Sunday, April 1, 2012

Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism

Well. I got a letter from my doctor, who I saw around mid-March. She did a CBC (complete blood count), cholesterol screen and a hormone panel. My cholesterol is good, no problems with blood sugar, prolactin is normal. However.....

My blood test indicates I have hypothyroidism (lower than normal production of thyroid hormones).  My doctor's letter did not indicate the numbers, but I did appreciate how her letter explained it to me in normal English with minimal doctor-speak. But, the letter indicated she was including a prescription for Synthroid (25 mcg), but the nurse must've forgotten to put it in the envelope. Needless to say, I was beyond frustrated. I thought that maybe she had called it in to the pharmacy instead, and had my DH go by and see. He said the pharmacy tech looked at him like he was an idiot. I had to get the letter TWO WEEKS after it was dated, on  a Friday, and of course I can't even leave a message for the doctor until Monday.

I went through a range of emotions. At first it was shock. I am rarely in a position where something leaves me without at least active thinking about something....I think I spent a full 10 minutes just unable to process it. I felt stuck, like I couldn't get beyond the thought "I have hypothyroidism" I was struggling to remember the impact on fertility that I had read about in some articles, or the anecdotes from members of my online TTC community. Even writing this, I still feel like I hit this wall that won't allow me to venture further into processing the meaning of this for me.

It didn't help that the main person I wanted to talk about it with (my husband) was not home yet, and when I called my family I had to wait for their callback. It was probably less than 5 minutes when my mother returned my call, but it felt like hours had passed. She was supportive and I learned that she and her sister, and most of her side of the family have been "borderline" hypothyroid for years.  At this point, I was able to begin my regular mode of research. I checked out what the Mayo Clinic had to say about hypothyroidism and its effect on fertility.  Here are the possible symptoms of hypothyroidism:

  • Fatigue      I seem to be tired everyday now. Not all day, but more than it seems probable
  • Sluggishness   Kind of on par with the fatigue--I also have had a hard time finding words and processing mentally at times.
  • Increased sensitivity to cold  This is happening lately! I'll be freezing under a blanket and everyone else is complaining of the heat! Not everyday, but more often than usual.
  • Constipation  So much. 
  • Pale, dry skin  This is hard to evaluate, I have had dry skin since childhood. It has been very flaky lately, despite using lotion almost daily.
  • A puffy face  Maybe
  • Hoarse voice  Not really
  • An elevated blood cholesterol level Thank God, no! My cholesterol was actually rocking!
  • Unexplained weight gain  Hard to say if it is unexplained. I used to eat way more than I do now, but the weight still sticks around. 
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness  Some. More the next one. 
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints  Definitely. I do have the broken foot, but even my other ankle has been feeling achy and weird. 
  • Muscle weakness  maybe
  • Heavier than normal menstrual periods  Off and on. Not so much.
  • Brittle fingernails and hair  I think my vitamin regimen has prevented this. 
  • Depression  This might explain a lot. I am already being treated for my bipolar, but lately it seems like my depression is constantly at a low-level sad mood. And when my period comes....ugh. I'll have days where I'm almost inconsolable, wracked with guilt and uncontrollable crying. DH can usually comfort me. 
When I looked at the possible effects on fertility, this article on Mayo Clinic website, the effects of hypothyroidism on fertility they suggest are vague. The most detail they give is that it can "interfere with ovulation", increase risk of miscarriage and lead to birth defects. 

At this point, I began to wonder how long I have been this way, and was it a possible cause of my miscarriage in 2010? I don't know if I can tell, not knowing what my levels may have been then. I just can't wait til tomorrow when I can call my doctor's office and at least get them to send the frakking prescription!

I'll update later when I can!


Maria said...

I can't help but be so hopeful that all you need to do is take the synthroid and it will put things back on the right track for you! I hope very much that this is the answer!

One Day at a Time said...

I'm glad you have an ANSWER!!! hope you can get on synthroid soon and get that sweet baby of yours!!

Melissa said...

Thank you ladies! It is hopeful. I think when I first got the info I was in such shock and had the promise of a solution offered (but they forgot to include it!) so I became more frustrated that I couldn't get started on the solution. But it can take some time to get stabilized on it, and I will have to go slow because it can affect your heart to increase it.

But here is hoping that this is the case! said...

Excellent post about Hyperthyroidism! Read more about Hyperthyroidism.

Motherhood Wanted approved!

Motherhood Wanted approved!
Diana Farrell, MA


Motherhood Wanted approved!