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Does your thyroid make a difference? Is there an ideal tsh?


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Hi.  I think I might have a hypothyroid problem.  I went to the doctor last november and she said it was at the high end of the normal range (I think the tsh number was 3.2). She recommended that I go to an endocrinologist.  Some weird symptoms are being overweight (I know this also has to do with my diet), bald spots in the front of my head, I cant get my period on my own (currently taking birth control pills to induce it), and mental and physical fatigue.  I also have muscle aches all over, especially my legs, thighs, shoulders, and sometimes all over my head. I have a hard time concentrating and just feel all around weak.  I had an ultrasound done by my gynecologist and they didnt find any cysts on my ovaries so I dont think I have PCOS.  Also, Im 19 years old and 231 lbs (overweight all my life).

I basically want to know if anyone with a thyroid problem has experienced these symptoms.  I also want to know what the "ideal" tsh is and if a 3.2 is really enough to make a difference.  I have been doing weight watchers for a month and exercising 4-5 times a week, so I realize that my obesity is probably helping to increase my symptoms.  I really just want to know if getting my thyroid leveled out to the "ideal" level would help me.  Does it really make a noticable difference?

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Your symptoms do sound like those of someone with a hypothyroid condition.  I agree that you should see an endocrinologist.  If you want to research this further, the Mayo Clinic website is a good resource.

An endocrinologist would work with you to treat a thyroid condition, if it is determined that you have one; he or she is a specialist in hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism.

Good luck!

Im going to make an appointment for the endocrinologist tomorrow.  Has anyone experienced more ease in weight loss/ fatigue after being medicated for a thyroid problem.  Do thyroid issues really make you feel that crappy?

#3  
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If you're in the high end of the normal range, wouldn't that make you hyperthyroid, not hypo?

I'd talk to your doctor though. If you have symptoms of hypothyroidism it's definitely worth seeing an endocrinologist to get it all checked out.

#4  
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I found this article - http://thyroid.about.com/od/gettestedanddiagn osed/a/normaltshlevel.htm

It sounds like normal levels of TSH are between .5-5... although there is some talk about moving the upper end of that to 3. To me, it sounds like you're somewhere right around the normal, if not a little bit high. Hypothyroidism is a condition that occurs when you don't have enough thyroid hormone, and it can definitely make weight loss difficult. If you have excess thyroid hormones (a condition called hyperthyroidism), weight loss is actually a symptom.

There could be other reasons for your symptoms, I immediately think of depression because it can cause all sorts of crap - and so many of us who are overweight suffer from depression. If I were you, I'd get a workup with your doctor, get checked for diabetes, check your thyroid levels again... all that. Your symptoms could be just a result of being overweight, putting things out of balance within your body.

It sounds like you're doing the right things as far as eating more healthfully and getting exercise, so there's a pretty good chance that this will cure a lot of your problems... if you lose the weight and get more active, things may come back into balance for you all on their own - but you do want to make sure that there's not something else going on.

I hope this was helpful, please keep in mind that I am not trying to take the place of you going to discuss this with your doctor, I am NOT a doctor!

#5  
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Ok so I did a little more reading - hah I guess I'm sort of nerdy I got interested in thyroid stuff.

TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone, which stimulates the thyroid to release other hormones, such as T4 and T3. A higher than lower level of TSH actually CAN indicate hypothyroidism - because if the thyroid is less active than it should be, the body will start pumping more TSH at it to compensate.

And it all come back to, yes you should probably talk to your doc!

I would say yes. 

