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    Old 03-17-2009, 08:05 AM   #1
    Heather1973
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    Any advice gratefully received!!

    Hi,

    I am new to this site, so I am sorry if this is quite a long post!

    I have been treated for depression for over four years - I have been placed on various anti-depressants, none of which seem to have worked.

    Just over 18 months ago we moved and I had to register with GP, he did some blood tests at the time and contacted me as I had low ferretin stores (I had mentioned to him that I had been having problems with my periods - very clotty and heavy for some time) and a borderline underactive thyroid.

    I had to go back after 6 months and have my blood tests repeated.

    I went back and at the time I was experiencing problems with my breathing - I was very short of breath. He contacted me later that day as one of the tests he had done indicated that I may have had a blood clot - fortunately, this was not the case - I was admitted to hospital for a couple of days and they found nothing wrong. My medication had just been changed from effexor to prozac and it was thought that it the breathlessness may have been a reaction to prozac. So I was weaned of prozac and actually made the decision to come off all of my anti-depressants I haven't taken any since, I don't feel any worse - but I don't feel any better either - but why take them??

    A few days after this I was contacted again by my GP as my TSH was 8.32 and I had significant antibodies at over 800. He concluded that as I had been 'unwell' when the blood tests were taken they were not conclusive, so I had to have the tests taken again. This time my TSH came back as 4.31 - so he concluded that no further treatment was required - but as my TSH was still borderline i should have further blood tests in another 6 months.

    I was quite - no very confused by this, so I went to see him as I felt I had 'symptoms' of an underactive thyroid:

    Depression
    Anxiety
    Panic Attacks
    Forgetfulness
    Bad concentration
    Heavy Periods
    Pins Needles in wrists/hands
    Constant Tiredness
    Dry mouth (I have had a 'white coated tongue' now for as long as I can remember!)
    Dry Skin patch - but only on one arm which has been diagnosed as ezcema (this has only just recently started)
    I am always cold - heatings on, coal fire - but I still have duvet wrapped round me
    Sometimes I feel that I can not swallow my food properly and othertimes I gag even when i am not eating - but I have put this down to anxiety
    I am regulary feel that I am 'coming down' with something, i.e aches/shivers/cold/general rough feeling (hope you get the picture) but nothing 'develops'

    He concluded that my 'symptoms' very non-specific and ordered further blood tests (sorry, can't remember what these were - but nothing thyroid related) and they all came back ok.

    So after another 6 months, I have just had the tests taken again - my TSH is now 5.08 and the only other thing that was mentioned was that my ferritin levels although within range are low at 30. This time he has concluded that all my tests have come back within normal range - no mention of further tests to be done in the future. Antibodies weren't tested as my thyroid is now normal (But, they are slightly higher than when i was told they were borderline - so have ranges changed recently?)

    I am still 'suffering', but am I right to question my GPs diagnosis?? Is it all 'depression' related and the fact I had borderline results is just a co-incidence?

    Another nagging 'thought' is that many years ago around the time I became depressed I had to see a GP who wasn't my own, I can't remember what I went to see him about - but he looked at me and felt my neck and told me to go and see my own GP and have my thyroid tested - I did this - but at that time they came back fine too. Is it possible, that I have been treated for depression for this amount of time - when in fact it could have been thyroid related??

    Incidently, my sister suffers from Hashimoto's Disease and 2 of my cousins also have thyroid related problems - my late mother had fibromyalgia (I don't know if this is relevent?)

    I think the question I am trying to ask is should I pursue this with my GP, I feel very awkward and embarrased and if I'm honest a pain in the butt!! Am I just so desperate not to have a 'mental health' problem and clutching at straws?? I was rather hoping that this time my results would come back and I would be placed on Thyroxine (is that right??) and all of my problems would go away and I could be 'normal' again (ok, so maybe I never was _

    Anyway, any advise would be gratefully received & I apologise that this is soooo long

     
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    Old 03-17-2009, 08:28 AM   #2
    midwest1
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    Re: Any advise gratefully received!!

