Hypothyroid

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I wanted to take a brief post to talk about an important topic: hypothyroid.  Sadly this is something that affects MANY men and women of all ages.  I recently found out that I have an underactive thyroid.  We’re not sure how long it’s been that way or how it happened.  All I know is it’s there for now and I’m doing what I can do live with it.  The side effects vary greatly from person to person.  For me I didn’t notice any drastic side effects until we were on vacation in May.  Unfortunately I came down with some sort of cold the day before we left and spent the entire vacation sluggish, lethargic, and generally out of sorts.  I had a lovely little sore throat as well.  By the time we returned I had been sick for two weeks with no sign of getting better.  I was sleeping about 12-15 hours a day and had no energy or desire to leave the couch/bed.

At my first check-up my doctor was 90% sure I had Mononucleosis, however the blook work came back negative for EBV (Epstein-Barr virus).  The blood work showed my TSH level was up to 5, which means that my thyroid wasn’t producing enough hormone and my pituitary gland kicked into high gear to try and stimulate my thyroid to produce more thyroid hormones.  Thyroid hormones are extremely important to keeping our bodies functioning at a normal level.  Having an overactive thyroid, being hyperthyroid, can lead to heart problems and cause people to because overly anxious.  Unfortunately because we’re not sure what caused my thyroid to underproduce, it will take some trial and error to figure out if I need thyroid stimulating hormones for the rest of my life.  Being a glass half-full kind of gal I’m hoping once my thyroid normalizes I can go back to a life of non-medicated thyroid hormones!

Today it’s been about 5 weeks since I started on Synthroid and in another week or two I go back for follow-up blood work to make sure my TSH levels are back to normal.  I definitely felt a significant improvement after 2-3 weeks, but was hit with strep throat about 10 days ago that threw me off for almost a week.  At this point I am extremely thankful to have my energy and health back.  Having been a healthy person for most of my life, aside from my congenital heart defect, it was extremely difficult to see myself in such a lethargic state gaining weight and having no energy to do anything about it.  I strongly feel this experience has rejuvenated and pushed me to go back to what I love: cooking.  I continue to look for natural remedies to help stimulate my thyroid without medicine, but have been spending most of my time focusing on getting back to the fit and healthy person I once was.

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