Thursday, 22 September 2016

Hypothyroidism

An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) is where your thyroid gland doesn't produce enough hormones.
Common signs of an underactive thyroid are tiredness, weight gain and feeling depressed.
An underactive thyroid can often be successfully treated by taking daily hormone tablets to replace the hormones your thyroid isn't making.
There's no way of preventing an underactive thyroid. Most cases are caused either by the immune system attacking the thyroid gland and damaging it, or by damage to the thyroid that occurs during some treatments for an overactive thyroid or thyroid cancer.
[Source NHS Choices]

I try to stick to as much book related posts on this blog as possible, but if something is changing that will affect the blog I will post about it. As you can see from the title this is one of those posts. I have a lot of books to read, and reviews to write, and this is a reason for the delay in some of them, and why I've been quiet, even more so this week.

Last year I had vertigo, and ended up getting blood tests (my first in about 26 years). They came back with raised levels in my thyroid. Every three months I've been going back to more tests to check their levels, and on 15th Sept I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, which is basically an underactive thyroid.

When I found out about it I immediately looked up the signs and symptoms, and honestly only one could really fall under it, I don't feel sick or even look sick.

This post was meant to follow my first few weeks of medication, but I decided to put it out now as a way of explanation.



Symptoms usually develop slowly and you may not realise you have a medical problem for several years.
Common symptoms include:
  • tiredness
  • being sensitive to cold
  • weight gain
  • constipation
  • depression
  • slow movements and thoughts
  • muscle aches and weakness
  • muscle cramps
  • dry and scaly skin
  • brittle hair and nails
  • loss of libido (sex drive)
  • pain, numbness and a tingling sensation in the hand and fingers (carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • irregular periods or heavy periods
The only symptom I had was sensitivity to cold. My fingers go cold so fast, and one even goes numb. They get that cold that I can't use my iPhone or iPad as it doesn't recognise them.

Treatment for hypothyroidism is tablets for the rest of my life. I am currently on a low dose and have to go back in December, get more tests and have another appointment to see if my does needs changing.

to give some perspective on my usual night time routine, no matter what shift I am on or what plans I have the next day, my normal bedtime is 11pm, with at least an hour of reading on my iPad, or listening to a book on my iPod, and usually falling asleep sometime after midnight.



Day One on medication
Took the tablet at 5.30am (half an hour before breakfast). The day went well and I didn't feel any different. Come 9pm and I'm falling asleep watching football (my usual bedtime is midnight no matter how early I get up) So I go to bed, watch a quick 20 minute show on Netflix, put my iPod on and fall asleep. I think I got maybe five minutes into my audiobook out of a thirty session.

Day Two on medicaton
Early night means early rise and I'm up at 7.25am (on non London days I didn't even know there was a 7.25am on the weekend, I'm never up this early)

Day Three on medication
Today was a busy day, Pokemon hunting with my Nephew, writing this (8.40pm) I am feeling tired, but we did hike everywhere so it's hard to say which is making me tired.

Day Four on medication
Back to work after the busy weekend. I've had a headache all weekend so thankfully it's gone today. Feeling extra tired at night and asleep within fifteen minutes of my head hitting the pillow some time before 9pm

Day Five on medication
Super busy day in work and feeling extra stressed and tired. Lasted less than fifteen minutes into my audiobook before I was asleep, I had to wind it back a bit when I woke up.

Day Six on medication
Normal day in work and not feeling as tired, managed to make it a whole thirty minutes before I fell asleep listening to an audiobook.


As you can see I am losing some quality reading time of a night, and being on a late shift isn't helping at all. By the time I am home and have eaten and spent time with the b/f it's usually closer to 9pm, leaving me very little time to work with. Hopefully tonight will be a better night and I am getting used to these new meds, and will be able to get back into some sort of a routine again.

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