Thursday, February 5, 2015

Comfortable pets

Firstly like to wish everyone a joyous 2015. Can you believe it's February?!

Secondly apologies for the break in anything from us.

"the holiday season" took it out of both of us...physically and everything else. Life does tend to throw curve balls at us and having to do battle with an already challenged body is quite a challenge.

Added to that we both have 'day jobs' and then some.

Needless to say now that I have laid out the background..let's move on.

We all love and adore our pets, treat them as though they were our babies. I'm guilty of it and I know you are too!

Sure this blog could be taken from a purely humanistic standpoint and focus on our diseases but the truth is various species of animals deal with this disorder as well. Which is what has interested us the most and lessened the blow, per se. Cats and dogs, our beloved companions, may also have to deal with this just as much as we do. It's important to understand the physiological effects and behaviors this disease can impact home life. Remember even though the individuals have to deal with it, there are still other family members or even just day to day activities and encounters influenced as well. Knowing how to deal with this is important because it will make the sufferer comfortable as well as lessen the battle. 

According to Dr Karen Becker, There are two ways a dog can end up with hypothyroidism. In its pure form, hypothyroidism is usually an immune system disorder also known as autoimmune thyroiditis, it means his body is attacking the tissues of his thyroid gland.

In response to this attack, the thyroid will first try to compensate by producing greater and greater amounts of the thyroid hormone thyroxine. But after awhile, the gland becomes depleted. It’s at this point your dog develops symptoms of the disorder and is diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
The other way your dog can end up hypothyroid is that his/her body simply produces less thyroid hormone over time, and eventually she does not produce enough for normal biological processes.
Thyroxine is an extremely important hormone in your dog’s body. It plays a significant role in bodily functions such as food metabolism, growth and development, oxygen consumption, reproduction and resistance to infection.

In contrast to Hypo-Thyrodism, pets can also just like us humans develop HypER-Thyroidism. Symptoms include but are not limited to: 
  1. The hair coat, especially in long-haired breeds, is often unkempt, dull, and may even be matted.
  2. Fast respiratory rate...panting, difficulty breathing
  3. Soft stools and diarrhea can occur in about a third of animals with hyperthyroidism
  4. Hyperactive, increased energy, or nervous behaviour...
    Hyperactivity, exhibited particularly as nervousness or restlessness, is relatively common in cats with hyperthyroidism.
CATS are often Hyperactive...
Weight loss despite a normal to increased appetite is the classic and most common sign of hyperthyroidism in cats. Hyperthyroidism is so common that it should always be considered as a possibility in any middle-aged to older cats that has lost weight, even in none of the other clinical features of the disease are present.
The weight loss associated is generally progressive and is usually first noticed by the owner as a loss of muscle mass around the cat’s back (spine).
With time, severe muscle wasting, emaciation, and death from starvation can occur if the cat’s hyperthyroidism is left untreated.
It is important to keep your pet comfortable, yet, mentally active. It becomes a quality of life issue and a couple of the ways to alleviate this disease:
* prepare a printed chart to ensure that your pet has been given his/her medicine on time
* make sure to give your pet his/her medicine on time every day according to Vet's prescription (It seems like a no brainer but you will notice the difference in behavior if your pet hasn't been given medicine, plus it's just unethical). 
In 2004, my brother adopted a beagle named Max. He was the runt of the litter but the cutest with his little black widow's peak and tri-color perfectly arranged along his body. As the years progressed, Max had various skin issues resulting in his "undercoat" falling out leaving a pig-like consistency to his fur. At first the vets thought he had Cushing's, it turns out it was hypothyroidism. His behavior changed too- to a mopey, garbage-disposal, couch potato! His nails became so brittle that if he got one stuck in the knit of a blanket, he'd let out a loud series of yelps and the nail would split and start bleeding at the quick. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2015! 

You always see those memes saying "new year, new me" yada yada... The problem is actually living up to it past January 7th. Let's face it, our New Year's resolution every year is to lose weight or do this or do that and we're motivated for a short while before giving up the proverbial ghost of what could be... (To those that can follow through with their resolutions, bless you)... Come on warriors we can stick to this! 

Moving on... 

Here are some challenges to get us out of bed and into the place we need to be:

1. Detox in the morning. Get rid of the New Year's partying (staying on the couch and binge-watching Netflix counts) and start the year off cleanly...If you're not a fan of ginger or lemon, just drink some black tea, but I promise you this "morning flush" will set your body in motion... No pun intended...Repeat daily

For the detox drink:
A few think slices or small chunks of ginger layered with 
Two thin slices of lemon topped with 
Boiling water enough to fill one mug.

Sip, don't chug. 
Chase this sucker down with a nice tall glass of cool water to flush out any other toxins. C'mon you gotta finish the battle. 

