Thyroid Success Story, Alive After 30 Years

Victoria Was Hypothyroid for Thirty Years Before Finally Feeling Well

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Regularly, we hear from thyroid patients who want to share their story, what has worked for them, with other thyroid patients, via the About.com Thyroid site. We are happy to share Victoria's story. Victoria is hypothyroid, and described herself in her email as "a wife, mother, and grandmother."

Dear Mary,

Several months ago, I came across your website and it was and is a refreshing experience! I have been enduring the physical and mental affects of hypothyroidism since in my early twenties.

I'm 53 now. I was never diagnosed or helped until I threw a tantrum in my HMO doctor's office, and asked to be tested for low thyroid. This tantrum was a result of being told maybe "we" should learn to push away from the table more often! 

It was apparent that this medical practitioner (a woman) was totally insensitive and disinterested in my condition. I explained that I had always been very active and followed a healthy diet (meat, fish, poultry, veggies, some whole grains) and that at approximately 38 years of age I begin to gain weight and felt fatigued. Her response was that I had reduced my amount of exercise and obviously was eating too much. NOT TRUE! There is also a history of vascular disease in my family as well as diabetes. 

After the thyroid testing, she agreed to prescribe levothyroxine and promptly wrote out a prescription for .150 mg. I took the pill and within a short period of time had rapid breathing, tingling of the lips and ringing in my ears.

I had a book on prescription medicine and their side effects, read the section on thyroid medicine and learned this should have been administered in micro amounts until my system adjusted to the medication and responded properly. I called my HMO, because the doctor was out of town and I explained my situation to the ER nurse.

A new prescription was called in and I was given .050 mg. This was a BIG CHANGE! I never saw the other doctor again and she made no effort to contact me. 

Years went by, and over time, I continued to gain weight, until I had gained a total of 50 pounds. I begin to experience all the negative feelings one does about oneself and felt I was a hopeless case. My medication wasn't increased until age 50, when I went to see my daughter's OB-GYN and he listened and helped! 

When I came across your website (I was taking by that time .125 mg) I felt I had finally found a friend who could help and confirm I wasn't lazy and shouldn't give up. I was just a gal going through menopause and suffering from hypothyroidism!

I printed out information from your site, took the information to my primary care at the HMO and he promptly told me I was chronically fatigued because I was overweight, had troubling sleeping, etc. and most likely needed counseling for chronic depression (oh yeah, he also offered to prescribe lithium for my depression) and felt I should get into group counseling immediately!

 

My TSH results were 6.6 ..he said I was normal! Needless to say I went into a deeper depression!!! Then, I went back into the website, learned more about TSH levels and so-called "normal ranges" per individual lab. I made an appointment with my OB-GYN and he said "I'd be depressed too if I were so darn tired!" We ran the TSH again...he said we needed to up the dosage to .150 mg. 

Guess what? I now feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders!! I've lost 10 pounds so far and I walk 30 minutes, 5 times a week. I smile a lot more....back to being the funny, creative person I've always been and I now have the knowledge I'm headed down the right path to RECOVERY!!!!!!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart...my thyroid thanks you too!! 

~ Victoria

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