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Thyroid antibodies and symptoms

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Old 09-11-2008, 07:04 AM   #1
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swraper HB User
Thyroid antibodies and symptoms

For those of you who have tested positive for thyroid antibodies, did you have "symptoms" for a long period of time before the antibodies were discovered?

I ask this because my wife has had alot of the Thyroid symptoms over the last 3 - 5 years (and they seem to be getting worse). She has just found out in the last 6 months or so that she has Thyroid antibodies. According to her endocrinologist, all of her Thyroid Lab numbers (TSH, T3, T4, FT3, FT4 etc) are "Normal" except for the antobodies.

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Old 09-11-2008, 09:23 AM   #2
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Re: Thyroid antibodies and symptoms

I have several symptoms that match for being hypothyroid, although I can't say with 100% certainty the thyroid is the cause, without a trial of thyroid hormones, to see if they are then resolved.

Let's see... general fatigue, 'brain fog', neurological (pins and needles/numbness in fingers/toes), shortness of breath, throat ache, hoarse voice, dry skin, brittle hair/nails... pretty much have all of those. But the symptoms are usually intermittent. I also sometimes have what seems hyper symptoms, fast heart rate, problem with heat.

My thyroid numbers are considered 'normal' by the labs, although I haven't gotten my frees tested. And I tested a bit high for one of the Hashi antibodies.

There is a decent chance her numbers are in the normal range, but not optimal for her. Or perhaps the antibodies can cause symptoms all on their own? I wonder if Hashi thyroids have problems when under stress, or when extra thyroid hormone is needed, and perhaps don't work as well on occasion?
That would match my own symptoms. Sometimes I feel pretty decent, other times sickly.

Old 09-11-2008, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: Thyroid antibodies and symptoms

It took me five years of complaining about my symptoms and arguing with my MDs before they bothered to test me for antibodies. If you have Hashimoto's antibodies they are going to make you feel like crud as they war with your thyroid.. long before your thyroid levels hit rock bottom. It is the nature of the sutoimmune siege you live.

Stress makes anything worse. It can REALY aggravate thyroid conditions. When under stress your adrenal glands are pinged to produce more cortisol and aldosterone. These natural steriods interfere with your thyroid s ability to convert T4 to T3. The end effect is the more stress you are under the more hypothyroid you will feel. In Hashimoto's thyroiditis cases or hypothyroidism it can be a downward spiraling cycle.

I think my week 3 Thyroid care and concerns post goes into this in detail. I must say something else here.

Thank-you Swraper. Your concern for your wife and willingness to go to bat for her and seek information really warms my heart. In many cases a person with a thyroid condition is quite alone and their family doesn't understand or go to bat for them. My husband doesn't want to know. He just says deal with it.. I do and carrying on. But it gives me hope to see what you are doing for your wife. I strongly recommend looking up my threads and reading them. You can even print them out and share them about. They may come in handy. If you click on my name mkgbrook and then go to all threads posted by mkgbrook you will be able to quickly delve through my research and Hashimoto's journey.

Bless you and your wife. I hope that together you can get her the care that she deserves.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.

Old 09-11-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Re: Thyroid antibodies and symptoms

Thank you for your kind words mkgbrook. I just would like for my wife to have her life back.

She has seen several Drs over the past 3 - 5 Years, including 2 Endocrinologist, a Neurologist, a Nephrologist, and some GP's. Several times over the years, she has had "low potassium" levels. All Doctors have never been able to explain why her potassium is sometimes low. She has practically lost hope in any Dr helping her because she usually gets the same results - "Your blood test look normal". She also has symptoms of: Lack of energy, poor tolerance to exercise, poor tolerance to heat, often feels cold, forgetfuleness, foggy thinking, depression, muscle fascilations, muscle cramping, muscle and joint pain, etc. Recently she has had sporadic fevers of 100 degrees that may last an hour or so, and then go away.

She is scheduled to see a new doctor (non-Endocrinologist) in 3 months.
This doctor supposedly uses Broda Barnes principals and also prescribes Armour. Hopefully, we will find out something soon.

Old 09-11-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: Thyroid antibodies and symptoms

I have never had elevated antibodies........I have been tested 3 different times. My Endo says they can go up and down.....I was diagnoised with Hashi's by symptoms and coming and going of nodules and goiter even while being on medication........

