I have come off the pill this month - but who knows.

Increased my Tertroxin by another 25mcg as of tonight as I don't feel it's done anything yet. He said wait 1-2 weeks, well it's been one :) They need to be taken 12 hours apart on an empty stomach.

Am really quite sore from my workouts this week as I have started a new program. Sore butt from doing hack squats yesterday. Sore in the back too, lat pulls and db rows.

BB Shoulder Press (Behind Neck) (weight incl bar) 20kg/8, 25kg/5, 22.5kg/6, 22.5kg/5, 10kg/6
BB Upright Row 50lb/8 x 4
DB Lunge 12.5kg/8 x 3
Ham Curl (descending) 40,30,20/8....35,25,20/8....25/20/10/8
Incline DB Press 12.5kg/8, 15kg/6 x 3
Rope Pushdown (descending) 40,30,20/8...40,20,10/8...30,20,10/8
Abs x 7 sets

Food intake:


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Day 11 Sunday

Weight: 121.6lb
Body Temp 35.9

Food intake:

DB Row 35/8, 45/6 x 3
Lat Pulldown 70/8 x 2, 80/6 x 2
DB Reverse Lateral Raise (Descending) 4kg/3kg/2kg/8 x 3 sets
Hack Squat Machine -/10, 10kg/8 x 2, 20kg/8 x 2
Leg Press (bottom half) 100kg/10, 125kg/10 x 3
Seated DB Curl 25lb/8, 25lb/5 +10kg/3, 25lb/5, 10kg/6
One Arm DB Preacher Curl 7.5kg/8 x 3

Abs - 3 sets x 15

Have entered my food intake into Fit Day above. That way I can see what I am eating in regard to protein/carb/fat grams. I struggled a bit diet wise yesterday, I gather it was mostly due to the lack of sleep as today I feel fine and no problems. Tomorrow is off day, bring on the carbs. :)

This week will be extremely busy, getting ready for trip to Japan and getting all feedback done by Tuesday.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Day 10 Saturday

Weight: 122.6lb
Body Temp: 35.5 (low)

Woke at 4.00am :( Couldn't get back to sleep so up at 5am. Eyes are feeling very heavy - will go for a run/walk in a sec, then do a bit of work, then probably have a bit of a sleep if I can. Have a Grand Final "party" to go to this arvo.

Session 3 for week - Warm up 5 mins, jog/run 1 min 10 sec, walk 1 min 50 secs, for 40 mins.

I have been sleeping from 10.30am until 1.45pm - feel pretty crappy so not going to go to this GF thing. Really bugs me, was just saying how I have been sleeping quite well. I just can't function on 4.5 hours sleep.

I am feeling hungry, feel the need for carbs but just not sure if that is because of the lack of sleep.

Food intake:
1. coffee and milk, stevia. 250g cottage cheese, 100g sweet potato, 1tsp coconut oil. 250g strawberries
2. 250g cottage cheese
3. 150g chicken, small amount of veggies, 1tsp flax oil
4. 2 glasses wine, 200g fish, salsa
5. 1 scoops US protein, 1tsp cream

Friday, September 23, 2005

Day 9 Friday

Weight: Did not weigh
Body Temp: 36.1

Had the weirdest thing last night. Went to bed, then before I went to sleep got up to get a glass of water, back to bed and then my heart started pounding - not fast, just normal but pounding really hard. It was impossible to sleep, it was thumping, I could feel it when I put my hand on my chest. It lasted about 15 mins. I am assuming it's from the medication, as palpitations can be a side effect, especially when starting the medication. So, will monitor that. Very weird feeling though.

Training tonight at 6pm. Feeling all carbed up and ready to go :)

Food Intake:
1. coffee, milk and stevia. 1 egg, 2 whites, spinach. 100g berries.
2. 1/2 cup cottage cheese & 50g chicken, 100g sweet potato, 1 tsp coconut oil
3. 150g chicken, lettuce, capsicum, onion
Pre Training: 250g strawberries
Post Training: 2 scoops of Max's HP+ and 6 tsp honey
4. 150g chicken, veggies. 2tsp coconut oil, 1tsp flax oil
Decaf coffee with milk and stevia

BB Bench Press 75/8, 85/6 x 4
DB Incline Fly 10kg/10 x 2, 12.5kg/10 x 2
Seated DB Shoulder Press 25lb/6 x 4
Seated DB Lateral Raise (desc) 4kg/8, 3kg/8, 2kg/8 - 2 sets
DB Overhead Triceps Extension 12.5kg/8 x 2, 15kg/6 x 2
Rope Pushdown (desc) 40lb/8, 30/8, 20/8...40/8, 30/6+20/4+10/6
Seated Calf 20kg/12 x 3
*Above 2 exercises supersetted

Felt really strong tonight and huge pump in tris and shoulders. Descending sets were great for a change. Am really sore in posterior delts from straight arm pulldowns yesterday.