The reason for the lemon and ginger mix is what they bring to the table for the sluggish and low metabolic function as a result of thyroidism. Most of the time we don't absorb what we need to and to truly obtain the most out of ourselves and the food we eat, this little tonic can surely do the trick. Ginger contains enzymes which act as a catalyst for nutrient breakdown and absorption, it also breaks down toxins which then are able to be passed through liver and kidneys. The other known property is its natural chemical compound for reducing pain and inflammation... So if you're experiencing cramps, ginger is the trick. If you hate ginger, suck it up... Hold your nose and take it like a champ. Lemon, on the other hand, revs up your defense system by supplying Vitamin C. Scurvy no more. Also, lemon oil is one of those great aromatherapy oils for anxiety reduction and fighting fatigue. 

2. Get motivated. Finish reading this conquer-script. Put down the remote, the mouse, the tablet and/or the phone... Bundle up or, simply, just put your shoes on and take a walk around the block. Baby steps... Something will come to you. That's for your own personal journey. It's a blank page on the 2015 chapter of your life, do something meaningful for you and for the planet.

3. Last, but not least, if you see someone experiencing the same symptoms, have 'em get checked out.

 *While you're at it, things to look out for on blood tests- free T3, free T4, antibodies, tsh, and the vitals such as vitamin D, vitamin B and Iron (these promote the uptake of hormones and, also, affect mood and lethargy)... Look for balance. Also check out "Thyroid Sexy" on facebook to get more resources. 

Don't have thyroid issues but know someone who does??? 

Here are some suggestions for birthday presents or even a survival kit for the thyroid warriors (pets included) in your life (based on what we have found to work to help sustain your body with this disease)

* Essential Oils (pure organic) we like Oil Garden  and Sun Spirit. Aromatherapy works wonders with us thyroid patients (and even non-patients alike), calming or revving up the system and aiding digestion (stress inhibits proper digestion, so easing stress levels enables you to function better and excrete better too, allowing less bloat). Certain ones to try: lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus and cinnamon.

* Coconut oil... We swear by this because not only is it a great oil to use for cooking but it's great for dry skin and for dry hair. Just slather it on (put a plastic bag over hair so that heat can allow the oil to penetrate hair follicles and distribute oil all over), wait about 15 minutes and away you go! Also put some in smoothies, baked goods and pet food. Both my cat and dog love it and their coats show it too!

* Epsom Salts- Great for a long soak in the bath. Epsom salts contain high doses of Magnesium. And Magnesium is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body. It helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. 

* Tea- Yes, always great to have in stock and we especially love our teas that we drink from Pukka ...amazing organic and pure herbs and fantastic flavors. My personal one (wolf) at the moment is Elderberry and Echinacea. White tiger loves her some Honey Vanilla Chamomile or Pukka Love tea. 

* Heat packs and hot water bottles- We get hot and then we get cold again... nature of the beast. Keep us comfortable.

* Natural Fiber in clothing and also sleepwear, including bedding. A lot of thyroid disease suffers experience many varied skin allergies. Making sure anything that touches your skin (the biggest organ in the human body) with only natural fibers as much as possible will not only ensure comfort but also enable your body to cope with any of the myriad of thyroid related discomforts that may arise.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Combatting the Holiday Season

Excuse our lack of posting for a bit. Dealing with grad school, other charity blogging and brain fog... It gets so easy to put things on the back burner... Do things at you're own pace this holiday season and ensure that it all gets done by the end of the year. Don't drag anything into the new year. Fresh slate. 

So here are some of the "rules" and tips to combat this holiday season-

1) Do NOT overindulge. Remember with the thyroidisms it is difficult to lose weight. There are so many beautiful tempting foods that should be sampled but not in excess. With thyroidism you can sometimes overestimate your food intake not really knowing when you're full. Even if you're a bit peckish, keep hydrating.

2) Take a warm bath. Let the bubbles consume your body. White Wolf uses aromatherapy- eucalyptus tea body wash and bath foam by Bath and Body Works. It eases the joints from winter stress especially in the Northern Hemisphere where we both reside. If you're in the Southern Hemisphere, heat is not necessarily your friend (in moderation, it is to ease the joints) but maybe take a dip in the pool or maybe a cold bath... 

3) Take a walk. Get out of bed if even for five minutes. Plug in your ear buds and put on some good tunes. Take the dog (Or cat? Or rabbit?) for some fresh air and rejuvenation. Explore a new trail, complacency or stagnation is insanity. 

Here are some tunes to rev up the dopamine:
  • Silverchair- Straight Lines
  • Vance Joy- Riptide
  • Cold Chisel- Forever Now
  • The Rolling Stones- Paint It Black
  • Danny Elfman- The Little Things
  • New Politics- Harlem
  • Mumford and Sons- Little Lion Man
  • The Clash- Bankrobber
  • La Vida Boheme- Buen Salvaje
  •  Young The Giant- Cough Syrup
  • Sixto Rodriguez- Cold Hard Facts (Album)
  • Arctic Monkeys-Crawling Back To You
  • This Mortal Coil- Blood (Album)
  • Powderfinger- Odyssey No.5 (Album)
4) Drink tea . First thing when you wake up drink some ginseng or green tea. Energy boosting and detoxing. Chamomile tea before a set bed time so that way the circadian rhythm gets into balance. Throughout the day just drink water and maybe juice, no dairy. 