Every thing counts when it comes to health. I never hurts to get things checked out because in the future you may of saved yourself a lot of hurt 10 years down the road

Thanks.  I've done a lot of research on this and I do think I'm hypothyroid (too much tsh being sent to the thyroid because the thyroid is underactive).  I could be depressed, but I am so easily made happy.  I laugh all the time and I'm practically the family comedianLaughing.  I think if my body didnt feel like it were going in slow motion, if my limbs didnt feel like they weigh 8000 pounds each, if I werent getting bald spots, and I didnt feel so achy then I would automatically feel better.  Also, something is making me not get my period unless I take birth control pills, so I think its more than depression.  I think its a mix of obesity and hypothyroidism that is making my body feel like crap.  I would hate to take antidepressants.   I have also read that the new range for tsh is .3 to 3, but that most people feel their best around 1.  I also read one doctor say that anything over 2 is hypothyroid.  If anyone else has any personal stories/advice to share I would love to hear it.

I agree, you definitely need to speak with a doctor, preferably an endocrinologist, to find out for sure.  I will say, though, I had an elevated TSH in the past.  I've been overweight my whole life and have been tested for thyroid several times and have always been normal.  My surgeon told me that birth control pills can cause a falsely elevated TSH.  He told me that, since all of my other thyroid panel values were normal, and because I was on the pill, that he believed my elevated TSH was due to the pill.  Maybe something to ask about?  Also, my own personal experience is that birth control pills make me feel like crap, with many of the symptoms you describe, primarily the unexplainable exhaustion, depressed mood, and constant and daily severe muscle aches and pains, and just pain all over.  I've also experienced massive hair loss beginning at the third or fourth month of beginning the pill, every time, after any substantial period of being off them.  Take a good hard look at your pill, also.  You may be hypothyroid, and that might be what caused you to lose your period.  Your pill might be causing the rest.  I'm just saying might, because I've experienced most if not all of what you describe, and I'm 100% free of all those symptoms 3 months off the pill, with no other medication or lifestyle changes other than that.  This has been my experience when going off the pill previously, also, every time, over the course of many years.   

Again, just my experiences, and everyone is different, but I hope this helps some.  Please talk to your doctor.  I hope you can get some help and feel better!

Transferring a post from a duplicate thread:

Original Post by leslie49:

Sounds like what I went through for 10 years. I came across the right Dr. that did a thyroid sonogram and found what is called "Multi-Nodular Dis-ease", then it took years of more sonograms and more weight gain, etc., etc. to finally find a Surgeon that said "Let's get that puppy out." I had Hashimotes dis-ease and did not know about it along with some other surprises..LOL! 

I had mine removed September 17, 2007 and found all this out. After I went through a few more tests and put back on my thyroid meds I began to lose a lot of weight but I felt so much better that I work extra hard at it. I began walking a little, then more and more and then hiking, basketball, now weight lifting. Now I am obsessed with exercising along with calorie counting. It is a journey!

 Girl, I am almost 50 and I feel like I was in my 20-30's. I used to think I was just lazy or something even though I was so busy (though extremely tired) and hardly ate. Getting rid of the problem has changed my life. You may be showing some signs of Hypothyroidism. You are very young and can get this handled early if that is what it is. GO SEE the Endochronologist! 

 3.2 is on the high end and may be giving you all those miserable aches and pains and just plain YUCK!

If you get your levels right for you and can keep them there, then you should feel a difference. Get aggressive to get it done (ask for a sonogram) and let me know what Dr. He/She says!

Also, start walking a little each day as much as you can and see if that boosts your energy and report that to Dr. He/She

Best to you,

Leslie

I had to go on birth control pills to get my period back, so I was already having symptoms before the pills.  I dont know.  Sometimes I feel like a hypochondriac because Im constantly feeling aches and pains.  im constantly asking my family "do I have a bruise here?" or saying "its feels like i have a bruise here" and yet there is nothing.  I feel very weak too--makes me feel like a lazy person.  Lately, I've been having a hard time concentrating.  I also have dry skin and I think brittle nails (they alway break when they get to a certain length) which are said to be signs of hypothyroidism.  My biggest confusion is that I have had these symptoms for so long that, to me, they are normal.  That is why I am asking if anyone else has gotten their thyroid problem fixed and noticed a difference.  I cant tell if the little bad things I have felt for so long are real symptoms of a real problem, or if I am just too aware of the normal nuisances that all people experience.  My mom keeps telling me that Im obsessing over every little ache, and every time I bring up a slight symptom I feel, everyone in my family just says "Jessica, stop being annoying".  I am not trying to be annoying. If I could feel happy and healthy, I would. I just wonder if I am truly a hypochondriac or if all these tiny little symptoms, are actually symptoms of a thyroid problem.  And even hypochondriacs cant make themselves lose their periods and get bald spots on the front of their heads...

