Prednisone and the Thyroid

There is a good chance that at some point you may be put on Prednisone for something. If you also have asthma or lung issues the chance goes up even further. Drugs.com defines Prednisone as ” a corticosteroid. It prevents the release of substances in the body that cause inflammation. It also suppresses the immune system. Prednisone is used as an anti-inflammatory or an immunosuppressant medication. Prednisone treats many different conditions such as allergic disorders, skin conditions, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, or breathing disorders.”

A lot of people who have thyroid conditions also have autoimmune issues that go along with the thyroid such as Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease. As a lot of you know, once you get one autoimmune disease, it’s easier to acquire other autoimmune diseases, like asthma, arthritis, etc. and a key ingredient in a lot of autoimmune diseases is inflammation. Prednisone is a great drug for helping with the inflammatory conditions, for someone with asthma especially, it can be a life saver,  in helping restore clear breathing back to the lungs, or reducing inflammation. It can also help heal inflammation which can help many injuries heal faster.  Since it does suppresses your immune system to some degree, you need to keep  that also in mind while on the medication. You will need to avoid people with contagious diseases even more than normal to avoid becoming ill.  This is usually mentioned by most doctors when they prescribe prednisone. What they do not always mention, or even know to mention is how it will affect your thyroid levels and other health.

First you have the problem of the prednisone itself. The side effects of prednisone are long and lengthy. A lot of the side effects mimic hyperthyroidism, such as  increased appetite, sleep issues, irritability, anxiety, blood pressure rising and more. This can make you feel like all the sudden your body is going into over drive. The worst part is that sometimes these side effects can last days or even weeks in your system after you stop taking prednisone. Along with the side effects, prednisone being a corticosteroid can make conversion of T4 to T3 (the form of thyroid hormone that your body more readily can use) much more difficult and even suppress it when you are on high enough amounts. This will actually send your thyroid levels DOWN towards more hypo. A good endocrinologist will know that testing your thyroid levels too soon after or during a round of prednisone will drastically affect your numbers. This will ALSO make you feel off. What you can end up with, is the prednisone making you feel like your system is in over drive, but actually driving down your available thyroid hormone that your body can use. My own endocrinologist will generally test me about 4 weeks after I finish a round of prednisone to see where my lab tests actually end up, as they tend to bounce back after I’ve been off the medicine for a few weeks.

Besides the thyroid levels, prednisone can also change your adrenal tests as one of the main components of your adrenals is cortisol, related to prednisone. So if you have labs to test adrenals, you may also want to wait a few weeks after you finish prednisone to get a more accurate result and separate out what your body is doing versus what the prednisone has affected. The Mayo Clinic talks about how prednisone works with your adrenals as well. One of the things prednisone is also used to treat is Addison’s disease, which happens when your adrenal glands do not produce enough steroids on their own. The body is a wonderful thing and has such a delicate balancing act to keep itself running well. Yes, there are definite risks and disadvantages of taking prednisone when you have thyroid disease, but you should also weigh the benefits of this therapy if your doctor has prescribed it. Myself, I have asthma as well as thyroid disease, and there have been many times that this has been the only thing that has gotten me back to breathing easier again. Each time my doctor suggestions prednisone in my life, I have to see if anything else will help, if not, it is a wonderful thing, even with the side effects to be able to breathe and to have less inflammation.

Obviously this is just a general overview and in no way everything you need to know about taking prednisone while having thyroid disease, but hopefully this will give you a good start on what to ask your doctor and what to keep in mind as you are on this therapy. I wish you the best of health!

 

Addition: October 2015

Another thing to keep in mind on prednisone, is that if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, it can cause your blood sugars to rise while on steroids of any kind. So if you go to your doctor and your blood sugars have rising and nothing has changed but prednisone being added, that is most likely your answer.

 

Follow Britney on twitter @BttrflyBritney, or check her out on her pages on http://www.WarriorButterflies.com or as main blogger on http://www.butterflynationproject.org

Sources:
http://www.drugs.com http://www.drugs.com/sfx/prednisone-side-effects.html and http://www.drugs.com/prednisone.html

Mayo Clinic website http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/addisons-disease/basics/definition/con-20021340

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Salt: Part 2, Iodized Salt & Iodine Affect on Thyroid Health

Back to Salt Part 1

When you have thyroid issues of any kind, it’s important to know some of the facts out there about iodized salt, or salt with added iodine in it. There is a lot of information out there about iodized salt and iodine specifically and the thyroid, hopefully this will help sort some of it out for you.

