Does this sound thyroid related?

Dear all

I'm a newbie so firstly thank you for reading my post. I'll give you a little background first. I'm 36, male, in good health/weight generally. However I have suffered with chronic fatigue on 3 separate occasions over the last ten years mainly following a period of stress. Nothing has ever been found and I've recovered after a few months. 

However for almost a year now I've suffered again and it's worse. This time I have a few more symptoms. I was vitamin D deficient so have been on supplements for 6 months, and anti-depressants since December (prozac which didn't agree with me and now venlafaxine). My depression has lifted and I should be off them from next month. But the vit d has not helped my tiredness at all, if anything I feel worse. Having read about hypothyroidism I have a lot of similar symptoms, but was wondering if the previous periods of fatigue were the start of it and now it's just getting worse. Does that happen? Can I be ok for a couple of years and then it happens again? It's also difficult to know what if any are side effects of the venlafaxine. My current full symptoms are:

Vitamin D deficient – diagnosed November 2015 

Depression – diagnosed December 2015 

Involuntary muscle twitches (eye and legs worst, especially when tired) – on and off for ten years, various tests including epilepsy all clear 

ZERO libido – gradual decline for 3 years 

Tired all the time, not helped by sleep. Fall asleep easily, occasional daytime nap – on and off for ten years, much worse in last 6 months. Brain foggy 

Weak muscles and sore legs with occasional cramp in calf muscles. I'm exhausted the day after if exerted - this is within the last 6 months, getting worse 

Constipation - very new to me. Never like this before. Diet has not changed at all, used to be daily, now 3 times-ish a week

Dry, itchy eyes sensitive to blowing air

Nose feels swollen inside / semi blocked. Occasionally runny 

Throat – occasionally sore and/or feel a lump when I swallow 

Persistent itching, particularly on the legs - comes and goes

Dry skin on face with whiteheads 

Always cold - fingers and nose worst

Although all of these sound thyroid related they also could be completely unrelated. I suppose my main query is whether the thyroid can work ok for a couple of years and then not, as the fatigue issue is definitely on and off over a period of years. I've got a drs appointment in 2 weeks so will ask him for a full thyroid blood test but was just keen on your thoughts.

Many thanks for reading

Steve

12 Replies

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  • Welcome to our forum, Steve and you are symptomatic. Sometimes we actually have hypothyroidism for a long time but due to the way we are diagnosed in these 'modern' times, the doctors only take account of the TSH and if it doesn't reach 10, we remain undiagnosed with medications for the 'symptoms' rather than thyroid hormones.

    First thing to do is ask GP for a full thyroid function Test (most probably wont as some labs will not do them if TSH is 'in range' and top of the range is 5 or 6 (even though the British Thyroid Association states not t prescribe until it reaches 10. 

    Make the earliest appointment for the blood test and don't eat before it.(If you were on thyroid hormones you'd allow 24 hours approx between last dose and test and take it afterwards. 

    The GP should ask for TSH, T3, T4, Free T4, Free T3 and antibodies. Also Vitamin B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate. 

    If you can afford a private test we have recommended labs and you get a discount (I think about £10) - I'll give a link below. 

    Fewer men have a dysfunction of their thyroid gland than women but treatment is the same. 

    Always get a print-out of your blood test results, with the ranges (these are important as labs differ). Some surgeries charge a nominal sum for a copy and some nothing.

    Put them on a new Post and members will comment. Link for recommended labs below: 

    thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin... 

    Also if you look down the left-hand side of the above link, you can also find lists of symptoms etc which you can tick off for your GP.

  • Thanks for your prompt response. Would you recommend a private test over a GP test? I can't get an appointment for a couple of weeks. If so, which private test is best - postal, clinic, and what would be the best type of test as there seems to be a lot. Thanks. Steve

  • Some doctors wont accept Private Blood Tests. You could phone your surgery and leave message for GP. No point in getting them if he wont agree.

    If not, the labs are accredited ones and I think most use the pin-prick ones. If you put up another post asking for recommendations, those who've done so will respond. I think you need the whole thyroid ones but GP can do the others later on.

  • I would try and get GP and private testing.

    GP tests are cut to the bone to save money - they are likely to do only TSH if it is in range. They rarely do antibodies, and when they do they don't always do all the ones that might apply. As far as iron goes, they usually only test ferritin, they don't do a full iron panel. They rarely do vitamin D. You might get folate and vitamin B12.

    If you get private testing done and your GP refuses to acknowledge them there is nothing to stop you doing something about the results yourself e.g. treating low vitamin D by buying vitamin D supplements, or treating low ferritin by buying iron supplements. It has the advantage of never having to beg or ask permission, but obviously costs money.

    Some tests that might interest you :

    From homebloodtests.co.uk/

    Thyroid Check Plus 6

    Thyroid Check Plus 10

    From bluehorizonmedicals.co.uk/

    Thyroid Check Plus 11

    Thyroid Check Plus 12

    From privatebloodtests.co.uk/ (Spire Hospital testing)

    Comprehensive Plus V + HbA1c

    To add the Free T3 test (or others) to the Comprehensive test above (at no extra cost), look at the coupon codes page.

    From privatebloodtests.com/ (Nuffield Hospital testing)

    Similar choices to the Spire testing.

    Thyroid UK gives info on discounts that can be applied to some tests - see here : thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

  • Thank you all for your help. I've opted for the Thyroid Check Plus 10 home kit which I should get the results of before my GP appointment and can take along. Although I don't want to have any kind of illness, an answer and possible solution would be lovely

  • If I remember correctly, the Thyroid Check Plus 10 doesn't include vitamin D. You'd be amazed how many aches and pains disappear once vitamin D levels are optimal. You can get that done with a finger prick test here :

    vitamindtest.org.uk/

  • Thanks but I've been on vit D supplements for 6 months as I was tested and was low, but they've not made me feel any better :o(

  • What dose are you taking? It may not be enough.

    When I started supplementing with vitamin D I took 1000 iU per day for several months. Then I re-tested. And my level had actually dropped. It only started rising (very, very slowly) when I increased to 3000 iU per day.

    I got my level to optimal eventually but it took a long time (I could have speeded up the process by increasing my dose, but I chose not to). I now take 2000 iU per day in the hope of maintaining my levels.

  • Hmmm I'm on 800 iU per day and have been since November. I'm going to be retested at my next Drs appointment in two weeks so it'll be interesting to see what the results are

  • I think you have your explanation for getting no benefit - your dose is far too small! Are you taking vitamin D3?

    The optimal level for most of us (i.e. where we get the most benefit) is around 100 nmol/L.

    The lowest my level has ever been is low 50s. I was surprised at how much better I felt when I got it up to about 100.

    (Just for info - There are some people who don't tolerate vitamin D supplements, although I don't think it is common.)

  • I've just done that test this week f sent off my parcel on Tuesday last post, and had my results email this morning. Very pleased with the speed of turnaround and service. 

  • I'll leave the thyroid info to the more knowledgeable in the audience...but, have you had your sex hormones, testosterone FSH & LH checked? Might be worth a look, low libido, depression and a myriad of other ailments can result from low testosterone.

    I wish docs would check sex hormone levels before chucking us on anti-depressants.

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