I have had mild hypothyroidism for many years. It was diagnosed when I was 16. I am now 44. My TSH levels are .7 and normal is .5 or less. I have been told that my t4 is normal but does not convert to t3. My current doctor put me on .25 mcg of thyroxine. This did nothing to my TSH levels, so he increased the dose to .50 mcg. This also did nothing and the dose was increased to .75 mcg.
While driving my son to school one morning, I had a horrendous panic attack that almost sent me to the emergency room. My heart was pounding. I work in a retirement community and when I got to work I had a co-worker take my blood pressure. It was 154/96. It is normally 128/84 or thereabouts. I got an inexpensive self-monitoring device. My blood pressure continued to be high. I went to the doctor and told him that my blood pressure was suddenly high for no reason and I was having panic attacks. He said “it’s your weight that’s making your blood pressure high.” (I am 5’5″ tall and weigh 250 pounds.) He put me on propranolol for the blood pressure and Klonopin for the panic.
From there, the nightmare got worse. The propranolol tanked my heart rate to 40 bpm and made me have respiratory difficulty. The Klonopin made me groggy and zombie-like and when it wore off I had the worst panic attack that I’ve ever experienced. I told my mother what was going on and she told me that when the doctor raised the levels of her thyroid medication her blood pressure shot up. I looked in a pharmaceutical guide for side effects of thyroxine. Sure enough, one of them was elevated blood pressure. I was furious. I told the doctor that I was going to discontinue all of these medications. I started feeling better but it took nearly three months for the panic attacks to subside and for my blood pressure to completely return to normal.
Rather than blaming my high blood pressure on my size, the doctor should first have looked at my medications. It turns out that I cannot take thyroxine. I had put myself into a state of artificial hyperthyroidism. I would far rather be a quart low in the thyroid department than ever go through that hell again.
thanks for sharing the stories on your blog. It would be nice if one day big people didn’t have to feel ashamed when they sought medical help.