It has been about 8 weeks since I found out that I have hypothyroidism. Some people might think that hypothyroidism is an excuse for being fat and lazy or that it's not fatal, so it shouldn't be that big of a deal. Well I’m here to tell you that hypothyroidism is a big deal and that, even though it isn't fatal, it has changed my life completely.
After 6 weeks of taking a 50mcg dose of Synthroid, I went back to my endocrinologist for a checkup. He reviewed my blood work and did a thyroid ultrasound to make sure there was no cancer or nodules. Both of my test markers were positive for Hashimoto's Disease, which is an autoimmune disease where my body has basically started attacking my thyroid, rendering it pretty much useless. Your thyroid produces T4, which is the thyroid hormone that regulates many of your bodily functions. When the doctors ran my initial blood tests, my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was very high because my body was trying to get my thyroid to produce more of the T4 hormone. I also had a goiter (a rather enlarged thyroid) which was what initially led the doctor to believe that i had been suffering from Hashimoto's Disease for quite sometime.
I can almost pinpoint the exact day that I my thyroid issues started. It was back when I was training for my 1/2 marathon (yes, that long ago). I remember that getting up for my runs started getting harder and harder, and I really had no desire to do anything. I remember the day, in the shower, when handfuls of hair started coming out. Although I had the occasional bursts of energy (typical with Hashimoto's Disease), I always felt exhausted and sick. My marriage even started to be affected by the extreme exhaustion. Try having your significant other come home at 6pm and then by 7:30 you're going to bed....every day, for months. My husband thought that I was depressed and that I didn't want to be around him. I give this man so much credit for sticking by me, because when I think back to all the sleeping, crying, and mood swings, I don't think that I would have been as patient as he was.
There were also little things that I never noticed until they got better, like how my hands and feet were always FREEZING. I just thought it was poor circulation, but it has gone away since I started my medication. My mental acuity was also slowing down. It took me a really long time to process things, and I was forgetting everything. A couple of times I couldn’t even remember the names of things, or my own phone number. Then came the swelling of my hands and feet. I thought that It was strange that I could go from a size 6 ½ shoe to a 7 ½ in a few months. I now know that it was because of the swelling in my feet (I have since gone back down to a 6 ½). Not to mention the inability to lose weight. I was running 25-30 miles/week, eating a healthy diet, and I couldn’t lose any weight. I gave up trying.
So now, 8 weeks later, I am ready to try again. After my most recent doctor’s appointment, my endocrinologist upped my Synthroid to 75mcg. Since then, it’s like I’m a new person. The old medication levels made my brain work again, but I was still tired all the time. I am now able to stay up almost all day without napping or feeling exhausted. Though I’m feeling better today, there will be ups and downs. There have been days where I feel very tired, and days when I feel like I could conquer Mt. Everest. Overall, I’m okay with that. I’m the type of person who has always been against taking any sort of medication or supplements, but I could never imagine going back to the way things were. I was watching my life pass right in front of me, and I didn’t even have the strength to care. I will probably have to be on medication for the rest of my life, but I’m okay with that. The doctor said that my thyroid was pretty scarred up, so who knows how much function I’d get out of it in the future.
I’m sure that some people on here have judged me for the constant lack of progress, and that’s okay. I probably would have judged me too. I was off and on the weight loss wagon so many times that I lost some really great friends that I met on here. I am not using my thyroid problems as an excuse for being fat or lazy. Actually, my weight issues started before I was even feeling sick…Hashimoto’s disease just made it harder to get rid of it.
So here I am, back to tackle weight loss again, and needing everyone’s support more than ever. The hardest part is asking for help. So, here I am, asking for your help in keeping me accountable!