Wednesday, February 15, 2012


So remember when I got sick back in September? Unfortunately, something or another has kept on happening since then. MANY doctor visits and tests later, I apparently have hyperthyroidism. I have, without doubt, seen more doctors (and different kinds of doctors) in the past few months than the rest of my life combined.

It's symptoms are so vague and generalized that it really could be attributed to so many things, which is why I guess it took forever to figure it out.

For example, I am just constantly tired (I talked about this here as well). Either I wake up tired or get worn out doing the simplest things. Yet, despite being so tired constantly, I am not sleeping well at all! Either I am up half the night, or wake up several times through the night. You would think that if I am so tired all the time, at least I'd be able to sleep at night... but no.

Appetite. Either I have none at all or I'll be hungry and need to eat several times a day... yet, when I eat, I get full after a few bites (which is probably why I am eating several times a day some days). I've never been a big eater, and my mom says she knew something was up when I started eating more.

Another major annoyance for me -- extremely itchy skin! This has been happening on and off for a few months now, but in the last week or so has become terrible and constant. So much so that, I need to apply anti-itch lotion at least twice a day for temporary relief.

Oh and another thing. Cold. I'm usually always cold nowadays (plus get the chills at times). I don't know what's up with this one because I thought I'd be more sensitive to the heat (since your system speeds up) with hyperthyroidism. Since September, I have been sleeping with two comforters and a blanket... you'd think it was freezing here. Until September, I used to sleep with the fan on all year long.

My eyes have always been sensitive and teared easily if it was really sunny (which is why I wear transition glasses) or if it was windy. Nowadays, they are often red, and tear for no reason even when I am indoors and I've become sensitive to light.

Do you see what I mean about them being so generalized? They could be attributed to oh so many things! The last one, for example, I was just attributing to seasonal allergies!

The biggest one, and the one that prompted the tests (blood work to test thyroid function levels), was my extremely high pulse. Since I got sick in September, it's been constantly high (and pointed out at every doctor visit). For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why it was suddenly so high and the concerned looks from EVERY doctor wasn't very comforting either.

What was annoying was that even the blood work that tests for thyroid problems was coming back inconclusive so I was literally being given no answers. When I had it done for the first time back in November, the TSH (screening test) was low but when I had my T3, Free and T4, Free tested... they would be within the range. At that point, my primary doctor basically said that thyroid problems were not the issue (and we were back to square one).

When I changed my primary doctor in January, however, she retested my thyroid functions. With the same results (low TSH, but normal T3,Free and T4, Free levels), she referred me to an endocrinologist. Like I needed another new doctor [or another type of doctor!].

The endocrinologist, in turn, did some silly tests to look for signs. For example, he had me drink some water and hold it in my mouth and then watched me swallow it. Then he felt my thyroid glands as I swallowed. He then had me hold my hands straight out to see if it trembled (which is apparently a classic sign). He tested my reflexes (those with hyperthyroidism usually have fast reflexes). Checked some stuff with my eyes (and noted they were red and puffy). These amongst other things.

Of all the doctors I've seen so far, I definitely like this one the best. He explains things well, and answers my many (and I mean many) questions (and still asks if I have any other questions). He didn't seem to be in a rush (which is often the case). He's relatively young so it helps in the fact that he is easy to talk to. Oh, and his staff is great! I've only had one appointment thus far, but he definitely left a good impression on me (which is very hard to do).

While it's nice to finally be getting some answers, it sure is an adjustment.

Do you, or anyone you know, have hyperthyroidism? I'd love to hear from you.

I wrote this the date it is published for, but I didn't post it on the blog until a few years down the road in 2014, after coming across it as a saved draft.

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