It turns out there's more to it than just being a tired busy momAt 31 I know I am not a spring chicken, but I also know that I should not feel like I am an old lady. For many weeks I've chalked it up to having 3 kids and assumed that childbirth and child rearing have taken their toll on my mind and body. After all, being exhausted every day goes hand-in-hand with motherhood, right?
But then again, I have not always felt this way. I'm usually on top of my to-do list and ready to take on each day. I can usually focus on the task at hand and plan ahead to make the most of my daily schedule. It is not normal for me to stick Aiden in front of the tv when I put Hudson down for a nap so that I can take a nap myself (except when I was pregnant) (which I'm not). And that's when I knew something was up.
I have (kind of absentmindedly) taken synthroid for almost 2 years now due to an underactive thyroid. At the time it was prescribed by my fertility doctor, I was so focused on getting pregnant that I didn't really understand the other ways my under-active thyroid could be effecting my well-being. I just knew that it was part of the plan to help me get pregnant so I was on board. When I got pregnant my levels were checked periodically and my meds were bumped up a few times -- all explained as normal during pregnancy. So when I finally got pregnant I thought my problem had been solved and I could stop taking the thyroid medicine. Much to my surprise, I was told that this was now going to be a life-long issue. It wasn't until then that I started looking into what exactly was wrong.
Even with all my recent symptoms that clearly point to my thyroid being out of whack, it never occurred to me that something could be amiss until the other day. Rather than go through my OB to manage it, I scheduled an appointment with an endocrinologist so that I could be sure I was addressing things with a specialist.
For a full 5 minutes I complained and whined to this poor doctor. "I'm tired. Sooo tired. All.the.time. I feel like everything in my head is a little foggy. Like I can't think straight. I'm forgetful. I have no desire to tackle my normal everyday stuff around the house. I am working out regularly, running for the past 5 weeks, strength training and have made drastic changes in my diet...and the scale is not budging. I get dizzy all the time - whether I'm standing up or sitting down. My contacts bug me and my eyes hurt." Rather than glaze over from boredom, this doctor shook his head as if to agree and furiously wrote everything down, looking like he couldn't wait to tell me he had an answer.
Lo and behold, he confirmed that there is in fact a clinical reason I've felt like crap lately. All signs point to my thyroid...and a need to adjust my thyroid medications yet again. He sent me for labwork the next morning and we will dig into my specific hormone levels to see where we need to go from here.
While it sucks to know that this will be something I will have to monitor and manage forever, I'm also relieved that there are ways to treat this and medicines that will help me feel better. I can't believe I have spent the past few months feeling like crap, feeling guilty for not having energy to do things with my kids all the time and telling myself to "suck it up". I wish I would have listened to my body and realized it had something to do with my thyroid a long time ago.
Ladies -- if you aren't feeling like yourself and have any of the symptoms I listed above, go get your thyroid checked!!!
--- > More information about hypothyroidism can be found here: http://www.endocrine.niddk.nih.gov/pubs/hypothyroidism/
*Disclaimer - I have no affiliation with the above website or organization, I simply found the site to be a helpful source of information. This is my personal experience with hypothyroidism and in no way am I attempting to diagnose this disease. Treatment of hypothyroidism should be discussed with a medical professional.