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Dr suspects thyroid problem.(17 Posts)
Hi, I visited the Dr today as I've been having issues with frequent, heavy periods (every 19 days lasting for 8 days) and I suspect I'm anemic as I'm tired and dizzy all the time.
The Dr has said she suspects my thyroid levels are out so I'm getting blood tests done for that (and other stuff) on Wednesday. I've looked up low and thyroid symptoms and found I have quite a few of low thyroid and have done for a number of years now.
I always feel cold, I'm the person in a long sleeve polo-neck in the middle summer. The one in the office who is always freezing.
My hands and feet are always cold to the touch.
Muscle cramps and aches and pains - mainly on my legs and my feet cramp up a fair bit.
My hair has became thinner/ less full but as I had loads to start with it's not really noticeable (but my hairdresser did comment on it the last time I was in so I'm not imagining it)
I've got low(ish) libido, bouts of constipation, occasional ringing in my ears, sensitive to bright lights,I've gained weight and it's been a very, very slow process to get it down (still 3lbs over weight), I am always tired. I sleep 9 hours at night and given the chance I will go back to sleep from 11am through to 2:30 - I need to set an alarm so I get up in time for school pick up. I feel like I need at least 14 hours sleep at the moment. I suffer brain fog and struggle to remember dates, names etc. I will ask someone a question and then forget the answer 5 minute later - that type of thing.
Anyway you get the picture.
So blood tests will be this week and I think it will be next week before I get the results back. I've been reading I should ask for my actual levels rather than just if they are normal or not so I will do that, not that I have a clue what the levels actually are, I will also mention to the Dr my other symptoms as I didn't today (I didn't know they were symptoms of thyroid issues so it never occurred to me to mention them)
What should I expect next?
If the test come back out of range then I'm guessing it's medication and a process of finding the right dose. If they come back as normal then I suspect it will be more tests to figure out what is wrong. The Dr did give me a prescription for Tranexamic acid and Mefenamic Acid today to help sort out the heavy periods, she did suggest the pill but I've had so many issues in the past I've very, very reluctant to go there again.
I was diagnosed as autoimmune hypo age 15, had many of the same symptoms. The blood tests I get are for T3 T4 and some kind of antibodies, def ask for actual levels because I've had to have doses adjusted for being the wrong end of normal. I'll warn you levothyroxine is the usual drug of choice and this replaces one of the hormones and for me and others doesn't do much for symptoms. In regards to periods I too have problems (they're linked) and my GP thought it best to get a scan just in case and then consider the pill (yours mught suggest at some point). However, due to mental health effects I probably won't go on the pill. Mefenamic is okay but causes drowsiness which doesn't help. If your thyroid is under (and mine was miles out) they still start you on a low dose - 25 50 etc to see how you 'adapt'. I hope it goes okay for you - hypothyroidism can be a struggle.
Thanks for replying caremummy. I've been reading up on it a little and it's all a bit overwhelming to be honest.
I would never have considered going to the dr for all the little things I have (feeling cold, foot cramps etc) as I just assumed it was one of those things and my hair thinning I thought it's just age, I'm 33 but I know things do start to slow down in your 30's so just thought I was unlucky. My weight again I put down to age, I'm not massively overweight -at my heaviest I would say I was 2 1/2 stones over the top of my healthy range. I think the fact I put on weight but didn't change anything in my life was what I found strange. I did attribute it to the pill I was in at the time - cerazzette I think it was called but even once I stopped taking it the weight stayed.
It's been the frequent, heavy periods that's prompted me to go to the Dr as my mum and grandmother both went through menopause early and mum had polyps removed in her mid 30s, I think I was more concerned I was having similar issues. The tiredness I was thinking was anemia due to the heavy periods and wanted to check that out first before I started taking iron supplements.
Thinking back I've had many of the symptoms for years, the time I actually felt the healthiest was during pregnancy (even though I was anemic then) and all my back acne cleared up. I'm not sure why but I suspect what ever hormones my body was producing then made me feel better.
Anyway it's all speculation for me just now and this might turn out to be something else entirely. I just feel glad it's something my dr mentioned first, as from the stories I have been reading it appears to be the other way round and people are struggling to get their dr to even test thyroid levels.
