Hypothyroidism?

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I could do with some help if anyone is willing to read this very long post!

I'm a 22 year old woman. The last year or so I've had fairly manageable fatigue which I never thought a lot of, but in the last few months it's become awful to the point that I can barely get out of bed in the morning, take at least one day off from work a week (despite loving my job) and tell myself I'll work at home but end up in bed all day. The days I do go in I'm often in well after 9, and generally have to head home around 3 or 4 beacuse I'm so exhausted. It's like I have a fog in my brain which makes it hard to concentrate on anything from work to conversations to films, and my short term memory is poor. I only recently found out this can be a symptom of an underactive thyroid, and I wouldn't be convinced they were linked... except that my nan, mum, both maternal aunts and my younger sister all suffer from it.

I haven't had any weight gain which I know is another common symptom but my sister has quite severe hypothyroidism and has never suffered from weight gain. I do have bad muscle/joint pain and stiffness, various mental and emotional issues to do with anxiety and depression, cold extremities, breathlessness, poor coordination, hoarse voice, swollen tongue, post-nasal drip, and dry patches of skin. I am very prone to UTIs, thrush, sore throats, headaches, and constipation. I know that these are symptoms "normal" people get all the time, but hypothyroidism is the only thing I've found that links everything I've ever thought was abnormal about me. My diet is very good and I walk fast enough to build up a sweat for an hour a day to get to and from work.

My doctor is reluctant to diagnose me with this beacuse my hormone levels are within normal range, which I understand, but she's also unwilling to discuss my symptoms and keeps sending me for more blood tests. This week I'm getting my white blood cell count checked as she thinks it could be viral because my CRP level was high - it seems unlikely to me that it would have been going on for so long if it was, but I'm no doctor. I'm also getting my Vitamin D done again as the lab forgot it last time. I'm completely open to the possibility of it not being hypothyroid, but it's the only thing I've found while researching that fits, and with every woman on my mum's side having it it does seem likely.

So my questions are: do I sound like I fit the bill? If so, how can I convince my doctor? If not, any ideas - literally anything - as to what it could be? Thank you so much to anyone who took the time to read all that, absolutely any information would be so helpful.

Blood test results for the last month, and how they were "graded":

Serum TSH: 2.2miu/L (normal)

Serum FT3: 5.8pmo/L (satisfactory)

Serum FT4: 19.2pmol/L (satisfactory)

Glucose: 2.7mmol/L (low, but I hadn't eaten before this test)

Coeliac: Negative

Liver function: Normal (can give breakdown)

Full blood count: Normal (can give breakdown)

Ferritin: 17ug/L (satisfactory)

C reactive protein: 9mg/L (high)

B12: 216ng/L (normal)

Urea and electrolytes: Normal (can give breakdown)

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  • Posted

    Hi Alice, could you give the ranges of the tests, as there are people on this forum who can give you really good advice about the results? You are entitled to have these from your doctor, although some charge for it.  You need to ask your doctor to do a Free T3 and Free T4 test. These are the two main hormones relating to the thyroid, but the Free T3 is the active one. A lot of your symptoms certainly sound thyroid related. NICE guidelines state that your doctor can 'consider offering a trial of treatment (of levothyroxine)  if the person has symptoms compatible with hypothyroidism,' which yours are. Unfortunately, most GPs (if you are in the UK) robotically diagnose by the serum TSH test alone and do not take symptoms into consideration. What does your doctor think these symptoms are then? You do not have to suffer like this. Find a sympathetic doctor and ask for a trial of levothyroxine. Also, keep a diary of your symptoms to note improvements or otherwise. Thyroid UK is a decent advice organisation. There are some Facebook pages and forums here and on Health Unlocked. Information is power! Good luck!
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  • Posted

    Hi Alice, Well, if you have hypo throughout the family that's a very strong indication.  Does your doctor know about that?  Your symptoms certainly match.
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  • Posted

    Thank you both for replying. The FT3 and FT4 were abreviated from Free T3 and Free T4, sorry if that wasn't clear!

    Ranges were:

    TSH: 2.2 miu/L (0.35-4.5)

    Free T3: 5.8pmol/L (3.9-6.8)

    Free T4: 19.2pmol/L (10.5-26.0)

    I think my main issue at the moment is getting her to listen to my symptoms, which going from family experience is hard unless you get a sympathetic GP. She does know about my family history which is why I've assumed she must genuinely think it's something else - something viral at the moment as she wants a white cell count to go along with my elevated CRP (despite my white cell count being normal last time). If she keeps not taking my symptoms into account I will take your advice and find another doctor. I didn't know that it was possible to have a trial run of levo if you had symptoms, that's really good to know.

