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Old 07-30-2010, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default Need advice..Thyroid or just slowed metabolism?

Alright ladies..I need some advice. I've been experiencing a lot of different things over the past 6 months and lately my weight loss has stalled for about the past 2 months. I went to a new doctor, recommended from my boss, for a physical in June and had a list of things that I wanted to discuss.

I'd started running and finished c25k. I've maintained running 3x per week and have gotten fitted for shoes, paced myself, and didn't push too hard and never ran 2x in a row. I've had excruciating pain from the lower part of my leg. (The doctor said that it was most likely achilles tendonitis and to take NSAIDs 2x per day on the days I run)

I discussed the weight loss issues with a 1500 cal/day balanced diet and exercise 3x per week. (The doctor said I needed to do other cardio besides running because my body was used to it..at this point i'd only been running for 2 months)

I talked about the fact that I've NEVER had skin problems and my skin has broken out and has basically been unable to clear up. I'm 27 years old and made it through my teens without a pimple and now I have this! (She prescribed me a topical lotion, which has not worked, I reached out and asked for a new prescription and was told I need to come back to get one.)

We talked about being tired ALL of the time, even when I sleep 9 hours every single night! (She really didn't have anything to say to this..)

Ok, so obviously you can tell I wasn't really satisfied with the level of knowledge from this doctor. I had all of my bloodwork done and the results didn't really surprise me. My cholesterol was high again, there is absolutely no reason as I eat a healthy diet and have no family history. My blood pressure is still consistently low. The thing I was surprised by was that the TSH test for thyroid was a 4.3. She stated that the normal range was .5 to 4.0 and that I need to start eating healthy and begin exercising (obviously she wasn't paying attention) She said that she wants to test it again in 3 months.

After that, I started researching what that could possibly mean and came across hypothyroidism. http://www.womentowomen.com/hypothyr.../symptoms.aspx I was shocked to see a lot of my symptoms, including things on my list for the doctor were on this.

These are the symptoms from that web site above that I experience..
severe fatigue, loss of energy
weight gain, difficulty losing weight
depression and depressed mood
joint and muscle pain, headaches
dry skin, brittle nails
brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss
irregular periods, PMS symptoms
sleeping more than average
diminished sex drive
elevated levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and heightened risk of heart disease
persistent cold sores, boils, or breakouts

Now, I'm thinking it may be time to consult a different physician and have more tests done to see if this is what I have. However, my company's insurance is rediculous and I pay out of pocket for everything until I hit a certain deductible. So I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with this or any advice for me. I'd assumed that it was just a slowed metabolism due to quitting smoking in January and also yo-yo dieting from 170s to 140s twice over the last 2 years. Help!

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Old 07-30-2010, 09:04 PM   #2
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Having a high TSH means that you're hypothyroid. The TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) rises in your bloodstream to try to encourage your thyroid to work. The higher your TSH, the less your thyroid is putting out, and the more TSH is secreted to try to whip it into action.

SO, that being said, with a TSH score above the norm, I'm pretty surprised your doc didn't prescribe thyroid medication for you. Diet and exercise will not correct a high TSH level, nor will it kick an underactive thyroid into gear.

I might suggest calling your doctor and asking if you need medication for hypothyroid; if she says no, you can always go to another doctor. The test for hypothyroid is the TSH, and it's a simple blood test (as you know), and it's a very routine test, along with cholesterol and blood sugar (and a basic metabolic panel and blood count). Your TSH is elevated; you might need medication. Call and ask.

Good luck--having hypothyroidism definitely makes losing weight more difficult (if not impossible, depending on your levels). Keep us posted!

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Old 07-30-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (hypothyroidism)...and some of your symptoms sound likes the ones I had before I started taking my medicine (I was diagnosed 10 years ago).. here were my symptoms (and are my symptoms if I am on the wrong level of medication):

- ALWAYS TIRED! (like you said..even if you sleep the recommended amount of hours per night, you're still tired...)
-dry skin
-brittle nails
-hair breakage
-weight gain

I definitely think you should go see an endocrinologist or an ENT (ear, nose, throat surgeon). My father in law is an ENT and currently watches my thyroid levels. Get checked out! If you do have hypothyroidism, its as simple as taking a pill a day

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:14 PM   #4
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i agree you need a second opinion. You are definitely above the norm. They used to not look at borderline hypothyroid or hyperthyroid, but they are starting to get wiser. Some of the doctors are stuck back in their old school days though. So you might need a second opinion. The reason being. If your thyroid is already overworked (always being stimulated by TSH--it is only going to get worse).

good for you for realizing something just wasn't right.

