Foggy's "Invisible Illness" Support
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So many things that could cause the symptoms - I wish I knew which!

I am on long-term antidepressants. I was on venlafaxine, which produced severe sweating and stopped working. Reducing and stopping this can also produce sweating! I swapped over to nortriptyline (a tricyclic) as I was put on a low dose for pain anyway and in the past have responded better to tricyclics than more modern medications. Nortriptyline - sweating among the side-effects!

I have probable polymyalgia rheumatica and/or fibromyalgia (under investigation) and am on steroids - gradually reducing. ALL of these can produce sweating!

In addition, it may be partially a viral problem - and steroids reduce resistance.

I'm also reducing a fairly low dose of oxycodone for back pain.

For a couple of days I've been worse than I was (steroid reduction?) and feeling really shaky.

Does anyone have any ideas?


3 Replies

.....have you looked at the Thyroid Forum or looked at the Signs and Symptoms of Underactive Thyroid on Many years ago a GP diagnosed me with PMR which was later downgraded by a Rheumatologist to FM. I refused steroids having survived many complications without.

On retiring to Crete in 2004 an irregular heartbeat took me to the GP. FULL thyroid blood tests done and a scan revealed I had Auto-Immune Thyroiditis - Hashimotos. I was 59. Treatment commenced and since being on the Thyroid forum I have learnt so much from the very well informed people there....

Let me explain....the problem with the UK system is that due to cost they only test the TSH - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone - which is NOT a thyroid hormone - but secreted by the Pituitary Gland to tell the Thyroid to release T4 into the blood stream. Occasionally they will test the FT4 - the amount in the bloodstream. Even that can be misleading as T4 converts into T3 in various places like the liver kidneys and is the only ACTIVE thyroid hormone and is required in every single cell in the body - around 7 trillion ! So without testing it how do they know what is going on. So if the T3 is low then you can understand why things go wrong.

The brain has first call on the circulating T3 - and there are more T3 receptors there than anywhere else in the body. LOW T3 = LOW mood in many cases. Second highest amount of T3 is required in the gut lining - the immune system - and again how many people suffer with non-specific conditions like IBS. When the T3 is low the efficiency of the gut is impaired.

Years ago when people had High Cholesterol they would diagnose Under Active Thyroid - as low hormones from the thyroid compromised efficient workings of the liver. Depression was once treated with T3 and in some cases still is. Many people report that Thyroid medication improves their depression and they can eventually come off treatment. In many cases anti-depressants can compromise the action of the thyroid - and suppress its workings.

If you decide a Thyroid Test is appropriate - then ensure the TSH FT4 FT3 and Thyroid Anti-bodies are tested. If your GP proves to be difficult then have it done privately through Blue Horizon or Genova Diagnostics. Information on the Thyroid UK Website. Your GP will have to accept the results as they same labs are used.

Dioctors have very little understanding of the complexities of the Thyroid. Also take into consideration how doctors are paid for the various prescriptions they prescribe !! ?

On the plus side since I started and improved my treatment I have evolved from sleeping 2/4 hours in the afternoons to someone who started teaching yoga trwo years ago at 65 - and I now have three classes a week ! I also play tennis, swim for an hour daily and walk my wonderful dog for half an hour each day. This would not have been possible 9 years ago. Of course I still have bad days when everything hurts - but then I know I have done too much !

I battled TB in my gut and also Crohns - have had spinal surgery and hip surgery have learnt a lot of lessons on the way. Just a pity they did not diagnose the Thyroid condition earlier in my life. Do not suffer - have the tests done. It's your health and you need to be in control - so do you your research. Also request a copy of your test results and post them so people can comment and advise. It is your right to have copies of your tests - however much fuss the receptionists make - just keep asking politely.

Am happy to help....and just keep asking questions. Hope you soon feel better.....


This all sounds really useful to me too so thank you.

I have fibro formally diagnosed, arthritis in all major joints which sometimes causes intense spasms of pain and the joints to give way whilst at other times I am reasonably pain free but feel weakness generally in my legs, arms etc. I also have IBS.

The fibro consultant confirmed my own understanding of the link between many of my symptoms and my traumatic history.

My mother had a thyroid problem, underactive I think but am not sure. I am also one quarter Asian.

