I’ve made mention that I am undergoing medical testing, so I decided to share what I know so far…
For the last 4 months, I have seen an increase in the following medical symptoms…
- Increased fatigue…not the kind of fatigue that comes with exercise, but the kind of fatigue that drains every ounce of energy you thought you had, not just the energy you truly had.
- Increased sensitivity to cold…my fingers and toes are nearly always cold. We used to keep the house set at 65F during the day and 62F at night…lately I’ve been turning the temperature up to 68F during the day (and I could turn it up even more if it wouldn’t cook the Iron Hippie and my girls) and 64F at night. I have also noticed that I my lips easily turn purple and my fingers and toes easily turn white due to the cold.
- Dry skin…I’ve always had dry skin, but lately it has gotten worse. Even when drowning my body in lotion, my skin just keeps soaking the lotion up like a sponge. I can’t get enough lotion on my skin to make it not look like that of an alligator and prevent my skin from cracking and bleeding.
- Unexplained weight gain…I have put on nearly 20 pounds in 4 months. I eat like a bird (typically less than 2000 calories a day) and exercise 12-14 hours a week, but keep gaining weight. GRRRR
- Muscle weakness…I have lost the ability for my left hamstring to fire during exercise. I’m not talking about the small stabilizing muscles around the hamstring, I’m talking about the BIG bellied muscle that is suppose to be contracting while I walk, run, cycle, climb stairs, etc. It is so frustrating.
- I’ve had lots of muscle aches and stiffness…I get a massage every other week. Nick, my masseur, spends a whole hour on just my legs and that doesn’t even put a dent on releasing the tension in my legs…the rest of my body is drastically neglected and needs the work too, but my legs take precedence. Nick always says, “You are one of the only people I know that I can spend a whole hour just on your legs and not get them to release the tension in them.”
- Much heavier than normal menstrual cycles…sorry guys, but as I prefaced, this is real. I typically don’t have much of a period, but for the last few months my period has been heavier than normal.
- Bouts of constipation…I’ve been prescribed medication for hemorrhoids due to constipation many times in the past for this.
- Depression…I am not “depressed,” but have noticed that continual weight gain and constant fatigue have really diminished my happiness. I randomly start crying…ok, maybe I am slightly “depressed.” I just want to be HAPPY again!!
With all of these symptoms, I contacted my doctor and she suggested a variety of tests be conducted. My blood work results from October showed that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels were not in the “normal” range…5.17 (normal is 0.35-4.90 mIU/mL) which is an indicator of hypothyroidism. I had a 2nd test conducted in December and my TSH levels were 4.05, which is inside of the normal range, but my doctor said, “Your TSH has improved slightly and is still borderline for hypothyroidism.” I had my 3rd blood draw yesterday and meet with my doctor in February for a 2nd consultation to figure out what happens next. During the 1st consultation with my doctor, we decided that we would not seek medical treatment at this time and continue testing my blood every couple of months.
At this point, I don’t exhibit all 16 symptoms listed on the Mayo Clinic website (which are the same symptoms my doctor referred to during our 1st consultation), but I do exhibit quite a number of them and I don’t want to keep playing the waiting game until I exhibit all of them. While I am not fond of the idea of taking medication everyday for the rest of my life, I am definitely not ok with exhibiting these symptoms and potentially having it get worse with time…so I’ve decided medication might be my best option.
Do you or someone you know have hypothyroidism? If so, do you have any tips for regulating it without medication?