This post will be something different than my normal posts, but having a Hypothyroid disorder is something that I think should have more awareness and I want to share my story!
I spend my day absolutely knackered.
24/7, I am yawning, struggling to stay awake if I sit still for too long and just feel run down. I always get the ‘you just need an early night and you’ll be fine’ comments. If only that was the case!
I found out I had an underactive thyroid when I was 18. I went to the doctor one day so exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open, for no reason at all. So she shipped me off for a blood test and told me to come back in a week. I went back to see her after and she nearly put me into the hospital, she said my thyroid levels were dangerously low. But, the anxious mess I was (that’s another post!) I declined and said I would try and manage it from home. So she started me off on 150mg of Thyroxine. She told me the basics, the symptoms and effects, and that I’ll be on the tablets for life. She also gave me a free prescription card (if you are hypo and don’t have one, speak to your doctor!) Now this may sound unfair, but prescriptions are very expensive when you need to pick up 4+ boxes of tablets at a time!
The main symptoms I suffer from are the classics: being constantly exhausted, a serious struggle to lose any weight, mild acne, migraines, chronic pain, being sensitive to the cold, PCOS and carpal tunnel. I’m a broken toy!
When I was pregnant I was under a specialist doctor to help manage my thyroid problems as they got worse. At one point, my Thyroxine went up to 300mg a day, which is double what I’m on now. I seem to be managing it okay now, but I am still tired and think I always be. It is a huge effort to build any kind of motivation to do anything, and I struggle every day with it.
To people that don’t suffer from it, it sounds very dramatic and I understand that completely. But unfortunately, no amount of extra sleep will help. In fact, if I have a lay in or any amount of extra sleep I wake up feeling a lot worse for it and even more tired, however that works!
So what actually is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is an under active thyroid, hyperthyroidism is over active. Hypo is low, that’s how I remember!
Your thyroid is a gland in your throat that regulates your metabolism (hence the weight issues with both – hypo you put on weight as it’s too slow, hyper you lose weight as it’s too fast). The way that it controls the metabolism is by creating the thyroid hormone. This is made by extracting the iodine from your blood and turning it into the hormone. When your body doesn’t make enough of the hormone (like mine), your normal bodily functions essentially slow down. If this is the case, you have to take tablets with a man made version of the hormone – Levothyroxine. Treatment is normally for life.
The biggest symptoms for Hypothyroidism are:
– Unexplained tiredness
– Unexplained weight gain
– Struggling to lose weight
– You struggle in the cold
– Abnormal periods (hypo & PCOS are linked. I suffer from both and will write a post about PCOS at a later date!)
– Depression and irritability
If you have any of these problems for a prolonged period, see your doctor and they will more than likely give you a blood test. That is the only way to diagnose thyroid issues. They check your TSH and TS4 levels, and will be able to manage the condition accordingly.
It is a problem that affects 1 in 20 people in the UK, so you’re definitley not alone.
It is also one of the disorders that is tested during a newborns heel prick test shortly after birth. Baby A’s came back all clear so I have my fingers crossed it stays that way for her!
Do you have a thyroid problem? Let me know in the comments if this helped you in any way.