    Thank you both so much for your advice smile

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  • Posted

    Have you had any hairloss?
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    • Posted

      Not that I've noticed. I can't remember if the outer third of my eyebrows have recently thinned, or if they've always been that way and I've only just realised because I'm looking for symptoms. My sister with severe hypothyroid hasn't experienced hair loss either though
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  • Posted

    Hi Alice, I would like to echo Scazzoh request, please post the ranges. This is because different countries use different units and we cannot compare your numbers with our own - unless we go to an online calculator simultaneously, and that is a big pain if we also want to read this page.

    The words "normal" and "satisfactory" are just someone's opinion.

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    • Posted

      Oooops, sorry, if I had read further down the page I would have seen that you did!
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  • Posted

    Hello Alice:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA. I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease since 1987. Hashimoto's is a sneaky disease since it can sometimes produce normal levels in people while a person may have symptoms of it. It also can take years for it to become worse and things pop up at different times in your life.

    Having infections is important to note:  Many years ago I would get sick easily with similar to your description above.  I also had symptoms at different times of my life and I can remember at about 12 years of age having constiaption problems. Later other symptoms came like feeling tired, brusies, feeling cold, low energy, etc...

    All of what you say matches up with low thyroid (HYPOTHYROIDISM), but you need a TPOA antibodies test.  You can have a so called normal TSH and still have it underlying.

    I would ask for you to ask your GP, to refer you to an Endocrinologist.  Many GP's are good but do not really know all that much about the stages of thyroid problems.  You also should log your symptoms and create a time line on paper to when you noticed first symptoms and log it out and hand a copy to the Endo.  Thyroid disease can be a family trait.  My Aunt had it, my sister and I have it, and it skipped my father.

    I really would push for an Endocrinologist and or ask your GP to run more advanced blood work on you, such as Sedimentation  rate, TPOA  tests, Thyroglobulin Antibody test, Reverse T3 test. 

    I hope this helps, Any questions you can PM me or ask here.

    Shelly

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for this. I had heard of Hashiomoto's but as my family have a different form I hadn't looked into it. From doing so now, it seems that it's common in people with a family history of thyroid problems but those problems aren't necessarily Hashiomoto's - is that correct?

      ​I spoke to my GP today and she's happy to do a TPO antibody test on Thursday along with redoing my neutrophil count as that's a bit low, so hopefully when that comes back in a week I can get some answers. If not I'll do as you said and speak to an endocrinologist. I've started keeping a diary of symptoms and diet. In the mean time I'm going to start taking vitamin supplements that could help if I do have hypothyroidism, and if they do I might have some more evidence.

      ​Thank you again for your advice, and for believing me; it's very frustrating not being listened to when I know something isn't right.

       

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    • Posted

      Hello Alice:

      Yes, in some people who get Hypothyroidism, it can come from other problems in the family line and not be Hashimoto's.  It is wise to test for it and by doing the antibodies test we can more or less rule it out.

      Also ask your GP to check you for Lupus, which can cause a problem with your immune system and it makes you easily susceptible to infections and causes muscle aches and pains along with fatigue and a rash or redness area on face, and more. 

      Regards, keep us posted on how you do,

      Shelly

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for your help Shelly. I'll get my next (and hopefully last) blood test back next Thursday, so I'll update then - probably with some more questions!
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  • Posted

    Hi Alice,

     I would definitely get your Vitamin D levels checked. I was diagnosed with hypothyroid about 6 weeks ago, and having discussed my symptoms with a friend who was feeling much the same as me (and what you describe) she decided to get her thyroid checked too. Her GP also did Vit D levels. It turned out she had very low Vit D, but normal thyroid. It may be the same for you? 

    Good Luck!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. When I spoke to my GP she said she had my Vit D levels but they weren't on the print out she gave me for some reason - 57 within the range 50-300 so "adequate" according to her but pretty low. It's on my very very long list of supplements now :-)
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    • Posted

      Hi alice, with a vitamin D level lll stop news tge bottom of tge range, I too would be supplementing it. The cheapest way s to buy a multivitamin that gives you the daily allowance (or nearly) of everything. Key vitamins and minerals are: iron, ferritin (your level needs to be 90+ to be able to sbsorb thyroxin properly), vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium. Best wishes.
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    • Posted

      Apologies for the typos! The beginning of that mesage should have read: with vitamin D Levels that low, I too would be supplementing.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Barbara, I've got all of those on their way. Do you need to take ferritin if you're already taking iron?
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    • Posted

      Hi alice, ferritin is 'stored iron', so no you can't take ferritin as a supplement, but taking iron led to increased ferritin levels for me.
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