What Is Normal Anyway?

I was formulating the basis for my blog today when I was overcome by one of those I-must-nap-now feelings.  I was sitting on the sofa reading and getting my mind focused on what I wanted to share when the feeling came.  I’ve shared before that when I have this feeling, I have to lie down and sleep.  I slept for about 30 minutes and woke up a little disoriented.  But, as I started becoming more conscious, I started feeling a little clearer and like I suddenly had a few extra spoons for the rest of the day.  I moved to my laptop and opened it up.  As I logged into my blog I realized, what the heck was I going to blog about? I was so exhausted I didn’t write any notes down before my little nap.  I started typing anyway in the hopes that what I was thinking before I slept would come back to me.  I know I’ll eventually come to something if I just keep typing, even if it wasn’t what I intended to share.  Oh, I think it’s coming back to me now.  Ready?

I’ve shared before that I’m reading UltraMetabolism by Mark Hyman, M.D.  I heard about the book from the Saving Dinner radio show that my Silly Sissy pointed me to one day a few weeks back when the subject was about gluten and its effects on our health like causing fibromyalgia, autism, hypothyroidism, etc.  I went to Barnes & Noble to check  the book out to see if I really wanted it.  I decided to go for it after skimming through the Table of Contents.  He has an entire chapter on Thyroid problems, mainly hypothyroidism.  He doesn’t limit his information on thyroid issues to that one chapter, but talks about it throughout the book.  The chapter really focuses on how to manage thyroid problems.  I was really struck by one symptom he mentioned that I have not seen mentioned before – low blood pressure.

I’ve had low blood pressure as long as I can remember.  105-110/56-60 would be normal for me.  I’ve always thought this was odd and mentioned it to nurses a few times when they were taking my blood pressure.  They always told me it was normal, so I kept on thinking it was.  They’re nurses after all.  They know these things, right?  I just considered myself blessed since I have a family history of high blood pressure.  All this time, it was just a symptom of my hypothyroidism right along with my low body temp.  “Normal” is 98.6.  I’m normally between 96.5-97.8.  Something else that I was told was just “normal.”  This is why I do research and reading on things.  Despite all the education, our medical professionals don’t know everything about every little thing.  And sometimes the little symptoms aren’t paid attention to and are just considered to be “normal.”  It’s no wonder that Hypothyroidism is underdiagnosed.

The thing I try to convey to people about this disorder is that the same treatment doesn’t work for everyone.  Most doctors follow the same plan of treatment for their patients.  Or the norm.  The medical standard.  Whatever you want to call it.  I would love to see them individualize treatment more.  While I do have a great doctor, he’s still limited in the time he can put into actually formulating an individual treatment plan for his patients.  I see people in the Hypothyroidism group on Facebook time after time and the only thing they’ve been on is Synthroid/Levothyroxine and they still feel the same.  Our normal course of treatment that doctors follow doesn’t work for everyone.  Not everyone responds to medications the same way, but our doctors are accustomed to prescribing the same thing.  When I respond to people in the group that are looking for feedback, I try to stress that what I’m telling them what I’m doing is what is working for me.  I see lots of comments from people who I can tell had the doctor drill the importance of medications into them.  Yes, medications have their place, but when they don’t work, you must go to alternative methods.  I shared with one woman what I was doing to for my thyroid because Synthroid wasn’t working for me.  She sent me a message the other day saying she tried the supplement I’m using and it’s working wonders for her.  I tell you, it was really great hearing that someone actually took my suggestion and went against traditional medicine.

No matter what diagnosis you might have, you need to advocate for yourself with your doctor when you know your medications aren’t working for you.  Do some research and take it in with you on your next appointment to talk about.  Bottom line, if you know something isn’t right, do something about it.  You know yourself and your body the best and no one can help you do anything about it unless you speak up.



  1. No freakin way! I have always had low blood pressure and a very low body temperature. It’s all making sense now! Thanks so much for the great insight! I’m still reading…still learning.

    Still about to fall asleep as I type…

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