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that is Hi to anyone who reads this. The reason I write this is maybe to let people know of a journey that I have been on and am still experiencing. not travel or holidays It is a journey that is to do with my health and as I have since discovered is a journey that many people do not realise they have started and for many have gone further than I.
The health issue I speak of is Hypothyroidism commonly known as an under active Thyroid, im sure that at this point many of you will move on as this is of no interest to you why would it be you don’t have it .......Do you!!!! Well just bear with me for a couple of moments are you or have you experienced any of the following combinations of these symptoms. Or does the profile fit with your husband or your wife…you know the person you are on the verge of leaving as they have been such a miserable unpleasant git for so long now, the person who seems to have just given up and spends all day slumped in an arm chair with no enthusiasm for life. …the person who, not that long back used to be fun and out going….who used to think of the bedroom as a place to have fun rather than have 12 hours sleep……well Mcduff read on.
Uncomfortably heavy during or since childhood
Quiet and shy child
Weight gain after first period, pregnancy, miscarriage, abortion, menopause or starvation diets
Low energy, fatigue, lethargy, need lots of sleep (8 hours or more) and slow to get going in the morning
Tendency to feel cold especially in hands and feet
Tendency to significant weight gain and difficulty in losing weight
Low blood pressure and heart rate and high cholesterol levels
Menopausal problems including severe cramping, early and late onset.
Low sex drive
Poor concentration and memory
Swollen eyelids, face, general water retention
Thinning and loss of hair
Tendency to low body temperature
Headaches (including migraines)
Infertility and impotence
Weak and brittle nails
Goitre – enlarged, swollen and lumpy thyroid
Dry, coarse or thick skin
Nervousness, anxiety and panicky
Well if you have please read on.
My story is straight forward i am a typical bloke. As a young man I served in the army and then I became a commercial Diver diving both in and around the British coast. Then in 1987 I became a police officer and have remained one since.
I have as you can see an active sort of guy, as a police officer I have undertaken various roles around London and gained a wife and three kids and everything has been fine.
5 years ago my wife became unwell and has suffered from scoliosis and undergone various operations on her spine. Again most of this I took in my stride.
I was approaching 50, 3 young children and a disabled wife. Well of course I started to feel the strain I was what as a young man I would call suffering from “old git syndrome”. I was slowing up I felt unwell, at times I would feel very low and all the other symptoms of which I had most were to do with getting old!!!! .....weren’t they??? Little did I know that I was suffering from an under active thyroid and it was just getting worse. Looking back a lot of things make sense now. The days that I would go out with the kids but come back early because I was puffed out, Falling asleep in front of the telly, turning up the heating. Pins and needles in my hands, gaining weight feeling fed up…….yes sir I was settling into the old git syndrome very well…..this was getting old …wasn’t it!!!.
Well things just got worse until I just felt as if my body was just shutting down. I thought it could be the stress of the job, the kids, the wife, still someone mentioned diabetes and the fact that I smoked… well I gave up the smoking. Still felt like crap. I was forcing myself to do everything. In fact everything was just too much. Friends started to comment that I was looking ill. My kids were telling me that I was no fun. My wife moaned that I was always snapping at her and the kids.
Then I had routine cholesterol check done by the nurse. Well it was of the scale. It should have been something like 5 and mine was 10.6. I was called into see the doc who was concerned about my cholesterol and checked for diabetes seeing as I had mentioned it. Why not check straight away for the under active thyroid???? Well this complaint is seen in about 1 in every 50 woman and only in about 1 in every 1000 men so for the doc it was not the first thing that sprang to mind plus of course I had not told her that I was suffering from all these different symptoms….after all it was only “Old git syndrome”. This is how you were supposed to feel as you got older….wasn’t it!!???. After all my brothers were always telling me about their aches and pains. So I must just be the wimp of the family.
Anyhow I did mention that I felt quite bad and some more blood was taken and sent off. Meanwhile I continued to go to work and had decided that if this is what happens as you get older well you can poke it.
By the time I went back to the doc for the result I was on my chin strap and she told me that I was suffering from a condition called Hypothyroidism commonly known as an under active Thyroid. And indeed it was quite bad; also that it had also affected my kidneys as the levels were so low.
The relief I felt when I realised that there was actually a reason for how I had been feeling was overwhelming and I hardly listened to what else she said all I knew is that I had to take some pills and I would get better.
