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Men With Thyroid Disease, Dear Thyroid Wants YOU

Post Published: 02 July 2009
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 6 responses. Leave a comment

Recently, we here at Dear Thyroid have realized a few things,  that the gland is mightier than the penis. Thyfellas suffer as cruelly with thyroid disease as women do and experience the same emotional and psychological trauma.

I mean, just imagine for a second all the various forms this illness takes on — cancer, hypo, hyper, autoimmune, a combination of both hypo and hyper, and even as last resort — thyroidectomy.   It’s pretty clear that although we can all come together with lots of the same stories and insights (mind fog, weight gain or loss, fatigue), us sharing the exact same experience is next to impossible.   And women mostly, men and teens, beautiful, lovely, poignant, sad, and heartfelt letters prove that again and again. , But still, we’re forgetting something.

Because it’s estimated that thyroid disease occurs in women nearly five-to-ten times more often than it does in men, yeah, we tend to overlook the poor guys. ,  We overlook the fact that thyroid disease doesn’t always mean a bunch of irregular periods, infertility, thinning hair, and other “female-related” problems. ,  Thyfellas have a unique experience to share too, and we’re interested in hearing their letters, too. ,  Yes, they may always be outnumbered, but their thyroid issues and their letters to their thyroids bring new light and awareness to this disease: it is not just a “woman’s problem”.

Thyfellas, please,  drag your asses out of the thyroid closet PROUDLY and over to Dear Thyroid. Every letter and every word you have to say, is enormously important to us. Your stories should be,   heard and shared. You shouldn’t have to go it alone. We will embrace your glands with open arms.

–What’s happening at Dear Thyroid “ Thygraphs a new monthly installation. Of course, the post was slated for 7/1. However, we’re working on “Thyroid Time” which means it’s going live on the 4th of July. Next week, Katie is launching a new weekly column on Dear Thyroid called, Tales From Thyietnam

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6 Responses to “Men With Thyroid Disease, Dear Thyroid Wants YOU”

  1. Tom Coyle says:

    Around 1 1/2 years ago I was 5’7” weighing 145, was an active and very healthy vegetarian. Around a year ago, I noticed I was gaining a lot of weight, without eating more or exercising less. I started feeling sluggish, and tired a lot, I started eating less, but more healthy, it wasn’t working. Right before I left for college I had my thyroid checked, the doctor said and I quote “your levels are on the abnormal side of normal, but I’m not putting you on meds when you’re going to college.” I went to college, I got involved with friends, school, work, and fun, and it got pushed out of my mind until around mid November when I realized I now weighed 175, even though I walked to classes everyday, worked at an “on your feet” job, and was outside all the time. I felt more crappy. I noticed I started having joint pains, they were like charlie horses or growing pains, they were terrible. I noticed that I was feeling full for up to 6 hours after eating a small meal, I was sleeping less,because I couldn’t fall asleep, yet was exhausted. Some mornings I couldn’t get out of bed because I had no ambition, and all the pain in the world. My feet and hands were swelling, my skin was getting incredibly dry, and cracking to the point it would bleed. My hair was falling out, and then I got these weird patches of discolored dry skin. I had had enough. I went to a local doctor, and told him EVERYTHING. he re-checked my thyroid and it came back TERRIBLE. my levels were so far from ok it was ridiculous. He put me on Levotyroxine, and for 1 1/2 months I felt seminormal again, but it started coming back. My doctor increased the amount and it happened again. In may I went back to the doctor for some test results and he dropped a BOMBSHELL. He thought I had thyroid cancer, but refused to do anything about it due to the fact I was leaving for home in 2 weeks from college. I got home and immediately went to some doctors, and had MANY tests done, I found out I didn’t have cancer, but I was still sick, so they did more tests, and then was diagnosed with Hashi’s, I’m glad to know there’s a name to blame for the way I feel, but the medecine I’m on only helps some of my symptoms. I now take things one day at a time, knowing I can run a marathon today, but in two days I could be staying on the couch all day. I still do not eat meat, which I have found out does help with my condition, and I eat mainly fresh veggies, rather than canned or preserved. I stay away from sodas, and a lot of snack foods. But most importantly, I keep telling myself I’m not a quitter, and I will win. I just try to be happy, no matter what my day is looking like because no matter what, I know somewhere out there I know someone is in more pain and distress.

  2. dearthyroid says:

    BEAUTIFUL LETTER. And I am so proud of you, as mentioned in my email, for having the courage to speak up and out about your battle with cancer and your thyroid.

    I wish more than anything you didn’t have to go through it. You are not alone, kid. You really aren’t. Vent, rant, get it out.

    I hope you’ll send us a letter that we can post on Dear Thyroid dearthyroid@gmail.com. We want to hear from you. You shouldn’t have to face the vileness of hyper/hypo drama and adjunct ramifications alone, no fuckin’ way.

    Don’t give up!

    Katie

  3. mom2wildthings says:

    Finally some thyguys brave enough to tell their stories! Yeah! I’m always interested in compare the differences between “male” and “female” symptoms when it comes to illnesses. The thyroid plays no favorites is plain to see!

  4. Zarie says:

    Tom that all sounds so familiar. I think one of the problems is that the doctors, probably rightly so, don’t want to over medicate us. So we wind up being undermedicated as our natural thyroid levels decrease with progression of our disease and we need more artificial thyroid. The thing is to not give up.

    I’ve often thought that if this had happened in college that my buddies would probably have stolen my synthroid and taken it as a form of natural speed. The results would have served them right……but I hope that hasn’t been your experience.

    Hang in there and when the doctor says things like later, remember that he works for you and you feel shitty NOW. Hopefully at college you have good access to medical stuff.

    In the meantime, enjoy feeling like you could run a marathon on some days- a lot of people couldn’t run it on any day and they have no thyroid problems at all.

    Thanks for posting.

    Zarie

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