Your skin and your health. Best Friends Forever!

This week, I am going to take you on a more personal journey as we discuss the skin and your health. Some of you may already know that the skin is our largest organ. So it only makes sense that our skin will show signs and symptoms of underlying conditions. And my skin is no different.

I have struggled for a long time with ailments that I consistently shrugged off as nothing. This past labor day I was plagued with a dreaded urinary tract infection. I am no stranger to urinary problems after several bladder surgeries, so although uncomfortable, I wasn't surprised to be faced with yet another infection. Only this time, it kept coming back every two weeks. This was not normal for me.

I made a Doctor's appointment after my third trip to urgent care. I am so glad that I did. The Physician's Assistant started digging for answers. I was scheduled right away for my urologist and a hormone panel by my OBGYN. By Thanksgiving, I had lost ten pounds, my appetite was non-existent, and my anxiety was through the roof.

The UTIs continued into the new year, and I was getting bloodwork done every three weeks. A trend toward Hypothyroidism appeared in my bloodwork. So naturally, I started googling, and things were beginning to make sense.

Right after my son was born, I began developing rashes that accompanied my period. The OBGYN chalked it up to hormonal psoriasis. Year after year, it continued to get worse. Now when I get my period, I develop a rash from my waist to my shoulders all over my stomach. It is inflamed and irritated for about a week. I joke all the time and say I am allergic to my period.

No matter how much I lotion my body, which happens to be every night, my skin is always flaking and itchy. I just assumed it was because I was getting older. Turns out, it is another symptom of thyroid issues. And so is that rash I get all over my torso. The dark circles under my eyes. Thyroid. The panic attacks and overall nervousness, Thyroid.

The Physician's Assistant brought up my labs from the last three years and my thyroid levels have been off for that long, with not one discussion about it. However, my body had been telling me all along. I should have pushed sooner for answers. I knew that it was odd to literally be so uncomfortable in my own skin. It was a red flag that I had been ignoring for years and with the skin being a major organ it reacted the only way it knew how.

Please don't ignore the signs your body gives you. It really does know best. I am aware that Hypothyroidism is not a death sentence. But knowing that I could have been more comfortable had I just asked for help from my doctor? Listen to your bodies!

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