Thursday, February 4, 2010

To Maddy, With Love

To read part one of this post (so that this actually makes some sense!) - click here. Don't worry, if you haven't read it, just click here. I'll wait, I promise.

Read it? Okay! Let's carry on with Period Watch: The Clusterf!#$% Edition.

I dedicate this part of the post to a wonderful blogger, Maddy, from Late for a Very Important Pregnancy. (Hence the title.) If you haven't visited Maddy's blog before, please do. She is kind and thoughtful and has probably provided me with more information and food for thought than I can ever give her credit for. So Maddy, this one's for you!

It was this post of hers that got me thinking about my thyroid. She introduced me to a book called The Thyroid Solution. Now at first, I appreciated the post, but I really didn't think that it had much to do with me. Until she happened to mention that there were some connections with the thyroid and PCOS in the book. That peaked my interest since I'm always looking out for more information on PCOS. So I went to my nearest Chapters and picked up a copy for myself. (Note: if you order the book online you will receive the most recent and up to date edition - I was too impatient but wanted you to know just in case this appeals.)

As I read through the book I was floored. So many of the links with hypothyroidism seemed to pertain to me.

Now I know what you're possibly thinking. "Easy there, hypochondriac. Don't got self-diagnosing, it's way too easy to label yourself with everything out there!"

I know. But since I was seeing the PCOS Specialist anyways (who is an Endocrinologist by the way), I raised the issue of testing my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). It's as easy as a quick blood test. Upon looking at the records sent from my family doctor and the fertility clinic she noted that my TSH was in the normal range but still on the high end. So we tested it again last Monday.

I called her office the next morning to get my results.

Now I don't want to brag or anything, Internetz, but someone award me a medical degree! (Okay, not really). Sure enough my TSH level was slightly elevated but enough so for her to prescribe me with a low dose thyroid medication.

Are you still with me? I know I'm rattling on, but please hang in there, it could be worth it.

This is where things get interesting. She said that she was very glad that I pursued this with her. Not only for my general well being but for fertility reasons as well.

You see with my thyroid out of whack, there could be an even greater risk for miscarriage were I to get pregnant. And if I do manage to get myself knocked up, I am to see her immediately because she will want to monitor me closely.

Internetz, this is HUGE. For fertility and much more.

Fertility reasons aside, I must confess to you that for a long time (in spite of all of my vitamins and occasional healthy living inspired by my Naturopathic Doctor) I have felt so bloody tired and crappy. I was honestly beginning to think I was going a little crazy because the exhaustion was ridiculous. I have hope now that it all relates back to my wacky thyroid and with the help of this medication and monitoring it, I'll start to feel like my old self again.

I am so grateful that Maddy shared this book find with me and other fellow bloggers. I wanted to do the same in case there's someone out there who is reading this thinking, "Hmmm, this might be worth looking into a bit more." Or perhaps you have a pre-existing thyroid issue. I would totally recommend this book if you do. It has extensive information on both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

Let me be clear. This isn't a review. I'm not getting anything for telling you all this. But hell, if this helps someone else, I'd so be willing to buy a copy of the book out of my own pocket for someone else. That's how much I appreciated reading it.

So there you go Internetz! Being a Libra, I'm all about balance. Here's hoping that these latest developments will help balance my body so that a pregnancy becomes a possibility!


Erin said...

My thyroid is just a tiny bit underactive, so I was on the lowest dose of thyroid med. possible. My cycle was a MESS. All over the place. They bumped my meds up just a bit...and magically! A 28 day cycle!

Just sayin...

errin julkunen-pedersen said...

welcome aboard the thyroid train! i was really into armour thyroid for awhile (it's a bio-identical compound, and supposed to work better than synthetics) but my pharmacy was no longer able to compound it, so now i rock levothyroxine (synthroid) daily. i don't know whether it helps or not, to be honest, but i continue to take it. i'm just tired and draggy all the time, and thyroid meds seem to help me very briefly. i do think it made an impact in the fertility arena, though. i'm so glad you were able to find out, and hope that this little tweak will be the one that you need! loves!

junebug said...

I'll share in the sending Maddy Love!! After she mentioned it I went and checked it out of the library. I haven't gotten to it yet (I have two books due tomorrow that I'm trying to finish) but I'm sure once I do it will be great info. I, also, got Making Babies which I thought was really good as well.
I'm already on thyroid meds because my numbers were just slightly off. Technically not enough for a diagnosis but they gave me meds anyway.

