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  • Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

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    Old 11-07-2006, 08:50 PM   #1
    highlandwun
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    Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    Hello all,

    This is my first posting here, though I have been lurking around and reading many different postings. I was diagnosed hypo many years ago and have been on levothyroxine .125 mg. All seemed fine until about 2 months ago when I started getting wicked reflux/GERD. I was put on a PPI (prevacid) which has helped quite a bit, but I have so many other symptoms that now I'm confused as to whether my thyroid is out of whack or I'm perimenopausal or both if that's possible.
    I'm 43 and last year in an 8 week period 3 family members died (1 was my Mother, and 1 very violently), cat died, house flooded---very bad year indeed. So, when I started having this reflux, the doctor said it was a delayed emotional reaction to last years stresses. I asked to have thyroid re-tested and her answer was: it was fine last time we checked, we'll wait for your next physical in Jan 07! She recommended I see a therapist instead! My symptoms in the past few months have been very strange and include:
    -anxiety/nervousness
    -periods closer together (23 days as opposed to 28)/heavy bleeding/cramping
    -panic attacks
    -tingling in hands & feet
    -sleep disturbances
    -no sexual desire
    -moodiness
    -hands falling asleep
    -muscle weakness/pain
    -sciatic/back pain
    -visual disturbances
    -dry skin & dandruff
    -thinning hair/oily scalp
    -dry eyes/mouth
    -sensation of burning lips/tongue/mouth
    -cold hands
    -light sensitivity
    -body odour (usually 1 armpit only...go figure!)
    -gum issues
    -bladder urgency/frequency
    -no interest, energy or motivation
    -lethargy, fatigue, general malaise
    -sinus pain & pressure
    -depression
    -no weight gain (only weight loss due to the inability to eat during my severe GERD time)

    Sorry to be long-winded, but I actually trimmed that list by a few symptoms. I have a Dr. appointment on Thursday, and have made a list of symptoms and also what I call a "list of demands" that include thorough thyroid testing. Are there any suggestions as to what else I can ask of her and how to explain how thorough I want these tests to be? Does anyone have these types of symptoms and lastly can anyone help me to feel better about all this?

    *note: I have already had lots of CT's, xrays, ultrasounds, some bloodwork/urinalysis for liver functions etc through the hospital, but no thyroid tests.

    Thank you so much for 'listening' to me and my problems. These boards are wonderful as you never feel alone.

    Dee

     
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    Old 11-07-2006, 09:02 PM   #2
    Bran'sNana
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    Hey Dee, why do doctors continue to tell women who might have a thyroid problem"go see a shrink". It's very prevalent here. I myself wasn't told that directly, but the doctor hinted at it, like it could be depression or anxiety. Until he did the tests! Demand a test! If you have coverage, and you were diagnosed with hypo before, something must be up! You might need the dosage corrected, that's all. Also, stress TRIGGERS thyroid problems!

     
    Old 11-07-2006, 09:28 PM   #3
    highlandwun
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    Bran'sNana:
    Thanks for your reply. So far I have been to hospitals, GP, chiropractor, homeopath, naturopath. I have been tested for h-pylori, gallbladder, kidney, liver--all ok---but still no thyroid test. I was given PPI, purchased a candida cleansing kit, hormone balancing capsules, acidophillis....but so far have only taken the PPI for my stomach. My doctor strongly advised me not to go to homeopath and not to do the cleansing kit. And I listened to her...the same person who won't check my thyroid!!! I'm starting to think I'm crazy.
    Unfortunately here in Ontario, Canada, once you have a family doctor, you better hold on to them---they are few and far between and people are on waiting lists just to get one.
    I think the old phrase 'physician heal thyself' needs to be updated to 'patient heal thyself' LOL

     
    Old 11-07-2006, 09:31 PM   #4
    flourishing
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    Hi Dee

    You definately need an updated Thyroid test done, as it sounds like you have'nt had one done recently.

    My doctor makes me have one about every 8 weeks to check my levels are alright and my dose needs tweaking.

