Making Peace With My Thyroid...Finally

A couple of week's ago I went back for my check-up after being on 50 mcg of Synthroid for two months and I am SO HAPPY to report that after over a year of struggling to get my hypothyroidism under control my TSH is (in my doctor's words...) "Perfect"!

 

It only took my new doctor 4 months to get my Synthroid dosage right and when he entered the room and presented me with the results of my blood test (1.4 TSH...) I breathed a sigh of relief.  Ever since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I must admit that I have been pretty angry.  Angry that I have a thyroid problem, angry that I have to take medicine every day, angry that for a very long time I didn't feel like getting off of the couch, angry that no matter what I did I couldn't lose weight...just angry that this thing called a thyroid appeared to be getting the best of me.  I only tell you about my anger, not because I think I have it worse than other people; I realize that my problem is very small compared to the health issues that many people are going through.  I tell you about it because I have to be honest about my feelings AND because I am the sort of person who allows anger to drive me...drive me to find answers and make things better.

 

I had no idea that a poorly functioning thyroid was my problem and perhaps that is because it was slowing getting worse over time.  Had my husband not gently insisted I have a complete blood work-up, I still would not know that I had a problem.  I was a work-out fanatic; working out 2-3 hours a day.  I even worked out with a personal trainer and I worked out hard.  My diet was great and neither one of us could figure out why I couldn't seem to make the numbers move on the scale.  Well, being told that I had hypothyroidism caused me to begin to read all sorts of articles and books on the subject; I wanted to know everything there was to know about the condition.  Below are a list of  the symptoms of hypothyroidism:  (www.womentowomen.com)

 

  • severe fatigue, loss of energy
  • weight gain, difficulty losing weight
  • depression and depressed mood
  • joint and muscle pain, headaches
  • dry skin, brittle nails
  • brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss
  • irregular periods, PMS symptoms
  • breast milk formation
  • calcium metabolism difficulties
  • difficulty tolerating cold and lower body temperature
  • constipation
  • sleeping more than average
  • diminished sex drive
  • puffiness in face and extremities
  • hoarseness
  • bruising/clotting problems
  • elevated levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and heightened risk of heart disease
  • allergies that suddenly appear or get worse
  • persistent cold sores, boils, or breakouts
  • tingling sensation in wrists and hands that mimics carpal tunnel syndrome
  • memory loss, fuzzy thinking, difficulty following conversation or train of thought
  • slowness or slurring of speech
  • appearance of a goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid that is externally visible

WOW!  I had so many of these symptoms.  The thyroid controls the hormones in your body and can cause EVERYTHING to get out of whack.  A TSH of 5 used to be considered a "Normal TSH", however, the new standards put it at about 2.  I agree with this because the way you "feel" has a lot to do with your correct TSH.  My doctor always asks, "How do you 'feel'" and I have learned that this is a very important aspect of managing one's hypothyroidism.  I didn't truly "feel" my best until my TSH got down to the 1.4.  And once I began to 'feel' better, I was suddenly able to physically do more; it was actually amazing since I had felt like doing nothing for so long.  In the past month I decided to go back to yoga.  I have always loved yoga classes but found myself unable to hold the poses or even my balance so I just quit going.  When I started back, it was difficult, both physically and mentally.  However, I stuck with it and in no time I was back in the swing of things.  Around the same time, I started walking about 30-40 minutes a day.  This past week I felt well enough to run a little two days and add a pilates class (a class I had not done for about a year...).

 

Today, I went to the run shop in town to purchase a new pair of shoes.  While there, the owner (a woman in her 30's...) was asking me how I had been.  I told her about my thyroid issues and she surprised me telling me that she had been on Synthroid, herself, for years.  I was taken aback!  This wonderfully fit woman also had hypothyroidism?!  And then she told me her story.  She was training for a Ironman competition when she found out she had it.  Contributing her tiredness to the intense training and also (like me...) not really recognizing the other symptoms she was having, a friend did and told her she needed to have a blood test done.  When she received the results she found that her TSH was OVER 100!  We talked for quite a while and she gave me great encouragement that I would just continue to feel better and better over time.

 

I will say that I have made peace with my thyroid.  I always knew I had one but I never knew its function or importance.  I am not angry any more, just thankful.  Thankful that my husband insisted that I have that blood test done, thankful that I found a wonderful doctor that has worked with me to get this condition under control, thankful that I am finally on the correct medication, thankful that I  once again feel like getting up in the morning and am able to function normally.  I am thankful that I have finally made peace with my thyroid.

 

 

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