Anonymous said...

No wI am intrigued and now longer feeling stabby :-p I will be looking at this hypothyroidism.

NaVe said...

Thank you for posting this! For years my mom has been bugging me to get my Thyroid checked (if she could have a deg. in medicine just by reading stuff, she would ;P) and I thought that I had a while back, but you just reminded me to do again. Thank you for this great info! I will check the book out as well :)

maxandzuzu said...

Thanks for the information. I too have been wondering about the whole thyroid thing. Keep us updated on how the meds. make you feel!


Hannah said...

Glad you checked this out, I hope the medication helps! I've been taking thyroid med for years, but I should ask my RE about getting the levels check again. Thanks for posting!

Gurlee said...

Love to Maddy! Welcome to the thyroid club! I had a totally out of whack thyroid with no obvious symptoms. My endo told me it takes 3 months for you body to recalibrate once you start taking replacement therapy, just an FYI.
I will check out the book.

Jen @ After The Alter said...

How great is that!! (well not great but good to know that you can treat it!) See doctors hate WebMD and online stuff...but see things like this happen and then I think..luckily you looked into it yourself! My friend had all this problem with her stomach, had her galbladder out..and in the end mentioned siliaks (gluten alergy) and they tested and that was it! Good for you for taking things into your own hands. It never hurts to ask!

Kim said...

So I have to scratch my head and wonder if there is a reversed connection? I am hypothyroid, so does that mean I should be concerned about PCOS? I haven't been diagnosed and don;t have symptoms, but these things make me scratch my head and wonder. Glad you asked to be tested and made the connection, I love blog world where we can share information and learn from each other!

Crossed Fingers said...

I had my thyroid checked last summer and the results came back fine. But I wonder if maybe they're borderline too. I'm super tired all the time and my weight gain has been in my legs which is funny. Maybe I'll have my gyno run another test and look closer.

Mad Hatter said...

Aw, FC, thank you for the sweet mention...I sure need all the love I can get these days, and your post made me smile. :-)

I'm so glad you were helped by my post, and I hope that your many IF followers are inspired to have their their thyroid checked to make sure it is in the ideal range for conceiving and carrying a baby. Much MUCH love back to you!


SecretSisterhood said...

The lesson is: Don't just let the nurse or office person tell you on the phone that your tsh results are "normal". You must ask specifically what the number is because technically normal can still be too high for healthy fertility. Such was the case for me. My doc wanted my tsh closer to 1, but at the time of the test it was "normal" at 3.5. So I now wake up with levothyroxine. **By the way, if you do get pregnant, you'll want to check your tsh again because the pregnancy can change the amount of medication you need.**

Anonymous said...

Awesome work, detective! And yes indeed: Cheers to balance! :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear your getting the thyroid stuff treated! My cousin has PCOS and started taking Armour thyroid back in June - she had her first period a couple weeks later after not having one for over 9 months. She now is having 31 day cycles!!!
Hypothyroid is crazy, but there is treatment for it!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that you may have found a solution. My mother and sister both have thyroid issues but I do not. I've been tested three times before I was tested a month ago for the whole PCOS thing and my levels were normal. Doc attributed my constant fatigue to the PCOS. I hope that the meds help out!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that you may have found a solution. My mother and sister both have thyroid issues but I do not. I've been tested three times before I was tested a month ago for the whole PCOS thing and my levels were normal. Doc attributed my constant fatigue to the PCOS. I hope that the meds help out!

Beckie's Infertile said...

Interesting post! I am glad you found something out that may help you out. I am going to look at my TSH levels right now...

Have a great weekend!

Waiting Lisa said...

Wow. So glad you were able to find this information. Nothing better than being your own advocate!

Amaprincess said...

So glad that you were able to find out about the thyroid thing! I'm going to go check out her blog!

SassyIfLady said...

I have thyroid issues too and I'm on Synthroid 125. I feel so much better on it. Before I was tired, I could go to bed at 7 p.m. every night if I wanted to, etc. Now, I have a lot more energy. They told me the connection to infertility and the importance of taking my meds. They also said, if I ever achieve pregnancy, that I should come back to see them because pregnancy sometimes throws your numbers out of whack again and you need to go on a new dose. Something to be cautious of! Anyway - good luck!

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