This is a long-awaited update about my current health issues with fatigue, my thyroid, sleep apnea and being on Testosterone.
I finally got re-referred to the endocrinologist to take a look at my thyroid function. This was the same specialist I saw pre-T who kept going on about becoming ‘manly’ and who I also asked about my then recent diagnosis. I was referred to him simply because a) he had seen me before (four years ago), and b) because I am taking T and he is the only endo on the books with the gender dysphoria clinic – my GP thought having an endo that understands gender dysphoria would help reduce the questions about why I am on T.
So to recap what’s happened and where I am up to. I stopped Eutroxsig, a thyroxine medication, roughly a year ago to see what would happen to my thyroid levels. This was a decision made with support from my GP who thought perhaps I did not have an under-active thyroid after all, as my levels were similar to pre-diagnosis and that I was still feeling fatigued. At the same time I stopped this medication, which I had been taking for four years, I went through a sleep study that diagnosed me with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and I was put on a CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) machine. I was aware that it would take me a while to get used to the machine and hoped for some improvement in my fatigue, however it seemed I would be the one person who felt no benefits.
Fast-forward to the last few months where I re-visited my GP a handful of times and started going down the route of “what else could be causing this ongoing fatigue” discussion. The idea of chronic fatigue was brought up, as well as some other type of thyroid disorder, so another referral was written. While I waited for my specialist appointment I also went through the process of and being successful in my application to work from home, and most recently flexible work assessment to allow me to reduce my hours/days/shifts etc. I eventually received approval for my flexible work assessment, thanks to my GP’s report, and have three month’s off of overnight and shifts finishing at midnight. I have to be honest that I am disappointed that I only get three month’s worth of flexibility, of which I can extend if approved, as this fatigue/exhaustion has been getting worse since approx. 2010/2011.
Last week I saw said specialist, who again seemed very preoccupied with my manliness and not my presenting problem of ongoing fatigue. He looked over my latest thyroid results and identified that while the levels were relatively stable pre 2010 and while I was on medication, it has since deteriorated, which makes him think that I do in fact have an under-active thyroid. Could it be that by treating my sleep apnea and hypothyroidism I may eventually start to feel normal again!? Only time will tell.
Right now I would like to try and do some more research about hypothyroidism, especially with anyone who is currently on T, and maybe diagnosed with sleep apnea too? I am still thinking of changing over to the T-gel or the underarm applicator, so maybe stopping T may be worth investigating to see what part it plays in my fatigue. I shall review in three to six months and let you know.