Archive for the ‘Hypothyroidism’ Category

Three and a half years ago my symptoms started with an intense tightness in my back, along with weird swelling  and sweating symptoms, inflammation (ESR, CRP), and vitamin deficiencies, severe b12 and ferrtin anemia, and low albumin. I have since been able to tie the symptoms to eating, but could never narrow it down as to what food bothered me.

After 1.5 months of elimination diet, it seems that any carb causes instant bloating in my stomach and fingers, up to my upper arms and the right side of my face.  I have anti-TPO antibodies and have issues with my thyroid. My TSH is normal (1.o) but the free T4 was at the very bottom of the normal scale 9.7 pmol/L or 0.77 ng/L.

I’d like to think that all my issues are thyroid related. I know that wikipedia says:”The thyroid hormones are essential to proper development and differentiation of all cells of the human body. These hormones also regulate protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism, affecting how human cells use energetic compounds. They also stimulate vitamin metabolism. ”

The question is, is it central hypothyroidism, meaning my pituitary, given that my TSH is normal? My doctor tells me I’m stressed or have fibromyalgia. I’m at the point where I’ve almost stopped eating, but am not losing much weight. The carb reduction has definitely made me less swollen and my pants are baggy. My face is red all the time and I’m used to being ghost white.  My hair is disgustingly dry and frizzled and turning grey super fast (embarrassing, I’m mid 30s).

Just looking to see if anyone else has had similar problems…any hypothyroid people with this issue?



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I’ve been in remission from Graves Disease for over 3 years.  Since that time I have gained 30 pounds!  My TSH is normal, but I feel like I am super duper bloated all the time. Every cell in my body – my legs, my stomach, my face, my arms, are all watery and jiggly.  I’ve never ate less in my life. In fact, I have two bowls of cereal a day and a normal dinner.  I am so frustrated.

I also think I have gallbladder issues, but no gallstones as I can’t eat any fatty food without getting pain in my right-upper quadrant area and severe headaches followed by diarrhea.

I have muscle weakness and cramping and very dry skin and hair.  All signs point to thyroid issues, but my normal TSH makes my doctor think it’s just stress. I tell her my only stress is weight gain and an inability to eat normally. Gah!

Interestingly, even when I had Graves disease my t3 was high, but t4 was at the bottom level of normal.


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I got Graves Disease (GD) in Aug 2009. By December 2010 I was pretty much in remission – my TSH was 3.3 at this point and eventually dropped to high 1s, low 2s. Since that time I have have every single hypo symptom in the book. I have seen neurologists, rheumatologists, gastroenterologists. The conclusion was that I had fibromyalgia.  Interesting that this happened when my GD ended, isn’t it. Also interesting that my symptoms were dry hair, fatigue, water retention, low blood pressure, muscle aches, vitamin deficiencies (C, D, B12, ferritin, magnesium) joint pain, etc… Now, I have noticed I have a goiter. My thyroid was a normal size when my GD ended. Now it’s enlarged. Hypo?

It drives me crazy that doctors are slaves to these normal ranges.  I bet a little synthroid and I’d be back to normal.

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For the last 2.5 years I’ve been dealing with symptoms that kind of mimic hypothyroidism. Considering during this time I was going into remission from Graves Disease, it was very difficult to find the route cause of all my ailments: dry hair (fluid imbalances), numbness and tingling, major water retention and swelling (mostly of the belly, but fingers, upper arms, face and legs, as well), fatigue, flank pain, nausea, incontinence, swollen veins, not to mention deficiencies in b12, iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.

It all started on my right side, shortly after losing a pregnancy. I was “diagnosed” with anxiety and when I quickly got pregnant again, the rest was blamed on pregnancy or “fibromyalgia”.

I have constant right flank pain. I thought, what they missed by stereotyping me as an “anxious hypochondriac woman” was that I had had a catheter when I lost the baby. My first symptom was incontinence.  I thought it must be a kidney infection. I also have a right subscapular echogenic liver cyst . Last ultrasound showed that it was gone.

I swell up every single night with a giant bulge above my belly button and constant flank pain to this day (2.5 years later). I now know to watch my fluid intake.  I will add some additional details after my doctor’s appointment tomorrow (Jan 26, 2013).

Ultrasound Update: So, I have dilated collecting ducts of the right kidney.  Obstruction? No mass – so hoping not cancer.

Update: CT scan came back “normal”. Back to the drawing board.  Now I have a goiter. Must by hypothyroidism (Graves disease is in remission)

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I had Graves Disease for 2+ years before it went into remission. My latest TSH was 2.1. Why do I still have weird hypo symptoms?

  • fatigue
  • dry hair
  • muscle weakness
  • headache
  • SEVERE water retention above the belly button – a bulge where there shouldn’t be one!  My face arms, breasts and butt/thighs also get bloated, although less noticiably. My stomach is weird, but usually wakes up flat and increases throughout the day

Other weird symptoms

  • bizarre sweating whenever standing, lower back mainly
  • irritability
  • good energy days followed by “crash” days
  • diarrhea and stomach cramping when I used to be constipated all of the time
  • When I lay down at night I can feel the fluid shift. My fingers and mouth start drying out right in front of my own eyes.