Iodine is one of those important nutrients that the body needs. The primary use is to help the thyroid produce thyroid hormones. If you still have a working thyroid, then chances are you need to have some iodine in your body to make these important hormones. There is a lot of confusion out there about whether you need to add iodine, if it’s safe for you to take iodized salt or eat foods with high amounts of iodine in them. Let’s take a look at the different sides of this question.

Iodine deficiency. One side of the issue is iodine deficiency. This is a serious problem that was the reason iodine was added to table salt in the first place. Now people are watching their sodium intake and aren’t eating as much iodized salt, so some people aren’t getting enough iodine in their diet. Plus recent studies have shown that when iodized salt was analyzed it didn’t have enough iodine added to help someone keep up healthy levels of iodine. Iodine deficiency is rising in developed countries now. Iodine is a rare element found in nature, it’s almost never found in the soil, but it is however abundant in the ocean. This is why you will find most seafood and shellfish high in iodine, but other foods people eat low or no iodine content. This is one of the reasons that iodine was added to salt in the beginning. Iodine deficiency can lead to many problems. One of the most common is developing a goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland.
According to Life Extension Magazine article The Silent Epidemic of Iodine Deficiency, ” …  iodine deficiency’s profound impact on overall health. … discover iodine’s vital role in thyroid function and its link to obesity, cognitive impairment, heart disease, psychiatric disorders, and various forms of cancer. “ Link

Iodine Excess. On the other side of the issue is people who are getting too MUCH iodine in their bodies.  Studies are recognizing that an excess of iodine can trigger autoimmune thyroid disease, such as Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s, worsening their attack on the body.
Dr. Teng in a New England Journal study,  found that giving iodine supplements to people with enough iodine in their system could lead to hypothyroid autoimmune disease. Also, since iodine helps the thyroid produce thyroid hormones, too much iodine, especially in the circumstances of Graves disease and hyperthyroidism, can add fuel to the fire, helping the body produce too much thyroid hormone and leading to iodine-induced hyperthyroidism. There is also some evidence that iodine can help autoimmune thyroid disease produce more antibodies with which to attack the body.

There is also a set of people who have found that iodine supplementation is helpful for their thyroid condition. If you are going to add iodine supplementation, please make sure you do so under a qualified medical professional who will be monitoring your iodine levels. Watch yourself for signs that your thyroid levels are spiking up too high or falling too low as well. Use common sense if following this path.

Basically, everyone needs some iodine, but not too much. If you are eating adequate levels of iodized salt, seafood or other iodine rich foods, the odds are good that you should NOT supplement iodine. If you have autoimmune disease like Hashimoto’s or Graves’ disease, use caution in eating foods with added iodine. If your antibodies are high or you are severely hyperthyroid, you may want to cut back on the amount of iodine containing foods you are eating to prevent matters from becoming worse. Your doctor can test the amount of iodine in your system if you suspect you need to consume less or add more to your diet. This is one of the best ways to find out if you should be consuming more iodine foods such as iodized salt.

Confused by all the information that’s out there on iodine, especially in salt form? That is understandable. There are still many tests being run on iodine and the body and it seems that there is definitely not a one sized fits all recommendation on this rather controversial element. The consensus in the middle is that everyone needs some to prevent iodine deficiency, but you have to be careful not to have too much. If you have autoimmune disease of the thyroid, then you have to be even more careful. Ask your doctor or other health professional for their opinion, and research, research, research to help you figure out what may be right for you. Good luck in your journey to better thyroid health!

Catch Britney on twitter @BttrflyBritney, or online at http://www.WarriorButterflies.com or at ButterflyNationProject.org, two great thyroid resource pages

Sources:

Teng, Weiping M.D., et. al. “Effect of Iodine Intake on Thyroid Diseases in China” New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 354:2783-2793, June 29, 2006, Number 26Abstract

Utiger, Robert D. M.D. “Iodine Nutrition – More Is Better,” New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 354:2819-2821, June 29, 2006, Number 26o

Piccone, Nancy. “The Silent Epidemic of Iodine Deficiency” Life Extension Magazine, October 2011 http://www.lef.org/Magazine/2011/10/The-Silent-Epidemic-of-Iodine-Deficiency

, “Iodine and Hyperthyroidism”, Global Healing Center website:  http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/iodine-and-hyperthyroidism/, February 25,2015

Salt: Part 1, I am Craving Salt, Why?

