Could I have an issue with my thyroid

Hi just wondering whether anyone can answer a couple of questions please.

I have had swollen neck glands for almost 2 weeks, I can’t say I have a sore throat but it feels swollen inside. I am mainly swollen about an inch and a half under my jaw bone, and when I press on either side of my wind pipe that is also tender. I would describe it as tender rather than painful. Can anyone tell me whether this is a symptom of thyroid disease please?

I am thinking of going to the GP if it doesn’t get better by the end of this week and am wondering whether it could be my thyroid.

My TSH was 1.4 when I had it tested last which I believe is normal so perhaps I am barking up the wrong tree.

I was an un-diagnosed coeliac for about 20/25 years ( I know this due to also having the rash associated with it for this time but being told it was dermatitis) I have been on the GF diet for over 5 years but still don’t feel good. I have days where I feel fine and others where I don’t, I tend to blame it on certain foods I have eaten but sometimes I cannot think of any food that could have caused me to feel so ill because we don’t even have gluten in the house.

I have muscle cramps sometimes, one occasion about 4 years ago my legs completely seized up, headaches, fatigue and a few weeks ago my hands and wrists were weak and I had difficulty getting out of the bath as I couldn’t put pressure on my wrists to lift myself. This has now gone and the doctor did a test (don’t know what test) at the time which came back as normal.

I am on B12 injections ( every two months) and have been diagnosed with VitD deficiency ( it was around 43 so not very low) so am not sure whether this could cause aches and pains I sometimes have.

I did go to one GP a few years ago and mentioned my thyroid, I had read on this forum that the main test wasn’t that accurate, he curtly told me that it was and mentioned about putting me on antidepressants.

I don’t want to come across as a hypochondriac which is what I thought the GP thought especially when I mentioned the internet but at the same time I don’t want to live the rest of my life not feeling well either.

If anyone can tell me whether the symptoms above could indicate an issue with my thyroid I would be grateful. thanks

8 Replies

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  • The thyroid is in the middle of your throat, and lower down than your swelling/tenderness. What you are describing is lymph nodes (commonly called glands - as in 'his glands are up') and its a sign that you are fighting an infection. It could be anything, and by itself, without fever or other significant symptoms that came on with the swelling is nothing to be concerned about.

    TSH of 1.4 is a little higher than optimal, but not, high enough to cause concern without the other signs of thyroid disease. It does go up and down in healthy people.

    What you are describing sounds more like an inflammatory disease, possibly auto-immune, but possibly due to poor diet. And D deficiency can also cause all sorts of symptoms.

    Some coeliacs cannot tolerate any of the grass family seeds, even the gf ones. I am NCGS and can basically only eat rice. Given your symptoms it might be worth considering an anti-inflammatory diet such as SCD or AIP. Even if you don't decide to go quite that far, it would be worth going grain free, raising your vegetable and fruit intake, and supplementing with a good probiotic like BioKult and also with magnesium.

    Given your history, its not surprising that you feel anxious about your health.

  • Hi Ruthi thanks for the reply, sorry for the delay in responding I didn’t get any notifications that anyone had replied.

    Yes I think you are correct in that it does feel like my glands are swollen.

    I have always thought that I had a pretty good diet, not a great deal of fruit, some but lots of veg I generally ( not always) tend to get my 7 a day. I also tend to eat meat everyday. I do eat quite a lot of eggs, at least 2 a day.

    I have tried to keep a food diary and gave up dairy, I have returned to eating Lurpak but dont have milk or cream 99% of the time, I have soya milk.

    The problem I had when I used the food diary was I could eat the same things and not feel well when previously I had no issues with them and vice versa. This was especially true with my dermatitis herpetiformis, and the consultant I saw warned me not to think about it too much as I would drive myself mad trying to work out why I was still getting a rash. He was right!

    I do eat gf bread every morning which I know isn't the healthiest option.

    I have a magnesium supplement I bought myself ( not diagnosed as deficient) and iron from the doctors ( I asked for this when I saw my iron result was 27 ( range 15 - 300) but don't always take them, the last result was 47 I think, same with the Adcal for vitamin d I was also prescribed. They did say I was zinc deficient as well when I was first diagnosed but then tested again and said it was ok.

    I was finding that the various supplements were hard to take due to their interaction with either foods or other supplements, it was becoming a full time job to remember to take them at certain times. Now that people have mentioned all of the issues they can cause I will try to get back on track with them

    Thanks for taking the time to reply

  • I think the TSH test is accurate. So, someone who gets theirs measured will have an accurate result at the end of it.

    The problem with TSH is that it isn't a good measure of whether someone has a thyroid problem. It is a fairly useless indicator of anything in many cases where people feel ill.

    Doctors are (sometimes) incredibly sympathetic to people who have a TSH of 80 (for example). However we get people coming here with very high TSH who say that they feel "a bit tired" but have no other symptoms.

    We also get people coming here with a TSH of 1.5 who feel absolutely dreadful and have all the symptoms of an underactive thyroid. Doctors tend to view these people as hypochondriacs.

    But there are loads of reasons why someone might be hypothyroid with a TSH of 1.5. Just to give one example - they may have central hypothyroidism - a problem with the pituitary or the hypothalamus which means their body is incapable of producing sufficient TSH for their needs. But doctors insist that central hypothyroidism is rare. And so they make it appear to be rarer still by not considering it or testing for it.

