Wednesday, July 25, 2007

First Women's Physical Health Post -- Your thyroid & the headache connection

Submitted by blogger Amarpreet:

"On a priority I would suggest women have their thyroid levels checked and also have full physicals done. As some women may experience headaches/migraines related to monthly hormone fluctuations it is important to get the thyroid gland tested regularly including checking the dosage of any birth control pill as it may simply be a matter of taking a pill a day/adjusting the dosage to relieve their pain.

For others who experience migraines due to it also being genetic I recommend being prescribed the appropriate type of migraine medication; for example, beta blockers may be right for some and not others. There are different types of migraine medications so it is very important to be on the right one. A lot of women can't relieve the pain b/c they may be prescribed the incorrect type. Taking the over-the-counter meds is okay for some if it's minor and it helps, others need more intense therapy.

Other avenues of pain-relief like acupuncture are also a good idea. Seeing a chiropractor is all what some may need, so it is really important to get a full physical done. My migraines may be related to what showed up on my last CT, not confirmed yet but I do urge women to fight to get a CT/MRI done to rule out any serious factors. I can't stress how important it is to find out the cause first before treating the symptoms b/c taking meds that may not be right for the type of migraine a woman has can do more damage than good (voice of experience)."

ECD suggests: Check out this site for a good explanation of thyroid function and concerns and a photo (copyrighted or I would have posted it here) of what your thyroid looks like (butterfly-shaped) and where it is located (in your neck).

http://health.yahoo.com/topic/hormone/overview/article/mayoclinic/F7CF6A7B-63EA-49E6-88C057D7C9F6AA1C

Please, dear heaven-sent Ladies, keep up with Your health, get Your regular tests, examine Yourselves -- You know what I mean. Don't deprive Yourselves of one precious moment of life because of something that could have been prevented! You are beautiful and urgently needed in this world!

5 comments:

...amarpreet said...

My personal story..I was diagnosed as being hypothyroid (under-active) at age 18 so I was put onto a dosage of synthetic thyroid horomone. Everything was fine for about 6-7 years and then suddenly my weight ballooned out of control. My eating habits & workout routine did not change but my weight did and I also became very sluggish. Doctor's advise was to lose weight...duh! But it was not coming off. After a bit of arguement my dosage was changed and my weight dropped 70 lbs in 6 months and I suddenly had all the energy I ever needed. About a year went by and my weight started increasing, headaches and migraines took on a whole new level of intensity and my body started shutting down. I started to feel like I was always just trying to catch my breath. With the amount of pain killers I was taking I was told I was going to risk adrenal failure and in fact went to the emergency room for a couple of overdoses. I fought very hard with my doctors to check my thyroid but they consistently blamed the weight I had gained on the reason why I felt like I was choking all the time. When i had a cold I would have to sleep sitting up b/c I could not breathe otherwise. They also said that my blood work was coming back normal. What I learned later was that every lab has their own guidelines for measuring thyroid levels and this came about when I went to a different lab and was told my levels were not normal. If I looked at the base of my throat it looked like I has swallowed a golf ball. After months and months of fighting I got my CT scan. What they saw was an enlarged multi-nodular toxic thyroid gland...I was in for surgery in a couple of weeks. A biopsy was not done before the surgery b/c there were too many nodules to test. The surgery took about 4 hours because it so large and wrapped tightly around my windpipe. After the surgery I was told my thyroid was the size of a very large orange whereas a normal functioning thyroid should not be felt or seen at all. The entire gland was removed, I now have a welcomed 4 inch scar across my throat and my levels are normal for me.
Words of advice - if your gut is telling you something is wrong and you're coming up against someone telling you you're ok - don't give up that fight. It's your body, your life. If I didn't do what was necessary I would have been told I had thyroid cancer and other parts of my body would also have shut down, not to mention the illnesses I would have continued to deal with that are associated with rapid weight gain.

eastcoastdweller said...

Good heavens, Empress, that is a scary story!

I'm so glad You had the fortitude to fight for Yourself. Sometimes,that has to be done. Doctors are not omniscient.

My Mother saved my father's life in a similar way -- I'll tell that story some other time.

I pray that Your decision to share Your very personal story here, might eventually help some other Woman -- or even a man, men have a thyroid gland, too -- to compare symptoms and perhaps save Her or his life.

...amarpreet said...

I hope so too ECD, if all it takes is a small daily pill to avoid the kind of hell a dysfunctional thyroid gland could cause then why not get it tested. The test should be done by both women and men regardless of any symptoms - its effect on the metabolism and link to how your body controls its horomones is all too important to ignore.

...amarpreet said...

A link worth posting:
http://health.lifestyle.yahoo.ca/channel_sections.asp?channel_id=7&relation_id=22054#156

eastcoastdweller said...

Thank You, Empress - that will be my homework for tomorrow night.