Last updated: July 29, 2021
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Reese came to Your Doctors Online with the complaint that she can’t stay awake. Read how our doctors helped her with hypothyroidism.
45-year-old with weight gain, fatigue, constipation and hair loss
I am a very health-conscious person. I monitor my weight and follow a very strict diet plan to keep everything in check. However, during the past month, I had gained around 10 pounds. It was simply unexplainable because I had made no modifications to my exercise routine or made any dietary changes.
I was also experiencing worsening constipation and had to take extra fibre and laxatives more than often. To add to the heap of symptoms, I also started experiencing drastic hair loss and hair thinning. Shortly afterwards, I started skipping my morning jogging routine due to constant fatigue that prevailed throughout the day, no matter what I did.
I can’t stay awake past 9 pm!
These were not normal ageing signs, I was certain. One night, I had forced myself to attend a party at my best friend’s place due to her persistent requests. At 9 pm, my eyelids were drooping, and I felt depleted of energy. My friends and colleagues of my age were very active, and I was falling apart.
My friend found me to be sitting in a secluded corner. She gave me a puzzled look and came up to me. After asking if I was okay, she told me I looked ill and needed to get myself checked because I used to be the life of the party, and now she barely recognized me.
Reaching home, I crashed on the sofa. I reached for my phone and started searching online why I can’t stay awake, but soon realized that consulting an online doctor is a better option. I downloaded the Your Doctors Online application, and a doctor connected with me within 5 minutes.
The doctor was very thorough with her questioning, and to my dismay, I had several of these symptoms and had failed to identify them. I was also experiencing joint and body aches, dry skin and facial puffiness daily.
The tiny butterfly-shaped gland in front of my neck was causing all my symptoms!
After a detailed history, the doctor told me that my symptoms indicate a condition known as hypothyroidism. She also explained that the thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland present at the front of the neck and was responsible for producing several hormones that help regulate various functions in the body. Hypothyroidism occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. That is what caused the wide spectrum of symptoms.
She also explained that the most common cause of hypothyroidism was Hashimoto’s thyroiditis which was an autoimmune condition, but there were several other causes, including removal of part of the thyroid gland, radiation or being on certain medications, etc.
The online doctor advised me to check my thyroid profile.
She advised me to make an appointment with my primary care physician so that my thyroid profile can be checked. I was extremely grateful for the diagnosis but a bit anxious about the treatment.
The doctor informed me that this was a life-long condition. I was simply glad that there was a treatment for my condition and now I will be able to find a solution to why I can’t stay awake. The treatment included taking synthetic thyroxine pills containing a hormone exactly like one the thyroid gland produces, which helps overcome the deficiency.
I felt reassured after conversing with an online doctor!
The doctor made sure to inform me that it takes several weeks to notice relief. She told me that I would require follow-up blood tests to monitor my progress. She informed me that an endocrinologist would create an individualized treatment plan for me based on my reports.
After chatting with an online doctor on Your Doctors Online, I felt very reassured as I gained an insight into my condition before visiting a doctor in person.
Hypothyroidism FAQs added by Your Doctors Online team.
Hypothyroidism is a medical condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone. It is also known as an underactive thyroid.
The thyroid gland is located in your neck, in front of your windpipe. It is responsible for releasing triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones are responsible for regulating your weight, metabolism, body temperature, skin, hair, nail growth and heart rate.
- Sensitivity to cold temperature
- Can’t stay awake
- Weight gain
- Mood swings and depression
- Body aches and weakness
- Dry skin, brittle hair and nails
- Decreased sex drive
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Irregular periods
Following are the causes of hypothyroidism:
- Autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s disease, type 1 diabetes and vitiligo.
- History of thyroid surgery
- Radioactive iodine therapy
- Lack of dietary iodine
- Congenital hypothyroidism
- Damage to the pituitary gland
- Viral infections
- Medications like lithium
To get a proper diagnosis, please download Your Doctors Online application and consult our online doctors 24/7. Based on your history, our doctors will ask you to get blood tests done. Those tests are called thyroid function tests.
These tests check thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroxine (T4) levels in the blood. If you already have had these tests done, please send those reports to our doctors to get treatment.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.
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