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Really worried waiting for test results for breathlessness,

(24 Posts)
Bahhhhhumbug Wed 16-Apr-14 18:13:22

heartburn, tightening /lump feeling in throat. belching and weight gain. I finally went today as was getting quite alarmed by the worsening of the tight feeling in my throat as though someone is pressing on the little hollow at base of the neck at the front. I have also been quite constipated in last few weeks although 'going' just not nearly as much as usual.
She arranged urgent bloods later in day with the practice nurse and was testing for thyroid function , anaemia and something else which I cant remember. She also took a swab from the back of my mouth and examined my stomach and my back when breathing in and out etc and also felt around my jaw and neck in general and whilst asking me to swallow etc.
She said if the thyroid comes back underactive then obviously will just treat for that and if not she will arrange me to have a camera down my throat to investigate the heartburn. She also said if it comes back I am anaemic then that means it could be something more serious (I think, it's all a blur now cos am panicking).
She has prescribed me some gastro tablets to reduce the acid in my stomach in the meantime.
So what do you all think ? I am a couple of years post menopause which is what I have always blamed the weight gain on and in turn blamed the earlier breathlessness on exertion on the weight gain. Also the heartburn I have managed to by and large get rid of myself (or at least the real burning variety, I still get a bit of dull ache in my chest area after eating or on exertion) by cutting out white wine and chocolate which seem to always bring it on.
I am so worried and have been reading Doctor Google (yeah I know ! and now I am asking a group of strangers on an internet forum hmm ) but are there any medical people out there who can say where they would put their money on whether it's just underactive thyroid /easily rectified or maybe something more worrying in my stomach or oesophagus.

mercibucket Wed 16-Apr-14 18:24:30

sounds quite thyroidy. if so, easily sorted

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 16-Apr-14 18:41:19

I don't think she felt any lumps or anything in my neck or whether she heard anything untoward when listening to my back and tapping it etc because she didn't say as much and I presume she would say ? or would she ? and when she was prodding my stomach it didn't hurt anywhere but she said top of my stomach felt a bit hard. I am a lifelong non smoker btw which she also asked me but I have done an awful lot of passive smoking as worked in bars clubs and restaurants for many years in the 'good' old days of the thick fog of cigarette smoke and also my exh was a chain smoker and an insomniac who smoked in bed and l often woke up to a cloud hanging over the bed which I had been breathing in all night (god I can pick 'em hmm ) I left him and stopped doing the bar work about ten years ago so since then I could be classed as a complete non smoker passive or otherwise.

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 16-Apr-14 18:52:19

thank you merci that's what I thought from what I read on Dr Google but my worry is the belching and heartburn (though as I say have eliminated the really bad burning episodes by eliminating stuff but still have mild 'achey' indigestion) and the burning throat ? could they be all attributed to thyroid as well?
I really want it to be thyroid and not something down my throat or in my stomach and this is not helped by previously having worked in a Gastro dept - a bit of knowledge is dangerous as they say - plus I saw the horrible tests and treatments people have too.

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 16-Apr-14 18:57:19

I think I've remembered what she said about the anaemia test now , I think she was doing that because of the breathlessness ? but I want to block that out as now I think I am slowly bleeding away somewhere {sad] and it takes me away from thyroid , or does it ?

mercibucket Wed 16-Apr-14 18:59:09

no, thyroid causes low iron and also often low b12 which can also be linked to low stomach acid (i think)

Bahhhhhumbug Wed 16-Apr-14 20:07:42

Ah good right. I will stick with my preferred diagnosis of hypothyroidism then in that case which might help me get through Easter holiday without getting hysterical and I'll stay off Dr Google as well

sunbathe Wed 16-Apr-14 20:12:45

I feel breathless whenever I'm anaemic.

Didn't realise there was a link to to thyroid function though.

