One Year Smoke Free!!!

Yay! Yippee! I made it. It’s official.

Tough decisions we make.

Tough decisions we make.

On January 1, 2009 it was one year without a cigarette. According to Quitnet.com that is equal to
Your Quit Date is: 1/1/2008 10:00:00 AM
Time Smoke-Free: 371 days, 7 hours, 10 minutes and 16 seconds
Cigarettes NOT smoked: 12995
Lifetime Saved: 3 months, 9 days, 6 hours

Now that is awesome! Thanks to Chantix, lots of prayers, and good old determination, I haven’t given in to any cravings to smoke for over a year! It is truly a miracle and I am soooo grateful.

I was scared that I couldn’t quit. It seemed I was doomed to a short life of smoking forever. Then a long came Chantix and I tried it a couple of times. The first time it made me sick and I thought. Forget it. I don’t want to throw up all the time. It’s not worth that!! Then I remembered that Chemotherapy makes you throw up. There are no easy choices here. So I tried it again and this time I resolved myself to the fact that indeed I was going to throw up and I would just have to change the way I walked into my building at work so there was bushes near by to vomit in so now one would see me. Yuk, I know but…I was determined to quit this time. I didn’t care if I threw up every day, I knew I had to quit. I wanted to quit.

Fortunately, the nausea doesn’t last that long and I never did vomit in the bushes. But, the fact that I was willing to do that, to go to any length to quit smoking was something I had never done before.

I gained weight pretty fast, like 20 pounds the first month. The second month I gained 7 pounds and that was it. I have not gained or lost any more weight. Losing weight, depriving myself of anything is not on my agenda today. Today, I don’t smoke cigarettes. Period. That’s it. I’ll diet, deprive myself of food or chocolate later. I suppose if I gain any more weight I might have to think about a ‘Diet’, but not now. As long as I am eating healthy and walking a couple of miles a day, then I’m not worried. I read once that a person who quits smoking would have to gain 70 lbs. to do the damage to their heart, etc. that smoking does. Wow! 27 lbs is a long way from 70!

I’ll write more later. I plan to include tips and “How to’s” the entire month of January. So check back often. And if you have started with Chantix, hang in there. It really does work.





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The Zone Diet for Thyroid Patients and Losing Weight With Hypothyroidism

Interesting story about the Zone Diet.

The Zone Diet for Thyroid Patients and Losing Weight With Hypothyroidism.

Thyroid Disease Information Source

I found this site and thought it was worth mentioning. I have an appointment with an Endocrinologist on February 2, 2009. Then we will know why I have a Vitamin D deficiency, (even when taking huge supplements) and why my parathyroid is sky high. I am just hoping for the best.

Thyroid Disease Information Source — Bestselling Books, News, Information on Living Well With Hypothyroidism, Autoimmune Disease, Thyroid Diet, Home Page of Mary Shomon.

Chantix &Thyroid: Is There a Connection?

Does Smoking, Quitting Smoking, or Chantix throw you into Thyroid Problems?

Smoke free 205 Days!

As a lot of you know that follow my blog regularly, I had a comment by Joan that her and her twin sister had major side effects with Chantx involving their Thyroid. That prompted me to have mine checked. I went to the Doctor and had the blood work done and everything else checked while I was there. The nurse called yesterday with the results. I have HYPOTHYROIDISM and have to take a medication called Synthroid for the rest of my life! Don’t you think that is quite a coincidence? Well, I sure do. Actually, what are the odds that someone on the internet tells me about this new side effect of Chantix that I had not heard “scary stories” about and it turns out I have it too. Very strange in deed. So I decided to check this out for myself and here is what I have found out.

Does smoking cigarettes increase the odds of getting Hypothyroidism? That was my first question. Yes it does.

Smoking and Thyroid Diseases: The Connection

Smoking has been found to be one of the prominent causes of hypothyroidism and it has also been clear that smoke contains harmful ingredients that retard the functioning process of the thyroid gland. Many substances present in smoke trigger off anti-thyroid action inside the system and one among them is cyanide. On smoking cigarettes and other tobacco containing products, the ingredient cyanide enters the system and forms a specific compound thiocyanate.This new substance thiocyanate significantly prevents iodine intake and ensures the low production of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism).

However, clinical studies have established that smokers are more prone to have thyroid enlargement which could be an indication of thyroid disturbance. Further, it has also been found that grave’s disease (thyroid eye disease) which is specifically responsible for hyperthyroidism can be triggered off on account of smoking. An article appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association which makes it clear that people who are addicted to smoking are twice more likely to develop grave disease in comparison to non-smokers.

In a study involving women in Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, it was found that smoking impairs both thyroid hormone secretion and thyroid hormone action, according to Beat Mueller, M.D., et al., in the October 12, 1995 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Before I go blaming Chantix, there is a connection between Hypothyroid and smokers. Smoking is directly related to Hypothyroid so how can anyone say Chantix did this to me when it could have been building over many years and smoking has masked it. We all know smoking and nicotine increase your metabolism so the weight gain doesn’t show up as a symptom. Then we quit smoking and Pow! We get this weight gain that cannot be removed by diet and exercise, and we are fatiqued, almost lethargic when we quit because we all know nicotine is an upper/stimulant. So we are diagnosed with Hypothyroid and we want to blame somebody and Chantix is right there. They do have the warning that rarely it can cause the problem so we know that is a possibility, but not very likely. I would tend to believe that this is another thing that smoking has caused, just like osteoporosis, and I just have to learn to live with it.

How to Tell If You Are Hypothyroid

Here’s how you can determine if you have an underactive thyroid condition called hypothyroidism.

