Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thyroid Update: My Energy Levels

By Diana Hsieh

As my regular readers know, I've been able to beat back the worst of my hypothyroid symptoms in recent months, largely thanks to desiccated thyroid and iodine. Happily, I'm still improving with each passing week! So I wanted to post an update on my ever-better energy levels and conditioning.

When I was in the nasty depths of my hypothyroidism in December and January, I was completely sedentary. I was so lethargic that I couldn't possibly lift weights or otherwise workout. So I stopped. I couldn't even manage to walk down the driveway -- or walk across the room -- without being tired. So I did as little of that as possible too.

When my worst symptoms cleared in early February, I was horrified to discover just how much conditioning I'd lost in those months. I'd be sore for days with light weightlifting that would have been nothing more than a warm-up before. Over the past few months, I've been slowly pushing myself to do more, and I've definitely made some progress. Mostly, I've been weightlifting, plus rowing one or two mile sprints.

Happily, I enjoyed a kind of milestone in the first weekend in April. On a gorgeous day, I went for a hike with some friends from Front Range Objectivism that turned out to be eight strenuous miles over four hours, with about 1600 feet of total ascent, including through some snow. On one portion of the trail, I'd routinely fall through the snow up to my knees or deeper -- while I was wearing my Vibram Sprints. (Hooray! It was an adventure!)

Amazingly, I didn't suffer any crash or decline in energy. I was raring to go the whole time, and even at the very end, the limiting factor was that my feet and knees were aching a bit, not my energy levels. That's good in itself -- and even better that I didn't eat anything while on the trail. I'd had a breakfast of eggs and sausage some hours before the hike started, but I didn't eat any of the snacks I brought. In contrast, when I was seriously hypothyroid, I would crash and burn if I didn't eat every four hours or so.

I remember too clearly the feeling of complete exhaustion at the mere thought of walking upstairs -- and wondering whether I'd ever be myself again. So I'm really quite pleased to be discovering life after hypothyroidism!

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