I don't feel right but doctor says blood tests are fine

I'm not sure what is going on with me. I've been trying to figure it out for so long now that I'm starting to wonder if it is all in my head.

I've been having symptoms that I guess could be related to a thyroid dysfunction. The biggest of all is tiredness/fatigue. My cycles are all over the place, I'm depressed and moody, my joints ache on and off (especially hips and knees), I seem to be losing an awful lot of hair (eyelashes,eyebrows,pubic and on my head), my feet and hands either get incredibly hot or incredibly cold.

I went to the doctor and the mistake I made was to open with " I feel like I have PMS all month long" She pretty much decided that I have depression. I told her my symptoms but I could see she was not listening. So when I went back for the blood tests results I took hubby with me and he got the same feeling as me...she has already decided that I am depressed and all I need is antidepressants.

She told me my blood results are all fine but when I explained I have suffered with polycystic ovaries in the past and had to be on growth hormone as a child because I stopped growing she told me she would send me for an ultrasound to check my ovaries and give me another blood test to check my prolactin (at least I think that is what she said she was testing).

Anyway some of the results are as follows...maybe someone can shed some light

TSH 1.40 mu/L ( 0.35-5.5)

T4 16.4 pmol/L (10.0-19.8)

LH 13.2 (1.3-8.4)

FSH: 11 (2.9-8.4)

Possibly was around ovulation when I had blood taken...I say possibly cause I am never sure these days!

So I guess I'm not hypothyroid. Maybe she is right and I'm just depressed.

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25 Replies

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  • Someone will reply re your blood tests.

    These are two links which may be helpful. Doctors are apt to give you anti-depressants (which they don't have a blood test for) rather than a trial of thyroid gland medication when you have clinical symptoms such as you have above.

    Menstrual problems are rife in undiagnosed hypo.

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/about_...

    If you can afford a private consultation email louise.warvill@thyroiduk.org for a list of doctors. There are some NHS Endos but your GP may not be willing to refer as your TSH is 'within normal range'.

    Polycystic ovaries can be due to thyroid hormone dysfunction and a young woman (21 I think) in Japan who had multiple PCO's was cured by thyroid gland medication rather than operation.

    As you go along, you will find out that many GP's only know about the TSH range and ignores the clinical symptoms (or doesn't know any of them in the first place).

    Best wishes

  • hi, i know how frustrating this is....it took me 6 yrs to get diagnosed...like you they just kept telling me i was depressed....my reply...i am depressed cos i am ill lol....i went through every doctor in the surgery and eventually found one who was willing to try me on levothyroxine even tho he said my tests were normal....wow what a difference....please dont give up....

  • I really need your help. I am sure I have an underactive thyroid, I can't live my normal life, I am so fatigued and tired, my feet and hands are very cold also. My tests come back normal for everything. What did you say to the doctor to persuade him to try you on levothyroxine? I am at a loose end. :(

  • i just kept trying different doctors in the surgery and luckily the one who diagnosed me believes in treating the symptoms and that you cant always go by blood results as we are all different...he could see how bad i was and was prepared to try things ...but to be honest ..pyears on and i am still suffering even on medication so it doesnt always help...

  • Thank you both.

    I do feel like giving up. I'm a mess. I'm just sat here crying and trying to read information about it all. I feel like I'm going mad.

    I was convinced I had all the hypo symptoms, now my blood tests say no. If anything they would be closer to hyper but that doesn't make sense with the symptoms I have. Or maybe it does...argh I don't know anymore. I'm at saturation point with information...I've been reading about all sorts and now I seriously don't know what is real anymore.

    6 years to get a diagnosis? Wow that is highly depressing. Did you end up taking antidepressants or did you refuse them? I've now refused them twice and I can tell the doctor is not impressed with me.

    Thank you for the email address, maybe when I've calmed down I can email and request the list of doctors. Anyone know how much it would cost to go private though? Might not be an option at the moment,money has been tight.

  • It may well be something else causing your symptoms, have you asked the GP to test for other things ? a lot of deficiencies can give many similar symptoms. I recently discovered I had severe vit d deficiency and I can honestly say I thought it was thyroid related as some of the symptoms were much the same.

    I went to a private endo about the vit d and I paid £320, that was for a 2 hour appt, she was mega thorough and well worth the cost, my follow up appt will be much less. I have seen other private consultants and have paid around £130. All depends on who you choose and where they are based.

