Sunday, October 21, 2007

What about Hypothyroidism?

I've gotten some comments from readers of this blog and from other people about my hair loss symptoms, and I have found them all very interesting and helpful in one way or another. One thing that I've started to look at more seriously is hypothyroidism. A close friend who has it told me that my symptoms sound similar to hers. I figured that since my TSH level of .692 was within the .3 to 3.0 range, I have nothing to worry about. However, I've since learned that there is such a thing as "subclinical hypothyroidism" which involves symptoms of hypothyroidism when the TSH level is within the normal range.

I have suffered from some of the many symptoms listed for hypothyroidism: depression, difficulty focusing (a serious and stressful problem when you're a doctoral student), extremely dry skin to the point where it cracks, dry and brittle (and thinning) hair, and fatigue. My dietary changes this year definitely mitigated some of these symptoms: I've made an effort to drink more water, eat fresh vegetables daily, avoid processed foods and red meats; these improved my BP, sleep pattern, skin condition and other things.

The thing that still throws me is that I noticed the hair loss only after I turned to the raw diet last year, and it stopped after I went back to SAD. Then it started again this year with the high-raw. Mere coincidence? Who knows. It would be great if a raw diet could help with TSH levels but from what I've read, you have to take medicine to correct thyroid problems. I hate taking medicine. Even vitamins are a pain - I have to set an alarm to remember to take the B-complex 4 times a day. But if my thyroid is the problem, then the upside is that I can eat 100% raw again, knowing it isn't causing hair loss. Time to make a doctor's appointment!


sherielle said...

Hi, im hypothyroid as well . i have many of the same symptoms.the thyroid needs to have the your adrenal glands working properly. a very good site with important info is ,i hope you feel better.

Allison said...

Thanks for the information, Sherielle. I found that site to be very helpful and I chose a doctor from the list. On Monday I'll be calling for an appointment!

Anonymous said...

From your numbers, it almost sounds as if your thyroid level is a little high (hyperthyroid). TSH is "thyroid stimulating hormone". If the number is high, it means your thyroid is working hard to produce hormones, and you're probably hypothyroid. But if the number is low, it means your thyroid is producing hormones. If you actually had your T4 and T3 levels tested, they would probably be normal or high-normal (judging by that TSH number).

In any case, make sure to check it out. There are some autoimmune thyroid conditions that you probably want to rule out as well. Good luck!



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