Have been advised to include a post training shake containing 35g carbs, all I could find for that today was honey. To be honest am a bit 'scared' of having this shake considering I am trying to lose some fat as it bumps up the carbs and calories somewhat. Still have lots of time so will see how it goes. I certainly didn't feel munchie at all after dinner which is good.

My chek coach wanted me to increase my fat portion at dinner to try and ward off the munchies, which I did tonight, however, with the post training carbs I may not need that. Perhaps what I will do is on non-training days add extra fat, but on training days just add the protein/carb shake and no extra fat.

Tomorrow is cardio day, up for a run/walk combo for 45 mins, and another walk in the afternoon.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Day 8 Thursday off day!

Weight: 122lb
Body Temp: 36.4

Food intake:
Coffee, milk and stevia
1. 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 scoop Ultra Size protein, 2 tsp honey
2. Roast lamb, approx 200g. Scoop of avocado, 100g sweet potato and handful of grated cheese.
3. 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup cottage cheese, 2tsp US protein, 1tsp honey
4. Post training: protein frappe - half serve Myoplex Lite, 2tsp Max's HP+, 1/3 cup milk
5: Out for dinner: 2 glasses dry wine, 1.5 slices pizza. Decaf cappuccino and an after dinner mint.
6. 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2tsp Ultra Size protein.

Oh yeah, it's feels good to eat some carbs man!!! I was getting that brain fog and feeling very tired last night. I went to bed at 10pm and woke at 8.30am. Woke up once to go to the bathroom and the rest was awesome sleep. 10 hours.

Today is squat day so will be nice to train with some carbs in the system.

BB Squat 30kg/8, 50kg/6, 50kg/6, 50kg/6, 50kg/4
Knee Extension 50lb/6 x 4
Seated Row (V Grip) 70/8, 90/6 x 4
Straight Arm Pulldown 50/10, 60/10, 70/10 x 2
BB Curl 30/8, 50/6 x 4 (last 2 sets needed a lot of spotting help!)
Calf Press 75kg/15 x 3
*Last 2 exercises supersetted

Got to 50kg on squats, yeah! Only sets of 6 but I'm improving. Couldn't make the last set. Squat rack caught me on the final set.
Need to start knee extensions with a higher rep set as going straight to 50lb hurt my knees. Was only the last set that felt comfortable.
Back to using a v grip instead of a medium close grip handle for seated rows, and they felt EASY! So, managed 4 sets at 90lb straight up. It was much easier to squeeze the shoulder blades together.
Decided at last minute to chang to a straight arm pulldown instead of the supported row, for something different this program. Certainly felt the final two sets at 70lb.
BB Curls, well I struggled on the last 2 sets.

Had to have another little nap before I trained.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Day 7 Wednesday

Weight 122.3lb
Body Temp: 36.4

Day off

Session 1 - Before eating: 5 mins warm up, 1 min run, 2 mins walk for 40 mins. Last 3 intervals added 10 seconds to the run, and reduced walk by same.

Session 2 - evening - Walk 45 mins

Food intake:
Coffee with milk, and stevia
1. 125g cottage cheese/75 chicken (1 protein portion), 100g sweet potato.
2. 100g berries, 125g cottage cheese/75g chicken (1 protein portion), small serve veg.
3. 1 egg, 2 whites, spinach
Decaf with milk and stevia
4. 250g cottage cheese, stick of celery
5. 100g fish, 1tsp flax, veggies - broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower
6. Got mega hungry and had 250g cottage cheese
Think that is too much cottage cheese in a day. Must cook up some extra chicken to have on hand

I woke up feeling pretty good today, just a bit more 'alive' :) Had a chiro appointment at 8.45am which I desperately needed - left side shoulder/neck/arm/back was starting to give me some pain due to a misalignment. I then went for a run/walk. Looked pretty silly in my big woolly jumper and hat, since it's quite warm outside :) Did not eat my first meal until nearly 11am. This happens quite frequently (usually not quite that late though, more like 10am) when I do cardio before eating - as I sleep until 7.30-8.30, then get coffee, check email, get into my running gear etc. It all takes time! This morning's chiro appointment set me back even more.

