Symptoms of Hypothyroidism Other Moms Have Experienced?

Updated on March 09, 2009
J.C. asks from Hebron, CT
10 answers

Just wondering if any other moms have this? I had my blood work done today to check my THS and T4 levels. I believe I have it, it would explain SO much that has been happening to my body in the past 4 years. What is the medication like..side effects etc? What are some of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism other moms have had? How does this disease and/or the medication effect future pregnancies? Thanks.

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answers from Hartford on

Hi J.,

My position on this is a bit different from other people's views. My thyroid levels are normal, but continue to move slowly, but steadily, in the direction of under-active, so I am closely monitored. I am also closely monitored because my mother has an under-active thyroid, and I exhibit some of the common symptoms. My mom was diagnosed over 20 years ago and she had already had my brother and I was not looking to have any more children. So, the only advice that I have concerning the medication and pregnancy is that I've been told that if necessary, I would take the pills and they would be fine during any future pregnancy that I might have.

That said, my mother took synthroid for a number of years. Her story (I wasn't in the office at the time) is that she went to a doctor at some point who told her that she would have to stop taking the synthroid one day because she could not be on it for the rest of her life. We do know that this information is totally and completely incorrect--but that is what she says happened and we have no way of knowing what really happened, or if indeed she heard correctly. Anyway, she panicked and took herself off of the medication w/o doctor approval; w/o doctor supervision; and w/o informing anyone (e.i.-my dad, her husband) that she had stopped taking her medication. Over the course of about 10-12 years we watched what was once a vibrant/athletic/beautiful/energetic/vital/funny/caring/gentle/wonderful woman become someone unrecognizable. From what we considered a superficial physical appearance to a personality and attitude that was simply unbearable. She became grossly overweight. She stopped all forms of exercise. Many days, she only came down from the bedroom to make and eat meals--and it would be a chore to do so--she would fall asleep while speaking--mid-sentence!!! And then be able to pick up where she left off when she woke a few minutes later. There were mornings when she simply couldn't get out of bed for hours because she continually fell asleep as she tried to rise. She would fall asleep while driving, so she began bringing water to keep her awake in the car. Her eyelids filled with fluid that she could press out, but then would re-fill immediately. Her straight hair turned curly. She lost body hair--although the hair on her head remained. She was ALWAYS cold and got sick frequently. Her skin was always dry, no matter what lotion or treatment she used. Again, this is all what we considered a superficial appearance but figured that if she got exercise, many symptoms would vanish (we had no idea that she was not on her medication). Then there was the personality shift. She was Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I found myself walking on eggshells around her not to make her angry and yell/scream/ and be upset with me. Sometimes it would happen out of the blue. You never knew when nice/normal/calm mom would be there, or when this horrible monster would take her place. As a teen, I assumed that I was hormonal and that we just didn't mix. It was a relief to go away to college. I could take her in small doses--but the up and down yo-yo existence of living in that house was just way too much. I truly cannot put into words how terrible it was. I wish that I could.

But then, one day, after years of nagging, we convinced her to go to the doctor once again. She had been convinced that the doctor would tell her that she had some huge terrible disease and that she had only a few months to live. She didn't want to hear it. But we continued to tell her that maybe it wasn't all that bad. Maybe it was something simple that could be easily fixed. She was afraid to see her weight--again, I cannot tell you how large she was, I am not good at estimating. But she was BIG! I told her not to look at the scale. And, as she started to go more and more frequently, to tell them to just tell her the weight change, not the numbers. Oh, my goodness!!!!!!! She was told that every single little and big thing wrong with her was because of her thyroid--in an extremely under-active state. It, for all intents and purposes, was turned off. She started on the medication and our former mom returned. Yes, as easily as that. The fat melted off of her. She began to exercise again. She began to sing again. She was happy again. She was the mom I remembered from primary school. So full of vibrancy and energy. It was a pleasure to be with her again. My parents re-fell in love (according to my dad). She began baking again. She began to cook with love--not just out of obligation to the family. She would decorate the plates and sing and hum as she prepared the food. She began to look forward to things again--the extreme depression was gone.

