Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The thyroid saga continues...indefinitely

Recently I had a follow-up appointment with the endocrinologist. On my 1st visit I had blood drawn and then a month later I had blood drawn again to compare the levels of thryoid hormones and antibodies.

The short of it is I have Grave's disease and it will not go away after pregnancy. In fact, it's genetic and I've had it my whole life. Thankfully, I've never experienced any of the symptoms (heart palpitations, temperature sensitivity, shakiness, etc).


The long version (for my memories sake). The 1st blood draw indicated I had a TSH level of basically zero. While my Free T3 and T4 thyroid hormone levels were within the normal range though a little on the hide side of acceptable. My 2nd blood draw once again indicated a zero TSH level and my Free T3 and T4 levels remained in the acceptable range and both had actually decreased, but still within the normal range. The indicator of the Grave's disease was the thyroid antibody levels. They test for two antibodies and both were significantly higher than the normal range (I don't remember the actual numbers). Grave's disease is an autoimmune disease and basically my body is attacking my thyroid.


At this point because me Free T3 and T4 levels are within an acceptable range they will continue to monitor me closely. The medicine they prescribe for hyperthyroidism can harm the baby so they will just monitor me closely to ensure my levels remain about the same. If my Free T3 and T4 levels increase above the normal range there is a chance they would have to put me on the medicine, but we pray that doesn't happen.


The plan following the pregnancy and nursing (approximately 1 1/2 years from now) is to do a scan of my thyroid and determine the best course of action. Most likely it will be an oral medication.


The positive aspect is I experience none of the negative symptoms of the disease. In fact I can attribute my easy weight loss and extra energy to the condition :) The other good thing is the doctor's identified the disease before I was having complications. As I age the symptoms can become stronger, so we have time to get the disease under control before it causes lots of problems.

3 comments:

  1. Kristen - Thanks for the update. We'll be praying for you!! This disease sounds sooo familiar, like I should know someone who has it. Hmmm.....I may research.
    Take care, sweet mama!
    Amy

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  2. I've had two friends who've had this, one chose the radiation route and then hypo meds for the rest of her days, the other has had great success with oral meds and good doctor supervision, hers actually goes into remission for long stretches of time. Sounds like you've got a good plan about how to handle this. Autoimmune junk stinks, but I suppose there are worse ones you could have. (they're all kinda related, and they are a sad reminder that we live in a fallen world).

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