Bahhhhhumbug Fri 18-Apr-14 16:39:13

yes sunbathe she is testing me for anaemia because apparently that can cause breathlessness. What's worrying me is what would be causing the anaemia in the first place - body fighting something in my throat/oesophagus. I am not sure , but am quite confused by information overload/blind panic but I don't think thyroid problems cause anaemia ? but both can cause breathlessness. I really need to stay off Google don't I and wait for my results damn you Bank Holiday .

mercibucket Fri 18-Apr-14 16:49:46

thyroid problems can definitely cause anaemia
enjoy that bank holiday grin

Bahhhhhumbug Sat 19-Apr-14 20:07:50

Ahh good , as she gave me the impression that if I were anaemic that would mean something else more sinister than a thyroid problem. Now I know doctors can't win especially with neurotic stress balls lke me and at least she is taking it seriously and exploring every avenue and not just writing it off as stress related etc but I really wish she had kept the possibility of it being something in my stomach/oesophagus and talk of cameras down my throat etc. to herself until she had eliminated the more easily solved and less worrying thyroid problem.
She was very nice and all but I have been so worried (hopefully unnecessarily !) about the more sinister possibilities over the holiday though I have suffered from depression in last few months so I suppose have a tendency to look on the bleak side. I also used to work in a Gastro dept and have an absolute dread of having a camera down my throat and always used to be glad it wasn't me as I saw how distressing it was for many people , though tbf she wouldn't have known that before she mentioned it obviously.
On a brighter note the tablets she gave me seem to be doing some good and a lot less tightness in my throat - only once last night for an hour or so after eating chocolate (yeah , yeah , I know) and much less burping and have not woke up last couple of mornings with the usual burning throat and much milder attacks of breathlessness and less frequently.

Bahhhhhumbug Sat 19-Apr-14 20:12:21

Also I have had a lovely day out with hubby today and have noticed I don't seem to get that 'lump in my throat' feeling when out and about doing things. More when am sat at home just thinking about it. So maybe it is partly stress related or exasperated.

digerd Sun 20-Apr-14 16:14:54

If you slump when sitting and not pull up from your waist, with a straight back, that causes breathing problems as squashes the lungs and stomach, also can cause indigestion.
I have had 2 gastro endoscopies and they are uncomfortable and scary but not painful at all. Was given a slight sedation to relax my nerves.

Bahhhhhumbug Mon 21-Apr-14 18:27:30

I do slouch I must admit. When I was very slim that squashing thing probably wasnt much of an issue but now I have put on a couple of stone and have more middle ! maybe it is more important to make sure one bit of me isn't squashing another !
I am dreading having to have an endoscopy. I have always had a fear of choking and cant bear anything around my neck even to the point where I never wear a polo neck or crew neck , cant stand anything like that.

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 22-Apr-14 14:30:19

Got my results today over the phone and they are 'normal' apparently :/ Really worried now as wanted it to be a nice simple thyroid problem which would not involve nasty endoscopies and fits all the symptoms and also would eliminate any sinister causes. My throat is really feeling blocked today (since before I got my results , so not psychological !) as if I have a ball of phlegm stuck in it and when I try and clear my throat I can feel it loosening and moving about so am sure it's not a permanent lump there and I had heartburn last night after eating a slice of DHs lovely home made pizza sad
I am going to try gargling hot salt water today to see if that clears my throat and have been having a tablespoon of Manuka honey every day/drinking plenty of water and trying not to shout my old deaf dog too much when I take him out.
I really am trying to get out of this endoscopy - cant you tell.
The tablets I am on btw are Omeprazole 20mg once a day and I am now waiting to be sent for by the doctor for another appt in light of my results.

RockinD Tue 22-Apr-14 14:39:33

Never accept being told that your results are 'normal'. Get a copy from the doc, together with the reference ranges. Your TSH should be around 1 and your ferritin over 70 for example to be healthy. Being within the reference range is not good enough.

