Gamma Knife Induced Thyroid Deficiency
First: I am not complaining. This is merely to explain what has happened in my case, and it is a very small price to pay...
Some years ago, my family physician, much to his credit I might add, discerned despite very limited symptoms, that I had a pituitary tumor. I am ever so glad he did, as during my preparation for treatment, my vision became threatened due to pressure of the tumor on my 6th optic nerve! I might well have gone blind.
Surgery was performed, and it went unusually well for me. I neither suffered any pain, nor felt sick after surgery. In fact, upon waking from the anesthesia, I wished I could have eaten a steak!
But some time later, the tumor began growing back. Symptoms were reasserting themselves. I had some choices to make.
- Do nothing.
- Have surgery again.
- Take special prescription medication.
- Undergo Gamma Knife radiation.
I chose number 4. That too was successful, even though many undergoing it have limited to no success from it. I had total success. I say total success, but there was one forseeable issue that did throw a very tiny monkey wrench into the works.
Although focusing the radiation beams is very fine, healthy tissue at the border of the tumor can be damaged along with the unhealthy tissue. Since the pituitary gland is so small, and is a controller of (is it 22?) hormones, one or more of those can be jolted out of kilter.
A few years after the Gamma Knife experience, a deficiency in "Free T4" indicated my thyroid level needs bolstering. Thyroid levels can be caused by the thyroid gland or the pituitary. In my case, of course, it is the pituitary. This condition is a form of hypothyroidism.
So I have been prescribed by my endocrinologist 50 micrograms of levothyroxine. A very small price to pay, indeed.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/surgery-surgeons-operation-medical-688378/ by skeeze