25 June 2012

Hospitalized!

I’ve been hospitalized for Hypothyroidism, a state in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone. My advice to everyone is IMMEDIATELY to check your levels of:

  • thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
  • thyroxine (T4)
  • triiodothyronine (T3)

In primary hypothyroidism, TSH levels are high and T4 and T3 levels are low. For a very long time now, I’ve been experiencing the following symptoms:

  • weight gain
  • fatigue
  • muscle cramps and joint pain
  • dry, itchy skin
  • thin, brittle fingernails
  • rapid thoughts
  • depression (subjective)

Since of late, I’ve not been able to drive since as I am experiencing what can only be described as muscle ‘freeze’. As an example, I find difficulty unclenching my clenched fist, and if I turn my head either side I also find difficulty turning my head back to the front. That is why I’ve stopped driving.

I almost had surgery for what was thought to be a slipped disc of several lumbars. It was finally revealed that the Hypothyroidism caused an abnormal build-up of antibodies. These antibodies, once present but with nothing to consume began eating into the muscles of the lumbar, effectively causing what is called a degenerated lumbar(s).

Thankfully a second opinion referred me to a rheumatologist, who after listening to my description of muscle ‘freezing’ thought of checking my T3, T4 and TSH levels, thus discovering the Hypothyroidism.

The rheumatologist further gave me some sobering news. If left untreated, the antibodies would have eaten into every muscle of my internal organs and I would have eventually ‘expired’ in my sleep!

I am now in the hospital while the rheumatologist monitors my T3, T4 and TSH levels, and with some medication and physiotherapy I hope to regain full and normal use of my limbs (especially my lower back). At the point of being hospitalized, my levels were as follows:

T3: 1.0 (usual range is between 9.1 to 24.4) – way below range
T4: 0.5 (usual range is between 2.23 to 5.35) – way below range
TSH: 999 (usual range is between 0.30 to 4.64) – way above range

You can imagine the concern! More updates soon...

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