I apologize for the length of this and appreciate anyone who will take the time to read my post & provide feedback. If you don't want all the details in-between, the first paragraph gives a list of symptoms and test results are at the very bottom.... (though the other stuff may be very relevant!) THANKS!!!!
I am a 36 yr old female and for the past couple years I have experienced many hypo symptoms such as weight gain (50lbs), dry/brittle hair & nails, dry/scaly skin, vit D deficiency, extreme fatigue, possibly fertility problems, 2 miscarriages, worse than normal PMS symptoms, longer & heavier than usual menstrual bleeding, problems with concentration, irritability, depression, anxiety, intolerance to cold, frequent upper respiratory, UTI & vaginal bacterial infections, constipation, foamy stools, abdominal discomfort/gas, slightly enlarged thyroid gland, possible reactive hypoglycemia, etc.
Tricky part is I am also an alcoholic in recovery (sober 3 months) and realize heavy, prolonged drinking can not only mimic hypothyroid symptoms but also affect thyroid function tests.
I have also been under extreme emotional and physical distress in recent years as a victim of domestic battery. To my knowledge, up until a couple months ago when I suffered a severe concussion as a result of my husband's violence (which resulted in an emergency room visit), there hadn't been any major physical injury other than bruising, swelling, a broken tooth and possibly 1 or 2 moderate concussions. I have been working on lowering my blood pressure which had gotten borderline high most likely due to the constant stress, hyper-vigilance, beer, cigarettes, lack of sleep, etc.
Until this past year, I had always maintained a good body weight. I could eat whatever I wanted, go through long periods of binge drinking and abstain from any exercise whatsoever without gaining a pound. Although these past couple years have been the toughest years of my life, I have experienced a lifetime of emotional stress and overall poor mental hygiene yet the way my body has reacted this past year is so different than any time before. For instance, during high-stress situations prior to the past year or so, I would have problems with insomnia lose my appetite and sometimes even lose 10 lbs in 1 wk; whereas under recent stress I can't seem to get enough sleep, and gain weight even though I continue to lose my appetite.
Furthermore, after 3 months of no beer carbs (sometimes drinking up to a case a day), walking daily, drinking plenty of water, and eating healthier, sleeping 8 hrs, living in a supportive/safe/non-abusive environment, I have not dropped a pound. I am also on a couple of medications that have potential side-effects of weight-loss (Ritalin, Topomax, Wellbutrin, Antabuse & Drisdol).
I understand that the older we get, the slower our metabolisms become and that heavy amounts of alcohol (specifically beer-carbs) will pack on the weight but I would've thought by now I would've lost at least water-weight! Besides, I only started gaining weight around November last year right after I miscarried. Most of 2008 & 2009 I drank heavily and daily (although I quit immediately once I learned I was pregnant). While I was pregnant, I had an abnormally large, simple cyst on my fallopian tube. It had been growing with the pregnancy and began to shrink/tort within days after my miscarriage so I had laparoscopic surgery to remove the cyst in Oct '09. Once I healed from surgery I went back to drinking and between November '09 and Sept '10 is when I gained the 45-50lbs.
My psychiatrist and PCP believe I'm going to make a full recovery from symptoms in time the longer I abstain from alcohol and continue towards a healthier lifestyle all around. As of now, I feel zero relief other than improved mental health functioning as a result of starting on the anti-depressant and avoiding toxic situations/people and it’s just too difficult for me to comprehend that in 3 months I wouldn't have gotten hardly any relief from my symptoms.
My blood work results reveal I'm within normal range but I'm still not convinced. I've been reading about how people can be in normal range but still have an underactive thyroid and that comparing some of the tests to one another can be the key to finding less overt problems at times.
Anyway, my results as of 12/15/10 are:
TSH - 1.18 (0.4-4.5)
FT4 - 1.0 (0.8-1.8)
FT3 - 330 (230-420)
HASHI/GRAVES ANTIBODIES - NEG
GLUCO SERUM - 81 (65-99)
HEMOGLOBLIN A1C - 5.3 (<6)
TOTAL CHOLESERAL - 178 (<200)
PROLACTIN - 8.1 (3.0-30)
CORTOSOL - 10.1 (4.0-22.0)