I have been reading this forum for about a week now. About 8 years ago I started rapidly gaining weight for no reason and started feeling sluggish. This was my first round with Dr.'s and thyroid testing. Now 8 years later and many many more symptoms later, I am just flat beat down. Every couple of years it would get a little worse and another dr. would say "You're in the normal range-Trying losing weight." 4 years ago I began having a hard time swallowing and my heart rate went through the roof. I was really exhausted as well. That Dr. went one step further than most and had an ultrasound done on my thyroid, but that was it. At that time I also started working out with a trainer and doing Weight Watchers. He would run me into the ground work out wise and in 7 months I only lost 20 lbs. He was at loss for words. I finally just gave up and gained it back in 2 months. A year after that, I gained 20 lbs in 2 months, my hair began falling out, I was getting severe leg cramps, side cramps and back cramps and my period became just unbearable b/c it was so heavy and I became severly depressed. They put me on an antidepressant and birth control. I had never stayed on birth control in the past b/c it made me gain weight, but had to at this point-I had no option. I went to another dr. and he did blood work and said everything was in normal range. Well after all those years of being told that you are normal, you learn to live with everything until now. About a year ago I began having terrible hot flashes where sweat would pour down my neck, chest, and back. I am 32 years old, so I just thought it was b/c I was overweight. Then last Sept. I missed a period. I was not pregnant so the OBGYN gave me something to make me start and when I told him about all of these symptoms I have been living with, he said that I was too young for menopause, so it's just something I would have to live with. Then in April, I missed another period, then May, then June. I also began getting terribly nauseous in April and nothing would make it go away. I finally made another Dr.'s appt. with a new Dr. I didn't even tell her all the other symptoms I have been living with for years...just the new ones and she called out for a bunch of blood tests and in the meantime I went to see another OBGYN and a Gastro Dr. Trying to shorten this up a bit-2 months later, I have had my gall bladder out, had a Upper GI, Colonoscopy, and a Pelvic Ultrasound. My blood work came back and they told me everything was in normal range except my Estrogen-It was way low-They said I was headed into Menopause. Still feeling awful, nauseous, exhausted, and now one day is so hot I can barely breath and then next I am so cold that I cannot get warm. Finally I asked my Dr. if she refer me to an Endocronologist-She said absolutely and set up an appt. with one at Vanderbilt. I go Sept. 8th. I found this board a week ago and realized that there are a lot more blood tests that can be done. Every week gets a little worse and I am at a point now that I don't even want to get out of bed. I called the Dr. today and asked if we could do further blood testing before I go to Vanderbilt, since she had only done a TSH on me. She said she would do whatever I wanted. My B-12 was low, so I am going in tomorrow for a B-12 shot. My train of thought is so bad right now that I don't even want to go to work.
My TSH level was 2.525 with the Reference Range being 0.350-5.500
I am sorry this is so long...I just thought someone might have some suggestions for me as to what tests I should ask for.
Hey there Lib & welcome! I don't have any test recommendations for you, but wanted to say that as I was reading your post - just a gut reaction here - but I was thinking "early menopause." I have a younger half sister - she's now 33 - and she was informed about 2 years ago (after she & husband tried to conceive) that she had gone through early menopause. The doc who told you "you're too young" is, unfortunately, mistaken.
I'm sorry you're feeling so lousy. No fun Wishing you all the best at your next doc's appt & I hope some clear answers will soon follow!
Pardon me for arriving here late... I hope you'll see this before you go to the doc.
The best tests for low thyroid are: TSH, free T4 (not total T4), free T3 (ditto), and the thyroid antibodies - both TPO and Tg.
Your TSH is high enough to be to blame for your menstrual trouble. Do NOT let any MD tell you it can't be. Also, low thyroid can mimic "early menopause" that is reversible after optimal treatment. You are far too young to just accept that diagnosis without a fight.
The Natl. Academy of Clinical Biology says that TSH of 2.5 is hypothyroid and should be treated if symptoms are present.
Now... The thing is, you can tell your doc those are the tests you want. You can tell him the facts as I've outlined them. But there's no guarantee that he'll know what to do with those test results once he sees them... no guarantee he'll accept the fact that 2.5 is hypothyroid and needs treatment. If he perchance humors you and runs the tests but still refuses to treat, you'll have to adopt Plan B. Be sure to return here with any results you get and post them for us to interpret - if you care to share them, that is.