Everyone knows that too much sodium can affect the body in a negative way. High blood pressure, heart issues, water retention, none of which are good for the body. So when you start craving salt, should you always assume it’s just an “addiction” to salty foods?

Turns out, there are multiple reasons other than just loving salty foods that could be causing your craving, and it probably won’t hurt to get them checked out if the salt cravings go on more than a day or two. If you’ve been working out a lot, sweating much it can cause your body to lose electrolytes and other things the body needs,  including sodium and that can be one cause of craving salt, especially if it’s just after a workout, you may just need a little boost. If the salt cravings go on constantly and after your workouts are over, then it’s time to look at other possible reasons.

  • Your body needs other minerals that are in with more natural forms of salt, such as sea salt. In sea salt for instance, since it’s not heavily processed like table salt, it contains trace amounts of sodium, chloride, calcium,potassium,  sulfur and magnesium. It’s possible that your body wants salt to replenish one or more of these trace minerals, disguised as a craving for salt. Calcium and magnesium play essential roles in  your body, helping with heart and muscle function for instance. Chloride helps with muscle and nerve function and sodium helps with blood volume among other things. Potassium works with chloride to provide the right level of acidity in  your body, in it’s list of duties. Sulfur helps with detoxification and boosts your immune function. So if you are craving salt, it might be time to get your mineral levels tested as it might be your body’s way of telling you about a deficiency.
  • Next thing is it might be your body’s way of dealing with hypothyroidism. When you are hypothyroid, the body is unable to absorb both sodium and magnesium as well as when your thyroid levels are normal. Craving salt is the body’s way of telling you that your thyroid levels may be too low. So your body is saying it needs more of those minerals. When you comply by eating more salty foods, consuming more sodium increases the production of a hormone called Aldosterone. Aldosterone helps stem the loss of magnesium in the body, and helps to regulate your sodium levels in the body. When you have low levels of Aldosterone, it sends a signal to the kidneys to release more salt, causing an increase in urination and increase in thirst. This can also cause a person to have their blood pressure lowered to the point of dizziness or even fainting.
  •  A third major reason you are craving salt is diminished adrenal production. Salt and sugar cravings are one of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue/exhaustion. Many people with thyroid issues also will show signs of adrenal problems. When the adrenals start increasing hormonal secretion, thyroid hormones are then limited. Too much adrenaline is thought to feature in the production of reverse T3, which is the body’s way of stopping the body from making and using T3 thyroid hormones. If you have these other symptoms, get yourself checked out for adrenal fatigue, the best tests are the salivary tests, not the blood tests available. Symptoms to watch out for include: anxiety, energy crashes at different points during the day, poor appetite in the morning, sugar and salt cravings, trembling, waking up in the middle of the night frequently, unable to tolerate loud noises, frequent infections like colds and more. Check out here for more information!

Part 2, will be about how iodine in salt and other foods is thought to affect people with thyroid disease.

 

Go to Salt: Part 2, Iodized Salt and Iodine Affect on Thyroid Health

Check out Britney on twitter @BttrflyBritney. Also check out these resources.

www.WarriorButterflies.com and www.butterflynationproject.org

Tales from the Graves’ book:Thyroid patient stories

“I felt so alone and uninformed when I was diagnosed…I don’t want other people to feel that way.” – Ashli S., Graves’ sufferer

If there is any statement that sums up the purpose of “Tales from the Graves’”, this is it. So little is known publicly about this autoimmune disorder, and the disruption it can cause on the lives of everyday people. When it’s diagnosed, it’s a scary, amorphous unknown specter with an ominous name that implies going to the grave. There are made-for-TV movies for cancer and AIDS, and telethons for muscular dystrophy, so the public is well-aware of these inflictions – not so for autoimmune disorders.

According to Medscape in December 2013–a web resource for physicians and other health professionals–Graves’ Disease affects up to two percent of the female population, sometimes appears after childbirth, and has a female:male incidence of 7:1 to 8:1. It occurs most often in middle age (most commonly in the third to fifth decades of life), but is not uncommon in adolescents, during pregnancy, during menopause, or in people over age fifty. There is a marked family preponderance, which has led to speculation that there may be a genetic component. Graves’ currently affects approximately two hundred million people worldwide, three million in the United States alone. In other words, it’s very likely that a great number of people are impacted directly by this disorder (or related disorders, such as Hashimoto’s Disease, Thyroid Storm or the Thyroid Eye Disease), or through friends and family, that would be interested in this material.

