Could it be hypothyroidism?

Morning all

I'm a newbie so after some advice please. I've suffered with tiredness, muscle aches and lack of libido for a number of years on and off, mainly on. Doctors have been unable to find anything despite numerous blood tests and just said I probably needed rest (despite getting 8-9 hours sleep most nights, although rarely wake up feeling refreshed). 6 months ago I felt really REALLY tired again, unable to move from the sofa for a few days. More blood tests revealed slight vitamin D deficiency. 2 months later I was diagnosed with depression and put on Vensir (venlafaxine). Although Vensir has helped my mood somewhat, my energy levels are still at zero, vitamin D seemingly making no difference. After researching hypothyroidism I do seem to have a number of the symptoms, in particular the above and dry itchy eyes with dry skin on my face which I didn't think twice about. However some of the other symptoms I don't really have, or could be as a result of being on Vensir.

I don't know if the doctor has checked my thyroid with all the blood tests I've had - is it routine to check as well as vitamin levels, iron levels etc?

Does hypothyroidism cause the same symptoms all the time or could they fluctuate slightly over months/years? Are there certain things such as libido which are generally affected first?

I'm 36, don't smoke, drink on occasion and of normal weight. I have a varied healthy diet so shouldn't be deficient in anything. Up until the tiredness really set in I would go to the gym regularly but I've had to stop because of the tiredness.

Many thanks for any advice you can give


4 Replies

  • Welcome to our forum,

    Yes, you could be hypothyroid. Depression being one clinical symptom of the 300+. I'll give you a link of symptoms 

    I have had run-arounds like many on this forum in that we remain undiagnosed due only to never having had a blood test taken or symptoms recognised. 

    Doctors rarely know any symptoms so the 'symptom' is diagnosed instead and we're given medication when we might need thyroid hormones instead.

    First thing to do is request a full thyroid function test, which consists of T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3, and antibodies. Also, ask for Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate to be done at the same time.

    If GP isn't agreeable, you can have these privately with a recommended lab if you can afford it.

    Some doctors aren't really experts at diagnosing patients according to symptoms alone, which all doctors knew before the blood tests were introduced and they've been instructed to only diagnose if the TSH (from the pituitary gland) reaches 10. All symptoms are ignored although some doctors may prescribe if patient is slightly above the range. The top of the range is around 5 or 6 so it's a puzzle to me why the BTA insist no prescription till its 10. (moaning over).

    Make your appointment for thyroid hormones at the very earliest possible and don't eat before it. You can drink water. 

    Get a print-out of your results (we are entitled) and make sure ranges are stated then post them on a new question for answers. 

    If you have antibodies it would be called an Autoimmune Thyroid Disease called Hashimotos.

    You can have a Private Consultation if you wish and email for a list. You can make a choice and put a name(s) and ask for a Private Message to be sent to you as we don't put information on the forum. I would first get GP to do the blood tests. If only does some of them you can get others privately.

  • Shaws,  You wrote T4, T3, Free T4, Free T3.  Did you mean TSH, Free T4, Free T3?

  • Sorry Jim, I missed out TSH.  This is the link from Thyroiduk which is better explains the necessity.

  • To answer your other questions, yes, symptoms can vary from time to time - especially if you have autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's). You should also ask for your antibodies to be tested : TPOab and TgAB.

    There are, as shaws said, over 300 symptoms, and you Don't have to have them all to qualify.

    Unfortunately, it is not routine to test for thyroid. Unless you have a doctor with a glimmering of thyroid literacy, you have to ask for them.

    If you are hypo - and it certainly does sound as if you are - it doesn't matter how healthy your diet, you could still have nutritional deficiencies because hypos often have difficulty absorbing nutrients. You are what you absorb, not what you eat.

    And, if you are hypo, then it's a good job you're not still trying to go to the gym. Because exercise uses up your T3. And if you're hypo, you will have low T3, and difficulty replacing it. So, just gentle walking until you are optimal. :)    

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