Thursday, September 5, 2013

Maybe I should look into this

Every so often I wonder if I have a thyroid problem. The running joke between my hubby and I that I should get it checked. Honestly? I did. Nothing came back. Somewhat frustrating.

Then I saw this article on ABC News called 19 Signs Your Thyroid Isn't Working. I thought, why not? Let's see if I have any symptoms that would justify thinking I might have a thyroid problem. I was a little surprised.

1. Exhaustion: Yes
2. Feeling down: Yes
3. Jittery/Anxious: No
4. Increase appetite/Taste buds off: Yes to taste buds
5. Forgetfulness: Yes
6. Less interest in sex: No
7. Heart flutters/palpitations: Yes
8. Dry skin/Brittle ridged nails: Yes
9. Bowels unpredictable: No
10. Periods have changed: No
11. Painful extremeties/muscles: No
12. High blood pressure: No
13. Too hot/Too cold: Yes
14. Voice hoarse/neck swollen: No
15. Sleep too much/Sleep too little: Yes
16. Gained weight: No (well...yes, but I know it was my choices that lead to that)
17. Hair thinning/falling out: Yes
18. Trouble getting pregnant: No (though not trying, so not 100% sure)
19. High cholesterol: No

I said yes to 9 of these. That's more than I thought. I'm starting to wonder if that means there really could be something off with my thyroid. What I liked about the article, if you get all the way through it, is on the last screen tells you what tests to ask your doctor to order. Not just go in and say I think my thyroid is off,  but I think it's off, here are my symptoms, and these are the tests I want. Makes me think I would be an educated patient if I went in.

Have you ever been diagnosed with a thyroid condition? How have you treated it? Was it hard to diagnose?



  1. If it is any consolation, I look great on paper - like a skinny, healthy 18 year old. In real life....not so much.

    I also "don't" have a thyroid problem according to the docs, but I have at least 8 of the symptoms.

    Remember..they don't call it "practicing" medicine for nothing.

    1. True. Just wondering if we do the three tests the article suggests if one of those would indicate it. I don't know if I want to spend the co-pay to find out officially.

  2. You need to test TSH, free T4, free T3 AND anti-thyroid antibody tests. If the antibodies are there, you have an auto-immune thyroid disorder, which may get you treatment even if TSH is "ok" (and the definition of ok should be the 0.3-3.0 range, not 0.5-5 most commonly used - even w/in that range you'll feel better at whatever level is good for you). Hypothyroid from Hashimoto's is most common autoimmune, but hyperthyroid symptoms can cross over into hypo. Also, you might never have all the symptoms, varies widely.

    If the problem is your thyroid, you won't get treatment or feel better without test results, especially if you're dealing with an endocrinologist (they go almost exclusively by numbers, not by patient symptoms). Try a family practice/general practice doc, especially those interested in naturopathy and/or functional medicine.

    Yes, diagnosing and treating thyroid issues is harder than folks make it seem. Realize it's a life-long thing with adjustments as aging, female hormones, other things affect thyroid. That's not even getting started on what affects the meds. "a bit of trial and error" doesn't really cover it.

    Suggest you check out the Thyroid site - Mary Shomon started it - her books are also helpful.

    Best of luck!

    1. MJ, thank you very much for your detailed response. I really appreciate how much effort you spent to educate me. I would have to go through my general practitioner to start anyway, but knowing what tests should be done and what the results should say makes me feel much more educated going in. If you don't fight for your health, who will?