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What could this be? EXTREME exhaustion.

(39 Posts)
PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 10:55:13

I am constantly exhausted - I am currently being treated for depression, and am on 45mg mirtazipine (specifically to try to improve the quality of my sleep at night, in the hope of reducing this). Despite this, I am still hardly able to function. Even with 12+ hours sleep, I am exhausted & can't watch television or read without finding myself falling asleep. My GP sent me for blood tests last week, but I haven't heard back yet - I'm not sure what they were testing for, although diabetes was mentioned (I had to fast for 12 hours beforehand). I'm not sure that it is diabetes though, as I don't have the constant thirst, etc.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

FashionFail Thu 07-Mar-13 11:02:31


FaceCake Thu 07-Mar-13 11:05:41

Underactive thyroid would fit. Strange the Dr didn't give you any idea of what they were looking for. Fasting for 12 hours before is common for diabetes and thyroid tests.

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 11:05:42

Other things that have started within a similar timeframe (a few months now, since it got this bad) which may or may not be related:

getting shaky with hunger if I don't eat for a couple of hours
a couple of brown patches underneath one of my breasts

They're such a strange selection of things that I'm not sure that they can be related, but they date similarly, so far as I can remember.

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 11:07:32

Ah, thank you - interesting that you both say thyroid. I thought that that ran in families, though? As far as I know, I don't have a family history of thyroid problems.

Regarding the blood tests, all I really know is that I fasted for 12 hours before, & the phlebotomist took 3 vials of blood. I'm not sure what they did with them after that!

Hawkmoth Thu 07-Mar-13 11:09:09

Could you ring and ask for the results?

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 11:14:24

I've tried to ring this morning, but for some reason the phone keeps ringing out. I have to go out for half an hour or so in a few minutes, but I might see if I can go into the doctors on the way back to speak to the receptionist face to face, if possible.

Also forgot to add to the list of strange & possibly unrelated symptoms - I've been having a lot of heartburn. It feels like the same kind of thing that I had when I was heavily pregnant, with the strange acid burning at the bottom of my throat. It's been happening every day recently, for quite a lot of the day too.

digerd Thu 07-Mar-13 11:45:29

Last time I had 3 lots taken did include Thyroid tests, liver, kidneys and a full blood count.

Has your weight changed at all?

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 12:24:03

Yes, I've put on some weight, but I thought that was just from sleeping & eating too much.

I just spoke to the receptionist, who said my results are in & it's 'no further action', but she said she couldn't tell me any specifics about the results, or even what the tests were.

Having done some research into the thyroid suggestion, I would say that I fit a lot of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.

From the NHS site:

tiredness - definitely
weight gain - yes
depression - yes
being sensitive to the cold - yes
dry skin and hair - yes
muscle aches - not especially

Would it be possible for it to still by hypothyroidism with no real muscle aches & me being told there'll be no further action on my test results? It would make a lot of sense if that's what it was...

digerd Thu 07-Mar-13 12:39:33

' No further action' ? How frustrating for you and that's not right.
I would make another appt with GP to discuss further tests for your condition.

My sis had no muscle aches when she was very underactive. I had muscle cramps, but my Thyroid was hardly working at all at that time.

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 12:52:40

Thank you - that's very useful. Both that you think that it's frustrating & that muscle cramps don't need to be present!

All of the odd symptoms seem to be known as symptoms of hypothyroidism, even the strange brown patches under my breast, although some seem to be common. Also interesting is that I am anosmic (can't smell), which also seems like it can be linked, although I have always been anosmic, so I'm not sure if it's related or just a coincidence!

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 07-Mar-13 12:57:18

mirtazapine can be extremely sedating. It might not be the right AD for you.

OhYouBadBadKitten Thu 07-Mar-13 12:58:08

it can also cause weight gain.

digerd Thu 07-Mar-13 13:01:04

I don't remember my sense of smell being changed, but don't think I would have noticed it at the time.

You definitely need more tests to find out was is happening to you.
Good luck

digerd Thu 07-Mar-13 13:01:49

what not was.

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 13:04:13

I was on citalopram before this & had the same symptoms - I got switched to mirtazapine to try to help me get to sleep at night / improve the quality of my sleep, to try to reduce my tiredness during the day. It hasn't really helped.

When I started this thread this morning, I was wondering if the exhaustion was just a symptom of the depression, or something else. Hypothyroidism would explain so much, but having been told that my blood results require no further action, I feel really confused! I will phone the surgery in the morning to try to make an appointment for tomorrow, to try to work out what's going on.

mummytime Thu 07-Mar-13 13:06:43

Do get the levels of the Thyroid test, as they often don't treat levels in the UK that would be treated in other countries.

mummytime Thu 07-Mar-13 13:11:57

Do get the levels of the Thyroid test, as they often don't treat levels in the UK that would be treated in other countries.

ThatBintAgain Thu 07-Mar-13 13:14:53

I've had similar for 6 months - only just now starting to feel better. After a load of tests I was told it was "a virus". hmm Got no further help and turned to acupuncture out of desperation. (It worked, by the way!) Hope you feel better soon.

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 15:14:21

I've just phoned again & got a different receptionist, who was much more helpful & said that if I phone back between 5-6pm today, they'll be able to give me exact figures. I think, having done a lot of reading, that either way I will try to get an appointment tomorrow, but I would like to be armed with as much knowledge as possible. From what I've read, they may not have done a full range of thyroid tests, and it can be difficult to get a proper result without it - and like mummytime said, the ranges can differ within that. Who knew it would be so complicated to essentially get a yes / no diagnosis?!

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 15:15:11

& ThatBint - I'm really hoping not to be fobbed off like you were, but interesting that acupuncture helped. I wouldn't have thought of that.

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 17:12:27

Okay, there is only one result for the thyroid test, & that is 2.9, which is apparently 'normal' (although 'normal' seems to vary, & there seem to be more than one thing that should be tested for an accurate result).

Does anybody know what 2.9 means? Is that actually okay?

duchesse Thu 07-Mar-13 17:30:48

2.9 is your TSH result. TSH is the hormone that prompts your thyroid to produce T4. The more TSH is present, the harder it means your thyroid is being pushed to maintain normal levels of T4. Do you remember what your t4 level is?

2.9 is within clinically "normal" levels, but as the doctor who put me on levothyrozine said, "you're not sub-clinical if you have symptoms". Alleged normal is something in the order of 1-4.7. In the US they treat when you go above 2. In the UK they tend not to treat until 5+. Even in the UK in pregnancy they like to keep you below 2. I think that says quite a lot.

If you feel symptomatic, in your shoes I would keep going back. My GP was not sympathetic alas and tried to put me on antidepressants instead. I wasted 5 years of my life thanks to him.

duchesse Thu 07-Mar-13 17:31:29

And I would ring back and ask for your T4 result as well- that's quite important. Receptionists don't know what they're telling you on the whole.

PuddingsAndPies Thu 07-Mar-13 17:34:15

Thank you - that's very reassuring & helpful.

Apparently there was no other thyroid result, but I have decided that I will be phoning for another appointment tomorrow. I am fairly sure from what I've read that I have hypothyroidism - & even if I don't I have many symptoms which fall into that category, which are preventing me from doing what I need to do in my life.

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