First time i’ve posted here… I’ve trained for a couple of years, I was pushing myself pretty hard and lifting heavy, didn’t take any time off for a break. I also found out I was vitamin D deficient but this was long after my problems started.
About 16 months into my training I stopped getting stronger, it was hard to notice because the change is so gradual, but once I was pretty sure I read into it, and the only thing that I learned at that time was that I must have hit a plateu, which made sense as I hadn’t really changed my workout routine much. I read that to overcome this you can try new things such as increasing the weight a lot more than what you’re used to but doing less reps.
This didn’t work. I actually found I had started to get weaker, not only that, but I was getting seriously ill at my workouts, I didn’t realise the ill feeling was not normal because this feeling came on very gradually over probably up to several months. It wasn’t until I was in seriously bad shape before I sort help from a doctor. I had begun losing an excessive amount of hair on my head, my strength had decreased and I felt fatigued often, often falling tired throughout the day. Gym workouts were so hard for me, I must have been close to collapsing.
My doctor did some tests, and he found something. He told me I had hypothyroidism, which, according to him, is usually caused by autoimmune disease, and almost nobody who gets diagnosed ever goes back to normal, so that i’d be on thyroid hormones for the rest of my life. I was only 24 at the time. The doctor told me that I should feel 100% normal once my thyroid hormone levels return to normal, which could take up to 6 months.
I keep away from the gym for a month as advised by my doctor. A new sympton has sprung up, I can’t feel much sexually, like i’ve become desensitized. One could look at this as being classed as low libido. My thyroid horome levels are apparently normal now, so I start working out again, at first I think i’m better, I decreased the weights only a little from what I was lifting before, but I could handle it. I felt it getting easier each week, but this only lasted for a few weeks, then it started getting harder again.
New thyroid tests revealed my thyroid hormone levels had dropped a bit again, so I stayed away from the gym for another month.
A month later and apparently my thyroid is ok again, I go back to the gym and the exact same thing as before happend again, at first it was ok, but within a few weeks the workouts became impossibly hard again.
All through this time I had been doing personal research, and I had many trips to my doctor, and specialists, and they were most unhelpful. I had the tests done for thyroid autoimmune diseases at least, and I tested negative, there was now hope that I could be cured completely
I looked into the causes of hypothyroidism, and found a website by someone called Dr Lam, a natural healing doctor. He had a lot of information about how the adrenal glands can become overworked through stress and when this happens, they will drag the thyroid down with it.
I became set on the idea that this is perhaps what happend to me. I looked up bodybuilding and adrenal fatigue and found a lot of information about overtraining and how it can cause the adrenals to wear out. I also found a forum with some bodybuilders who talked about their experiences with adrenal fatigue. They spoke of when leading up to it, they were getting seriously ill at their workouts. Some of them kept on pushing, even using steroids, and they collapsed, got rushed to hospital, and were diagnosed with addinsons disease, which is just a fancy name for full blown adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue itself isn’t accepted by medical science, though many alternative doctors talk of it, those backed by medical science just laugh at them. In the eyes of a doctor, either you’ve got full blown adrenal fatigue, which is life threatening, or you’re fine. They don’t see the inbetween, which obviously exists.
I decided it was time to go private and get the tests I needed to confirm I had this condition. First I got a 24h salavia cortisol and dhea test. The results confirmed it, morning cortisol 15, noon 1, early evening 1, late evening less than 1. I was well below the ranges and told I had between stage 6/7 adrenal fatigue, 7 being the worst.
Since then, i’ve stopped working out completely, and i’ve also tried to remove other sources of stress from my life too, to speed up my recovery. The results are interesting, ever since I started doing this, all my thyroid hormone levels have done is improve with each test, by time I get the next test in 3 weeks, i could be declared overactive thyroid, in which case it’s time to take me off the thyroid hormones. I’m on the verge of becoming overactive now.
I also had a reverse T3 test done recently, and it revealed I had elevated levels of reverse T3, only just, but it was there, probably nothing compared to what it was before. My free T4 levels were always fine right from the start, so really the doctors should have known my thyroid was working fine from the beginning. Reverse T3 buildup is caused by stress, too much stress reverse T3 dominates the T3 and you end up with too little T3, which is really the big important thyroid hormone.
Hopfully i’ll soon be declared no longer hypothyroid. I’m not sure how long I need to rest for, but I figure I can use the thyroid blood checks to keep an eye on my adrenals well being, if my thyroid levels show a decrease, then obviously the adrenals arn’t coping well.