I had a follow-up appointment with my family doctor today. My other lab results were in. My anti-thyroid antibody levels are normal and the anti-nuclear antibodies test was negative.
I declined medication to lower my TSH for now and got my doctor’s approval to try to lower that with exercise and acupuncture for now. I will be ramping up an aggressive exercise routine for this purpose. I wanted to start tonight but it wasn’t meant to be so I will start tomorrow morning and work out hard at least 4-5 times per week. This is based on advice from Dr. Gratitude, who herself had to right some crazy TSH levels at one point.
I learned at my doctor appointment today that getting in to see an immunologist (allergist specifically) will take one to two years. Yes, I said YEARS. There is a shortage of them where we live and because they spend considerable time with each patient during the diagnostic phase they see fewer patients than other physicians so the waits are very long.
Allergists are the only folks who can do patch testing, which has the highest accuracy. And since my allergy immunoglobulin levels are very high (940 when the should be under 120), it would be nice to know to what I am allergic so I may avoid or limit exposure if possible. As a compromise my family doc has ordered RAST food and inhalant panel testing (blood tests) after I undergo an aggressive steroid treatment over the next 21 days – see below.
I elected the aggressive protocol over two other options that would have had me take over-the-counter antihistamines for a month and if ineffective then steroids or low dose steroids on an ongoing basis, for two months and then a break then another course of two months if necessary or a high dose for a week then tapered off. The aggressive protocol has me taking 60 mg of Prednisone for 7 days then 3 days each of 50, 40, 30, 20 and 10 for a total period of 21 days. Then we retest my TSH as well as T3, T4 and IgE levels. Then we wait a month and do the RAST and gluten testing as well as repeating the same thyroid and immunoglobulin levels.
I am not thrilled to be taking so much Prednisone. But I chose this because I am noticing my body become more and more reactive to all kinds of allergens – my mouth itches and is rough inside almost constantly now even though I’m on an anti-inflammation diet. And I chose it because I hope it will reset my immune system and reduce the high levels of inflammation in my body that I am sure played a role in the most recent pregnancy loss and probably several others.
And ultimately I chose this aggressive approach because now is as good a time as any to run this experiment and pray for relief and a new start down the road. I have to start somewhere. And it’s go big or go home time.
Please wish me luck, friends. I may need it.