Monday, September 4, 2017

Who Knew?

Did you know that if you have been taking too much synthetic thyroid medication for a long time and you and your doctor forgets to check your TSH levels (which actually were way off), that this situation can make you feel really really crummy?

Now I know this first hand. Seems over the last year with everything going on, my thyroid test got shoved to the back burner. And as time went on, the symptoms ofhyperthyroidism (also known as factitous hyperthyroidism) began to surface and gradually gained strength. In my case, my tremor became more violent to the point that I couldn't carry a cup of coffee without splashing it all over, and I couldn't type on my computer because I literally couldn't hold my fingers still on the keys. I had a very difficult time sleeping AND, I was fatigued far and above my usual levels. I did not know that fatigue was a symptom!  You can read more about hyperthyroidism here:

Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid hormones control the rate of many activities in your body. These include how fast you burn calories and how fast your heart beats. All of these activities are your body's metabolism. If your thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than your body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is more common in women, people with other thyroid problems, and those over 60 years old. Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder, is the most common cause. Other causes include thyroid nodules, thyroiditis, consuming too much iodine, and taking too much synthetic thyroid hormone. 
The symptoms can vary from person to person. They may include
  • Being nervous or irritable
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue or muscle weakness
  • Heat intolerance
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Hand tremors
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Frequent bowel movements or diarrhea
  • Weight loss 
  • Goiter, which is an enlarged thyroid that may cause the neck to look swollen
Last week my fabulous internal medicine doc sat patiently as I told her how I was feeling, then ordered a truckload of labwork, most of which was normal with the exception of those that measured thyroid function. Which was very very abnormal.

Bingo. Mystery solved!

I'm starting to feel better on my new, much lower, dose of Synthroid.

Watch out, world.........


Laura said...

I am so sorry you have been dealing with this atop everything else. But...yay for an answer that makes sense and can be acted on, at least?

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that this problem was so quickly solved, once it was addressed. So many things to keep track of for us.

Anonymous said...

So glad you are feeling better! And, I am pleased that your physician listened to you and took steps to find out what was awry. Take care of yourself. We've missed you!

annie said...

I'm fortunate that all the doctors I see and that send me for bloods always include the thyroid blood test, so I know that my levels are always OK. I suffer from hypothyroidism, and have been on the same minimal dose for 20 years!

Glad you're well now, but gee, it's never ending stress with one thing after another. It seems that as patients with a truckload of problems, we must be ever vigilant of our doctors following up on their patients.It's really exhausting when you already don't have energy to begin with.

Be well and good luck.