Living with hypothyroidism by Nerissa Hosein.
It’s tiredness all the time, depression and weight gain. These are only some of the demons that I battle in my daily life being one of the millions of people affected by hypothyroidism. Some periods of my life, I feel as if I am losing it.
Normal young woman
Up until age 21, I was a normal young woman who had never heard of hypothyroidism. I remember my mother going to do some routine blood work and then being told that she had hypothyroidism. I still did not really know what it meant but I knew she had to be on medication for it and that it would be a lifelong thing she would have to monitor.
Weight gain and sleeping more
A few years later, through no fault of my own I started gaining a lot of weight. I was very active at the time so this was truly baffling to me. I was also extremely tired. I started avoiding any sort of life that was not mandatory such as work, and staying at home to sleep. I slept a lot. On my mother’s advice, I went to test my thyroid function and that’s when I discovered that my levels were very bad and hence I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
Thyroid hormone not functioning properly
As my doctor explained it, my thyroid gland, located in the lower part of my neck was not making enough of the thyroid hormone for my body to function properly. The thyroid is responsible for your metabolism and your metabolism controls things such as your heartbeat, your temperature and how fast you can burn calories. So the less hormone you have your body would automatically slow down and you have less energy. Also, you can become depressed, emotional and feel sluggish.
Eltroxin for hypothyroidism
I was put on medication called Eltroxin and told I would need to do a routine blood test at least every 6 months to make sure my levels were being maintained. According to my results my medication would be adjusted but I would be on it for the rest of my life.
Since then, I have fallen off the thyroid wagon quite a few times. It is something I have struggled to maintain. No one remembers to take a pill everyday so there have been times where I have lapsed with my determination to pop the pill.
Pregnancy and hypothyroidism
It has also been affected by certain periods of my life such as pregnancy. For instance when I was pregnant the first time, it started to rage out of control despite my best intention to take my pill every morning. My doctors could not understand what was happening. It was after doing my own research that I realised my Eltroxin was not working because I was taking it too close to the time I was taking calcium supplements and calcium was something that could block the absorption of Eltroxin.
Hypothyroidism medication and other substances
I started doing my own research for other such deterrents. It is advised to take your thyroid medication first thing in the morning, at least an hour before you take anything else. I learned coffee and iron were also substances that could block the absorption.
I became more aware of it and tried to start making better choices to avoid it getting out of control. I have two kids to take care of, so battling depression and tiredness is a battle I must win, for them at least. Because of my thyroid gland not working properly, my cholesterol levels are also unusually high for a person my age, so I watch my diet and try my best to keep all of it under check.
It’s a daily struggle, but with the right help, doing your own research, regular blood work and watching your body for signs, it is something you can learn to live with and keep under control.
January 2018 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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