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It Could Be Your Thyroid!

Updated on September 5, 2015


Obviously if you have a thyroid hormone imbalance condition it is either going to be over active or under active. In my own experience, my family’s experience, and from people that I have met, I have only seen the under active condition which is called, Hypothyroidism. Since this apparently is the most common, this is the condition that I will concentrate on.

Even if you have hypothyroidism, you may not even be aware that you have it. Oh, yes, you can go to one website after another and read about the symptoms but how exactly do some of these symptoms actually manifest? If you go to any medical website you might see the following symptoms:

Standard Symptoms

  • Feeling tired
  • Feeling weak
  • Feeling depressed
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle Nails
  • Can’t stand the cold
  • Constipation
  • Memory problems
  • Can’t think clearly

However, going to another website you will not only see the above symptoms but you will find a few more additional ones such as:

Possible Additional Symptoms

  • Weight gain
  • Yellow skin
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle pain
  • Joint pain
  • Swollen body parts (face, hands, legs, feet)

How do you make sense of it? For some reason hair loss is not listed on many sites but it seems to be one of the main symptoms, at least that is what I have found. Also, these symptoms can creep up slowly making you think it is part of the aging process but they can also pop up suddenly as they did for me. Everyone is different and that is the key. You have to pay close attention to your own body. Some doctors are now saying that this condition could be more prevalent and that many people are just not aware that they have it. If untreated, it could cause serious problems down the road such as high cholesterol, and heart disease.

So, to help anyone who is wondering if they have hypothyroidism, I would like to relate my own personal experience which in itself was rather bizarre. To begin, my situation was complicated by a cancer diagnosis. After I was declared in remission I did notice, that of all the symptoms mentioned above, I had only the following:

My Symptoms

  • Feeling weak
  • Feeling depressed
  • Dry skin
  • Some constipation
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle pain

At first I simply dismissed some of them because I knew that it could take up to a year before I would feel “normal” again after chemotherapy. When I tried to resume running again I just couldn’t run the same distance as I could in the past. Every time that I ran it felt like my legs were made of stone. Because of the exercising, I then developed unusual muscle cramping in my legs and toes. Actually the cramping was minor but it was coupled with pain. To alleviate this condition I took hot baths instead of showers but this simply led to the next symptom which was dry skin. This took a little while to figure out. I soon developed itching on my lower back and on my legs. Since Hodgkin’s Lymphoma can cause itching too, the thought crossed my mind that maybe the cancer was coming back, but a recent PET scan showed nothing. It then occurred to me that it was the hot water that was drying out my skin.

Of the symptoms that I mentioned so far, the dry skin actually came on rather suddenly but the one that was truly bizarre was the hair loss. After the chemo, it took about two months before I began shaving again and another month until I had a full beard. I was shaving every day for about another three months when suddenly patches disappeared on my cheeks and around my mouth. This occurred over a period of only two or three days. The nurse, who administered the chemo when I was sick, told me that it was happening to me now too. When I asked her what she meant, she said that some of her other male patients don’t even have to shave anymore. She told me that if it is the chemo that is causing it, then most likely it would be permanent. However, it was not permanent. The bare patches surprisingly moved and changed. Six months later I was shaving normally again and this finally prompted me to get checked and sure enough, I had a thyroid problem. I was not border line, I was severe.

However, my not shaving and then again shaving brings up another aspect of problems with your thyroid. The condition may not be absolute. This is what is happening to me. Over the years, I have been tested a number of times and my last test showed that my thyroid was okay. Since then, I have been off the medication for over a year but the symptoms have just returned, so I have to be tested again.

This is the lowest dose of Levothyroxine needed to treat Hypothyroidism.  Each does is only 50 micrograms (mcg) which is equivalent to 0.05 milligrams.  One tablet is taken per day, preferably on an empty stomach. Note: Each dose is very small.
This is the lowest dose of Levothyroxine needed to treat Hypothyroidism. Each does is only 50 micrograms (mcg) which is equivalent to 0.05 milligrams. One tablet is taken per day, preferably on an empty stomach. Note: Each dose is very small. | Source

Hormone Replacement Therapy

It has now been a year that I have been on hormone replacement therapy. I am on the lowest dose and I feel fine. One of the common misconceptions is that you will gain a lot of weight if you have this condition. This is not true. The average weight gain is about ten pounds but if you become depressed it can compound your weight in either direction. Some people eat more when they are depressed. Others eat less. I was the latter so I actually lost weight. When I started on the medication and the depression subsided I regained my appetite and gained weight. When my sister was diagnosed, the only symptom she had was thinning hair and she would not have even considered getting checked until a friend told her to. She had no idea that a thyroid condition can cause thinning hair.

So if you have any of these symptoms, especially if they come on suddenly and strong or in a weird way, then maybe you too should get checked.


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    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 6 years ago from America

      Our daughter just had to have her thyroid removed and she is in a panic because she has gained 16 lbs. She has also lost her energy. She was like the energizer bunny before now she takes nap. She has never taken naps.

      We're hoping she will get her medication straighten out and that will help. It's only been weeks since surgery.

      Good hub voted up.