I always dreaded going to the doctor, but this time it was different because my life was about to change and I didn’t even know it.
I went to my doctor’s appointment for a yearly checkup. Everything was going very well, until I noticed my doctor, Dr. Rivera, looking at me differently and asking questions she generally didn’t ask me. She began checking my throat and stood quickly for a moment. Later, she asked me if I had rapid palpitations, tiredness or fatigue, hair loss, weight loss, and had trouble concentrating. Finally, I asked her what was going on. I was shocked everything that the doctor was asking me I was having these symptoms. However, I never noticed or paid attention to it because I have a crazy hectic lifestyle. Dr. Rivera even noticed I was having a rapid weight loss which mind you it was great. The same day she did some bloodwork and week later I returned to her office to find out I had a goiter (enlarged thyroid gland) and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Unfortunately, my goiter was a size of a tennis ball and needed to be removed. After a month, I underwent a radioactive iodine therapy, which then left me with hypothyroidism.
First, what is your thyroid gland? It is common that most people do not know what thyroids are because it’s rarely mentioned, but if you only knew the importance of the thyroid’s function. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland slightly below the larynx (voice box) and in front of the trachea (windpipe). It controls your metabolism and the thyroid aids as “speed control of the cell.” The thyroid uses iodine to produce thyroid hormones. Any small change of the thyroid hormone can affect the function of the body cells. Thyroid hormone relies on the pituitary gland (lies under the brain) to regulate the temperature of the body’s hormones. It is crucial to keep the thyroid hormone regulating.
What are hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism?
Hyperthyroidism (www.hyperthyroidism.com ) is an overactive thyroid or produces excessive thyroid hormone where it causes an enlargement of the thyroid gland called goiter. Hyperthyroidism is caused by a high amount of iodine, inflammation the thyroid gland, which makes thyroid hormones (T4 and T3) to come out from the gland. It causes the metabolic rate increase rapidly or excessively. Hypothyroidism is health condition where your thyroid gland is not producing thyroid hormones or another name for it is underactive thyroid. Hypothyroidism is caused by certain misuse of drugs, a congenital birth defect, pregnancy, radioactive iodine treatment to treat goiter, and surgical removal of the thyroid gland. About estimated 20 million people have some thyroid condition. Woman are about five to eight times more likely than men to have a thyroid problem.
I had to keep my negative emotions under control. I had to learn to cope and educate myself about this condition and from that day on my life was going to change not knowing the challenges I was going to come against and encounter.
Ain, Kenneth B. and Rosenthal, M. Sara. The Complete Thyroid Book. McGraw-Hill Professional. 2011. Electronic Book.
Lights, Verneda, Solan, Matthew, and Fantauzzo, Michael. Hyperthyroidism. Healthline Media. 29 June 2016. doi:http://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism?m=0&rw1#Overview1 . Accessed on 16 Feb. 2017.