Thyroid symptoms can certainly weigh you down. I never really knew my thyroid existed until several years ago when I was in the hospital for a separate reason. Upon doing blood work, my doctor informed me that my thyroid levels were extremely low. I had been feeling fatigued and light headed for several weeks leading up to my hospital visit(which was for a routine colonoscopy).
In fact, I was so fatigued it seemed like I never could catch up on the amount of rest my body needed to be sufficient. I remember feeling so weak that one afternoon I came home from lunch and nearly passed out on the bed for my lunch hour. I just assumed that I was tired from a lack of rest. It never dawned on me that it could be thyroid symptoms. I have since battled the thyroid problems for several years. In those years, I have found there are many more people I have met that have similar problems or the opposite. My thyroid problem is hypothyroid. This means my body is not producing enough thyroid hormone. Other people have thyroid symptoms where their body produces too much(that is called hyperthyroidism). While I can not speak on those particular thyroid symptoms associated with hyper, I can certainly say that from experience hypothyroidism seems to be a never ending battle.
What happened during my battle with hypothyroidism? My first diagnosis led to a prescription of levothyroxin. I was put on a small dose initially. I took the small pill for a few days before I noticed a drastic change in energy levels. At one point during my hypothyroidism battle, I remember feeling so low that my heart rate seemed to drop to very low levels. I have always been athletic so doctors had made the assumption that perhaps my heart rate rested at a lower rate because most athletes do have a lower heart rate. Perhaps it was just my thyroid all along? Whatever the case, I was not feeling right the majority of the time. I vividly remember sleeping in until noon or later on the weekends when I did not have to work. There were times I would sleep 12-14 hours and still feel as if I had not rested enough. My energy levels were just non-existent.
The levothyroxin changed that almost immediately and restored my body to where I could function. I was no longer dizzy exercising and I felt stronger than I had in several years.
Here’s the problem with starting Levothyroxin, at least in my situation. After about 8 months, I began feeling low again even on Levothyroxin. I had to go back to the doctor to ask what was happening. He explained that sometimes the dosage has to be adjusted. We tried a higher dosage and within a few days I once again felt normal and had less or nearly minimal hypothyroid symptoms. I felt good for nearly a year on the new dose until I started feeling low, light headed and very fatigued again. Once again I had a trip to my doctor to adjust the dosage. Once again he upped the dosage to a new level. Once again I felt better. This pattern has repeated itself five times now and I am not on a new dosage. The good thing about my awareness level now is that I recognize the hypothyroidism symptoms rather quickly. The bad thing is every time it happens I need to go to the doctor to once again have bloodwork done to find out if my thryoid levels are adequate. It’s a very small cost for getting your body back to feeling closer to a normal state. My hope now is that one day my situation in terms of Levothyroxin dosage will level off and we’ll have a set prescription with no more bloodwork and the associated costs.
I wanted to take time to write this article to discuss hypothyroidism symptoms so people researching have a little more information than what I initially had. I have even suggested to other people who have symptoms similar to Hypothyroidism that perhaps they should get checked out to make sure their respective levels aren’t low.
My personal symptoms with hypothyroidism included fatigue, light-headedness, depression, an inability to lose weight with lots of exercise, a slow heart rate and a general feeling of being down in the dumps. I also felt as if I couldn’t quite ever catch my breath for long periods of time.
Not everyone will have the exact same symptoms. Here is a good list of those symptoms. Another list has been compiled on the MayoClinic website here. I hope this article is of some use for those battling hypothyroidism and I hope the people who do live with the disease understand they are not alone. There is a wealth of information on the web available to read and a simple blood test could determine whether you have an under-active thyroid or not.
I also have a strong empathy from being on this end of the thyroid disease for those who are struggling with hyperthyroidism. Some of my friends have battled this disease and had various symptoms including a fast heart rate. Some have even told me they had symptoms so severe they have had to endure radiation to remove the thyroid gland completely.
Neither thyroid condition is super tolerable and I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. I would certainly also encourage those who feel as if they lack energy or the ability to do daily chores to get checked their thyroid levels checked out. There could be many many reasons why someone is fatigued, depressed or feeling very low. Thyroid problems is just one of those so it’s often difficult to pinpoint.
The thyroid condition, at least for me, was not narrowed down for a long time and I suffered through some pretty horrible days without energy before it was finally diagnosed. I always found myself loading up on caffeine, sugar or whatever it took to get through the day. I finally don’t have to turn to such things to have a good day. There are still bad days but not like before.
For that reason, I hope those who read this find a little more comfort–especially those who have been recently diagnosed. Trust me, at least in my situation, things do get better. You live and learn and figure out that you are strong enough to battle the lows-especially with the help of Levothyroxin. Please leave any notes or questions concerning hypothyroidism in the comment section. I can not personally answer any questions pertaining to hyperthyroidism and the surrounding symptoms.