I have been diagnosed with hypothyroid for 13 years, and yes, I have most of your symptoms. My medication helps alot though.

Here is the paradox: Excess weight is a symptom of hypothyroid and excess weight makes it worse. The right foods and exercise really help in the treatment of this affliction.

I posted most of this on another board but thought it applied here........

When I was diagnosed about 7 years ago my TSH level as at 105 - yes, you read that correctly, no decimal point there - it was 105!!  The lab said they ran the test about 5 or 6 times because they thought they had it wrong.  I thought I was dying, literally.  I got my will in order because I thought I was not long for this world.  My voice sounded like I was speaking underwater, muscles ached, hair loss, fingernails and toenails were falling off - like there was not adhesive keeping them there, brain fog (this was severe) - I thought I was losing my mind, depression, rage, gosh, the list goes on and on.  My periods were so messed up I initially went to my gynocologist who diagnosed me and sent me to an endocrinologist.

They said I was very near a coma state.  I know when it blew out - I had a searing pain in my throat and couldn't speak for days - emergency room could not find any signs of laringytis (sp?), now I realize what it was.  The endo doc said my thyroid is like a prune, just all shriveled up and completely not working.  There's no reason to have surgery to remove it because it is just like it's not in my body.  I've been on Synthroid ever since.

After this, a multitude of health problems started happening.  I know it is all because of my thyroid - probably totally shut down my entire system.  It's like the health problems started in my thyroid and slowly worked themselves down my entire body.

Weight gain was slow at first, but then I was put on Prednisone for about 7 months because of Ulcerative Colitis that had developed and I gained about 60 pounds - the weight was going on daily.

Now I'm trying to lose the weight and the scale is just not budging - it's very frustrating but I'm not losing hope.

Jessicasbc, go to a doctor.  Your thyroid messes with your entire body.  There are so many things connected to the hormone associated with it.  You may have difficulty losing weight, but don't give up - it is especially important that you stay healthy, especially with everything else that can go wrong.

Original Post by jessicasbc:

I had to go on birth control pills to get my period back, so I was already having symptoms before the pills.  I dont know.  Sometimes I feel like a hypochondriac because Im constantly feeling aches and pains.  im constantly asking my family "do I have a bruise here?" or saying "its feels like i have a bruise here" and yet there is nothing.  I feel very weak too--makes me feel like a lazy person.  Lately, I've been having a hard time concentrating.  I also have dry skin and I think brittle nails (they alway break when they get to a certain length) which are said to be signs of hypothyroidism.  My biggest confusion is that I have had these symptoms for so long that, to me, they are normal.  That is why I am asking if anyone else has gotten their thyroid problem fixed and noticed a difference.  I cant tell if the little bad things I have felt for so long are real symptoms of a real problem, or if I am just too aware of the normal nuisances that all people experience.  My mom keeps telling me that Im obsessing over every little ache, and every time I bring up a slight symptom I feel, everyone in my family just says "Jessica, stop being annoying".  I am not trying to be annoying. If I could feel happy and healthy, I would. I just wonder if I am truly a hypochondriac or if all these tiny little symptoms, are actually symptoms of a thyroid problem.  And even hypochondriacs cant make themselves lose their periods and get bald spots on the front of their heads...

