Friday, December 5, 2008

Top Ten Thyroid Symptoms Explained

As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted to expand on the symptoms that signal thyroid disease and my own personal experience in regards to these symptoms. I want to mention that some people may get one or two symptoms. There are those who get a little more. Then there is someone like me who gets a whole slew of them even ones not included in the list. I will address the first five. I will address the last five in my next post.

The first symptom we'll talk about is fatigue. This is a common one, and a lot of times it can be due to lack of sleep, however, those with a thyroid condition don't necessarily have a lack of sleep. They, in fact, can have eight to ten hours of sleep, but still feel like they need more. Some need a nap to get through the day. It is also possible to be hyperthyroid (I'll delve into that at some point in another post) as well as hypothyroid which causes sleep problems.

This was one of the first symptoms to strike me. I was tired all the time. I was working at the time this symptom appeared. I would always complain that I was so tired. My coworkers thought that I was just having 'extracurricular' activities. NO, that wasn't it. I would get plenty of sleep, but I could barely keep awake. Until I was put on medication, I felt almost comatose at times. I was happy that I never fell asleep at the wheel which I felt like doing a LOT. I actually became a bit hyperthyroid, too, and now I'm up until 3 AM some nights. I don't require a nap as much now. I'll get into the reason for that later.

Weight Changes-Those with thyroid disease suddenly gain an excess amount of weight without eating, eating very little, and regardless of exercise (Hypo). Some may eat the same or more, but lose a lot of weight (Hyper).

This was another prevalent symptom for me. I was gaining weight so rapidly and hadn't changed my diet in the slightest. When my ex-husband and I used to work out at the gym everyday, I only lost ONE pound in a month whereas he had lost a few. It's funny how a lot of people who didn't really know my situation, and still don't, said that I would lose weight if only I didn't eat a lot. They never saw me eat. If they did, they would see I ate maybe one, two at the most, meals a day. My current husband used to comment how I would eat like a bird just pecking at things. I get full within five minutes of eating. Then I turn around and get hungry again a few hours later. Though I have the hunger, I don't feel in the mood to eat.

Depression and Anxiety: Depression that doesn't respond to antidepressants can be a sign of thyroid answer.
In my case, I went between being very down, to feeling anxiety about life, to being easily irritated, and back again. The moods changed from day to day. I was going through a separation at the time when I was given a prescription for Zoloft. I knew that depression wasn't the problem. I never got that prescription filled. I'm glad I didn't. I still have my days, but it's much better than before when I hadn't gotten the right diagnosis.

Cholesterol Issues: thyroid disease can cause increase in cholesterol. If it doesn't respond to dieting, medications, exercise, etc., it could indicate a thyroid problem.

I never really had an issue with these, but like I said, symptoms vary from one person to another.

Family History: From the research I did for a paper in my college health class, it was said that they weren't sure if it was genetic. I believe it's more likely to have a thyroid problem if there is a family history.

As far as I know, no one in my family has had a thyroid issue. I have several relatives that I don't know or who have passed long ago that I know no medical history of. I do know I'm the first in my immediate family.

(to be continued...)