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Old 09-01-2008, 12:30 PM   #1
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Thyroid problem? MAYBE?? At a loss...

I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow, but I came across this board & thought that maybe someone could help me out with questions I could ask my doc or even some idea of what direction this may take.

I'm 32 years old and aside from autoimmune problems (fibromyalgia, psoriasis), I'm generally pretty healthy. I've always been teeny tiny. (5'2" & about 105-110 lbs.) The only times I've ever gained weight were when I was pregnant with my children. The last couple years my weight has fluctuated between 105 & 120, usually sticking right around 110 or so. I feel healthy at that weight. I dropped some weight due to stress and was hovering around 105 and feeling tired. I attributed the fatigue to the weight loss or maybe fibro. In the past month, I started noticing how tight my pants are becoming, mainly in the waist area but somewhat in the thighs too. When I stepped on the scale after a couple weeks of this, I was shocked to see my weight was up to 120. How do you gain that much weight in a couple weeks? I am now up to 131 as of yesterday morning. I am literally gaining 1-2 lbs a day! HOW?? I'm constantly tired, I feel so foggy, like I can't focus on anything or comprehend the simplest things. My memory is horrible lately. My periods have been messed up over the last 2 years, sometimes heavy & too frequent, sometimes very light & I'll skip a month. I've started growing hair in places I never had it before (lower back, tummy, one long dark chest hair, etc) and my face recently started getting red and blotchy & breaking out on my chin with acne (never even had it as an adolescent). I am losing hair in gobs (thankfully it's very thick normally) and because of where the extra weight seems to be settling, I look like I'm about 5 months pregnant if I relax my stomach. It's also very hard, not fat and spongy feeling. My boobs have gone up a full cup size as well. I actually took a hpt but it came back negative and I've had a period since then. (I've had my tubes tied but the symptoms just had me worried.) Speaking of pregnancy symptoms, I'm also urinating CONSTANTLY! This is all really irritating because on top of how the rapid weight gain has messed with my confidence, I'm about the moodiest thing anyone would ever want to see lately.

Over the last couple years with my periods being so irregular & lots of fatigue, I have had every form of blood work in the book. My thyroid hormones always seem to fall within "normal" ranges, yet the symptoms have flipped back & forth between hyper- & hypoactive thyroid according to the doctors. I was even leaking breast milk for about a year for no apparent reason. It was frustrating before but now the symptoms have become almost unbearable. I know it could be much worse...it could be constant pain or something horribly life threatening but I'm just sick & tired of feeling so darn sick & tired all the time. Anyone have a clue why in a month I have gained over 20 lbs and look pregnant??

Any advice/suggestions/encouragement would be appreciated. I'm just feeling kind of down about all this at the moment...

 
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Old 09-01-2008, 08:46 PM   #2
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Re: Thyroid problem? MAYBE?? At a loss...

Time to test the ol' thyroid again. This time though, make sure you get not only TSH tested; you also need free T4 measured. This is the bare minimum of tests you need. Also, if you can possibly swing more, get a free T3 and thyroid antibodies - both TPO and Tg, if you can.

Don't settle just for TSH, especially if it comes back higher than 2. Many MDs will tell you that TSH as high as 5 or more is "normal"; it isn't.

Get the tests. Then if you want us to take a looky-loo at them, we'll be happy to help you learn to interpret them if your doctor doesn't seem very talented at it.

 
Old 09-02-2008, 05:02 PM   #3
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Re: Thyroid problem? MAYBE?? At a loss...

Thanks for your advice. Here's how the visit went. They weighed me, I was 3 lbs heavier than last time I stepped on the scale. When the nurse put my weight into the computer to update my records, she noticed the extreme jump right away. So the doctor came in, asked the typical million questions, and said thyroid was the 1st obvious thing to check. He was also asking about family history of female cancers (uterine, ovarian, etc.). I think he was a little blown away by how I suddenly look about 5 months pregnant & my belly is pretty firm, not flabby. When I was lying on my back & he pushed & poked around on my tummy, he found a hard mass on the right hand side. It didn't hurt when he pushed on it but it definitely felt different. I mean I could feel something there when he pressed. So he's also thinking maybe along the lines of something on my ovary. I asked about PCOS because I know it can cause similar symptoms. He kept asking more info about family history of cancer (which by the way runs rampant...my grandma & aunt both had hysterectomies in their late 30's/early 40's due to cancer & other forms of it run in the family too). Thanks to your post, I asked for T4 & T3 to be done. Apparently when they did the tests a year ago the results were "a little off" according to the doc. I guess my TSH was ok but either T4 or T3 (sorry I don't remember which one) was on the low end of normal, I believe he said. Whatever it was, he said it wasn't consistent with normal TSH levels. We'll see what comes of all of it in about a week though. I'm scheduled for a pelvic exam & I'll get my bloodwork results then. They should be posted online via the ecare website my doctor's office offers so I'll definitely post them as soon as I get them back & let y'all interpret them before I go back to the doc. I want to at least seem a little bit informed so he doesn't just brush it off like it's nothing. I know my body. This isn't nothing.

 
Old 09-02-2008, 07:39 PM   #4
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Re: Thyroid problem? MAYBE?? At a loss...

The doc sounds very thorough and caring. That's in your favor. I hope it's nothing more than thyroid.
Let us know when you get results, and good luck.

 
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