My arthritis began after the strain on my shoulders and hips of carrying crazily heavy loads of books whilst teaching but the fibro began after I experienced extreme post-trauma reactions to re-connecting with and experiencing aspects of my traumatic childhood - necessary psychologically and I feel much better in an overall emotional sense but resulted in a long and deep depression which I think overwhelmed my immune system as well as my emotions - I had a breakdown as a child of 11 and that was being re-connected with hence the extreme stress.

I'm going to have a look on the thyroid uk website and perhaps have the various thyroid function tests done privately. I've also just been reading someone else's blog replies and mention of duloxetine (Cymbalta) as a treatment for fibro and depression so will follow that up too.

I agree entirely about the need to do one's own research. To be fair to medics particularly GPs they simply don't have the time to research conditions thoroughly and there isn't the money for everyone to be repeatedly referred to a specialist - in an ideal world that would happen but reality is not ideal. Those of us who are bright enough to try to understand for ourselves have an advantage and can go armed to the GP with the relevant research - my own GP would respond favourably to that, would say leave it with her and she would read and check the research, then make her decision, which is fair enough as she is responsible for prescribing and needs to feel comfortable that she is making the right decisions.

Thanks again. I don't come on this website all that often as I tend to think more in terms of coming online to write when I'm depressed and so use the action on depression link.

Thanks again,



...I have posted a few times on this forum and you are the first to reply. Sometimes people feel so awful they do not have the energy to learn and research for answers.

If you are being tested ask for TSH FT4 FT3 Anti-TPO Anti Tg and B12 Folates Iron VitD and Folic Acid. The vitamins and minerals need to be near the top of the range - but sadly doctors think that being in the range is sufficient. That may be the case for a fit teenager but not for someone who has a condition.

VitD will help MASSIVELY with the FM. It is more than a vitamin - it is a steroidal pre-hormone. Check out and Also Low B12 can also manifest as low mood.

It is a world scandal that people are being kept ill due to the inefficient testing for thyroid. eg The range for TSH in the UK can vary from 0.5 - 5.0 or even 10 but in the States the upper level has been 3.5 for years....and when they lowered it from 5 another million people could be treated.

All the conditions such as ME/CFS/FM have all appeared since the 70's when people were encouraged to change from Pig Thyroid to Synthetic T4 and the TSH test came into being. People were on lower doses and ended up having endless other conditions.

You mention there isn't the money for repeated consultant consultations but if they treated the underlying cause - eg thyroid then they would save millions. The heel prick done on a new born is to detect a thyroid problem so they DO know how important the thyroid is. So testing should continue throughout ones life so there is base blood result to work on when things go wrong. If your TSH falls within the range Doctors declare your there you go one size fits all....WRONG ! Medicine was once an art as well as a science....doctors did not rely on blood tests but made judgements on what they saw.

Blood tests are like snap shots and we all know they do not always turn out well :-) Checking visible signs and listening to the patient is also important. Sadly dot-to-dot springs to mind !!

I have consulted Dr Barry-Durrant Peatfield in the UK and he has written an excellent book The Thyroid and How to Keep it Healthy. He covers FM and Depression in individual chapters. You can buy it through Thyroid UK/Amazon so they receive a donation. You may also like to read - Tears Behind Closed Doors by Diana Holmes - a true story of someone's fight to have a thyroid Diagnosis. The Vitamin D Solution by Michael Holick is an excellent read as is VitaminB12 for Health by David Brownstein.

Sorry by enthusiasm has taken me down the rambling route - apologies. Please keep asking questions and I will be more than happy to help....When you have a chronic condition you are bound to feel depressed - but do check out the tests I have suggested and after 3 months or so of treatment you will feel a different person. You have had a lot to cope with in your life - but as your Mum possibly had a thyroid problem you may well have had one from early on too. It runs in families. Also Thyroid illness can be responsible for so much family sadness. They tested a 1000 schizophrenics in the States and around 86% had Thyroid problems ! ( T3 receptors mostly in the brain )

Over 200 million people in the world with a thyroid problem and probably the same amount undiagnosed ! Yes obesity is related to processed foods but there could be an underlying cause too. After all Rock Climbers rarely marry Couch Potatoes !! My husband has Hashimotos - diagnosed at 72 ! dog also has UAT. One daughter had thyroid cancer and now bone cancer and my lovely Mum died without a diagnosis. Now there's a story for another day !

Take good care and keep on reading........


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