Several months ago (on Valentines Day actually) I received the results. I’ve got to tell you I thought the symptoms I’ve been experiencing were just the signs of getting older, or the dreaded prognosis that peri menopause brings. So I was somewhat surprised when I was told I had very low levels of Vitamin D (which effects energy levels – I’ll talk about that later), and, I now join the ranks of millions of people who have hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a condition of not having enough of the thyroid hormone, and this lack of hormone can be due to a thyroid that isn’t producing enough hormone and when that happens it can wreck havoc within your body.
Embarrassingly I didn’t realize the importance or function of my thyroid – since February I’ve become much more of an “expert” about the small butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the lower part of your neck.
The thyroid’s most important purpose is to produce, store, and release two key thyroid hormones: triiodothyronine, abbreviated as T3, and thyroxin, abbreviated as T4.
When the thyroid is working properly, it produces and secretes the right amount of T4 and T3 your body needs to function, but when your thyroid is not working properly it does not produce or secrete the right amount of T4 and T3 and you may have many different symptoms such as:
*Temperature changes – feeling cold/hot
*Loss of sex drive
*Elevated cholesterol levels
*Fatigue, lack of energy
*Aches and pains
*Concentration and memory problems
*Dizziness and vertigo
*Neck and throat complaints
And many more!
Is it no wonder when you see some of these symptoms that you would think you’re losing your mind OR it’s just something you go through during perimenopause!! I experienced over half of these for a long time – too long – and I did think I was losing my mind! I just didn’t understand what was happening to me as the symptoms (with so many at once) were just the oddest, most frustrating thing to deal with.
Let me first just say how very thankful I am for a doctor who took my symptoms seriously and did a lot of digging. By that I mean she asked an exhausting amount of questions, and I was so desperate for answers I would have given her the whole day if that’s what was needed. She asked for specific things to be tested with my blood work, and most importantly didn’t make me feel like this was “all in my head.”
Secondly I was put on a prescription thyroid hormone replacement drug right away – as that helps replace the missing thyroid hormone that my body is apparently not producing by itself. This treatment took a long long time for me to start to notice any kind of results – I guess I was expecting miracles. But I’m feeling better by leaps and bounds, although I know I have a way to go.
I’m not sure why but I was frustrated to know that I’ll probably be on this hormone replacement drug for the rest of my life. I thought I would take this medication “for a while” – you know, until my body caught up with itself – and then I would be ALL BETTER. But that’s not the way it works. Oh well….
So the moral of the story is to listen to your body, and if you sense something is not quite right act on it and be insistent with your doctor (although I didn’t need to be with mine).
I’ve started on a new journey myself since learning more about hypothyroidism – I’m looking at my habits, my diet, the amount of exercise I do, my physical and mental health, and other holistic approaches that I can do.
If you think it’s hard to lose weight, try having hypothyroidism. If you think you can’t find the energy or stamina to exercise, try having hypothyroidism. If you think I’m going to use this diagnosis as an excuse, not on your life!