Spoke to the doctor yesterday regarding my queries with the new medication I am on, so all is sorted there. He's also increased my drops (adrenal program).

It's 2pm and I am feeling quite hungry today. So, on that note, I am off to find something to eat. A celery stick perhaps :)
It's evening now and have had a reasonably early dinner as I've been pretty hungry as previously mentioned! Looking forward to my carbs tomorrow, starting to feel that brain fog today from lack of carbs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Day 6 - Tuesday

Weight: 123.6
Body Temp: 36.3

Food intake:
1. Coffee with milk and stevia, 1 egg, 2 whites, spinach, 250g strawberries
Pre workout snack:
2. 100g berries
3. 150g chicken, 100g sweet potato
decaf coffee with milk and stevia
*2 small sushi rolls at our Japanese lessons - was starving
4. 250g cottage cheese
5. 200g fish, veggies - asparagus, brussels sprouts, broccoli, pumpkin
decaf coffee with milk and stevia
Snack: 80g chicken

Training: New Program
Standing BB shoulder Press (behind neck) - weight includes bar 20kg/8, 25kg/4, 22.5kg/4, 22.5kg/5, 20kg/6
BB Shoulder Roll 40lb/10, 35/10 x 2
DB Lunge 12.5kg/8 x 3
Ham Curl (descending), 40/8 30/8 20/8, 30/8, 25/8, 20/8
Incline DB Bench Press 30lb/8, 35/6, 30/6 x 2
Close Grip Bench Press 60/8, 55/6 x 3

*Was not very strong in shoulder press today - i believe because as it worked out this week I trained shoulders/tris two days in a row. They were still feeling fatigued.
Only managed 2 descending sets of ham curls - were killer - will get 3 next week!

Cut back on the salt a bit today (though did add some tonight), see if it makes any difference.

10.30am - woke up with puffy eyes again. I decided to start taking my Tertroxine, 1 per day to start with, and see how that goes. Doc has also increased my adrenal dose.

Had our Japanese lessons, totally confusing, will be very interesting though! Not sure how to approach diet and training whilst there.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Day 5 Monday

Weight: Did not weigh
Body Temp: 35.6

General: Did not sleep well again, snoring from one side of bed (husband) :) and purring from other side of bed (puddy cat). Plus we had a late night, it was fun though.

I am feeling quite ok this morning just a little lack of sleep. I am off for a walk into town, solarium, then walk home. I will train later today. I will have a busy day of work with feedback today.

Just finishing my berries, and will head off. Beautiful day.

Food intake:
Coffee, 1tsp cream and stevia
1. 100g berries, 1 egg, 2 whites, spinach.
2. 100g sweet potato, 150g chicken
Pre Workout:
100g mixed berries
3. 1.5 cups cottage cheese, 1tsp flax, 3 florets of broccoli, one cube of pumpkin (that was my salad)
4. 150g chicken, 1tsp flax, broccoli, pumpkin, asparagus

Seated DB Lateral Raise 10lb/9, 5kg/7 x 3
Seated DB Press (descending) 10kg/7, 7.5kg/7, 5kg/7....10kg/7, 7.5kg/3+5kg/3, 4kg/7...10kg/7, 7.5kg/2+5kg/2+4kg/3, 4kg/3+3kg/4 (these were killer today, last week I did a lot better, and I was using the Lifewave Patches last week)
Tricep Pushdown 82.5lb/9 x 2, 80/9 x 2
DB Kickback 12.5lb/7 x 3
Standing Calf Raise 150/11 x 4
Seated Calf Raise 20kg/11 x 4
*Above 2 supersetted - I blasted last week's effort here...

Overall training - increased all except descending sets. Really blasted my tri's and calves. Felt pretty strong.

Session 4: walked into town 35 mins, then after solarium, and shopping! walked home, 35 mins.
So all cardio sessions for this week are done.

