Could I be hypothyroid?

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Hi all, hope you can help.

I am a 47 year old female. I've been feeling awful for a couple of years now. I have/had the usual symptoms: severe lethargy, brain fog, forgetfulness, feeling cold, weight gain, tingling hands, headaches, decreased libido, constipation - and although my hair isn't exactly thinning, my eyebrows have virtually disappeared. My periods were mega heavy back then, but I have had a Mirena coil fitted to combat that and now don't have periods at all.

A couple of years ago I read up on my symptoms and was relieved to find that there was something that explained my symptoms - Hypothyroidism. Knowing my GP would fob me off, I got my bloods done privately and my TSH was just under 4. Although the UK normal range guidlines are 0.5 to 5.0, I understand the US levels are 0.3 - 3.0, so I thought that I may be hypothyroid. I went to the GP armed with my results and my list of symptoms. Yep, she fobbed me off saying that my 4 TSH reading was within the normal range and my symptoms were, wait for it..... Empty Nest Syndrome!!!!! My kids at that time were 11 and 14, \"they didn't need me as much now and I was feeling 'empty'\". Absolutely laughable.

I argued and argued and she conceded as much as to arrange a brain scan for my memory problems. This I had and was clear.

Fighting the losing battle that is my GP I basically gave up on her and just continued on with life, but it really is hard. I don't ever feel good at all, I used to have boundless energy, now I never want to go out and do only what I absolutely have to do. After a good 8 hours sleep, I rise at 6.30am and am tired by 10am. I eat healthily, I really do and I don't drink or smoke. My memory is totally shot - I constantly search my brain for the most simplest of words and fight to remember what film I watched last night. I ask someone if they want tea or coffee, then can't remember what they asked for - all the time! I suffer from constipation and headaches. I swim and go to the gym three times a week because I HAVE TO, to fight being overweight, but I can't lose a thing despite working hard at it. I am always constipated and feel bloated, as well as fat. I was always 8 stone, after I had my kids, for years my weight naturally sat at 9 stone. I work harder at weight loss now more than ever and I now weigh 12 stone!

It's reached a point today where again I feel tired for no apparent reason and feel I can't go on like this. So I am going to TRY and get my GP to listen again.

Are GP's any more sympathetic now when they were a couple of years ago? And as well as describing all of the above, any tips on what to say to get a decent response.

Please help. Thanks,

Sharon

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  • Posted

    Sharon, sweetheart, I have only one thing to say to you, and that is CHANGE YOUR GP and the sooner the better.

    You are me as I was 20 years ago, exactly, carbon copy and classic case.

    Please, for the sake of your health find a GP who will listen before you end up in hospital like mu mum did (she had the same problems and was ignored).

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  • Posted

    Hi there Sharon

    Do not be fobbed off like that as you should not be putting up with this, I was like you as my previous doctor didn't want to listen, and I got the bloods done and it turned out that I \"did\" have an underactive thyroid!!!! He said I was depressed, this was nearly ten years ago and the same happened last year I had severe headaches and problems with sleep, feeling totally warn out and in pain (in my hip and back) so unable to walk and do normal day to day things and at first he said \"you have mechanical backstrain\" I didnt listen to him and so changed doctors!!!!!

    Since changing doctors I had an MRI on my spine and I have degenerative discs, loss of curvature in spine and early arthritis in my hips and after a year I have finally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I was told previously Fibromyalgia as my occupational doctor suspected I had this condition and I googled this and found that my symptoms were exact, but I was almost fobbed off by a Registrar pain Specialist as he said I had mechanical back strain and he was so obnoxious I thought I am not seeing you again and luckily I did or I would have been banging my head against the wall....... I went to see a Pain Specialist Consultant and he made me feel at ease as he said he knew how much pain I was in just by giving me a slight touch on my hip, along with other examinations he did, and so after a year of pain I had my diagnosis!!!!

    What I am trying to say Sharon, change doctor if you have to!!!! as you should not be suffering, I would also keep a diary and then show him/her and he may see how your difficulties effect you and then he/she may listen, good luck xx.

    Take care,

    SES

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  • Posted

    [quote:9eec042b99=\"alicia\"]Sharon, sweetheart, I have only one thing to say to you, and that is CHANGE YOUR GP and the sooner the better.

