I am 18years old and have been suffering from symptoms for the past 5years. I was just diagnosed with Hashimoto's hypothyroidism. I am actually relieved to FINALLY get a diagnosis. I have suffered from ALL the typical symptoms and have gone to about 30 doctors and taken over 100 blood tests...still the doctors kept misdiagnosing me. It took having my thyroid swell up to twice the normal size and almost choking to finally get the diagnosis. Now, here are my questions... I keep reading that horrible things can happen (such as a coma and possible death) if you have been undiagnosed for a long time. How long is a long time? Also, I have not started my medications yet, but what can I expect? Are there any tips or suggestions you may have for me on nutrition, and the do's and don'ts? Also, what could have caused this at such a young age? I was completely healthy as a child, except for having jaundice as a baby and scarlet fever. I am very young and want my life back. I have not been able to stay awake for an entire day in years. I ache and my hands and feet go numb; plus the other countless problems. It's been miserable. Please help answer my questions if you can. Thank you so much!
Hi and welcome, TickleMePink,
The extreme symptoms can happen, but obviously you are not close yet, and have been DXed and are going to get treatment. You will be OK.
Here is the thread we started here with lots of information about symptoms, treatments, self-helps, nutritional helps, etc. <A HREF="http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum118/HTML/000005.html" TARGET=_blank>http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/Forum118/HTML/000005.html</A>
I suggest you start there to save us having to retype it all. Then get back to us with further questions.
<p>[This message has been edited by Tree Frog (edited 05-09-2002).]
Welcome, TickleMePink. Good for you for being persistent until you could find out what was wrong! It's so easy to dismiss these symptoms, particularly when we have Hashi's, as it causes us to fluctuate between hypo and hyper symptoms while maintaining normal blood levels until later stages -- it all tends to confound the doctors for a while.
Do read through the Info Archive thread Treefrog posted. It's lengthy, but there is a ton of useful information so take your time.
You will likely need to go on thyroid medication because, after a while, Hashimoto's antibodies make us hypothyroid. But coma, dementia and death are not a threat for you, nor are these a problem for low thyroid people who receive treatment. The primary danger is if one's thyroid completely stops functioning or is removed and then one doesn't take thyroid meds. Hashi's antibodies typically take many many years before making a person dangerously hypothyroid; the hypo symptoms would be so unbearable that I would expect the thyroid disease would be diagnosed long before it was a danger.
Your aching, numbness, fatigue, and swollen neck are all symptoms of the thyroiditis. When you are on medication and as your levels are balanced, they should all improve. In the meantime, you may want to read up on and/or take Selenium or Maca (both of which are discussed on Page 2 of the Info Archive) to help support your body and fight the Hashi's antibodies.
Also, avoid or minimize eating soy products (tofu, soybeans/edamame, soy milk, etc.) and make sure your cruciferous veggies (cabbage, broccoli, etc.) are cooked. Foods that interact with thyroid meds are also discussed in the Info Archive thread.
I don't know why you have such early onset of thyroiditis, but it can be hereditary. It is also more common after pregnancy. Medications also interact with thyroid function, so you may want to discuss with your doctor any regular meds you've taken. Some of us have theories that birth control pills impact thyroid disease, but I've not seen any studies about it and I'm certain most doctors would say that there is no connection. I leave it to you to choose your method of protection.
There are several other websites with lots of good information. Two favorites are:
<A HREF="http://thyroid.about.com/" TARGET=_blank>http://thyroid.about.com/</A>
[Click on the "Basics/Start Here" link on the left, and go from there]
<A HREF="http://www.endocrineweb.com/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.endocrineweb.com/</A>
[Click on the "Your Thyroid" link, etc.
and here's a link to an article about Hashi's:
<A HREF="http://thyroid.about.com/library/weekly/aa090897.htm?once=true&" TARGET=_blank>http://thyroid.about.com/library/weekly/aa090897.htm?once=true&</A>
Happy reading, and post back if you have any more questions.<p>[This message has been edited by ArtfulD (edited 05-09-2002).]
TreeFrog & Artful D~
Thanks so much for helping me out with my questions. Yeah, I do also have Hypothyroid and that does run in my family. Thanks also for all the information you have given all of us. I know we all appreciate it in this difficult time.
Glad to hear you finally did get a diagnosis.
Why is it so darn difficult for the doctors to figure us out? My visual symptoms arose Jan 28 this year with a lump appearing. I have had many of the physiacal symptoms for years. Of course when checked each time, was told everything is normal in my blood work, so I would put off symptoms to stress, working too much, maybe not enough sleep,a bug, age...etc.
I'm in British Columbia, and now waiting on an Internist appointment, I've spoken to a few people who have seen the same Internist, and I could be looking at an 8 month wait for the appointment. OH JOY!!!
I hate to sound so sarcastic, but I still haven't been "diagnosed" don't know if it's Hashi's, Graves, Hyper or Hypo, or whether the cyst lump is cancerous or not(not enough sample obtained , but no malignant cells from what was obtained and viewed).
Anyone out there in B.C. with any suggestions in how I can get appoinments moved along,or what our rights are with B.C. Medical I have extended Medical as well. I would be willing to go out of Province if need be, but not sure if it would be covered.
I don't know much about Canadian law, but here's a link to the Thyroid.About.com's patient-recommended doctors. Maybe one of them can see you sooner. (Hopefully, one of them is in your area.)<p>[This message has been edited by ArtfulD (edited 05-12-2002).]
One reason we don't get properly DXed in a timely way is doctors go by lab tests and are inadequately taught about thyroid; much of the time they don't know enough to go by symptoms even if they are endos, unfortunately.
Thyroid imbalances are not rocket science where all tests prove anything. But one would think that they would do more med trials and do the other more conclusive tests, such as finding out why one has a swelling and if it is cancerous.
We suffer needlessly and are handed drugs with awful side-effects instead!