Britney Robinson—co-author of this work, through suffering from Graves’ Disease for over 13 years now, has taken great pains to learn everything about this disorder in an effort to minimize its impact on her life and general well-being. In doing so, she joined a support group on Facebook for others to share their experiences–when she joined there were about fifty members. Within a year, that number has blossomed to over a thousand with more people asking to join daily. When she proposed compiling anecdotes into a book, over one hundred and twenty of these members jumped at the chance to share their stories in the hopes of telling others that they are not alone. Realizing the potential of this book to blossom into a huge project, Britney enlisted the aid of her husband, Ray Robinson. Ray is an experienced writer, having put together stories for multiple newspapers and blogs over his career.

This guide will begin with a basic description of Graves’ Disease itself–its origins, signs and symptoms, and diagnosis. Many of the contributors will give their own experiences in what first clued them or their doctors in. You will hear, straight from their own words, their advice on pursuing a diagnosis, finding a doctor that actually knows what Graves’ is (it’s more difficult than you would think!), and the tests they experienced to achieve the correct diagnosis. Special attention will be paid to treatment methods people have attempted (with varying degrees of success), how to stay positive in the midst of a complete life upheaval, and dealing with some of the more noticeable traits–such Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) that can occur in those suffering.

The truly moving draw of this material comes from reading the stories directly from people dealing with, suffering through, and overcoming this disorder. Many don’t mince words–since this is a harsh disease, you will get a real feel for the emotions they pour out. And never the same story twice! You will read REAL tales of lives turned upside down, friends lost and gained, frustration and elation, despair, fear, anxiety and jubilation.

“Tales from the Graves'” is an excellent guide for not only those suffering from thyroid diseases, but for their friends and family to gain understanding, and learn what they can do or say to help.

I am truly proud to have been privileged to hear so many stories from other thyroid patients, I hope I have done justice to their trust, and can help many others see a glimpse into our lives. Thank you to all of them and to my husband Ray Robinson for his help in compiling and writing this book.

Available for Pre-order from now until March 30, 2015, then available for purchase on Kindle platform. Get your copy here!

Thyroid Related Projects You Can Help Support

There are a number of projects out there that are focused on either thyroid advocacy, patient financial help, information to help a thyroid patient, and even support groups. I wanted to share some I think should be spotlighted if you want to learn, and/or help these causes out.

First one is a lady with Graves’ disease who is doing a documentary about her struggle with thyroid disease, chronic illness and the often corrupt medical establishment that has prevented her from getting the care she has needed at times. Maggie Hadleigh-West from her website “has been internationally recognized as an activist, independent filmmaker, public speaker and the founder of the corporation, Film Fatale. She has been writing, directing and producing in film and television since 1991.”

Check out her kickstarter campaign to find out their goals and how you can help get this film off the ground.  Also here is a short video of the trailer for “Sick To Death”
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/827276483/sick-to-death/widget/video.html

Another cause is a new project called Butterfly Nation Project. “Butterfly Nation Project is a patient helping patient group, bringing awareness, advocacy and support.” They are excited to have received their 501 (3) c status and are about to launch their website. This is a brand new thyroid advocacy and financial help group that is working to help raise funds to alleviate financial problems of thyroid sufferers, as thyroid disease is usually a chronic, lifelong condition for most people. I first started working with the founder Gina Lopes several years ago in her Facebook support group for Graves’ disease. Over several years she grew the group to over 3,000 members and it is now one of the most well known Graves’ disease support groups. She and several others with Graves disease have seen the need for help with medication, thyroid procedures, doctor visits that people with thyroid disease struggle with and is now trying to make a difference. I was just asked to be a board member so I could help share the group’s mission and bring awareness of this good cause.
You can find out more about Butterfly Nation Project at their open Facebook group Butterfly Nation Project or on Twitter at @ButtrflyNatProj to keep updated on their progress. If you would like to make a donation, even a dollar would help them to help other thyroid patients.  If you would like to send a donation you can either mail it to Butterflly Nation Project P.O. Box 667 Fountain, CO 80817 or via pay pal ButterflyNationProject@yahoo.com. They also have a CafePress online store, in case you would like to help support them while obtaining thyroid related merchandise for yourself at http://www.cafepress.com/butterflynationproject.
There is another group that is near and dear to my heart. Warrior Butterflies. After spending time listening and helping people online in Facebook support groups, and talking to people from all over the world who have been dealing with thyroid disease, I decided to join forces with a wonderful group of women and try to build a website where a person with thyroid disease could go and get diverse information to help them deal with their condition. Since thyroid disease is not a one size fits all issue, many different approaches can help people. Our group’s goal is to seek out reputable information in diet, therapy, scientific information and general support to help people find what works for themselves. To further this we have created the website http://www.WarriorButterflies.com. We have created a place for people to recommend good thyroid health care resources, a place for healthy recipes for different dietary needs, a place to list and read about local thyroid related events, local thyroid support groups and many other resources that may help someone deal with their thyroid disease.

