Hypothyroidism is a condition where your thyroid gland produces less than required thyroid hormones T3 and T4. It causes tiredness, weight gain, cholesterol. In children, it causes delays in growth and intellectual development. I am too familiar with hypothyroidism since my husband; his mom and his sister suffer from it.
Hypothyroidism seems to be a hereditary condition for my husband’s family. It can be easily diagnosed by simple blood test to check for levels of T3 and T4 hormones. Though it may not be life threatening condition, it is very important to keep the thyroid hormone levels under control. Too much or too little of thyroid hormones can impact the body.
How we detect hypothyroidism
A simple blood test for T3 and T4 can help determine if you have hypothyroidism. Even if you detect hypothyroidism, it is important to monitor it at least once every 6 months. A visit to the family doctor would be sufficient to get the prescription. Even if you are medicating to keep the thyroid hormones levels in check, it is good to regularly monitor the hormone levels periodically.
My husband did his first blood test in his teenage years. It is said that the hypothyroidism passes on from mother to child during birth. Maybe that’s why my husband’s family all have hypothyroidism. Usually newborn babies are tested for thyroid hormone levels these days to diagnose this early.
What Hypothyroidism looks like
Having hypothyroidism, my husband is usually tired and weary. His eyes sometimes are bulging and he gets groggy some days when he skips his medication. But when he stays on medication, he is alert and other symptoms are minor. One side effect of hypothyroidism is increased levels of cholesterol. We have seen this in other patients as well.
How we cope with hypothyroidism
Like I said hypothyroidism is not a life threatening disease and is quite easy to keep under control. Taking L-thyroxine tablets regularly at the prescribed dosage will keep the hormones levels under control. My husband takes one 100 mg of thyroxine tablet every day. He usually takes it first thing in the morning on empty stomach.
Regulating the diet also helps cope with hypothyroidism. We usually steer away from vegetables like cabbage, beetroot and cauliflower. Since hypothyroidism leads to cholesterol as well, my husband needs to regulate his fat intake as well. He consumes less fatty foods and exercises regularly.
Hypothyroidism is not a stigma; we just need to learn more about it to keep it under control.