    Guess what? You have Hashimoto's too! You have antibodies, TSH above 2, and a boatload of symptoms. That defines the disorder.

    All you have to do is to find a GP who knows that and will treat the obvious. I hope you can change GPs again, because that's what you must do if you want to have any hope of being well again.

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 09:08 AM   #3
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    Re: Any advise gratefully received!!

    Heather1973--Hello!

    I'm sorry that you weren't told that you have Hashi's. This is what the Anti's and TSH are tested for from what my doc has told me to see if you have a thyroid condition OR an AI process. I was told you are either positive or neg. for anti's. A family history is how they knew to check me further, and you have that too! Hmmmmmm.

    I just wanted to say that when you do find a doctor that will treat you accordingly, many of your symptoms should resolve. At this time, if you are still experiencing depression, anxiety, the mental health issues then you will know that it may not be thyroid related (most likely), and that it is something separate.

    I have to agree that you also have a very low ferritin, and anxiety and depression can often be associated with that too. How is your doc treting your low ferritin? You want to get to at least 50 ferritin for ~minimal~ health more like 70-100 to be optimal. When you raise your ferritin perhaps some of these symptoms may also resolve. You have a big job ahead of you and I wish you well.
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    Old 03-17-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
    Heather1973
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    Question Re: Any advise gratefully received!!

    Hi,

    Thank you for your replies!

    I have booked in to see a different GP, at the same practise, on Thursday.

    I'm not quite sure what to say to her though?! I hate to question the other GPs 'diagnosis', but I do not want to feel like this anymore

    Does Hashimotos require medication? Or is something that would be monitored?

    I am not receiving any meds for my ferritin levels - so I will mention this as well?

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
    midwest1
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    Re: Any advise gratefully received!!

    There is no treatment for the Hashi's per se. All you can do is to replace the deficient thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) that the Hashi's has caused. At this point, you must demand a prescription for levothyroxine. Don't leave the new GP without one in your hand!

    Sometimes we must question the lack of diagnosis, or else we'd be sick and on useless anti-depressants for our entire lives! Believe me, I am not the bashful type when it comes to MDs. I diagnosed myself and worked on finding an MD to agree and successfully treat it after that. I was lucky. It took only two consultations before my diagnosis was confirmed; it took another for it to be treated successfully.

    Sometimes you have to rattle a few sabers to get the 'enemy's' attention.

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 12:56 PM   #6
    Heather1973
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    Re: Any advise gratefully received!!

    Hi,

    Thanks again!

    For fear of sounding stupid Do I take it at the moment I do not need a prescription? As my GP has said that my last tsh results are 'normal' at 5.08. Even if I have hashimotos, I do not have hypothyroidism. Just symptoms, which I suppose could be linked to depression/low ferretin?

    Should I just ask that they do continue to monitor me in future?

    I am sorry to ask, but I really have no idea - feeling very brain dead at the moment!!






    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwest1 View Post
    There is no treatment for the Hashi's per se. All you can do is to replace the deficient thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) that the Hashi's has caused. At this point, you must demand a prescription for levothyroxine. Don't leave the new GP without one in your hand!

    Sometimes we must question the lack of diagnosis, or else we'd be sick and on useless anti-depressants for our entire lives! Believe me, I am not the bashful type when it comes to MDs. I diagnosed myself and worked on finding an MD to agree and successfully treat it after that. I was lucky. It took only two consultations before my diagnosis was confirmed; it took another for it to be treated successfully.

    Sometimes you have to rattle a few sabers to get the 'enemy's' attention.

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 02:32 PM   #7
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    Re: Any advise gratefully received!!

    Yes, you need a prescription - now!