 No, you're not imagining things.  After you get stabalized with medication some of the symptoms will go away, yes, but I think some of them stay with us forever - at least I know mine did.  Like when people click their pens constantly I want to shove it it their faces - constant, little noises just put me through the roof.

Here's a list of some symptoms from webmd:

Coarse and thinning hair (I, too, had bald spots)

Dry skin. (I got psoriasis - had to use oils on my hair for the longest time - this has gotten better since I've been medicated, but my skin is still abnormally dry)

Brittle nails. (My fingernails and toenails were actually falling off - I'd go to clip them and the whole nail would come off - no pain at all, just didn't "stick" anymore)

A yellowish tint to the skin. (My mom swore I had liver problems)

Slow body movements. (I was like a 90 year old woman)

Cold skin.

Inability to tolerate cold. (Absolutely)

Feeling tired, sluggish, or weak. (No energy whatsoever)

Memory problems, depression, or difficulty concentrating. (This is not noticable to other people around me anymore, but I notice it when I study for something - I was an A student in school but now, in my 30's, when I try to study and learn something I simply don't have the same recall that I used to.  Here at work it is a running joke about my task lists because I DO NOT REMEMBER things if I don't write them down.  This has been the most annoying to me since I used to be so sharp.  I struggle horribly with depression to this day)

Constipation. (Mine went the other way and I eventually got Ulcerative Colitis - this is in remission now, but I have other digestive problems - probably always will.)

Heavy or irregular menstrual periods that may last longer than 5 to 7 days. (As I said, I initially thought this problem was period related and it was my gynocologist who eventually diagnosed me.)

An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter). (I don't have this, although, my neck is a bit thick looking)

Modest weight gain, often 10 lb or less. (HAH! It was alot more than this)

Swelling of the arms, hands, legs, and feet, and facial puffiness, particularly around the eyes. (Yes!  I looked like a moon face before medication - this has gone away)

Hoarseness. (This was bad)

Muscle aches and cramps.

Sorry for the two long posts, but I remember when I was first diagnosed I couldn't believe all the things I was feeling were related to my thyroid!

 

 

 

 

You definatley sound like you need to see an endocriologist (did I spell that right? I doubt it! LOL), if you do have problems it will really help you out a ton.  I had graves desiese that is basically the oposite of what you think you have ( my thyroid was over active), once I was diagnosed, they killed my thyroid which effectivly made have severe hypohyroidsm (what you think you have).  I felt like I was going freaking crazy, I would cry about every little thing and half the time I would cry for no reason at all and then I would stress cause I could not figure out why I was crying.  I had a hard time falling asleep at work and finding the energy for anything.  For me the biggest and worst factor was the depression.  It was bad, and when I told the doctor how bad it was, and asked him for some kind of anti depressant, he said he could not offer it to me as it was the thyroid problem that was making me feel this way so it would not help to take prozac or other meds like it.  anyway in a few months I felt a ton better.  I still had a really hard time loosing wieght but I felt soooooo much better that that was not even a concern till much later on. Good luck to you and get on it sista, your health is the #1 most important thing, and anytime one major body system is effected many others can be effected as well, so get on it before it gets too bad and takes to big a tole on you!

My level is about the same. I got tested for it at a clinic, and they said it was a little high, see what your primary physician says about it. My primary said it was about normal, and that she hesitated to put me on medication because once you start, you can't stop taking it. I'm not terribly over weight (I'm 5'1 and about 127, but I was closer to 160-70 in my teens). I have a hard time losing weight, but since joining CC it's pretty clear that that's due to an unchecked sweet tooth. I can relate to the constant aching legs, though, and I'm perpetually tired. I am being treated for depression in the meantime, though, so who knows.

I only got tested for it because my sister discovered she had it, which is sort of nuts because she's ridiculously athletic and in excellent shape. Maybe that helped her stave it off (she's always been that way). Her symptoms were similar but really mild. She has it tested every six months and they've had to adjust her dosage a couple of times. Her levels were significantly higher (I don't have a number).

