Living with Hypothyroidism

It’s been a year when I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism – a condition when my thyroid gland is unable to produce the right amount of thyroid hormones to keep some bodily function normally. Meaning, I have an underactive thyroid gland. I had several non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, loss of concentration, weakness, cold sensitivity, thinning of hair, joint and muscle aches and tiredness which I didn’t given much attention as I assumed were just because of work stressed.

Not until when I went to see a physician to check a small lump on my throat. The doctor asked me to undergo some blood tests and thyroid ultrasound to determine what really the caused of my lumps. He recommended me to an endocrinologist who specialized in treating thyroid gland diseases. I underwent blood tests – the TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone), T3 and T4 (level of thyroid hormones) and thyroid ultrasound. My T3 and T4 results were both normal but my TSH was high from the normal level, which means my thyroid gland isn’t making enough thyroid hormones. It was then I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. And the worse scenario was my thyroid ultrasound showed multiple nodules, the biggest is 2.5cm. I was disappointed with the diagnosis because as far as I know we in the family doesn’t have history of any thyroid condition.

My endocrinologist assured me that hypothyroidism is curable with some medications to normalize my thyroid hormone. She prescribed Levothyroxine- a thyroid hormone replacement medicine which I have to take daily in various doses. Also, I just needed to have TSH test every after 3-6 months to monitor the level. My doctor recommended a Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNAB) for my thyroid nodules to find out if there were cancer cells present.

The FNAB procedure was ultrasound guided and done by a surgeon and last for only 30 minutes. In this procedure, a thin needle was inserted into an area where my nodule is located, and obtained a sample of tissue for analysis. I was under a local anesthesia so it’s not that painful but I feel the needle inside my thyroid. The result was released after a week and it’s another sad news for me. My right thyroid nodule diagnosed under the category of Atypia of Undetermined Significance (AUS) with irregular nuclei. My doctor explained that there might be presence of cancer cells because of the irregular nuclei found in the mass. She strongly suggested a repeat FNAB after few months or better I should undergo a total thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland). Of course I hated the idea, and the fact that my thyroid gland will be gone for good, a big no for me. Surgery would be my last option, since it’s not that urgent.

Until now I haven’t decided to undergo surgery, it’s good thing knowing that my thyroid nodules didn’t increased in size based on my last ultrasound. I tried some alternative medicine such as herbal food supplements hoping for the nodules to shrink or at least kill the cancer cells that might present there. I’m still in medication for my hypothyroidism and go for regular check ups.

My condition really change my lifestyle as there are restrictions I need to follow and consider for my health, especially that I am not getting any younger. But I know it’s not the type of disease that will change the way I perceived life. Hypothyroidism and my thyroid nodules were just a small part of my full life. Everything will be fine in God’s perfect time. I’ll try my best to live a healthy lifestyle, I’ll always stay positive and continue to cheer-up.

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