Can hyperthyroid symptoms come and go?

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I've had distinctive symptoms of hyperthyroid for about 18 months now, but they come and go. They usually last for a couple of weeks, and then I won't have anything for a few months until it hits me again.

I had blood tests done last year, but both times these were done in my 'off' periods. The results came back normal except for the antibodies which were very high the first time (off markers) and high 6 months later. I've had more blood tests for other things since, but only tested tsh and that came back normal each time. 

I accepted that my thyroid was normal, but I can't help wonder as these 'crisis' are quite distinctive. I feel totally wired (but nothing in my life to explain it, on the opposite), fingers shaking, twitches in muscles, heart rate that goes mad upon the slightest exercise, even slow walking, can't relax, sleep is bad, feel lightheaded and dizzy and I will lose 5 to 7 pounds in a week or so despite eating just the same if not more (i'm 8 1/2 stone). 

I am also perimenopausal, so don't know if that can play with the thyroid, although I've been on the hrt for 6 weeks now and just in the middle of a 'crisis'.

Should I push for more testing or does this not fit with the way hyperthyroid behaves (ie. symptoms are constant)

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  • Posted

    Hi, from your previous post I gather that your Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies were elevated. This (in absence of TSH receptor antibodies) is typical for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. In the initial phase of this disorder, patients may experience bouts of hyperthyroidism followed by periods with normal thyroid levels. Most patients with Hashimoto's eventually (a few years later) become hypothyroid and need thyroxine supplements. 

    You will need monitoring of your thyroid levels to detect abnormal levels early. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks a lot Dan. My last Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies were last done last June. The GP did say at the time that it needed keeping an eye on it yet never suggested doing it again. If indeed it is a precursor to Hashimoto thyroiditis, is it just a case of waiting for this to show itself and nothing to be done in the meantime? I do feel quite horrendous during these periods, but it's hard to separate from what is probably symptoms of the perimenopause and I suspect potentially B12 deficiency (which I've seen is often linked to thyroid issues).

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    • Posted

      Many symptoms of hyperthyroidism are due to the effect of the thyroid hormones on the nervous system and can occur with other disorders. In my case, the first symptom of hyperthyroidism is an elevated resting heart rate that is most notable during the night. 

      If it turns out to be Hashimoto's then you need monitoring and maybe treatment of overt hyperthyroidism. Many patients with Hashimoto's are very sensitive to anti-thyroid drugs and the ups and downs of their thyroid levels are difficult to control. 

      In the meantime, it will help if you focus on a healthy diet that provides all vitamins and minerals (including your daily requirement of Iodine approx. 150 micrograms). Try to keep a distance from people with colds as viral infections can trigger autoimmune disorders. 

      My thyroid problems seem to regularly occur in late Winter after a lack of sun exposure. I was listening to a talk of an endocrinologist who was very adamant about checking the Vit D levels of his patients with autoimmune thyroid problems. He recommended correcting Vit D deficiencies with very high loading doses.  



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    • Posted

      Thanks Dan, I'll ask for a full thyroid test again. It's interesting what you say about viral infections triggering the autoimmune disorders as indeed, last year, my 'crisis' were each time triggered after an infection. Unfortunately, I think it is the case with stress too isn't it, which might be the problem as the perimenopause is elevating my stress levels (as are factors in my life that I can't do anything about).

      I've never had my VitD tested but do go for walks (used to be runs) outside quite often so would hope to get it naturally but could ask for this to be tested too. Thanks for your advice.

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