August 25, 2012 by dontbringlulubook
As mentioned in previous articles, the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland that is found in the neck is the leading gland that controls a person’s metabolism. When it is not working, as was the case with Lulu Onions, in the book “Don’t Bring Lulu” where, as the Doctor who examined her at four months old, said there was nothing there but the husk, it can affect every aspect of a person’s health from weight to mood to energy levels. Thyroxine, the main hormone secreted into the bloodstream by a fully operational thyroid gland is the body’s way of stabilising digestion, heart and muscle function, maintenance of a person’s bones and the development of the brain.
Lulu’s lack of a functioning thyroid gland meant her rate of development was already identified as slow at four months old, causing both mental and physical sluggishness. Thyroid issues can cause a vast range of problems, from physiological problems such as allergies, heart problems, high or low blood pressure and allergies to physical problems such as weight gain, extreme tiredness, hair loss, lack of motivation, intolerance to loud noises, broken sleep and muscle wastage.
For Lulu, the hypothyroidism that she was diagnosed with that meant she needed to take thyroxine tablets for the rest of her life, manifested itself throughout he life in a variety of different problems. By two years old she had not as yet learnt to walk and as she continued through childhood and into adulthood she had to battle with constipation at school, tantrums, an obsession with food, no concept of time, hints of autism and having to go to the hospital for check-ups every three months.
As well as physiological and physical problems that can be caused by thyroid issues, there are also the hormone related and mental problems that can arise, for example mood swings, depression, nightmares, memory loss, infertility, lack of libido and early menopause. Thyroid hormones are essential for the physical and mental development of everybody so suffering from a thyroid problem such as hypothyroidism where there is too little production of thyroxine, as Lulu did throughout her life, or hyperthyroidism, causing the Graves Disease my partner was diagnosed with two years ago where too much thyroxine is released into the bloodstream can cause a raft of issues that initially, if not diagnosed early, can be put down by the individuals concerned as stress, tiredness or just a common cold, without the severity of the problem being recognised.