Symptoms and family history but normal tests

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Hi everyone,

I'm brand new to this board.  I have a family history of hypothyroidism/Hashimotos ( both my mother and maternal grandmother have/had it).  I have had some symptoms, mainly fatigue for years...but every time I'm tested my results are normal.  Recently I have had increasing symptoms (I've been gaining weight at about .5-1 pound/week even though I've cut out soda and cut waay back on carbs and experiencing constipation which I've never had in my life, as well as an on/off choking lump feeling in my throat and brain fog, chills, etc.  the only thing I don't have is hair loss)  I'm 42, and I am afraid my doctor is just going to tell me it's because I am over 40.  My last test was exactly a year ago...but I noticed the past three test results (over 5 years) my TSH had increased each time.  I am going to make another appointment today.  Any advice on getting my doc to take me seriously?  Does it sound like hypothyroid or am I crazy?

Thanks so much!!

Kathy

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Do you know your actual TSH numbers

    And your T4 and T3 results. Normally TSH should be between 0.5 and 5.Hope that helps.

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  • Posted

    You sound exactly like me. I am 44 years old. I had all the same symptoms off and on for years. I went to my dr for a head and neck ache in my early 30's and he found my enlarged thyroid gland. Bloodwork and biopsy were both "normal" and with no insurance, I live in the US. I didn't follow up any further. Healthcare is very expensive here and a lot of Doctors will only really see you if you have insurance. My mother was hypo, paternal grandmother had goiter surgery many, many years ago, and several cousins take thyroid medicine or have had surgery or something. All female. But my father was diagnosed with Graves' disease about 15 years ago. At 40 I found a dr who monitored my thyroid and did two office biopsys over the course of two yrs. My bloodwork was always within the "normal" range. I had to have a partial thyroidectomy 2 years ago due to nodules that had been there but had stared growing at an accelerated rate and had started "changing" and were pushing my trachea over to the side. The past 2 years have been an exhausting battle of adjusting my medications.

    Today is my 9th day on Armour Thyroid. Hoping this one works.

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  • Posted

    I would ask for another test took me 2 years for a result to show up, If your doctor wont listen maybe its time to find a new one.x
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    • Posted

      Katshifty, Melody brings up a good point. Don't be shy to change docs, there are so few docs who really know how to manage thyroid problems. I myself am on my third endocrinologist. The first time I did it I felt very embarrased but my first doc had screwed me up so bad that I knew my life depended upon it and that gave me strength. I knew that I would either get a different referal or I would colapse in a coma on the floor of the office. When you get that bad you do things that you never thought yourself capable of. Its hard to say, "This doc is no good, she is killing me! Gimme another one!" but many people on this site have said the same, perhaps a little more diplomaticallly than that!
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  • Posted

    I'm 22 but otherwise in exactly the same situation as you, and it's horrible not being listened to by the doctor. They tend to treat TSH results like as the bible, if they're normal they disregard symptoms. You can ask them to test your free T3 and free T4 levels which can also give an indication of hypothyroid, and if you have a family history of Hashimoto's they can do a TPO antibody test which will show if you have the anti-thyroid antibodies present. Even if all these are normal, the doctor can put you on a three month trial of the lowest dose of levothyroxine which is a hormone replacement. This normally takes upwards of 6 weeks to kick in though so you might not notice a difference for a while.

    There are other things you can do to help with symptoms. Going completely gluten free is a big one, as the protein content of gluten can trigger the antibodies associated with Hashimoto's. You could start taking iron and vitamin D supplements which can help with fatigue; I take these along with C, B, magnesium, an adrenal booster, iodine and selenium. Some websites (we can't post specific ones) sell combinations of supplements designed for thyroid support. You can also purchase something called natural desiccated thyroid online, which is made from cow's thyroid.

    If you're really stuck, there are some specialists out there who will test you thoroughly but they can be hard to find and quite expensive. Thyroid UK has a list of recommended ones as some endocrinologists specialise in other illnesses and will give similar answers as your doctor.

    Good luck with everything, this is a lovely forum with some real experts who are always happy to give advice!

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  • Posted

    Hello Katshifty:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease since 1987. I am 54 now.

    Hashimoto's runs in my family also.  My sister and I and an aunt have it. It can run in Familes and be passed on and also skip a generation. Thyroid disease can also come from Epstein - Barr virus also called MONO.  It can come from low iodine in the diet.

    Hashimoto's can make your blood look okay but underneath it is not okay.  Have your doctor do a TPOA antibody test for the thyroid and a ESR (sedimentation rate test). These tests are known to pick up certain thyroid antibodies and the ESR can show markers for autoimmune which Hashimoto's is.

    Symptoms of thyroid disease Hypo (LOW):  Weight gain despite diet, low energy, sleepy, feeling COLD,  muscle aches, hair loss, bruising, brittle nails, dry scalp, acne, low heart rate, constipation, dry skin.  There are more these are common.

    Please get a copy of your lab results. Let us know the TSH level, T4 and T3 level.

    It sounds like you have thyroid disease and you will need medciation to replace it.

    Regards,

    Shelly

     

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