  • Ouch that is expensive but I guess worth it if it brings results. She did a full blood count and urea and electrolytes, GFR, liver function tests. She wasn't taking my symptoms seriously is the feeling I got and hubby confirmed it when we went back that he felt it too. She has decided that I am depressed and that is that. Would the vitamin D be in the full blood count?

  • Is there a different doctor in the practice you can see ? always worth trying. Vitamin tests aren't included in the fbc and it's no good just stabbing in the dark asking for random ones as some have to looked at alondside others so for example Vit D would really need a calcium result as well and if either of those were out then a parathyroid result. This is why you really need a GP who is willing to test for other things. Your thyroid results do look pretty good but if you don't get any further with other tests then would be wise to keep an eye on thyroid levels in case they change. Good luck

  • I agree with hypohen, you need some more comprehensive vit and mineral tests. Can you post all your results as there can sometimes be clues in the FBC etc that the GP will ignore because they're in range.

    Hampster

  • Hypohen - only two doctors in my practice. The other one I have heard is even worse but maybe I should give him a try.

    Hampster1 here are the FBC results

    Total white blood count 4.3 10*9/L (4.0-11.0)

    Red blood cell count 4.05 10*12/L (3.8-5.3)

    Haemoglobin concentration: 124g/L (115.0-160.0)

    Haematocrit 0.363 1/1 (0.35-0.46)

    Mean cell volume : 89.6 fL( 80.0-100.0)

    Mean cell haemoglobin level: 30.6 pg(27.0-32.0)

    Red blood cell distr. width : 14.2 (11-16)

    Platelet count - 159 10*9/L (150.0-400.0)

    Meal platelet volume : 8.7 fL

    Neutrophil count: 2.56 10*9/L (2.0-8.0)

    Lymphocyte count 1.37 10*9/L(1.0-4.5)

    Monocyte count : 0.34 10*9/L(0.1-0.8)

    Eosinophil count : <0.01 10*9/L(0.0-0.4)

    Basophil count 0.01 10*9/L (0.0- 0.3)

    LFT:

    serum albumin level : 46g/L (30.0-51.0)

    serum total bilirubin level: 13 umol/L (0.0-17)

    serum alkaline phosphatase level : 66 u/L (30-135)

    serum alanine aminotransferase level : 31 u/L (0.0-50.0)

  • Just typed a long reply and lost the whole thing, sigh. I'm just going to summarise now, which is probably for the best!

    I think it's worth you pushing for those vit and mineral tests: B12, folate, iron/ferritin and vit D. You're very low in the range for white blood count, red blood count, Hb and Hct, so leaning towards some kind of anaemia. But your MCV is normal, mid range. Iron deficiency alongside B12/folate deficiency can normalise the MCV (they cancel each other out). Your platelets are also low which can indicate an autoimmune process.

    We discussed low white blood count in another thread a while ago, it can be linked to B12 deficiency and also Lyme disease I think?

    Were you ever on Metformin for your PCOS? This is well known for depleting B12 and folate. Here is a link to B12 deficiency symptoms, it's a quizz so you can see how you score:

    b12d.org/b12-signs-symptoms...

  • Hi Hampster thank you for taking the time to type out the reply twice! That is very kind and I appreciate it =)

    Never been on Metformin. I was told I had polycystic ovaries around 20 years old and then when I was pregnant with my second child the ultrasound technician told me that my ovaries looked great and she couldn't see any cysts. This was about 7 years later.

    I took the test and it came out at 49 (or 54 if I tick the depression one). I guess the symptoms fit.

    The time it took her to look at my results I get the feeling that as nothing was highlighted she didn't really notice what you have pointed out. I also did think that some of the results were borderline low.

    When you say autoimmune process what do you mean exactly???

  • I was referencing labtestsonline:

    labtestsonline.org/understa...

    "Individuals with an autoimmune disorder (such as lupus, where the body’s immune system attacks its own organs) can cause the destruction of platelets."

    More info from netdoctor:

    netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/fa...

    As you can see, they don't worry about it until it falls below 100, but still the article does reference the following:

    "Impaired platelet production can also be due to...metabolic disorders such as shortage of vitamin B12 or folic acid, kidney failure, alcohol."

    "Antibodies that cause platelet removal can be due to...a specific disease in which abnormal production of other antibodies may occur, eg rheumatoid arthritis, the skin disease systemic lupus erythematosis or the blood disease chronic lymphocytic leukaemia."

    My husband's FBC is quite similar to yours, and his serum B12 came back right at the bottom of the range (he's going to go for the Active B12 test). I'm B12 deficient and hyper, but for years and years I was complaining to the doc about tiredness, PMS and migraine.

