Do I have hyperthyroid? At my wits end...

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I'll try make this as brief as possible...

I'm female, 28 yo, used to be fairly healthy, have one child born in 2011, do not smoke or drink.

May 2014 I was having a general checkup when doctor noticed my thryoid was swollen. Had a scan which confirmed it was and scan also showed 5-6 nodules in each thyroid. The none dangerous type. Biggest is in my right thryoid, almost 1cm. Doctor told my nodules were very common and scan showed nothing to worry about.

June 2014 I went in for lap surgery (2 abdominal hernias). Woke from surgery to develop tachycardia/heart palpitations a few days later. I went to ER where my heart rate was recorded at 160bpm. I had a chest CT, ECG and many other scans which all showed no reak reason for fast heart rate. It seemed to settle over time, and by time I mean a few weeks, so I let it go.

Forward 3 months - September i develop swelling in my right ankle/foot (no other issues). Go back to doctor, does many blood tests. dvt and pelvic scan, foot ultrasound and there is no obvious reason for single foot swelling. I'll mention I also had this same foot randomly swell back in 2007 and during pregnancy. Always the same foot, but it never lasted this long.

October, November pass and my foot still swells on and off. I start having other weird symptoms. Severe headaches where I can only cry an sleep them off, nausea where I'm at the brink of throwing up (not pregnant), strange bowel movements where one night I went out to dinner and spent the entire night in the bathroom with my partner worried about me.

Late Nov I begin to get these strange tremors in my hands. These have now gone for weeks. Just before new year my heart palpitations returned along with the tremors, my rest heart rate is between 100-110bpm. Fine tremors and extremely extremely fatigued, I always feel hot and heat intolerant.

Recent blood work has come back with these results -

TSH .65 (normal range .50-4.5)

T3 4.6 (normal range 3.1-6.8)

Everything else is normal except my White blood cell count is constantly up and down. Most of the time down This weeks test showed neutrophils were 1.6 (normal range 2-7.5).

My doctor has no idea what could be wrong. It is driving me insane. i just want to be healthy! Any opinions?!


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  • Posted

    Hi did the doctor not tear free t4? Tbh I've travelled this path myself and my daughter I understand your frustration it wasn't until I moved to Malta and saw agp here who  just knew by looking at me then confirmed by blood tests one thing I will say as a hypothyroid sufferer you learn you have to and two things that should be checked are antibodies which you say you have although up and down? And cholesterol? nasty basically the metabolism is shot the headaches I never got but vision problems are associated with it as are me stroll problems and cold extreme ties  fine hair and loss exhaustion  muscle cramps and weakness and accelerated heartbeat like you mention often taken for a panic attack and prescribed anti depressents like my daughter grrrrr!!!!! Darling hold on you need to go back to doc get your antibodies and cholesterol and t4 done it could also be a cortisol relegated issue I'm looking into this ATM so a saliva test would be needed this is like adreanal fatigue? Hope this helps keep us posted and good luck just know you are not alone big hugs xxx


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    • Posted

      I asked my GP about the T4 and he advised it was not necessary as T3 is more "potent" and TSH & T3 were enough.

      Yes I was also told I have a slightly high cholesterol in October after I had it tested out of curiousity due to a family member having a stroke. I did not know thyroid & cholesterol were linked?

      It is extremely frustrating, I feel like I have been going around in circles for months. 

      I have also been having breathing issues, it takes a lot to get a deep breath out & just recently as I mentioned the heat intolerance/night sweats are out of control!

      Do you think (or anyone else) it is possible to have hyperthyroidism with these normal TSH and T3 levels or should I push my doctor to go down another track?

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    • Posted

      My first test, I had normal TSH, high FT4 and normal FT3, then one month later all were abnormal.  You may have Hashimoto's or Graves and Hashimoto's or adrenal problem or something called pheochromocytoma.  Your doc should be checking for both Graves and Hashimoto antibodies.  Or you could just have hyperthyroidism due to the nodules or a transient illness.  But definitely he should be investigating with more tests.
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  • Posted

