Thyroid Disorders are one of the most misunderstood ailments there are - not only by the victims but by their family and friends as well.
Even doctors easily overlook obvious symptoms because they can be so easily mistaken for something totally different...
Two of the most common symptoms that go hand in hand with thyroid disorder involve weight (either the gain or loss of it) and depression
It happens far too frequently that a person is told that they are 'fat' due to laziness and lack of will power, yet time and time again it turns out that many of us with thyroid disorder actually have greater will power than the 'average normal person'.
Why? Simply because we have to be strong to be able to function with this debilitating obstacle that we are forced to face on a daily basis - and for many, year after year.
The depression? Who wouldn't be depressed when you wake up every day in pain, facing unknown new hurdles as in under medicated, undiagnosed, untreated thyroid disorder continues to spiral downwards, the quality of life becoming less and less as time goes by.
I would like to share with you a letter, written by the loving husband of a woman with thyroid disease. It says so much about what true love is really about and explains in a wonderful way just what it's like to be a true friend and companion.
My thanks to Leslie and Ben for allowing us to share this
ThyroFeisty and ThyroGeek
Supportive Husband: Living With Thyroid Disease
Foundation for the Supportive Husband... first and foremost the basics of thyroid disease must be understood for the chronic medical condition that is this reality.
Above all, it must be understood and believed that the symptoms witnessed are the result of a biochemical disorder.. Thyroid disease is a physiological condition in which the individual possesses genetic abnormalities that create enzymatic and hormone deficiencies. These deficiencies in turn 'translate' into an altered metabolism with a cascade of symptoms, some of which are behavioral and psychological.
Thyroid disease in its 'hypo' form produces a much lower amount of thyroid hormones (T3, T4) in the individual than is normal. As these hormones regulate energy metabolism and tune one's metabolism in the most general sense, the thyroid patient lives within a less energetic state which can be partially remedied by taking thyroid hormone supplements daily. In plain English, a less energetic state means less physical strength, less endurance, lower thresholds for exercise tolerance, weight gain and diet intolerance. Indeed, fibromyalgia is now widely believed to represent a subset of thyroid disease symptoms.
Less energy molecules (T4/T3) going to the brain can produce depression, disrupted sleep patterns, brain fog, and difficulties with concentration. As basic metabolic regulation interacts with other hormones and brain activity, anxiety, panic attacks and unexplained bursts of anger can result. These latter symptoms particularly characterize more severe forms of thyroid disease, wherein there is an overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones. Being medicated involves careful monitoring with symptoms and blood tests.
None of these symptoms are imaginary, or simply 'all in the head'. There is no emotional illness here in the sense often stated by pop psychology, an uneducated public and often uncomprehending doctors. These symptoms cannot be modified solely by will power or tough minded decisions, although one must approach this disease with disciplined critical thinking. All of these symptoms, and this list is incomplete, are the result of an altered metabolism, an altered individual biochemistry created by a defect in the production of thyroid hormones. This condition can be made 'better', but never cured completely, by taking T4 (and often T3 as well) daily in a carefully derived ratio that is well matched to the individual's precise condition by a skilled endocrinologist or good general practitioner.
Understand fellow husbands, that thyroid disease is chronic and genetically based. It is a lifelong companion but one that can be controlled and subdued. Understand that the symptoms you witness are no more imaginary than those of diabetes, heart disease or cancer. Understand that compassion and understanding will directly contribute to maximizing the wellness of the person who is closest to you in heart and soul and whom you love above all. Thus are both your lives enriched beyond measure.