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My Story - Please Help - Ephedra/Neck Pain/Thyroid

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Old 09-29-2002, 05:43 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Baldwinsville, NY USA
Posts: 5
nanotechusa HB User
Post My Story - Please Help - Ephedra/Neck Pain/Thyroid

Hello everyone. I have reached the end of the line with help here. I've been to numerous doctor's but everyone says im fine or they dont even care. I am going to give a complete history and makeup of my problem.

I am a 20 year old male, weight about 160. My problem started out about 2-3 months ago. I started using the natural herb ephedra for weight loss. I was well aware of the dangers and researched them quite extensively. I used the normal dose each day of the generic vitamin world brand for almost 2 months straight, then on and off for a month. I had no terrible side effects at the time, just the typical side effects - heart palpitations, restlessness etc... Then, one day i took them, and shortly after (hours later) i got an extrememly stiff, painful neck. When i mean stiff and painful, im dead serious here. It hurt SO much on the sides of my neck. I had no idea why, and had actually thought i slept on it incorrectly that night or something. I attempted heat, cold and meds, to no avail. I then took ephedra a few times after (within a 2 week period) and realized this was what was causing this terrible pain. I stopped ephedra since then (for about 2-3 months now its been) yet i am still lagged with this major problem which has gotten worse.

Now i can't say for sure that epehdra caused this problem, but i have a feeling it did. What it did, is what i wonder... I've researched it so much and have yet to find what it could have done if anything.

My symptoms have increased and spread significantly since the first neck pain appeared. It started with neck pain on the sides, then it moved towards the center of my neck near my adam's apple/thyroid region. it is a very "uncomfortable" feeling, like something swelling or sticking out. i can't see anything visually sticking out however. It is very " uncomfortable" (sorry this is the only way i can describe it) and it is sometimes very painful and i have to actually hold my neck down because its such a "werid" feeling . it reminds me of being tickeled a little , when you just can't "stand" some sensation or feeling. There is a defintion for this. Like some medical "sign" or something. After this, it progressed to general and full neck pain throughout my whole neck region. eventually, and recently it was diagonsed by my doctor as glandular swelling. my neck glands are now frequently swollen and very easy to feel. the whole neck region all the way to the collar bone gets stiff and feels very hard. some sort of autoimmune reaction perhaps? i know that neck lymph glands are usually for infectiious diseases though, so i am confused. also, it started gradually, like within a month and slowly has progressed. it is now at a point where i now have the lymph gland swelling in my neck (feels LIKE muscle pain sometimes tho) , along with the werid feeling near my adam's apple / thyroid region (swelling, and severe unconfortableness, some pain) and now i have more symptoms that are leading me to believe this is totally something else such as an infectionous disease. my latest array of symptoms include post nasal drip, difficulty swallowing (due to immflmation prob), sneezing, and fever and fatigue. So, essentially it has progressed from a possible thyroid/muscle/nerve problem (from epehdra use perhaps) to an actual infectious illness in my view. I'm just so confused. I guess i could have gotten a cold as well.

Anyways, ive been to the doctor now many times. I asked specifically for certain tests based on all the knowledge i have gained.

I got a complete blood cell count w/diff. (CBC)

I researched this myself (my doc says its normal) and the only thing i found odd on it was my lymphocyte count. I had a test from something unrelated from 2 months prior to the whole problem on to compare my results too. My %lymphocytes went from 21.1 to 42.8 within this 2 month period. I consider that some sort of indication - but of what? Other notable blood cell changes from my previous results was my platelet count which went from 274 to 295. Also my %monocytes went from 5.97 to 7.4. Other than that I havent seen any major difference in my CBC. As a note, all of these ranges are considered normal, however the lymphocyte count is borderline at the high point.

Also, my thyroid was tested 11-19-2001 and my doc ordered a new one done when i complained of the thyroid region pain.

FREE T4 - 1.2
TSH - 0.9

09-05-2002 (latest)
FREE T4 - 1.3
TSH - 1.9

As you can see, they are both considered "normal". however you will notice the increase in the TSH test. This COULD be due to the epehedra use, increasing my metabolism, but still, it seems much higher. I suspect this to mean something. The doctor REFUSED to give me T3 and the other antibody tests. I am trying to get more.

I had a monospot test, it came back negative. I was not tested for the variations of the herpes viruses though which wouldnt show on monospot.

My conclusion after careful researching is 2 possible things. Sub-Acute Thyroiditis matched my symptoms almost exactly and could be the cause of this whole mess. Could be another form of thyroiditis for that matter though. The ephedra use could have messed up my thyroid so the thing is swelling and my lymph nodes are all trying to attack it. I dunno. Something like that - you experts know what im saying?

Other than that, the only other conclusion is a disease either induced by the ephedra use, or completely unrelated. Post nasal drip and sneezing are not signs of thyroiditis. As you can see, the new symptoms are very confusing. Of note is that the sneezing and nasal drip aren't like a normal cold. They seem much more subtle, almost like a silent or baby cold.

I have 2 ear nose and throat specialist appointments this week. I am going to explain to them what i just typed to you all, and im hoping for a CT scan of the region, more comprehesnsive thyroid and blood tests, and tests for numerous infections diseases, including ones of the herpes strain.

Of note also, is that the swelling isn't constant (or noticable all the time) and also that it isnt seeable through visiual examination generally yet. You can feel it though and i can see it sometimes. Other symptoms from the ephedra use have lingered on including heart palpitations, fatigue and trobule sleeping.

Interestingly enough, i've noticed that i feel more "hyperthyroid" than hypo. Sweaty and stuff. I dont have energy though, i feel bogged down. Its confusing. Hopefully some one can help me, if not thanks for reading this and i'm glad i finally took the time to type this all out since its been ruining my life. Ive missed school, work and i never see my girlfriend cause i always feel terrible.