    1. You are hypothyroid. Your TSH is above 5. A healthy person's with no disease has an average TSH of about 1. Yours is way too high at 5. Your GP is likely using the archaic "rule of 10" - no treatment until TSH reaches 10 - that practically went out with the Victorian Age. (Not literally... but you get the idea.) Most modern doctors still quibble about "borderline" TSH between 2 and 5, but almost all will treat when symptoms and antibodies are present above 3.5 or so. Very, very few make one wait until it gets above 10.

    2. You have symptoms because you are hypothyroid. Symptoms don't pop up out of nowhere. Symptoms are caused by conditions... In your case, hypothyroidism.

    You don't have to live like that, hon. Please... Learn to speak up for yourself about this. If you don't advocate for you, no one else will.

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 03:02 PM   #8
    Heather1973
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    Thumbs up Re: Any advise gratefully received!!

    Hi,

    Thank you!!

    I will definately be more assertive - go to the GP and explain that I can't continue like this!! It must be bad, cos even my hubby is starting to comment on my lack of energy and putting the heating on (I'm not sure which one he is more concerned about though!! lol)

    Thank you so much for your advice, it is so confusing getting different feedback from GP - i.e borderline - then TSH levels get higher and being told that it is now normal??? Also seeing from internet how people in other countries are being diagnosed and treated with lower TSH levels and saying how much better they feel - it leaves you thinking that it is all just so unfair and damn confusing!!?!

    I'll let you know how I get on.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwest1 View Post
    Yes, you need a prescription - now!

    1. You are hypothyroid. Your TSH is above 5. A healthy person's with no disease has an average TSH of about 1. Yours is way too high at 5. Your GP is likely using the archaic "rule of 10" - no treatment until TSH reaches 10 - that practically went out with the Victorian Age. (Not literally... but you get the idea.) Most modern doctors still quibble about "borderline" TSH between 2 and 5, but almost all will treat when symptoms and antibodies are present above 3.5 or so. Very, very few make one wait until it gets above 10.

    2. You have symptoms because you are hypothyroid. Symptoms don't pop up out of nowhere. Symptoms are caused by conditions... In your case, hypothyroidism.

    You don't have to live like that, hon. Please... Learn to speak up for yourself about this. If you don't advocate for you, no one else will.

     
    Old 03-18-2009, 03:06 AM   #9
    Heather1973
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    Re: Any advice gratefully received!!

    Hi,

    Sorry - me again!!

    Just wondered if there is any point in asking my GP for further tests? It's just that I've seen T3 & T4 mentioned and wondered if this would be applicable in helping to make a diagnosis?

    If my GP refuses to treat me - is it worthwhile asking for a referral to an endocrinologist - or would they be just as likely to reach the same conclusion?

    I feel so confused!! lol

    Thank you x

     
    Old 03-18-2009, 09:03 AM   #10
    midwest1
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    Re: Any advice gratefully received!!

    I'm in the US, and I don't use government health care; so it's hard for me to tell you how to find treatment within the NHS.

    The other GP you plan to see may or may not agree with your primary GP's diagnosis. I hope, for your sake, that he/she is better than that! Even if he/she does agree and won't treat, I urge you not to give up the fight. I wouldn't be telling you that without being very sure you're hypothyroid.

    If it's at all possible, have your husband go with you to the next appointment and tell the doctor what he's observing about your symptoms. Such confirmation often helps win over a male doctor to view the woman's complaints with more seriousness and objectivity.

    I wouldn't necessarily say that an endo will see the light any better than your GP or will be your salvation. But if you can't get anywhere with the GP, you should press for an endo consultation. It would be worth a try.

    I'll be here crossing my fingers for you. Please let us know what happens, OK?

     
    Old 03-19-2009, 06:24 AM   #11
    Heather1973
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    Exclamation Re: Any advice gratefully received!!

    Hi,

    Ok - where do I start??

    Without reading my other posts - I don't know if i have mentioned that I have been experiencing pain and discharge in one of my breasts - which I thought could be linked to thyroid?

