Finally a diagnosis! The endo just called with results from some of the blood work and said I have Hashimotos, which explains my symptoms a lot better than the HYPERthyroid she was trying to pin on me when all of my symptoms are HYPOthyroid. But, I can't seem to find much info on what it is or how it is treated during pregnancy. Any insight? She is still waiting on the Graves Disease test to come back and the rest of the labs to come back before she'll decide what to do, so I may have a lot more questions, if that's okay. For now, I'm trying to research the Hashimotos.
Yeah, I figured it could be that, with the anxiety+ exhaustion. it didn't quite fit the hyper. I don't know if they treat that with a synthroid type pill or what. With hashi's, don't they wait till your thyroid dies out before prescribing? Don't know...Midwest will know. Well, at least you have an answer hon.. hope you get some relief soon, God bless,keep researching.
I am so glad to have an answer that fits. I was so afraid they were going to treat me for hyper and that I would be even more exhausted! Thanks for all your help!
Gosh, the thought of my immune system actually destroying my thyroid sounds scary. I didn't think they would let that happen, but I don't really have any experience with this whatsoever. I hope they give me meds or something to alleviate my hypo symptoms in the meantime. I can't take much more of this, especially these "episodes" that are really freaking me out. They're waiting on the rest of the results from the bloodwork before they'll discuss with me what they're going to do, if anything. This is only the first test to come back. Once they get all of the results, I'll request a copy.
It's good to have an answer, I guess, so at least I know why this is all happening to me and it's not all in my head. I'm not crazy!
There is a ton of info on the internet about Hashimoto's and everything else you could want to know about the thyroid, thyroid disease, antibodies, lab tests, etc. Use Google or other search engines and use words of interest to you to search. Many links are not allowed here, so it's hard to be much more help than that, but you can find out anything you want to know by learning how to use internet search engines.
Hashimoto's disease causes inflammation of your thyroid gland. It often leads to underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). It is also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system inappropriately attacks your thyroid gland. It usually causes damage to your thyroid cells and upsets the balance of chemical reactions in your body. Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States.
The Following User Says Thank You to ErinBeth For This Useful Post: Augustusine (01-22-2012)
Thank you for the info and other keywords to look up. I have found some info on-line, but I'm having a hard time finding out what causes this to happen. How does your immune system just turn against your thyroid like that? Also, how do they treat it? I'm 13 1/2 weeks pregnant and can't seem to find much info on whether or not it will affect the baby. Does anyone know?
I had to laugh at your comments about you and everyone around you thinking you're crazy and finally feeling justified now that I have a medical diagnosis to back up the fact that I've been feeling really crappy...LOL! I just went through the first trimester of pregnancy with Hashimoto's and almost every symptom of hypothyroid, particularly extreme fatigue. I've also had back to back colds since Thanksgiving. Is being more sesceptible to colds and stuff going around a Hashimotos thing since my immune system is screwed up? I rarely get sick and I was sick for almost 2 months with a week in between. I thought it was just the strange fall weather we've been having well into winter when we normally have snow. This is my 3rd pregnancy and I know I wasn't THIS exhausted and wiped out with the 1st 2, but everyone kept trying to tell me, it's just normal pregnancy stuff and I'm just milking it and being a baby. I'm pretty tough normally, but this has been really rough!
I'm getting more scared now that it's starting to sink in. How long does it take to get this under control so I'll start to feel better? I've read that pregnancy messes with your hormones, and the thought of being this exhausted dealing with Hashimotos on top of being sleep-deprived taking care of a newborn plus 2 other kids is really freaking me out. Any advice?
I thought I understood the autoimmune causes are likely genetic, but I don't actually know that. It varies from physician to physician whether to prescribe based on a Hashimotos diagnosis. You can be positive for those antibodies but still have a functioning thyroid. Other tests are generally done (TSH, FT4 and FT3) to determine whether medication is required. Some doctors will give you a small dose prescription, anyway, even if TSH is in the "normal" range based on your symptoms. Some will not ... and they can give good reasons for either action.
IOW, a diagnosis for Hashimotos isn't necessarily a diagnosis of hypothyroid or other disease although the probability of the latter is high with the antibodies present.
