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Nov 17, 2014

Aging and Changing, Being 41

I recently turned 41 (gulp). It seems so strange actually writing that number as my age. I really don't feel that old. I don't even know how 41 is supposed to feel. I know one thing though; I'm surely not 20 or 30 anymore. Many things have changed and I have had to take steps to adapt. I went to the doctor earlier this year for a full physical. It had been a few years since I last had one. I admit, I was very nervous. So nervous in fact that my blood pressure registered a lot higher than normal. I have a terrible family history of heath ailments. What if I find out I am diabetic? What if I have high cholesterol? What if I do end up with high blood pressure? I was really afraid. I knew I had to suck it up and get checked out thoroughly.

It only took a couple days to get the first set of lab results back. I felt like I couldn't breathe when I saw the doctor's office phone number show up on my phone. My heart raced and I had to take a deep breath. My doctor informed me that I had a vitamin D deficiency. I am not surprised by that because it is very common for brown-skinned people to have that issue. For whatever reason, our skin does not absorb vitamin D from the sun like a fair-skinned person would. I was prescribed a once a week, 2 month supplement to boost my levels. I noticed that after 4 weeks of taking the supplement I felt different. I had higher than normal energy levels, my nails were stronger and my hair seemed to be growing overnight. Besides the vitamin D deficiency, the doctor informed me my hormone levels that control my thyroid were abnormal. She asked me if I had been experiencing any of the symptoms like rapid heartbeat, weight fluctuations, sweating, and several other things. I told her no and insisted that the test wasn't accurate. I think she sensed my denial and was kind enough to entertain me. She ordered that I retake labs in 30 days. I took time to research hypothyroidism in depth. I had a light bulb go off in my head. Thyroid issues are hereditary. Almost every woman on my mother's side of the family has been diagnosed and is being treated by medication. I also realized that what I thought was extreme anxiety I have been experiencing for about a year or so was actually heart palpitations. I called up my doctor and she was very polite in not saying, "I told you so". She assured me that being put on medication wasn't the end of the world and it would help my situation.

I have been on Synthroid for almost 90 days now and had my labs done a few weeks back to see of the meds are helping. It turns out that my hormone levels are normal and the medication is indeed doing its job. As much as I did not want to be put on any type of medication for the rest of my life, it is what it is. I have my health under control and will be certain to keep up with regular doctor visits to ensure it stays that way. I have advised a few friends who complained of fatigue, anxiety and weight fluctuations to go get lab work done. I have one friend who told me she found out that she too was vitamin D deficient. None of us are getting any younger so it is important to get into the doctor's office at least once a year.

Do you have regular check-ups/physicals with you doctor?

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3 comments

  1. Girl, yes, I go to the doctor but I know how you feel. At 41 myself, I can feel my body changing as well. (I hate to admit that lol). I'm glad you decided to go in and face the results. It's so easy to stay in denial.

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  2. i found out I was vitamin d deficient also at 45...interesting that so many of us did not know and thought we were ok.

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  3. I'm so glad you went to the doctor and found these things out. Taking care of ourselves is easier once we know. I'm right there with you feeling my age. LOL

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