July 27, 2006

I Never Gave My Thyroid Much Thought

Posted in health, thyroid, weight at 8:33 pm by way2much

I never gave that bowtie shaped organ much thought until I saw one search term used to get to my site. It was “choke feeling and thyroid problem”.

I already mentioned in another post that my mother thinks I may have a problem with my thyroid. But I really only dismissed it. I am already paranoid about other things. I don’t need to zone in on my thyroid too.  I have been to the doctors; they know my complaints. I feel like a whiny baby if I harp.

But today is a new day. Well it is night, so tomorrow will be the new day. I am going to call my doctor and make an appointment.  After seeing the search term used I decided to look up thyroid disease. I found this wonderful website that tells all about the thyroid – click on this link to get you there. It states that women are 7 times more likely than men to get thyroid disease. It also states that half the people with a problem are not diagnosed. That means they are walking around unaware of their problem. Or aware and just dismiss their symptoms!

The site goes on to say that people are misdiagnosed due to other instances or factors going on in their lives. When I first  had problems after my son was born, the doctors immediately did what the article said.  They told me I was new to motherhood, I was bound to be tired, I would gain weight, I would be depressed. This is normal. Of course your heart will beat faster, you are nervous about your new role, etc. When I read this, I flash-backed to that time where they poo-poohed me away.

This article also includes a link to Thyroid Disease 101. Here it mentions that the thyroid can become swollen and cause difficulty swallowing or breathing.  HMMM.  Does that sound familiar or what? I never put the two together and neither have my doctors. They just shrugged it off. I will answer these questions and hand them to the doctor. I will be armed with information when I enter into their office tomorrow. I will not be soothed or smooth-talked out of having the test done. I want answers. I need to start somewhere – and since I have some of the symptoms regarding thyroid disease, why not start there?



  1. Elaine said,

    here are the questions followed by my answers in bold.

    I have the following symptoms of hypothyroidism, as detailed by the Merck Manual, the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and the Thyroid Foundation of America

    ____ I am gaining weight inappropriately (I think anyway)
    ____ I’m unable to lose weight with diet/exercise (ditto)
    ____ I am constipated, sometimes severely (compared to what I am usually)
    ____ I have hypothermia/low body temperature (I feel cold when others feel hot, I need extra sweaters, etc.) (my body temp is 96 – I joke I am dead)
    ____ I feel fatigued, exhausted (definitely)
    ____ Feeling run down, sluggish, lethargic (yes)
    ____ My hair is coarse and dry, breaking, brittle, falling out (coarse and dry)
    ____ My skin is coarse, dry, scaly, and thick (dry)
    ____ I have a hoarse or gravely voice (no)
    ____ I have puffiness and swelling around the eyes and face (my mother noticed this)
    ____ I have pains, aches in joints, hands and feet (thought it was due to herniated disc and nerve compression)
    ____ I have developed carpal-tunnel syndrome, or it’s getting worse (no)
    ____ I am having irregular menstrual cycles (longer, or heavier, or more frequent) (more than I am used to)
    ____ I am having trouble conceiving a baby (not trying)
    ____ I feel depressed (a bit)
    ____ I feel restless (so-so)
    ____ My moods change easily (ask my kids)
    ____ I have feelings of worthlessness (so-so)
    ____ I have difficulty concentrating (to an extent – not bad)
    ____ I have more feelings of sadness (so-so)
    ____ I seem to be losing interest in normal daily activities (yes)
    ____ I’m more forgetful lately (yes)

    Can I say holy crap!

