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  • possible overactive thyroid?

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    Old 04-10-2009, 05:49 AM   #1
    alex1987
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    possible overactive thyroid?

    Hi there, im 21 years old and for the last couple of weeks have been experiencing a pounding sensation in my chest. i have had this before a few years ago and both times had ECG tests done and hospital appointments etc etc and the doctors said that it was basically nothing, just a "fast heart beat". these symptoms disappeared.

    2 weeks ago, however, they randomly came back and have been there since. on the day that they started i was about to give a presentation at university so i thought it was just nerves. however when i woke up the next day and they were still there i thought it was a bit strange. i did have a lot of coursework to do that week also, and then went straight into revision for exams so i wondered whether it could be stress/anxiety? although i do not feel worried about the exams at all. i am worried that my heart is pounding!

    over the past year or so i have had a few irritating medical problems:
    had severe acne and was put on roaccutane tablets for 4 months
    persistent sore throat around christmas, sinus congestion
    ongoing urological issue - diagnosed as chronic prostatitis (since summer last year, ongoing urology appointments)

    however, i have just read up about hyperthyroidism on the internet and the list of symptoms. for the past few weeks i have also not been sleeping as well as usual, waking up more in the night and also going to the toilet a lot more over the past few months (number 2!), which interestingly is a symptom of overactive thyroid apparently.

    i have my university final exams starting in under 3 weeks and this is quite irritating, im wondering what i should do. is there a test they can do to see if i have an overactive thyroid? or do you think it is just stress related? if so, how do i get rid of this stress even though i feel fine?!

    thanks!

     
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    Old 04-10-2009, 08:56 PM   #2
    midwest1
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    Re: possible overactive thyroid?

    There are blood tests for hyperthyroidism, Alex. If you haven't had any yet, ask for TSH, free T4, and free T3 tests. You may be turned down on the free T3; accept no less than TSH and free T4. If the TSH is low or low-normal and the free T4 is high or high-normal, you are likely hyperthyroid. It is possible to have a normal free T4 level with a hyper level of FT3; that's why it's useful to have both tests, even though MDs usually balk at the FT3.

    If these basic screening tests come back suspicious, there are more extensive studies that should be done. For now, ask for the basics.

     
    Old 04-11-2009, 06:56 AM   #3
    alex1987
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    Re: possible overactive thyroid?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwest1 View Post
    There are blood tests for hyperthyroidism, Alex. If you haven't had any yet, ask for TSH, free T4, and free T3 tests. You may be turned down on the free T3; accept no less than TSH and free T4. If the TSH is low or low-normal and the free T4 is high or high-normal, you are likely hyperthyroid. It is possible to have a normal free T4 level with a hyper level of FT3; that's why it's useful to have both tests, even though MDs usually balk at the FT3.

    If these basic screening tests come back suspicious, there are more extensive studies that should be done. For now, ask for the basics.
    Cool thanks very much for your reply, i will be going to see the doctor after bank holiday, so do my symptoms sound like this could be the problem?

    And if I was found to have hyperthyroidism how quickly would I be able to be given treatment, which would ease the symptoms (the heart pounding mainly) as, like I mentioned, I do have exams soon, and I would be grateful for anything which would stop this annoying heart problem before then!

     
    Old 04-11-2009, 07:41 AM   #4
    midwest1
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    Re: possible overactive thyroid?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alex1987 View Post
    ... over the past year or so i have had a few irritating medical problems:
    had severe acne and was put on roaccutane tablets for 4 months
    persistent sore throat around christmas, sinus congestion
    ongoing urological issue - diagnosed as chronic prostatitis (since summer last year, ongoing urology appointments)

    however, i have just read up about hyperthyroidism on the internet and the list of symptoms. for the past few weeks i have also not been sleeping as well as usual, waking up more in the night and also going to the toilet a lot more over the past few months (number 2!), which interestingly is a symptom of overactive thyroid apparently.

    The symptoms you list in the first paragraph don't sound very much like hyperT, but those you list in the second, plus the heart pounding, are among the classic ones. Unintentional weight loss or no gain despite increased food intake is also classic. (Although few people have all of the possible symptoms.)

    The treatment for hyperT should be carefully considered, as the one favored by doctors will destroy the thyroid gland with radiation, which makes the patient hypOthyroid. The naturally-made thyroid hormone is then replaced with that from a pill. So don't rush into this, even though you're in a hurry to feel better now. It isn't a decision to make lightly.

    If hyperT is your problem, you can take anti-thyroid drugs to reduce your gland's production of hormone; and a beta blocker, which will also help to keep thyroid hormone in check while slowing down the heart rate. This treatment has the benefit of not being as permanent as destroying the thyroid gland.

    Good luck to you on your exams and with your health.

    Last edited by midwest1; 04-11-2009 at 07:42 AM.

     
    Old 04-11-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
    GravesGirl73
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    Re: possible overactive thyroid?

    Yes, I agree with Midwest on all her advice.It sounds like it could be hyperthyroid, defintely,have the tests done. if you're found to be hyper you'll most likely be prescibed a beta blocker to slow down the heart until the anti thyroid meds kick in. (a few weeks) Good luck, the heart stuff is the WORST!! Being aware you have a heart 24/7 is no fun!

     
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