Our group consists of myself (Graves’ disease, leader of Thyroid Tribe Support Group), Audra Stevenson (thyroid cancer survivor and very knowledgeable of vitamins and supplements), Jackie Bacom Stone (Graves’ and Hashimoto’s disease with Celiacs), and Penny Jenson (Hashimoto’s disease and leader of Hashimoto’s Social Butterflies support group). Together our diverse situations and backgrounds have allowed us to create a gradually evolving website with many different thyroid related resources. We are currently looking for people’s recommendations on any health care provider who has helped them in their thyroid journey including mental health counselors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, endocrinologists etc. within the US, Canada or Australia. We also welcome submissions of local thyroid related events, or webinars for people to learn more. Local thyroid support groups are also welcome to submit their information for others to see, and finally any healthy recipes they have tested are welcome for submission as well. A fee is never charged to add an event, recipe, doctor, etc to the website. You can send submissions to Info@WarriorButterflies.com and you can check out our website http://www.WarriorButterflies.com or follow us on Twitter @WarriorBtrflies.

Several really good Facebook Support groups are also out there if you need to talk to others in your situation:
Thyroid Tribe (Closed General Thyroid support group-small and informal)
Hashimoto’s Social Butterflies (Closed Thyroid support group)
Graves’ Disease, what everyone should know(Closed Graves’ disease only support group, 3k members)

If you know of any thyroid related projects going on that need recognition, please comment or send to me, and I’ll see about getting the word out.

Tips for dealing with Brain Fog Days


A lot of us with thyroid disease and chronic illness get the dreaded Brain Fog days. Where you can’t think as well as you know you should, and you have problems remembering things. Dealing with this mental fog and trying to make sure things that are important are not forgotten, is a constant battle for some of us. If you are one of those people like me who have this hit suddenly and without warning and live in fear of forgetting important things, you are welcome to borrow some of the things I do to combat this.

  1. Sticky Notes. I have sticky notes everywhere. In my purse, in my car, on my desk at home. When someone gives me information I need to remember, I first write it on a sticky note. Writing things down sometimes gives me an edge in remembering. If it’s something I need to remember for a few minutes, then that is sufficient usually to help keep it in my brain long enough to act on it. If not, I go to the next step.
  2. Transcribe what’s on my sticky note onto my notes folder on my computer. I keep a notes file open on my computer that I can add to. Things I need to remember. Schedules of medications if I have new ones temporarily added to the mix, or remembering what I have planned for meals on a certain night, that sort of thing. When I’m done with that info, I go and erase it.
  3. I also keep a file with a copy of all recent labs I’ve had done, my medications and dosages at the time and any new symptoms and when they have started. This helps me keep track of how I am doing physically and mentally and track whether my thyroid levels or other things are going off kilter for me. Sometimes without this I can’t tell that I’m doing worse or a lot better if I don’t keep track of things.
  4. Along with this, I keep a food diary.When I’m having allergic issues, digestive issues, headaches, and the like, I keep track of what I eat and drink, plus notes each day with times when I can of  any problems I have. This helps me keep track of whether or not foods are affecting my health in a negative or positive way. When I have a lot of brain fog days, if I doctor would ask me about this, I am glad to have it documented so I don’t have to try to remember complex things.
  5. My smart phone. I have like most people a Calendar app on my smart phone. All appointments go into that phone. Addresses of people I am meeting, contact information, dates, times, and anything to help me up to and including what a person looks like. This is for days my brain fog is really bad. I recommend downloading or backing up this at least once a week or every other week in case something happens to your phone, so you can keep on track.
  6. Check boxes. Keep a list with check boxes next to all  your medications or routines that you  need to do. Check each task off after they are done so you do not forget important tasks each day.
  7. Extra rest. Give yourself extra times to rest, or take breaks during the day. Your brain is not working as well and is going to tire you out more, making mistakes even easier to do. Give yourself time for a nap, a few minutes doing something restful to give your brain a break.
  8. Forgiveness. When you are having a bad memory day, when things are in a fog, try to forgive yourself if you forget something. You are struggling against something real and even all of your preventative measures to combat it can fall short, so forgive yourself if you can’t do everything on those days and miss things.