    With regard to you seizing up, the most likely things that spring to mind for me are low iron and/or low magnesium and/or low potassium.

    Checking whether magnesium or potassium is part of your problem is extremely easy to find out by experimentation.

    Buy a magnesium supplement. There are lots of different kinds to choose from. You can swallow it, bath in it , or spray it on your skin and rub it in. If you are deficient then putting it on the skin may give you a lot of tingling. Because of the tingling I found this kind of supplementation unpleasant and I prefer to take pills of magnesium citrate. Note that magnesium supplementation, depending on type, may make you feel a bit sleepy so take it in the evening. It also might give you slightly looser stools. Avoid magnesium oxide - people can't absorb much magnesium from it.

    naturalnews.com/046401_magn...

    For potassium, keep experimentation to low doses. If you take too much it could have a very serious effect on the heart.

    Ah! I've just noticed that you are getting B12 injections! B12 supplementation depletes potassium! I take 200mg potassium supplements and take one soon after taking my oral B12 supplements every day. If I get cramp I take another one.

    From wikipedia :

    The 2004 guidelines of the Institute of Medicine specify an RDA of 4700 mg of potassium for adults

    Source : en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potas...

    As you can see, 200mg per day is not a high dose.

    If you are iron deficient you need to find this out by getting tested. Ask your doctor for tests of ferritin (iron stores), and folate. If you can get him to do a full iron panel that would be even better.

  • Hi Humanbean thanks for the reply, I haven't looked in to potassium deficiency, I have just seen some of the symptoms and like I mentioned I have had both my legs seize up completely, I had some blood tests shortly after this happened and the potassium came back at 4.2 range was 3.5 - 5.3 so it would appear that is was in the middle.

    With regards to magnesium I have Swansons triple magnesium but as i have mentioned to Ruthi above I am a little lax in taking them at times.

    Thank you for your help

  • The best thing to do is get the following tests and post them here for members to comment:

    T4, T3, thyroid antibodies, iron, ferritin, folate. If your GP won't do them you can get them done at Blue Horizon. Vit D at 43 is very low. poor adrenal function can also suppress thyroid function and therefore cause symptoms.

    Also follow Ruthi's advice and investigate food sensitivities, AIP is good for helping to identify them, the most common sensitivities being gluten, corn, soy, egg, dairy and nuts, but there are many others.

    thepaleomom.com/the-autoimm...

    Don't accept being called a hypochondriac by anybody, you know when you're not well. Having said that, don't expect much help from the GP as they tend to be completely clueless when it comes to autoimmune disease and nutrition.

  • I recently found that I am gluten sensitive (apparently not coeliac according to blood test) with much lower vitamin D than would appear, but more interestingly have found magnesium supplementation really helps me.

    It is recognised that some coeliacs (gluten sensitive too?) are both vitamin D and magnesium deficient.

    I personally use natural calm magnesium powder (widely available - eg Amazon) - initially did make me sleepy & loose stools, but both have improved over time. Re-Mag is another liquid magnesium, more expensive, but doesn't seem to make me sleepy or upset digestion. It is an American product made (I think) by author of "The Magnesium Miracle" - worth reading. Only found so far that it is available from Botanica health in Uk

    Testing magnesium serum is apparently a waste of time, it's always in range. (Or you'd be dead) More accurate test is magnesium red blood cell test. Not available on NHS. Apparently magnesium supplement is well tolerated, (unless have kidney issues) and body gets rid of excess.

    I would agree with other recommendations here - if you can afford it get private full thyroid test via thyroid Uk, then you can see what is going on.

    (I use thyroid plus eleven home finger prick test from blue horizon)

    Hashimoto's is autoimmune, like coeliacs. Autoimmune issues often appear together. If have one more likely to have another

    Yes also personally had from endocrinologist the "we see people with TSH of 80-100 who are perfectly fine." The implication being that I was "making a fuss" about barely functioning at all, with TSH of 2 (on too low dose for me of Levo, with low vitamin D etc etc)

    If they only check TSH they have no idea what is going on.

  • I really think you should push for testing for Hashimotos! The tests you want are TSH, T3, T4, TPO AB & TG AB - the AB (antibodies test) are the main ones in this instance. It could be something else but you are showing some of the symptoms. With regards to your TSH your Thyroid can be under attack for some time before enough damage is done to throw off your TSH.

    With Hashimotos a LOT of us are intolerant to Gluten, it is also recommended to stear clear of dairy and sugar. If it's possible for you to work with a Functional Doctor they can help you determine what is going on throughout your whole system.

    Vit D deficiency is also a sign of Hashimotos.

    Don't take any nonsense from your Doctor, says it all that he rather put you on antidepressants than help you find what's at the root of your problems, they don't know how to deal with autoimmune issues (if this is what it is) yet at the same time they think they know better than you. Thankfully not all docs are the same but it sounds like yours isn't interested. Go in stand your ground, this is your chance to find out what's going on, if he/she still doesn't show signs of wanting to help you take your health into your hands and switch doctors.

    Best of luck x

  • TSH simply is a totally inadequate test for thyroid because you might very well have Central Hypothyroid as opposed to Primary hypothyroid

    In central hypothyroid the pituarity or hypothalmus are faulty so the TSH cannot rise as in primary hypo

    The only full test is

    Thyroid antibodies

    Tsh

    Free t4

    Free t3

    All are needed to fathom whats wrong

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