Monday, February 1, 2016

It's All In the Genes




This is an older post, but since I my numbers have changed, and after 3 years I'm back to changing my medicine, I thought now would be a good time to remind everyone how important it is the know your family history.

It is very rare that I post anything personal about myself.  I'm a private person and I see no need to involve my readers in my personal life, but once in a while, I feel a need to reach out and connect. By the time this post airs I'll be getting ready to go to my doctors for my six month annual visit to check my thyroid.

There are many women who have a thyroid condition.  Notice I said condition not disease.  I call it that because it is something we live with not die from, and trust me when I say I live with it every day.  Thyroid problems run in family like they do in many families.  My aunt has it (hyper) my mom's sister and my mom had it (hyper). I found out I have it as well last year it right after my sister found out she has it. Funny how we found out within weeks of each other and we are only a year apart.  My sister has hyper as well, so how in the world did I get hypo?  Sure, everyone else gets the one that makes you skinny, me, I get the one that makes you fat.  Like I haven't been struggling with my weight ever since I can remember.  Don't get me wrong, I am far from fat. At almost 5' tall and ranging between 109 and 110 I'm not complaining.  I'm smaller now that I was in high school. In college I gained the freshman 15 and then some so I know what it is like to be overweight. I worked my ass off to get my weight down so I'll be damned if some thyroid problem is going to change that now!  My point is thyroid conditions are not easy to deal with.  As soon as you think things are working out- your medicine is working and your gain your energy back- Bam the medicine isn't working like it should and your numbers are through the roof again.

It amazed me when I found out how much of the body the thyroid controls:

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (An underactive thyroid)
fatigue, exhaustion
feeling run down and sluggish
depression
difficulty concentrating, brain fog
unexplained or excessive weight gain
dry, coarse and/or itchy skin
dry, coarse and/or thinning hair
feeling cold, especially in the extremities
constipation
muscle cramps
increased menstrual flow
more frequent periods
infertility/miscarriage

Symptoms of Hyperthryodisim (An overactive thyroid)
nervousness
irritability
increased perspiration
thinning of your skin
fine brittle hair
muscular weakness especially involving the upper arms and thighs
shaky hands
panic disorder
insomnia
racing heart
more frequent bowel movements
weight loss despite a good appetite
lighter flow, less frequent menstrual periods
(thanks to about.com)

Notice even monthly cycles are on the list.  I actually had to go off the pill because I couldn't stand the anxiety anymore.  I'll swear I'll never go back on.  I feel sane again.  And the monthly cycles? Trust me when I say I feel like a teenager again. You remember pimples right?  Yeah,  not fun. :-(

Anyway, I had my blood tested for my visit to see how I'm doing and I found out my numbers are up again. Not a good thing. I got the call on a Friday but missed it so I had to wait until  Monday to call back. So by now I have already spoken to my doctor, but I still have my appointment. I have to say my numbers being up are almost a relief, because it explains so much.  I knew something was off, but I thought it was just my monthly cycle, apparently I was wrong.  Now I know, so now with my doctor's help I can take action to fix the problem. 

Now that it's Thursday I've seen my doctor. So I have an update for you. My numbers show that I'm showing symptoms of Hyper Thyroidism.  This means I'm taking to much medicine, but since I stopped taking birth control (could not stand the anxiety anymore) my doctor said my body is still trying to get back to normal and the numbers can be "fantom."  Hey that's the word she used, not me.  Meaning?  When your body is working hard because it is under stress- fighting something (infection, sickness, other med's or lack of in my case, etc..) the numbers can and will change.  She has seen it many times and sometimes the numbers go back on their own some times they don't.  Solution?  None, it's a numbers and symptons game-always will be. I don't have any symptons just numbers so she is going to monitor me very closely for the next 6 months.  I have to get my blood work done again in 2-4 weeks, then again in another 2-4 weeks.  If she doesn't like something, she is going to call me, and I promise you she is very good with calling me.  So that's my update.  I'm okay, just under my doctor's strick watch, which is a good place to be.

So please now your numbers, know your family medical history. My mother made sure me and my sister knew ours and I'm going to make sure my boys know theirs.  It's our first defense in helping ourselves stay healthy!  Remember, talk to your family and find out your numbers, I know many of you have little ones to think of.  We need to stay healthy for them!  Now go and have that talk,  you'll feel better that you did.