January is thyroid awareness month. What is a thyroid and why should you care? The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck. Although fairly small, this gland is FIERCE as it plays a huge roll in our bodies. It influences the function of many of our organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidney and skin.
My daughter was eight when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, which is autoimmune thyroid disease and it SUCKS. Her body attacks the thyroid gland and it causes hypothyroidism. Her thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone.
Before she was diagnosed, she began gaining weight very quickly and it did not make sense. She was an active kid and the amount she was eating should not have caused weight gain. She was tired, puffy and constipated. We saw her pediatrician and she did not believe the weight gain was not from over eating and recommended we see a dietitian. We got the same response from the dietitian. It was so frustrating! As a mom, I knew it was not what she was eating! There was really something wrong. I started researching on my own and came across thyroid disease. It really fit.
I would not give up until she was tested. Yes, I became one of THOSE mothers. The ones that doctors cringe when they hear her name. I have discovered that you must be your child’s advocate. If you don’t you can bet no one else will. So we had the blood test done and as I suspected…Hashimoto’s Disease. You would think that would be the end of the story, right? Pop a pill and all is fixed. Not hardly!
Fast forward eight years. We still battle the butterfly every.single.day. We have tried every type of thyroid medication, diet and homeopathic option. Nothing has made a huge improvement and we are not alone. We have met other online families that struggle like we do.
If you suspect that your child may have a thyroid issue, it is important to have the tests run. Your pediatrician can easily order them. If your doctor refuses…find another doctor. You know your kid and when something is wrong. Never doubt your mom intuition!