    Anyway, I went to see GP - told her that about the problem with my breast and also I wanted to talk about my thyroid results.

    Had a quick chat and she thought that my thyroid results maybe the least of my problems and after an examination, I have been referred to hospital (should be within 2 weeks) as she can not rule out breast cancer

    But as I had built myself up to talk about my thyroid, I did!! And we had quite a good, lengthy chat. I discussed my non-specific symptoms and she confirmed that they were non-specific. She went through my results, and said they were all within range - apart from one taken last year. She said my T3 & T4 had been tested and were within range (sorry, I didn't get the results and as they were from 2007 I didn't think they were particulary relevant?) I went on to mention my sister having hashimotos, she concluded that there is no evidence to say that hashimotos is hereditary and also the fact she is my half sister would rule this out anyway.

    But she suggested that I continue to be monitered every 6mths to a year.

    Then she just went on to discuss hospital booking for my other problem.

    Anyway - I now have the biggest headache ever - trying not to worry about things - but it's hard!!

    Thank you all so much for your advice and for giving me the courage to go back and see a GP.

    xxx






    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwest1 View Post
    I'm in the US, and I don't use government health care; so it's hard for me to tell you how to find treatment within the NHS.

    The other GP you plan to see may or may not agree with your primary GP's diagnosis. I hope, for your sake, that he/she is better than that! Even if he/she does agree and won't treat, I urge you not to give up the fight. I wouldn't be telling you that without being very sure you're hypothyroid.

    If it's at all possible, have your husband go with you to the next appointment and tell the doctor what he's observing about your symptoms. Such confirmation often helps win over a male doctor to view the woman's complaints with more seriousness and objectivity.

    I wouldn't necessarily say that an endo will see the light any better than your GP or will be your salvation. But if you can't get anywhere with the GP, you should press for an endo consultation. It would be worth a try.

    I'll be here crossing my fingers for you. Please let us know what happens, OK?

     
    Old 03-19-2009, 01:22 PM   #12
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    Re: Any advice gratefully received!!

    Oh my... such shocking news! I certainly hope all will be well after you get it checked out.

    You're correcting in thinking that if the interplay of endocrine hormones goes wonky, it can cause inappropriate breast leakage. Let's hope that's all it turns out to be.

    I'm proud of you for pressing the thyroid issue, especially in light of the worry about the breast problem.

    One thing I want to stress to you about test results "within range". That phrase means almost nothing and should never be accepted at face value. The fact is, that if your free T4/free T3 levels turn up within the bottom half of their ranges, that is very likely NOT "normal". About 90% of the population needs those to be within the upper half to upper third of the ranges to feel well. If these levels are at the very bottom of their ranges - even though they are still technically within them - they are NOT "normal" and can cause all the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism that you listed. Because your TSH is so high, I would bet the farm that your FTs are at the bottom of their ranges, and therefore, inadequate.

    Always obtain a printed copy of your test results and ranges so that you can decipher them yourself. Sad to say, we cannot always trust those to whom we entrust our care to know what they're doing.

    Please let us know how things go for you. I'll keep my most positive thoughts for a good outcome on the breast problem.

     
    Old 03-19-2009, 03:02 PM   #13
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    Re: Any advice gratefully received!!

    i am new to this myself but had been fobed of for yuears with antidepresants then i was told i was diabetic i think they were wrong because i could eat as much sweet foods and still get a good sugar level at my last test i was then told i had an underactive thyroid looking at your tsh they are about the same as mine and i am on medication there are a lot of people on this website that wouldknow a lot more than me someone will be able to tell you a bit more when they read your post but i would think going by your tsh you are definetly a good bit out see your doc again i also live in the uk so the lab results would be the same

     
    Old 03-23-2009, 09:38 AM   #14
    denacci78
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    i need advice also, please help!!!

