I am 12 weeks pregnant and had blood drawn at my appointment last week for the routine initial lab work my doctor does. The nurse called me this morning to tell me they got the results of my bloodwork and my doctor is referring me to an endocronologist and that I need to make an appointment ASAP with them. When I asked why, all she would say is "your TSH level is low and the doctor wants you to see a specialist." She wouldn't tell me anything else.
I talked to a friend of mine who is a nurse and she told me it's thyroid related and a problem with me, not the baby, so I'm a little more relieved but still a little scared. She mentioned that extreme fatigue is one of the first symptoms. I have been sooooo exhausted lately I can barely function. I thought it was just because I'm in the first trimester and have had 2 back-to-back colds since I found out I am pregnant, but I have never been this tired in my life besides when my first 2 kids were newborns.
Has anyone else had this? What meds are safe to take while pregnant? Is it something that might go away after the baby is born, or will I have to deal with it for the rest of my life? There is no family history so I have limited first-hand info.
Did you try to post this on the Thyroid board? They are really helpful there. I have a family history of Graves Disease, so I have my thyroid tested all of the time. My Mom's #'s were very high, and she had an overactive thyroid problem. As for being pregnant, I'm sorry that I can't help with any info for you, but I wanted to send you some good thoughts and wishes. I'm sure everything will be fine. Usually a thyroid problem is very treatable with medication, which my SIL did take during pregnancy.
Hey! My family too has a history on both sides of Thyroid disease. I do not have it, however have been tested for it about a million times. I can tell you though that a girl I work with had it, and it actually presented itself during pregnancy (which is pretty common) She was placed on meds and was fine. It's actually better to get it under control and take meds if needed while pregnant, because the effects of letting it go can cause problems sometimes too. The doctor will defintely tell you what is right for your situation. It could be mild and not even require medication at this point. It may go away after pregnancy, it may not. Don't worry though. It's a pretty common thing and is apparently very hereditary. Do you know if anyone else in your family has thyroid disease?
If your TSH is high then you may have symptoms of an UNDERactive thyroid gland (HYPOthyroidism)...feeling cold all the time, constantly fatigued, constipation, hair falling out, dry skin etc...It's treated with thyroid replacement hormone.
If your TSH is low then you may have symptoms of an OVERactive thyroid gland (HYPERthyroidism)...feeling hot all the time, jittery/tremors, anxious, can't sleep, diarrhea, racing heart etc...They treat it with thyroid suppressive medications, ablation (high dose of radioactive iodine to kill the gland) or a thyroidectomy (removal of the thyroid gland). Hyperthyroidism is a little more difficult to treat during pg because the treatment options are more agressive/invasive. It's less common during pg too though.
With either of these conditions you may have a "goiter" (enlarged thyroid).
It's also possible to have thyroid disease and no symptoms.
I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is autoimmune hypothyroidism (my thyroid is being attacked by antibodies). I started treatment in May 2005.
Graves' disease is autoimmune hyperthyroidism.
My Aunt had Graves disease and the rest of my mom's family (mom, grandma and 2 uncles) all have Hashimoto's.
I'm 24wks pg and on thyroid replacement; I just had my dosage increased a couple of months ago. My blood was drawn today to see how effective the increase was. After diagnosis, they usually check the TSH once per trimester and if the meds need adjusting they test every 6wks until the TSH is normalized (calibrating the meds as needed). They also test them again around 6wks post-partum.
I would personally push to have your antibody levels tested (TPO antibodies, Tg antibodies and TSI antibodies). If they are elevated then you may be at an increased risk for post-partum depression and post-partum thyroiditis.
Pregnancy and post-partum are very common times for thyroid disease to rear it's ugly head. It's usually not difficult to treat.
Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I have never had a problem with this before, this is my 3rd pregnancy and there is no family history of thyroid problems either way, so I have no experience with this whatsoever.
From what I have read on-line yesterday, a low TSH level is linked to hyperthyroidism, but my symptoms are the opposite and very similar to hypothroidism, but with hypothyroidism is a high TSH level. So, I haven't been able to get anywhere in my research. The endocrinologist can't squeeze me in until January 24th. My OB said a 2 week wait is fine, so that's the best I could do. Until then, I feel like I got hit by a bus and haven't slept in months, even though I go to bed early, sleep in as late as possible and take naps whenever I can. It could also be because I'm still in the 1st trimester of pregnancy and have had back-to-back colds for the last several weeks too, so it's hard to say if my symptoms are directly related to the TSH level being low. I am so frustrated because I am normally very active and now I can barely function to get through the day. There is so much I need and want to do but I have zero energy to do anything.
