Making Peace With My Thyroid...Finally

A couple of week's ago I went back for my check-up after being on 50 mcg of Synthroid for two months and I am SO HAPPY to report that after over a year of struggling to get my hypothyroidism under control my TSH is (in my doctor's words...) "Perfect"!

It only took my new doctor 4 months to get my Synthroid dosage right and when he entered the room and presented me with the results of my blood test (1.4 TSH...) I breathed a sigh of relief.  Ever since I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, I must admit that I have been pretty angry.  Angry that I have a thyroid problem, angry that I have to take medicine every day, angry that for a very long time I didn't feel like getting off of the couch, angry that no matter what I did I couldn't lose weight...just angry that this thing called a thyroid appeared to be getting the best of me.  I only tell you about my anger, not because I think I have it worse than other people; I realize that my problem is very small compared to the health issues that many people are going through.  I tell you about it because I have to be honest about my feelings AND because I am the sort of person who allows anger to drive me to find answers and make things better.

I had no idea that a poorly functioning thyroid was my problem and perhaps that is because it was slowing getting worse over time.  Had my husband not gently insisted I have a complete blood work-up, I still would not know that I had a problem.  I was a work-out fanatic; working out 2-3 hours a day.  I even worked out with a personal trainer and I worked out hard.  My diet was great and neither one of us could figure out why I couldn't seem to make the numbers move on the scale.  Well, being told that I had hypothyroidism caused me to begin to read all sorts of articles and books on the subject; I wanted to know everything there was to know about the condition.  Below are a list of  the symptoms of hypothyroidism:  (

  • severe fatigue, loss of energy
  • weight gain, difficulty losing weight
  • depression and depressed mood
  • joint and muscle pain, headaches
  • dry skin, brittle nails
  • brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss
  • irregular periods, PMS symptoms
  • breast milk formation
  • calcium metabolism difficulties
  • difficulty tolerating cold and lower body temperature
  • constipation
  • sleeping more than average
  • diminished sex drive
  • puffiness in face and extremities
  • hoarseness
  • bruising/clotting problems
  • elevated levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and heightened risk of heart disease
  • allergies that suddenly appear or get worse
  • persistent cold sores, boils, or breakouts
  • tingling sensation in wrists and hands that mimics carpal tunnel syndrome
  • memory loss, fuzzy thinking, difficulty following conversation or train of thought
  • slowness or slurring of speech
  • appearance of a goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid that is externally visible
WOW!  I had so many of these symptoms.  The thyroid controls the hormones in your body and can cause EVERYTHING to get out of whack.  A TSH of 5 used to be considered a "Normal TSH", however, the new standards put it at about 2.  I agree with this because the way you "feel" has a lot to do with your correct TSH.  My doctor always asks, "How do you 'feel'" and I have learned that this is a very important aspect of managing one's hypothyroidism.  I didn't truly "feel" my best until my TSH got down to the 1.4.  And once I began to 'feel' better, I was suddenly able to physically do more; it was actually amazing since I had felt like doing nothing for so long.  In the past month I decided to go back to yoga.  I have always loved yoga classes but found myself unable to hold the poses or even my balance so I just quit going.  When I started back, it was difficult, both physically and mentally.  However, I stuck with it and in no time I was back in the swing of things.  Around the same time, I started walking about 30-40 minutes a day.  This past week I felt well enough to run a little two days and add a pilates class (a class I had not done for about a year...).

Today, I went to the run shop in town to purchase a new pair of shoes.  While there, the owner (a woman in her 30's...) was asking me how I had been.  I told her about my thyroid issues and she surprised me telling me that she had been on Synthroid, herself, for years.  I was taken aback!  This wonderfully fit woman also had hypothyroidism?!  And then she told me her story.  She was training for a Ironman competition when she found out she had it.  Contributing her tiredness to the intense training and also (like me...) not really recognizing the other symptoms she was having, a friend did and told her she needed to have a blood test done.  When she received the results she found that her TSH was OVER 100!  We talked for quite a while and she gave me great encouragement that I would just continue to feel better and better over time.

I will say that I have made peace with my thyroid.  I always knew I had one but I never knew its function or importance.  I am not angry any more, just thankful.  Thankful that my husband insisted that I have that blood test done, thankful that I found a wonderful doctor that has worked with me to get this condition under control, thankful that I am finally on the correct medication, thankful that I  once again feel like getting up in the morning and am able to function normally.  I am thankful that I have finally made peace with my thyroid.

1 comment

  1. I'm so glad for you. Funny how when we talk about things with people we find so much more going on in the world. We always tend to think, it it just me.....