Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hypothyroidism

Although the doctor didn't actually tell me I had this, one of the girls on Mothering with Grace who has it and was prescribed the same thing as me, told me this is what it was. Hypothyroidism is a slowing down of the thyroid gland. (It doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone anymore). This seems to be a mostly irreversible ailment, although I am still hoping.

Some of the symptoms include:

- Fatigue
- Weakness
- Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
- Coarse, dry hair
- Dry, rough pale skin
- Hair loss
- Cold intolerance (can't tolerate the cold like those around you)
- Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
- Constipation
- Depression
- Irritability
- Memory loss
- Abnormal menstrual cycles
- Decreased libido

I don't know when this might have happened, but I suppose it might be with this pregnancy? I am still hoping that it might just be a pregnancy induced thing like gestational diabetes or something, but I haven't found anything on that, so I don't know. Mostly I have just been somewhat tired, but not all the time. I was more tired than usual at the beginning of the pregnancy, but that is normal! I didn't notice anthing out of the ordinary. It did get really hot here this summer and the heat combined with the pregnancy gave me insomnia (which is another symptom but not in the list above), but I just figured that it had to do with the heat because as soon as it got cooler again, I had no more problems. Lately I've been tired again, but I am sure that has more to do with Marc's working so late and coming home in the wee hours. I might be in bed, but it does wake me up when he comes home and then sometimes I have a hard time getting back to sleep again. Except for being tired, I haven't had any of the other symptoms except increased irritability when I'm tired, which would be due to the fatigue of course... Headaches were also mentioned as a symptom, and I did get a lot of those especially this summer, but I almost always get headaches when I'm tired. So again, that would be a symptom of the fatigue.

Apparently, according to the gynecologist, my thyroid gland isn't that far from normal, but has just slowed down a little. So I am guessing that it only contributed slightly to the fatigue, and that, were I not pregnant, I wouldn't even notice. Apparently, some people with hypothyroidism do not have symptoms and don't even know they have it. That must be me, because I'd never have guessed. I keep reading about the hormone supplement making you feel better, and I keep thinking, "But better compared to what? I felt fine!" Unless it happened so gradually that what feels "fine" to me now isn't?

Anyway, apparently it takes at least two weeks for a person to get back to "normal", so in a week and a half, I'll let everyone know if anything has changed.