I have an underactive thryroid, which has been fairly straightforward to treat. They put me on an initial dose of thryoxine, then another blood test after 6 weeks. They then adusted the dose and have blood tests 6 monthly.
If it has been less than a year since you were pregnant it could be post partum related which is treated but normally corrects itself.
I had a lot of the symptoms you describe and it turned out I was just anaemic! - don't have periods but had been to give blood every time I was able for the last few years. (every 16 weeks I think)
I just had iron tablets for 3 months and not give blood less often and it's mostly fine - so it might be nothing to worry about!
It certainly sounds like an underactive thyroid. You have some classic signs and symptoms there. However, some of the symptoms are non-specific, so you could have other stuff going on. Has your GP tested vitamin B12, folate, ferritin and vitamin D as well?
Yes to getting a print out of your results (with the reference ranges) when they come. It's not difficult to learn to interpret them once you've had a bit of practice.
Come back when you have the results and we'll chew over them for you.
EmilyRosanne my daughter is 7 so not that unfortunately. I did actually feel pretty good health wise for a good 6 months or so after I gave birth and didn't really struggle with the night feeds or tiredness like I was expecting.
user it could just be that I'm anemic as I was taking iron supplements (the liquid stuff as the tablets made me constipated) when I was pregnant and did feel better. I have donated blood several times over the years though and it's never been picked up on then so not sure. It has been a while though.
Pleasemrstweedie I'm not sure what she has requested test wise. She said she wanted to test my thyroid levels, full blood count, kidney and liver function etc. I will ask tomorrow when I go for the test what exactly they are testing for and report back. Hopefully they will give me a print out of everything once the results are in if I ask but I know some Drs can be a bit funny about that. I will be sure to post my results and appreciate the help to interpret them.
Oh joy. My period has just started -again. Last one was 1st march to 8th March so a 14 day cycle this time (and only a 5 day break).
So the question now is should I avoid taking the tranexamic acid and the mefenamic acid until after my blood test tomorrow as I don't want it to skew any results.
If you can manage without it for 24 hours, I would.
Irregular periods are of course another sign of hypothyroidism.
Ok blood test done today. I didn't take any of the new medication beforehand (I've gone 5 months without so another day won't do any harm). I did intend to post earlier but fell asleep on the couch when I got home. I have an alarm set to go off every day 30 mins before school pick up as this happens a lot just now and it would be very embarrassing to sleep in for school pick up.
The nurse was really lovely and wrote done what tests I was having:
Full blood count (FBC)
Urea electrolytes (ELU)
Thyroid function (TFT - TSH and T4)
We were chatting and I mentioned my weight, she didn't agree I was as heavy as I said I was. I had just weighed myself in boots on Monday so we checked on her scales that had been calibrated 3 weeks ago and it was showing me 6lbs lighter than in boots. So I have gone from being overweight to being in the (top end of) ideal range. Now obviously I'm pleased but wonder now if it's making the low thyroid less likely.
I suppose I will find out next week when the results come back.
It would be useful to get B12 and vit D checked too. If your TSH is high in range, say over 2, it would be helpful to get ft3 checked too. FT3 is the active hormone and can still be low when FT4 is (low) in range.
Thyroid uk is a good source of info.
Agree about Vit D, I have deficiency in that and GP said there was a link. Hope you get some good answers
Ok I've just got my results. They were reluctant to give me the numbers as it was fine.
TSH- 2.82 (she said range was 0.3-5)
T4 Free - 11.7 (range 9-21)
My iron levels are low so I've to go pick up a prescription for iron tablets. Once they are done I've to go back in to see dr and have another blood test.
I would ask for folate, b12 and vit D to be tested and also your antibodies to rule out Hashimotos autoimmune thyroid disorder.
Your FT4 is lower than mine when i was diagnosed and then when FT3 was checked, it was below range. With ft4 at only 11.7, theres a good chance your FT3 will be low. Some lab ranges are 12-26 for ft4.
Your TSH is in the bottom 25% of the reference range, so, as it’s a one to one conversion, your FT3 will be correspondingly low and that is why you have symptoms.
Your results are very far from ‘fine’.
It may be that if you can sort your iron etc out, then things will improve, but if you feel half as bad as I did with results like this, then you will be struggling.
The good people on the ThyroidUK forum at www.healthunlocked.com, will be able to advise you.
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