I didn't get a lot done today - my website is being changed over and I have had some email issues again. I have been back and forth with the web guy re web stuff a lot of the day.

I will do some reading tonight and maybe do some work as well. Can't believe we are off to Japan very soon. Tomorrow night we have lessons :)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Day 4 Sunday

Weight: 122.3lb

Session 2 A.M. Before Meal 1:Walk/jog - 45 mins. Walk 5 mins, then run 1min, walk 2mins for 40 mins.
Session 3 P.M. Walk - 45 mins

Food intake:
Coffee, milk, stevia
Meal 1: 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/3 cup rice flakes, 1 tsp honey, 2tsp sunflower seeds
Coffee, milk stevia
Meal 2: 1/2 avocado, 1 sardine, 1/2 cup cottage cheese mixed with 1tsp fig jam and 1tsp honey
Meal 3: 2 Tim Tams, 5 pork spare ribs
Meal 4: Out for dinner - shared Greek dips with pita, then an awesome salt & pepper squid dish with greek salad. 2 glasses of dry wine. 1 Peanut Butter Kit Kat.
Meal 5: Home at 1am - 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2tsp whey protein, 2 tsp cream, small piece of chicken and a Tim Tam. Ooops, this is not good.


Today is my day off dieting and training. The off day diet will tighten up as from this week! I will make a plan for my off day as I can't lose fat eating like I did above. I didn't sleep too well again last night, off and on, so feeling a bit sleepy today. I had a sleep from 2-4pm and my eyes still feel like they want to stay shut. Can't wait to talk to the doc so I can start my 'drugs'! I woke up with puffy eyes again this morning, seems every morning they are puffy.

Got quite a bit of work done today too, since I am it this week as Rae is busy preparing for her comp. So, must not get behind :) Need to write out my own new program this week though.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Day 3

Weight: 123.6lb

Interesting. Up again. It must be the cottage cheese - I had 2 tubs of it yesterday, and as you know it's full of sodium, and me being the salt freak I am, I add more course sea salt to it (and everything else). Another interesting thing, is that I woke up today with really puffy eyes. I also woke yesterday or day before with the same thing (can't remember which day it was!). This could be a thyroid thing, or maybe it's a reaction to cottage cheese, or, just the puffy bloat. Anyway, I will keep monitoring that. Today I won't have any cottage cheese and see how I wake up tomorrow.

One day next week I won't add salt to anything, but have some cottage cheese and see what the result is.

I have also been taking my body temperature every morning I wake up. It's consistently under 36.5 degrees. Another indication of low thyroid.

Training - no spot
Seated Row 75lb/7, 87.5/5 x 4
DB 1 Arm Row 45lb/9 x 3
DB Reverse Fly 10lb/9 x 3
Squat (includes bar weight) 30kg/9, 47.5kg/7 x 4
Leg Press 1 1/2's 120kg/9 x 3
Seated DB Curl 10kg/5, 12.5kg/5, 12.5kg/4 + 10kg/1, 12.5k/2 + 10kg/3 x 2
Wrist Curls to finish - 2 sets
Abs 3 sets of crunches on swiss ball

Food intake:
Pre training
coffee, 1tsp cream
1. 100g raspberries, 50g chicken
2. 100g chicken, 100g sweet potato
3. 1 egg, 2 whites, spinach
4. 150g tuna, lettuce, cucumber, decaf, 1tsp cream
5. 150g chicken, 2tsp flax oil, broccoli, brussels sprouts, pumpkin. 100g strawberries.
decaf, 1 tsp cream

Felt quite tired today. Did a great workout though, weights keep increasing, even when I think no way I can increase that next time. Had to have a sleep at 2pm, until 4pm - I didn't have a great sleep last night - woke up quite a few times throughout the night.

Going to get up and go for a run tomorrow, then a walk in the afternoon. Cardio day. It's also day 4 which means a day off the diet. Will keep it pretty clean, but we are going out for dinner somewhere.

I can really notice I have gained some upper body muscle, particularly shoulders and arms. When I drop some body fat it will be interesting to see the differences.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Day 2

Weight: 121.8
Told you I had some serious bloat going on there - drop of 3lb overnight.

