Rhonda’s Cooking

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My Thyroid Drama!

Posted by rhondascooking on February 25, 2009

Okay, I have been dealing with this see-saw game with my thyroid drama since 1994, when I was first diagnosed.  And you know what?  It is FRUSTRATING with a big fat F!  I don’t know if you or one of your loved ones feels the same way as I do, but it makes me sick at times.  One week I am feeling free and fabulous, the weight is in check and I am looking great and the next two weeks, I am feeling sluggish and have put on an additional 3 pounds despite eating all the right things.  What is really going on?  It shouldn’t be this way.  After all, I did have the radioactive treatment back in 1995; I thought it was supposed to eliminate all of this up-and-down crap!  Yes, I am not a happy camper right at this moment and I need to blog about it so that it can make me feel better to know that I am not alone. 

 

So What Happened? 

I believe in my personal opinion and from articles that I read that I got this thyroid disease due to my traumatic stress.  After all, I was perfectly fine in college.  When I started my first year in graduate school to work on my PhD in Electrical Engineering, I was stressed out and I was a very long way away from home. After being diagnosed, I was put on PTU and synthroid for a year before going to another doctor who introduced me to the idea of this radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment.  It is an outpatient treatment whereby the doctor gives you a dosage of a radioactive isotope of iodine (I131) for you to drink.  This “cocktail” is interesting to say the least. He said that if I was tired of going round and round that I should just have the procedure.  What he failed to tell me was the percentage of likelihood that it would not work long term.  He said that it could be a chance that I develop hypothyroidism (see my previous blog entry on the basics of thyroid disease, https://rhondascooking.wordpress.com/2008/08/02/do-you-have-a-thyroid-problem/), but he never said how much was that “chance” and because I trusted him, I said okay, let’s just do it!  I later learned from various sources online that it was a 75 – 100% effective, so I guess I represent that small percentage of those that the RAI treatment didn’t work.

 

What is RAI treatment? 

According to mythyroid.com, RAI treatment results in destruction of thyroid tissue, there is often a transient period of several days to weeks when the symptoms of hyperthyroidism may actually worsen following radioactive iodine therapy. Many patients are able to tolerate the initial few weeks without any problem whatsoever. Others may not be so successful and will likely become hypothyroid and will continue to have to take meds to manage this!

 

So, just in case you may be thinking about having it done, PLEASE talk to someone first before deciding to do it.  See what happened to them and then make your decision.  I do have an opinion about it—let’s just say that if I had to do it over again, I would have not selected that option because after about 12 years later, I am back on the see-saw with the up and down, hormonal imbalance.  

 

 

Sources that discuss the RAI Treatment:

http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/dept/thyroid/raiprep.html

 

http://www.mythyroid.com/iodinehyper.html

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4 Responses to “My Thyroid Drama!”

  1. Denise said

    I have just been diagnosed with graves disease about a couple of months ago, and I’m telling you its the worst thing I have ever had to deal with. You’re extremely tired all the time no matter how much rest that you get. How can you even live a normal life? People that dont have it, dont understand who effect it takes on you.Can someone tell me if there’s anything that I can do to gain some energy……thanks

    • Hi, Denise. I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I remember the first day of my diagnosis and every day there after because I deal with thyroid challenges every day. It is a life changing disease that most people who don’t have it, won’t understand what we truly go through–both physically and mentally. Now, I am concerned about what you said. You indicated that you have Graves Disease and you are tired all of the time. Graves disease is associated with an over active thyroid (hyperthyroid) and usually folks have more energy than those of us with hypothyroid (under active thyroid). With Graves disease some of the symptoms include insomnia, weight loss (without trying), eyes changing, etc.

      I have a few questions. Who made the diagnosis? Did they collect blood or do a saliva test? Are you taking thyroid supplements?

  2. Bianca Daniels said

    Hi, I was didnt find out I had a thyroid problem until October 2000. I was pregnant and I was having huge problems with the pregnancy. which later found out, that my pregnancy increased the thyroid tumor in my throat. The Tumor was noted after I had tremendous amount of bleeding from my nose. I had to get a cat scan to check for blood in my lungs. The scan showed a tumor in my chest instead that grew from my thyroid gland. I had to have imediate surgery because the tumor was wrapped around my trachea. They took my baby early to perform the surgery. They left a piece of the thyroid since i was young. I was 27 at the time. In 2004, 4 years later the tumor grew back from the piece of thyroid. the tumor attached itself to my artery to my heart and around my windpipe. They also noted that my Thymus gland was enlarged as well and removed that. I am not living without a thyroid gland and is on hormone replacement. THey had to break my chest cavity to get the tumor- which was the worse pain in my life. I am now 36 and I have hair loss, brittle nails, and mood swings. I cry a lot. My weight goes up and down. I have learned that if i cut out the white starch products and sugar then i can keep my weight at a stable rate. I also exercise regularly. Its a struggle, but I thank God that i’m here to tell my story.

    • Bianca, what a blessing you truly are not only to me but also to other people who will read your post. I thank God that He continues to protect you and support you during this time, which has given you the strength to live a prosperous life. Yes, I concur with you that everyday is a struggle, but you know what thank God we are here to press through those obstacles that stand in our way. What I have realized through this daily journey with thyroid disorder, is that I must love who I am today. I can’t become obsessed about how I used to look or how I want to look, instead I must say, “I like how I look today!” I have to stop focusing on the fact that I’ve had lots of hair loss in unwanted and noticeable places. No, it is not easy and believe me it has taken me a while to come to this point, but I had to because I was stressing myself out because I hated how I look in every way and as you know stress is NOT good for our metabolism which impacts the thyroid! So I decided to realize that my life is different…I’m over 35 with a thyroid imbalance, so I have to make some tweaks in my lifestyle. To accommodate the hair loss I’ve embraced the new look and working with styles that would accommodate this. In terms of the yo-yo weight gain/loss, I’ve decided to commit to exercise 6 days per week and reduce my calories to 1300 calories per day and continue to eat healthy foods with low glycemic index. With these adjusts, I am finally seeing some improvements, which increases my self esteem and ultimately makes me happy!

      Stay in touch!! By the way, my cookbook will be released by the end of summer so sign up at http://www.rhondascooking.com to receive notification when it is ready for purchase.

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