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I am currently 25 years old, and was diagnosed with hypertension (in March 2008) about four months before becoming pregnant with our first baby. Throughout the pregnancy my blood pressure was out of whack and running anywhere between 150/90 to 180/100! It was difficult to control. I was consistently monitored throughout my pregnancy to make sure my baby wasn't malnourished (due to my high bp). I went into labor (March 14th 2009) and they could not give me an epidural for three hours due to my high blood pressure. Labor and everything else was fine other than that. Three days after going home with my newborn I went into the ER (March 19th 2009) with severe shortness of breath. It felt like there was fluid in my lungs. Turns out I had congestive heart failure caused by hyperthyroidism. I was having the CHF (heart failure) symptoms during the whole pregnancy (fatigue, swollen ankles, weight gain), but it was masked by the pregnancy.
Turns out the CHF was caused by my blood pressure being so high for so long, which was all on account of my hyperthyroidism.
I was in the hospital longer with the CHF than when I had a baby! Rediculus! My bp got under control but then my heart rate went ballistic (in the 215 beats per minute range!). They had to put me under and shock me with the baywatch paddles and everything to try and get my heart to go back to normal. Finally it got under control. Anyways, I made a full recovery and my cardiologist says my heart is back to normal functionality and all that, mostly because I am so young I was able to make a full recovery. Most CHF patients have a significantly shortened lifespan due to the fact that they are generally more advanced in years when it occurs. Thank God for good doctors.
I have been taking PTU (Propylthiouracil), which is NASTY. Everytime I take it I get the overwhelming taste of bleach in my mouth for at least an hour and keep spitting. I can't eat or drink anything because it makes it worse. I know it is just a side effect, but I thought it would go away when I got used to the meds, but it has been almost four months now. Other than that I am happy with the PTU. My horomone levels are almost back to normal. I just saw my endocrinologist Monday and was diagnosed with Graves' disease. She wants to see me again in August. She wants me to decide what course of action I want to take from here. I can either stay on the PTU and hope that it goes away where I can get off the medicine, have the thyroid killed with the radiation treatment or surgically removed. My general doctor says he would prefer I have it surgically removed, but the choice is up to me. He feels that either way, I will be taking a pill(s) the rest of my life. Not sure if I want that pill top be the PTU (YUCK!) I do not have any growths, tumors or anything like that on my thyroid. They have not done a biopsy as there is no reason to. Not sure why I have Graves' disease, but hey, I have to deal with the hand I got, right?
I am considering having it surgically removed. I was wondering two things (if anyone has any advice):

1. If I were to stay on the PTU, as a person with Graves' disease, is there a chance I would not need to take meds in the future, when it corrects itself or what have you?
AND/OR
2. Do the meds I would have to take AFTER the thyroid is surgically removed work well in keeping my body in balance or will I just be going from one extreme to the others (from HYPERthyroid to HYPOthyroid?)?

I am afraid to make the wrong decision. They say we can consider pregnancy again six months after we go through with our treatment option. I don't want to complicate my next pregnancy by messing up my system even more by removal. But I am afraid of being on PTU when pregnant. I know it is deemed safe, but it DOES cross the placenta and I am scared it will affect the baby later in life. PTU studies are not old enough to know it all as of yet, really. Maybe I am being too causious.

Anybody have ANY advice to help make this decision any easier for me? I am really leaning toward surgical removal. After all I have been through (pretty much praying to God and accepting that I was going to probably die in that hospital room with CHF) I am willing to deal with post-surgery pain and all that short term junk, but I do want my life back. Honestly, I have not felt as good in a long time as I do now, being on the blood pressure meds and PTU, but know that this is just the beginning of my treatment. Right now I am dealing with keeping weight off since always having the awesome weight loss benefits of hyperthyroid (although I never knew I had it), and now that is being reversed by the PTU so I am working extra hard to control my weight. Other than that, I am pretty content right now.

ANY ADVICE IS WELCOME. I appreciate your time. And sorry my post ended up being as long as a chapter in a book.
Thanks everyone and God bless,
Mindy

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I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease at 30.

This stuff is nasty! Like you my blood pressure and heart rate was off the charts. I had swelling in that left my legs aching terribly. It could be 30 degrees outside and I would be sweating bullets. A good nights sleep, impossible. I'd be up 3-4 times a night. I knew I had to do something or I wasn't going to live to 35!

I opted for the RAI treatment instead of surgery. To me it was a major decision. They say RAI treatment delivers less radioactive materials to your body than one chemo treatment but I was still afraid and had my doubts. I wasn't sure if I was finished having children.
I do know a young lady that is friends with my daughter that had RAI and delivered a fine, healthy baby.

I have to tell you that was one of the best choices I have made in my life. I am now hypothyroid and take medication everyday (for the rest of my life!). I have issues, mainly heart palputations, but nothing like I had with hyperthyroid.

As far as having a yo-yo affect, you shouldn't if you can get your medicine the correct dosage. It does take about 6 months and continuous blood test after treatment or surgery to get your thyroid levels correct with medication.
After 19 yrs (the doctor just upped my thyroid stregnth) I took the same stregnth of medicine for 19 yrs. I never had a yo-yo issue unless the pharmacy took it upon themselves to give me Generic thyroid medication without my knowledge. Generic thyroid meds for most people is a definite no no. Once I'd go back to the name brand my thyroid would get back to normal.

With your health issues I would definitely recommend doing something about your Grave's Disease. My fear for you is that it will just continue to flare up your other medical issues and heart and BP at your age is not something to take lightly.

I hope I have helped you. If you have any other questions please ask.
Let us know what you decide.
Best of luck.
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