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).

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!


...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:

eastcoastdweller said...

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