I am going to be writing a series this week about the other conditions that I deal with on a daily basis. They ALL exacerbate my Chiari issues. Too many times, when I say I don’t feel well, or I am in pain, people just assume its from the Chiari and sometimes the EDS. Unfortunately, for I, and many others, this just isn’t the case. Chiari effects every single function of our bodies, it’s a miracle that we are able to even keep breathing!
This is not a pity post, or a woe is me post. It is meant to be a series of posts for informational purposes, and to help the general public and those with the same conditions realize they are not alone!
On to it then!
There are four types of thyroid disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (theye-royd-EYET-uhss), Graves’ disease, goiter, and thyroid nodules.
I Don’t want to bore you with information you can just google, so I am going to focus on the type of thyroid disease I have, Hashimoto’s.
Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. Your thyroid is a small gland in the front of the neck. The thyroid makes hormones called T3 and T4 that regulate how the body uses energy. Thyroid hormone levels are controlled by the pituitary gland. It makes thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), which triggers the thyroid to make thyroid hormone.
With Hashimoto’s, your immune system makes antibodies, like for a cold, to destroy your thyroid and cause it to stop working. Over time, the damage can cause thyroid hormone levels to become too low. This is called hypothyroidism. An under active thyroid causes every function of the body to slow down, such as heart rate, brain function, and metabolism. Hashimoto’s disease is the most common cause of an under active thyroid.
Symptoms of a low thyroid include:
- Weight gain
- Pale, puffy face
- Feeling cold
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dry, thinning hair
- Heavy menstrual flow or irregular periods
- A slowed heart rate
- Problems getting pregnant
- Digestive issues
- Dry skin
- Mood swings
What to do if you think you have low thyroid function?
Talk to your family doctor. They can run a blood test to see where your thyroid levels are at. If they are too low or too high, your doctor may refer you to an endocrinologist. An endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system. The endocrinologist will order their own blood work, and work with you on a plan to get you back to feeling better. There is no cure for Hashimoto’s, but medication can sometimes help with the symptoms. It is a medication that you are usually on the rest of your life. There is also a possibility your thyroid would need to be removed, but that is best discussed with your doctor.
Please look for my next post when I will be discussing the next condition on the list, Poly-cystic Ovarian Disease.