Try to keep yourself positive during these times of less than perfect thinking because they will pass. Put in the comments ideas that you use to combat brain fog days.

Follow Britney on twitter @BttrflyBritney or see her on http://www.WarriorButterflies.com

Stand Up


I was reminded of something today, that taking care of yourself with a chronic illness means reducing your stress, and sometimes you have to temporarily elevate your stress now in order to reduce it in the future. The last few years I’ve been trying to get rid of or reduce contact with toxic people in my personal life. I’ve reduced contact or eliminated contact with people who made my stress levels rise and were helping to knock down my sense of self-worth and ultimately helping to keep me feeling at my worst. What I forgot was that I need to do this periodically at my work as well.

I do work as a retail merchandiser rep. Which means I have a route of retail stores, that I visit every week. I have different projects to do for the store depending on what is going on. Which means I go into a store, take care of that week’s projects and then go on to the next store. Usually I am only there for part of a day, or maybe a full day on a rare occasion. So when someone who works at the store stresses me out, I’ve been ignoring it, finishing up my work and then moving on. Most of the time that serves me fairly well, but one person at one store reminded me that apparently I let people think they could get away with a little too much with me.

Earlier today I go to work in one of my stores.  The majority of people at this store are nice, easy to work with, and know that I’m there to help them get things done they don’t have manpower to get done themselves. There is of course one worker at the store who for some reason has been decidedly nasty to me in her attitude since I took over that store a few months ago. Most of the time I’ve been avoiding her, because her obviously negative and toxic nature is not what I want to be around. I usually deal with the manager or assistant managers to get what I need done. The few times I’ve had to work with her to accomplish a goal, her ultra critical tone, the condescension towards me and her fellow coworkers, her abrasive manner towards me, have gotten on my nerves, but most of the time it’s a few minutes then I can get away from her. Apparently she decided me ignoring her meant that it was ok to be abusive to me. I walked into the store today and got started on the first of my projects for the store.

Within minutes, she comes charging angrily at me up the aisle and starts accusing me of “lying” to her about something the week before. I’m really confused as what she is saying I told her is impossible, the term she’s saying I told her I am not even familiar with it. I’m trying to calm her down, but she just gets louder and louder, and meaner, accusing me of lying, and more. When I try to defend myself calmly she starts yelling that I’m calling her a liar and she won’t have it. She is using body language to try to crowd me, obviously trying to intimidate me as she’s larger than I am. I stay calm while she yells in the middle of the store and then walk away from her. I find her a minute later when she has gone into the back room of the store and is away from customers. I tell her “Listen here. Yelling at me is not professional or acceptable and you are NO LONGER going to speak to me this way. I am not your employee, I am not your whipping boy, I am a retail rep for this store and I do not have to take this sort of verbal abuse from  you any longer. If you try this again, I will report it fully to your boss and your District manager. I’m sure they would love to know how you yelled at a rep in full view of their customers, and that you have been known to belittle, and treat other people poorly when the managers are not able to see you. “She stared at me open mouthed and started to say something, but I held up my hand and pretty much told her I said what I needed to say and was done. I don’t know if anyone has ever stood up to this bully of a person in her entire life, it certainly seemed to catch her off guard that I did.

When I left the store later after finishing my project (she wasn’t going to keep me from getting my part of things done!)I called and spoke to my supervisor. I reported what happened to her. Thank goodness for good bosses! My boss said that I absolutely did not need to be spoken to or yelled at, and that she herself was going to go down to that store in the next day or so to speak directly to that woman’s manager in person and let her know that would not be tolerated. If the manager didn’t act on it, my boss would go to the District manager. It really is gratifying to know that I was able to keep my cool, stand up for myself and my boss backed me up. I hope anyone reading this is lucky enough to work somewhere like that.

I have to say though speaking my piece was very stressful, as I am not normally a confrontational person, when it was over and I’d spoken to my supervisor, I felt better. A huge weight has been lifted from me. I took a chance and stood up for myself and I know that it’s ok for me to stand up for myself. I didn’t need to get mean or yell, just calmly let that person know they no longer had the right to treat me that way. After I was done, I was sitting in my car and at that point I was crying heavily. The stress of the confrontation needed a way to leave me and I allowed it to do so.