    If your not happy with your specialist/doctor, is there another in your area that you can see? You need to be happy and have this checked out properly. Your doc saying "it was fine last time we checked" is not good enough as the levels may have changed.

    I hope your doc takes notice when you go armed with your list - be forceful
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    We are each of us angels with only one wing and we can only fly by embracing one another

     
    Old 11-07-2006, 10:04 PM   #5
    highlandwun
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    Question Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    flourishing:

    Thanks for your reply. I see chiro then Dr. on Thursday. I have a therapist appointment scheduled for next week, but I may just cancel it as I'm not sure I need it. Then again, it has been suggested that a little grief counselling never hurts. We'll see about that!! I'll update my progress here though.
    My hubby's insurance provider must be looking at all these claims I submit and thinking...man she's falling apart from 'head to toe'
    Can you or someone else here clarify for me the proper testing for thyroid? From what I can gather, TSH is simply not thorough enough.

    Thanks,

    Dee

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 08:01 AM   #6
    highlandwun
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    midwest1,
    Thanks for your reply. I'm in Toronto, Canada, and have access not only to our provincial plan, but am fortunate enough that my husband's employer has excellent insurance coverage. Cost is not an issue here.
    I just now checked with the pharmacy, and the Rx is indeed 'synthroid 0.125 mg' (levothyroxine sodium). Nothing has changed since April 06. Interestingly, the pharmacist just said that any stomach issues could not be connected to thyroid problems---now I'm really confused, because I've read that other people share this same problem (and the multitude of other symptoms I've had!) I wish I could get to the bottom of this---is it perimenopause....is it thyroid....is it both....am I just obsessing....am I going crazy?
    Tomorrow is Dr. appt, so I suppose I will wait and see how she addresses my concerns.

    Thank you,

    Dee

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 08:37 AM   #7
    midwest1
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    I ordinarily consider pharmacists some of our best healthcare buddies, but I beg to differ with yours.

    The "stomach" issues that can be the result of low thyroid can be related to slowed transit time and/or low stomach acid. Ironically, heartburn is caused by low acid as often as too much acid.
    And... even with exactly the right amount of acid, hypoT can cause heartburn because of delayed transit time, because the food/acid "slurry" just sits in the stomach instead of moving on through the gut. When it just sits there, it has more opportunity to back up into the esophagus.

    I certainly hope the new MD will get to the bottom of your problems. Let us know what happens.

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 09:10 AM   #8
    bookishmomma
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    Wow...that could be my list of symptoms, too--some more severe/bothersome than others. Until I started reading about Thyroid disorders, I didn't even know that some of those things weren't normal for everyone. My doctor is checking TSH, T3, T4, T3 uptake, and two antibodies to check for Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I will get the results in a few days probably. I hope you can get some help from your doctor...

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 11:56 AM   #9
    highlandwun
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    midwest1:
    Thank you for your reply and thank you for clarifying the stomach issues involved with thyroid problems. I knew that the pharmacist was not correct in what she said. Hopefully I can get these tests done and done properly in order to come to some conclusion as to what's wrong with me. Again, it's good to know that there are indeed people who share the same symptoms and can offer some support. I can't thank you enough and I'll fill you in after my appointment tomorrow.

    bookishmomma:
    Thank you for your reply and for the information you provided. I have to agree with you in that I didn't realize that there were so many symptoms that could be caused by thyroid disorders. Years ago when I was first diagnosed hypo, it was only checked because I felt soooo tired all the time. I was devastated until I found out that just about everyone I knew was taking some sort of thyroid med.
    Now however I find that the symptoms I have are interfering with my life. I feel more dependant on my family, I'm afraid to eat most things, go most places, even grocery shopping must be a well-thought out procedure. I feel lost most of the time though I find just talking to all of you on here has been most helpful and very comforting. Good luck with your test results and once again, thank you.

    Dee

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 12:24 PM   #10
    highlandwun
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    Ooops, I forgot to ask you all something.
    At present, on a daily basis, I take:
    -1 synthroid .125 mg pill
    -1 digestive enzyme pill with every meal
    -1 calcium/magnesium/vitamin D supplement
    -1 Prevacid 30 mg.

