Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Hypothyroidism: The Basics

"The thyroid is a small butterfly shaped organ and is one of the main glands involved in the endocrine system. It is found in the front of the neck and is responsible for a variety of vital body functions. It produces hormones that regulate and affect just about every function in the body and is most crucial for body metabolism. The thyroid converts the food we eat into energy. Thyroid hormones impact body weight, energy levels, muscle strength, skin condition ,heart rate, menstrual cycles, cholesterol levels, memory, emotions, mood and much more. When the thyroid doesn't produce enough of these crucial hormones, then hypothyroidism occurs and results in a variety of psychological and physiological symptoms.

The most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, which is unbearable and no amount of sleep can eliminate it, depression and weight gain, however, some of the other most common symptoms that occur include: anxiety, constipation, forgetfulness/short-term memory loss, irritability, and myalgias or arthralgias, but other frequent symptoms may include listlessness, intolerance to cold, heart palpitations, cold hands and feet, accentuation of allergies, menstrual irregularities, vascular headaches, premature gray hair, slow pulse and reflexes, flaky dry rough skin, puffiness of face and eyes, unsuccessful dieting, coarse lifeless hair that falls out easily, nervousness, premenstrual syndrome, loss of sexual desire, high cholesterol, muscle and joint pain, and weakness."

I can tell anyone outright exactly which of these I suffer from:
Severe irritability
Loss of sexual desire
Fatigue times 1 million
Face puffiness
Hair loss
Ice cold hands & feet/ Constant intolerance to cold
severe anxiety
uncontrollable appetite
forgetfulness and
depression/horrible mood swings

I've been doing a lot of prayer as I learn more and more about my thyroid condition. I hope to as I learn, further educate those very close to me so that they too can understand what I feel physically and mentally due to hypothyroidism. I used to get very, very angry because I don't feel in control of what I feel. I realized that the majority of the time when I would experience symptoms of depression and horrible mood swings, there was NOTHING actually wrong to spark the feelings. The fact that I couldn't control the feelings used to make me feel helpless and SUPER angry...but now, with education and faith in Jesus, I may not be able to control it..but He can. This has been effective in reducing my stress and anger levels significantly and I feel so much better.

Physically and mentally, it's a working progress...but all that really matters, is that it's working...

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