The habit of medication
Tuesday, June 18, 2019
I have dealt with the problems of insulin resistance and hypothyroidism for what seems like half of my life. I have been on some form of medication for my hypothyroidism and insulin resistance since I was in my early 30's and it wasn't until just recently that I even entertained the idea of maybe not having to be on medication for the insulin resistance. The last year has been a challenge with physical challenges and issues with my hypothyroidism causing me to gain back almost 30 of the 75 pounds I had lost in the last two years. I am almost back to full strength with the physical issues as long as I continue to do the exercises given to me by the doctor for my hip. The thyroid issues have been beyond frustrating and I am just now starting to see a small light at the end of this long tunnel.
In early May I was given an article to read on medications that might affect your thyroid and one of the medications mentioned was Metformin. I have been on Metformin for insulin resistance for almost 20 years. After reading the article I emailed my PCP and asked him what he thought of me going off the Metformin and see what my thyroid levels would be like without being on it. He agreed and so since mid May I have not been on Metformin. I did lab work on the 7th of June and amazingly all of my levels were back within normal ranges with none of them being outside the normal ranges. What was amazing was that my glucose and A1C levels had only increased by a few points. However, when you've been on medication for so long for a particular illness your first instinct is to look for something that's wrong which is exactly what my mind did. I saw that my estimated average glucose level had gone from 103 to 108 in three months time and my mind immediately went to "there is something wrong with this and maybe I should go back on the Metformin and maybe this is why I've gained almost 5 pounds in the last month." I've fretted about this level for the last week and half until my doctors appointment this morning. After speaking with my PCP and finding out that this level is what my glucose level would be over the course of the day and that 108 is a great glucose level and him reminding me that this level was a fasting level and that in reality my level is probably in the 80-90 range.
Instead of looking at the fact that other factors in my daily life could be causing the weight gain my mind immediately went to the fact that the lack of Metformin must be causing the weight gain. After my appointment and speaking with him I felt better about being off the Metformin and it gives me more determination to figure out what's causing the weight gain. He suggested tightening up my diet, limit my processed food intake and work on getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night instead of my usual 5-6.
The point I'm trying to make is that it's so easy to get dependent on taking medication for a particular condition that when you come off the medication your mind will find reasons for small changes that are in reality insignificant and the automatic response is that the negative changes must be because you are not on the medication anymore. I have a follow-up in six months time and my goal is to try and lose at least 10-15 pounds. For the first time in a long time today, when I put my lunch in the fridge after getting to work, I didn't go the cabinet where they keep the chocolate and grab a few of the bite size candy bars and when we had cake this afternoon for a co-workers birthday I split a piece with another co-worker instead of eating a whole piece which I would have done last week.
Sometimes it just takes getting a little bit of perspective and realizing that while I have gained 30 of the 70 pounds back I have the ability to lose it again and I'm no where near the weight I was two years ago when I started my journey and that through will power, getting out of my head and just focusing again on where I want to be I will get back to my goal weight of 150.