    Before all this started, I only took the thyroid, vitamins, and 1 ferrous gluconate as my iron stores were low. I have stopped the iron altogether and will have that tested as well. I just figured it was the iron bothering my stomach at the time.

    Sorry, I have strayed off the question I needed answered. When I go for these blood tests, should it be when fasting and with no meds in my system that day, AND, will the prevacid affect the outcome of the TSH etc tests?

    Thanks one and all!

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 01:54 PM   #11
    Bran'sNana
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    Gee Dee, maybe midwest would know about meds and blood tests. All I know is don't take any vitamins around the same time as the thyroid pills, especially calcium, that's what I have read on this board. tsh isn't affected by food, I know that, they(doc's office) always tell me it doesn't matter when I go for the thyroid tests. As far as medication, I don't know. Good luck though, you need to be tested again, definitely.

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 02:54 PM   #12
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    The only thing that can skew your thyroid tests is taking your Synthroid too close to the time of the blood draw. It can falsely elevate the T4 tests, making it appear your levels are higher than they really are. You can eat before testing without any problem.

    I will reiterate what Bran'sNana has said about calcium taken with thyroid med. The hormone can be bound up and unusable by the calcium. By iron and estrogen supplements too, for that matter. These substances should always be taken 6-8 hours apart from your levoT.

     
    Old 11-08-2006, 03:23 PM   #13
    highlandwun
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    midwest1 & Bran'sNana:

    Thank you for your help with this question.
    I always take my synthroid first thing in the morning with water.
    an hour or more later I eat breakfast & take my digestive enzyme.
    At lunch I take the Prevacid.
    After dinner I take my calcium & supplements.

    Oddly enough, I have this funny thing with my throat right now, which makes me want to keep clearing it---it hurts a little bit too. It's different than the GERD lump I had before. Naturally I stressed out and figured I have a goiter...or worse. Stress leads to depression...oh my God what am I doing to myself. Breathe lol...breathe! OK...doctor tomorrow...stop stressing tonight!

    Thanks again!

     
    Old 11-09-2006, 07:35 AM   #14
    unruly_hen
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    Re: Help! Doctor won't check thyroid!!

    Good morning!
    I've been catching up on the posts and saw that you had posted about doing a yeast cleanse. I did a colon cleanse about 6 months ago and then a yeast cleanse. It helped my GERD ALOT. I find tho that if I don't do a maintenance on the yeast, I get the GERD back.
    The thyroid causes so many upsets in our body, it's hard to know where to start correcting them.
    I, too, had a dr that wouldn't do testing on my thyroid. I went to an endo, but I won't know the final test results until next week. I'm just learning about this myself and I'm over-whelmed at times!
    Thank God for boards like this. Everyone is so helpful. Just hang in there.
    Robin

     
    Old 11-09-2006, 06:32 PM   #15
    highlandwun
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    Thumbs up Re: Finally! Doctor checking thyroid!!

    Unruly:

    Thanks for your posting. I thought about doing the different cleanses, but decided against it at this time. That is not to say I won't do it in the future though. The GERD seems under control at the moment with the Prevacid and an improved (but boring) diet.

    To all:
    Well, I went to my chiropractor today, and she thinks she notices improvement overall. I'm truly thankful for her! This appointment was immediately followed by a visit to my Dr. As I'm sometimes in a fog, I went prepared with a nice long list of symptoms, and a nice long list of questions and 'requests'. She essentially believes all my troubles have been caused by stress & depression & something she refers to as "Anniversary Syndrome", as this is the time last year we tragically lost so many people. Who knows, maybe she's right----I hope so!
    Anyway, she agreed to test me for the following (I hope these are thorough enough):
    TSH
    Free T4
    Thyroid Antibodies
    B-12
    Ferritin
    FSH & LH

    The other standard tests are in there too---W.B.C. Count, Hemoglobin, Blood Film Exam, Hematocrit, Glucose, Creatinine.

    The lab said results would be in by Monday, but I never depend on their estimates!!

    I'll update you all as soon as I know the results.

    Good luck with your results Robin!

    Thanks again all & take care.

    Dee

     
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