It’s Thyroid Awareness Week. For something that’s a small butterfly shaped gland, the thyroid is so powerful, and can attack many different parts of the body if there’s an imbalance of hormone levels. Although I haven’t had an official diagnosis, I want to share my story as my symptoms and test results are leaning towards and under active thyroid (hypothyroidism). I also know a few people that have a thyroid condition, some under active and others over active (hyperthyroidism). I need to have one more test in a couple of months to be able to get a clear answer. This will help to determine whether there’s a need to start me on levothyroxine.
If you are wondering whether you could fall into the under active thyroid category, hopefully this post will shed some light and help you get the answers you need.
Since 2011, my thyroid levels (mainly TSH) have up and down like a yo-yo. In the last 6 months, they have been higher than usual. Every time something has lowered or increased, I have been advised, “It’s okay, it’s borderline.” But how does that interpret what’s low/high for every individual? We are all different and have different medical history, some heavier for some than others.
Since 2009, I have experienced a number of medical issues, some in more recent months, including:
- Migraines (I was subscribed to Propranolol 80mg for 8-9 years by the hospital)
- High blood pressure (controlled by medication)
- Slow transit constipation/IBS – and now rectal bleeding – I am currently waiting for a sigmoidoscopy appointment
- Tingling like pins and needles all over my body, on a daily basis
- Longer, heavier, and more painful periods (to the point where sometimes, I only have a week window until my next one in-between the period itself and extra bleeding in-between)
- Low iron levels
- Raised cholesterol – this could be caused by a gene my mum has called ‘Familial hypercholesterolaemia‘ (I’ll just stuck to calling it FH!)
- Low vitamin D – no chance of a beach holiday just yet though eh!
Thyroid UK have reported on their Instagram account this week that, a lack of Vitamin D can be associated with thyroid disease.
Overall, I feel completely drained, and tend to have a lot of foggy moments. It’s been incredibly challenging in the more recent months, leading to low thoughts and feeling like giving up on finding answers. The weight gain on top of bloating due to bowel issues, not that many people notice, has still took quite a toll on me. However, with an extra influence from my boyfriend, I decided it was time to make a change. I have joined a new GP practice and it’s been one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I am heading in the right direction now.
During the last 6 or so months, I have been experiencing more cervical bleeding in between periods and after sex. So, with that on top of the rectal bleeding, you can understand why I’m on iron medication.
I have an unexplained excruciating pain on the left side of my abdomen which could be caused by gynaecological problems or relating back to my bowel… or both? I don’t know at this stage but the pain has worsened over the last 12 months. My colposcopy results revealed there was nothing sinister and the cells which were causing me to bleed were treated. The only comment was that, my cervix still had some inflammation but it could be “a hormonal issue”.
Although having the copper coil was good choice for me health wise (or so it seemed at the time as I can’t take other contraceptives), having it removed could be the next step. It wouldn’t scare me if anything happens as a result of this. I dream of having children, so I hope I get to experience this coming true in the near future once everything’s sorted.
I am sharing this personal story in the hope that, if you ever develop symptoms, always push for answers. Your health is more important than anything – mentally and physically. Remember to look after yourself. I never used to speak up in the past but now I am glad to finally be getting somewhere. The answers might not be what you want to hear but it means you can get the help you need.
If you have a thyroid condition, share your story on Facebook or Twitter using #ThyroidAwarenessMonth. Thyroid UK have lots of useful resources and support available on their website: https://thyroiduk.org/