    Your doctor should also check for possible Heart Failure.  Even though the fast heart rate, diarrhea, heat intolerance may be due to hyperthyroidism, those symptoms may also be due to Congestive Heart Failure, which is what my husband had before he was diagnosed with CHF.  CHF can be caused by either hypo- or hyper- thyroidism, or several other reasons, coronary artery disease is ag the top of the list but it is not necessarily the cause of some individual conditons of heart failure.  "Breathing problems" is a major symptom of CHF, specifically, "Shortness of Breath".  When my husband was at his worst it was like he had to pant like a dog to get his breath at all.  He had the tachycardia and because of my experience with Graves' Disease, I insisted he have his thyroid tested, and the test showed him to be hypo-, not hyperthyroid.  He had those symptoms for about 8 months and was literally on his deathbead before an emergency room physician had him admitted to the hospital and he was able to see a cardiologist.  The cardiologist tested his heart with an echo-cardiogram which showed an extremely low ejection fraction and he was sent to another hospital with a wonderful cardiac care unit who helped him very much that first week, and after he was discharged he has truly regained his health with a coctail of pills morning and night and through walking a lot most days of the week.

    That being said, I understand it is true that the free T3 is the most active form of thyroid hormone and makes the most difference in the body, however it occurs in extremely small amounts and the levels rise and fall quite rapidly so the tests for it are less accurate unless a person is quite hyperthyroid.  Free T4 is seen as a better indicator of where your thyroid levels are, and if neccessary, sometimes the total T3 test will be given.

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your suggestions. My doctor has been investigating the heart and so far an echo I had done when the tachycardia started came back perfect and more recently I had a 24 hour holter monitor which diagnosed me with paroxysmal tachycardia. Pretty much told me what I already know, my heart rate can be normal at times then suddenly races at 130bpm!

      I'm just a bit annoyed that because my TSH and T3 came back fine (when I did the test on a day I suprisingly felt fine, maybe I should have done it on a day when I had all the symptoms!) my doctor is persistent with telling me that's all it is, it's just tachycardia and heart issues. He wants to start me on some beta blocker called metoprolol, a low dose but I am still not convinced it's not my thyroid! From what I've read about my diagnosis (paroxysmal tachycardia) it is also caused by overactive thyroid. In addition if you add all my other symptoms such as severe nausea, fatigue, weightloss, heat intolerance, hand tremors into the equation I'm even more convinced it's not just tachycardia!

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    • Posted

      I would be very much relieved if it is "just tachycardia," but I can understand your concern if it is more than that.  Of course you would want to know.

      Even though the symptoms are the same as for hyperthyroidism, the tachycardia is the worst symptom and the one the doctors worry about the most.  Perhaps you can keep track of how often it occurs and under what situations, so you can report it to your doctor.

      In general, I wouldn't expect the doctor to run a new blood test for thyroid more often than every 4 weeks.  And the thyroid doctors are usually quite strict about the labs telling the correct story:  If the TSH is low you are hyperthyroid, if high you are hypothyroid.  That is how they are defined.

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    i am am not a doctor, but the foot swelling is exactly what I had, plus all your other symptoms , and I had classic hyperthyroidism.   You say your doctor has no idea what  is wrong. Well, my advice is to ask him to refer you to a thyroid consultant specialist who might be able to find out what is wrong because clearly there is!  You cannot afford to continue feeling like you do. Apart from the obvious reasons why not, if you continue, you may be putting yourself at risk of stroke or your body going into what is termed a "storm" which is as bad as it sounds. Don't delay - get referred on.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, I will. My doctor has done a lot of heart investigations and believes it's all mostly due to tachycardia I have and wants to treat that. I still believe the tachycardia is due to my thyroid because of the long list of other symptoms I was having. Before I begin on any heart medications I will ask for a referal to a cardiologist and endo for a second opinion on the thyroid situation because I am still not convinced!
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  • Posted

    I can only tell you that I have been treated for atrial fibrillation and tachycardia for the last fifteen years, including four ablations. Ablation therapy is basically keyhole heart surgery to try and stop the tachycardia.  Nothing worked because eventually -and I won't bore you with the details - it was discovered that I had had hyperthyroidism all along!  If you go to a cardio specialist first, he will start looking to treat the tachycardia and he will not look at thyroid issues - that is a thyroid specialists job. My advice is see a thyroid consultant first because they do cross reference the fact that hyperthyroidism can cause tachycardia but cardios do not test for thyroid issues. Don,t ask me why but when I asked them why they said your gp should have tested you before you get to them. So if your gp says he can't find anything wrong with your thyroid and refers you to a heart specialist - it's your heart only they will check out.


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