A friend of mine, whom I knew well some years ago, had mentioned that her doctor diagnosed her with Grave’s Disease and hyperthyroidism. Of course, I flipped out because I remember how tired she frequently was back when I used to hang out with her. I had mentioned thyroid issues to her before, back in the day. In fact, I think my mom had mentioned it as well. I’m afraid she’s been diagnosed with the opposite condition of what she really has.
Of course, Grave’s Disease does have to do with hyperthyroidism and, most notably, the bulging of the eyes. Also involved is unusual weight loss, itchy & gritty feeling in the eyes, heart palpitations, enlarged thyroid gland, frequent bowel movements or diarrhea (opposite of hypothyroidism), tremors, etc. Yes, fatigue is involved but that is because the body is overworking itself trying to figure out what to do with all the thyroid hormone being produced.
Hypothyroidism is the opposite. With hypothyroidism, a person is going to feel listless, tired, “head in the clouds”, irritable, anxious, unusual weight gain, constipation (opposite of hyperthyroidism) and, in general, not want to get outta bed in the morning. Sometimes, it can be mistaken as having problems with blood sugar (which is what I had sometimes mistaken it as).
The treatment for Grave’s Disease is Radioactive Iodine. The word RADIOACTIVE automatically has red flags all over it for me. That’s nuclear stuff. It’s stuff that destroys matter. Now, I had a heyday on her page attempting to make sure that she doesn’t go the radioactive route (I’m SORRY!!!). She doesn’t even want to go that route anyway (very SMART), but my brain forced my fingers to use CAPS and beg and plead that she not do that before she exhausts other options.
Earlier today, I asked the doctor I work for about the situation. He said that my friend has other options, some of which are available through him, that she could exhaust before going that route. It’s less expensive, doesn’t require her to be away from everyone for a week (like with Radioactive Iodine), and it’s not invasive.
After work, I called my uncle who is a retired doctor. I asked him about her diagnosis versus what I knew of her back in the day. My uncle assured me if it is Grave’s Disease, Radioactive Iodine is the way to go. It’ll only destroy the organ that needs iodine which is the thyroid gland. He said however, based on what I told him over the phone about my friend, that he would strongly question how her doctor came to his/her conclusion. My uncle also recommended that my friend get a second opinion before she goes that route.
With that said, it is my sincere hope that my friend gets a second opinion. Perhaps this is none of my business. I could very well be wrong (despite my uncle who is a respected, retired doctor confirming my suspicions), and posting this could inspire some ramifications. But she has a good head on her shoulders. She’s got a wonderful, caring heart and wants to do what’s right for herself and her family. All I can do is hope and pray she is successful in finding the best solution for her symptoms.