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Just over a year ago my knowledge of the Thyroid was like many peoples, non-existent. This was before my wife was diagnosed with Graves Disease Hyperthyroidism.
I will be honest, if someone mentioned the Thyroid before I would brush it off thinking the person had pulled a leg muscle and would be better soon!
I soon found out the real meaning once we went through a stressful time in our lives and the stress triggered some symptoms which really showed in my wife. She had random unexplained fainting spells throughout her life but in this instance she was also suffering severe flu-like symptoms and she was admitted to hospital. She was kept in and tests were run on her blood. The doctor then advised she has Graves Disease which also lead to Thyroid issues.
When she was released she was put on a whole cocktail of medication to try and balance her hormones and heart rate but she was still feeling it once at home. We used a heart rate monitor on her and it showed that just getting out of bed of a morning more than doubled her heart rate and you could feel her heart racing. She lost a lot of weight, felt really weak and ill. I felt completely helpless watching her as I had no idea what was going on.
It is unreal to think that a butterfly shaped gland in the front of your neck could affect your whole body in this way. The crazy thing is, only when you look into the problem, you find out so many people are also suffering from the same illness or the complete opposite with Hypothyroidism. The only options available to them are to stay on medication their whole lives, to resort to Radiation Therapy or even have the Thyroid removed.
Like many other sufferers my wife is still working hard putting on a brave front and trying to live as normal a life as possible. She is a great mum to our kids (and a greater role model than they will understand for years to come) and she is also working a part time job.
She gets a lot of comments saying she looks well enough, asking what is wrong with her. She gets asked why she will not participate in physical activities or why she doesn't want to leave the house on very bad days.
This is why I am raising funds for the British Thyroid Foundation as they are working to support the sufferers, their affected families and they are also working to create a greater awareness of the condition.
The British Thyroid Foundation (BTF) is a charity dedicated to supporting people with thyroid disorders and helping their families and people around them to understand the condition.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.