In honor of National Thyroid Awareness Month Boston area native, Sarah Nadeau, recently shared her thyroid journey.
Q: Please share your thyroid journey from diagnosis, to treatment.
A: I spent most of my life feeling tired, even after a full night's sleep. After I was diagnosed with a mood disorder at age 19, I started taking mood stabilizers which required regular blood work. One of the downsides of the treatment (which otherwise works well) is that I would be at high risk for hypothyroidism. After noticing I was gaining weight and increasingly exhausted, my doctor tested my thyroid again and determined that I needed treatment.
Q: What have you learned along this journey?
A: I have learned that you have to pay attention to your symptoms and cover all your bases in order to get a proper diagnosis. If you have more than one health issue, they may coincide, so make sure you tell your doctor everything. I prefer to keep a list and bring it with me to an appointment so I can be sure I don't miss anything.
My friends don't always understand or realize what I'm going through, but my mom has the same condition so we've been able to support each other over the years. I'm thankful to God for giving me strength each day, as well.
Q: How important has it been for you to have a good relationship with your doctors?
A: I only see my doctor once a year now. When I was first diagnosed, it was important to make sure that I asked enough questions and was compliant with scheduled blood work.
Q: What do you hope people will learn from your story during thyroid awareness month?
A: I hope that someone will consider getting evaluated for a potential thyroid condition and not wait as long as I did.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say that I didn't ask?
A: I still struggle with my weight and with feeling rested, so my journey through hypothyroidism is far from over. I have hope that research will yield more treatment options, and that more people will find healing.
Faces of thyroid awareness
Throughout January 2013, which is National Thyroid Awareness Month, Boston's Thyroid Health Examiner will be highlighting some of the many faces of thyroid awareness. If you have a thyroid patient story you’d like to share please contact Stacey here.
To learn more about National Thyroid Awareness month click here to read a press release written by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists.