Monday, July 9, 2018

Living With Hyperthyroidism Part 2: The Symptoms Return with A vengeance


WRITTEN BY THE MISSES
Read my last post about living with hyperthyroidism if you haven't already.

Last week I described to you all the long list of symptoms I had that built one at a time. This week I will explain the events that took place leading to my final diagnosis.

ALL THE SYMPTOMS RETURN WITH A VENGEANCE

After all my horrible symptoms virtually disappeared minus the bulge on my neck, it really changed my view of life. I came to appreciate it so much more than I had before and even though I thought 2 kids were enough for me, I began yearning for another baby. My Mister of course was thrilled as he loved growing up in a family of 5 and always wanted at least 3 kiddos. So I became pregnant with our third blessing.

My pregnancy was a very good one with no real symptoms other than the regular morning sickness.  9 months later I gave birth to a healthy baby boy in the comfort of my own home (home birth is definitely the way to go! But that's a post for another time ;) ).

3 years later, for no apparent reason, ALL OF MY SYMPTOMS RETURNED!!! But this time, I had a new really scary symptom: heart palpitations and extreme diziness. As if my heart had a mind of its own, it would suddenly beat irregularly or so hard it felt like it was going to jump right out of my chest.

This time however, to my surprise, the new Primary Care doctor I went to see found that my thyroid numbers were off. So she sent me to see an Endocrinologist right away. The endocrinologist immediately ran his own tests and also found that my numbers were showing hyperthyroidism. So he sent me to get a thyroid uptake scan in which I had to take a radioactive pill (that was scary) and then get some images taken of my thyroid using a special machine.

Diagnosis: Hyperthyroidism caused by nodules in the thyroid.

RECOMENDATION: FULL THYROIDECTOMY 

If you don't know what a thyroidectomy is, it is a surgical procedure in which they completely remove the thyroid. By doing so I will have to be on thyroid replacement medications for the rest of my life. There are those that can get away with removing only half of their thyroid, but my doctor explained to me that it is best to remove all of mine since I have what they call "hot" nodules (growths) that disrupt the production of hormones in the thyroid causing hyperthyroidism.

I was DEVASTATED to get this news. So much so that I broke out into tears right in front of the doctor. Thankfully I have a very patient and caring doctor who gently reassured me that all will be ok if I do the procedure, and that he is not pressuring me to do it if I don't want to. He said that I could simply try taking thyroid balancing medications instead for a while and see if it helps my lab numbers. I was so relieved!

HOW I AM DOING NOW

So the diagnosis I finally received was about 3 months ago. I have since gotten much better, but I still have some pretty bad days. I have done a great deal of experimentation and have found that I feel terrible when I eat sugar and refined flours, but feel quite good when I get plenty of veggies, lots of protein, minimal fruit, and whole food carbs (i.e. rice, wheat berries, and quinoa).

So far I have not gotten a thyroidectomy and I pray to God I never have to. I am on a very low dose of thyroid medicine and feeling better every day.

Do you or someone you know also suffer from Hyperthyroidism or Graves disease? It would be really nice to hear from you as it can feel very lonely suffering from such a horrible disease. Leave a comment below!

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