Is it a thyroid problem?

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So in November after taking a 4 month course of antibiotics (for chronic bladder infections) I came down with a really bad throat infection which put me in hospital- exactly three days in to the throat infection I had what I can only describe as some kind of 'episode' which came on very suddenly and to this day I cannot understand- I became disorientated, throwing up, sensitive to light, shaking uncontrollably, and unable to make sense of anything. Since that night I have developed a myriad of symtpoms which I have had no problem with before, it was almost as if a switch had been flicked, and I am still not feeling anymore back to 'normal' now. From this night I developed chronic anxiety, I would have days where I would shake and throw up and feel completely like my body was out of control, nothing I did to calm myself down mentally seemed to help. From this I also became increadibly depressed, unable to get up or look after myself. Both the anxiety and depression came out of nowhere, I am a 21 year old student and was very very happy until the throat infection. After the doctors trying their best with anti-depressants and anti-anxieties (Even though I told them the anxiety felt like it was coming from my body), I am still pretty much in the same situation now. The depression has subsided and the feelings of anxiety I can keep under wraps with continual effort but I'm left feeling completely foggy and suffer with so many other symtpoms which I feel all links together : very bad night sweats as well as excessive day sweating, lost over a stone in weight (and i was only 8 stone to begin with), very dry skin, extreme fatigue, heart palpitations (But normal ECG), just a general feeling of complete unwellness. The doctors have done some blood testswhich showed I was anaemic (despite eating very well), and a high SHBG, however my TSH came back as normal, ( 0.98) and my T4 (11.5). 

I'm completely stuck as to what is going on. My thyroid is swollen which my GP has also agreed with and I'm waiting for an ultra sound on it but I'm uncertain whether they will follow any of this up as my hormones are coming back as okay. Please if anyone has any advice on whether this could be thyroid related or a similar story I would be so so grateful, I feel like I'm going through mysery. Thank you. 

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  • Posted

    Hi. Rotten to hear that you are feeling so bad. Your symptoms and your TSH, are looking like you are borderline HYPERactive, rather than HYPOactive. In other words your thyroid may be pushing out too much thyroid hormone, rather than too little. You can also suffer from pain and fatigue with hyper aswell. You will need to push for follow up, and let them know how it is practically impacting on your life. A lot of patients think that the doc takes it as read that your life is disrupted sometimes to the point of destroyed, but they will only know if you TELL them so. If you don't they will think that it is not a factor, and that you are getting on fine despite the symptoms.

    Now although the TSH test may be hyper end now, there is a very, very common added condition, which often causes the thyroid condition in the first place, called Hashimotos thyroiditis. This is a type of thyroidism that has your thybrid levels swinging from one end of the spectrum to the other, with no pattern. It would be worth you googling this and re searching it.

    If you come back to euthyroid, (stable thyroid condition) or told by the doc that you are normal/subclinical, then keep an eye on your symptoms and push them for new tests if you become symptomatic again, because this will most probably change, and you will need treatment. Don't let it make you paranoid however.

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    • Posted

      Thanks pippa for your kind response and advice. I was thinking it may be towards the hyper end but such a struggle to get the gp to understand that I feel the anxiety is a symptom rather than a cause, it has only been since I showed her my swollen neck that she has agreed to look into it. The fact my tsh and t4 were within the normal range has been slightly disheartening, I just wanted some answers to what is causing it all, my life has been completely put on hold.

      im not sure how much you know about hasimotos but I was wondering if it's possible to have it and have the 'normal' labs? I'm so sure it's my thyroid due to symptoms and the swelling, but just so confused by my blood results, I will push for a T3 test next I think and possibly antibodies? Thanks again for your help.

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  • Posted

    It could be a thyroid problem but you should also have your adrenals tested to be sure that they are working. If they are not it can cause a lot of your symptoms, such as palpitations, feelings of anxiety it can also cause blood pressure increases and sweats. I would stay away from the antidepressant meds as they can cause all kinds of problems themselves and mask others. Good luck to you

    Ron

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    • Posted

      thanks for your response! I thought for a while it may have been adrenal insufficiency as my symptoms seemed to correlate so I did ask my gp who  agreed to check my cortisol levels which she said were 'okay', I asked for my results to be printed out so I could keep a copy for myself but I couldn't see my cortisol levels anywhere on it. Is there any other tests which could pick up adrenal problemsb? I've tried to stay away from antidepressants but my gps are so under the assumption that' the root cause is the anxiety/depression so would only test further if symptoms carried on after taking ssri- however 3 months on citalopram has done nothing but make me feel more out of whack! Now been told to use beta blockers to help with the palps etc, really hope to have some luck with doctors soon.
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  • Posted

    There is a tumor that can grow on the adrenals called pheochromocytoma, it is very rare and I would not worry about having one but you should be checked for it. A 24 hour urine should be done to start with and then maybe an MRI if it is really a suspect. I am not sure how your medical system works over there but you need to see an endocrenologist and not a GP to track this problem you are having down. There are so many things that can cause your symptoms that putting you on different meds never gets to the root cause, they are treating the symptoms and not finding what is causing the problem. Perhaps is it something as simple as dewling on the symtoms which can exaserbate the problem. It can be difficult to do but try to clear your thoughts and see if diversion helps. In other words do not think about it all the time. I just had a heart transplant a year ago and was having problems with my blood preasure and was taking it every few minutes and it made the problem worse. Once I stopped doing that things settled down. I lost my thyroid due to a heart medication before I had the transplant so I had to have it removed and with some of my other medications my thyroid meds do not always get absorbed the same. It is very important to take thyroid meds by themselves no food or other meds for an hour or longer before and after taking the thyroid meds, that is if you end up taking them. When are they going to do your US on your thyroid, they might also do a nuclear med scan to see how much iodine the thyroid uptakes..

