Monday, August 07, 2006

Goiter - part 2

So continuing on from my learning that I have goiter saga...

About a week or so after that doc's visit, they ordered an ultrasound for my goiter. I went into a radiologist near the 38th St Med Center area in Austin. They lubed my neck up and rotated the magic wand (aka the ultrasound thingie) all over my neck. The lady couldn't tell me anything...she was just the wand girl. She said that the radiologist would read the results and send them off to my docs. Upon leaving the room, she stopped me and motioned that I still had some goo on my neck. I wiped it off and went on my way back to work...

I called the endocrinology number on my doc's referral page only to find that their first available appointment would be in October (note that I called them a few weeks ago on this). So last week I called another number, which you could only leave a voicemail at and they would call you back. Oddly enough. So I left a VM. Waited a few days, heard nothing. More days passed then I get a call (late last week). They'd tried to call me but my phone line was busy (interesting seeing that I never use my cell..but maybe it was away from a cell tower or something). So I told the new appointment setter what my problem was..that I really didn't know what my problem was except that I have a goiter. So she was able to schedule me in pretty quickly.

I went into the Texas Diabetes and Endocrinology building today for the appointment. They'd at least get a PA to see me, to do some initial diagnosing, since all the docs are on vacation right now (one, she said, schedules appointments 1 year in advance!! good thing I'm not *dying*!). It's in a brand new building off of Mopac overlooking the area by the feeder where I once stood in yellow wildflowers and bluebonnets to take pictures on a college visit with my friends at UT 10 years ago. The office is huge, has a staff of an army, and now I see why appointments are so hard to come by.

The PA went over the results of the tests I had done previously with me. Long story short...all my hormone levels are normal, I don't exhibit any other symptoms that point out to obvious thyroid problems, they found no nodules (growths -- can be benign or cancerous) from my ultrasound, I have no idea of my family history, but my thyroid is still a bit enlarged...

Mystery disease

She ordered another bloodtest done today, as well as one 3 months down the road, since your hormones can fluctuate. And it's difficult to tell since everything else is normal...just a wait and see scenario.

She said if I have anything, I may have Hashimoto's disease aka chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. Hashi-what?!? And try saying chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis three times. But again, it's hard to tell right now...we'll see what the bloodwork from today says and then the one 3 months down the road...

So now you're probably curious as to what on earth Hashimoto's disease is, and who was this Hashimoto guy anyways...

From the Mayo Clinic Website...


Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, causes inflammation of your thyroid gland that often leads to underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). It's an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system inappropriately attacks your thyroid gland, causing damage to your thyroid cells and upsetting the balance of chemical reactions in your body. Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.

Hashimoto's disease does not have unique signs and symptoms. The disease progresses slowly over a number of years and causes chronic thyroid damage, leading to a drop in thyroid hormone levels in your blood. The signs and symptoms, if any, are those of underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

At first, you may barely notice symptoms, such as fatigue and sluggishness, or you may simply attribute them to getting older. But as the disease progresses, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms, including:

Increased sensitivity to cold. yes, I hate cold weather
Constipation. nope, I'm pretty regular
Pale, dry skin. dry skin, yes..but pale..um..no, I don't get pale
A puffy face. nope
Hoarse voice. nope
An elevated blood cholesterol level. nope
Unexplained weight gain. Hypothyroidism rarely causes weight gain of more than 10 to 20 pounds, most of which is fluid. great, I'm going to get fat!
Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness, especially in your shoulders and hips. uh, that's because I exercise!
Pain and stiffness in your joints and swelling in your knees or the small joints in your hands and feet. ditto to above
Muscle weakness, especially in your lower extremities. damn those ollies and manuals at wakeboard camp!
Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia). thank gawd no!
Depression. me, depressed? a few years ago when I was stuck in corporate america..yes..but now, nah

CAUSES:
Your thyroid gland produces two main hormones, thyroxine (T-4) and triiodothyronine (T-3). They maintain the rate at which your body uses fats and carbohydrates, help control your body temperature, influence your heart rate and help regulate the production of protein.

The rate at which thyroxine and triiodothyronine are released is controlled by your pituitary gland and your hypothalamus — an area at the base of your brain that acts as a thermostat for your whole system. The hypothalamus signals your pituitary gland to make a hormone called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). Your pituitary gland then releases TSH — the amount depends on how much thyroxine and triiodothyronine are in your blood. Finally, your thyroid gland regulates its production of hormones based on the amount of TSH it receives. Although this process usually works well, the thyroid sometimes fails to produce enough hormones.

Normally, your immune system uses naturally occurring proteins (antibodies) and white blood cells (lymphocytes) to help protect against viruses, bacteria and foreign substances (antigens) that invade your body. Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system creates antibodies that damage your thyroid gland. The disease causes inflammation of your thyroid gland (thyroiditis), which may impair the ability of your thyroid to produce hormones, leading to underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). Then, your pituitary gland attempts to stimulate your thyroid gland to produce more thyroid hormones, thus causing your thyroid gland to enlarge (goiter).

Doctors don't know what causes your immune system to attack your thyroid gland. Some scientists think a virus or bacteria might trigger the response, while others believe a genetic flaw may be involved. Most likely, Hashimoto's disease results from more than one factor. A combination of factors including heredity, sex and age may determine your likelihood of developing the disorder. Hashimoto's disease is most common in older women and tends to run in families.


But luckily, if this is indeed what I have, there are medications and such to help control your hormone levels.

So, who was Hashimoto? Ah...I love Wikipedia!!


[Hashimoto's disease] is named after the Japanese physician, Hakaru Hashimoto (1881–1934) of the medical school at Kyushu University, who first described the symptoms in 1912.


Only time will tell what, if anything, is going on with my body. Till then, well, I'll keep on living it up. After all, you only live once...so it should be a good one! :p

5 Comments:

Blogger textile_fetish said...

That Hashimoto! I can tell he made it all up!

3:55 AM  
Blogger Sarah Brueck Stallings said...

ugh - awful!
I have ongoing thyroid problems and the symptoms are all over the place. (damn pregnancy!)
Hope they are able to pin it down and give you the right meds!

3:15 PM  
Blogger marisa said...

Thanks. I actually met someone with Hashimoto's this weekend, and she said that they caught it in the early stages..all she does is take meds and everything's fine. So I don't think it'll be that bad :)

7:26 PM  
Blogger xtaxuzr8 said...

Thanks! That's really interesting information. Have you done any colon cleansing before? I'm wondering what are the pros and cons of the different products out there. I also wanting to get rid of all the intestinal parasites I may have. I'm thinking of getting the 30-Day Complete Body Cleanse from Detoxologie. Have you heard of it?

Jack

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A toxic body results in numerous ailments. Millions of Americans suffer from arthritis, migraine headaches, obesity, allergies, acid reflux disease, high cholesterol, and heart ailments. All of these problems are rooted in toxins, metatoxins, and the debilities that result from an unclean digestive system.

9:32 PM  

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