So straight out of the surgery and into the pharmacy and hey presto I’ve got some pills. She had tried to sign me off sick, but hey what for, a couple of pills and I would be back to normal……NOT.
When I got home I went on the net and looked up as much as I could about this complaint. I read how I would have to have my levels slowly brought back up over the coming months and how it would be gradual
Surly not me I would be fine straight away so the next morning I dutifully took my medication, ( 50 micrograms of Levothyroxine) and off to work I went. ( 9 hours later) I was sat at a service station on my way home having had to rest as I felt so bad that I could not drive any further. Still once the drug kicks in. I should be just fine….shouldn’t I.
I read more about the condition and the fact that I would have to take the medication for life but the upside was that I was one of the conditions that made you exempt from paying. Hmmmm maybe this is not so straight forward as I thought. Still big strong policeman like me ex squadie stroke Diver I would cope better that most……surly.
At work I was more than happy to talk about how there was in fact something wrong with me and it wasn’t just because I was a miserable old git, and as is always the case having never heard of the complaint before every other person seemed to know of a relative who had had it and was taking the same medicine. In fact one of the woman I had worked for years came up and told me that she had been diagnosed some years before and was fine now. And that taking the pills every day was no bother. Also the fact that she was only took about a year to get back to normal……a year surly not. any day now the drug would kick in and I would be back to normal.
1 week later I am sat in the surgery I can hardly move as I have given up the will to live and I have never felt so poorly in my life. The doc takes one look and signs me off sick and tells me that if I don’t accept how poorly and run down I was I would end up in hospital and put myself at risk of a heart attack.
I WENT HOME AND WENT TO BED. AND STAYED THERE FOR 3 DAYS
On the third day I actually felt a bit better and got up. I had accepted that I would have to take things easier and let things go by the way at home, I had to concentrate on my health. After another 2 weeks I had much improved and I just felt like crap rather that hoping life would end. I went for my next blood test and a week later I saw the doc. Yep there had been an improvement and I was now to increase my medication….great said I what do I take now 200 micrograms…..no way says she, I was to increase by only 50 micrograms and start taking 100 per day. Maybe in another 5 weeks would I be able to increase the dose again. “But doc surly a big strong ruffty tuffty copper like me could take more that”…….she asked me if my children understood what a heart attack was and what that would do to dad….I took the hint and again slapped myself back to reality. So I am plodding on with my 100 micrograms per day taken in the morning on an empty stomach. Taken with only water as milk could absorb some of the benefits…..Im learning. My next stop apparently is to see a specialist …just to double check things so that’s my next move. I have stored up all my questions for the consultant and will share anything with you after I’ve been. I will keep this as a diary and let those who have any interest share my recovery.
In the mean time if you know of someone who has this ailment be kind to them as I know how ill the feel. And believe me they are not just being miserable sods suffering from the dreaded “old git syndrome”.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ situated on the front of the neck that secretes two hormones, thyroxine (also known as T4) and triiodothyronine (called T3), that are important in the control of metabolism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce adequate levels of these critical hormones.
Hypothyroidism is very common and is estimated to affect 3-5% of the adult population. It is more common in women than in men, and the risk of developing hypothyroidism increases with advancing age.
Hypothyroidism is most commonly a result of an autoimmune condition known as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, in which the body’s own immune cells attack and destroy the thyroid gland. Since the activity of the thyroid gland is controlled by other hormones from the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus of the brain, defects in these areas can also cause underactivity of the thyroid gland. Previous surgeries on the thyroid or a history of irradiation to the neck are other causes of hypothyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism can be mild or severe, but are often very subtle. People with a mild form of the condition may not have any symptoms at all. The most serious form of hypothyroidism is called myxedema, which can lead to coma and even death. An underactive thyroid gland affects all organs and functions within the body, leading to both physical and emotional symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism in adults are:
Tiredness and weakness; feeling “run down”
Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
Thinning or brittleness of the hair or nails
Muscle aches and pains
Those affected by more advanced cases of hypothyroidism may notice dryness or thickening of the skin; slow speech; abnormal menstrual cycles; puffiness of the face, hands, or feet; and decreased capacity for taste and smell.
If you are experiencing symptoms of hypothyroidism, your doctor can order simple blood tests to diagnose the condition. An underactive thyroid gland is in most cases easily and completely treated by daily administration of thyroid hormones in tablet form.
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