Doctor: How are you feeling today?
Did I mention EXHAUSTED?
Doctor: Well, your TSH levels are normal, so it is probably just stress. Do you have any stress in your life?
Me: Hmm. I am infertile. I am trying to adopt. I teach second graders. I have bills to pay. I am an adult. I am human.. Nope, no stress here. NOT. ONE. BIT.
The thyroid is an organ that releases hormones that control metabolism in your body. Thyroid disorders come with a whole myriad of symptoms. Pretty much any symptom you can think of could be attributed to the thyroid..
Over the past few years, I have experienced the majority of these symptoms, with the anxiety and exhaustion being the worst.
I could tell my body was changing…and it wasn’t for the better.
Then, the night terrors started. Waking up screaming at the top of my lungs with the most intense sense of fear I have ever known. I thought I was having a heart attack.
I started doing my own research (because really, who knows more than Dr. Google?) . I found that my symptoms aligned really well with thyroid issues. Thyroid disorders can often be genetic. My dad and grandma have had thyroid issues. I looked back at my blood work for the past few years and noticed my TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels have gone up every year, but were still in the “normal” range. I found that many people have thyroid symptoms even in the “normal” range, and there is a HUGE correlation between thyroid disorders and infertility.
I decided to ask for a full thyroid panel at my physical this summer. Sure enough…I am not just “stressed.” I have hypothyroidism. My thyroid does not produce enough hormone, which slows everything in my body down. Be your own advocate, friends!
My TSH levels finally got high enough (4.7) that they fell out of my doctor’s normal range. Strange enough, my doctor said my TSH should be close to 1, to be optimal for pregnancy. ONE! I don’t think my level has ever been at ONE…Why haven’t any of the zillions of doctors I have been to think to fix that?!
What is the treatment? Synthroid…every day…for the rest of my life.
The trick with the thyroid is management. Your medication dosage often has to be adjusted. If your symptoms flare up, back to the doctor you must go. I am going to a specialist next week.
While it is a tough disorder to control, it is better to know about it and have some help. Maybe the medicine will help with my infertility, maybe not. I just hope I can start feeling “normal”…whatever that means.