I have never been tested for antibodies, have been tested and treated based on a TSH result which indicated I am hypothyroid and also on my symptoms. This is probably caused by Hashimotos and is probably a genetic cause. I think that because other family members also have it. It doesn't matter whether it is caused by genetics, by antibodies or something else. The treatment is the same regardless of the cause.
Please don't be frightened. There is really nothing to be afraid about. I was probably hypothyroid for a decade or more before I finally crawled into a doctor's office asking for relief and now, about 8 1/2 months later I'm feeling rather well.
You know about the antibodies and, hopefully, at least your TSH will be monitored. Even if your TSH falls within the lab's "normal" range, your doctor may be willing to start treatment based on your symptoms.
How long it takes to feel better is an individual thing. Nobody can really give you an answer for that, but consider it probable it will take somewhere around nine months to a year to really be well after treatment starts, but you will likely get considerably better within a few months.
And, if you are like me and many others, expect it to be a bit of a rollercoaster ride during the med levelling process. That's true with other illnesses, however, during med levelling. When you introduce the thyroid hormone, the involved glands and organs need time to adjust to the new development and you will need patience. You can even panic if you want, but you'll probably have an easier time of it if you don't.
Talk to your doctor about your fears. If you have a good one, he/she should be able to quiet them.
Other than antibodies, what other tests have been done related to the thyroid? What tests are being scheduled?
The endocrinologist ran a bunch of thyroid tests, but the only ones I have results for right now are the Hashimotos (don't know the numbers or anything other than they're "slightly abnormal") and my TSH level is low (.08). The nurse called me with the results and said the doctor is waiting for the rest of the results before she decides what, if anything, she's going to do.
Somebody needs to do something to relieve my symptoms. I'm pregnant, exhausted constantly, have 2 kids and a husband and will have a newborn in July (ie: I'll be even more exhausted and sleep-deprived). Just the thought of dealing with this for another several months to a year (or longer if they decide not to do anything until after the baby is born) is just overwhelming. I'll be sure to mention that to my endo and my OB.
One more odd question: Is Hashimotos contageous? I haven't found any info other than it's most likely genetic, but someone asked me that.
No, it isn't contagious.
Hopefully, the FAQ's on the following webpage will answer some of your basic questions. You'll have to copy and paste the URL into your web browser address window. [url] http://www.4woman.gov/faq/hashimoto.htm [/url]
If Hashi's is your problem, your focus should be less on that than on getting thyroid hormone levels in the right places. Hashi's is only the cause of your hypothyroidism, and as ErinBeth says, the treatment is the same no matter the cause.
No one knows the reason the immune system turns on itself this way; if they did, there would be preventive measures and cures for all of the 20-odd immune diseases. Research just isn't there yet. You can be somewhat glad to have an AI disease which is rather easily treatable and isn't generally fatal. There is some measure of blessing in that.
If I were you, I'd also want a TSI antibody test for Graves' disease, just to be sure about what you have. A very low TSH like yours isn't commonplace in Hashi's (although, it surely isn't impossible)... And the antibodies for Hashi's can commonly occur with the autoimmune disease which causes Graves' disease - the most common cause of hypERthyroidism. I would want to be sure I had no measurable Graves' antibodies for that reason.
Although I completely understand your impatience to do something NOW, that impatience will hinder your road to recovery.
Wishing you all the best.
Midwest, thanks for the info. I'll check out that website. I was also tested for Graves and some other stuff, but those results aren't back yet. The low TSH level is throwing me off in my research, since I have no symptoms of hypERthyroid and almost all of the symptoms of hypOthyroid. I'll try to be patient, but I'm sure you know it's difficult when I'm exhausted all the time, having "episodes" when I exert too much energyn and am overall feeling completely worn out like I've been hit by a truck - all the time. I didn't get this bad overnight and I am realizing that there's no overnight solution that's going to make me feel better either.
I totally feel for you though. I am basically in the same situation as you (minus the pregnant part).
I don't have the blood work yet for antibodies. I will be getting that done within the next week or so. But, I did have another ultrasound done on my thyroid which they say is Hashimoto's thyroiditis. But my lab work shows I am HYPERthyroidism not Hypo! But I would say my symptoms fall more into the Hypo side than hyper. Uggg it is very frustrating not knowing what is going on for sure but feeling so horrible. So I totally relate to that part of what you are going thru right now.
I hope you have your answers soon enough though! And can get started on some treatment to help u feel better.