Have you heard of hypothyroidism?

 

hypothyroidismFor a while now I’ve been losing my hair, gaining weight yet not eating properly, having emotional ups and downs with increased anxiety over things I would previously take in my stride, add to this brain fog/difficulty concentrating and fatigue. All of which I put down to the menopause, and didn’t think anything more of it until a couple of weeks ago when the nurse (routine check-up) advised me to get a thyroid blood test. Well, today, the results came back and the Dr confirmed that I had extremely low hormone levels – but instead of the menopause, my symptoms are due to hypothyroidism, and this, in turn, also explains my low vitamin D levels. It was quite a shock, though a relief in one way, I wasn’t going insane and there would be no more struggling alone. ;o) Luckily, over time, on medication, I should get my hair back and some form of normality…phew!

This year I’ve also been trying to complete my second book but it has been so difficult trying to concentrate and I had actually put it down to writer’s block. Yup really, seemed logical to me. Hopefully, within the next three-six months, my brain will start to clear and writing will be much easier than it has been this past year.  It’s quite strange because even though my memory in areas of spelling/grammar has deteriorated due to not being able to focus, I still remember all of the story elements. Those nagging characters just won’t let me be, thank goodness. :o)

I normally keep personal stuff off the net, but I wanted to briefly share my experience as someone else might be going through the same sort of thing and you never know, this post may help. Below are a couple of links that explain this condition, etc.

There’s no way of preventing an underactive thyroid and most cases are caused by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and damaging it. The symptoms begin so gradually that you and your doctor might not notice them until the condition is well advanced. Low levels of thyroid hormone result in a slowing down of the mental and physical processes of the whole body. Once treatment has started these symptoms will improve over time.

Hypothyroidism is a condition that cannot be cured, so hormone replacement is the only way to help the body regulate TSH and T4. Your medication will be pills containing T4, also known as thyroxine.

The only accurate way of finding out whether you have a thyroid problem is to have a thyroid function test, where a sample of blood is tested to measure your hormone levels.

Both men and women can have an underactive thyroid, although it’s more common in women. In the UK, it affects 15 in every 1,000 women and 1 in 1,000 men.

signs_and_symptoms_of_hypothyroidism-1

These are the most common symptoms:

fatigue and tiredness
increased awareness of the cold
dry and coarse skin
hair loss
hoarse or croaky voice
constipation
muscle weakness, cramps and aches
pins and needles in the fingers and hands (carpal tunnel syndrome)
heavier and longer periods
fertility problems
low libido
weight gain
puffy face and bags under the eyes
slow speech, movements and thoughts
low mood or depression
memory problems
difficulty in concentration
slow heart beat
slightly raised blood pressure
raised cholesterol
slowed growth (in children)

Links:

British Thyroid Foundation 

Thyroid UK 

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