After speaking to my supervisor, it looks like she is going to switch that store to another one along my route so I don’t have to deal with that person ever again. I hope that my standing up to her makes her think twice the next time she tries to be verbally abusive to someone else. Just remember, we have to take charge of our health and sometimes we have to remember that it is ok to stand up, even if it’s temporarily very stressful, in order to free ourselves from on going stressful situations.

Follow me on twitter @BttrflyBritney or see our website http://www.warriorbutterflies.com for more good info for the thyroid patient.

Yummy Baking on a Low-Glycemic Index Diet

I found out a few years ago that processed sugars bother me. They make me more fatigued, my skin breaks out more and more allergy issues. I’m not diabetic, but keeping my blood sugars on an even keel is essential to ward off major fatigue, and to keep my weight from going even higher than it already is also. So as an avid baker who loves to bake, what was a girl to do? I decided to start researching and trying out some recipes that are now my go-to’s for special occasions and holidays. Lower sugar and low-glycemic recipes that look and taste wonderful. Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

My most requested are my gluten free, low glycemic index peanut butter cookies.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup natural peanut butter (no sugar added)
1 cup stevia or 1/2 cup Truvia Baking mix
1 egg
Optional: 2 cups dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 C)
2. Combine peanut butter, Stevia and egg, mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon
3. Scoop out spoonfuls of the dough, roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet.
Optional: flatten the cookies on the sheet and place one dark chocolate chip in the middle of each cookie. Bake for 6-8 minutes, do not overbake, cookies are best when barely brown on the bottom and still soft.

Second most requested are my Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal no bakes, with coconut oil.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes (w/Coconut Oil)

Ingredients:
1 cup natural Peanut Butter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 cups dry oats (steel cut or regular not instant)
1/2 cup coconut shredded (unsweetened)
1.25 cups Dark Chocolate chips

Directions

Melt Peanut Butter, coconut oil and honey over medium low heat in saucepan. When melted, take off heat and stir in oats, shredded coconut, chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Pour into 9×13 pan, and put in refrigerator to cool (1-2 hours) When it’s set cut into bars and enjoy. I ended up needing less than 1″x1″ squares cut because these were so incredibly rich. Highest glycemic index on any ingredient is 60, so even decent for low glycemic index or diabetics if you eat small amounts.

Serving Size: Makes one 9″13″ pan, cut to 12 or more servings, very rich! Or you can drop them for individual sized cookies, about 2 dozen.

Finally my third favorite recipe to make for a special occasion, Whole Wheat Flour Chocolate Cake!

King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour Chocolate Cake

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Whole Wheat All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/2 cup coffee or water
4 large eggs

Tips
The butter in this recipe needs to be very soft. You can soften butter by placing the sticks, still in their wrappers, in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes. If you can leave a dent in the butter with a gentle touch, it’s ready to use.

To warm the milk before adding it, heat it in the microwave for 1 minute. Add the vanilla after the milk is warm, then add all of the liquid to the recipe at once.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease and flour your choice of pan(s): one 9″ x 13″ pan, two 9″ round pans, three 8″ round pans, or the wells of two muffin tins. You can also line the muffin tins with papers, and spray the insides of the papers.

1. Place a strainer over a large mixing bowl. Measure in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar. Sift/shake the dry ingredients through the strainer into a mixing bowl, to eliminate any lumps.

2. Add the butter and mix at low speed for 1 minutes. With the mixer running, add the oil and continue mixing until the mixture looks like sand.

3. Combine the vanilla with the milk and coffee or water, and add all at once. Mix for 1 minute at low speed, stop and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then mix for 30 seconds more.

4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well at medium-high speed between additions.

5. Scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, and mix for 1 minute more. The batter will be thin.

Serving Size: 13″ x 9′ cake or twenty four cupcakes

Nutritional Info
  • Servings Per Recipe: 24
    Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 64.3
  • Total Fat: 1.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 40.8 mg
  • Sodium: 169.4 mg
  • Total Carbs: 10.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2.3 g
  • Protein: 3.2 g

I hope you enjoy these recipes. For more recipes that are low glycemic index, low carb, diabetic friendly or even gluten free, visit our website at http://www.warriorbutterflies.com and  click on Recipes.

Because You Had a Bad Day


I’m having one of those bad days that has turned into almost a bad week and maybe a bad month. My brain is functioning in fits and starts and reminds me of an old car that doesn’t have all cylinders running at the same time. You know the kind, you get in and hope that it starts up,  and just maybe, manages to get you to where you are going, BEFORE it completely dies and strands you by the side of the road. Those of us with chronic illness and thyroid disease know about these sorts of days.

