Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Why I'm Not Fasting this Karwa Chauth

Karwa Chauth is a festival where women fast for their husbands long life. This includes women not yet married who want to find a good husband, women who are betrothed and women who are already married. I've participated in this fast before, you can read about my celebration in India here and here.

I participated once before marriage as well. That day things went well and since I was working at the call center I didn't have any trouble with not eating. I simply spent my break and lunch time talking to friends and I didn't get off of work until just before the moon came out anyway. I had to look at the moon from the call center parking lot.

Today I'm not fasting though. I also didn't participate last year. This isn't a feminist agenda sort of thing though.

A couple of months ago the manufacturer decided to discontinue my brand of thyroid hormone. The doctors insisted I again try taking Synthroid, a brand I had been on originally and had significant trouble with. I went well over two weeks without taking medications trying to fight this and still they insisted I had to have it. My insurance wouldn't pay for anything else they said (I don't believe that). So I finally decided I had no choice for now. I can't go without the medication. So I reluctantly started taking it and decided to just follow the path the doctor insisted on because it takes too much time to get a new doctor, etc. etc.

So I'm on the downward spiral right now. My bones have started hurting again, I'm having some difficulty walking because of the stiffness. My hair is falling out at alarming rates and my husband is astounded at just how much lotion my skin sucks into it on a daily basis and then it still feels like my skin is dried out. My fingernails are growing really fast but by the time they reach 1/4 inch long they become very hard (more so than normal nails) and break off. I've slumped into a depression I can't seem to understand or drag myself out of.

I don't want you all to worry though. Despite this depression I'm still up and doing daily tasks. I still go to work, I'm participating in things I like to do as any normal person would. To see me you probably wouldn't know I'm depressed at all. It's a feeling I'm having inside and it's not manifesting itself like a normal depression at all. That's how I know it's medication related. I've been in this position before.

And now that I'm stuck in it, my doctor is out of the office and I can't get it fixed. So I can wait the 3 months to get into another doctor (because I require a specialist and not a general practitioner) or I can wait for her to come back next month. So for the next month I'm stuck in misery land and it sucks.

So I'm not fasting because I feel like right now it would be detrimental to my health. I'm hanging in there but a day without food for a Hashimoto's sufferer could cause a lot more problems. I'm having to be very careful with my food right now and I'm literally eating something every 2 hours to try and keep my metabolism burning at a half way decent level. I'm also taking some thermogenic supplements just to be able to get through my day.

I decided the best thing I can do for my readers this Karwa Chauth is to share some links to the good and bad health benefits of fasting and some links on how it affects the thyroid. If you think there's even a remote chance you may have thyroid issues, you should be pro-active with your care. Your life could be drastically better just by learning some tricks to make the gland function better.

*I do not support or endorse the following sites. The information contained there is solely at the discrepancy of those site owners and I have no affiliation with any of it.

Thyroid Disease Sucks: Fasting and Thyroid Disease
Chris Kessner L.Ac.: Basics of Immune Balancing for Hashimoto’s
*my new fav - Thyroid Sexy
*my tried and true resource for over 15 years - Mary Shomon: Thyroid Info

Also, it's important if you think you have a thyroid condition that you don't start out taking medicines for it unless it is severe. Once you start medications, it is nearly impossible to ever quit taking them. There is no wonder drug, Synthroid doesn't work for everyone (me included) and you should NEVER blindly follow your doctor no matter how good they are. They cannot see what you are feeling and even minor changes can make a huge difference. I'm a prime example. While Synthroid is pure misery for me, a generic version of it is perfect. It's the chemicals they are mixed with that can make a massive difference in your health.


  1. VasudhaivakutumbakamOctober 23, 2013 at 12:51 AM

    I did my med school in India and I am trying to do my medical residency in US. I need some US clinical experience and have been shadowing a doctor (endocrinologist) recently. We see a lot of patients everyday with Hashimoto's and I have it too. Therefore, I kind of understand what you mean. I am assuming that you were on Levoxyl before because that got discontinued. We are seeing a lot of patients whose Thyroid has gone haywire after discontinuation of Levoxyl. Most of them are not happy with synthroid just like you.
    I am not sure if your doctors put you on synthroid brand/generic. The doctor I shadow with says that the generic is very fluctuating as it is mfg. outside US. She also recommends that you don't take any of your vitamins/supplements/fish oil/ Iron/prilosec/food with your Synthroid (atleast 4-6 hrs gap should be maintained). As all these can interfere with Synthroid absorption and can in turn lower its action worsening your symptoms.

    The other choice you have is Tirosint- this is purified levothyroxine and works more efficiently than Synthroid. I think it is also better tolerated than synthroid and has no interaction with all the substances I mentioned above. It works very well in patients that did not respond to synthroid. The only problem with Tirosint is recently they have jacked up the price.

    As I said before I am not an authority yet, I just wanted to give you some ideas so, please talk to your doctor. I feel in your case it is better to get an endocrinologist rather than GP/PCP as your thyroid is going crazy. Also Vit.D/ Ca def. can cause all the cramps and weakness ask your doctor about that too. Lastly, because your diagnosis is Hashimoto's you have to be on life long thyroid hormone supplements. It is not a good idea to stop thyroid meds because you don't want things getting out of hand.

  2. Karva Chauth was a Punjabi festival which was popularized through movies and serials. Nobody in UP, Bihar, Bengal and South India celebrated it. It has become much more commercialized.

    Sometime in the 1990s two movies came which had great impact on the people of India "Hum Aap Ke Hai Kaun" which was nothing but a extended wedding video and "Dil Vale Dhuliania Le Jaienge" which made Sharukh Khan the superstar (women love it for some inexplicable reason but I find the film ridiculous).

    They sold an image of a happy joint family which was essentially a north Indian family. TV picked up from there and a deluge of such serials started. There is an attempt to sell this culture within and outside India as 'the culture' of India, which it is clearly not. India does not have one single culture.

  3. I just found your blog today. I'm an American living near New Delhi. I'm really sorry to hear you've been having a lot of trouble with Hashimoto's. I was going to recommend Chris Kresser/WAPF as potential resources, but looks like you're already doing that. I really hope your symptoms improve and you get some relief. Best wishes.

  4. You're absolutely right about the medincines! I appreciate the input. I'm not concerned about price since I have to live with this every day and will bring up the Tirosint to my doctor. My endocrinologist has been practicing since before I was born, he's just really hard to get into so I'm awaiting the appointment now. It's been a while since I had blood work and he wants me to get that done before he changes my meds. In the mean time I'm taking extra allergy meds to combat my dizziness, cinnamon for energy and D/Calcium so my bones don't crack into little pieces (because they feel like they will sometimes lol). I appreciate your comment.

  5. I agree, India has many cultures. TV often misleads the masses. I know it sounds extreme/crazy but I don't have a TV in my home. I don't subscribe to cable, etc. for just that reason. It's too biased and I don't need that kind of persuasion leading my life astray.

  6. Thank you! I appreciate the support. I'll get it back together soon, it's just in this transition phase life tends to suck. :)

  7. Sorry to hear your troubles regarding your medication.
    Hopefully the recall of Levoxyl & Levothroid is temporary.
    Have you tried Naturethyroid or Armour thyroid?
    I hear it is is fairly cheap in Canada.
    Naturethyroid has a particularly good safety & low side effect profile.
    "Erfa' is another brand of desiccated thyroid similar to Armour thyroid sold in Canada also.
    Take care!

  8. OOPS!

    That should have read -

    Have you tried Naturethyroid or Erfa?

  9. I'll look into both of those. I've got to find something else. Synthroid definitely doesn't work for me.

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