Symptoms started when Graves Disease went into remission?! It’s been 2+ years and am still having symptoms. What is going on here?  Adrenal issues? So frustrated.

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After reading about adrenal fatigue and a link to hypothyroidism, I began to realize that a bunch of my symptoms fit really will with hypOthyroidism and not hypERthyroidism.  While I’m convinced I still have some adrenal issues (I’m going to see a naturopath next week), a bunch of my major symptoms fell into the hypo category, such as:

  • dry hair (coarse and wiry, as opposed to ultra fine like it usually is)
  • dry skin – even bumps on my arms and super dry skin on my face)
  • muscle weakness – legs tired easily and felt heavy
  • muscle pains/cramps/spasms – upper arms and calves were particularly prone
  • lethargy – I’m normally I super high energy person
  • mild depression (not so much depressed, but less happy than usual)
  • poor circulation – pins in needles in hands and legs very easily, especially at night
  • major water retention in face, back, stomach, legs, upper arms, etc.. I had a roll of water around my upper stomach. When I came off PTU this roll was slowly getting smaller

I came off PTU 8 days ago.  I was feeling better than I had in a really long time, and was my usual happy self (whom I had almost forgotten completely),  when POW!  My eyes started going…It started to feel like bad allergies. I could feel my eyes swelling and the muscles getting tight. My TED had been in remission since last year, 15 months in total. However, I was still on PTU and didn’t realize my Graves was in remission too. When I stopped PTU my thyroid returned to what felt like normal function, but my eyes just started bugging me again.  I took some PTU and they’re feeling better, but now I know if I come off it completely my eye symptoms while return, which means I’m still producing anti-thyroid antibodies and PTU is holding me steady.

I’ll have to ask my endocrinologist if I can take PTU and maybe a small amount of Synthroid or Armour so that I don’t feel hypo, but also so my eye symptoms don’t come back. I forgot how horrendously terrible my eyes felt. It truly is the worst part of Graves Disease. You look and feel just terrible. Given the choice, I choose hypo over TED! (thyroid eye disease)

Update April 20, 2012

I’ve been off PTU since Monday and so far everything is going great! I still have some Graves antibodies, but not enough to make me symptomatic.  Amazing! And to think I almost had my thyroid killed.

I think my other symptoms are due to hormone imbalance. I had 4 pregnancies close together (only 2 successful). I just read about postpartum estrogen dominance and adrenal fatigue and think it may be the reason for my fluid retention, numbness & tingling and muscle spasms/cramps.

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I’ve come to some sort of revelation today – I think a bunch of my weird symptoms, such as puffiness/edema (face, arms, fingers, stomach, legs, feet),  muscle cramps/spasms, low breast milk, dry coarse hair, dry skin – are caused by hypothyroidism.  How is this possible when I have Graves?

Update: interesting relationship between thyroid and adrenaline: http://tiredthyroid.com/feeling-hyper-when-hypo.html Thyroid and adrenaline (epinephrine) have an inverse relationship.

Somehow the combination of adrenal fatigue, multiple pregnancies put my into a hypothyroid state. I wonder if my Graves was going into remission (my Thyroid Eye Disease went away in Jan 2011, maybe my Graves did too? – My TSH was as high as 3.0 in December 2010).  However, Stop the Thyroid Madness mentions that adrenal fatigue causes cortisol fluctuations – and cortisol raises your cellular level of  glucose which works with your cell receptors to receive T3 from the blood to the cells. Dysfunctional adrenal function can result in high amounts of thyroid hormones to build in the blood, making your free T3 and/or free T4 labs look high in range with continuing hypo symptoms, or causing hyper-like symptoms. Therefore, even though my TSH was in normal range, my actual levels where lower. In fact, I have noticed that my free T4 was always at the bottom of the normal range. I had previously wondered if it could cause hypo symptoms. If they were inflated due to adrenal fatigue, then it’s possible that I would have severe hypo symptoms. Just a theory, but I am testing it.

There have been times when my heart is racing and I think it’s me being hyper, but it could be also be a symptom of low cortisol. I would take PTU, which probably made everything worse.

As a trial, I have stopped taking my PTU for a 2 days and for starters, my muscle cramps have gone away and the edema seems a little better.

I have gone through Dr. Lam’s spreadsheet on Adrenal Fatigue vs. Hypothyroidism, and while I have had both, I think I have had more hypo symptoms. My hair and skin is the biggest clue – dry, dry, dry! Not to mention the unexplained edema which my doctor tries to blame on a sodium sensitivity!  I’ve been scared to bring my theory to my endo because I think she’ll laugh at me. We’ll see how my trial goes first…

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