Just before getting pregnant with Ellie in 2009, my psychiatrist suggested I have my thyroid levels checked. She said that some times abnormal thyroid levels can cause psychiatric symptoms such as depression and fatigue, so it was worth a look. No one had ever suggested checking my thyroid before, so I went ahead and got tested.
My results were normal.
And what do you know … my thyroid was level was NOT normal. I had hypothyroidism.
I had no idea this even existed. With my first pregnancy, no one suggested I have my thyroid checked or monitored. It was not a part of the typical tests. And I didn’t know my pre-pregnancy levels anyway.
What I CAN tell you is that with my first pregnancy I gained over 70 lbs. I felt horrible. I was M I S E R A B L E. The only thing that helped my nausia was eating. Yes, I know counterintuitive. But it really did make sense at the time.
Flash forward a few couple of years and I’d lost 50 lbs of my baby weight. A few months later and I’m pregnant for a second time, this time on meds for hypothyroid.
I gained 12 pounds. T W E L V E. (Since I was overweight when I got pregnant this small number was healthy for me and Ellie.)
I felt so much better. I still don’t love the way my body feels when pregnant, but gone was the terrible back and sciatic pain, the need to eat constantly, and I’d say my mood was a lot better. (Although John might have a thing or two to say about that. In general, I am not a happy glowing pregnant person.) But it WAS better.
The New York Times reported that for some, psychiatric trouble my start with the thyroid. Its a somewhat controversial link between mental and physical. But I say its very much worth a check. And its definitely worth checking if you are actively trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or have had a baby and show symptoms of postpartum mood disorder.
Treating a thyroid condition, even if its not the cause of psychiatric trouble, could still potentially lessen your symptoms. And THAT is worth its weight in gold.