Hypothyroidism Advice And Tips From Jodie Danner
My diagnosis of under active thyroid (hypothyroidism) was a late one. I have always felt like I bumble along just under the healthy line. Prone to fatigue, hair loss and weight gain, I just thought it was my genes. I was meant to be a ‘bonny’ girl.
My diagnosis came to light after my second daughter was born. I struggled with secondary infertility and it took 3 and a half years and fertility treatment to finally conceive. My daughter was born very small after a turbulent pregnancy filled with random bleeding and lots of growth and reassurance scans. To this day she never did get a diagnosis for her growth issues and she takes daily growth hormones. Where I am going with this is that the stress of the worry for her health caused me to lose 3 stone in weight. I was suffering with depression, anxiety and fatigue.
I knew something was wrong with me. The problem was, when I went to my GP with this problem, I felt that because I was already on long term antidepressants, I was dismissed as needing a medication increase. It was even suggested that my exhaustion was just my worry manifested and that I was exacerbating my problems myself. It was more than depression. By this point I received reassurance that my daughter was healthy and that there are no life limitations from her growth status. I should have been overjoyed. I was….my body couldn’t catch up though. I was put on beta blockers to try to help my anxiety. I had CBT. Nothing was helping. I became reluctant to go back to the GP because I felt that they viewed me as a hypochondriac and I worried that my children would be taken off me if I looked like I had a mental condition. Finally, when my youngest was 4 I was given blood tests. I was no longer breastfeeding (which I did until that point) so my fatigue could no longer just be that. Being told that I had UAT was a point in my life of mixed emotions. I knew there was something! It was not in my head, I felt how I felt and I deserved to be taken seriously. I was relieved but I was angry too. I read about possible links to infertility and even potentially babies with IUGR. I had been increased from 25mg of Sertraline to 50mg…..100mg…150mg. I do accept though that presenting at the doctor’s with TATT (tired all the time) is the vaguest of symptoms that could point to a myriad of other issues, lots of which connected to mental health. So what is my advice? Persist to insist on bloods. Even with a diagnosis, UAT is a constant symptom/dose balancing act. Don’t accept testing of just your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) because you will often be told you are in normal range but unless your numbers are optimal you will remain symptomatic. Ask for free T4 tests too. This will be the only true indicator of how your thyroid is functioning. Become your own health advocate. Read, research and react. Being given thyroxine is not an instant and permanent cure. You may never feel ‘better’. It’s about feeling the best you can be so know your optimal ranges. So in conclusion, it may just be normal ‘mum’ tiredness, you may just have brittle nails, unpredictable periods, depression etc but a simple test will let you know if it is something that can be treated rather than medicating the symptoms.
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