I was seeing a hematologist for another problem, and he informed me he thought I might have thyroid problems. He didn't say WHY he thought that, and he pointedly refused to tell me how it might possibly affect me. (He also refused to answer questions about the problem for which I was seeing him, so I fired him.)
I have other health issues, and limited $$. I realize this is all pretty non-specific - but what kinds of sumptoms could thyroid problems cause? I need to make decisions on where/how to spend my money but don't know enough to know if this is important or can wait awhile. Any thoughts? Thanks.
Here are lists for the two most common thyroid disorders. People who have thyroid disease usually have many of these symptoms, up to a dozen or even more. Hypothyroidism is about 8 times more common than hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid function) Early symptoms:
Being more sensitive to cold
Fatigue or feeling slowed down
Heavier menstrual periods
Joint or muscle pain
Paleness or dry skin
Thin, brittle hair or fingernails
Weight gain (unintentional)
Late symptoms, if left untreated:
Decreased taste and smell
Puffy face, hands, and feet
Thickening of the skin
Thinning of eyebrows
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid function)
Frequent bowel movements
Goiter (visibly enlarged thyroid gland) or thyroid nodules
Irregular menstrual periods in women
Weight loss (rarely, weight gain)
Other symptoms that can occur with this disease:
Breast development in men
High blood pressure
Itching - overall
Lack of menstrual periods in women
Nausea and vomiting
Protruding eyes (exophthalmos)
Rapid, forceful, or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
Skin blushing or flushing
Good idea to fire that poor excuse of a so-called medical professional!
Thanks so much for a good quick explanation! From what you've written, I'm guessing I'm hyperthyroid, tho some of the symptoms seem to be quite similar. Obviously at some point I need to check this out, but need to put it in perspective with other problems. How serious IS this? What kinds of treatments are available? (I know it's nearly impossible until I know more.) In the meantime, is there anything I can do myself? Diet, vitamins/minerals, etc? Thanks again.
You need to get tested first and get a diagnosis. Hyperthyroidism is serious and you really need to address it. Did your doc do any testing that led him to tell you he suspected thyroid disease? See about getting any labs he ran and if any of them are thyroid related post with the ranges. Otherwise get yourself a TSH, Free T3, Free T4, TPO-Ab, TG-Ab, and TSI.
All he did was a generic blood test, said the thyroid levels in that were fine. He wouldn't tell me WHY he thought I might have a thyroid problem, even when I asked. He wanted me to have an ultrasound, but the hospital said it would be a minimum of $200 , so with no more info than I had I declined. As I said, I fired him because he wouldn't talk to me about ANYTHING. I don't have a PCP, should I find one or look for an endocrinologist? Can you give me a quick rundown of what the alphabet soup means?
Perhaps I should ask HOW serious? I've been considered disabled for 6 years now, and so far no doc has been able to figure out what's causing my problems. Personally I think there's more than one thing going on, which is confusing the issue. Let me list my symptoms and see if any of them could be from the thyroid.
Dizziness - more of a pressure in my head, the room doesn't spin. It's constant, gets a little better or worse but never goes away.
Ears ring - again, constantly. At night it gets so loud it's hard to go to sleep. It's more of a high-pitched whine than the usual tone we call ringing; I do get that occasionally and can tell the difference. The whine seems to roll - lower, higher, etc.
Headache, tiredness, don't want to do anything and have trouble getting started even if I find something to do.
My upper right jaw hurts constantly - tho I've recently been diagnosed w/ TMJ, so that could be the cause of that.
My blood pressure is at a point where I'm watching it, but isn't considered high. 2 years ago I got serious about weight and lost 45 pounds, that really helped with the BP.
I've been housebound (can't drive w/ the dizziness) for the past 6 years, have lost a lot of independence, and I live alone. The dogs don't talk back! I do deal w/ depression, but feel it's caused by the lack of a life and constant pain.
Any of this sound familiar? Are they gonna find my body one day soon? How scared should I be?
No, I doubt they'll find your body any time soon but both hypo and hyper states are unhealthy and can cause a host of problems down the road. Your symptoms seem to have a hypo sound to me... I've got tinnitis sometimes too and the fatigue and depression are pretty classic.
The only way to know if this is thyroid related is to get the right tests. The TSH is the basic thyroid test that can be good to check for hyperthyroidism. The Free T3 and T4 will tell you the amounts of "free" or available thyroid hormones in your blood. If they are low in range it's a good bet you are hypo. All the other tests are for antibodies to the thyroid, which will tell if you have an autoimmune thyroid disease. I'd also recommend you get some vitamin levels tested, D, B12 as well as ferritin levels. Deficiencies in these can cause symptoms too.
It's good to thoroughly test your thyroid given your debilitating symptoms. Thyroid disease a very common problem and, I believe, should always be carefully checked out because the symptoms can be baffling at times. Hope this helps!