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teenager with hypothyroidism
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augusta_elizabeth posted:
I am a fifteen year old girl with Hashimoto's disease. I was diagnosed about a year ago, but it's been significantly affecting my life for about two years now. I have highly erratic sleep patterns, cycles of depression, and many other symptoms, and even though for about nine months I've been taking 100 mcg of levothyroxin daily, my symptoms have recently come back. I went to my endocrinologist about a month ago, but according to him I don't need to raise my dosage. I'm curious as to other people's experience of the disease- do symptoms permanently remain, and only lessen, or does it just take a long time for the medicine to take affect?

It strongly affects my life, to be honest, and I'd love to hear other people's stories about the extent to which it affects their everyday life.
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mountainmom48 responded:
I'm sorry you're having a hard time with this. I have hashi too and take the same dosage and med as you. Since hashimoto's thyroiditis is a progressive illnes, as your thyroid produces less and less hormone, you'll have to increase your dosage. That is why it is important to have regular labs. How often do you have your labs checked? When you went to your doctor did you have blood work at that time?

I found out I had hypothyroidism by chance with routine annual lab work. I got a letter from my doctor saying I needed to come back in to recheck bloodwork. Before that, I didn't realize I had any symptoms, but once I got the results, I realized that I did have symptoms.

My symptoms were some degree of hair loss, mainly noticeable to me; slow weight gain with difficulty shedding pounds; insomnia, gastrointestinal issues. All but the last symptom are also symptoms of perimenopause. I'm almost 50 so I assumed my symptoms were gyno-based, not thyroid. My symptoms improved within about four weeks of beginning my medicine.

Some things you might do would be to get copies of your labs as you have labs done. It would be important to have records since you are so young and will surely being seeing docs about this over the course of your life. I have a three-ring binder in which I keep all medical info. I put the oldest at back and add to the front each time I get new labs. In the upper right corner of each page, I write the date (easier to find than looking for date in the printed page), my blood pressure that day, my weight, my med dose, all the supplements I am currently taking, any new symptoms or any improved symptoms while on that dose.

I also take quite a few supplements. You might ask your doctor if adding anything would be appropriate. I am very regulated in taking my medicine. Levothyroxine needs to be taken on an empty stomach and nothing eaten or drunk for abour 45 minutes after taking. Some medicines, such as calcium medicines, can't be taken for at least four hours after taking levothyroxine. For me, the moment I open my eyes, I take the thyroid med. I don't have anything for an hour. Throughout the day, I take other supplements including calcium and vit D which can be depleted if one has hypothtroidism.

Have you had your vitamin D level checked? Iron levels? Might be worth checking into. Low levels of vitamin D, not getting enough calcium puts you at risk of osteopenia (low bone density, but not yet osteoporosis), a condition hypothyroidism causes. Low vit D and low iron can cause fatigue.

Sometimes adding estrogen (such as birth control pills) changes the amount of levothyroxine needed, so if you've begun taking BCP, you need to have new labs six or so weeks later to make sure you're levo level is appropriate.

I think my reply here is all over the place, but if any of this is helpful to you, then I hope it is worth sorting through all I've written. Finally, remember it is important to be an advocate for yourself. Let your mom know you just aren't feeling good and want to know for sure you're doing all you can to be proactive in your healthcare. Hopefully she can help be a voice for you when you go to your doctors. Good luck!


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