The PROBLEM: After my son was born I noticed a change in my behavior that I could only assume was the beginning of postpartum depression: I had dark thoughts, would get extremely angry with my husband and depressed at night, on top of that I didn’t have an appetite but I wasn’t losing any weight. I was afraid to mention anything to my doctor because I thought that since I knew what the problem was, I could take steps to minimize the mood swings and behaviors on my own. I was wrong.
The ASSESSMENT: At my follow up appointment the doctor reviewed my family medical history and checked to make sure everything was ok after giving birth to my son. After the all clear she requested that I get a blood test.
That afternoon I received a phone call from the doctors office asking me to go to the pharmacy immediately and start taking medication for Hypothyroidism. She explained that ideally a normal person should have a TSH level in the range of 0.5-6.0… but my blood test came back at 27!
Thankfully, my doctor figured out the problem even though I had not divulged about my postpartum behavior; both my parents have thyroid issues so she saw that and as a precaution requested the blood test. This explained all the symptoms I was having from the lack of weight loss and depression symptoms among others.
The TREATMENT: After four weeks on 50mcg of Levothyroxine daily I had a follow up blood test and found my TSH level was 11. They upped the dose to 100mcg and that resulted in my TSH level being 0.07. Finally my medication was tweaked to 88mcg and that is where I am at now.
TODAY: Unfortunately, my thyroid will never function adequately again and I will be on this daily medication for the rest of my life. I also still get mood swings and angry at night because my medication wears off but I am doing my best to eat right, take vitamins, get Vitamin D, and just stay cognoscente of the issue.
What to take away from this: Don’t be too prideful after you give birth, if you notice you are not yourself like I did, seek help. I am so thankful that my doctor caught this because it was impacting my marriage and made everyday life difficult.
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