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Old 01-05-2003, 09:22 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Whitefish, MT USA
Posts: 1
amis34 HB User

It sounds to me like you have an autoimmune thing going on that is attacking your thyroid function.(I have this and also took an ephedra product. Hard to say the exact cause....stress is a possibility as well.) This could cause symptoms of both hypo and hyperthyroid. A naturopathic doctor should be willing to test for antibodies. If positive, look into treating it with sterols that will regulate your immune system function and get you back on track. Stay away from immune builders ie. echinacea

Old 01-21-2003, 05:36 PM   #3
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 11

My story is a bit shorter.I got uncomfortable feeling in my neck for already 6 years.Its not a pain,its not itchy..its always something in between...Its not constant pain -its coming for a few minutes and going away.My doctors untill now dont know the reason.Recently some doctor found Anti-Nuclear antibody(ANA).I now know i got very mild form of Lupus desease.All antibodies live in a lymph system,and the lymph gland is located in a neck area.
I suggest you should visit IMMUNOLOGY specialist and you should make lots of sure it will help!
Good luck!!!

Old 03-23-2003, 09:26 AM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1
whiteoblivion HB User

sounds to me like hasimoto's or acute thyroiditis. my story is rather similar. unfortunately, i've had to experience this for the better part of my sophomore year in high school. i've always been very active so naturally quite fit. after soccer season ended, i kept losing weight at a very rapid rate as well as excessive shedding of my hair. my parents thought i just wasn't eating (which wasn't true at all-i started eating more because i was skinny to begin with). the thing that got them to take me to the doctor was because my hair was falling out. they all thought i was anemic (i was vegetarian at the time), which can result to hair loss. the doctor, however, decided to take an iron count as well as TSH and T3 and T4. It came back and my results were anything but normal. My TSH was 0.09--very low. This continued for a couple more months with more blood tests. My TSH finally went so low they couldn't measure it anymore (below 0.01), and my brain stopped telling my thyroid to produce the hormone! I suffered from many other symptoms during this time as well, including rapid heart rate (just sitting there I was 108), nervousness, excitibility, loss of concentration, etc. This proved to be quite a challenge as I'm supposed to be learning new lessons in school and I'm unable to concentrate long enough to complete a test. Blood test after blood test we always got the same answer: "you've gotton worse, there's nothing we can do". After 8 long months of this, I am finally in the "normal" range.
To the first poster, usually these things will smooth themselves out on their own. I suggest getting checked for Grave's or Hashimoto's, to make sure it's not a disease for life. And usually if you developed this because of pills, it normally goes away on its own if you stop taking them. But I'd still suggest going to an endocrinologist and getting checked for those diseases. I know you posted this way back, so if you still have it: hang in there and good luck.

Old 04-01-2003, 10:51 PM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: GA. USA & Proud of it:)
Posts: 5
SharronB HB User

Nat and all.
I Was at the ER this past weekend.I have RA and anklosis spondylitis, Raynalds, just to name a few
Well, my shoulders and neck was so swollen, even more than usuall. It was so painful to the touch of my clothing, or the touch of my carseat on the trip to the Hospital. But I was told by someone else that there was a dx with the name of cushings syndrome, I cannot find alot on it, but it is out there.I am going Thursday to my primary and asking for test. It is my body and it sure is my pain, and I want rid of
well, thanks for all of your inputs,

Old 04-07-2003, 11:43 PM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: san juan capistrano, CA USA
Posts: 15
mimireco HB User

Cytomegalowvirus has a looooog range of symptoms. Many I had as you describe. Took me two years to convince doctors something was wrong. Then, finanlly scripps clinic diagnosed me with this Cytomegalowvirus, generally associated with another disease, such as hepititis C or worse. However, they found only an unidntified agent. Cytomegalovirus is a form of an immune disorder. Most doctors have never seen an activated case of cytomegalovirus in an adult. In the 70's, it was believed that babies born with this, were deformed, retarded, or died within 3 months. I was the first living adult they did research on to show a child can be born with dormant cytomegalovirus and activate if the resistance is down. It was my case a doctors convention discussed and they reavaluated CytomegaloVirus. I was 20 when it activated. Today, they have found it is very common in adults, but few actually show symptoms as some. If you are one who has cytomegalo symptoms, don't expect a family doctor to address the seriousness. Most do not know just how sick it can make one unless you go somewhere Like Scripps Clinic in San Diego. Believe me, I had symptoms from hormone imbalance, thyroid, to liver palputations. All caused from Cytomegalo Virus. When I first entered Scripps clinic, I had been extremely ill nearly two years. I was told the city doctors were actually killing me with the antibodics and other medications they were giving me. I was taken off all medication. My body began to improve. Never been sick since. I take herbs faithfully. Don't put all your faith in doctors, but ask God. It was God that healed me.

Old 07-23-2003, 07:18 PM   #7
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: marion, ohio usa
Posts: 1
stiffneckman HB User

I have constant neck stiffness. I went to the local convenience store to get a three pack which i will mention no brands, but all containing ephedra of course. the nice girl behind the counter said " why you want those for?" I said to help get this gut off, which of course it works along with a good leg workout twice a week!.
anyway she said, "I was at the doctor the other day and the nurse told me That stuff does something to your neck".... wow, this stiffness and pain had been going on for quite sometime and i thought nothing of it. now It feels like a pinched nerve maybe?? Now , after experimenting with it more, I believe it is related somehow.
My bigger problem I have is if not introduced at the proper level (more and more needed like any potent drug), I have severe depresssion, I walk and drive like a zombie, and some days dont even leave the house or bed or couch. This is not like me, I am a highly motivated type person who needs to get things done. anyone else feeling this?
thanks for reading.

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