Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism

April 11, 2010 at 10:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Apparently I took an unplanned hiatus from blogging. I can’t believe I haven’t written in nearly two months. As you can imagine, things in my life have been a little out of sorts. I’ve been dealing with health issues, family issues, and just life issues in general. (Wow, can we say overuse of the word issues?)

Toward the end of February, I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. For those of you who don’t know what Hypothyroidism is, in short…it’s when your thyroid gland is underactive. Most people don’t know this (I didn’t either until I was diagnosed and started researching), but your thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in your throat that controls your metabolism. When you have an underactive thyroid, it slows down your metabolism. Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include: fatigue, weakness, weight gain, dry skin, constantly feeling cold, memory loss, irritability, and the list goes on and on.

I had so many of those symptoms and I’ve had a feeling for years that I have Hypothyroidism, but when I was tested last, the tests showed I didn’t have it. The kicker there is that the testing range has changed in the last few years, so I could’ve had it back then, but since the tests were different, my doctor wouldn’t have diagnosed me. Thyroid problems can also be genetic, my sister and grandma both had thyroid problems, my grandma even had hers removed.

I can’t even describe to you the way that Hypothyroidism makes you feel, but I’ll try. You know when people say, “I’m so tired all the time”? Well with Hypothyroidism, you literally feel like death. On the weekends, I would sleep in until noon, maybe take a nap half way through the day, and still be able to go to sleep at 10 o’clock that night. It feels like you can sleep 10-12 hours and still keep sleeping and not feel any better.

I had a horrible time with concentration and memory. I kept forgetting things and had the worst time trying to concentrate at work. My face was so incredibly dry that even after putting pounds of lotion on, I’d still feel flaky and dry. I just figured my skin was trying to get used to the dry Alaskan winters, but this was definitely different.  My skins getting better and better, hopefully once my doctor gets the dosage right everything will go back to normal, or at least somewhat-normal.

I’ve been on thyroid hormone replacement medication for a little over six weeks now. I do feel a little improvement, but the process is very slow. They start you out on a very small dosage, then in six weeks you go back for more blood tests and they adjust your dosage according to the hormone levels in your blood. Just to give you an idea, she started me on 50mcg and from what I’ve read the typical dosage for a person of my weight is 150mcg, but it all really depends on each specific person, there’s no generic prescription dosage they can write you. You can’t just jump into a dosage that high though, they have to gradually get you to that point because a high dosage like that right off the bat would send your thyroid into overdrive.

My diagnosis was like someone turning a light on. Everything suddenly made sense, on our drive to Alaska I gained 10 lbs and then since being here I’ve gained another 10 lbs. For the last few months, I was killing myself on the treadmill with no results. I was eating 1000-1200 calories a day and running 3-5 times a week with absolutely no results, in fact I believe I gained a lb or two. That’s what Hypothyroidism can do to you; it makes it extremely easy to gain weight, but near impossible to lose it unless you’re given the correct dosage of medication.

How did this post become entirely about my Hypothyroidism? Apparently I felt the need to just get all of that out of my head and put it out there. Other than the recent diagnosis, life is going really well. I have a whole host of things to write about, but I’ll save those for additional posts. For now, I’ll leave you with a cute little cartoon:

thyroid problem

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