About eleven months after delivery of my little girl, I went in to see my primary care physician and jokingly told him that I thought I had congestive heart failure. He looked at me strangely and he asked me why I would think that. After telling him that I didn't really believe that, but there was just something wrong, I explained to him how I had significant shortness of breath when walking into the hospital from the parking lot. I also had pitting edema (swelling) in my legs. Although I had lost down to about 168 pounds (yes, I know...that's still too much) after having the baby, I was up to 197 pounds. I remained totally exhausted a great deal of the time and my immune system was not doing a very good job. He said that he wanted to check my thyroid...and then I waited.
I'll never forget the morning that he called. "It's not all in your head." When I asked him if I had hypothyroidism, he explained that I had pretty significant autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's thyroiditis) brought on by my last pregnancy. But I was thrilled...there was a reason for my exhaustion, for my depression, for my apathy. I was started on thyroid medicine and within a few weeks I felt so much better. I routinely follow up with my endocrinologist because, believe me, I don't want to go down the road I was on before.
Hypothyroidism. A disease that changed my life. A disease that is typically very easy to treat. It's estimated that millions of people have this disease...ten percent of all women...and have no idea. I posted a link that explains more about this disease.
So arm yourself with knowledge about this disease...and so many others...it could ultimately save a life!