I have to confess I skimmed over and passed by your post originally because it's so hard to read in that form. If you compose your next post in paragraph form, it will be a lot easier to read. Hope you'll give us a second chance to help after you see the doc. Best of luck!
Thank you so much for the response! I see what you are saying about my post being difficult to read.
I believe I asked for all of those tests. I hope so anyway! I should get the results back on Tuesday. I go to see the Endocrinologist at Vanderbilt on Monday, Sept. 8th. I am just hoping someone will be able to help me. I have had so many Dr.'s tell me that it is all in my head for 9 years that I was scared to even try and go down this path again. The symptoms are just too unbearable at this point.
I know so many of you have had the same situations and symptoms. We are normally at the pool every weekend in the summer...this summer we went 3 times. I am just too exhausted.
In the fall of last year, since all Dr.'s were telling me nothing was wrong physically, I went to see a Psychiatrist. He put me Effexor for depression, Lamectil for mood stabilizer/Bipolar, and Adderall for the fogginess and not being able to focus on anything. I liked the adderall b/c it gave me a boost and made me want to do things. The doctor that I am seeing now and I think that none of these things may be needed if we can get to the bottom of all of this. I saw the Psychiatrist again last week and he said that if this is a thyroid problem, than none of these meds would help anyway and is slowly weaning me off of them until we can figure out what is going on.
When I get the results this week, I will post them and maybe someone can help me interpret them.
Thank you so much again for posting a reply...it really gave me some encouragement when I read it!
Am not a doctor...just my personal thoughts...it sounds like you are hypothyroid...sometimes our symptoms do not match our blood test results or our doctor does not believe our symptoms...
Since you are so sick...if you have this new doctor's appt and they cannot tell you what is the matter or that you are hypothyroid you might want to consider printing out your symptoms and trying to find a doctor that will treat you by your symptoms and not your blood test results if they say they are normal.
I wonder what these doctors would be doing if this happened to their wife,sister,mother,daughter or other family member...
It so sad that are you are so sick and I hope the doctor that you see next can help you to get better...
Does your psychiatrist think you are hypothyroid...if so...can they treat you for it...
I am very sorry for what you are going through and I hope you can find a doctor to help you feel better...
I am hypothyroid and had many symptoms that you are having...am taking thyroid meds and doing good on them...
Hi libsmom -- glad you see Midwest point ! As I also have much difficulties (often don't bother) getting through many, many words.
The problem often is that though you fall within normal range, there is often room for Improvement. I'd be willing to bet that your T4 & T3's are the low end of normal. Therefore some hypo-thy med could go a long way in treating your symptoms.
What kind of Doctors have you been seeing? Some people swear by Endocrinologists while others of us prefer Doctor of Osteopathic Med (<~ w/ D.O. after their name) The MAIN thing is finding one who LISTENS to YOU, not going by what the lab numbers indicate.
Also make sure you get copies of your lab work, each & every visit. It's often INTERESTING to see what they deem as normal that we patients view as a PROBLEM. My now fired Dr told me my yearly labs were NORMAL - but when I looked at ferritin, it was 33 which is low & adds to probs!
T4/Free, TPO Ab, and Triiodothyronine,Free are the thyroid tests you had. (Did you have another TSH?) I can't tell you anything about the others, sorry.
Am also sorry to say the results don't look bad. That doesn't mean they're "normal" for you, but the levels would be adequate for the majority of the population.
If it is thyroid, I hope you can find someone to treat it. If it isn't thyroid, I hope you will find the cause very soon! Good luck.
Thanks Midwest for the last feedback. I went to see the Endo at Vanderbilt yesterday and she too says all levels are in normal range and does not think there is a thyroid problem. It was funny, she said I was just depressed. BUT I did get her to do another TSH and Free T4. She is also testing for Pituitary Gland issues.
Here are the test results from yesterday on the Thyroid. The Ranges are a tad different than the original tests I had so I am totally confused how to interpret them. It looks to me that the levels dropped?
Current TSH 1.53 Range mcU/mL .300-5.00
Test in July TSH 2.525 Range uIU/mL .350-5.50
Current Free T4 0.80 Range ng/dL .50-1.20
Test on 8/27/08 1.13 Range ng/dL 0.61-1.76