Dysregulation : impairment of a physiological regulatory mechanism (as that governing metabolism, immune response, or organ function) (Merriam-Webster dictionary).
Now that we have my food issue under some control, at least to the extent that I can eat 18 different foods and have some nutritional variety back in my life, my doctor is looking at what else is wrong and how I can heal my body.
One of the critical pieces of information is my 24 hour heart rate variability study performed last Fall. We now have the complete analysis. The summary is that my heart rate variability is very poor during the day (this is bad), my heart rate goes up while I’m sleeping (this is bad), but there is some improvement in heart rate variability while sleeping (this is good). Most likely this is the result of the physical stress of decades of chronic illness, plus the mental stress of dealing with the condition. I’m in a near-PTSD state.
My doctor and I discussed my poor sleep. I have no trouble falling asleep, but I wake up at night and have trouble getting back to sleep. My mind is not racing and I’m not worrying about anything, and I am not tired the next day. She thinks this is a cortisol regulation problem. My cortisol is ramping up at inappropriate times and I feel like I have enough sleep and adequate energy. The reality is that my body is not resting and recovering properly.
Then there’s my weird blood sugar readings. I often have high blood sugar when fasting and then it goes very low after a meal. When I say “low,” I mean I have symptoms of hypoglycemia sometimes mid-morning or before lunch. My actual measurement is typically low 70ish when that happens. And that’s even with a mid-morning second breakfast.
In addition, as discussed in a previous blog, my doctor is treating my marginal thyroid function with medication. I haven’t noticed a difference one way or another since starting Synthroid. The lab tests in a few months will show if that dose is helping or I need a higher dose.
So, the theme I came away with from my last doctor visit – dysregulation. Between my heart rate, heart rate variability, blood sugar, cortisol, and thyroid hormone, my body is just all sorts of out of whack. There are ways to treat these things, of course. I’ll get to that in my next blog.