Food intake:
1. 1 egg, 2 whites, spinach. 100g raspberries. Coffee with 1tsp cream and stevia
2. 150g chicken, 1tsp flax oil, 100g sweet potato
3. 250g cottage cheese, 1tsp flax oil, tomato
4. glass red wine, 250g cottage cheese, 1tsp flax, broccoli, brussels sprouts, pumpkin
I was supposed to have fruit as my pre training meal but I forgot. I'm not used to that, I usually just make sure I eat about an hour or two prior to training. I will have them later.
5. 250g strawberries
Before bed: 100g chicken

Incline Chest Press (includes bar weight) 25kg/7, 32.5kg/5 x 4
Flat BB Bench Press 80lb/7 x 3, 80/5 (could not push out any more and did not have a spot tonight)
DB Lunge 10kg/9 x 3
Standing DB Shoulder Press 10kg/7, 12.5kg/5, 12.5kg/4 (failed on 5), 12.5kg/3 + 10kg/2
Lying BB Triceps Extension 40lb/9 x 2, 45/7 x 2
Seated Calf Raise 15kg/11 x 4
*Above 2 exercises supersetted

Did 7 sets of abs following this and some posing.

Been to the bank this morning trying to get our finances arranged for the house and they neglected to tell us we needed to get CBA to release Damien's other loan so they can take it over and this will take 4-6 weeks!! HA! They have already started to build our house. Anyway, so since they neglected to tell us weeks ago at the start that this had to be done, we have decided to go to CBA and get the entire loan - save all the handover BS.

Going to do a bit of reading tonight I think.

Had a good day, feeling a bit tired now but a good tired. Just got some groceries to keep me going for the next few days. Might make some of my (well, Michelle's!) famous salsa later.

It's only 2 weeks until we head off to Japan, it's come around so quick! We have to go to Japanese etiquette lessons next week!

Got my new drugs today (thyroid)! But doc was meant to call me and didn't - I have some questions for him before I start on them.

Tomorrow I will be training in the morning, and doing some cardio (walk 45 mins) in the arvo.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Day 1

Weight 124.8.

Wow, that is scary. Especially as it's risen in the last few days and I have been good on the diet side. No doubt carrying some fluid due to my excessive salt intake. Anyway, that is my starting weight. I will do whatever else I need to re monitoring when I get the remainder of the course info.

Trained legs yesterday, and managed 47.5kg squats - 4 sets of 7, and no spot. Am getting there! I am nice and sore today in the legs even after a massage yesterday straight after training.


Squat 30kg/9, 47.5kg/7 x 4
Knee Extension 40lb/9 x 4
Supported Squat 4 sets of 9
*Above 2 supersetted
Supported Row (T Bar) 50lb/9 x 4

I didn't get time to finish the workout as I had a massage appointment. Missed Close Grip Pulldown and Seated DB Curls. I did a few sets of abs between sets. I really need to get a decent ab program going as I generally don't pay much attention to them. ie don't think I do enough. The workouts are long enough as it is though.

1 - This morning I went for a 45 min walk/jog. 5 minute warm up, then 40 mins of jogging for 1 min and walking for 2 mins. Dressed warm to sweat - hat and big woolly jumper :)

Food intake:

1. 1 egg, 2 whites, spinach. 100g mixed berries. Coffee with 1tsp cream.
2. 150g chicken, 100g sweet potato
Decaf coffee, with 1tsp cream.
3. 100g tuna in olive oil, drained, lettuce, capsicum
4. 150g chicken, 1tsp flax oil, broccoli and brussels sprouts (call me crazy but I love 'em!)
5. 150g strawberries, decaf coffee

They've started on our house!! We didn't even know, as we haven't even finalized our finance yet! Could not believe it when driving past our block of land and the loam is already down. They will be pouring the slab next week. How exciting! We have spent the last 2 days picking out house colours in at the builders. Highly confusing stuff.

K, off to do some R&R since I have been working the last 2 nights to make up for what I've missed in the day time!

There may be some interruptions to my site soon, as I am changing over web hosting companies. Should not be for too long though.


I posted the previous 2 posts on Adrenal Exhaustion and Underactive Thyroid, because that is what I am dealing with in my preparation for competition in 2006. I have been to an endocrinologist and am now on medication for both. I knew my symptoms (that I have had for YEARS, but now getting more and more frequent) were not normal. I refused to let them become 'normal' and have researched and studied up quite a bit. It has all taken so long, I've been having tests and visiting doctors since early this year.