    hello all. i desperately need advice or i am gonna go insane!: my history with hypo is as follows. I have three children, following the birth of each i have had hyper followed by hypo followed by thyroid setting itself right again, except for after the birth of my third child when my thyroid remained hypo, that was 9 years ago now, i have been treated with levothyroxine for 9 years now. my initial tsh at diagnosis was 32.

    not one g.p has looked into or given me any explanation about my condition, no mention of hashimoto's or anything....no-one has bothered to expalin anything much.

    for those 9 years i have never felt well and have constantly ran to my g.p to say i felt i was not having enough thyroxine to make me well to no avail. my tsh test was always around 1 throughout this time hence the g.p ignoring my pleas for 9 years. despite this result of 1 i have consistently felt awful with lots of hypo symptoms. (I was taking 100 mcgs)
    A year ago a g.p agreed to try me on 125mcg with the result that i felt wonderful for the first time in 9 years and the majority of my symptoms disappeared. i did not go back until recently to be tested as i was afraid my dose would be reduced. (no-one chased this up by the way!!) anyway, my recent test showed up at a tsh of 0.03 (This was after a year on the 125mcg) and the g.p demanded that i reduce my dose again to 100mcgs as this result was taking me out of range and was undesirable for my heart health. i was devastated especially as while on the 125mcgs my resting pulse was always a steady 64 bpm. and i had no symptoms of hyperthyroidism. my questions are :

    is there no room whatsoever for considering how the patient actually feels? my experience is that most g.p's strictly stick to the result of a number rather than actually considering how one feels.

    if i had not reduced down to 100mcgs and had stuck to the 125mcgs what would have happened?

    is it that levothyroxine does not help some people? this seems to be the only help one can have here in the uk.

    since reducing i now have many old symptoms back:

    feeling dizzy.
    feeling very cold all the time.
    what i think is a slow pulse, at rest between 54 ---58
    feeling lethargic
    a head full of cotton wool
    poor concentration
    feeling short of breath
    unable to lose weight (i am 2 and a half stone overweight.)
    high cholesterol
    feeling 'spaced out'.

    can anyone advise?

    i have a theory that the shortness of breath is due to my fairly slow heartbeat, any comment?

    i look forward to any replies very eagerly. x

     
    Old 03-27-2009, 03:38 AM   #15
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    Re: Any advice gratefully received!!

    Hi!

    Well, I've got my appt through for the breast clinic for April 1st!!

    I really don't think that they are going to find anything horrid (hoping anyway) I really believe - even if my GP doesn't, that it is thyroid related.

    My husband is going to come with me to the clinic and we have thought about asking THEM about the thyroid issue if all the tests come back clear - but I have got a feeling they will probably refer me back to my GP!! But still, it's worth a shot?!

    I just wish that there were clearer guidelines here in the UK, I have read other posts where they have been diagnosed as hypothyroid, even though their TSH levels are lower than mine! And they live in here in the UK

    I appreciate that my TSH levels are not outrageously high at 5.08 (last test) but can people still experience 'symptoms' with this level - or is it all 'in my head' as my GP seems to think? I am so confused! I am also unhappy that they seem very happy to 'hand out' anti-depressants - when I have 'proved' that I am better without them - they don't work for me - and believe me I have tried several types over the last few years!

    Although, I am almost tempted to go down the anti-depressant route, just out of desperation - but I am digging my heels in!! If it wasn't for the physical signs - i.e heavy periods, coldness, ezcema, etc. And the tiredness i experience isn't 'just' an emotional tiredness - I feel so tired that my body aches and I feel that I am coming down with flu - then I wake up the next morning and apart from being exhausted I'm 'ok'.

    Out of interest can your thyroid effect ferritin levels?? As mine is 30 - but 'normal' as in range 15 - 250? Just something else I could perhaps query if it does?

    Well, I'll see how I get on next week and I suppose take it from there?

    Take care

     
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