    You are me as I was 20 years ago, exactly, carbon copy and classic case.

    Please, for the sake of your health find a GP who will listen before you end up in hospital like mu mum did (she had the same problems and was ignored).[/quote:9eec042b99]

    Hi Alicia, thanks for your response. I have booked an appointment this Thursday and we'll go from there - last chance saloon and all that!

    Were you diagnosed Hypothyroid eventually? Was it also a battle with your GP too?

    Sharon

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  • Posted

    [quote:7c00eb5b90=\"SES\"]Hi there Sharon

    Do not be fobbed off like that as you should not be putting up with this, I was like you as my previous doctor didn't want to listen, and I got the bloods done and it turned out that I \"did\" have an underactive thyroid!!!! He said I was depressed, this was nearly ten years ago and the same happened last year I had severe headaches and problems with sleep, feeling totally warn out and in pain (in my hip and back) so unable to walk and do normal day to day things and at first he said \"you have mechanical backstrain\" I didnt listen to him and so changed doctors!!!!!

    Since changing doctors I had an MRI on my spine and I have degenerative discs, loss of curvature in spine and early arthritis in my hips and after a year I have finally been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I was told previously Fibromyalgia as my occupational doctor suspected I had this condition and I googled this and found that my symptoms were exact, but I was almost fobbed off by a Registrar pain Specialist as he said I had mechanical back strain and he was so obnoxious I thought I am not seeing you again and luckily I did or I would have been banging my head against the wall....... I went to see a Pain Specialist Consultant and he made me feel at ease as he said he knew how much pain I was in just by giving me a slight touch on my hip, along with other examinations he did, and so after a year of pain I had my diagnosis!!!!

    What I am trying to say Sharon, change doctor if you have to!!!! as you should not be suffering, I would also keep a diary and then show him/her and he may see how your difficulties effect you and then he/she may listen, good luck xx.

    Take care,

    SES[/quote:7c00eb5b90]

    Thanks SES, I have an appointment Thursday. If I don't get any joy, I'm going to change my GP - I bet that won't be easy either!

    Sharon

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  • Posted

    HI Sharon

    I agree with Alicia and Ses. I've been unwell for a few years but was diagnosed hypothyroid in July 2006 AFTER being put on anti depressants for about four months! It was me who pushed for a thyroid test after a friend suggested it to me.

    I have a friend who was in the same situation as yourself and she couldn't even get out of bed. She went privately and is now feeling much better.

    I hope all works out for you. You just need a good Doctor that will listen to you. Keep us all posted on how you are getting on. This site is so helpful and supportive, at least we all understand each other.

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  • Posted

    [quote:a428276038=\"Anonymous\"][quote:a428276038=\"alicia\"]Sharon, sweetheart, I have only one thing to say to you, and that is CHANGE YOUR GP and the sooner the better.

    You are me as I was 20 years ago, exactly, carbon copy and classic case.

    Please, for the sake of your health find a GP who will listen before you end up in hospital like mu mum did (she had the same problems and was ignored).[/quote:a428276038]

    Hi Alicia, thanks for your response. I have booked an appointment this Thursday and we'll go from there - last chance saloon and all that!

    Were you diagnosed Hypothyroid eventually? Was it also a battle with your GP too?

    Sharon[/quote:a428276038]

    Sharon, my GP had been treating my symptoms for some while - laxatives for the constipation, the Pill for the heavy periods, creams for the dry skin and so on. Then one day I realised that all the things I had wrong were the same as my mum had and she ended up in the hospital before she was diagnosed.

    I went to the doc and said \"Can I tell you what happened to my mum and please can I have a thyroid function test?\" I think he did it to humpur me but at least he listened. When he got the results my TSH was 52! It took me a good 18 months after starting to take thyroxine before I stabilised. It is not a condition that can be improved quickly, but get that diagnosis. That is the first thing to do.

    We are here to listen to you but only your doctor can set you on the right road.

    Good luck. smile

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  • Posted

    Hi there Sharon

    Good luck for thursday xx and like Alicia said we are here to listen, take care everyone x

    SES

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Just to keep you all posted, went to my GP, described all the symptoms, suggested thyroid, he kind of pooh poohed it. I mentioned that my TSH level was just under 4 a couple of years ago, and in the US that would be cause for concern. He denied it!!

