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Old 12-01-2004, 12:30 AM   #1
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Case study 21: Diagnose: "I dunno" - Doc

Hi y'all!

I ask you to bear with me on this realy, freaky case.
It's tearing me up inside not knowing what's going on.

I'm 20, male, about 1.80 Meters tall weighing 70 Kilos.
My familly is from southern Italy, and therefore I was born with loads, no, tons of hair. When I wore my hair extremely short as a younger teen, you still coudn't see my scalp, it was just all one big concentration of hair. (I got lots of compliments from barbers, which I started to take for granted)
As an example: my mom's dad died at age 70 and his hairline barely receded an inch. The other side of my family is the same. So I was never expecting hair loss.

Untill about a year ago, at age 19, my hair started falling off by the handfull.
Every new day, a new batch of dry, coarse hair that felt dead, synthetic almost.
On my entire body, even my eye lashes were loose.
I whent to see a dermatologist, who thought it might be linked to me being a very long-time vegetarian, and as such prescribed me some sulphur in the form of L-Cystine/B6 tablets. I had being severely lacking B12 previously, but just before the hair loss started I started supplementing in the form of weekly injections.

After a few months of taking the Cystine crap, I stopped as my hairloss was getting worse, so obviously it didn't work. The doc told me he was just guessing on that one anyways.

Sometime afterwards, I noticed my thinking process changed, I couldn't
think clearly, it was (and still is) as if someone unplugged a few neurons in my brain overnight. I very quickly got the necessary testing done, EEG, CT and MRI, but they showed nothing. So, the doctors probably figured I was imagining it.

Very recently, I developed a dry skin (I had previously always being a very oily type) and jaundice.
I had an LFT done, and the result: hey-hey! Nothing!
Bilirubin (the yellow dye that's responsible for the color in jaundice) was elevated, but my liver enzymes were OK.
Conclusion: Gilbert's Syndrome. A benign, chronic disorder, very high incidence, without any symptoms besides jaundice.

Now here's what I *didn't* tell you.
When I used to work at a fast food place, I complained to the manager about a leaking over-head refrigerator. I thought it was leaking some very cold gas, like freon or something similiar, because whenever I reached up and opened it a very cold air/gas feeling ran through my throat, eventhough I didn't feel any cold air coming from the inside of the fridge.

The problem was, when I made that same "arms raised, head raised" movement required to open that overhead fridge at home while changing a lightbulb, I felt the same sensation.

Not only that, but occasionally, out of the blue, I felt a tiny, very cold drop of icewater fall down my throat, starting from my adam's apple. Sometimes it was so disturbing my reflexes tried to cough it out, like when food almost gets into your trachea.

I told my doctor this and he suspected my thyroid. Given the fact that I also seemed to pee a liter of transparant, clear water every 15 minutes, he drew some blood to determine my hormone levels (TSH,T4, etc), and had my adrenal glands checked at the hospital.
It all came out fine, no problem.

The problem is, today, my hair still keeps falling out, at the same pace. None of the lost hair has grown back. If I didn't have so much hair in the first place, I'd definitely be bald today.
The sensations in my throat are still there.
My eyes also seem changed, a bit puffy and a tiny bit more protruding, enough to make me notice it, but not something dramatic (yet?). I don't have a goiter, nor did I gain or lose weight in the last year (I eat the same as always).

The doctor doesn't even want to check me out for the same thing anymore.
I was recently given propecia for my hair, but it's only effective for male pattern baldness so I don't see how it's going to stop my diffuse hair loss of unknown cause (that's how they labeled it).

One last symptom (don't know if it matters), I'm more tired than ussual. I've always being tired, at about age 6 it started, but recently I *realy* can't do anything anymore - while I always sleep at least 12 hours. (A doctor tried to label me with CFS once, untill I mentioned that I was B12 deficient at the time).


What I'm most interested in is knowing if someone recognises these "cold gas/air in throat" and "cold drop falling in throat" sensations.
If it's my thyroid doing it, someone with a thyroid disorder could recognise it.

Anything else you might have an answer to is greatly appreciated.

