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Desperate need of some answers; doctors not helping

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Old 08-07-2008, 08:55 PM   #1
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Desperate need of some answers; doctors not helping

I'll try to make this as short as possible. Three years ago, I began putting on weight and apparently being more tired than I even thought I was. I would sit down when I got home and fall asleep for anywhere from 4-6 hrs. At first I didn't panic and thought it would just stop; I know as we age we put on a few pounds but I couldn't explain all the sleeping. I have always had an exercise routine 3-5xs a week for the last 25 years, and I watch what I eat, don't eat junk or fast food and couldn't overeat if I wanted to. I guess I've always had a small stomach. Shortly after this started, I started having constipation problems which really became severe. I also had some dry skin but didn't think too much of that being that I live in the south and its always hot. In addition, I became very depressed. To sum it up, since this began 3 years ago, I've seen 7 different doctors; Prim,Care docs, gyns, endro, gastro and then finally 2 DO's. Initially they all thought I had an underactive thyroid; and so did I. However with all the blood testing that's been done, each doctor tells me its not my thyroid just sums it up to getting old or pre-menopause. I had several GI tests; with nothing abnormal showing up. I normally would not react to a little weight, but I have put on over 25 inches all over and 20 lbs of weight. This is all while I have continued to workout and tried changing my exercise routines as well. They all had me try antidepressants, telling that might the cause of all of it, but that never helped in any way. I did find some relief, at least so far, with a probiotic and amitiza for the constipation; I just hope it keeps working. But the weight is continuing. It does not make sense to workout regulary and eat well and continually put on inches and "fat" on a regular basis for 3 years! It may sound crazy, but every couple months I have to go out and get new clothes because I gain more inches in a short period of time. I'm extremely concerned and I know that something is causing this. The last doctor who also said my bloodwork was good, told me my B-12 was low and that was causing all this weight. I've read nothing about B-12 being in any way responsible for weight gain. But I've been taking it anyway for the last month, as she asked me, but nothing has changed. I am so depressed that no one will take me seriously. I've asked them all about adrenal fatigue, insulin resistence, something with metabolism, anything I could think of that may be causing this, but they just say no and do no futher testing. I had read many articles on how hypothyroidism is greatly underdiagnosed and I know there are 4 or 5 different tests they can do, but all my doctors only did 2 or 3 of them. I'm ready to give up; but yet I know something is wrong. If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions on what could cause this, if its not a thyroid issue, I would appreciate it. Maybe it is still a thyroid issue but I'm not being testing thoroughly enough. I don't know; I'm so tired of going to different doctors and hearing the same thing. You know, if I was "losing weight" unintentionally, these doctors might be looking for something, but unintentional weight gain they don't pay much attention to. Thank you and I'm sorry this is so long.

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Old 08-08-2008, 08:40 AM   #2
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Re: Desperate need of some answers; doctors not helping

The most revealing tests for low thyroid are:
Free T4
Free T3
TPO antibodies
Tg antibodies

Unless you've had all these tests, no MD in the world can definitely say your thyroid is fine. If seven doctors [That's incredible!] suspected low thyroid at the start, but failed to diagnose it, it probably means they did the wrong tests or don't know beans about how to interpret the results.

To be honest, it sounds as if you may be making the mistake of focusing too much on your unhappiness about weight gain when you see these MDs. MDs have the mindset that overweight is always about calories in/calories out. They have been trained to believe that hypoT causes no more than 10 lbs. of gain. Of course that's wrong, but there is a lot of thyroid information they've been given that's wrong. I suggest that, if you're brave enough to take on another doc, that you choose fatigue and another symptom or two besides weight to emphasize. Make a point about how those other things are negatively impacting your life, and stress how anti-depressants and their other "remedies" haven't helped at all. Make them earn their money by finding the reason, instead of offering band-aids to the problem.

I recommend you get your last test results - the last two would be even better, for comparison - plus the lab ranges and post them here. We may be able to tell you what the docs may be missing.

Last edited by midwest1; 08-08-2008 at 08:42 AM.

Old 08-09-2008, 07:11 PM   #3
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Re: Desperate need of some answers; doctors not helping

Definitely get your thyroids checked--can you share them here?
How about past labs---there may be a pattern---
I had thyroid problems for years---hashi's---and I knew others who had the same problem---but I kept getting worse and worse.
I finally was diagnosed with hypopituitarism---my thyroid labs look Hyper---but they're not due to pit. dysfunction.
I'm also on growth hormone.
I'm continue to be tested for Cyclical Cushings.
Don't give up---what you are going through with regards to clothes sounds exactly like me.
Do your homework and talk to others in your area who have/had complex endocrine problems---check out teaching/research hospitals----and don't give up until you find answers.
You may want to search your five top symptoms---you may stumble on a disease of syndrome that matches.
Doctors don't always tell you everything---or tell you the right stuff.
Good luck---and keep us posted.

PS---If a doctor told me to quit looking and searching for stuff---I fired them---they were the ones who didn't know what they were doing---and they didn't want me to find out anything that would make them look "dumb".

Put yourself first!!!

Last edited by T4T3hell; 08-09-2008 at 07:13 PM.

Old 08-12-2008, 04:06 PM   #4
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Re: Desperate need of some answers; doctors not helping

Thanks for your response. I've had several labs; I only have a copy of one that was done in April. Total T4 was 8.6; TSH 1.58 and Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody, IGA was <3. That's what was tested. I was tested again by another doctor in June and another doctor in July. I am awaiting copies of these labs, but they tell me they're all normal. After that, they do nothing with me. So long-goodbye! I don't where else to go. I've talked to many people and was actually referred to a few of these docs! I have a follow-up this Thursday with the most recent DO. She's got me on the B12; its made no difference with anything; neither have the antidepressants I've been taking now for 4 months! I've read all I can read regarding my symptoms and mention these other things to the doctors; but they say "no" that's not it! And of course, they're furious because I'm on the web reading about this. I don't know why they get so upset about that. The info I've read is written by doctors and research hospitals like the Mayo Clinic and NIH. I don't know what else to do; and if its really not a thyroid problem, then it must be something! Unfortunately, my constipation has returned; after 4 great weeks of normal movement; it has all stopped again. This happened once before with another probiotic I tried. It worked great for 2 weeks; then stopped working. The constipation has been so bad its unbearable; and things like softners and mirolax do nothing. Yet they find nothing wrong in the gastro area; no obstructions; no masses; nothing. So they tell me I just have a really slow colon. One doctor said she didn't know what else to do with me and I should just go to some research hospital. Nice attitude! When I get my other labs, I'll post them. With regard to the other person who responded; in every doctor appointment, I actually put little emphasis on the weight because I know how they are; however it has gotten to a point where I'm scared and it hasn't stopped at all. Its not only depressing, but I don't have the money to keep buying new clothes every 4 weeks. Thx for your help.

Old 08-13-2008, 05:44 AM   #5
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Cool Re: Desperate need of some answers; doctors not helping

Hi kmay49 ~ here lies THE PROBLEM
midwest: Doctors don't know beans about how to interpret the results.
We are told NORMAL when our levels are almost OUT of range, either low or high. I'd lay $$ that your T3's & T4's are on the bottom end of the range (or lower), therefore the problem.

Personally, I'd call each doctor and get copies of those labs. then nicely suggest that perhaps you could TRY some thy meds to see if some of these symptoms go away , , ,

Also using one of those "find a Doctor in your area" could be VERY beneficial as your case of Hypo-thy seems like a tricky one

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