Thursday, November 26, 2015

My Thyroid

I come from a family with a history of thyroid disease. My mother has been on meds since she was 18. My daughter has been on meds since she was 20. My brother nearly ended up in a psych ward because men are not routinely tested for thyroid function. As it turns out his behavior for ten years including profound depression, job losses and more, were the result of a non-functioning thyroid. My 25 year old son is on medication for thyroid disease. Even my dog is on medication for thyroid disease. I have had symptoms of thyroid disease for twenty years. But every time my GP tested me, it came back normal. I have had dry skin, high cholesterol (something I never had earlier), thinning hair, weight gain in spite of diets, exercise, starving.

That changed last week. After years of talking and begging and arguing with doctors, finally my doctor realized I had a nodule on my neck. He sent me for an ultrasound and lo and behold, I have two massive nodules on my thyroid. Further analysis would show that I have hardly any actual thyroid tissue having had it replaced with toxic nodules. Toxic thyroid nodules not only replace healthy tissue, they can produce hormones which will read as a normal thyroid screen on tests. What is more, depending on your age and sex, thyroid disease is often misdiagnosed as many of the following conditions:
-Adolescent angst
-Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

She said it's one of the most underdiagnosed and easily repaired conditions. Furthermore it makes me wonder how much of my son's ADHD as a child was really thyroid issues manifesting as he reached adolescence. This whole situation has been a revelation. I didn't understand why I couldn't swallow, why I always felt like I had a frog in my throat. It turns out my thyroid nodules are starting to choke me off. Kind of scary, but it makes me hopeful because now I can schedule surgery and finally get this situation in control. I've missed out on so much over the years because of the fatigue. 

No comments: