I don't know that I would say I'm in "chronic stress", although I do have stressful things happening, like foreclosure and bankruptcy ... and there have certainly been some underlying stresses in my life for years. All of that probably contributes to my current state, but I believe the primary sources of my stress are intense exercise and dieting, which included skipping meals often. And since I now believe I have had low thyroid for years, my body couldn't tolerate the exercise combined with the way I was eating and weight loss.
I am a cyclist and last year I pushed myself harder than I ever had. I did several centuries (100 mile rides), did a ton of climbing on the bike and did my first few road races. I lost weight so I could climb better, not because I was overweight. I was not by any means "underweight" when I reached my goal, but certainly as thin as I'd want to be. (I'm 5'9" and was 138 at my lowest, 148 now). I was feeling fine (relatively speaking, because I don't think I've felt fully healthy for years due to my thyroid), until July when my period came and I "crashed". All of a sudden I couldn't ride my bike worth beans and my overall energy plummeted. When I stood up, my eyes often went black for a while, or at the least I got a little dizzy. I thought I had anemia, took iron, started eating more, hardly rode my bike (since I barely could anyway) ... and after about a month, I started to feel better and slowly started riding my bike more. In January, I got more serious about training again. I'd do okay on shorter rides, but every time I tried to do a 50-60 mile ride, I'd bonk at about mile 40 and I just couldn't figure out why. Thought I just needed to change my training strategy and goals, so decided instead of working toward endurance rides, I'd focus on short and fast. I did interval rides and other rides to improve speed. I did fast group rides that made me push myself. I felt like I was doing okay with these kinds of rides and, since I had gained back a lot of my weight when I thought I had anemia and started eating more, I now started dieting again, and skipping meals again. In March, when my period came, I crashed again. Same exact symptoms as before. Couldn't ride worth beans, no energy and eyes going black when I stood. All of those symptoms are still happening, but are a little less severe after about 7 weeks.
Doctor said my hemoglobin was fine and after that a friend who is very familiar with AF and hypothyroidism told me my symptoms fit.
Symptoms I've had for years:
Low body temperature
Low blood pressure (I was always told my blood pressure was on the low side until I started cycling)
Cracked heels / dry skin
Inability to stand for prolonged periods
Heavy breathing during exercise (with training it improved, but I always breath harder than others of similar fitness)
Cellulite (I've read it can be a symptom of thyroid and mine seems more severe than most ... even with a lot of exercise.)
Periodontitis (lost all my upper teeth in my 30's. I'm 41 now)
Chronic Nasal Congestion / Post Nasal Drip
Poor memory (Can watch a movie and not realize until two thirds into it that I've seen it before, even though my husband insisted that I did)
Symptoms I started having about five years ago:
Stronger PMS symptoms, which include:
Get hotter in general before and during period
Increase in perspiration
In past 6 months or so I have noticed my skin thinning, sagging and looking more aged kind of "all of a sudden", particularly on my arms and neck.
My vision changed dramatically in short period of time, maybe two months ago.
Symptoms I started having 7 weeks ago when my period came (and back in July when my period came):
Eyes going black when standing (low blood pressure)
Fatigue / lethargic
Inability to exercise at any intensity Depression (not constant, but more than I've ever experienced)
Inability to handle stressful situations
Difficulty concentrating, brain fog
I did have low libido for about a month I'd say, but seems better now.
Test results reveal low estrogen and Vitamin D deficiency.
Waiting for saliva hormone test results (estrogen test was from blood).