Then her doctor left the practice and, to date, she has not returned in years. She has reverted to her old ways. I have discussed this with my various doctors and they all say the same thing--get her to a doctor to just get the prescription, and then you can talk to her rationally about other health care issues. You see, it happened much faster this time. The hardest part for me is that I don't feel sorry for her. From the outside, my attitude is "how could you let this happen again?" "How could you stop taking that first pill, again?" I don't get it. I know that at this point, rationality is beyond her scope. Her hormones do not permit her to see things the way that we do in this regard. She simply does not see that it is her thyroid that is doing all of this to her. We are back at square one, and she has 2 beautiful granddaughters who love her and want to spend time with her--but I always have to make sure that someone else is around. I cannot trust her to stay awake and be quick enough to chase after my 5 and 2 year olds.

Please understand that she is an extreme case. But I share this information with you to let you know what would/could happen if you are indeed diagnosed with this and you do not treat it properly. It is really so very easy to follow the treatment and so well worth taking that pill each and every day. Her symptoms appear in the extreme after years and years of lack of treatment. It is very hard on those of us who love her--I cannot be with her myself for extended periods of time and I do not trust my children in her sole care. I truly do not understand how my father can still live with her. The man is a saint. He must hold out hope that she will once again start the medication and his old love will return.

I know that this is long, and I apologize. But you now have a glimpse into what an under-active thyroid can do to you, and your loved ones when left untreated. Good luck to you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I have hypothyroidism. When I found out I went to the library and took out about five different books to educate myself. That helped a lot.

My symptoms were that my menstrual cycle was off. I was having my period every twenty-three days or so with spotting in between. I also was foggy brained and tired. I had written that off as a result of being a tired Mom, but it was the hypothryoidism. I also had an unusual and rare coinciding diagnosis of bradycardia- which means slower heart rate which could be related to the hypothryoidism. The reason that I even went to the doctor was because I had a sore shoulder that just would not get better even with rest. Tendonitis is also a symptom of hypothyroidism.

I cannot say anything bad about the medication. I feel that it gave me new life. I hadn't realized how bad off I was until I was on the medication for a few months and I felt like all of a sudden I was able to function. I hadn't read a book in ages, and all of a sudden I could read- I know that sounds strange, but I had been so fatigued I just didn't have the energy to read.

Hope that helps. I know that there are some great sites on the web about hypothyroidism, I just can't remember which ones they were.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on


I don't have Hypothyroidism but I do have Hoshimoto's disease. This causes hypo or hyperthyroidism. I can't remember which one but it really doesn't matter basically it causes the thyroid to over or under work. I am not on med's at the present but eventually I will be as I get older. However, this disease makes me 4x more likely to miscarry if I am not on medication during a pregnancy. I lost one pregnancy then found out that I have this disease. My endocrinologist put me on med's as soon as she found out that I have such a high miscarry rate. I would suggest you ask to have a biopsy done to make sure it is just hypothyroidism that you have and not Hoshimoto's disease.

Good luck,
L. M



answers from Barnstable on

Hi J.,
I also have had this for he first time ever. I have three children and my youngest was 9-10 months old when I was diagnosed.

I could not believe the symptoms I was having and how they were associated to my thyroid levels.

Biggest symptom was feeling dizzy
Second big symptom was carpal tunnell - for which I got fitted for wrist braces to wear at night that made a huge difference for me as far as pain during the day. I think the carpal tunnell had a lot to do with still nursing and positioning the baby etc.

Looking back (now that I am on a pill each day to help control my levels) I was TIRED. I remember the Dr. asking me if I was unusually tired. I didn't think I was....I mean I have three kids under the age of 6 and still nursing the baby...yeah I was tired. LOL. But I didn't know what not tired was until I felt better.

I resisted taking the meds at first. I don't know why? I just was being denial....didn't want to think I would have to take a pill every day for the rest of my life.

well it is the best thing I have ever done. I am different person. I still get my levels checked. I am on a low dose.

Good luck. Email if you have any other questions or need support. Get on the meds asap. Believe me it takes a few weeks for them to get into your system. I don't know why but I thought I would feel better right away but it does take some time. I hope this helps! Good luck.

