Is it a thyroid problem?, please help

Posted , 33 users are following.

Hi, need some advice, ive been poorly for last 6 months.  Feeling sooo fatigued, nausea, tinnitus, weight gain, pins and needlesin right arm and  hand daily, sometimes both feet. Muscle pain and weakness, tearful, breathlessness, tight chest. Intermittent sore throat and glands go up and down.

I am only 39 in just 6 months my life has come to a grinding hault, no socialising, no gym just early nights i have terrible night sweats, yet cold hand and feet. wake feeling exhausted.  I am a mum of two little ones who need me, and i have barely enough energy to scrape through each day.

i have had blood tests and was low vitamin d and low ferratin iron but not below minimum levels. im sure its thyroid but dr says test shows normal. Is this area worth pursuing.  I am not menopausal and i do not feel this is anxiety.  Just dont know where to go next.

Thanks for your thoughts and time

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33 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jo

    I'm too sleepy to reply properly tonight but as I read your post, I read it out loud to my husband. We both commented that I could have written your post!

    I'll reply in depth tomorrow but you are not alone!

    Louise xx

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo - your symptoms are all highly characteristic of hypothyroid, I am having a similar battle with my doctor because my thyroid results are 'normal' but i am still symptomatic - I got much better when I first started on thyroxine but my doctor wont increase my dose past 50mcg because of the normal test results despite my symptoms. Apparently the 'normal' levels are quite controversial and there are lots of different views about what is a normal level. 

    A lady on here called Maggie has just recommended a book to me by a consultant who helped her get her thyroid sorted - Understanding Thyroid Disorders by Dr A Toft. I shall be buying it to get the info I need to go back to my Doctor!

    However ..... although your symptoms do sound very like hypothyroidism, they are also going to be symptoms of lots of other disorders and problems, thus confusing the picture for your GP!!!

    Your hand/arm problems sound like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which can occur with hypothyroid - but equally can occur spontaneously, or through other reasons like RSI, nerve damage, water retention or arthritis. (I sympathise - I get it too. I used to wake up in the night with an agonising burning numbness from my shoulder to myf fingertips. I would have no feeling or mobility in that arm - I would have to use my good arm to shove the dead arm off my body in order to be able to slide out of bed - it was like pushing someon elses dead, amputated arm off me, the most disgusting feeling!!!!) I find splinting at night is helpful when its really bad - you can get some professioal ones that have a metal bar on the inside of the wrist to keep your hand in the right position.) 

    Weight gain can also cause CTS, muscle/joint pain, breathlessness etc. Exhaustion and weight gain can be like a vicious circle - too tired to move so you put on weight which makes you even more exhausted - and on and on. Im in the same problem myself which in my case is exacerbated by severe osteoarthritis and degenerative spine disease. Which means I am on lots of meds (along with the bipolar disorder I also have)  which leads to.....

    Medicines side effects - are you on any other meds at all? They can often cause side effects like weight gain, tiredness, nausea, muscle pain. Some can cause poor immune system - eg sore throat and glands, anti-depressants are especially known (certain types) to have a risk of this?

    And finally - are you really sure you dont have early menopause? The night sweats, tiredness, nausea, tinnitus, cold extremities, tearfulness - they sound very like a hormone problem, and 39 would be early but not exceptionallly so - its very possible... Have you had regular gynae check-ups? 

    With hypothyroid, you tend to feel freezing cold all over, all the time - not just hands and feet, and not night sweats from what I have read/experienced - so that would fit better with early menopause, perhaps?

    Or these could all be the physical symptoms many people get with moderate to severe depression: not imaginary or psychosomatic: depression the illness causes physical symptoms as well as psychological,emotional and dysfunctional.

    Keep going back to your Doctor until you get it sorted. I learnt the hard way that Doctors arent psychic and dont know your still feeling poorly unless you tell them. And will assume a medicine is working unless you go back and tell them otherwise! 

    Ask for another set of thyroid tests - not just one, there are several tests including T3 T4 TSH and antibodies tests. Ask for a complete blood scan for infections, liver function, kidney, diabetes, vitamin/mineral deficiencies. 

    Ask for a hormone test to establish whether you have low levels or are having an early menopause.

    Ask him about the possibility of trying a low-dose mild antidepressant while all these tests are being pursued. You cant go on feeling like this whilst tryng to cope with 2 small children - its going to wear you down. Sometimes antidepressants are prescribed for purely physical illnesses - for example unexplained, incurable skin irritation and itching. For some reason not fully understood, some physical symptoms are considerably eased by anti-depressants: at least have the conversation with the doctor and see what he or she says: you need something to help you feel better soon, until you know exactly what the cause may be...

    In the meantime - do everything you can to make sure you get a good 8 hours sleep every night, decent nutrition, rest as well as sleep if possible - I would say while yr body is under this much pressure it is best to listen to your bodies messages about resting rather than exercising etc. You can start up again once you have got to the bottom of whats going on. Be kind to yourself in the meantime - early nights, peace, quiet and calm, eat well, get the support of those around you. I really hope you find out soon what the problems is and start to feel better.

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  • Posted

    I must dissagree with previous thread. sounds like hypothyrodizm BUT AVOID anti depresant Speak to a doctor. and tell the truth! anti depresants are the easy way out not only for us but doc's as well.....avoid them....

    Now "if" you have a partner/husband Talk to them first......they need to know... they may be able to help, talking from experiance here, trust me you should be able to unburden your load to someone you trust


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    • Posted

      Hello -perhaps I should clarify: I dont mean anti-depressants as the Only or permanent solution. I just mean that, if the tests go on and on endlessly with no resolution, this lady cannot be expected to just cope when she has 2 small kids to look after. 