  • Thanks for the explanation hampster. You have given me more to think about. I felt I'd reached the end of the road but as you pointed out some of these results are borderline low so maybe there is more that needs looking into. I've made a note of the tests you recommended.

  • Seems to me you might have pernicous aneamia it often masks as hypothyroid but they forget to think about it

    you need b12, intrinsic factor,ferritin,folate and a full auto antibody screen

    go back and say that several people who know you well feel that theres some autonimmune disease going on and would she please check this out fully because there is no way your depressed

    take husband or best friend with you for backnup

  • I went to my dr today cos of thyroid problems..he said I had had blood tests forthis and they were normal.i dont remember having any bloods for thyroid??the last time I went to have bloods done the nurse said I didn't need to be there -there was some mistake.rather livid cos she made the appt for me.dr then said my glands are normal,that the lumps I can feel are something but cant remmebr what he called it except that its something I ve always had.??I don't understand -he says my bloods are always normal so I asked what about symptoms -i have some symtpoms of lupus and thyroid ?he more or less said symptoms don't count if bloods are normal.menatime my throat feels like its been cut.i then said if I hadn't seen a private dr no one would have found I had gallstones.he kinda then said each time i see him I then go on the internet and then wirte him a letter .that's because I dotn always get any answers .i told him taht only mentioned "bloating" a couple of months ago and ive had this fro over 2 years.how come I am in so much pain and my stomach is so hard and lumpy?he said tahst bloating.i still don't see how it can be.he asked was i assured now that someone had looked around my insides and taht nothing wa sfound?(i thought to myself I am still not convinced it s just bloating).sinc emy op my stomach is even more swollen.i said I cant live with this(huge stomach).he then said that I had s disagreed with the rheumatologist-yes cos he said I needed tolose weight and dismissed me when I told him i cant diet cos i don't eat anything-not eat cakes biscuits puddings etc and only couple of meals aday. my dr did acknowledge that i ahd lost weight on my arms and legs and when weighed i had lost 2 kgs.

    i ended up in tears and said i wa sconcerned about the changes in benefit and showe d himthe letter hwta if they say i am fit for work.he said htye do that and you have to appeal.i ve been thru that before and couldn't cope with it.

    on a good note he did say taht he would support me in this and tophone him if ineed his support.

    sorry fro allthe errors .

  • i have just gone onto my surgerys website and checked my previous appts .I attended fro bloods on 1st august (this is one where she said it was a mistake)and my next 4 appts were with doctors-one on 5th august (thyroid)one was on 20 aug(post op) and my dr again today(2nd sept).there are no appts after 5th august for bloods fro thyroid).totally confused and upset now).how can he have tested fro thyroid before I had any problems there.

  • Why don't you ask the doctor for a print out of all your blood results say for the past few months or when ever they said they were testing for the thyroid. They cannot refuse you a copy of them, but make sure that you get the reference ranges with them.

    Jo xx

  • hello Jo I was thinking this morning I should do that.I will contact the surgery when I am finished on here..I expect they'll want to charge me.

  • Your really need your antibodies tested as well as FT3. It could be that you aren't converting T4 to T3 and doctors wouldn't know that unless they tested you.

  • Hi Muffy

    Is that advice for me or for anbuma??

  • Hi, was meant for you.

  • I too agree with that advice from Muffy. I had the full thyroid profile tested here in Crete in 2005. TSH FT4 and FT3 were all in range - but the Anti-TPO was high and so Hashimotos Thyroiditis was diagnosed after a scan and T4 treatment started. I have a conversion problem so am now on T3 only and feeling much improved - would go as far as to say - I feeling great !

    It is beyond my understanding why if Hashimotos is the most common thyroid condition in the world - then why do they NOT test for it in the UK when the TSH is in range. Mindless logic in my simplistic non-medical thinking....

    Good Luck....hope you soon feel better.........

  • Muffy and Marz thank you both for the advice. Made another appointment at the doctor's and hopefully I will manage to get her to listen to me this time. I will write down all the things that I have been feeling and the tests that everyone on here has advised me to have and see if I can get through to her.

  • just booked an appt with the female dr I saw recently.my dr has no appts til end of sept.

    feelign absolutely awful today.head pain,ribs sticking in me everytime I bend to do something,.pelvic pain makes sitting standing and walking painful..my neck (glands??)is so enlarged and feels like im being cut with a knife. hopefully a fresh pair of eyes and ears will listen to me.

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