You really sound like my mom.  My mother, my grandmother, 4 of my Aunts, my great-grandmother and one uncle all have hypothyroidism.  1 of my Aunts suffers from hyperthyroidism (the type I wouldn't mind, lol, j/k).   I seriously think that you need to get tested.  My grandmother eats well and seriously diets (she's the healthiest person on earth) and she can't keep her weight down below 250lbs at 5'2".  She has developed other disorders due to the combination of her hypothyroidism and weight.  You should see what you can do and take your diet into a serious overhaul.  You don't want to suffer like my family does.  I'm taking all the precautions to not develop this (though it's genetics >.<).  My mother has experienced ALL of those symptoms listed and more (though she's 41).

Thanks for all the posts.  My mom tells me things like "take vitamin e" (for my hair), and "get a hobby" (getting out more will get your adrenaline pumping and you wont feel so tired).  I just want to shake her!!!!  She really makes me feel like a lazy person sometimes.  I know that there are things I could do to make my body better (i.e. losing weight, getting out more...), but I think if my hormones werent out of whack I would feel more motivated to do those things.  She also compares me to her--she feels tired and crappy too.  Except the difference is that I am 19 years old and she is 49 years old.  We shouldnt be feeling the same energy/health levels.  I just feel so lazy--its embarrassing.  She also tells me to stop going on the internet and looking up problems I might have (I only do this so that I can bring her facts about hormonal problems so that she might beleive me).  Either she doesnt get it or she is just scared that her baby might have a health issue. 

Thanks everybody.

 

I have had both hyper and hypothyroidism at different times in my life.  Your symptoms are very similar to my symptoms that I have.  Do you take a vitamin?  I was always told to take one to help with the hair loss and I have found that a calcium supplement helps tremendously with my leg cramps(I am not sure if the leg cramps have anything to do with my thyroid though).

When my thyroid was over active I lost tons of weight but otherwise had all of the same symptoms as you.  I was very young (9 years old-it was rare to have problems at such an early age) and remember crying because I would get so frustrated at school b/c I just couldn't concentrate.  I eventually had to have 2 doses of radiation to shrink my thyroid and then my symptoms changed and I ballooned over the course of a summer.  Now (and forever)I take a daily thyroid supplement and see my doctor twice a year.

An Endocrinologist will take note of your symptoms and will check your TSH.  There are three differ. numbers that they will check.  Does your heart palpate(hurt)? If so you should try and stay away from caffeine until you get your thyroid under control.  I have also heard to stay away from soy products although a Dr. has never told me this before.

Good luck and know that there are so many people with thyroid issues.  You are not alone! 

I know exactly how you feel.. In February of this year my entire body changed, I gained 20lbs in 3mos. starting feeling tired and drained all the time, had muscle aches and started noticing my hair was thinning. All this after strict dieting and excersice, it was very discouraging. I've had two blood tests and am awaiting the results from the second. My doctor did three separate blood tests...not only the THS, but a thyroid stimulating hormone test...and one more(Sorry I can't remember the name) ...Apparently the THS test is not the only way to find an under active tyroid.

Hey, remember when I said that I thought my blood test resulted in a tsh of 3.2 ? (I wrote it in my first post)  I just went to the doctor and got  a copy of my blood test (it is from April 2005, but its the only thryoid test I've gotten).  This is what it said

TSH:  5.828 uIU/mL

Free T4:    1.01 ng/dL

T4:  10.0  ug/dL

Isnt a 5.828 a really high TSH?   My lab sheet says that the normal range is .360 to 5.8.  Isnt it from .3 to 3?

I am going to the endocrinologist on Monday to do another test...I wonder if it will be better or worse?

I think my symptoms are getting worse though.  I keep getting weird headaches, cant concentrate, all my muscles ache and I toss and turn all night because of it, and today in the store my hand got a little tingly like it was going numb.  

What do you guys think?

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