It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t have a chronic illness about days and weeks like this. It’s not always something you did or didn’t do that causes it, or at least nothing you can always pinpoint as the cause. If you are lucky it will last a day, or a few hours. For me the last month it’s been intermittent. I’ll be ok for a few hours, then it will feel like a large animal is sitting on me draining my energy and making me feel weak. Then I’ll be down, for an hour, or the rest of the day.

I can go whole months without one of these days, where I can go and do things, as long as I pace myself, almost like a normal healthy person. It’s always in the back of my mind like some sinister villain, lurking, waiting for that chance to take you down, and make it be the worst possible timing. You are going to a wedding? Time to strike you down for a day, just the day you need the energy. Oh, you want to take care of a sick loved one? It will wait for you to go two or three days full speed ahead, and then as soon as you slow down for a second, BOOM, down you go!

The worst parts of this is the brain fog during these days. Things that you KNOW how to do, suddenly you forget. What’s my name? What’s my password, where do I live? Things that you have engraved into your mind are suddenly shrouded in fog. You start to forget basic things, plans, appointments, tasks and more. People get mad because they feel you just aren’t paying attention. What they don’t know is you couldn’t concentrate right then if your life depended on it! It’s not from lack of trying either. The more you try to grasp your mental abilities back, the more it slips thru your fingers. Very frustrating, when you normally are a fairly together type of person. For someone who tends towards Type A, it’s devastating.

When you have a few of these you start doing game plans. Notes go everywhere, on your calendar phone, on your computer, little yellow notes all over your house. Medicines and other things go in specific spots in an attempt to make sure you can remember to take what you need, so you don’t get worse. You enlist other people to help you remember. It’s the worst feeling out there. You have gone from competent person to idiot in minutes. You have no idea when or if it will get better. I’m here to tell you, it will eventually get better again, it just may decide to play with you for awhile before doing so.

Hang in there, I know mine will get better and so will yours!

Check out http://www.WarriorButterflies.com site for great thyroid related info, more blogs, events and recipes.

Or Follow Britney on twitter @BttrflyBritney

Our Friend TED (Thyroid Eye Disease)


What is TED? It stands for Thyroid Eye Disease, also known as Graves’ Eye Disease. It usually happens more frequently to people who have Graves’ disease antibodies, but it can also attack people with Hashitoxicosis, hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease. So what is it? It’s defined as an auto-immune disease of the eye socket and muscles surrounding the eye. Simple definition right? Unfortunately for the people who suffer from it, it can go from annoying to excruciating in effects.

In the early stages, it can be an irritation. Starting out feeling like there is something in the eye making it irritated and red. The tear ducts may cause the eyes to be either “wet” or “dry”, either too much tears lubricating the eye or too little, and this can happen near the same time to the same person. The immune system may make the eyelids swell up and start to look like there are really bad bags under the eyes, or major puffiness.Extra spots in the eye or minor vision problems may come and go.

Next it starts to make the eyes look like they are going to pop out, like they are bulging out a little or a lot. Double vision and major blurriness shows up to make seeing difficult. Pressure starts to build making the eyes ache. The upper eyelid can retract, making the eyes look even more bulging out and make the person look startled. People also often become extremely light sensitive.

When it’s at it’s worse, it will push the eye forward due to swelling in the eye muscles. It can make the sufferer unable to properly close their eyes, which makes lubrication of the eye a problem and can have a side effect of producing a corneal ulcer. If a person has severe redness, pain in the eye, diminished ability to see, color vision becoming abnormal, get to an eye doctor who is familiar with Graves’ Eye disease or TED, this needs to be treated asap so it doesn’t cause permanent vision loss. The muscles can also start to scar leading to other issues with vision and how the eyes look to everyone else. This is when surgery to correct this may be brought up.

The inflammation period of TED can last up to 3 years. During this time most eye doctors and eye surgeons will not perform surgery as more inflammation could bring a patient right back to where they were before the surgery, to correct the eyes. Lubricants, eye lid taping at night, steroids and other medical methods are use to alleviate the worst of the issues. There has also been some evidence showing that taking Selenium 200mcg a day can halt or slow down the inflammation and damage of TED to the eyes.

If you have thyroid disease and you suspect that you may have signs of Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), consult an eye doctor or ocular surgeon, who knows how to deal with signs of thyroid eye disease. Even if you do not have signs of this, it is a good idea to get your eyes checked once a year and measured to make sure that your eyes have not changed from  year to year.