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Old 06-14-2012, 03:29 PM   #1
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sarahlynnn HB User
Completely New, Completely Clueless

Hello Everyone. My name is Sarah and I am 25 years old. I have sought out this web forum for several reasons, so I am hoping to find just the information that I need. I am looking to get my thyroid functions tested, but I have several questions. Here's why ..

For as long as I can remember, I have always had thin, dry, brittle hair. Now, I don't mean thine "fine" hair, I mean thin as in, you can see my scalp in places you should never see a scalp (depending on how my hair falls), such as my crown. It's really embarrassing. My hair is super dry and usually "stops" growing at chest length. Beyond that point, I get split ends that look like I haven't had a trim in over 6 months. I cut it every 2-3 months. In the shower, small "clumps" (20-30 hairs) will come out at once as I am lathering my hair. My nails are the exact same way, despite every effort to keep them from breaking.

I am always cold when I have zero reason to be. I live in Florida. When it's 75 degrees, you can find me in a sweater, shivering to death. My skin gets ice cold to the touch. This is something that may/may not be a symptom of anything, but it seems worth mentioning. I am constantly exhausted. I wake up at about 9:30am every morning, bedtime around 11:30pm every night. I feel as though my sleeping habits are healthy, but I am still constantly tired. I do not drink caffeine of any sort, no coffee, soda, etc. Nothing. Still, no energy what-so-ever.

I constantly forget things and events. Things one should never forget. Most recent example, my boyfriend and I had sex one late morning a few days ago. Around 6pm that same day, I was doing something that started to make me wonder if I had sex that morning, or if it was later that afternoon. I had no idea. I literally had to think about my days events chronologically in order to remember. Doesn't seem normal.

This hasn't happened in the past 3 months, but prior to that for probably the past 2 years, I used to get my period once maybe, every 2-3 months. My gyno claimed that this was stress-induced. The length of time that it continued for, made me believe otherwise. I also get terrible mood swings on occasion and I get very easily agitated/"depressed" sort of moods. The smallest, stupidest things can put me in the grumpiest moods. Bright side, the smallest, stupidest things can also cheer me up.

I have zero ability to focus and concentrate on tasks. Whether it's work-related, homework for school, class, even just watching a movie, reading a book, etc. I can sit down and do these things for maybe 10-20 minutes at a time before I can't sit still, lose interest, or get distracted. This has proved very damaging in school right now and it makes me sad. 2 years ago, I was a 4.0 student. Now, I'm on academic probation because of my low grades - mostly from my inability to focus or I forget when things are due.

Recently, I have noticed a few scary changes. I get very out of breath easily. Swimming the length of a pool, just once, puts me out of commission for several minutes before I'll chance another lap. I've also been getting menstrual cramps. I started my period at 12, I am now 25, and had my first menstrual cramping several months ago. They are mild, in my opinion. Last but not least, it was brought to my attention after a vigorous exercise, that it sounds as though I have heart palpitations. While this is usually normal, I cannot say that I have ever recognized this. So while it may not be a symptom of anything, I think it's also worth mentioning too. I stopped taking birth control for 6 months to see if any of these things subsided by being due to that, but nothing has changed. I am on an estrogen-only pill. I weigh approximately 112lbs at 5"0', so I am not overweight or underweight. I take vitamins daily and I have a moderately healthy diet (I do love my chocolate). I have no family history of any thyroid-related disorders.

With all of that being said, I have several questions.
1. With these possible "symptoms," is getting a TSH test worth it?
2. I just moved to a new location, so I have no regular physician right now. One location even told me they won't have any appointments open for "new patients" until October! Is it really necessary to seek an endocrinologist, or can I get tested through a regular physician?
3. Are there any resources for locating a doctor, or is Google going to be my friend? So far, we aren't getting along.
4. I am going to be self-pay unfortunately, does anyone know of a general range that this bloodwork will cost me?
5. Lastly, does any of this even sound like it could be a thyroid problem??

 
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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FinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB User
Re: Completely New, Completely Clueless

Hello Welcome to Thyroid Board
Yes it definitely sounds like a thyroid problem. You should have at least FT4 tested along with TSH, FT3 and thyroid antibodies too (if possible). If your TSH is above 2 and FT4 below midrange that would point towards hypothyroidism, if you test positive with thyroid Abs that can help with getting medication based on symptoms even with "within range" thyroid levels. Find out if it's possible for you to use the services of some online lab (not allowed to mention names even if I knew any). I also think it would be a good idea to get your iron levels checked (not just hemoglobin).

You don't necessarily need a specialist - any doctor that has good idea of treating thyroid disease and willingness to listen to the patient may do. The medication needs to be adjusted based on symptoms, not just labs. I think there are some top doc lists somewhere (although making it to the list doesn't guarantee the best care for every single patient). You could also ask your pharmacist if they know some open minded doc (which endos often aren't).

 
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:08 AM   #3
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sarahlynnn HB User
Re: Completely New, Completely Clueless

Thank you so much! What the heck is an "online lab?" I actually have to swing by my pharmacist tomorrow afternoon, I'll ask her if she has any recommendations for doctors in the area and in the meantime, do more searching online.

 
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:58 AM   #4
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Re: Completely New, Completely Clueless

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahlynnn View Post
What the heck is an "online lab?"
You can search for 'order lab tests online' - you can have labs taken at reasonable costs, they'll give you the instructions. (Haven't used one myself )

Last edited by FinnMaid; 06-18-2012 at 07:59 AM.

 
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