It has been a long time since I have posted here, but I need some help.
For the past several months, I have been under an extraordinary amount of stress. My health has generally suffered, but what I am most concerned about is the frequent stomach pain I am experiencing. Could I have developed an ulcer? It has been typical for me since childhood to manifest stress as indigestion/intestinal pain. This problem started out in that familiar way months ago, but is no longer correlated with eating, necessarily, and does not respond to typical antacids (like Tums) or to papaya enzyme tablets, both of which have worked pretty reliably in the past. It has started to awaken me in the night occasionally, and is uncomfortable enough that I can't go back to sleep.
I have heard that it is pure myth that stress causes stomach ulcers, but I can't help wondering (and worrying) about it.
I am currently in the midst of a health insurance lapse, so I won't be able to see a doctor for another month or so. It's important to me to do a bit of legwork in advance, anyway, before submitting myself to allopathic/conventional solutions. What non-pharmaceutical measures* would you suggest in the meantime?
I am inquiring here before even asking Dr. Google. I have come to really value the wisdom in this forum, and would be grateful for any insight or suggestions you may have.
This is probably a topic for another thread entirely, but perhaps it is relevant: I am also struggling with hypothyroid symptoms at the moment. I have been on natural thyroid replacement (0.5 grain pd) for about a year, with excellent results. Lately, I sense that my levels have dropped back into the basement, and I am experiencing all the old discomforts: I am hypersensitive to light/sound/everything
, I am very easily overwhelmed, I have the "foggy" feeling, my ears itch, I get an unshakable chill even when the weather is very warm, my body temps are in the 96.5 range, I am irrationally irritable, I am lethargic, my feet are like ice, my appetite is very poor but I have inexplicably gained weight, my hair is falling out at an alarming rate, my hands and feet are quick to go numb, etc. etc. blah blah blah. (Many of these I might mistake for symptoms of stress in general if they weren't such familiar signals of poor thyroid function.)
Is my stomach pain perhaps related to this? And if so, what can I do?
I'm eager to see my doctor (a great integrative practitioner), do some labs, and adjust the meds if appropriate, but I can't do that for several more weeks due to the insurance issues. What can I do in the meantime?
I've restarted iodine supps, which I'd gotten lazy about. (I have 12.5mg Iodoral tablets. How many should I take?) I already cook with coconut oil, but am considering taking some therapeutically. What else would you suggest? Are any of the herbal "thyroid formulas" at the health food store worth trying?
Thanks in advance. I'm really bummed to be dealing with all of this on top of other stressors. (But then, that's exactly how it goes, right? I know, I know. Sigh.)
* Other than stress management and self-care, which I am actively working on