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Hi, I've had the misfortune of being both overactive and now underactive with my thyroid, and I'm desperately searching for a way to feel normal enough to get back to living my life again.
*I've highlighted the important/medical parts if you don't have time for the waffle!
This all started back at the beginning of June with a random episode of feeling dizzy and like I was going to faint that came out of nowhere whilst on a careers trip at uni. After suddenly feeling dizzy and unwell whilst having a casual conversation with someone I felt intense panic and my heart was POUNDING, thankfully I haven't felt it as bad since but because I didn't actually collapse the staff put it down to a panic attack and 2 hours later my heart rate and everything went back to normal.
The following day I went to the doc and had some bloods done. I went on a trip prior to finding out the blood results and several times felt dizzy, couldn't sleep etc, and I had convinced myself that my anxiety had somehow come back to plague me, despite the fact I was overall the happiest I had been in years.
The blood tests came back and the doc told me my thyroid was slightly overactive, which was probably causing my increased anxiety, and also that my iron levels were low but I wasn't anemic or deficient, just at risk so she advised I take supplements.
My anxiety and panic got worse and I came home from uni a few days early, luckily I had finished everything as a final year student and so I moved back to my hometown suddenly, with an episode of having a panic attack on the train and almost fainting trying to navigate a change at the station. I had to have my bloods redone at my own GP and they still don't have the results from my uni town, including those done the year prior when I was healthy.
So the new (June) bloods came out the same, that my T4 was slightly over (around 25), so I had an antibody test which came out as 267 - indicative of autoimmune thyroid problems (Endo diagnosed it as hashimoto's). At this point I was referred to the endo and in the meantime I was having severe panic attacks, called the ambulance twice, had an ECG due to complaining about chest pain, and all in all I had a horrible time. In this period I barely left the house as I was constantly dizzy, feeling like I was going to faint, and anxious.
A week before my graduation (Mid July) I had been looking on these forums for the overactive thyroid and began to calm myself down reading people's stories. I became much calmer but was having bouts of breathlessness, which at first I thought was asthma (despite never having had asthma prior), I tried an inhaler once and it put me into a severe panic attack with heart palpitations and chest pain, and it didn't really help the breathing, so that ruled out asthma. I went to the grad and had a nice time although I had several breathless episodes, but otherwise my dizziness had subsided and I walked around all day and was overall ok.
I had a blood test done two days before my graduation, and it came back that my T4 levels had dropped to the lower end of the normal range, and the gp told me he hoped they would even out.
I was over the moon with this news, my anxiety was manageable and I was dreaming of traveling and getting out the house again. For about 3 weeks I felt pretty good (although still had spells of breathlessness) and was able to go shopping and do what I wanted to do, so I stopped having panic attacks because I felt normal again. I did have a 24hr ECG in this time and that came back as normal, although they could see I had increased anxiety for a while after it was fitted (my chest felt tender before it was fitted) and I had a few missed beats, but apparently that's nothing to worry about.
This lasted until I had to have a blood test prior to seeing the endo (Aug). I walked 20 mins to the local blood clinic feeling fine and happy and normal. I walked out and felt dizzy and like I was going to faint. I couldn't walk home and had to get a taxi and had a panic attack. The following day I felt overly anxious and had a severe panic attack after taking ibuprofen and having a weird experience where it felt like I was losing consciousness. I progressively felt worse throughout the week and was sleeping more and more, I didn't bother leaving my room until the hospital app with the endo.
My bloods came back as TSH 6.79 and T4 10.6. The endo said that was enough to put me on meds, so she prescribed levothryoxine 25mg. She was very concerned about my anxiety levels and that I couldn't sit still, especially as when hypo its more common to feel depressed. She advised I see a therapist.
I had a gp appointment at the end of the week (Last Friday, 24th Aug) and I knew I would get anxious about taking the tablets, so I waited 4 days to take them, in which time I was feeling worse each day in terms of energy levels and I was also feeling more and more hopeless, like I'd given up. I took the tablet the morning of my GP appointment and was experiencing a panic attack by the time I got to the doctors - which he knew was a panic attack. I went home and slept it off, and for the first 5 days on the thyroxine I felt slightly better each day, despite the doc saying it would take 7-10 days to kick in, so I don't know if this was just me calming my anxiety.
On the 5th day I felt like I had too much energy, like I was dying to run a marathon or something. Then that night I had a breathless episode despite just lying in bed, I checked my health stats on my phone randomly as I thought this would help put my mind at ease, yet I was shocked to see that my heart rate had gone down to 57bpm (I realise this is still in an ok range, but normal for me is around 80bpm, I've never before seen it lower than 70bpm) so this worried me and made me anxious but I went to sleep anyway. The next day (Wednesday) I was relatively calm in the morning yet a series of heart flutters/palpitations went on for longer than usual and I got so badly anxious that I was wailing and honestly thought I was going to die of a heart attack. No one could calm me down and I stayed in this state for 2 hours until eventually it subsided. I became very scared that my dose was too high, despite the doc saying he would expect me to be on 50-75mg long term, so I didn't take the tablet yesterday. I regretted not taking it and felt worse for it in terms of sluggishness, although I kept calm all day and had no panic attacks. I took the tablet again this morning and was mostly ok, although between 7pm-9pm I had a feeling of nervousness that I knew was coming from nowhere - there was no other symptoms (Other than back ache which I have all the time, even now, but I'm putting that down to the fact I spend most of my days sat in bed and not exercising?) I just felt anxious about nothing and it was case of waiting for it to go away as opposed to any coping strategies working.
Which brings me to, I'm desperate to be able to go out and enjoy life again without constantly having panic attacks or feeling like my heart is gonna give in etc. For ages I had the hope of medication but currently I feel like it is doing too much of a 'good' thing - When I had had it for 6 days straight I felt like I was overactive again. I would do anything not to feel that way - being overactive scares me a hell of a lot more than being underactive.
If I keep on taking the thyroxine, will this all even out in a few more days? I realise I haven't given it the best chance to work yet. But also, would trying to seek therapy help regardless of whether it is my thought process, or the thyroid issues that are causing this extreme anxiety? I feel so lost. I guess I should have stated this earlier but I'm a 21 year old female and I've just finished uni and was excited to start a career. For the past 4 months I've been able to do very little and been mostly homebound, which is so unlike me and is making me so sad. Is there anything else I can do or ask for to get a grip on all of this?
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