      Anti-depressants are most certainly NOT the 'easy way out'. Depression is a real, physical illness and has a mortality rate - people get seriously ill because of it. If its really bad it needs medication just as much as any other illness. Its profoundly damaging to tell people they dont deserve help when they have a real illness.

      Of course I am not saying that Jo definitely has depression, or that the doctor shouldnt do tests etc. Just that a short course may help to make Jo feel less desperate while the underlying problem is found.

      And I take it as read that Jo has spoken to her loved ones! But sometimes the people closest to you arent the best placed to help - theyre too close, too distressed by your illness, and not necessarily sympathetic - there is a lot of ignorance out there about health.


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  • Posted

    It certainly is Jo, if you are feeling as you say.  Could you get your doctor to give you the results of your thyroid tests with lab ranges.  You could then pop them on here and we can see the results of those tests. Best wishes..........


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  • Posted

    Hi, thank you to you all for your time.  I will certainly find out my thyroid results and what they came back as to be in the normal range. I will post again as soon as i can get those.

    Christine i had some Gyne checks done in Feb and they believe i am not premenopausal, they found an enlarged uterus which has been contracting and causing lots of pain, bleeding.  This problem has now been rectified by a coil being fitted.  However i always believed I had two problems on the go one being the gyne issue and the other feeling/symptoms being thyroid.  My doctor offered me anxiety meds back in Feb but i never felt all of this was anxiety related so refused as i did not want to cloud the issue. I am not against them but the Dr believed they would help, i wanted to prove to myself that after gyne op all the other symptoms were still there.  They are and seem to be getting worse.   I have always thought it was medical related.

    Weight wise i have put on over a stone in 5 months. I have a good diet, no changes since before the issues.  The only thing that has changed is the lack of energy and fatigue means i have not got to the gym for some months now.

    Other things I have struggled with but failed to mention is i struggle to lift my arms above my head, simple tasks like hanging out the washing, drying hair is a real struggle.  As is pushing the pushchair up the hill on the way home from school, my upper shoulder muscles and arms feel like they will give way and sometimes tremor?? when i strain to use them.

    My husband has been so good, and has helped with my side.  At times he works away and he is really worried.  So much so he is trying to get me on his work private healthcare asap.

    Could it be hypothyroid if some days i am better than others? As its never really a good day but at times i get through the day exhausted.  Others i am in agony and totally physically and mentally drained.  So everytime i think i am getting better i am back to square one.

    I know i am not alone and already found this forum very informative and helpful.  I know i need to push forward i just need to know i am looking in the right direction.

    I should say i have had previous episodes of this on/off since my first daughter 5 years ago, usually lasting two/three months but this year has been the worse by far. before it was just fatigue and muscle and joint ache.

    Thanks again 


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    • Posted

      Re-reading yr symptoms - have you been tested for rheumatoid factor? RA can have all sorts of fatigue -related effects. Incl things like post-viral fatigue, reactive arthritis after a virus even flu can do it?)

      Or have you considered something like neurological cause - muscle weakness etc?

      Insist yr doctor does full blood screen and push for referral if any of the results come back suspicious. If you are still getting nowere in 3 months time - change your GP. 

      I know what you mean about the anxiety meds - but anti depressamts are also prescribed for generalised pain syndromes and muscle/nerve pain - they might really help, and this will in no way mark out your illness as psychosomatic. A good GP will give you meds to help you WHILST still doing all the tests to find out whats causing the problem

      All the very best of luck x

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  • Posted

    Ps Christine,  I am on no other meds just vit d, iron, multivitamin, cod liver oil. lately i have also started a magnesium oil spray incase i am low on that also. So unlikely to be meds.  Oh and i take lots of parcetamol and iboprufen for the pain.

    It feels like i have no right to moan on here as you seem to have a far greater struggle.

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    • Posted

      I may have a greater struggle - but im also getting greater help!! - and it sounds like you are struggling alone, which isnt ideal at the best of times. 

      The most important thing to remember is: keep going back to GP until they get it sorted, and if you feel your GP isnt helping - Change your GP. Seriousy I wish someone had told me this 20 yrs ago!!!! 

      Be wary of Vitamin supplement doses - they can cause side effects that are easy to overlook, always let G P know exactly what yr taking...

      I really think you need to ask for hormone re-testing, but also ask for a complete blood screen for infections, kidney, liver function, and ask for an ECG too, How is yr blood pressure lately?

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo could it be early menopause?  I have all those symtoms and it is hormonal. imbalance due to menopause. Hot flashes and sweats., sore throats, breathlessness. I am post menopausal now and still have all the symptoms. I had my thyroid checked but docs in UK ie England, they think my thyroid is normal level and won`t do anything even though the same result I had in the USA would be treated with thyroxine.
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    • Posted

      well said - im in a battle over my levothyoxine dose right now cos my levels are normal but im stil symptomatic (freeeeezing cold all the time, greying hair, bendy, curled nails, joint pain, swelling, puffy face, pale, dry skin, exhaustion.....!)

      Vit D is implicated in hypothyroid too and so Im asking about that!

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  • Posted

    Hi Jo

    please ask your doctor to test your b12, Folate and ferritin levels. Potassium and magnesium too. It sound to me like you are deficient in vitamin b12. There are several reasons why this happens but get treated first and go from there. Are you vegetarian/vegan? The British Committee for Standards in Haematology have just realeased new guidelines for this (available on their website) and Algorithm 1 on page 29 is now what the docs should be following. You have pins and needles which is neurological s if you are deficient you will need injections of b12 every other day until you start seeing improvements in your symptons which can take many months. If your b12 comes back as low (. And please get copies of your blood results - you are entitled to them) then have a look at the Pernicious Anaemia Society website because there is lots of information on there about b12d/ PA.

    Good luck and I hope that you get this sorted x


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