As far as conception.... did read that somewhere that it is difficult to conceieve when your levels are off. I thought I read once you are on the meds and level off you shouldn't have trouble getting pregnant. I also read that being on the meds doesn't hurt the baby but you did need to continue to have your levels checked as your hormones while pregnant will change your dose levels. Hope this helps.



answers from Boston on

I don't have this myself, but my best friend has an underactive thyroid and was taking a low dose of medication before she got pregnant last summer. She is now almost at her due date and has upped the medication, gets her levels checked once a month, and all has been fine. The medication doesn't harm the baby - what her dr. said was a low or high thyroid harms the baby more because his/her levels will be off at birth if the mother's are off while pregnant. She'll have to keep taking medication, but she had similar symptoms as you do (feeling tired, a little extra weight) and she has felt better since starting her meds. It's hard to get past "needing" a pill for something, I know, but you will be better physically and mentally if you take care of yourself!! Good luck!!



answers from Hartford on

I have hypothroidism with hashimotos. The doctor found this when I became pregnant with my first child. The medicine was the best thing I have ever done and it has helped me so much with keeping at a healthy weight and fatigue especially.



answers from Boston on

I have been on Synthroid for five years and it really has made a difference. It can take a while to get the right level of the medicine figured out. I now have annual blood tests to make sure my levels are correct. I was tired, ganing weight, depressed and had really, really dry skin.



answers from Springfield on

There really aren't side effects to the medication since it is just replacing a naturally occurring hormone - the only way it produces symptoms is if you have too high of a dose and it causes you to be hyperthyroid. My hypothyroid symptoms have been things like fatigue, excessive sleeping, dry hair, dry itchy skin, depression, brain fog, forgetfulness, appetite and bowel fluctuations, headaches, joint and muscle aches, heavy/painful periods, very long cycles, the list goes on! I hope that if this is what you have, you can get it under control with proper treatment. They have just started taking mine seriously since I am pregnant. :) I wish you luck!



answers from Boston on

My symptoms were fatigue, malaise, nausea, sleeping all the time, brain fog, memory problems, hair loss, and an enlarged thyroid. Despite the classic symptoms and the enlarged thyroid, my labs came back "within normal range" and my doctor told it wasn't a thyroid problem. I had no energy to fight so I went home and slept a lot. After a few months, my sweetie insisted I see someone else. The second doctor noted the classic symptoms and the enlarged thyroid but took labs and wouldn't treat me. He handed me a sample of an antidepressant and sent me away. I threw it out. Fast forward a few more months and I saw someone else. Same sort of thing. Finally, I saw a fourth doctor, who was young, engaged and smart. He noted that I clearly had a thyroid problem and that "within normal range" doesn't mean a particular person is at her normal level. The body is very sensitive to slight fluctuations in thyroid hormone and if my normal amount is at the top of the range, I could still test on the low side of normal range but be off. He noted that it was good that I didn't take the antidepressant I was handed because if thyroid is the problem, antidepressants won't help. He told me I had what's called subclinical hypothyroidism (it's low but not low enough to dip below 'normal range') and put me on a low dose of synthetic thyroid hormone (synthroid, the generic is called levoxithyrine or something like that) and I became my old self within a few days. My hair grew back, I had energy, I could concentrate and remember things, my nausea went away, I was happy...
Although thyroid problems can affect fertility, I was lucky to get pregnant very easily. I stayed on synthroid through my pregnancy and am taking it while breastfeeding. My practitioners have all told me that it's a synthetic version of a naturally occurring hormone that does no harm to the baby. Not taking it does harm the baby.

Best of luck. And if you don't get taken seriously because your labs aren't off the charts, fight back, have someone advocate for you, or get another opinion.



answers from Lewiston on

I have taken levoxyl 50mcg for a year now. Side effects I have noticed is more hair on my hair brush and increased appetite. I have had a bit more energy with the levoxyl and have lost about 10 lbs but not a real significant weight loss. If you take this med you need to take it at least 30 min before you eat anything and drink a glass of water, there are other guidelines too. Symptoms of hypothyroidism I had were an enlarged thyroid with a slightly elevated TSH, fatigue, sluggishness, no energy, dry skin, dry hair, infertility, headaches, temperature fluctuations, brain fog (still have),depression etc. The disease can corelate with infertility. The medication has been found safe to use during pregnancy. There are many other meds used for hypothyroidism. Good luck, hope you feel better.

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