I know there are certain people out there who don't think I have what it takes and that perhaps these health issues are all in my head!! However, those who do know me, will know that I will not be beaten - by illness or any naysayers :) It will definitely be an interesting journey.

This is the outline of my plan. I have decided to go this alone - well, with the help of a bodybuilding course that I will explain more about at a later date.

Just had this delivered to my inbox - how true:

"You must go after your wish. As soon as you start to pursue a dream, your life wakes up and everything has meaning."

Overview of program:

Training: 5 day program - 2 days on, 1 off
Cardio: 4 x week - 2 walk/jog (starting at 45 mins, jog/run 1 min/walk 2 mins) and 2 x 45 minute walk)

Vital Greens
Durathon x 2
Adrenal drops 30 drops and 9 drops per day total (30mg & 9mg)
Support Adrenals x 2
Hepol x 4
Support Liver x 6
Antioxidant x 4
3 Lac (Probiotic formula) x 1
Glutamine 5g
Extra Vit C 1g
Soon to be Tertroxine (T3 supplement)

That should be enough for the moment!

Rotation Diet: 3 days on, 1 day off

Meal 1:
1 egg, 2 egg whites, spinach, 100g berries or 250g strawberries

Meal 2:
100g sweet potato or small salad

150g chicken, turkey, fish, or 1 cup cottage cheese
1tsp flax oil

Meal 3:
150g tuna
lettuce plus cucumber or capsicum or 3tbsp fresh salsa
1tsp flax oil

Pre Training Snack:
100g mixed berries or 250g strawberries

Meal 4:
150g chicken, turkey or fish
Unlimited steamed fibrous vegetables
1tsp flax oil

2 x coffees per day (1 decaf) with 1tsp cream in each.

Underactive Thyroid

The thyroid gland is located in the lower part of the neck near your Adam's Apple. It secretes two essential thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine (T 3 ) and thyroxine (T 4 ) which are responsible for regulating cell metabolism in every cell in your body. They promote optimal growth, development, function and maintenance of all body tissues. They are also critical for nervous, skeletal and reproductive tissue as well as regulating body temperature, heart rate, body weight and cholesterol.

The normal thyroid gland secretes all of the circulating T 4 and about 20% of the circulating T 3 . Most of the biological activity of thyroid hormones is due to T 3 . It has a higher affinity for thyroid receptors and is approximately 4 - 10 times more potent than T 4 . Because 80% of serum T 3 is derived from T 4 in tissues such as the liver and kidney, T 4 is considered a prohormone. The ratio of circulating T 4 to T 3 is 4:1. The synthesis and secretion of the two thyroid hormones is influenced by a hormone released by the pituitary gland called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). The synthesis and release of TSH from the pituitary gland is influenced by thyroid hormone levels as well as a hormone released from the hypothalamus called thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH). The activity of the thyroid gland is regulated by a negative feedback loop, in which thyroid hormones interact with receptors in the pituitary gland to inhibit TSH and at the hypothalamus to inhibit TRH secretion.

Hypothyroidism is a condition resulting from insufficient production or diminished action of thyroid hormones. Hypothyroidism is characterized by a generalized reduction in metabolic function that most often manifests itself as slowing of physical and mental activity. The most common signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism are: weight gain, fatigue, lethargy, sleepiness, cold hands and/or feet, low body temperature, depression/anxiety, constipation, headache, menstrual problems, reduced sex drive, hair loss, swollen eye lids and general fluid retention, poor memory and concentration and dry skin, hair and/or nails.

“Wilson's Syndrome” is a disease state identified by Dr Denis Wilson that exhibits most hypothyroid symptoms although circulating levels of T 3 and T 4 are within normal limits. Conversion of T 4 to T 3 in the liver and cell-membrane receptor sites is impaired resulting with hypothyroid symptoms. Additionally periods of stress or starvation induce the conversion of T 4 into the inactive reverse T 3 . Reverse T 3 is a mirror image of T 3 and fits into the receptor upside down thus preventing the active T 3 binding to the receptor and activating the appropriate response. This condition may be treated with T 3 once adrenal exhaustion, hypoglycemia and/or low sex hormone levels have been ruled out and/or treated and reverse T 3 levels have been shown to outbalance normal T 3 by more than 10:1 (more information available on request).

Thyroid problems may be triggered by any of the following factors:
Genetics may be the most common cause of thyroid problems.