5) Read a good book or watch a great TV show. After all the household priorities are done, escape for a little while. As of late been watching Game of Thrones, American Horror Story and Californication. Reading 29 by Mary Sojourner, Alex and Me by Irene Pepperberg and Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words by Dr. John Pilley. 

6) Try to surround yourself with positive and loving energy. Either from friends, family and/or pets. This is vital because there is a significant amount of evidence that points to the connection between hormones, produced by the thyroid gland and depression. In addition, some symptoms of depression are associated with thyroid conditions. And as we in the Northern Hemisphere are in Winter mode the lack of sunshine is a known mood downer and us thyroid challenged need to be mindful of the effect this will also have on our day to day moods. As always, prevention is much better than the cure.

7) Try aromatherapy to boost your mood and energy level. As briefly mentioned in #2 with the warm bath, but try this remedy to your right! ->

Friday, November 28, 2014

About Us

Hi there and welcome to #hypo/eractivebutterfly

The purpose of this blog is to provide you with a method to deal with your thyroid challenges. If you have found your way here you have either lived with this disease for a while and have grown to despair the frustration that is this disease and/or have just found out recently just what it is that has been going on in your body for X amount of time.

Either way, we welcome you with open Thyroid arms.

There are two writers for this blog  #hypo/er-active butterfly

Both of us will give you our trial and error methods on how to make it through certain symptoms. It's convenient because you can simply read it on a tablet, phone or computer even when you can't get out of bed.

Also, if you have pets who suffer from this insidious disorder, we will post tips that can alleviate their symptoms.

So about us-

I'm calling on my totem- White Tiger
I've been dealing with both sides of the spectrum for about 11 years. I was first diagnosed with hyperactive thyroidism at the age of 14 after feeling bumps on the back of my neck. After a few months of being on Tapizole, I was in remission. "Yay no more medicine!" 


Then after an eye-opening trip in mid-2005 to various European countries, I was told that my thyroid levels were through the roof. For a normal 125 max level, It was double that for hormone levels. In early 2006, my endocrinologist [mis]informed my parents and myself that would have to have my thyroid radioactively ablated. About a month after the procedure, I was not on any medication because of the surplus of thyroid hormone. 

Then crash...

Hair felt dry like a boar's brush and fell out in small clumps. Skin was dry and joints were stiff. Constantly felt fatigued and cold; would nap in microfleece pajamas in class. Teachers were worried because of grades failing, just due to brain fog. Nevertheless, we went back to the endocrinologist and got on a small dose of synthroid. A multitude of blood tests and various doses later, still don't feel fantastic... Sometimes balanced, sometimes not.. 

Felt as though needed to share my story and share the tips on how to conquer this disorder. Music playlists for the day, particular hygiene routines, nutrition and other amenities will be posted to help you in achieving your full potential. 

Im Wolf

I live a thyroid life.

I live my life on half a thyroid gland. That may not sound like a big deal to those not familiar with what the Thyroid gland's function in the body is. But trust me is a VERY big deal.

A few years ago I had half of my thyroid gland surgically removed due to a suspected malignancy.

Surgery was advised as the ultra sound and needle biopsy proved in conclusive.

At the time many of my symptoms were pretty text book Thyroid...with also a huge smattering of
'non' text book symptoms. (ie: digestion issues, allergies, )

As the Thyroid symptoms presented themselves as allergies and digestion problems the mainstream medical approach was let's treat it from a Gastro-Intestinal approach.

13 months later...

I had dropped a staggering 24 kgs in food intollences were sooo huge and acute I couldnt even stomach black tea...any tea...only water. Sometimes black coffee...survived food wise on chicken breast baked in the oven...with tiny drops of Olive seasoning..and steamed brocolli and pumpkin...again no seasonings, flavours nothing. Breakfast was 2 Rice Cakes...some ham and some days Vegemite.

Then there was the total hyper sleep...but full on energy.

Hair was falling was dry...eyes focus mentally...forgetfulness..huge emotional swings...

Yes I was classic Hyper T

Fast forward post surgery...

I hit Hypo T...oh yes now the fun times really began.

Where am I now?

Somewhere in the middle...and no it's not the best or perfect scenario...but I have learnt that to even be in the middle is GREAT. This does not mean I am 'back to normal'...that planet is never to be visited.

This is because there is NO cure for 'this'...there is no magic solution...there is only day by day and some days are better than others...some arent...but I have also learnt that that is also "ok"...

Together with Tiger I have spoken soo much and therefore learnt so much about this disease.

And that's one of the reason I want to write this blog because not everything with such a dis-ease
is 'text book.

It's the onion of diseases, it's insidious and once you realise that...then you are on the path to claiming your life back!