Sunday, February 17, 2002

So in recent months, I've battled and, in some cases, am still battling, several ailments.....several of which affect the emotions. Ugh. Not fun. I swear, some days, I've wondered if my dumb, ole' depression was returning. The scary fact is my sometimes-weepy moods are probably caused by my lazy thyroid.

Hmph! My thyroid? Really? But, the doctor said when she diagnosed me that hypothyroidism was no biggie and that I'd "just have to take a pill" for the rest of my life and everything would be fine. WRONG! A little research online and a great People's Pharmacy show last week on NPR and I've learned, for one thing, that having a thyroid condition can affect every freaking part of your body! Hello!!! You would think that they would have given me a little more info back in October when I found out that my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was more than 3x the normal amount!!!! Gees. has been quite a relief to find out that wacky thyroids can cause PMS-y like symptoms. I've certainly had my share in the past few months. Andrew should be sainted for putting up with me.

Please, see a doctor for a simple blood test, if you have these symptoms (source: Mayo Clinic):

* Increased sensitivity to cold.
* Constipation.
* Pale, dry skin.
* A puffy face.
* Hoarse voice.
* Elevated blood cholesterol levels.
* Unexplained weight gain. Many people attribute their weight gain to an underactive thyroid, but this is only true in a small percentage of cases. Hypothyroidism will rarely cause you to gain more than 10 to 20 pounds — most of which is fluid.
* Heavier than normal menstrual periods.
* Depression.

There is also hyperthyroidism. Here are the symptoms for
* Sudden weight loss, although appetite may increase
* Rapid or irregular heartbeat or pounding of the heart
* Nervousness, irritability, tremor
* Sweating
* Changes in menstrual patterns
* Increased sensitivity to heat
* Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
* Swelling at the base of the neck, an enlargement of the thyroid known as goiter
* Fatigue, muscle weakness
* Difficulty sleeping

Back in '98/'99, my cat was hyperthyroid. I sent her to Carrboro's Animal Hospital for radiation iodine treatment, and she was cured. How weird/lucky is that?