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Thyroid Disorders: Recognise the symptoms!

You’ve been through pregnancy, you’ve been through Labour, you leave the hospital with your squishy newborn in your arms, but what else are you going home with? Did you know that between 4 & 10% of women develop a thyroid condition during the first year after giving birth?

Today is World Thyroid Day, in fact I believe it’s Thyroid Awareness Week (its not greatly advertised) so I thought I’d share my story.

It wasn’t long after having my daughter that I noticed something wasn’t right. I felt like I had a lump in my throat, obviously full of hormones I then became convinced it must be an actual lump in my throat and terrified myself. It felt like someone was strangling me, at all times.

So, I did what any sane person would do… I googled it. I know, I know! Obviously, by the end of that I had a very poor chance of survival according to Dr Google.

Next, I visited my GP. She was brilliant! Straight away she suggested my thyroid being at fault and ordered the relevant bloodwork.

thyroid conditions, hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, symptoms, signs, disorders, health, pregnancy, neck, throat, post natal,

So, What IS a Thyroid and where do I find it?

Firstly, your thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland at the base of your neck/ throat. It’s part of your endocrine system, is controlled by your pituitary, and is responsible for making two hormones, Triiodothyronine or T3 and Thyroxine or T4. These two hormones are responsible for the functioning of all the cells in your body, thats right, all of them!

Where does it go wrong?

If your body produces too much of these hormones, you develop HYPERthyroidism. This means your cells are working faster than they should be.

If your body produces too little, you develop HYPOthyroidism. This means your cells are working slower than they should be. (This is the most common kind, the kind I have)

Who is most at risk?

Anyone can develop a Thyroid disorder, about 1 in 20 people are affected. Although, it is most common in women.

What should I be looking for?

If you’re:

  • Tired,
  • Cold,
  • Putting on weight/ struggling to lose weight,
  • Struggling to concentrate,
  • Depressed,
  • Constipated,

You could have Hypothyroidism. Obviously, these symptoms are rather vague and could easily be diagnosed as something else so it is always worth asking your GP if there’s a chance your thyroid could be involved.

If You’re:

  • Losing weight,
  • Overheating,
  • Anxious,
  • Shaky,
  • Palpitations,
  • Loose bowel movements,

You could have Hyperthyroidism. Again, these symptoms are vague and could be indicative of other conditions. Always ask a GP.

There are other types of Thyroid disorder, such as Graves Disease (which affects the eyes), but these are the most common.

With any thyroid condition, you may experience swelling of the thyroid gland. (The strangling sensation I experienced was due to this swelling)

What tests are involved?

The best way to look at your thyroid function is with a blood test, this will tell your GP all they need to know. Dependant on your symptoms, your GP may also order an ultrasound scan of your neck/ throat.

I have a confirmed thyroid condition, now what?

Thyroid conditions can be hereditary.

Women who have developed their condition during pregnancy or after giving birth, may have their condition temporarily, in this instance usually your levels are only marginally out and your GP will just keep testing your bloods every few months. If your levels do return to normal they may be off again if you have another baby.

If however, this is not the case you will likely be put on medication. One tablet a day, every day. If you have Hyperthyroidism sometimes it is necessary to remove part or all of the thyroid gland by surgery or radioactive iodine.

It will also be necessary to undertake regular blood tests.

As it stands, having a long-term thyroid condition in the UK entitles you to free prescriptions, you just need to fill in the exemption form.

For me, my third pregnancy threw things out of whack again and I needed my dose upping. Do not stop taking your medication during pregnancy, you need it! Speak to your GP/ midwife about it at your first appointment.

I hope you found this helpful! You can find more detailed information here. I am not a Dr, this article does not replace medical advise- please do see your GP with any health concerns.

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17 Comments

  1. Pen

    Really useful tips thank you. I never really knew much about thyroidism. Pen x #coolmumclub
    Pen recently posted…Is there a hierarchy of single mothers?My Profile

    Reply
  2. Susie/So Happy In Town

    I didn’t know much about thyroidism at all before reading this post. The symptoms are very similar to mine, as a coeliac. #stayclassymama

    Reply
  3. Talya

    I am SO pleased you wrote this – we have suffered terribly with thyroid problems in my family and actually it’s a lot more common than people realise so it’s so good to be aware of. Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xoxo

    Reply
  4. Really interesting post. I was tested for thyroid problems after my daughter was born but they didn’t find any issues. However, I didn’t understand what they were testing for and never researched it. This has been really informative, thanks x #CoolMumClub
    Angela Watling (Life, Motherhood and Everything) recently posted…I must remember, she’s only 2…My Profile

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  5. daddymcdadface

    Really useful. Thanks

    Reply
  6. Jo - Cup of Toast

    A few members of my family have thyroid conditions so I’m alert to the symptoms, but confess that I didn’t realise that there’s an awareness day. It seems to be a condition that can often be missed in the general mad rush of life so really important to raise the profile. #blogstravaganza

    Reply
  7. Mama Grace

    My mum has thyroid issues but it’s a minefield of what it could be. There are yoga postures particularly for the thyroid. #Blogstravaganza

    Reply
  8. The Tale of Mummyhood

    I often heard the term thyroid disorders but never fully understood its implications, so this was a very interesting read. It’s great that there’s and awareness day, education is key to helping others! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    Reply
  9. Nige

    A very informative interesting read Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

    Reply
  10. Wendy

    This is a really useful post and it’s good to be made aware of all the symptoms. I have heard of this but, luckily, not experienced it myself..I had no idea there was a connection between thyroid disorders and having children xx #BlogCrush

    Reply
  11. Laura - Autumn's Mummy

    Great post! I was already aware of the signs, as several relatives have had thyroid problems. Well done for raising awareness! #Blogstravaganza

    Reply
  12. The Mum Project

    Oh wow this is really great! I had no idea about any of this but my friend has a thyroid condition the one where the hormones are producing too quickly. Sometimes I think I have something like this as I’m always tired or struggling to concentrate but it’s probably just the baby waking me up in the middle of the night! 😁 glad you’ve shared this at #StayClassyMama!

    Reply
  13. Dani

    Thank you for sharing such an informal informative article. I used to get really bad night sweats and wondered if it could be linked to a thyroid problem. Think a trip to my GP is needed to rule out some of the signs I’ve been experiencing #postsfromtheheart

    Reply
  14. Becci-The UnNatural Mother

    I had never even heard this. I have most of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism #PostsFromTheHeart

    Reply
  15. Cassie

    Thanks for linking up.
    We have a history of hypothyroidism in my family and I also know several women who suffer with it. I’ve thankfully avoided it up until now.

    Very concise and informative post explaining it in laymens for those that may not understand.

    #KCACOLS

    Reply
  16. lisa (mumdadplus4)

    Pregnancy is a nightmare isn’t it I developed migraines with my first that were horrendous and only cam on when my blood pressure was high also tonsillitis never had in all my life yet after having my daughter has it every 4 weeks or so. Its strainge how our bodies work #KCACOLS
    lisa (mumdadplus4) recently posted…Gluten Free Banana Pancakes – Healthy and Easy to MakeMy Profile

    Reply
  17. Maria

    This is a really useful and informative post. I suffered from post-pregnancy hyperthyroidism after I had my youngest and was on tablets for a year. The symptoms were awful. #KCACOLS
    Maria recently posted…20 Facts About MeMy Profile

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