A few years ago, my family and I were at home chatting and then all of a sudden my great aunt began to stare at me in an alarming way. It was written all over her face. My mom asked her what was wrong. As she began to tell her, I thought she was kidding. Until my mom told me to make a doctor’s appointment to visit my primary care physician which led to her referring me to a specialist. Then the results came in. I have Hyperthyroidism.
Actually, the first words that came out of my Endocrinologist’s mouth was, you have thyroid issues. He began to explain the nodule on the right side of my neck which was apparently larger than the left side. He also said it was a hot spot, meaning, it’s overactive...meaning, it’s doing a lot of extra work. He asked me if I felt any pain or any different and I said, “No.” I didn’t know anything was wrong with me until my great aunt told me.
He began to continue with telling me what it is and which one I had. I knew there were two I could have and some people I knew had both...at different times. He went on to tell me that I have Hyperthyroidism. I immediately thought of my grandmother and her sisters having the same issue. Some of them go through both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism.
I knew I would be okay but I was terrified that I may have to take thyroid medicine for the rest of my life.
For those who may not know what Hyperthyroidism is, it’s the production of too much thyroxine hormone. It can increase metabolism. The symptoms include: unexpected weight loss, rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and irritability. Treatments include radioactive iodine, medications, and sometimes surgery. For more information, click the link here.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. Hypothyroidism's deficiency of thyroid hormones can disrupt such things as heart rate, body temperature, and all aspects of metabolism. Hypothyroidism is most prevalent in older women.
Major symptoms include fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, and unexplained weight gain. Treatment consists of thyroid hormone replacement.
This was a new challenge that I was beginning to face in my life that I wasn’t ready for. So I had to go through extensive treatment and get my blood drawn probably as much as pregnant women. My doctor gave me two options and they were: I can take the iodine pill which will help decrease the amount of activity my thyroid was giving off or I can have the surgery.
The iodine pill is one pill you take one time that’s of course made of iodine and your thyroid is the one area in your body that can handle iodine. Iodine makes thyroid hormones and these hormones control the metabolism and other functions in the body.
If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, it isn’t something you should do and if you’re living with someone, make sure they aren’t pregnant or trying to become pregnant. Another thing, if you’re around someone else, you have to use plastic utensils and plates. My mom had to change the bedsheets every night for about 1-2 weeks while the pill was working in and through my system.
So I ultimately decided to take the pill. Once I took the pill I felt completely fine until a few days after taking it, I began to have hot flashes and eat…a lot, and I had a little bit of nausea. If you or anyone you know have gone through hot flashes, it ain’t pretty. While my mom and grandmother were feeling fine, I was burning up and I couldn’t get enough air. My mom told me multiple times to go outside because it was truly ridiculous. I felt like my body was on fire inside and I couldn’t stop it.
After 1-2 weeks, the iodine was out of my system and I was back to normal...for the most part, aside from the hot flashes. The iodine helped level my thyroid. I had to check in with my Endocrinologist for a year to make sure everything was okay and my thyroid levels were stable.
Four years later, I’m free and clear of any thyroid issues. I don’t have any symptoms whatsoever and I want to keep it that way.
Thanks for reading my life diagnosis. If you have a similar story or would like to share your story, please do so, I would love to read it.