Friday, October 1, 2010

She has a family; she's a mother.


I don't know the details of my results, but I know they showed hypothyroidism.  I think I cried when I found out.  These last 2 years have completely changed my body in some pretty horrible ways, and the possibility of relief is unbelievable. It's a long road ahead, but I guess now's as good a time as any to take the first step.

Here are some details about hypothyroidism:

Early symptoms:
  • Being more sensitive to cold
  • Frequent headaches
  • Depression
  • Fatigue or feeling slowed down ("foggy thinking")
  • Heavier or unusual menstrual periods
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Paleness or dry skin
  • Thin, brittle hair or fingernails
  • Weakness
  • Weight gain (unintentional/unexplained)
Late symptoms, if left untreated:
  • Decreased taste and smell
  • Hoarseness
  • Puffy face, hands, and feet
  • Infertility
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Thinning of eyebrows
The purpose of treatment is to replace the thyroid hormone that is lacking. Levothyroxine is the most commonly used medication. Doctors will prescribe the lowest dose that effectively relieves symptoms and brings the TSH level to a normal range. If you have heart disease or you are older, your doctor may start with a very small dose.
Lifelong therapy is required unless you have a condition called transient viral thyroiditis.
You must continue taking your medication even when your symptoms go away. When starting your medication, your doctor may check your hormone levels every 2 - 3 months. After that, your thyroid hormone levels should be monitored at least every year.

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