Hypothyroidism and symptoms–it explains so much!

Sometimes, my neck to hurt when I touch it where my thyroid is.
With hypothyroidism, I felt super tired and like my brain as in a fog. Photo shared with permission from http://typicalthyroid.tumblr.com/
Hypothyroidism caused significant hair loss.
My nails keep breaking thanks to my thyroid issues.
Hypothyroidism leads to hair loss. Hello short haircut!

Thyroid issues, common yet frustrating.

In light of January being thyroid awareness month, I couldn’t let this last day pass without saying something about it. It seems to be a growing epidemic and super common, yet oh so frustrating. A few months ago I was feel extremely tired and my hair was falling out. In fact, my hair dresser was the first to notice that there was  problem (Thank you Karen for pointing it out!). I also noticed that my fingernails kept breaking, which was really rare.

I have HYPOthyroidism

After going to the doctors and having thyroid tests run, I found out I have hypothyroidism, and later found out it runs in my family. When I tell people I have hypothyroidism, they also say, “You mean hyperthyroidism?” A symptom of HYPERthyroidism is weight loss, and as I have always been on the thinner side, everyone assumes that it what I have. On the contrary, I do actually have HYPOthyroidism. In hypothyroidism, your body does not produce enough thyroid hormones. I will likely write a future post more on this science, but for today I am just addressing the symptoms I had in case someone else has these.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism

Here are a list of symptoms I have found through various online sources and whether or not I had these symptoms:

  • Fatigue – I definitely felt extra tired. Chris commented I was napping more and could not wake up in the morning
  • Increased sensitivity to cold – I feel like this was nothing new. I always have a sweater on or a blanket pulled over me.
  • Constipation – I never felt constipated, but my stomach did seem to get gassy and upset over eating almost anything
  • Dry skin – Yes very dry, but to be honest I feel like I have always had dry skin
  • Weight gain – This is hard to say, because I have been following programs lifting heavy weights and eating more with the goal to gain muscle. I do feel stronger, but at times I did feel more “fluffy” for lack of a better term. But I am still training to gain muscle mass, so it isn’t fair for me to say yes to this one.
  • Puffy face – Sometimes I guess. Nothing that was too noticeable to me.
  • Hoarseness – No. I believe this is mostly caused when you have a goiter, which I do not have.
  • Muscle weakness – Yes! Especially during flare ups where my neck hurt to touch around my thyroid (see below). I could not even do a push-up on my knees.
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level – I did notice my levels went up slightly. I always monitor this closely as both my parents are(were) on medication for high cholesterol. My levels are not out of the normal range, but I also watch what I eat and drink Shakeology every day which help with cholesterol.
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness – Honestly, I have been weight lifting so I attribute sore muscles to that.
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints – My fingers joints seem very stiff recently, but otherwise that is about it.
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods – I didn’t notice anything really different
  • Thinning hair – OH YES! This was the first sign for me! My hair is already very thin. Losing more would not be cool! I even had to cut my hair shorter to make it look less thin, although I do like the new cut!
  • Slowed heart rate – Yes. The doctor noted my lower blood pressure. I think this contributes to me feeling tired.
  • Depression – I don’t think so. I mean I felt pretty down about my previous job, but I don’t believe I ever felt depressed. I am pretty good about maintaining a work life balance, working out, and taking care of myself. I know depression can still come on despite those things, but I do not believe I suffered from it.
  • Impaired memory – I definitely felt the “brain fog” and had difficulty concentrating.
  • Infertility – Well I am still a mom to only fur babies…

If you do have any of these symptoms, I would encourage you to ask your doctor to run tests for your thyroid.

To be honest, I was relieved when I was diagnosed, because it means that many of those symptoms I listed have a reason behind them, and I hope they will be corrected.

My current journey

I am currently treating my hypothyroidism with low dose medication taken daily. I have several reasons why I am choosing to use medication at this time, but I will leave that for a future post. Every month of so, my neck hurts to touch around my thyroid. An ultrasound did not show anything major, except perhaps a very small nodule. My doctor and endocrinologist are not concerned with it and do not think it should be causing these issues. I have tracked when this pain occurs, and it does seem to correlate with my menstrual cycle, but we are not sure why that would be. For now, I am trying to find the right medication and dosage that works for me. I continue to workout regularly and eat well. I think this has made a huge difference in how I feel! I am currently reading about different eating plans for people with hypothyroidism. I can say that I do not have Hashimoto’s Disease, based on the antibody tests run, so my eating plan does not have to be as strict as some others. I currently am feeling much better, and when the pain in my neck occurs it is much less painful than in the past. I will keep you posted on how it goes!

I am curious, have you had any thyroid issues?

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