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Thyroid after baby

Weaning is such a big decision. For a month or so I felt like we were almost done nursing, but there would be days when I could tell they weren’t ready yet. I can’t really tell you how we stopped, it just kinda happened.

I am totally ready for it. I need to claim my body back for myself. Breast feeding was really starting to take a toll on my body. For a while, I was able to lose weight slowly while nursing as long as my calories were balanced. But when I cut down to once or twice a day, everything came to a screeching halt. I was really starting to get frustrated when my attempts at controlling portions, tracking calories, and making wise food and exercise choices were not effective.

Last week I got some blood work back, my cholesterol was a few points higher than it should be and my TSH was 3.0 which is within the normal range but considered to be subclinical hypothyroidism. I knew to ask about having my TSH level tested because I have quite an extensive family history of thyroid related issues.

When I first saw what my thyroid number was, I was a little confused because I feel like I have been experiencing a lot of the symptoms of hypothyroidism (depression, fatigue, joint pain, brittle/thin nails…). But I was even more surprised to learn that my cholesterol level was elevated, especially because I don’t eat a lot of cholesterol heavy foods.

So, I did what most hypochondriacs like myself do, I googled it. From my search I am wondering if my cholesterol is more of an indication that something is going on with my hormones than a reflection of my diet. Because my TSH level is still considered normal, I am going to have to fight hard for them to consider looking more into this. But I still think that something is up with my pituitary gland.

If you think you may be experiencing something similar, talk to your doctor about it and have test done. I think it’s a good thing to have your thyroid hormone levels checked every once in a while, especially if you have had a child recently. Growing and feeding babies takes a toll on our bodies and we can’t expect everything just to go back to normal again. However, having children is totally worth it!

Have you had problems with your thyroid?

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, and my post should not be viewed as medical advice.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a creative-techie mom, raising three boys under three (twins!) with her husband in Pennsylvania. Jamie now writes at The Red Robinson, www.theredrobinson.com

Comments

  1. stacybishop07 says:

    Jamie, I’ve had thyroid issues since my freshman year of college.  After Kate was born, I had other issues that made me think something else was wrong.  I insisted the doctor run extra tests, not just the TSH levels, and they found something else in a different test–even though my TSH levels were normal.  Ask for them to check your thyroid antibody levels or for an ultrasound to make sure there’s nothing else wrong with your thyroid.  If nothing else, I’ve learned that if you feel like something is wrong with your body, figure out what it is.  Mine turned out to be thyroid cancer.  My persistence may have saved my life!  I don’t want to scare you, but if you’re not satisfied with the doctor’s answer, pursue it.  You know your body better than anyone!

  2.  Stacy, your story always give me chills!  
    Jamie, I too developed thyroid issues after my son was born.  However, strangely, I had very few symptoms!  Looking back I had gone through a phase of being hot, and then of always being cold, and had gained a few pounds, but due to my CRAZY health issues surrounding Zane’s birth, I was back to pre-pregnancy weight 3 days after he was born (being on ICU on a vent and eating a liquid diet will do that!).  So I didn’t think anything of it, just assumed I was tired because, oh, I had a six-month-old preemie who was a bad sleeper. Yeah.  A routine physical found my TSH was, wait for it, 227!!!  My doctor, PA, and physician-husband had never seen a number that high!  It set off quite an emotional journey, with doctors initially stating that I’d have to stop breastfeeding if antithyroid antibodies came back positive.  In the end, while there’s not a lot of research, we figured out that is NOT the case, so it was a very sad example of ALWAYS needing to do your own research, as doctors are not nearly as educated as they should be (or sometimes think they are) on breastfeeding. 
    My thyroid quickly got back in line with a low dose of meds, and I learned that “postpartum thryroiditiis” is fairly common.  And it can be temporary, but still needs to be treated under a doctor’s care.  It was fascinating to learn that thyroid issues can impact milk supply, and sure enough once mine was under control my poor little guy was a little less fussy.  Had thought that anything was wrong, as he was still having enough wet diapers, but he apparently wanted more.So, I say all that to say that you are certainly not alone, and this has become kind of a soapbox issue for me, as it is so common (and can lead to horrid doctors advice regarding breastfeeding).  I agree with Stacy, there are multiple tests that should be run and hopefully you will find some answers.  Free T3 and free T4 aren’t always tested, for example. I’m thinking one is more common, so that’s what’s tested, but “not typical” issues could be linked to the other, etc.  Keep fighting for answers, and maybe seek out another doctor?  

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