I am going to the doctor in the morning, but I wanted to get some more opinions as well.
A few months ago I began having dizzy spells that increased in frequency and intensity over the weeks. My symptoms have grown to include, besides vertigo, extreme weakness (sometimes I collapse and cannot walk), nausea, hot and cold flashes, uncontrollable shaking, and inability to focus my eyes. Last week I also developed a new symptom- inability to focus mentally. When I'm having one of these spells, sometimes it will become difficult to concentrate, write, dial a phone or type, and several times I have lost the ability to speak. I'll start talking and get then confused and I can't get the words out right.
At first I thought these were panic attacks and tried to treat them the same way. But over time they got much worse, and I realized I wasn't always afraid during them (fear is an essential symptom of a panic attack). Then I thought they might be related to blood sugar, as they tended to happen when I was very hungry or right after I'd eaten. So I started keeping a journal of everything I ate and all the symptoms I felt, and that made me realize that the two weren't directly connected. Sometimes whatever I ate seemed to greatly affect these spells, but sometimes it didn't matter what and when I ate at all.
These spells have gotten so severe and so frequent that I was forced to go on medical leave at my job, after I collapsed at work on several different occassions. I also went to the ER twice because they were so bad, but both times the doctors were inconclusive.
What brings me to the conclusion that I might have a thyroid disorder is all I have mentioned above, combined with some other problems I have had for a long time- severe acne that has responded minimally to all treatments, severe panic disorder, and depression. Also, when I went to my primary care doctor about the dizzy spells a couple months ago, she told me my thyroid was in the low range of normal and gave me a prescription of synthroid to try but said I didn't HAVE to take it, because my level was technically normal.
Does it sound to you all like I might have a thyroid disorder?
I'd like to see your lab results/ranges if you have them to share with the board. Labs coupled with symptoms are the best way to know whether it's thyroid or not.
From the experiences of hundreds... maybe thousands... of the folks who come here asking the same question as you, we've learned that MDs never easily dispense thyroid meds, and they aren't very good at reading thyroid lab reports. A woman is much more likely to have her symptoms ignored and to be given an antidepressant and sent on her way. The fact that your MD gave you a prescription tells me that your levels are probably far worse in actuality than your MD even knows, and that you need the med more than she understands.
My feeling is that you should try the Synthroid, but if I could see your labs I could tell you with more certainty.
And like Barbara Ann, I too have a bad feeling about that particular MD's commitment to your well-being.
I decided today to find another primary care doctor. Not only has she blatantly said, "I have no idea what's wrong" on several occasions for different problems, it also takes a week and a half minimum to get in to see her, no matter WHAT is wrong with me. If I'm going to be having problems that are rendering me unable to function, I need a doctor who is able to say "Come in tomorrow and we'll figure out what's wrong with you".
Midwest I'd be happy to share my labwork here. I have one printout from the ER and I can post more as I get them. What would you like me to list?
Any thyroid-related tests would be most useful. Not all doctors run the best ones, but even the less useful ones can give clues to thyroid status.
Look for these terms on the labsheet ~ TSH, T4 (or thyroxine - total or free), T3 (or triiodothyronine - total or free), FT4 index. Also any results for the antibodies to TPO, Tg, ANA.
Be sure to post both your results plus the lab's reference range.
Hmm, none of those are on my labwork printout at all.
I went in today to see a neurologist and my primary care doctor, and they have decided to admit me into the hospital for an epilepsy monitoring unit. I really don't think these are seizures, but then I'm not a doctor. I brought up the thyroid thing to my primary and she said she did a full panel last time and it has gone from low-ish to normal but to request when I'm in the hospital to get another one. Sigh.
Well as soon as I am released, if there is no diagnosis, I will get back with you.
...she said she did a full panel last time and it has gone from low-ish to normal but to request when I'm in the hospital to get another one.
I wish I knew what she means by "lowish to normal". Does that mean TSH or T4/T3? Makes a big difference. Your symptoms could apply to either hyperthyroidism or hypo-, and the labs would reflect which is more likely.
Not all "thyroid panels" are created equal. If you're in a position to insist on which tests you want, go for TSH, freeT4, free T3 and TPO/Tg antibodies if your previous TSH was high - or TSI antibodies if your previous TSH was low. Those will tell you what you need to know about your thyroid.
Good luck to you in the hospital situation. We'll be waiting here for you when you get back.