***edited to say, she is wanting to a do a follow up on your levels so that shows you she realizes there is a potential problem.***
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Last edited by jendiet; 07-31-2010 at 08:15 PM.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Great site.
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:27 PM   #6
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It might be worthwhile to see a doctor that is a specialist, like an endocrinologist (or to get a second opinion if the person you already saw was an endo), who should potentially have more experience specifically with thyroid questions and with hormone issues. Good luck!
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Old 08-08-2010, 05:03 PM   #7
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thanks for all the input ladies! I ended up reaching out to the office of the Nurse Practitioner that I saw.. they are affiliated with a hospital so they have this online program where you can pull all test results, schedule appointments, request refills, and email the office. I sent a long e-mail requesting that the Doctor that the NP was attached to review the test results as Hypothyroidism matches all of the complaints when I went in..they wrote back and said she wouldn't do it unless I schedule an appointment to come into the office. This was the same response I got when I tried to refill a prescription as well, which is supposed to be doable from the site. I'm basically thinking at this point, the practice is only concerned about money. I know Doctor's offices are businesses too, but I'm really dissatisfied with the service I'm receiving there.

I'm trying to decide what I should do because my health insurance is horrible. I work for a Fortune 7 company and it sucks! So basically I'm either going to have to pay like 100 for the office visit to the Doctor in the same practice, or have to pay for all of the tests again and an office visit for a new doctor..I have a high yield deductible (that I never hit) before anything besides one physical and one female health visit..so we'll see!

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Old 08-08-2010, 05:53 PM   #8
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charleston--I am hypothyroid as well. I was diagnosed about 7 years ago. I think it is important that you press the issue with your doctor, especially since it may cost you out of pocket to go to another physician at this time. It sounds like you need to be on synthroid. There are a lot of thyroid support groups out there where you can get good advice.

Good luck!

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Old 08-08-2010, 10:49 PM   #9
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In the case of hormone issues a competent doctor is a MUST. I can promise you that you will not regret paying whatever you can afford to fix this health problem. In these types of cases the difference between someone who knows how to treat these issues and someone who has a general idea is HUGE. If your not going to see someone good, it would be better to see noone at all because you're wasting your money.


since you have irregular period issues it sounds like you may have PCOS in addition to hypothyroidism (this is what I have). Female hormones function through the Hypothalmic-Pituitary Ovarian Axis (ie each gland controls the others and when one is screwed up the others follow suit and all of your hormones can be affected).

have you had proper blood work done ie on day 21 of your cycle? where all of the hormones were measured? other types of blood work will not tell you what you need to know about your hormonal profile. I'm warning you this is expensive, I'm dead broke and paid $250 after insurance covered the rest (cost was $1000+).

See a good gynocologist (FACOG), get a recomendation from someone, look for one who specializes in PCOS or hormonal issues. Ask if they regularly work with PCOS/hypothyroidism. Someone who sees alot of this will have a better chance of knowing how to treat it.

They should give you detailed blood work and send you to get a regular and transvaginal ultra sound. Then maybe give you a referal for a endocrinologist.

My story with this disorder is long but I had a year where I was semi-suicidal and thought I was depressed. I was living at home with an emotionally abusive mother. I was achey, stressed, layed in bed all day and it felt like an accomplishment to make it through the day without crying, I put on ALOT of weight, had acne when I used to barely ever get pimples, and was so anxious I could not function. I later found out I was not depressed but my hormones were seriously out of wack and accounted for it all (the tierdness, crying, etc). I was 23 and thought it was absurd that I was hypothyroid but gladly took medication.

Now I get bloodwork done every 3 months to check my hormones, am on medication (natural progesterone and thyroid) am slowly taking off the weight. I chart my cycle meticulously and I feel like a diffrent person. I can actually function.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:54 AM   #10
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See an endocrinologist since your doc is oblivious. Your symptoms and lab value = hypothyroidism. Now go find out cause.

/signed primary care doc
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