    I will keep you in my prayers, God bless you.. Ron

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    • Posted

      Thanks Ron, You are so right about all the tests but my GPs are awful- I know I shouldn't complain but if you go back persistently because you're that ill they just shrug you off as a hyperchondriac and send you off with more pills. I'm battling to try and get them to refer me to an endocrinologist because I know I need all these tests doing but in many cases it can take years to convince them you're eligible for a referral (it took me 4 years of bladder infections until I managed to get a refersl through begging begging a urologist!).  I'm sorry to hear you have been through so much,  you sound like a tough cookie just getting on with things! You are right about not dwelling, I have had to leave university until I'm much better but trying to fill my days and keep occupied even though I am literally exhausted constantly. I'm waiting to hear back about my US I'm guessing it could be anywhere up to 8 weeks to wait though, going back to my university gp tomorrow and hoping to have more luck, perhaps ask if I can pay for private referral, just want to get things under way!! Thanks for all of you replies ron I am so grateful for the help, Sarah.
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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah...fhave they at least done aa BMP, basic metabolic panel on you? You want to be careful with the levels of minerials as too much or too little can cause palpitations. Have they looked at your heart to be sure that it does not have an electrical problem? The chances are low but you seems to be bothered by these more then the other things. You do not say what your age is but if you are a relativly young person and seeing a GP they might not even think about the heart being a part of the equation. I really dislike MDs who just want to medicate without finding out what is causing the problem in the first place.

      I had to refer myself to the heart transplant doctors because my doctors only want to keep their patients chronic they do not try everything nor did they even talk with me about a transplant. In fact one of them told me not to get one cause I could drop over dead and never know it. I told him what do you think I do now. At the time I would go into V tach and I would "die" and then my pacemaker would start shocking me to get my heart beating again. I would have been dead 4 years ago had I not referred myself for the transplant.

      My point is that there are some doctors who, at times, do not have the best interest of the patient in mind. That is a big problem with socialized medicine, it is like pulling teeth trying to get things done.

      I will keep my prayers going for you and you might want to pray for healing and help in dealing with your problems, especially do not dwell and take things that we say on here only as people talking with you and offering support because our situation might be totaly different then yours. You might end up getting more information then you need. When I went to school everytime we studied a new disease a lot of people came down with all kind of symptoms, it was really kind of funny looking back at it.

      May God bless....Ron

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah

    I sympathise. I think in short get your cortisol results in print. Anything under 450 or even around there suggests you need adrenal support. If so try tinctures /adaptogens to help.

    My cortisol has month on month dropped from 380 to 300 to 208 which is worrying but the whole experience is distressing so make allowances for initial worry and distress. To support some of the systems check your ferritin levels b12 and calcium and vitamins. Take magnesium and check you don't have thyroid antibodies. If you do it is wise to get nutritional igg tests done and try removing gluten, soy and dairy.

    If adrenals are down remove all caffeine and other such stimulants.

    I've managed to get my mineral and vitamins up which has helped with the emotional roller coaster. Magnesium helps with many symptoms too.

    There is an HPA and HPT axis that needs to be in balance. If TSH levels are low but T4 is also low then it could be an issue with your pituitary instead.

    It's a bit of a discovery process but the more you learn the more you will feel I'm control of your health. I'm also taking homeopathy but it's key to find a very good one if taking that route.

    Although my TSH is 5.7 and t4 is 11 I cannot take levothyroxin if I wanted to because the adrenals are very low.

    So each person has to work through their own root causes. There's other nutritional guidance like avoiding goitrogenic foods and chlorine /fluoride - no tea or badly filtered tap water and to check your hormones for oestrogen dominance which can affect free t4 and ft3.

    Once you have all info possible you can find an integrative support plan that will help.

    Hope this is useful. Get better and relax smile

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    • Posted

      hi Sara, after reading your comment I rang up and asked them to sift through my bloods for the result and she told me my serum cortisol was 640nmol/L (this was taken at 8:45 am) do you happen to know if this means much regarding my adrenals? I've tried to look up normal ranges etc but I'm not having much look deciphering it! I'm sorry to hear that you aren't well either, you sound as though you are very clued up though and how to get things back under control.

       I read up a little about magnesium a while ago after my 4 months of antibiotics because I heard antibiotics can pleat magnesium stores causing palpitations and anxiety etc, I then started to pump up the amount of magnesium rich foods I was eating and did notice a slight difference in how I was feeling but since then so many other things have come along. 

      I think once I've put everything together it'll be a bit easier to make sense of everything going on, hopefully I can get a referral for an endocrinologist who I'm hoping can help me along with figuring out what's going. 

      This was very useful, thanks for your time and help smile 

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