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melflynn 09-13-2012 11:17 AM

Help with Thyroid Problems
Hello everyone! I recently began reading this board because I feel as though I have been having thyroid issues since I was 18, but doctors continually say I'm "normal" or check me for depression, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or anything else.
It began when I was 18 and gained weight pretty rapidly and began sleeping a lot and having no energy. Then my maternal grandma said my neck was looking large and I should have my thyroid checked. Thyroid problems, particulary hashimoto's) run on her side of the family. She has it and was diagnosed too late, my aunt had it and had her thyroid partially removed, and my mother had it prior to her death (unrelated).
Immediately when the doctor walked into the room she asked if I had ever had my thyroid checked. When I told her that is what I was there for she immediately drew up the paperwork and felt my thyroid saying it was enlarged. 10 days later tests came back normal no thyroid problems, but get it checked every year.
So here we are 10 years later and I cannot walk into a doctor's office without someone asking if I ever had my thyroid checked due to it's enlarged state. I have been at a grocery store and had off-duty doctor's ask me. However my tests routinely come back normal and the doctor decides to test me for something else, most recently poly-cystic ovarian syndrome which I had no cysts around my ovaries in the ultrasound.
I know symptoms are not the best way to diagnose yourself with a thyroid problem especially after 10 years dealing with the symptoms. It's sad because I've kinda resigned myself to the girl that needs to go to bed early on a work night or she will sleep through her alarm clock, who can't wear a scarf because it feels like I'm being choked to death, and who fights with herself when she runs to just keep going even though your exhausted and can't breathe because I feel like no air is going to lungs.

Sorry about so much background and complaining but I think everyone on here understands the frustration. My question is what tests are the best for diagnosing Hashimoto's and what levels should I be looking into regarding Hashimoto's? I tell doctor's what the family history is regarding Hashimoto's and they nod and tell me they understand and administer tests. Oddly enough, even though my thyroid is obviously enlarged no one has ever done an ultrasound on it (however they will do countless ultrasounds of my ovaries, uterus, and any other lady part). Based on what I've read on this site, the last doctor I went to did not administer the correct tests.

Here they are and the results:

It was done non-fasting

t-3 free 3.10 (2.3-4.2)
t-4 free 1.05 (0.89-1.76
Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab 9 (0-34)

This test was done almost a year ago and I am getting ready to go back for an new set of tests. Any guidance would definitely be appreciated.

Thank you so much for your help!

FinnMaid 09-14-2012 09:10 AM

Re: Help with Thyroid Problems
Hello :wave: Welcome to Thyroid Board :)[QUOTE=melflynn;5055290]My question is what tests are the best for diagnosing Hashimoto's and what levels should I be looking into regarding Hashimoto's?
t-3 free 3.10 (2.3-4.2)
t-4 free 1.05 (0.89-1.76
Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab 9 (0-34)[/QUOTE]You've had a pretty good set taken, surprisingly I don't see a TSH result :confused: - it's usually the first on the check list. Your FreeTs are within range but clearly on the low side so that could definitely explain your symptoms. You seem to have some thyroid Abs, that may not mean much but with your lowish FreeTs, symptoms and family history I think it's very likely you have Hashi's. You could have TG Abs checked too, those can be significantly elevated even if TPO Ab is not - one can also have Hashi's even with no Abs in blood.

melflynn 09-14-2012 09:59 AM

Re: Help with Thyroid Problems
Thank You Finnmaid!

I don't know why she did not check my TSH levels. Possibly because right when she walked in she asked if I had ever had my thryoid checked (my neck is horribly enlarged and has been for years). I told her every year and Hashimoto's runs in all the women on my mother's side of the family. She probably just immediately checked for Hashimoto's without TSH.

I found a friend of a friend who has struggled for years to get her Hashimoto's diagnosed until she went to her current doctor. She sent me his name and as soon as my health insurance kicks in next month, he is the first doctor I am going to see.

FinnMaid 09-14-2012 10:18 AM

Re: Help with Thyroid Problems
Good luck with the doc :) If your TSH has always been within range and you've never really had your freeTs tested then testing those freeTs does give us valuable info. You freeTs look hypothyroid whatever your TSH.

Bran'sNana 09-14-2012 11:48 AM

Re: Help with Thyroid Problems
Yeah good thing you're seeing another doc! Your free labs "look" kinda normal but are probably too low for you if you have all these symptoms AND an enlarged thyroid. No ultrasound of that though.. how crazy is this? You will probably have a higher tsh which means these numbers are too low for your body's needs. For some nutty reason, some docs will not consider this. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a's a duck! Hope you get some help soon hon!

melflynn 09-14-2012 12:25 PM

Re: Help with Thyroid Problems
Thanks Bran'snana!

I am definitely going to request an ultrasound of my thyroid with this new doctor (or demand whatever works!) While my neck has always been large, I have never had it feel the way it does lately. I'm at the point were I don't want anything close to my neck.

It's definitely nice to have a place that helps me understand my own tests and what tests need to be taken as well. For years I never knew what tests were taken or the actual results. Just "normal". As the saying goes, "knowledge is power"

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