Wednesday, April 22, 2009

MY STORY (PART THREE): Graves' Disease and Hyperthyroidism continued

At this point, I had been on Synthroid, a medicine taken to replace Thyroid Hormone, since 2001. I had been to quite a few endocrinologists at this point. None of them ever mentioned that I was in jeopardy of developing bone density issues. . .

In 2005, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia. Osteopenia is a precursor to Osteoperosis. You might think that a doctor diagnosed me with this disorder. Nope. A former co-worker and friend of mine asked if I wanted to go to a free health screening at a nearby grocery store. The store was giving free blood pressure screenings, cholesterol checks, and bone density tests. I said, "Why not?" So, I went to the screening with my friend. I really went, because I have a history of high cholesterol (probably related to the thyroid issue and genetics, because I don't eat that poorly).

Boy, was I in for a surprise! Not about my cholesterol. It was on the high side (At least, the "good cholesterol" was good). But, I was given a very basic bone density that involved measuring my foot. I was told that I have the bones of an 80 year old. I was only 32 at the time. At first, I laughed at the technician. I surely thought that he was joking. But, he assured me that he was very serious. He informed me that I needed to have a more complete bone density scan done through the doctor's office.

So, I scheduled the appointment. To make a long story short, it was found that I have Osteopenia, the precursor to Osteoporosis. I never liked milk. However, I frequently ate cheese and yogurt. So, I was kind of baffled. My primary care physician was baffled, too. "Typically, a young woman does not get Osteopenia/Osteoporosis."

I had read a few books/articles on thyroid disease. But, nothing ever stood out that made me think that I needed to be really vigilant about making sure my bones were okay. By 2005, I had been to at least 5 or 6 endocrinologists and none of them informed me of the need to be concerned about the health of my bones.

So, I started to research more. Now, I know that thyroid medication can possibly help to deplete calcium in the bones. Also, I may have been hyperthyroid longer than I realized. This, too, can cause bone problems. Trust me when I tell you, not many Endocrinologists will inform you of this possibility. It does make me angry that I was not informed of this possiblity. But, this is just one example of how I feel that I have been dismissed and/or uninformed by my doctors.

Next Post: I will discuss what happened next...

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