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Possible Thyroid problem?(need guidance)

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Old 02-04-2012, 05:31 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: New York, New York United States
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tess27 HB User
Possible Thyroid problem?(need guidance)

Hi, I'm new here and I apologize in advance for the length. I'm a 20 something female.

I've been wondering for a while if I could have a thyroid problem. I'd only ever had my TSH tested before and have had it tested multiple times in the last few months. Each time, it has been on the surprisingly low-normal end of the spectrum. Surprising I say because I've had symptoms of hypothyroid for years i.e chronic constipation, dry skin, fluctuating weight gain/loss, ice cold extremities, muscle pain. I had my TSH tested in September and it was .34. Again in November and this time it was .54. I have my most recent results and it says .44.

I know it says not to post 'non thyroid issues' but I'm not completely sure what symptoms I have that are/are not related to a thyroid problem. I've been going through a slew of testing for various autoimmune diseases due to being run down, tired all the time and chronic muscle and joint pain. All have come back negative. Nevertheless, I was finally tested for other thyroid tests besides TSH. The results appear normal but I wonder if they could still be indicative of anything.

Other symptoms of unknown origin:I've recently been found to have a very low vitamin d level(17), a slightly elevated cortisol level(21). Other recent symptoms to mention that have begun in the last few months. noticeable puffiness in face, high heart rate i.e. tachycardia. (I often have a resting heart rate in the low 100's), fluctuating blood pressure(sometimes it is 130's/80-90 others it is in the low 100-110's/50's-60's.) it makes no sense and i've been seeing a cardiologist to rule out heart and kidney problems, skin changes, increased acne and hair growth, eye symptoms,(dry eyes, eye pain, visual distortions like halos, starbursts, flashing lights) . Once again, thank you for reading all this. Here's my most recent thyroid results:

TSH: .44 range(0.34-4.82)
Total T3: 111 range(70-190)
Total T4: 7.4 range(4.7-13.3)

Last edited by tess27; 02-04-2012 at 05:44 PM.

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Old 02-05-2012, 10:12 AM   #2
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Re: Possible Thyroid problem?(need guidance)

Hi there.
You haven't had the best tests for this, but it does appear you are hypothyroid, probably due to a pituitary problem instead of the more usual thyroid gland failure. The pituitary gland produces TSH, which is a signal hormone that tells the thyroid gland to adjust its output of thyroid hormone. With normal thyroid function, TSH will rise as T4/T3 fall (and vice versa). But your TSH is far too low to be correctly reflecting the below-median levels of your total T4/T3. The T4/T3 levels would be far too low for most women to remain asymptomatic. Do not let yourself be talked out of the probability that you have "secondary" hypothyroidism. Pursue it as far as you have to in order to get treated.

(The better tests to use for measuring T4/T3 are those that assess the free levels, not total. Insist on having the free T4/3 tests done next time.)

The book Thyroid for Dummies will teach you all the basics you'll need to advocate for successful treatment. The more you know, the more confident you'll be to demand what you need from less-than-cooperative MDs.

Good luck!

Old 02-05-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: Possible Thyroid problem?(need guidance)

tess27's situation is yet another reason why MD's shouldn't look at TSH to judge thyroid status.

While most people with hypothyroidism will have a higher TSH or over-range TSH, not everyone will.

tess27 - there's a chance your body is producing a less common type of antibody - it's called TRab (TSH receptor antibody). Not only does TRAb suppress thyroid hormone production and make the patient hypothyroid but, it suppresses production of TSH - the hormone usually produced by the pituitary to stimulate the thyroid to produce hormone.

Midwest1 already covered the bases.....I just had to add my bit about TRab because that is what caused my hypothyroidism and, not everyone has to start off with Graves' to develop TRab antibodies.

Obviously, if you got a TRab blood test, you would know if this is the cause of your hypothyroidism. If not, you could have a pituitary dysfunction as Midwest1 states.

For whatever it's worth, hypothyroidism is treated the same, regardless of the cause.
Graves' 2007...remission 2009....hypo 2010

Last edited by sammy64; 02-05-2012 at 11:30 AM.

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auto-immune, hashimotos thyroid disease, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, thyroid

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