A year ago over the summer I developed hyperthyroidism, losing about 7 pounds a week, had a lot of energy and was getting tons of projects done. At first I thought, whoo hoo!…but I was sleeping a lot less, I was burning up, taking three freezing cold showers a day. And by the 3rd week, I was getting palpitations. It felt like my heart was going to burst out of my body, like I was having a heart attack, and I knew I was in trouble. I went to an endocrinologist, who found that my antibodies were attacking my hyperthyroid. Because everything was elevated (my body was in total overdrive), my doctor told me that if I wasn’t taken care of quickly, I could have a stroke very easily. This all happened within a month.
I took the choice of having radioactive iodine treatment to destroy the hyperactivity of my thyroid. I wasn’t happy about it, but I did it. It worked, and after about 6 weeks, they started me on Synthroid to equalize my thyroid by synthetically replacing the destroyed thyroid. This went on for a year. Meanwhile, I still had alarming symptoms: either burning up, or really cold, either really tired or feeling manic. Plus, my period cycle! I’m fifty four, and I’d have bleeding for two months at a time, then none for a few months. My gynecologist tested my hormones, gave me a sonogram and invasive tests, but assured me I was in no way near menopause.
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I knew it was related to my thyroid issues. After a year, the doctors were still telling me my thyroid was still not balanced. So I went online and found Melani, and I liked the way she described herself. The doctors had been treating just the thyroid, and I wanted to be treated as a whole person for who I am. Melani did that. I believe that relating the Yin and Yang and treating the whole body instead of just a part is important. She took a lot of information at my first session – she tried to get to know me as an individual. She assessed that I am a hyperthyroid person to begin with, or a Yang type of person, according to Chinese medicine. Melani took into account my body as it was before this thyroid imbalance, and helped me balance out naturally, rather than relying solely on medication I’d been receiving from the doctors.
Melani treated me about 6-7 times over about 6 weeks. I wasn’t unfamiliar with Acupuncture – it had helped keep me off painkillers when I was healing from inflamed ligaments previously. During my treatments I felt like I was up in a cloud for an hour – it’s the most wonderful feeling! And acupuncture doesn’t hurt – there’s nothing to be afraid of! I believe that being receptive to what acupuncture can do is very important: I let acupuncture embrace me as I closed my eyes and let my mind wander– I believed it would work, and it did. I have been going back to the doctor for blood tests every 6-8 weeks for year, and the last test I had, my T3 and T4 levels were completely balanced out! The Synthroid had been at the same level for several months, so I felt it was unlikely that it had been the drug that did the job.
I’ll have to take Synthroid for the rest of my life, but I will use acupuncture as maintenance for my health by seeing Melani for regular visits throughout the year. I’m no longer burning up, freezing cold, and I got my period for the first time in four months – it was totally normal, the way it’s been since I was 12 years old. My metabolism is starting to get into a much better place, too.
Women should know that they have choices out there. I was scared before I made the decision to see Melani, I am glad I found her! I was in denial of my hyperthyroidism because of the weight loss – I’d always had trouble with my weight, so I put off getting treatment until it became necessary to get treatment that involved radiation. Perhaps if I’d explored acupuncture earlier, I could have avoided that. Women should be aware when something is out of the ordinary with their bodies and behaviors – even if it seems to be good! When something is out of whack, it’s out of whack, and balance is necessary. Having someone like Melani to assess your health and body as a whole might be the way to prevent health problems, or to treat your issues more effectively. I want other women to know that they can recognize the symptoms of imbalance in their bodies and don’t have to wait until it’s too late, or they feel like they are having a heart attack. -Carol