    I also have the following additional symptoms, which have been reported more frequently in people with hypothyroidism:

    ____ My hair is falling out – only in shower
    ____ I can’t seem to remember things – sometimes
    ____ I have no sex drive (embarassingly true)
    ____ I am getting more frequent infections, that last longer (I seem to fight a cold longer)
    ____ I’m snoring more lately (my husband says yes)
    ____ I have/may have sleep apnea (thinking yes)
    ____ I feel shortness of breath and tightness in the chest (yes)
    ____ I feel the need to yawn to get oxygen (at times)
    ____ My eyes feel gritty and dry (I have contacts, so I attribute it to that)
    ____ My eyes feel sensitive to light (no)
    ____ My eyes get jumpy/tics in eyes, which makes me dizzy/vertigo and have headaches (no) – well on rare ocassions I get a tic in my eye but does not cause any other problems
    ____ I have strange feelings in neck or throat (tightness – don’t think that is strange)
    ____ I have tinnitus (ringing in ears) (no) well when I think of it, I do have it ocassionally and then I play that game and name names until the ringing goes away – the name I end with is the person who is talking about me at the time (don’t ask)
    ____ I get recurrent sinus infections (yes)
    ____ I have vertigo (no)
    ____ I feel some lightheadedness (yes)
    ____ I have severe menstrual cramps (no – but they are more lately)

  2. Dan said,

    Hmmm…now you have me wondering about myself even though after my last physical my doctor didn’t think anything was wrong with my thyroid.

  3. Elaine said,

    I was talking to my sister-in-law last night and she said a lot of the symptoms mimic other ailments. They are common. She said to try to drink plenty of water. (Don’t think this will help with the low sex drive – “excuse me honey, gotta pee!) Seriously, when was the last time you went for your physical. I believe we need to have a discussion with our physicians and not just say “uh huh”, “yes”, “ok”. We need to have a dialogue, ask questions and insist on answers, not what I usually hear, “don’t worry you don’t have ‘xy or z’ ”
    I want to hear why he doesn’t think I have x, y or z. What else could it be then. I am tired of feeling like I am crazy, I don’t feel 100%. I want to know why! We deserve to know. No matter how minor they may think it is or how busy they are with their other patients. I want answers.
    With that said – I did not make my appt. yet! I will wait until next week, because I feel lousy today. (feminine issues)

  4. Dan said,

    I agree with you 100% on having a dialogue with our doctors. I think I’m going to try and lose some weight and start eating healthier before I really think about possible thyroid problems. I’ve never really had trouble dropping pounds as long as I was committed to it, that committment is just hard to muster. I should also probably be taking multi-vitamins since I loathe vegetables. Fortunately since I’m going back to school full time in the fall I”ll have no choice but to eath healthier since I’ll no longer be able to afford to eat lunch out all the time. On a side note reading about your headaches, my mom got migraines from her teen years up until just a few years ago then they mysteriously stopped happening. She has no explanation for it, but hopefully it’s something that will happen to you and your daughter in short order 🙂

  5. Elaine said,

    I was going to put off the doctor visit until I gave it a month of seriously trying to lose weight. But once I saw the symptom checklist and associated it with the feeling I get in my throat, I thought I better not wait. But I will postpone until next week – I won’t use the “I can’t lose weight” line as I haven’t given it much time, but all other symptoms point to it as well. I will reinforce the fact that to the best of my knowledge I did NOT increase my intake in calories and I did NOT decrease my activities – how can you go any lower than 0! Seriously, since I detect no change and I gained 15 pounds, I am concerned.
    I hope my headaches mysteriously disappear. I think however, my daughter has a good 20 years at least to deal with it. I think it stays with you from puberty until menopause-ish age. Hormones may have something to do with it. For her sake, I hope she doesn’t suffer as much. She is cute though, she has an eye mask she wears at night and she is learning to ‘pamper’ herself! I swear, a hot bath and the sounds of waves crashing is great medicine!
    Glad your mom is over it. They (headaches) can get real bad.

