October 05, 2008

Turns Out, I Can Blame the Hyperthyroidism

This week, my doctor's office hooked me up to a bunch of wires and then took my blood pressure again to determine what's causing it. It's a test called ICG.

I didn't even know a test existed that could tell you what is causing high blood pressure, but I love the ICG test - my results were "stellar" (to borrow a word from the physician assistant), which means that I don't have any of the conditions that cause primary hypertension. In other words, my doctor is confident that my high blood pressure is 100% caused by my hyperthyroidism, and that when we get that under control, the high blood pressure will go away.

So, yea! I may have issues - lots of issues - but at least the high blood pressure isn't really one of them.

It took a little while for that to sink in before it dawned on me what this means. I assumed the hyperthyroidism was something new, but the high blood pressure isn't. And if the high blood pressure truly is being caused by the hyperthyroidism, that means the hyperthyroidism isn't new, either.

I've had high blood pressure for a few years, but my family physician and my ob have always dismissed it with comments of "oh, you're just stressed," or "you probably walked back to the exam room too quickly from the waiting room" or "I know you're concerned about miscarriage, but you really need to try to calm down."

Okay, yes, I KNOW how insane all of those excuses sound. But I didn't want to believe I had high blood pressure, and they didn't seem to think it was a major concern, so I just chose to ignore it. I don't know exactly when it started, but it's been at least two years, probably more like three.

Hyperthyroidism can cause miscarriage. If my blood pressure has been high for three years, if I've had hyperthyroidism that whole time, I've had it for at least 4 of the 5 pregnancies that ended in miscarriage.

So when I got home from the doctor's appointment, I decided to look through my lab work from my old family physician. It turns out I've had low TSH readings (one of the classic signs of hyperthyroidism) since as far back as 2001. 7 years! Granted, there have been times since then when my TSH has tested normal - it was about 50/50 normal readings and abnormally low readings.

My guess is he assumed since my T3 and T4 levels were normal, that I didn't have it. But my mom had hyperthyroidism when she was 21, and he's been her doctor for the last 25 years as well as mine, so I would have thought that he'd say, "Gee, she has a family history of her mom having it when she was in her 20s, now she's showing signs of it in her 20s, maybe we should watch this closely." Even now, my T3 and T4 readings are still normal, but my doctor is confident in the diagnosis.

For whatever reason, I never closely examined those records. I can't believe I overlooked them. I mean, given all the time I've spent poring over web sites, dealing with all the infertility diagnoses, how could I miss something as basic as this? For 7 years?? But then again, maybe it's exactly because I've been dealing with all the infertility stuff that I didn't have the time or energy to pay much attention to non-infertility (or so I thought) test results.

I've checked with a few docs, and they all seem to think it's okay to do the retrieval now, but I definitely have to have the hyperthyroidism under control before we do a transfer. So we're going to go forward with the cycle this month, and then I'll do the nuclear medicine study next month and we'll figure out how to tackle the hyperthyroidism from there.

So in a very unexpected, bizarre way, I actually have more hope for this coming cycle now, because maybe the hyperthyroidism is part of the answer. It just would have been nice if we had gotten this answer several years ago.


MrsSpock said...

I hope that getting the thyroid issue under control will help your next transfer succeed!

MamaSoon said...

Hi Rebecca,
So sorry about the hyperT dx. I hope this is the key to your success. You know I'm having thyroid issues too. I hope you get it under control very quickly. Getting those eggs now sounds like a great idea.