happy family day long weekend to all my canadian readers! todays post is going to be less light and fluffy and more down to the nitty gritty.
for anyone that is new to the roller coaster hormone ride created by thyroid conditions you’re totally not alone and you’re definitely not crazy (even if you feel like you may be acting that way sometimes).
my entire life i was always described as being a ‘bit’ high strung… basically i was borderline a crazy person. think more along the lines of i would literally have a breakdown and panic attacks on the regular for no reason. my family and friends just thought this was just my psycho personality since it was the way i had always been.
i’ve always been type A, i still am, however the difference between a complete breakdown when you’re late for school versus the OCD you feel when your room is disorganized are two very different extremes. (side note: when i start to act insane even now this is often a huge trigger i need to go to the doctor)
the point that finally pushed me over the edge and really started to concern my family occurred when i hit puberty. by the time i hit fifteen it was weekly visits to the hospital because my body was rejecting me in almost every way. i was no longer able to sleep at night yet i was so tired i couldn’t focus, i was having extreme heart palpitations, vomiting almost all of my food, panic attacks, shaky hands, my body was completely weak, my skin was so dry we thought i had psoriasis…. and really this list could go on.
i went through months of testing, blood work, even as far as switching doctors (i plan on writing a post on this later because its so important that people don’t feel stuck feeling sick with a doctor who isn’t listening to them), and finally someone found an answer for me. i had a thyroid condition called Graves Disease that had been affecting me for probably most of my life.
i won’t get too sciencey in detail since to be completely honest i don’t quite understand the full details but Graves Disease is an auto-immune disease that affects your thyroid. specifically it gives you hyperthyroidism and by the end of my teens i finally had an answer to my never ending problem.
hyperthyroidism is a condition where your thyroid is producing too many hormones its supposed to make, so your body is living in constant overdrive and stress. they test your blood for various hormonal things (again not a doctor, i work in aviation)which they refer to as levels. when your ‘levels’ are too high your whole body suffers accordingly and it basically turns me into a mood swinging psychopath. on occasion i still have moments where i feel super all over the place. even now when my levels are off i truly believe my boyfriend is a saint because i go from a cuddly angel to complete exorcist in the blink of an eye.
www.endocrineweb.com defines the symptoms of hyperthyroidism as:
- fatigue or muscle weakness
- hand tremors
- mood swings
- nervousness or anxiety
- rapid heartbeat
- heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
- skin dryness
- trouble sleeping
- weight loss
- increased frequency of bowel movements
- light periods or skipping periods
if you find yourself experiencing a lot of these conditions take it upon yourself to look into what is wrong with your body. thyroid conditions aren’t as common in younger women, so it took much longer than it should have to diagnose me. there is also a thyroid condition that is basically the polar opposite of what i have called hypothyroidism and a huge sign that you are developing this condition is a drastic weight gain. i won’t speak in detail about hypothyroidism since its not a burden i’ve had to bare but the internet is a great tool for research .
i would love to say that this was a simple doctors figured out what was wrong, i’m now on medicine and i’m better sort of thing, but that unfortunately isn’t the case. every six months i get my blood tested and visit my endocrinologist to make sure my body isn’t spazzing out on me. my auto-immune disease is believed to be the reason i have celiac disease and the reason why in my 20s i developed adult acne. like anything else you learn to live with these things and a huge help has been meeting other women who have experienced the same health issues i have. its made me feel less alone and definitely less like a hormonal crazy lady.
feel free to comment with any questions or if you also suffer from a thyroid type disorder and just want to talk a little about your story, i’d love to read them!