  6. Emilie said,

    Hello. I was researching hypothyroidism and I came across your site. My name is Emilie and I am seventeen years old. Last summer I was told I had hypothyroidism very badly. It was in all honesty one of the worst cases my endocrinologist had ever seen. I had gotten so used to feeling bad that I just thought all of these symptoms were normal. I had gone on daily with about 6 different symptoms trying to cope with them. My father has the same thyroid problem. We told my doctor about this and asked him several times if I should get checked for it too. Each time he put it off and said I was probably just growing up. Well, finally when they tested me levels my body was so bad that it was “running on fumes” as the specialist put it. I could have gone into a coma. I had all of the checklist symptoms. Every single one! I would wake up to completely numb hands, still feeling exhausted after 9+ hours of sleep. I would take a shower and clog the drain with all of the hair that would fall out. I would rarely eat but constantly gain weight. In order to breathe I would struggle and make myself yawn. My reflexes were shot. It took more over a second to react to the doctor’s leg hammer. I would talk extremely slow and my face was puffy. I looked as if I was always stoned or half asleep. Everytime I would stand up after a long time of being seated I would get a head rush and things would go black. The most memorable part of my hypothyroidism was the intense cold. I would literally shake to my bones from the cold I felt. Everyone else around me would feel fine and I would just tremble to the core. I coould be in two jackets and a blanket at home in the summer and I would still beg for the air to be fixed. It really infuriated me that as a sixteen year old I had to deal with all of these problems that could’ve been easily treated earlier on with a simple blood test. How can doctors ignore such a common thing and suggest it was everything but the obvious? This is something that I highly recommend you get checked out. Better safe than sorry. Doctors really need to put more interest into this issue. I will bookmark your page. Sorry if I went off into a rant or too many details. I’m just very interested. Good luck. I hope everything turns out fine. Please feel free to email me at emmylove89@yahoo.com I’d really like to know if you’re going to be fine and if not even though I may be young I’ve hit rock bottom with this and I’d love to give someone the support that I didn’t have.

  7. Elaine said,

    Thank you Emilie,
    I appreciate your support.
    I have to run out the door, I will respond more later – but just quickly wanted to say “thanks” – you didn’t ramble! 😛

  8. Elaine said,

    I am back!
    So sorry, I took so long to respond.
    I am interested to know how you are doing now – now that they finallly diagnosed your problem.
    I have been checked for anemia and other things. My family (mother) thinks I am neurotic and paranoid. I guess she is the reason why the doctors never looked further into my problems. I also believe I may be “depressed” a bit even though I have many blessings.
    I am going to the doctor on Tuesday – so I will get a full blood work then – and insist of thyroid check – I even cut my food portions in half and I gained weight this week – there has to be some explanation.
    Keep checking back and like I said – I really am interested in how you are doing now and what you are doing/did to correct the problem.
    Thanks again!

  9. Emilie said,

    Hey! That’s fine I’m glad I checked back. Hah. I’ve been diagnosed for about a year now and I went on Levoxyl. I used to be on 125mcg now I take 150mcg. Even though it’s not as bad as it used to be it still acts up every once and a while. I have the side affects like sleep, weight gain, and coldness. Other than that every so once in a while I’m pretty good. The doctors were really dedicated. I hope all goes well with you and I will definetly check back to see how everything went. How is weight watchers going? My parents are paying for me to do it online for three months. Just thought I’d ask.

  10. Elaine said,

    Hi Emilie,
    I did not register for WW again – yet. I am trying to cut back on my own and see how I do. I may go back in September with a friend. The last time I joined, I did great – lost 30 pounds. Good luck with your three months. I never tried it online – let me know how you are doing.

  11. […] I am relieved yet now I am confused. I had most of the symptoms for a thyroid problem…so what gives. I did ask for a copy to be sent to me personally. I will have the doctor my mom works for look it over. Plus, it never hurts to have that information at my fingertips. After all I am trying to stay on top of my medical conditions (or lack of!) […]

  12. bobby said,

    are you sure about that?

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  14. […] But lo and behold I am fine. My blood work was good! I am relieved yet now I am confused. I had most of the symptoms for a thyroid problem…so what gives. I did ask for a copy to be sent to me personally. I will have the doctor my […]

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