Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hypothyroidism


Almost 24 years ago, my husband and I became aware of a medical condition called hypothyroidism. Our first son was born April 13th 1987 and on April 20th we received a phone call around 7 am from our pediatrician. He called to inform us that our sons PKU (phenylketonuria) test results came back abnormal. The state of Kansas requires every child born in the state to have a PKU test. One of the test in the PKU is to test for congenital hypothyroidism. The doctor told us we needed to take our child to Childrens Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, to have a thyroid scan done. The scan showed my son was born with a thyroid gland, but it did not function. I suppose there are worst things in life and the only thing would be our child would have to take synthroid for the rest of his life and see a doctor for regular checks on his thyroid levels. We would then repeat this same routine with the next two children born to us. Three children born with congenital hypothyroid condition is very rare. Back in the late 1980's our pediatric endocrinologist informed us that there were approximately less then 1000 cases in the world where every child in a family is born with congenital hypothyroidism. We also learned that it was a genetic trait passed down from both my husband and I. Normally, when both parents have this genetic trait 1 in 4 of their children develop congenital hypothyroidism. So, our family was an interesting case for our pediatric endocrinologist. Using our family to write a paper for the Medical journal on the subject.

One of the puzzling things for myself was trying to locate members of my extended family who might have had or have hypothyroid conditions. There were none. My husbands side of the family had several female women who developed hypothyroid problems later in life and this is common for older women. Still I was stumped as to where the link was on my side of the family. I approached the doctor with my questions. He informed me that most likely I would be the person that would develop hypothyroidism. With my youthful mind set, I store the information in the back of my mind and forgot about it.

At the age of thirty, my husband and I had a lot of spiritual and intellectual growth. We decided to change our life style. We became vegetarians. I suppose I should also mention my husband is very much a carnivore at heart. So we began replacing the meat in our diet with TVP (textured vegetable protein) which is made from soy. Without doing any research on soy, I was unaware how soy blocks the thyroid. With in a couple of years the symptoms of a hypothyroid condition could no longer be ignored. I tried several natural approaches without success. So, then after 5 years and alot of excessive weight I succumbed to taking synthroid. Within a month, I was already seeing some much needed changes in my body. I could actually make it through the day with out a nap and my hair was no longer falling out. Those are just a few of the changes that you could see, the ones that were most important for me were the changes that others could not see. I finally had a clear mind. I didn't forget words and my memory was much better. When you are struggling with these types of problems, you learn to hide them from others so that you do not appear "strange". The relief I had that I no longer needed to struggle with these things was amazing.

So now it's been about 16 years and I have taken myself off of synthroid. Most people would think I am nuts. I must admit, sometimes I wonder if I am. Although, deep down I have never wanted to succumb to taking the synthetic medication. I know in my heart that there is a better way. So after much reading and research I had decided to stop taking the medication and allow myself approximately six months to let it get out of my system. It's been about 4 months. All my symptoms have returned. I have purchased an herbal supplement called "Bladderwack". Basically, this is a seaweed that is high in iodine. I started taking it three times a day. Since the thyroid gland was blocked and unable work as it was intended. I know that it just needs the nutrients to give it a kick start. I will also be taking a natural form of thyroid derived from bovine. I will keep you all posted on the results and how I am feeling. I am hoping that this information can help inspire others to do some research. Mostly I pray this natural approach works.

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