Thyroid UK
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Dear all,

I have been having generic health problems for quite a while now (since March of this year). In March, I went very suddenly from being a moderately heathly 22 year old male (by moderately healthy, I mean I could probably eat and drink less and exercise more, but I have no health issues and I am not obese), to having all kinds of pains. The first night I felt like I was going to die, afterwards though I experienced disturbing symptoms such as abdominal pain, especially just below my rib cage, more on the left side, but also on the right, tingling in my hands and feet, back pain, sometimes headaches and disorientation as well. On the first night, I went to my doctor and he sent me for blood and urine tests and an abdominal X-ray, the result of which was that I appeared to be "fine" - specifically, the doctor at the hospital who did the tests said that there was nothing unusual about the blood and urine test results, and he specifically said that my liver, kidneys and pancreas appeared to be in good working order. In the following weeks, the pains continued, and I also suddenly developed a hoarse throat and lost my voice for about 3 weeks, which recovered in time and with some corticosteroid treatment. I had some respite around late May, early June, but in later June the abdominal pains returned. They eventually disappeared, but now I've been suffering from some new symptoms. I've now got dry, itchy skin along my spine, and I can feel a discomfort in my throat, not a pain, but like something is stuck in there, but I know there isn't anything blocking my throat. I have been feeling very tired and fatigued, finding it harder to get up in the morning and stay alert later in the afternoon at work. I've had some minor headaches, occasionally severe back pain, and sometimes visual distortions, like thinking I can see something moving in my peripheral vision, only to find nothing there. When passing stools, the results are incredibly variable, last week virtually all of my stools were medium-brown and floated, this week they have all sank and are a more dark brown. I was worried earlier about pancreas problems, as these can cause fatty stools and abdominal pain, but I've come to the conclusion that this is unlikely, given the tendency for the pains to go away in time and for my bowel habits to also randomly change, coupled with the fact that in March the doctor said my pancreas looks OK.

So, apologies for the long list of info, but it is important for my question. Basically, I feel like I'm going through the medical dictionary, and I still don't know what is wrong with me. The doctor suggested that maybe I might have a hiatal hernia, or perhaps a stomach infection (I should be having a gastroscopy soon to check for this), but to be honest my abdominal symptoms have subsided a lot, and I now have new problems. I've been reading about hypothyroidism, as the tiredness and throat pain made me think of it, and I found that many of my symptoms could be consistent with this condition. Namely, it seems like there are a wide range of potential symptoms that could be associated with hypothyroidism. My question is, does this sound like your experiences with thyroid problems? I feel like I am definitely unwell with something, but it's very hard to pinpoint exactly what, and often when I feel like a symptom is bad enough to be worth seeing the doctor about, it subsides shortly after, only to return later or be replaced by new symptoms. I'm considering making an appointment for next week, but I would appreciate some more information about your experiences with this disease, and how to go about asking the doctor for help. I don't want the doctor to not take me seriously if I tell him I am worried about my thyroid, thinking I am a hypochondriac or something. I know why doctors can be like this, they get loads of patients self-diagnosing themselves with limited medical knowledge, but I also feel like if I go and just report my symptoms, he'll just say it's to do with the ongoing stomach problem or stress or something. I think, from what I have read, I must have or have had a large proportion of the symptoms listed for hypothyroidism (the exceptions I would say being weight gain and hair loss - I would say I have put on perhaps a little weight without changing my eating habits, and my hair is receding anyway, so perhaps even these can be included).

Thanks for any advice you can offer.

3 Replies

Hi Lotar,

It sounds as if some of the symptoms you have are relatable to thyroid symptoms, I have under active thyroid and low b12/folic acid/iron, which I didn't feel better until these were all corrected.

My son who is 18 has started to get symptoms too, which I know now what to look out for and he's been diagnosed with low b12 and folic acid but the docs say they will keep an eye on his thyroid levels but I know his results aren't great but docs won't treat till they show up on blood tests as out of range, he's feeling somewhat ok and is working and out door activities but is tired a lot, anyway I would suggest that you get a print out of your blood tests, the ones I've mentioned above and post them on here for us to see how they are, is there anybody in your family with thyroid disorder's as it will usually run in family's although not all the time.

At your age just keeping pushing the doctors to investigate as I will keep pushing for my son, I hope I've been of some help.

Elaine x


Hi Elaine,

thanks for the response. I do have a relative with a thyroid problem, I have a cousin with an overactive thyroid (she often has problems with being underweight). Do you know if there is a link between more distant relatives, like cousins, having thyroid problems, or if it is possible for there to be a link between family members with opposite thyroid problems i.e. a link between hyper- and hypothyroidism in families? I shouldn't have a problem with B12 or iron consumption based on my diet, as I often include items such as liver in my diet and I eat red meat regularly (I know, not the most healthy option, but it should keep my iron and B12 levels good). Does hypothyroidism affect uptake of these minerals? Also, Did your son's symptoms start gradually, or quite suddenly? For me, the first time I felt ill in March it was very sudden, but as I mentioned, my set of symptoms was different and thyroid problems didn't even enter my mind. It's the new symptoms and the fact that I haven't got better under my own steam that is making me think about this possibility.

I'm planning on seeing the doctor next week, maybe I can get him to sign me up for a blood test. I have a copy of my last blood test in March, but I don't know if there is a specific test for thyroid hormones or if they do it as part of a general blood test. When I had the blood test in March, it was basically done as a general emergency blood test as I was looking and feeling really sick, I think the doctor wanted to rule out immediately life threatening stuff like appendicitis or a diabetic episode (I'm not diabetic, but I know of people who have even died from undiagnosed diabetic conditions). I don't know if he will want me to wait for my gastroscopy first though (I've been waiting for ages, and I haven't been given a date for it yet). I am British, but I live in Spain, I pay taxes here so I have full access to the healthcare system but I honestly don't know how different it is from the NHS. From what I've seen so far it's basically the same however, healthcare is universal and generally pretty good, but it can be a bit disorganised at times.

Thanks for your response!


Hi Lotar,

Yes it is possible for cousins to have thyroid problems, my mums sisters have hypothyroidism and their children (now in their 30's) also have it, my own sister has just been diagnosed with low b12 and they checking her thyroid levels cos they looking at family history, i would still get b12 and folic acid blood tests if I were you, just to be able to rule them out as it is something to do with the instricinct factor in the gut that even when you when you are eating a healthy diet that the nutrients aren't getting through so you are depleted of these nutrients, if you look around on this site it will give you more info on this, when we switched to a new doctor he took my son off of the b12 jags and wondered how a young fit lad would be given this if he had a good diet but his blood levels plummeted and became very ill again and another doc at the same practice put him back on them as his levels where that low, when I look back my son was always so tired but it wasn't till he got in to his teens that it became very obvious, tired, pale looking, tonisillits, bowel problems, fatigue.

Let us know how you get on with the gastro and it would be worth going back to docs just to rule things out.

Elaine x


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