Thyroid Awareness :: My Personal Story

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January is Thyroid Awareness Month. Therefore, during the month of January awareness and attention are brought to learning more about the functioning of the thyroid gland and the effects associated with health concerns about the thyroid.

The thyroid gland isn’t a part of the body that we are often most conscious of its importance. The thyroid is a small gland located in the lower neck and helps your metabolism and forms new proteins. This gland is located in the endocrine system.  

About 14 years ago, I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that leads to a generalized overactivity of the entire thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). It is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism in the United States. It is named after Robert Graves, an Irish physician, who described this form of hyperthyroidism about 150 years ago. It is 7-8 times more common in women than men. (Source: https://www.thyroid.org/graves-disease/)

Most of us know when something isn’t right with our bodies. Therefore, I started to notice feeling more fatigued and my weight was increasing. I would fall asleep at the oddest times. I would have heart palpitations and feel anxious more often than usual. After having these feelings for so long, I made a doctor’s appointment and was diagnosed with anxiety and prescribed medication. It appeared as though something still wasn’t right. I went back to the doctor and asked for further testing. The doctor ran blood tests and the results led them to send me to an endocrinologist. 

After visiting an endocrinologist, the results came back tricky. I had symptoms of someone with hypothyroidism, but the blood work showed hyperthyroidism. I was given some treatment options and decided to take medication for a little over a year. I would visit the doctor every three months. After about a year and a half, my thyroid levels had normalized. I’ve been in remission ever since.

thyroid awareness - the thyroid can affect your health in many ways.

There are a number of other diseases and illnesses associated with the thyroid. Hyperthyroidism is one of them. This is when the gland is more active than normal. With hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland is enlarged. Some of the symptoms can be insomnia, rapid heart rate, anxiety, weight loss, and increased appetite.

Another illness/disease is hypothyroidism which is the opposite of hyperthyroidism. This is when the thyroid gland is less active and slower than normal. Some symptoms can be memory impairment, weight loss, loss of appetite, tiredness/fatigue, weight gain, inability to lose weight, constipation, and anxiety.

The thyroid gland is a small gland but has a big impact on your health. To learn more, visit the American Thyroid Association online.

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Meet Claudia, the wife of a veteran, mother of 2, and a special education teacher. She’s a Mississippi native by way of Texas currently living in Alabaster. After her husband decided to resign from the military, they moved to the Birmingham area to be closer to family. Claudia and her husband, Marlon, have been married for 9 years and they have two children, an 8-year-old daughter, and a 3-year-old son. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Southern Mississippi and her Masters of Education at William Carey University both in Hattiesburg, MS. After college, Claudia had plans to be a professional dancer choreographing all the latest moves. However, God led her down a different path. She has been a teacher for the last 14 years and a former dance coach for 6 years. Outside of being a wife, mom, and educator, she is the founder and content creator of Moms Bounce Back, a lifestyle blog, inspiring moms to bounce back from life’s experiences and regain confidence as a woman. Claudia is a social butterfly who enjoys spending time with her family, dancing, hanging out with friends, traveling when she can, coffee, and a good ole laugh.