Thyroid problems, food allergies, and fertility issues….Oh my!

This is the most…(I don’t even know the word I want to put in here. Confusing? Crazy? Stressful? Fascinating? Empowering? They will all fit) situation of my life. I am finally getting to the point where I think I understand how all of these pieces of my health puzzle come together – and I’m not sure which doctor to even approach about it!

Here’s what I’ve done so far, since my last post. First of all – TTC wasn’t even a thought, after all that, because I never ovulated this cycle. Yuck. I’m on Day 38 now, we’ll see if my period comes on Day 41 as usual. How do I know I didn’t ovulate? Well, I’ve been charting for 2 cycles now, and this cycle, my BBT never rose. It stayed low the entire time, and continues to. I haven’t had a higher temp than 97.3 since the last cycle. I doubly confirmed it with 7 negative OPKs during the same time that I supposedly did ovulate last cycle, Day 32. Of course, Day 32 was too late anyway, as the LP was only 9 days long. So even though that cycle was a lot prettier than this one, it was probably problematic, with a short LP and temps never getting above 97.6.

I have also called my allergist, and I have an appointment on Columbus Day. I want a FULL work up of food allergies, including gluten, dairy, and sugar. I also want to be tested for Vitamin D and whatever else they can fit onto a blood test sheet. Oh, and my TSH. I’m going to slip that one in there, too.

But I have a feeling I know what I’m going to find out. That’s the thing. I now feel like I have all the answers to what’s wrong with me (I’m sure I don’t, but still) and I just don’t know who to harass about it.

So, I bought this book, “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”, by Toni Weschler. It’s amazing, even though I knew what it was going to be about. It’s about charting. Done correctly, it’s a safe and accurate form of birth control. When TTC, it can be so helpful. I already know how helpful charting is – given that I’ve done it for 2 cycles now, I was able to see that I may have ovulated one cycle, and definitely didn’t the other. I can predict periods, and most importantly, evaluate how my thyroid fits in with all this. So, I already knew how to chart, but the book gives me more specifics, which I’ll be trying in the next cycle. However, also in the book I found this:

“Symptoms of hypothyroidism include low waking temperatures, long cycles, heavy menses, anovulatory cycles (with no thermal shift), prolonged phases of fertile-quality cervical fluid, or infertility.”

Assuming that last one isn’t the case for me (let’s pray), I have 4 out of the remaining 5. It’s so nice, yet so frustrating, to know that the problems I’m seeing in my cycle are more than likely directly related to my thyroid. But I’m taking medication for this! I’m supposedly “normal”! Why are these symptoms of fertility problems still here?? Then, a friend showed me this online:

“Introduction
My husband and I are very busy with owning our own businesses, but we have finally gotten to the stage where we would like to have a child. However it hasn’t been easy. I have been off the pill for 4 years and we haven’t gotten pregnant and we were starting to get worried. The last 12 months I have been keeping my BBTs and they have been all over the place, so we found a good GP and started getting tested. In February/March I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease and under active Thyroid also having low Vitamin D as well.

Tests, Procedures, Medical consultations
So since about the end of June I have been on Thyroid replacement and my TSH has gone from 5 to 2.4 and I have been feeling better. I have better told to stay away from gluten as gluten reacts with the Immune system against the thyroid. And I must say staying away from the gluten I have lost 10 KG and feeling much better. I have also had an ultrasound done and it stated that I might not be ovulating, so more blood tests were ordered on days 12, 14, 16, & 18 of my cycle. Comes to be that I am ovulating but I am not producing enough progesterone to facilitate implantation. So next couple steps are to continue taking my thyroid medication, take progesterone supplementation after ovulation, see an IVF specialist just incase this doesn’t work, and continue to try and get enough sun and vitamin D supplementation.”

I also think I fit this bill exactly. Thyroid problems, food allergies, fertility issues – they are ALL related.

Here’s where I start to lose my mind: I think I know what’s wrong, but I don’t know who to tell. Fitting the pieces of the puzzle together has just happened in my brain in the last few days. But in the past few weeks, I have already been in contact with all 4 of my doctors (allergist, primary physician, endo, gyno), and with the exception of the allergist, whom I have yet to see, they are all telling me to wait, wait, wait. Wait and see. My TSH was a 2, which is considered normal. I BET that if I up-ed my dose of Synthroid just a little bit more, that might kickstart the rest of me into gear. But I don’t think she would give me more, as the level is technically normal. Maybe not normal for my body, but normal. Besides, I have an appt. with her in January – she’s definitely not going to see me until then.

I’m trying to figure out what needs to be fixed first, in order to help my fertility. Since my thyroid is “normal” at the moment, that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be getting a fixing anytime soon. So, the only thing I can control is my diet. I’ve continued not to touch wheat, (except for yesterday, and I’m paying for that this morning). But I’ve gone back to having a lot of sugar. And I keep thinking – what if the only way to fix myself, to be able to conceive without major issues, and get my thyroid acting properly, is to keep an extremely strict diet, with no wheat or sugar? Or processed foods? This question is followed up by the next one: Why do I even have to be considering this? Who lives like this??

It is SO frustrating; my attempt at describing it doesn’t even compare to how I actually feel.  Yet, I’m so glad that I pursued this. Each piece took a while to figure out (first the thyroid, then the ovulation, then the food allergies), and every time I discovered something new, I couldn’t believe it. But now that I feel I GET it, the whole picture,  I’m jumping out of my skin to fix it, now. Clearly, patience isn’t one of my best qualities.

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3 thoughts on “Thyroid problems, food allergies, and fertility issues….Oh my!

  1. Rachel says:

    It sounds like you know more than your doctors at this point! Don’t you wish you could sit them all down in one room to work it out?? Do you think Clomid would help with your ovulation problems? I feel like you shouldn’t have to wait any longer…you’re already armed with the data from your charting. The charting would also be good info for your thyroid doctor…even though the 2 is “normal” your body clearly isn’t acting “normal” so synthroid should be increased. You did ovulate one month right? That’s a good sign atleast…

  2. futuresoccermom says:

    Clomid is something I hope I don’t have to take, though it does work. If I continue not to ovulate, then I suppose that may be given to me in the future. It has some side effects, one being that it decreases your natural CF, making it harder to…tell when you’re ovulating. Haha. But I’d take it. I think my problem is definitely my thyroid, first and foremost, and possibly low progesterone second, which has some mild medication to help that. I didn’t ovulate this cycle, but hopefully I will next time. It is possible to skip it on occasion.

    Annoyingly, it’s hard to know if I definitely did ovulate last cycle. I think so, but just because my OPK was a smiley face doesn’t mean it definitely happened, just that it could. And my temps did rise, but barely, and only for 9 days. Who knows??

    This next cycle I’m going to be a charting pro and really see what’s going on…

  3. Nicola says:

    Check out podcasts by Dr John Briffa, uk. There is a link with infertility, thyroid probs, and gluten, sugar and dairy. I am on a palaeolithic diet….started this week after just having miscarriage number 4. My prob is finding a local Dr to listen.
    From what I have read aspirin, and Prednisone are imp as well.
    Thanks for your article, it really requires major effort to heal yourself, as there is so much conflicting info out there.
    I’m sure the last miscarriage happened because I followed advice to take iodine.
    All the best xx

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