Hey there, I'm sorry your sturggling to find answers. My mom had the same symptoms as you, and she has HYPERthyroidism. She had to eventually have her thyroid radiated with just one pill, and now she has to take Synthroid for probably the rest of her life, BUT........on the good side, she was feeling like this for such a long time. and her test results were within normal range, so the doctors never picked it up. They just chalked it up to menopause. She feels soo much better now, than she has in years...hopefully you will feel better soon too, no matter what, if it's just a pregnancy thing or not. Hang in there.
The fatigue could be mostly the pg but you never know. I've found that thyroid disease doesn't always go "by the book" . I've had hyper and hypo symptoms prior to treatment. I actually started out hyperthyroid but eventually became hypothyroid (it's not uncommon with Hashimoto's).
I can relate to your symptoms...my heart goes out to you; it can be so frustrating! I hope the endo will be very helpful and you'll be feeling better soon.
It's good that they're catching it now so it doesn't develop further .
Yup, radiating the thyroid is permanent. It causes life-long hypothyroidism and the need for treatment. It's not something that they'll do in pg (it would also ablate the baby's thyroid).
I hope the next couple of weeks go by quickly for you!!
Dizzy - your mom had all the symptoms of HYPOthyroid but ended up actually having HYPERthyroid? How did they explain that to her? The more I try to research, the more confused I am. The low TSH level, which is the ONLY thing the nurse said, would indicate HYPER if it's thyroid problem but I have no symptoms of that. I have all the symptoms of HYPO, except the high TSH level, and like other posters have said, they are also pregnancy symptoms, so I honestly have no idea if I even have any symptoms related to the low TSH level.
At this point, I'm just doing everything I can to get through the day semi-conscious (that's how I feel most days) and am not going to attempt to self-diagnose anymore since nothing seems to fit my situation. I
m not thrilled about a 2-week wait. It seems like an eternity away when I'm so exhausted every single day, but that's my reality right now, so I'm trying not to focus on this anymore.
Thanks for the advice and encouragement! I will post after my endocrinologist appointment and let you know what they say the problem is and what they're going to do about it. I hope the exhaustion goes away before then or is related so they can do something about it.
I just called my mom and asked her some questions for you. She said that the whole thing came to a head when she was in full blown menopause. But, she had been feeling this way for so long, she just think that the menopause is what pushed it over the edge. She had a mix of hypo and hyper symptoms. Weight gain, then loss, heart palpitations, swollen ankles, constipation, anxiety.....she was finally diagnosed with Graves Disease a year later, but her test results for a long time were normal.
She said that hormones really can screw up your thyroud, so maybe this is the case with you. She also said to not wait 2 weeks if possible. She said they do medicate safely during pregnancy, so there is no reason for you to feel bad for another 2 weeks if not necessary. However, Endo's are specialists, so they are tough to get appts. with soon. I hope this helps you at all. I hope you feel okay, I'll keep you in my thoughts.
Dizzy - Thanks for calling and asking your mom for info. I called my OB to see if she can get the endo to see me earlier and 2 weeks is actually good turn-around time for an appointment I guess, so there's not much she can or will do. I agree, though, 2 weeks more of this might as well be an eternity. From the responses I've gotten here and on the thyroid board and the research I've done on-line, it does sound like it could have been triggered by the pregnancy (hormones, like your mom said). I called a few other endo's in the area and they are all booked through March for new patients. It's frustrating, but I guess I'll take 2 weeks over 2 months. At the same time, I don't really even know for sure if my symptoms are related to my TSH level problem or pregnancy since they're all very similar. If they're pregnancy symptoms, maybe they'll just go away in the next 2 weeks when I hit the 2nd trimester - I hope! I didn't have anything like this the first 2 times I was pregnant, though. I was tired the last time, but when I went to bed early and slept in for a few nights in a row, I'd wake up feeling much better, and the tiredness was here and there,not constant. Either way I had tons more energy than I do now, even being tired and pregnant then.