People take hypothyroid very lightly. I have met scores of people who say, “I have thyroid but I am fit. I don’t need to take any medication.”
I feel like shouting at them, “What has fitness got to do with your medication?”
Thyroid is like a termite, not seen from outside but wastes the body from inside. My whole family has hypothyroidism, so really there was no escaping it. I suddenly got it when I was 26. My weight was increasing, my feet were swollen and there were cramps in my legs. I really didn’t think much about it unless I visited the family physician once along with my mother. He took one look at me and suggested, “Get your hypothyroid profile done today.” And as he had suspected, I had hypothyroid. And so started the little round pill every morning on an empty stomach, without fail.
I got my hypothyroid tested every 3 months, though there were hardly any fluctuations. Then I conceived. And I was on top of the world. But never the one to forget tiny details, I asked my family physician if I should get a thyroid test done and change the medicine strength that I was pregnant.
He didn’t feel the need for it. It was still early; only 5 weeks. He asked me to get it done once I got the baby’s heart beat. But little he or I was to know that I would never hear my baby’s heart beat. My baby had stopped growing in my womb and needed to be aborted. I had a gnawing suspicion that something was not right. Though it was not necessary, I got my thyroid test done and the results were mind blowing. The thyroid level had shot up to 5 times the normal score. I was stumped. No wonder my baby didn’t survive.
Though my doctor advised, “Don’t go into finding the reasons. There might be numerous things which might have caused it.”
But I didn’t believe. A woman is a mother the moment she discovers she is carrying a child. It was difficult for me to let go so easily. Somehow I knew my hypothyroid was the culprit. If only the doctor had listened to me then, if only I had been stubborn enough to get my tests done earlier. If only…but life had to move on and couldn’t stop forever on ‘if only’.
So the next time I came to know I was pregnant. The first thing I did was get my thyroid test done. And before even meeting my gynaecologist who would have confirmed the pregnancy, I ran to the physician. My thyroid levels were up and so the dose was to be adjusted too. Thereafter, every month I got the thyroid test done and visited the doctor who adjusted the dose accordingly.
Hypothyroid is not to be taken lightly. Firstly, a woman might find it hard to conceive if her thyroid level is not corrected. Secondly, even after conception, she needs to religiously take her thyroid hormones or there might be a pregnancy loss. Also thyroid medication not properly taken during pregnancy might affect the physical and mental development of the fetus. And you wouldn’t want that, would you?