If you do have a thyroid problem and a ferritin deficiency causing breathlesness, then you probably also have low stomach acid, in which case omeprazole will just make things worse.

Sometimes you just have to get all the info and then pick things off one by one.

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 22-Apr-14 17:14:14

Thank you Rockin I am going to ask her for a copy. I am hoping I wont get much resistance to that, you know how some doctors can be. They feel as if you are trying to do their job or something. I had an over active thyroid a few years ago and all the classic symptoms including alarming weight loss. They told me then that my thyroid blood test result was normal but they never found another reason for all my symptons. I googled everything I could about what to do/eat/not eat etc etc to deal with hyperthyroidism and I stuck to it religiously and the weight stopped dropping off and my other symptons disappeared within weeks. Years later I mentioned it to my (different)GP and he said I had never had hyperthyroidism according to my records and I told him what I have just told you and he admitted then that my thyroid result at that time had been at the high end of the 'normal' range. So maybe this is same.
I have been getting heartburn which I have managed to alleviate greatly myself in severity and frequency by simply cutting out culprit foods/drinks, eating slowly , lying propped up in bed etc. I also have been getting a burning throat but this has eased off again by carrying out above measures of late. So is it still possible to have low stomach acid ? yet still get heartburn /burning throat ? The main symptom I am left with which I cant seem to self manage / cure is a feeling of phlegm stuck in my throat that I cant clear. I had a very mucousy cough and cold which I only got rid of about a month ago , so is it possible that there is just a bit of phlegm left hanging around after a month or is that unlikely? So many questions sorry ! My throat swab result that she did hasn't come back yet btw.

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 22-Apr-14 17:19:04

So maybe this is same only 'Hypo' I meant to say

mercibucket Tue 22-Apr-14 17:35:08

have you heard of tonsil stones? they give you a horrible feeling of something stuck in your throat. they can be hidden behind 'holes' on the sides of your throat at the back (sorry, crap description)
i get them when run down and hypo without treatment

def phone n ask for the numbers

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 22-Apr-14 18:13:35

merci I had my tonsils out aged two so stupid question but can I still get these in the area where my tonsils should be?

What reaction do you think I will get to seeing my blood results or getting a copy. If she doesn't agree or is less than co operative I can see them under the freedom of information act cant I ?

Blistory Tue 22-Apr-14 18:28:29

You're entitled to have a copy of your results. They'll be used to it. Just ask the receptionist for a print out and you should get them easily enough.

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 22-Apr-14 18:31:56

Oh right , I thought they were resistant to that sort of thing at GPs. I used to work at the hospital and could have so easily got them printed off or looked at them myself , more's the pity I've left now.
jI will do that and then I can put some of the figures on here and maybe somebody can enlighten me on them.

Elibean Tue 22-Apr-14 19:12:53

Bahhhh....just wanted to add this to the thread: dh had all the same symptoms as you a few months ago, plus was waking up at night gasping for breath on occasion. He started to feel like food was sticking in his gullet, which put me into a blind panic.

Anyway: he had an endoscopy and has a small hiatus hernia (I have one too, but only ever had heartburn with it). Far more common post menopause (in women, natch!) and far more common if a tad overweight.

Don't panic about the anemia part until and unless you know you actually are anaemic - you might not be, it just might be the reflux (which can be going on even if the burning pain has gone). More likely, statistically, by quite a lot I think.

Or thyroid, which is also very common smile

Bahhhhhumbug Tue 22-Apr-14 20:05:25

Elibean thank you. I am going to get a copy of my blood results which are apparently 'normal' and find out what end of the scale of 'normal' they are as I am still convinced it is thyroid. But presumably they didnt show anaemia or were at least within 'normal' range. Hope your hubby is ok now . anything to do with your breathing is very frightening and not something you can forget about , even for a minute unless asleep , it is horrible. How did they fix that then (presuming they have hopefully !)
I am post menopause by about a year and I am a tad overweight in last few years.

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