I've always had cold hands (I'm sitting here and my hands are freezing). I've also known for some time that I have low blood pressure. So I did a little looking around and found that these are two symptoms of hypothyroidism: and I noticed that I have several others: overweight, recurring hoarseness, intolerance to cold, hair loss, and possibly pale skin.
I went to a regular physician for a physical and he did blood work. The only thing he notified me of was high cholesterol. But I have no idea what tests they ran: would they have even found that I have hypothyroidism if I do? But while I was there I did tell him that I was hoarse, and the hoarseness is a recurring problem for me. He told me to check with an ENT.
Monday, I went to an ENT doctor because I had been hoarse for half a week and it didn't seem to be getting any better. I was thinking that it might be hypothyroidism (because of the other symptoms I also have), but he went straight for something called LPR (laryngopharyngeal reflux, or silent reflux). I'd have to say that after looking up LPR on the net, his diagnosis does seem to fit my symptoms (not those I listed above...different ones) So I could have both, I guess. But isn't there a rule of thumb that says one should try to explain all symptoms with just 1 condition/disease?
Anyway, does it sound like I might have hypothyroidism? And if so, what should I do to get tested? I already asked a regular physician for a physical, and he did blood work and just said I have high cholesterol, and the ENT doctor didn't really consider anything other than LPR.
The first thing we all should remember (because I'm as guilty of it as anyone) is that even if hypoT possibly causes a symptom, it doesn't mean it always does. So, yes, your hoarseness may be caused by hypoT, or maybe by something else.
That said, you need thyroid testing, and it seems you didn't get any. Insist on TSH, free T4, free T3, and possibly TPO and Tg antibodies.
If the TSH is above 2, you are probably hypothyroid.
If the TSH is not above 2, but the either or both of the FTs are below the middle of their lab ranges, you are probably hypothyroid.
If the test results look ok... levels where they ought to be... but you test positive for antibodies, you may not be hypo now, but you probably will be soon. The antibodies cause the thyroid not to produce enough thyroid hormone.
If your doctor balks at these tests, he probably doesn't know how to interpret the results anyway, and you may have to go to someone else for a valid opinion. Don't give up on this until you find a really knowledgeable thyroid doctor who will either diagnose you correctly, or rule it out completely. It takes an average of 6 consultations before a diagnosis is made. That's how dumb most doctors are about thyroid disease.
Finally, you may not know it already, but high cholesterol can also be a sign of low thyroid function. HypoT is its second leading cause, after poor diet.
I too have many symptoms associated with hypo-T. I have a low body temperature (typ. 97.3 orally), cold hands and feet while others are warm, often experience fatigue, have anxiety, and some weight gain (6' 1" 200 lbs 50year old male). However, I also suffer from high blood pressure and my BP fluctuates wildly throughout the day (115/75 - 140/95). When I feel cold my blood pressure is higher (constricted blood vessels, I presume). Since 2001, I've had 4 Atrial Fibrillation episodes. My cardiologist does not have a clue of the cause of A-fib. The only Thyroid tests I've had was the TSH which came back at 3.4 uIU/mL and T4, Free of 1.3ng/dL, in 2003, both in the normal ranges. I keep searching for a cure for my High Blood Pressure and A-Fib. Is it possible my Thyroid is causing these symptoms, even though my 2 test results were in the normal ranges? If so, what tests should I ask for?
I have considered taking a Nutritional Supplement for the Thyroid Gland, called Thyodine. I am concerned it may make my high BP worse. So I have not tried it.
I also went down the path of ridding my body of Mercury (Hg). In 2002, I had all 20 of my Silver/Mercury amalgams replaced. Since then I have seen improvements in my health. I keep wondering if the long term exposure to mercury caused damage to my kidneys, thyroid, and pituitary glands.
WWASIUAC, I would go and get copies of those labs for your records and post them here. If he said he tested your thyroid all he did most likely was a TSH. Find out what it was and keep a record. What were the conditions of your test ie. time?, fasting? ect... write it on the lab copy and then ask for the tests midwest1 describes.
Just to let you know that when I was diagnosed with HypoT my Cholesterol was 310. I KNOW! OMG! I am 5'3 and 117lbs so my Cholesterol was elevated totally because of my thyroid. My GP doc put me on 200mcg of synthroid and yes lipitor for the cholesterol. I didn't take the lipitor and went to an endocrinologist who agreed with me. The last test I had taken my Cholesterol dropped to 195 on its own. I would have it checked. You never know.