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Old 11-18-2011, 02:09 PM   #1
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Hypothyroidism Mimic?

Hello-
I'm a 27 yr old woman who has been being treated for Hypothyroidism for almost 5 months now and have seen little to no improvement. Neither I nor my endocrinologist are completely convinced that I have a thyroid problem anymore. Does anyone know of a hormonal problem that acts as a very close mimic to hypothyroid? I have almost all of the hypothyroid symptoms but have been getting progressively worse with medication. I also obtained a copy of an MRI I had done in May at the ER because they suspected MS due to the symptoms I was having. I don't have MS apparently but the MRI report stated I have something called an "Empty Sella" in my head. Nobody told me this after my MRI, I just read it from the reports after requesting a copy. Does anyone know if having this "Empty Sella" condition can cause low thyroid-like symptoms? If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know, thanks.

 
Old 01-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

Just bumping this up. Does anyone have any information about diseases that present like hypothyroidism? One of the over 400 people who've viewed this thread must know something lol.

 
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:24 AM   #3
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

Has your pituitary functions been tested? As to a mimic, what symptoms are you experiencing?

 
Old 01-17-2012, 08:13 PM   #4
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gdiluca View Post
Has your pituitary functions been tested? As to a mimic, what symptoms are you experiencing?
No, I don't think my pituitary has been tested. I did mention that to my endocrinologist but he said that pituitary problems are "very rare." Anyway, my symptoms are kind of all over the place but here's a list.
-Internal Tremors
-Heart Palpitations
-Fatigue
-I can hear/feel my joints cracking frequently when I'm moving
-Memory Problems/Cognitive Problems
-Low Body Temp (usually around 96.9 when I wake up)
-Hair and Nails growing extremely slowly
-Hair on head is dry, brittle and thin. (Natural hair texture is very fine, soft, and curly)
-Bad Acne that started around onset of all other symptoms (never had bad acne before)
-Random areas of hyperpigmentation on back of legs and left hand. It isn't raised, itchy, or bumpy, just dark as if someone drew on me with black magic marker. My dermatologist was confused by it.
-I get the "pins and needles" sensation rather frequently all over my body.
-Sometimes I get this feeling of pressure in my head like it's full of water or something. (Sorry, don't know how else to explain it...)
-Vitamin Deficiencies shown in Vitamin D, Selenium, and Folate if that matters...
-Throat feels hoarse a lot, voice is deeper a bit?
-Insomnia
-Weight gain than I am unable to control using healthy eating and exercise. Only time I have ever lost weight at a normal rate was eating 600 cals/day. (Only did this for two weeks out of curiosity, obviously could not/would not continue this) I am 5'4'' and 170 now with large frame.
-Had a Sed Rate done was at 34 (Range <20)
-Had a 24 hr Cortisol done, was elevated at Morning and Afternoon times, was at normal levels for other two times.
-Had a weird episode in July where I had an average temperature of 99.2, was having constant heart palps, sweating constantly, had shortness of breath, intermittent diarrhea, and lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks which is usually impossible for me. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in the ER but the symptoms abated after this random two week period, so they dismissed it as a panic attack. (For two weeks nonstop?)
-According to the endocrinologist my thyroid is enlarged/swollen but there are no nodules, and my tests keep coming back as normal or low normal. Why would this be?
-I've also noticed my symptoms get noticeably worse or better depending on where I am in my cycle.
-Also noticed that I tend to feel better and have more energy the later in the day it gets

Sorry this is so long but I tried to squeeze the entire last year and a half of symptoms on here.

 
Old 01-26-2012, 06:39 PM   #5
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

Sillygal,
It's very hard being a patient these days. Has your Dr asked your history...such as were you in a car accident or have you had a head injury? Were you ever pregnant and did you have postpartum hemorrhage?

Have you had any other pituitary tests done? prolactin, LH, FSH, IGF1, GH? I only know a little about empty sella so this is what I can offer. Hope this is of some help.

