Enjoying Life with Hypothyroidism
When I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism it was a relief to me to finally have a diagnosis for what I had been going through. For nearly a year I had been feeling off somehow, yet every time I went to the doctor my blood work came back normal for everything-including thyroid dysfunction.
I think I began noticing minor symptoms of something being off around the time I left my desert home to move to a nearby city. Because of this I chalked up my increasing exhaustion to my body dealing with recent changes. I remember often going straight to bed after working my part-time job. I would sleep until dinner, get up and eat, then go back to bed until work the next morning. I remember feeling a need to sleep all the time but would wake feeling more exhausted than when I went to sleep. I distinctly remember the heaviness in my limbs–as though I had some form of recurring flu virus running through my muscles. I constantly felt drained and unable to deal with life. This was not remotely normal for me; my whole life I had been a very active person. I worked full time while attending college and enjoyed hiking and rock climbing during my free time. This only made it more difficult for me to understand my seemingly sudden lethargy.
I felt incredibly discouraged during this time in my life. My family thought I was just being lazy and needed to get out of the house more. This experience taught me that it is incredibly important to have familial support when dealing with any type of illness. Finally, one afternoon I sat in my doctors office nearly in tears showing her the handfuls of my hair that was inexplicably falling out. I am so grateful to her for listening to me and running that one final test which showed that I had a hypoactive thyroid.
My doctor prescribed me a low dose synthetic thyroid medication to take daily. The difference in my life has been like night and day. Within weeks of starting the medication I felt like a real person again. I do notice that I get tired more easily than I used to. However, if I incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables in my diet I find I feel more energized. The only real difference in my life is the fact that I have to take a pill once a day and now have annual check ups to make sure that my current dosage is working correctly. I also have to have my thyroid scanned every year to ensure that it does not become enlarged and have to be removed.