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Thyroid Disorders Message Board
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Old 08-17-2003, 03:49 PM   #1
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Unhappy What to do?

I have posted on the Menopause Board but wanted to try here also.

For five years I have been going to the Doctor complaining of EXTREME fatigue. He checks my Thyroid and says it is normal and that is it. I have been told I was just depressed and even had a Physician's Assistant tell me that she got tired too. I have been told to start exercising...well it's hard to exercise when you can barely get off the couch. (I have been walking on a treadmill when I feel good) This past Friday I went to a Nurse Practitioner and she actually listened. She is running a complete Thyroid Panel, CBC, and checking Hormone Levels. The fatigue is not getting better and in the last year I have gained 15 pounds.

My question is, since I have been through this so many times before, If all the lab tests come back normal, where do I go next? I am so tired of life passing me by, there are so many things I want to do, but can't because of the fatigue. Any advice???

 
Old 08-17-2003, 06:54 PM   #2
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GG, you have come to the right place! LOL Welcome!

The best thing you can now do is educate yourself about what "normal" thyroid test results look like. Do not accept an unexplained pronouncement that you're "normal" or "depressed" or "getting older". Doctors have been giving that kind of shoddy treatment to women since time immemorial, and sadly, it continues today if one is willing to accept it.

Do your homework here and elsewhere on the Internet about what a healthy thyroid test panel looks like, and determinedly press the doctor if yours doesn't look similar to that. The TSH level of 95% of healthy people is measured between 1 and 2, although the range at most labs extends up to 5.5. Any TSH value above 3 is suspect for hypothyroidism, and could well account for your fatigue. The other basic tests that should be run are free T4, free T3, and thyroid antibodies.

Check our information archive for other symptoms you may have but don't realize are often related to thyroid disease ~ [url="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum118/HTML/000005.html"]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum118/HTML/000005.html[/url]

I hate to say it, but this story has been told countless times on this board. You have to be your own advocate when it comes to thyroid. Most GP's don't have a clue how to treat it, and would rather brush you off than admit to what they don't know.

When the tests are completed, obtain your own printed copy of the results. If you post the numbers here, there are members who are very adept at interpreting them. If the lab values look questionably abnormal, you then have the choice to take them to an endocrinologist for futher evaluation and treatment.

I hope you'll be back to let us know how it goes.

[This message has been edited by midwest1 (edited 08-17-2003).]
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Old 08-18-2003, 03:24 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the reply Midwest.

I have found this board very helpful - in the past I did not even know what to ask the Doctor when he checked my throid- but now I am more knowledgeable. My symptoms could also be related to pre-menopause (is why the post on the Menopause board) At least the Nurse Practitioner that I went to listened and ordered the tests. Of course she did mention depression and I told her, "I've already been through that and it is not depression".

With the fatigue being the biggest issue I can't discuss it with anyone and I have suffered in silence. Years ago when I mentioned it to my friend she said I was just lazy and another friend and my sister said I just needed to get over it. So I've learned when people ask how my weekend was I just say great. After all these years with suffering from the fatigue yesterday was the first day I cried. I'm just so tired of not being able to function. On the days I feel good I feel like I could conquer the world but on the other days the world has conquered me.

My tests are suppose to be back Wednesday and I'll just have to see what happens.

[This message has been edited by Golden Girl (edited 08-18-2003).]

 
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