Thursday, June 19, 2014

What I've Been Meaning to Blog...

I wanted to blog about my health and some of the things I have been going through the last six months. I don't know exactly when it started, but after I had Evie I had hair loss. Everyone told me that was totally normal for postpartum and it is. The difference was the hair loss never stopped. I kept losing hair six, nine, twelve, twenty-four months later. I could literally pull out clumps of hair.

I was pretty forgetful too. I began forgetting dentist appointments, sessions and to-do lists. I didn't think much of that, I mean I am a mom of three kids under five years old. 

My hands were dry too. Of course I figured I wasn't drinking enough water (do we ever?) and it was winter. 

Last, I was having occasional night sweats. Again, I thought it wasn't unusual. I was always cold and would pile on blankets at night. It was probably all the layers. 

I went to my regular doctor visit in January and mentioned my hair loss. That was my biggest problem. I thought it was genetic. My doctor figured routine blood work would be good. It had been three years since I had blood work done. 

What were the results? Not what I expected. I had Underactive Thyroid caused from Hashimoto Thyrioditis. What does that mean? My immune system was attacking my thyroid and my thyroid was being suppressed by it. My body was trying to over stimulate my thyroid to work, so that's why my symthoms were so gradual that I brushed them off. It was most likely triggered by my pregnancy with Evie. Immune system disruptions like pregnancy and postpartum can reek havoc on your body. My blood levels were a mess. However, I wasn't feeling bad other than the annoying hair loss. How could I be so sick, when I felt so well?

I've been having blood work every six weeks, doctor/specialist visits and trying to get on the right dose of medication. 

At first the diagnosis was devastating to me. While it's fully/easily treatable, I've always been anti-medication. I don't take over the counter medications or have medicated births. I think medication causes many of the health problems in our country. Yet, here I was faced with daily medication as my only effective option. I researched natural methods, but they were hardly effective. I still use many natural remedies like natural supplements, salt baths, thyroid massage, take Selenium supplements, eat healthy, avoid foods that block thyroid function and changed many of the products in our home to natural

I will say for anyone out there scared with this diagnosis, I feel exactly the same on medication. I don't have any side effects and my symthoms have subsided. 

Why am I blogging about all of this? I'm hoping to raise awareness and encourage people to get routine blood work! You might feel fine, but getting bloodwork every year is essential. Also I'd like to put it out there and hear from people who also have this. 

4 comments:

  1. Hey Marjorie! I was diagnosed with under-active Thyroid while pregnant with Luke. Not as severe as Hashimoto, but under active none-the-less. And JUST like you, my symptoms were SO subtle at first, I just chalked it up to normal pregnancy fatigue. Coincidentally, I had a physical scheduled and was surprised with my diagnosis at 8 weeks pregnant. I went on meds immediately (and panicked with Google searches, as untreated hypothyroid is dangerous for early pregnancy), but ended up having a perfectly healthy pregnancy and baby. Several months after having the baby, I got lazy with my medication because I was skeptical that it did anything at all, but suddenly my symptoms came back ten times worse (mainly muscle fatigue, brittle nails, easy bruising, and skin breakouts). Needless to say, I'm back on my daily regimen. But interesting to see you have the same thing! My husband is kind enough to put out my medication every morning, because otherwise I'm certain I'd forget to take it. Autoimmune diseases run in my family, especially thyroid problems, so my doctor said it's no surprise that I had a higher chance of having it too. It's really good you have your thyroid levels situated in case you want to get pregnant again, because the first six weeks of pregnancy are the most critical for the baby's development (from what I understand, they depend entirely on the mother's thyroid hormones before their own kick in later in the pregnancy). And any future pregnancies will require more bloodwork than normal to make sure your levels remain leveled. :)

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    1. Britta, thank you so much for the response! I'm so glad to hear I'm not alone with this. We also hope to have more children, so it's encouraging to hear you had a healthy pregnancy. I know I'll have to be monitored carefully.

      I'm good with taking my medication because the doctor said when I'm not taking it, my thyroid is being damaged by my immune system. That thought really scared me! A great tip someone told me was to set an alarm by your bed, take your medication and go back to sleep. That helps because I don't have to wait to eat while I'm awake.

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  2. I am so glad you caught this before a next pregnancy. I had never heard of the thyroid massage. I'm now interested in it proactively.

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  3. Hi! It's been a while, so I'm catching up. I have had hypothyroidism for years now. I am actually quite jealous that you don't have the weight trouble that I have (as that is also a side effect). My biggest symptom is tiredness. I go through periods where I am exhausted all the time. For six months now I have been really watching what I eat, exercising regularly and still haven't lost any noticeable weight. It's very frustrating, but also to a degree out of my control.
    Anyway, don't be discouraged, hypothyroidism is so common and highly treatable.

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