Low-Calorie Dieting
Within hours of restricting calories the thyroid will slow down and remain slow until the restriction is lifted. The slow down of calorie burning results in the familiar post-diet rebound weight gain.

Hormonal Events
Hormonal events such as pregnancy and menopause can often trigger thyroid problems. During periods of estrogen dominance the thyroid gland function may be suppressed reducing the secretion of thyroid hormones. Sometimes however menopausal women may appear with hypothyroid symptoms even though their thyroid hormone levels are found to be normal. Dr John Lee has found that in these cases estrogen dominance occurs which he hypothesized blocks the action of thyroid hormones, possibly by competing with thyroid hormone receptors, thus rendering the hormones ineffective.

Adrenal Gland Malfunction
If the adrenals become overactive during periods of chronic stress the thyroid gland tries to compensate by slowing down resulting with a stressed, tired but wired sensation that will not go away (see Adrenal Exhaustion). In addition, an exhausted adrenal gland produces less cortisone, a powerful natural anti-inflammatory that tames the inflammatory and allergic responses of your immune system. This may result with an inflamed thyroid gland thus decreasing thyroid hormone secretion which may eventually further stress the adrenal gland to compensate for low thyroid levels.

Hashimoto's Auto-Immune Thyroiditis is a complex thyroid affliction where the bodies overactive immune system attacks the thyroid gland.

A lack of Selenium and/or Iodine can adversely affect thyroid hormone production

Thyroid function may diminish with age.

Physical Injury or Illness
Both reduce thyroid function.

Drug Use
Estrogens, lithium, heavy metals such as mercury, sulfur drugs and anti-diabetic drugs are all well known thyroid inhibitors.

Physicians routinely require blood analysis when diagnosing hypothyroidism. The most common test is the TSH test. Hypothyroid state may first manifest itself with elevated TSH levels. This is because as thyroid hormone levels begin to decrease, a compensatory increase in TSH secretion occurs, thus maintaining T 3 and T 4 levels. As thyroid failure progresses the level of thyroid hormones continue to decrease despite further increases in TSH. In practice the TSH test is not the most accurate indicator of thyroid problems and is considered by several experts as a scientifically outdated method of diagnosis.

Many patients go undiagnosed as their TSH levels are in the normal range failing to reflect the true state of thyroid affairs. For a more accurate method of diagnosis you should ask your doctor to order the following blood tests as a more accurate assessment of thyroid function can be made: TSH, T4, T3, reverse T3, anti-thyroglobulin and anti-microsomal antibodies. T 3 and T 4 levels should be within the normal physiological range while the anti-thyroglobulin and anti-microsomal antibody tests determine if the immune system has waged battle on the thyroid gland causing thyroiditis.

Another simple test can also be performed in order to test thyroid function. By measuring your underarm temperature first thing in the morning before getting out of bed can indicate a sluggish thyroid. If your underarm temperature is consistently subnormal (below 36.5 o C) for 3 days or more your thyroid function is probably low. An integrated approach should be taken when diagnosing hypothyroidism making use of all the diagnostic tools as well as using signs and symptoms of low thyroid function. If doctors rely totally on the TSH test without considering signs and symptoms, which has become common practice, then many patients with a sluggish thyroid go undetected and are therefore not treated appropriately.

If the thyroid is under active then usually the adrenal glands get overworked and run down while trying to compensate for the low thyroid hormone levels. If you tend to be jittery on thyroid medication or if you are generally overly alert at night, have rapid mood swings, have sugar or salt cravings, feel tired all the time, have dark circles under your eyes and are easily stressed then your adrenal glands may also need help. By having your DHEA and cortisol levels tested an assessment of your adrenal function can also be made. If it too is under active it will also require a little help in the form of supplemented DHEA and possibly pregnenolone/cortisol (see adrenal exhaustion for more details). By addressing all hormones that are out of balance ensures a more complete healing instead of addressing only one or two of them. Remember all of our endocrine glands are intimately connected and if one hormone is out of balance a cascade effect can occur which will throw them all out if left untreated.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Adrenal Exhaustion

What is it?

