Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Pregnancy and hypothyroidism- a life changing discovery

Ok so if i am totally honest i have been avoiding blogging about anything really personal for a while, instead prefering to blog about delicious things in life, mainly because it is easier and more fun. But what i am about to write about today could equally fall into that delicious category, just in a different way and anyway one of the reasons for starting this blog was to write about what has been useful for me healthwise. So today i will write a little about what has been happening for me in this pregnancy and the discoveries about my health that have been life changing.

Back in april/may when i was just a few weeks pregnant with this, my second pregnancy, i was over in the UK visiting family and friends. Infact it was while at my parents that i decided to take a pregnancy test as the signs had been there from very early on (all day sickness, strong metallic taste whenever i ate, exhaustion etc and i just knew) and yeah i was indeed pregnant. Whoop whoop whoop. However despite the joy of discovering this, towards the end of my stay i began to experience excruciating pain in my lower abdomen and felt more and more run down and exhausted. I feared that a miscarriage was threatening. When i returned home the pain had become much much worse, so much so that i blacked out a couple of times with it, had developed a fever and my stomach felt so inflammed that i was unable to eat.

The doctor was unavailable that particular day so i took myself to the emergency room where, after a 4 hour wait, they finally examined me. They thought it could be an ectopic pregnancy and sent me for a scan, with a toddler in tow by this point in the day it was interesting trying to keep him entertained while i was doubled over, but at the crucial moments he behaved. Thankfully after an agonising wait they discovered that the baby was where he was meant to be and that he had a strong heart beat, gosh i almost cried with relief on hearing that!

They did discover that i had a huge amount of fluid in my abdomen that shouldn't be there which they thought came from a burst ovarian cyst which would have caused all of the pain, inflammation and fever. It was hugely lucky for me, and the baby, that it had burst when it did because they said that otherwise it would have interupted the baby's growth. So i was to go home and rest and to check things out with the doctor to make sure that there was nothing else going on ( it took a full month to recover but thankfully it got easier each day). I had an appointment anyway the next day with the doctor that i had booked a few days before to register the pregnancy and he decided to run a thorough battery of tests on me to cover every possibility. 2 weeks later they came back with the results to say that i was hypothyroid in rather a major way i.e my body was fighting the thyroid producing hormone in my body (An autoimmune disorder (Hashimoto thyroiditis) causing the immune system to produce antibodies which attack the body’s tissues, including the thyroid gland. This affects the thyroid’s ability to produce hormones causing hypothyroidism www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/hypothyroidism ) which meant that i was barely making any to function properly and i would need to go on Lavaxin, a synthetic thyroid hormone replacement drug in order for the baby to be safe and to grow properly ( i was also low in several energy enhancing vitamins, but thankfully everything else was fine).

Stupidly instead of being relieved that they'd discovered this i went home and stressed myself out about having to take a drug when my approach has always been a natural one. I consulted a naturopath at home in the Uk and was advised that although it could be treated naturopathically she couldn't advise against what the docotor had prescribed. So after many days of agonising about what to do i decided that it wasn't worth going down the natural route just because of my principles because i couldn't guarantee that the baby would be developing properly and i really didn't want 9 months wondering and worrying about whether i was doing the right thing. I felt that once i had had the baby then i could go down the naturopathic route without worrying. If i am completely honest i was also secretly a little intrigued after so many years of utter exhaustion and now being more than flawed by this pregnancy, about what effect the drug would have on my energy levels. We were going on holiday just a few days after i started taking the Levaxin and i can honestly say that it took just a few days (although in reality it took about a month to fully adjust and get the dose right) before i noticed a profound shift in my energy levels, so much so that it was as if i had been given a new body and my brain had been switched back on. The improvement was 100% and such a huge 190 degree turn around that i could not and still cannot believe it.

I wonder now whether i had been suffering from undiagnosed hypothyroidism for all of these years without knowing it, although the doctor said that there is no way of knowing when i developed it and it is highly likely that it developed as a result of the chronic fatigue somewhere along the way, but it could also have just developed in this pregnancy. Anyway all i know is that i feel transformed and i am forever grateful for the burst ovarian cyst for uncovering this problem and making me feel so renewed, whole and back in the normal functioning world again after sooo long. Who knew that that would be the result. My husband says that if this was the only reason we moved to Norway it was worth it (worth every moment of heartache about leaving my family and friends etc.) and i would agree.  I don't want to be on the drug forever but for now it feels like the right thing to be doing and i feel relieved that while i am on it that i am being thoroughly monitored by the endocrinology department at the hospital and by my doctor. I cannot describe how happy i feel and just how miraculous the change. I am a new me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now i am just really enjoying this pregnancy and this new found energy and really looking forward to meeting our new baby BOY in January, due on 11.01.11, and having the energy to be there for him and for Theodore. How lucky is that! 

Update 2011: When Sebastian was 5-6 months old i began to feel that i needed to come off the drug, i started to feel like i was going rather mad on it. Luckily around the same time i had a Life Alignment session which had such a profound effect that i came off the drug the day after and haven't looked back. See my blog posts about Life Alignment here and here.

1 comment:

  1. Following a healthy and nutritious diet plus natural thyroid will be more important for you than ever before once you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.


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