Difficulty Level: Easy Time Required: 5 minutes

Here’s How:

1. List your risk factors, including: family history, previous treated/untreated problems (nodules, hyperthyroidism, goiter, hypothyroidism, thyroid cancer), previous thyroid surgery, another autoimmune disease, childbirth.
2. Note symptoms including:

  • weight gain, depression, forgetfulness, fatigue, hoarseness, high cholesterol, constipation, feeling cold, hair loss, dry skin, low sex drive, tingling hands/feet, irregular periods, infertility.
  • 3. Note related conditions, including: recurrent pregnancy loss, resistant high cholesterol, difficult menopause, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, mitral valve prolapse.
    4. Meet with your doctor for a thyroid examination and blood test.
    5. Request a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) blood test, along with T4, T3, Free T4 and Free T3 tests.
    6. Review your test results with the doctor.
    7. At most labs in the U.S., up until late 2002, the normal range is from around 0.5 to 5.5. That range changed to .3 to 3 as of early 2003. If the TSH level is at the higher end of the range, or above the range, your doctor may determine that you are hypothyroid (underactive thyroid.)
    8. If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a low reading, and a high TSH, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
    9. If your doctor ran a test called Total T4 or Total Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 4.5 to 12.5. If you had a low reading, and a low TSH, your doctor might look into a possible pituitary problem.
    10. If your doctor ran a test called Free T4, or Free Thyroxine, normal range is approximately 0.7 to 2.0. If your result was less than 0.7, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
    11. If your doctor ran a test called Total T3, normal range is approximately 80 to 220. If your result was less than 80, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
    12. If your doctor ran a test called Free T3, the normal range is approximately 2.3 to 4.2. If your result was less than 2.3, your doctor might consider that indicative of hypothyroidism.
    13. If your test results come back “normal” but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, make sure you ask for an antibodies test. Some doctors believe in treating thyroid symptoms in the presence of elevated antibodies and normal TSH levels.
    14. If your test results come back “normal” but you have many of the symptoms or risk factors for thyroid disease, consider going to a reputable holistic M.D. or alternative physician for further interpretation and diagnosis.

    Tips:

    1. Many people who have radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroidism/Graves’ Disease, or who have sugery to remove all or part of the thyroid due to nodules or cancer, are hypothyroid.
    2. If you have been treated with radioactive iodine or surgery, and are currently not on thyroid hormone replacement, but have hypothyroidism symptoms, see your doctor.
    3. Keep in mind that laboratory normal values vary somewhat from lab to lab. Make sure you find out your lab’s normal ranges and review these with your doctor.

    From: About.com

    Source: Chantixhome.com

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    How To Rid Your Body of ‘Flabby Fat Arms’

    How To Rid Your Body of ‘Flabby Fat Arms’

    What is the best way to lose those flabby fat arms?

    Pushups! 🙂

    I am serious. Start out doing them standing up and leaning toward your kitchen counter and push up off the counter with your legs straight just like a push up. Do 3 sets of 5-10, however many you can do. After you can do 3 sets of 10 comfortably, then go lower like a desk. Then the floor. Using our own weight as much as we can to work out. It is great for our body.

    The other thing you can do is buy 2, 3 or 5 lb weights. Whatever you are comfortable with and while watching TV in the evening, (I keep mine on the floor beside the couch so when I think about it I don’t have to get up and get them, I just bend down and pick them up), you put one weight in your right hand, stand up and put your left knee on the chair or couch and keep your right foot on the ground. You lean forward and hold yourself up with your left arm in front of your body. Keep your right elbow next to your side, swing the right forearm holding the weight straight out.

    This is a great e.g. from Shapefit.com

    Dumbbell Kickbacks

    Exercise Advice: Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and position your left knee and hand onto a flat bench. Keep your arm tucked into your side at a 90 degree angle. Slowly extend your arm out and keep your elbow in. At full extension of the movement, make sure to keep a little bend in your arm and all the tension on your tricep muscle. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. Repeat with your opposite arm.

    Of course, check with your Doctor before starting any fitness or exercise routine.

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    It’s Tough Staying Healthy

    I felt Healthier before I went to the Doctor!

    Smoke Free 200 Days!

    I went to the Doctor for my “Well Woman” visit. I weigh 173 lbs. Ugggghhhhh!!! I have to have a colonoscopy because I am over 50. Uggghhhhh! I have to have my yearly July 31st. Ugggghhhhh! My osteoporosis rating was T -2.5. last fall and he ask if I was taking my Fosamax and I told him I was going to take care of that myself with Calcium Supplements and Walking. Oh no, he said that won’t do it. I have to rebuild the bone! I have to take osteo medicine. so I am going to call my insurance and see if they will cover the once a year Reclast shot. Uggggghhhh! I hate going to the Doc. I couldn’t eat and was poked & prodded, took blood from my little veins, and had an EKG with hairy legs. Uggggghhhhhh! I’m not doing this again for another 5 -10 years. It’s too much work. Luckily I broke it up by doing the Bone Density and Mammogram last fall and the Chest X-Ray and my Eye-Exam. It’s tough trying to stay healthy.

    And did the Doc care that I walk everyday? No, he was not impressed. Did he care that I hadn’t had a cig for 6 months? Kind of happy but didn’t jump up and down or pat me on the back and say, “Good Job”. He didn’t say my lungs sounded better or nothing. He listened to my heart a lot, like even in my neck with the stethoscope. Kind of weird I thought.

    Anyway, it all ended with me not being able to pee in the cup so I figured I will do that when I go on the 31st to the Lady Doc there for my yearly. Oh, and the lab gal sent me home with a poop card. Ugggghhhhh! It was a wonderful day…

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