Friday, 4 January 2013
thyroid awareness month
ok so i may not pay a lot of attention to my other condition as diabetes is so damn attention seeking all. the. bloody. time. However it's apparently thyroid awareness month , yeah i didn't know this either until one of the american doc posted on twitter... so i thought i should tell you about the other organ my immune system decided to kill off .
hypothyroidism in america/england etc is most commonly caused by hashimoto's disease (side note- how come diabetes doesn't get a cool word like hashimoto's ?) this is an autoimmune disease but instead of my pancreas my immune system destroyed the thyroid gland which is a butterfly shaped organ in the neck. I'm not as well up on thyroid as i am on the pancreas however it's like a master organ and influences many other organs. pretty good for such a tiny thing so i found an analogy on what it does
"Think of your thyroid as a car engine that sets the pace at which your body operates. An engine produces the required amount of energy for a car to move at a certain speed. In the same way, your thyroid gland manufactures enough thyroid hormone to prompt your cells to perform a function at a certain rate."
so my lovely immune system killed this off so all my function's were too slow as not enough t3/t4 were being secreted. i was diagnosed with hypothyroidism in around 2005 or 2006 when i was about 10 or 11. for me it was picked up in an annual blood test and all the times my doses have needed increasing since then have been picked up in these blood tests. unlike type 1 where it's very obvious you're sick and the symptoms are quite dramatic hypothyroid aren't. they have a habit of sneaking up on you, the fatigue and headaches can easily be put down to stress. the last time my thyroid went on the fritz was in summer 2012, just when my exams were happening. i didn't notice how tired i was becoming and i was actually losing weight, whereas with hypothyroid you commonly put on weight, so i just put it down to stress of college. it wasn't until July and my annual blood test that the raised tsh was picked up. raised TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone) basically means my brain is having to send a stronger signal than it should to get my thyroid to produce the amount of t3/t4 i need. the problem came with that my TSH was rising but then on the next blood test going back into normal range so my dr was reluctant to increase the dose. looking back now i can see that when i had the raised TSH the symptoms of depression were sneaking back in and this is one of the things its commonly misdiagnosed as.
thyroid disease is about 7 times more likely to affect women than men, like most autoimmune conditions (diabetes is an exception) it is also more common if you have another autoimmune condition like diabetes. the symptoms for me were hair loss, weight gain , extreme tiredness and headaches. I have to say with having type 1 diabetes , hypothyroidism is a walk in the park as are my other conditions. it only requires 2 pills a day to treat but when it flares up it flares up bad. for me , i barely notice the hypothyroidism but i thought i should at least pay a little attention to it during thyroid awareness month
Posted by Type1teenager