Adrenal exhaustion is a 21st century stress syndrome. It has been estimated that 80% of adults suffer some sort of adrenal fatigue however it is one of the most under diagnosed illnesses in western society. Adrenal fatigue, also known as hypoadrenia, non-Addison's hypoadrenia and in its most severe form Addison's disease, is a deficiency in the function of the adrenal glands.
The most common signs of adrenal fatigue include: continued fatigue, trouble getting out of bed, sugar and/or salt cravings, lack of energy, increased effort to do everyday tasks, decreased sex drive, decreased ability to handle stress, light headed when standing up, more prone to colds and flu, depression, poor memory and less tolerance. As a result of decreased adrenal hormones people with adrenal fatigue frequently also have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), allergies, arthritic pain and low immune response. Women with it also have increased difficulty with PMS and menopause.

Adrenal fatigue can be caused by: stress whether it be physical, emotional or psychological, lack of sleep, overexertion, poor diet, alcohol, smoking, caffeine, too much sugar, allergies, infections, toxins, fear, marital stress, problems at work, death of a loved one, illness, accidents, negative attitudes, drugs, etc.

Unfortunately modern medicine does not recognise adrenal exhaustion as a distinct syndrome, only recognising the most severe form being Addison's disease. The attitude of the medical profession to ignore this disease results in many unnecessary health problems for many sufferers. Adrenal fatigue syndrome is a fully recognisable condition which can be alleviated with natural hormones and safe substances. The first step is to find a sympathetic doctor who will order the necessary blood/saliva tests in order to properly diagnose this condition. This may prove to be very difficult!

A normal functioning adrenal gland produces a whole array of hormones but of particular interest is cortisol. Cortisol is responsible for maintaining normal blood sugar levels, it immobilises fat and protein stores for more energy, it is a anti-inflammatory, controls and modifies most blood cells that participate in immune and/or inflammatory reations, effects blood vessels and therefore blood pressure, and electrolyte levels in the heart tissue, heart beat, as well as influencing the central nervous system controlling mood and behaviour. During later stage adrenal exhaustion cortisol levels diminish and without it these mechanisms cannot react adequately thus maintaining your body under stress becomes nearly impossible.

During periods of stress the adrenal gland initially increase the production of cortisol to cope with the stress. In response to high cortisol levels the thyroid gland secretes less thyroid hormones in an attempt to reverse the adrenal overdrive. This low thyroid production can make us feel tired and heavy as our metabolic rate slows down. When your adrenals finally become exhausted and cortisol levels decline there is less suppression of inflammation and allergy response which may result with an inflamed thyroid gland thus decreasing thyroid hormone secretion even further resulting with hypothyroidism. Eventually this will place further stress the adrenal gland.

It is obvious that adrenal exhaustion can be devastating to your overall hormonal health. It causes diminished cortisol and DHEA levels which adversely effects thyroid and sex hormone levels. Without appropriate treatment the adverse hormonal cascade effect will be amplified resulting in very poor health. In order to effectively treat adrenal exhaustion it is essential to determine at which stage of the condition you are at. There are three stages of adrenal exhaustion which include:

Stage 1
The first stage, which is called hyper-adrenalism, is characterised by abnormally high cortisol levels and subnormal DHEA levels. With the high cortisol levels you may still have energy, perhaps too much, and you may not be sleeping well or restfully. You may be losing muscle mass because cortisol cannibalises muscle for energy resulting in weakness. It may also cause moon face and weight gain around the trunk as well as fluid retention and glucose intolerance. Cortisol decreases serotonin levels which may cause depression, it also decreases melatonin levels which adds to poor sleep. It is also immunosuppressive which may result in frequent infections and illness.

Stage 2
Stage 2 is where cortisol supplies have finally run low but have not run out yet. For a year or so cortisol and DHEA will hover in the low-normal range leaving you feeling tired and stressed, but functional.

Stage 3 - This is where I'm at:

Stage 3 is where cortisol and DHEA levels are low for most of the day leaving you with low energy levels. Common signs and symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include: inability to tolerate exercise, depression, dark circles under the eyes, lack of mental alertness, headaches, oedema, salt and/or sugar cravings, feeling tired all the time, mentally and emotionally overstressed, light headedness, heartburn, low blood pressure, recurrent infections and trouble sleeping.
In order to diagnose adrenal exhaustion and determine which stage you are at involves measuring your levels of cortisol and DHEA. As described above low adrenal function may also disrupt thyroid hormones (T 3 /T 4 ) and the sex hormones estradiol, progesterone and testosterone.