1. Why do I have puffiness and swelling around the eyes and face.
2. Why don't anti-depressants make my hair soft and shiny?
3. Why would my hair fall out?
4. Why would I have something the size of a golfball sticking out the
side of my neck?
5. Why are my periods so heavy, it's possible I could hemorrage to
6. Why did I make an appointment to see an endocrinologist?
7. Why have I gained extraordinary amounts of weight---even though I
eat right and exercise?
8. Why is my vision blurry---even when I wear my glasses?
9. Why do I have sleep apnea?
10. My voice becomes hoarse and my throat feels constricted?
Here's my final question:
Why, if I'm depressed, do I feel much better when I take the right amount
and kind of thyroid medicine?
Maybe thyroid medicine cures "depression".
Why do I feel better when I take a higher dose of thyroid medicine?
There was an interesting article in last Sunday's New York Times where the columnist, writing about herself, told of her long journey with undiagnosed hypothyroidism. She described 6 years of hell, with a normal TSH, and doctors treating the symptoms. She suffered with the usual array of symptoms plus a number of agonizing bouts of iritis to the point of her having to stay in a darkened room in her house for days on days. And of course, in the end she was referred to a psychiatrist. Yes, don't we all know that depression causes severe inflammation of the iris? Ironically it was the psychiatrist who recognized something was physically wrong, got the right tests ordered, and she finally got the proper treatment. You just have to continually ask yourself, why oh why are doctors so blind to hypothyroidism??? Why must so many people suffer for so long??? Can we get that &#$*% TSH test banned?
The answer to why docs are so blind to hypothyroidism is simple - it's primarily a disease that strikes women.
When a woman complains about anything, it is easily dismissed. THe following true story tells you all you need to know:
A certain woman doc stopped prescribing the bcp. Why? When she discovered that a large number of her patients who were on the Pill were developing serious health problems, she researched the development of the Pill. She discovered that initially, there was an attempt to make a pill for both men and women. During the initial clinical trials, one man developed enlarged testicles, and so the trials on men ceased immediately. Also during the initial trials, 3 women died. Did they discontinue trials for women? No, they adjusted the amount of estrogen.
I think this tells you everything you need to know about the difference between the way women are treated, and the way men are treated by our medical community.
I've been there too,and I think any doctor who writes off all of these symptoms as depression and doesn't even consider a thyroid disorder is guilty of malpractice.
Maybe this will sound too much like a conspiracy theory of sorts, but perhaps it's to do with the drug lobbies behind antidepressants. It seems that the first response most doctors have to any complaint is to prescirbe antidepressants. Just look at the high number of children and adolescents who are suddenly being put on these medications. You know the old saying, "follow the money." Antidepressants must be mush more lucrative than thyroid drugs. If they can get us to buy it, they will. It really shakes your faith in humanity, though, doesn't it? Gotta love that hypocritic oath
Norni, Ora, and Seastar---
I've found better treatment from psychiatrists than most other doctors I've seen. They were more than willing to do a thyroid test---and one told me that although I was in the "normal" range, he thought I would do better in the upper third, and prescribed 175 of syn.
Ora---There was an article in the February 2004 (I think) Reader's Digest that said hypothyroidism was one of the most frequently misdiagnosed and underdiagnosed diseases. I think one of the reasons they gave was because it is primarily a woman's disease. I know there isn't equality in medical research.
Seastar---I saw something in our local newspaper a couple of days ago. It was comparing the costs of prescription meds and how you could save so much money by buying them from some other outfit----but what blew me away was the difference in price between Cylexa (an anti-depressant) and synthroid. The Celexa costs $119 for a months supply and Synthroid cost $19.
Now wonder our health costs are going through the roof! I do believe the drug manufacturers of the world are conspiring to push doctors to prescribe drugs that don't take care of the real problem.
Have you ever noticed that the Thyroid Forum on these boards always have some of the highest participants?
I think conspiracy and malpractice aren't too far off.
Ever since I first began having symptoms that were so bad as to disable me, my doc tried to convince me that it was all due to "depression." I kept insisting I wasn't depressed, that is, "loss of interest in activities once enjoyed" kind of depression. All I wanted was to know why I felt like H..L, and that I wanted to go back to work. Over the 16 years I was really sick, I saw 19 doctors, and everyone of them, every SINGLE one of them, had only one answer to all my problems - anti-depressents! You name it, I've been on it - and nothing helped. They only added to my misery by causing additional symptoms in the form of side effects.
Let's face it - there is a LOT more money in the sale of anti-dep. than in the sale of thyroid meds.......
I think the way they prescribe anti-depressants is criminal. I was on Prozac for several years---and in the beginning it "took the edge off". But after years of taking it, I finally got to the point where I felt like I was "fragmenting"---I almost felt like I was having an "out of body" experience---there was the "physical me", and then there was another "spirit me" about three inches left of center.
I know you're not supposed to quit the stuff cold turkey---but I did, and thank goodness I did. Not too long ago, my sister and I were discussing Prozac---she shared with me that both she and her daughter experienced the same weird effect I had. They quit cold-turkey too. And the weird feeling of "being outside yourself" stopped almost immediately.
I've been there too. When I first got really sick the doctors tried all sorts of antidepressants, one of which was effexor. I had the same feeling that you descirbe about paxil and I went off of it cold turkey because I felt like I was losing my mind. Fragmenting is a really good way to put it. For me the symptom ended as soon as the medicine was out of my system...thank goodness. It was very frightening.
It does seem as though the thyroid participants hugely outnumber any other category on the healthboard. It really makes you wonder if it isn't an epidemic, and if so, what is causing it and why does it remain hidden? I think that what you both mentioned about it being a woman's disease is probably a large part of the culprit. You would think that in this day and age that wouldn't hinder medical progress...there's that naivete on my part again.
I've been reading these posts and can relate to you all in some way, shape, or form. I have been sick for two years, but have been suffering from thyroid issues since the birth of my son ten years ago. I apparently have hashi's which, as you are aware presents many symptoms. My initial diagnosis was ms, until they put me through a host of tests only to prove otherwise. I've also developed a nodulated goiter. For the last two years my doctors have told me it's all in my head and I suffer from depression/anxiety for which they prescribed prozac. I just weaned myself off in February of this year. I am saddened and angered to see how many women are treated in the same vein. At my last appointment I told my doctor that she can't paint me with the "anxiety/depression" brush because it was just too easy. She's referring me to an endo at my request. She also told me I should not be able to feel my goiter when I told her it chokes me at times. I asked her if she had one...she said "no"....to which I replied "then how would you know whether I should feel it or not?" Needless to say...she had no response. Keep persisting....never give up.....make them listen. That's my new motto. Have a great weekend.
And if they don't say it's depression, they tell you it's anxiety! There are so many people on the allergy boards, who have been told they have anxiety, and it turns out to be asthma or another respiratory problem. And asthma is not the maligned disease it once was, it is usually taken seriously by doctors. But ever since Xanax came out, whenever women mention SOB, the doctor's first thought is anxiety, not asthma. It is very sad.
Last edited by sneezydiva; 06-10-2005 at 08:35 PM.