Your Thyroid Gland

Fitness Expert
That little organ we don't even know exists, the thyroid gland, is responsible for many functions of the body. Mainly the metabolism. Say your metabolism is high, you are producing a high output of thyroid hormones. And if it is low, you are producing a low output. However, this article is to give you an quick overview of the gland and it's importance in the body. How am I going to do that? I'm going to share my story. I call it

"The Thyroid: My Journey From One End to the Other."

January 2001:
My weight held at a comfortable and healthy 135 lbs. I began eating everything in sight and lost weight no matter what I did. Our grocery bill suffered drasticly. The problem was that my thyroid was overactive. I didn't know at the time. Matter of fact, I didn't know at this point that I even had a thyroid and it's purpose.

April 2001:
I'd lost 40 lbs. Weighting in around 95 lbs, I was skin and bones. Clothes were huge on me but I ate about 10+ meals per day. Bedtime came and I was more awake than any nocturnal animal. It was winter and all I wanted was an air conditioner on high. My blood pressure was through the roof and my heart rate, resting, was 148 beats per minute. The normal is 70+/- beats per minute. My body was slowly eating itself away.

I finally saw a doctor to seek treatment for the problems that I was having. My symptoms were so drastic that I was referred to see a specialist (Endocrinologist). The specialist called immediately after seeing my test results. I was having EVERY symptom of hyperthyroidism.

I was given medication to slow my heart rate and slow my thyroid production. The medicine to slow my heart was to be taken 4 times each day, one pill. The medication for my thyroid was to be taken 4 times a day also, 5 pills each time. But still, 24 pills each day was not enough to slow it much at all.

July 2001: I was finally ready for surgery. Because of having this disease for a prolonged period, my doctor was concerned about my eye sight. He recommended a thyroidectomy instead of the other methods of treatment. It was the best for me since my symptoms were so extreme.

The day of my surgery, the surgeon removed over 90% of my thyroid. Now my metabolism was set at zero. Nothing without my daily hormone pills now.

Now that my thyroid gland was removed, I will be dependent on medicines for the remainder of my life. In the line of all doctors prescribing thyroid medication, I too, was prescribed Synthroid. Synthroid is synthetic T4 hormone, lab processed and lab created. My body didn't respond to it. Everytime the dosage was increased, I felt great. However, weeks later, my energy was back to nothing. I finally broke down and cried to the doctor and we discussed other options. The end result was a new medication containing both T3 and T4 hormones. Real hormone, not synthetic. The doctor said my body was unable to convert remaining T4 hormone into T3, so I now was prescribed a new medication with both hormones.

Since the surgery, my weight was a never ending issue. With years of lack of energy and drive to do much other than sleep, my weight suffered drastically. I got up to over 150 lbs at one point. I'd always been able to shop at the Junior's department in stores, not anymore though. I entered into a plus size store and vowed to myself that I would never again go there.

Over the last few years, things have finally got to normal. My medication is constantly being raised and I am having more energy to do things that I need to do. For instance, back then I had no energy to exercise. Now I enjoy it and look forward to it.

It's a constant battle when you can't naturally raise your metabolism. But it's something that I have to live with for the remainder of my life.

I hope my story has been informative. Too many underestimate the importance of that little organ that determines whether you have a high or low metabolism. Or in my case, no metabolism.