 
Old 01-27-2012, 08:18 AM   #6
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

Also, has anyone looked at PCOS or Hashimoto's rather than just hypothyroidism - yes there is a difference! And if Hashimoto's has a celiac screening been done? Hashimoto's can bounce around with hypo and hyper states, BTW and can also cause your thyroid to fail quite quickly. Also, uncontrolled sleep apnea can mimic or exacerbate hypothyroid symptoms. You do not need to be male, overweight and snore to have it. My sleep Dr said that both my daughter and I have a throat structure that causes sleep apnea due to Hashimoto's.

 
Old 01-27-2012, 07:14 PM   #7
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

Thanks for the responses guys. I have had only my LH and FSH done out of the pituitary tests you mentioned. When I had those done they were out of whack as the LH was like 4x higher than my FSH. I brought this up to my endo and again he said it sounds like pituitary but never mentioned it again
This is what made me think I might possibly have PCOS. As for Hashimoto's, that has been looked at as a possibility for me in the past. Autoimmune thyroid diseases run in my family (about 1/2 women on both sides have thyroid disorders) but up until now my Antibodies always come up low/in range. Only one that was elevated at all were the Graves one (TSI) at 89% but the cutoff for Graves diagnosis is like 130% I think. So I am "negative" for that too. That 89% was done about a week after the July episode. I'm supposed to see an integrative doctor on Monday. He sort of combines Western and Eastern medicinal practices. So I'm hoping he'll look at the whole picture a little better. And I will ask him if he can check my pituitary hormones. Again thanks for the advice, keep your fingers crossed for me!

 
Old 01-29-2012, 04:59 AM   #8
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

keep questioning the empty sella also. I'm no expert but I believe there is usually a cause for empty sella and it should be addressed. You might want to search for "pituitary specialists" which is a bit of a higher notch on the totem poles of endocrinologist. They're rare and hard to find a good one as not all are created equal.
Good luck and keep us posted.

 
Old 02-03-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

So, I went to the integrative medicine doctor and he didn't have too much helpful information. He told me that my SED rate is 28 now, (down a bit from 34 in August of 2011) but it is still elevated. I also have very high Reverse T3 levels, Range 11-32, Result: 47. (This has been elevated since January of last year) He doesn't know what to do and told me he's not familiar with pituitary issues. I mentioned my unbalanced FSH/LH ration to my gyno via phone call and she says it's normal. My periods have been getting farther and farther apart and my FSH/LH ratio has always been very close to 1:1. It is now about 1:4. My last levels were FSH 3.4 and LH 14.1. But, she says this is normal so I don't know what to do.

I KNOW something is wrong regarding my pituitary and/or other endocrine hormones besides thyroid. But I can't get anyone to help me, all my doctors say my tests are all very normal and that my empty sella abnormality is of no clinical significance. No one is willing to test my GH, IGF-1, FSH/LH (again), prolactin, or any other test in that vein and I don't know what to do. I also have recently developed chronic dry eyes, dry mouth, dry skin, basically every body orifice I have is dried out. Eye drops and the like are not helping. I'm starting to freak out. My symptoms have escalated significantly in the last two weeks and no one will listen to me. I would just let this go, but I have prior experience with idiotic doctors 3 years ago. If I had listened to their advice then, I would have been dead for quite some time by now. (I was told I had anxiety and simple anemia by countless doctors...turned out it was Hodgkin's Lymphoma. I even mentioned that I thought I might have Lymphoma/Cancer to one of my doctors and he ignored me, said I was too young to be that sick, ***?...Anyway, I've been in remission since and yes, they've checked for relapse in relation to my recent symptoms.) I'm not sure what I'm asking for or if I'm just venting. For anyone who's received help with their health problems what did it take for them to pay attention and how did you get a doctor to help you?

Last edited by sillygal; 02-03-2012 at 12:04 PM. Reason: misspelling

 
Old 02-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #10
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Re: Hypothyroidism Mimic?

It's not letting me edit my post again, but I just wanted to add that the Endo I was going to before checked my thyroid via ultrasound and said it was enlarged, although not severely so. I thought this was strange too and I wonder what can cause thyroid enlargement in the presence of negative antibodies and normal tsh, free t4 and low normal free t3?

Last edited by sillygal; 02-03-2012 at 12:32 PM. Reason: my brain is tired

 
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