Hope this helps......Oleander

Old 09-12-2008, 02:09 PM   #6
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Re: Thyroid antibodies and symptoms

Originally Posted by Oleander53 View Post
I have never had elevated antibodies........I have been tested 3 different times. My Endo says they can go up and down.....I was diagnoised with Hashi's by symptoms and coming and going of nodules and goiter even while being on medication........

Hope this helps......Oleander
AB's can go up and down? Thanks for that information. I've only recently been tested and mine are not high, but probably lifelong. I had some miscarriages in youth. And fairly recently the apparent coming and going of goiter during a temporary experimental slight reduction of T4 med.

T4 was within Range, TSH slightly depressed, and when I pointed it out to the Dr., the next report had T4 rising from about 5 to 16, TSH exactly the same after 3 mo. of the reduction, so who can you trust any more?

I did an internet search for possible causes of rising T4, lower-than-usual TSH, and found some condition that's "self-limiting", due to AB's, thyroid follicles rupturing and flooding the blood stream with the Frees. Both mine were elevated. I have to look it up and read again whether or not it's rare. The article said inadequate medication is not good, tho' Drs who don't know of this possibility sometimes assume you've gone hyper. A lot of people here sure are suffering. There also a lot of possible reasons for TSH going lower, including Metformin, (diabetes generic) which I believe I just read can cause hair loss.

Last edited by Eagle; 09-12-2008 at 02:14 PM.

Old 09-13-2008, 04:23 AM   #7
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Re: Thyroid antibodies and symptoms

swraper - i can identify with your wife's situation. I pretty much had all the things you described, but i haven't ever had any muscle issues, but i do know a lot of people on this board have complained of suffering from muscle and joint issues. The problem is that the symptoms are wide and varied and we are all individual and what one person experiences will not necessarily be a carbon copy of what another experiences. Maybe if this was the case then doctors might be treating us a lot sooner!!!!!

It took me 8 years to get diagnosed. My GP and two visits to an Endo all led to being told that everything was within range and normal. Mysteriously i couldn't fall pregnant, then my cycles were all over the shop and i was losing massive amounts of hair, i'd get dperessed, my moods were weird, i had no excitement for life, no motivation, just went through life like a robot most of the time. As time went on things got worse and i'd get more and more headaches, allergies, brain fog, would get irritated and short tempered a lot faster, developed anxiety, my sleep patterns changed, was hungry all the time and ate so much yet hardly put on any weight. I never had the cold hands/feet like a lot of others do and my symptoms seemed to fit both the hyper and hypo lists.

Now that i'm on meds for my adrenals and as well as for both my T3 and T4, and i'm on supplements for my ferretin (iron storage), which has climbed higher and vitamin D are up much higher and i've corrected my iodine levels i'm feeling so much better. I feel more normal than i have in years and years. I actually enjoy doing things now and look forward to the future. I still have the odd off day, but percentage-wise i'm more good than bad.

Has your wife had her iron levels checked out? It must include ferretin though, as often they leave this off. A lot of people with thyroid issues appear to have malabsorption of various vitamins/minerals. She should also get her Vit D checked out. A lot of people actually notice and improvement in joints/muscles after supplementing with Vit D. Low ferretin can also affect your muscles as iron storage is vital for various organs/areas of the body.

In my case i also was not digesting protein due to insufficient pancreatic enzymes. I'm on prescription enzymes now and i truly feel the difference. No more stomach bloating and feeling uncomfortable after a meal. I also don't eat as much which must mean my system is getting sufficient nutrients.

I had some repeat blood tests done and at my recent doctors visit i showed him again a blood test i had done via the Endo back in 2000. I was stumped with the figure for thyroid antibodies and needed clarification. He agreed that i ought to have been medicated back in 2000, but also said that majority of doctors wont medicate when there are high antibodies and "within range" TSH, T3 and T4. I have to laugh at "within range as my TSH back then was 4.38 and the maximum range was 5.00. How much higher were they going to wait for me to get. This upsets me unbelievably. I went through so much for so long. Feel like i've been to hell and back. To me doctors making these 'wrong' decisions and playing God is criminal. If one person causes extreme pain and suffering to another they can be charged and imprisoned, but looks like if you are a doctor it is called "medecine" and they get off scott free!!

I'm actually looking at devising a letter and am going to send it to our Minister of Health in my country. Might as well vent my anger into something positive and hopefully convince those higher up to make changes. Good luck to you and your wife and i agree with mkgbrook, you are a great husband to be taking an interest and helping your wife. I know this will mean so much to her. Keep up the good work

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