    Anyway he conceded a new thyroid blood test, but said that the level will read the same as it was before - [b:d99723ca43]will that be the case?[/b:d99723ca43]

    He did however promise to get to the bottom of my symptoms whatever the outcome of the thyroid test, but we'll see.

    I am covered on a semi-private health scheme - Benenden, so I will ask for a refereal to an endochronologist (sorry about the spelling) whatever the outcome.

    Thanks for all your help and advice so far.

    Stay tuned........

    Sharon

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  • Posted

    I REMEMBER BEING SO TIRED THAT I COULDN'T GET OUT OF BED AND MY UNDERACTIVE THYROID WASN'T DIAGNOSED UNTIL 18 MONTHS LATER. THE PROBLEM IS THOUGH THAT I OFTEN FEEL VERY LOW AND EXHAUSTED, I GO FOR TEST AND MY GP SAYS THAT I DO NOT NEED TO CHANGE MY DOSAGE - 150MG - AND YET I KNOW THAT I DO!!! I FIND IT SO FRUSTRATING!!
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  • Posted

    HI there

    I get my blood checked every three months, and so you should get yours checked maybe too if you are not feeling to well as thyroid levels can fluctuate, if in doubt get it checked as why suffer?

    Kind Regards

    SES

    smile

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  • Posted

    [quote:8c5f9bc108=\"Anonymous\"]Hi,

    Just to keep you all posted, went to my GP, described all the symptoms, suggested thyroid, he kind of pooh poohed it. I mentioned that my TSH level was just under 4 a couple of years ago, and in the US that would be cause for concern. He denied it!!

    Anyway he conceded a new thyroid blood test, but said that the level will read the same as it was before - [b:8c5f9bc108]will that be the case?[/b:8c5f9bc108]

    He did however promise to get to the bottom of my symptoms whatever the outcome of the thyroid test, but we'll see.

    I am covered on a semi-private health scheme - Benenden, so I will ask for a refereal to an endochronologist (sorry about the spelling) whatever the outcome.

    Thanks for all your help and advice so far.

    Stay tuned........

    Sharon[/quote:8c5f9bc108]

    Sharon, if your thyroid is malfunctioning your TSH will increase over time as your body secretes more to try and get your thyroid ti work, so if it is that of course it will change. If it is not your thyroid then it will not.

    I was also covered by Benenden at the time, through my husband's work and it paid for me to see an endocrinologist, the blood tests and a follow up appointment. By then we were on the right road and the NHS kept me going.

    Good luck my dear. Hope you get some results you can work with.

    Let us know

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  • Posted

    Hi, I got my THS level result yesterday and my level has increased by 1.2. (was 3.67, now 4.87). So this confirms that my thyroid is secreting more THS to try to stimulate it.

    I am now going to write to my GP for a referral to an endochronlogist with Benenden. You can either go to see their specialists (which is about an hour and a half drive away) for uncapped treatment or they give you a set amount to have tests done locally by a Private Hospital/specialist of your choice, I think £1000 for diagnostic tests.

    Once I do get referred, is it just blood tests?

    Will £1000 cover the diagnostic tests?

    I fear that if I get referred 'blindly' to any old endochronologist, they will have the same attitude as my GP. Are most endochronologists sympathetic to those with a THS reading still below the official 'normal' level, but display most of the symptoms, or do I have to do a bit a sleuthing to find one?

    Thanks for all your advice so far. Getting closer.......!!

    Sharon

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  • Posted

    Be careful Sharon, make sure you are referred to an endocrinologist who has an understanding of thyroid disorder. The first one I saw was a diabetes consultant and by the time I saw him I knew more about hypothyroidism than he did. I went for a second opinion and found a great chap who made all the difference. They are out there.

    I am also sending you a PM with a useful link.

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  • Posted

    See my post above. Couldn't find a way to edit it.

    :? [i:6dc71e87ae]\"So this confirms that my thyroid is secreting more THS to try to stimulate it\".[/i:6dc71e87ae]

    Sorry, wrote this as I was rushing to get kids to school, meant to say:

    So this confirms that my pituary gland is secreting more THS to try to stimulate the thyroid. I hope I've got it right this time!

    Just to be clear - lol.

    Sharon

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