In September 2006, I fainted. Then I started to get tired too, lost all energy, but couldn’t sleep either. My hair fell out in clumps. I lost weight but I was eating like a horse. I had a lump in my throat, irregular monthly girl times and was a complete mess. I couldn’t think straight, forgot everything within 5 minutes and was depressed. I’d also get small, almost panic-like attacks. One doctor said it’s probably Hashimoto’s Disease and wanted to send me to Kelowna or Calgary to see an endocrinologist. I started getting blood tests. Free T3 and Free T4s were high, with a TSH count of 0.
Then I switched doctors for no other reason that the lab was where the new doctor was and didn’t go to the endocrinologist. I continued to get blood tests and was scheduled for a radioactive thyroid scan instead.
And although I was feeling really crappy when I started my discovery, I started to take control and as I found out more, I began to feel a bit better.
The scan showed that my thyroid was slightly enlarged, but not too much. I also had a slight murmur in my heart.
My doctor said… you’re hyper right now, but may eventually go hypo. Maybe it’s Hashimoto’s, but it could be acute, subacute or even silent thyroiditis. (Here’s a very simple explanation of the differences.) You could go on pills now to level you out and you’ll feel better almost immediately. But remember… I’m a doctor.. I’m a pill pusher. And you’ll be on them for good. Until you die. So you can also choose to wait. Your thyroid isn’t threatening to pop out of your neck and it’s not going to kill you tomorrow. I can give you a prescription for a beta blocker, Propranolol. Take them as you need them. He said, you may just be someone who just lives a little bit hyper and because of your recent stress, your body has begun to accommodate. Maybe you’ll level out on your own. Maybe you’ll go hypo, but maybe it’ll take years for that to happen. It’s all maybes. Just learn your body.
I said… I’ll wait to see what happens. I didn’t want pills for the rest of my life, but if I did need them, I didn’t want to start them earlier than I actually need them.
Then, a few more tests later, I was back to sleeping all night, my hair was still shedding more than usual, but not in clumps. Etc. Things were getting better.
So I choose to not obsess about it. I started to take care of myself mentally. I sought counselling at the same time as my scan to help myself get rid of the stressor. And I never had cause to take the Propranolol, either.
I haven’t checked my blood in 8 months. Who knows what my levels are… but I feel good. I feel back to normal with the exception of a slight murmur. I feel it sometimes. But maybe that will always be there. Maybe it’s been there for a long time. Maybe Maybe Maybe. I never paid attention to my body in the past. Now I do.
I don’t know what that says, it’s just my story. I can’t say to go for the thyroid replacement immediately, I can’t say not to. I didn’t but that’s my choice. Maybe I’m in denial, but then again maybe I have Silent Thyroiditis. I think the later.
Generally, silent thyroiditis will go away on its own within 1 year, with the acute phase ending in 3 months. Some people may develop hypothyroidism over time, so regular follow ups with a doctor are recommended.
I feel good. I think I’m back to normal. I don’t have blood tests to back that up, but I know more of my body now than I did at the beginning. I thought to myself… If stress brought this on… I’ll remove the current stressor and see what happens. So far it has seemed to work.
If I ever feel like I am turning hypo, I’ll go to the doctor.
One last note: the whole iodine rich foods thing is another post for another time. Hyper/hypo sushi/supplements deficiency/overdosing. It’s so tricky and quite hard to understand so I still eat sushi at times (sometimes twice a month, sometimes not), but I only use sea-salt (not iodine-enriched). I guess that’s my way of sticking it to the man.
What can I say?
I like my Tuna Sashimi and Spicy Tuna Rolls too much to give them up just yet.