MTS

 
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Old 12-01-2004, 05:41 AM   #2
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Re: Case study 21: Diagnose: "I dunno" - Doc

Quote:
he drew some blood to determine my hormone levels (TSH,T4, etc), and had my adrenal glands checked at the hospital.
It all came out fine, no problem.
Out of everything you've written, this is probably key. You see, most doctors have no inkling of how to interpret thyroid tests, and that's assuming they know which are the best ones to run in the first place. Each test has a 'range' considered normal, but just having your results within the range does NOT necessarily mean you're "normal". A TSH above 2.0 signals a possible problem; it doesn't have to be above the high end of the range, as many doctors think. And for the T4 and T3 [Yes, there is a T3, but most doctors refuse to measure it.], you want the free T4 and T3 measured; not the total T4 and T3. If these are below the middle of their ranges, you probably have low thyroid function, and it would explain the majority of your symptoms. Thyroid antibody tests would show the presence of TPO or Tg antibodies, the most common cause of hypothyroidism.

The weird throat sensation is not one I've heard described before, but I've had a weird sensation of my own - intense, excruciating itching on the skin immediately above my thyroid gland. My doctor explained that it could be one manifestation of thyroid inflammation (aka thyroiditis), which is common with autoimmune hypoT. The "cold" you feel could be your particular sensation of thyroiditis.

If you have the results of your thyroid tests, even if they weren't the best ones done, post them with their lab ranges. We might be able to give more advice.
You say your family is from Italy, but do you live in the US now? I ask because different parts of the world regard the diagnosis and treatment of thyroid disease radically differently.

 
Old 12-01-2004, 07:30 AM   #3
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Re: Case study 21: Diagnose: "I dunno" - Doc

Those are odd symtpoms, I have not heard of that, but more than likely something in you is changing and I would want to know what.

I say, you find yourself a very good doctor who gives you the hum dinger, mac daddy of all blood tests and you go and draw your 10 vials or so and rule everything out, piece by piece.

I use a hollistic doctor and he literally goes from head to toe via phone consultation and faxes me lab scripts as needed. If you find the right doctor, you can categorically rule each possible disease or deficiency one by one.

If it was some type of poisonous gas you were concerned with, it would show up in blood work by screwing up one of your systems, like liver, kidneys, CO2, oxygen or something else.

For the basics, here's what you are going to want done - of course some of these were specific to my symptoms of possible food allergy, but it doesnt hurt to check everything:

Complete Blood count (CBC)
Complete Metabolic Panel
Cardiso - Myoglobin & Troponin-I
TSH
Free T3
Free T4
Thyroxine (Total T4)
Total T3
Thyoid Peroxidase Antibodies
Thyoglobulin Antibodies

Here are others from my recent mac daddy test:

Methylmalonic Acid – Vitamin B12 Deficiency Test


Cardio CRP BLOOD TEST – C-REACTIVE PROTEIN – IS A TEST THAT PROVIDES A GOOD INDICATION A MAJOR HEALTH EVENT WILL HAPPEN SOON – LIKE A HEART ATTACK OR STROKE.


Testosterone, Free (with Total)


Helicobacter pylori Ab (IgG) - LOOKS FOR ULCERS AND STOMACH DAMAGE
H Pylori AB, IgG


Tissue Transglut Test – Test For Wheat Allergy / Celiac Disease


Ferritin BLOOD TEST – TESTS FOR ANEMIA / IRON IN BLOOD - especiall being of Italian decent....can have too high iron...my grandpop died form that essentially....he's right off the boat.


Vitamin B12 & Folate Blood Test


Magnesium Blood Test


DHEA-sulfate – serum BLOOD TEST – TESTS ADRENAL FUNCTION / MALE HORMONE


URIC ACID BLOOD TEST – CHECKS FOR GOUT AND KIDNEY STONESE


HOMOCYSTEINE, CARDIO Blood Test


Cortisol TOTAL TEST – TESTS FOR CUSHING’S DISEASE AND ADDISONS DISEASE – STRESS RELATED DISORDERS


HEMOGLOBIN A1C TEST – TEST FOR DIABETES – 3 MONTH GLUCOSE TEST


ANTIGLIADIN ANTIBODIES PANEL TEST - TEST FOR FOOD ALLERGIES, WHEAT ALLERGY AND CELIAC DISEASE


Candida Antibodies BLOOD TEST, Qualitative – TESTS FOR STOMACH BACTERIA INFECTION


ANA BLOOD TEST - ANTINUCLEAR ANTIBODIES - TEST FOR LUPUS, ARTHRITIS AND LIVER DISEASE - Antinuclear antibody panel


COMPREHENSIVE METABOLIC PANEL:


VAP CHOLESTEROL BLOOD TEST

If you are not well and there is obviously something going on, the tests above will rule out tons and tons of things and if it all comes back in check, then you'll live to 100 and feel better about things knowing all your systems are in good shape.

 
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