Hi everyone! I've been reading on this site for a while now, and I love all the support you offer each other -- I just haven't known what to post until now... I don't know what there is to be said really, but if anyone could throw your random thoughts my way, I'd greatly appreciate it.
My story sounds like so many others on the site. I quit taking birth control about a year ago for a variety of reasons (after I had my gallbladder removed because of lots of stones), and I've been charting every cycle since. Things started off well for the first couple months, with my periods staying normal and my daily headaches calming down alot. Then the brain fog started. I'm in grad school and forgetting even the word for "bridge" is not pleasant, although I suppose it can be funny sometimes (I came up with "walk-across thing," which is descriptive but not so much precise.) This fog was disconcerting, but I thought maybe it was just because I wasn't getting enough sleep, as I had essentially become an insomniac, so I tried working on that, forcing myself to get in the bed earlier and not watch tv, etc. That's when the depression/mood swings started and the dry skin/hair hit in full force. Normally this isn't a big deal for people in the fall/winter, but I typically have VERY oily skin and am a generally happy person, very logical/rational, but I started coming completely unglued if DH did something "crazy" like leaving a pair of pants in the living room. All of these things began to worry me, so I jumped into research mode.
After learning alot about thyroid deficiencies and related symptoms, I went to my gyn for yearly checkup all prepared to discuss symptoms. He refused to check my thyroid, saying that he had the year before and it was normal (2.32) and wouldn't have changed that much. He threw me an anti-depressant and said to come back in a couple months. That was frustrating, of course, so I went to my internist. He was nice about everything and ran what I thought was a full thyroid panel, but was apparently only the TSH, which came back as 4.74 (their range is .5-4.5). His nurse called me to say that my level was high, but that it couldn't possibly be causing my symptoms and just to return in 4-6 months to recheck it. Went to a third doc, who tested and said that it was normal because it was 4.5 (.5-5.5).
So frustrating! But we have really crappy insurance, and I don't feel like we can afford to keep going to doctor after doctor to have tests run. Now, after doing alot of research, I have begun taking Sam-e for the depression stuff, and it seems to help balance me out alot, which I greatly appreciate... However, in the last few months, my cycles have gotten longer and longer (38+ days), and the last two I'm pretty sure were anovulatory (bbt temps were crazy, up and down all month). I know that this can happen occasionally, but I've been off the pill for more than a year now, and I'm afraid that it was just masking even more symptoms of thyroid and/or pcos problems...
We'd like to starting ttc for the first time in the next year or so and I'm getting really afraid that all these things are starting to worsen and will keep us from being successful. I'm REALLY sorry for this huge long ramble, but I don't know what to say or think anymore and would just like some advice from anyone who may have had some of the same issues/concerns. Thanks!!
Welcome to the boards! Glad you decided to post. I am definitely not as knowlegable as some others here, but I would definitely say you are hypothyroid. I am as well (TSH was 4.13 - range of .5-4.5 I think, when diagnosed), and even though I wasn't over the top of the range I was lucky enough to have a doctor that saw a need to get that TSH down in the 1 range. I can imagine how frustrating it must be to have these docs not treat you, tell you your symptoms aren't from your thyroid, etc. I do think, if you can afford to, try yet another doc, and have them test your TSH again as well as your free T3 and T4. Perhaps if they saw those ranges out of whack in addition to your higher TSH, they'd finally do something for you. Your symptoms definitely seem hypo related. And it really comes down to the fact that we know our bodies, and if things seem off, then they are.
Good luck with everything! Keep us posted!
I agree, you really need to have your Free's tested to see where they are at but from the TSH and symptoms alone you are hypo. Sometimes people have better luck with a DO as far as listening to symptoms and treating and alot more likely to get treated with armour.
If you don't get on some treatment I think you will have some disappointing times with your TTC. It takes quite a long time to get adjusted and leveled out on meds so that will only delay the process as well as you want to be as healthy as possible for a pregnancy.
Good luck, I hope you find a doc that is open and patient and willing to listen to you.
More agreement here, I found some time on the phone interviewing the nurse (if they would talk to me) or paying for a "consultation" with the Dr to ensure they would treat me was helpful in finally finding a Dr (since my blind - pick one from the provider list - was becoming very expensive).
One other note - keep an eye out for anemia - I am hypo as well, and was treated for years for anemia, never finding the cause and my periods got worse and worse. It compounds everything and exaggerates the already terrible symptoms you are having, and by the time they finally did a TSH (came in at 26) I was back down to a hemoglobin count of 9.8 and within two weeks with continued heavy bleeding I dropped to 7.8 because I had nothing in reserve (ferritin level) and it required a blood transfusion. When they are drawing blood, because of your heavy and prolonged cycles, they should double check your hemoglobin, ferritin, transferrin, etc to make sure to address both at the same time.
Good luck - hope to hear more on how you progress.