Dr Says I'm not Hypo - can anemia wreak havoc on thyroid?

This will be a little long winded, so I do apologise. To give you some history - my mother and sister both had fibroyd tumours. My mother had Grave's disease and later thyroid cancer. She went through absolute hell trying to get the right treatment. I developed fibroids when I became pregnant in 1999, was put on bedrest at 9 weeks and by the time my son was born I had 23 tumours and 3 were the size of melons. After my son was born, the fibroids shrunk and all but 2 little ones disappeared. Happy days! So life was better, I was back to my size 6. To make a long story a little shorter, in 2012 my periods became extremely heavy, but still regular. By early 2014 it was pretty horrible and I was very anemic, so I was constantly supplementing to keep my levels up. Needless to say I was always exhausted and had been for a couple years, had heart palpitations, thinning hair, bloating, constipation, migraines, brittle nails, dry skin, joint and muscle pain and was gaining weight. My Dr said it was all from the anemia caused by the fibroids. It got so bad I had to have a blood transfusion. I had my hormones checked and I was not perimenapausal (at the time I was 48). Starting Sept 2014 I began having a period that continued for 9 months straight, non-stop and so bad I would hemorrage and the pain would be come so extreme I would have to be rushed to the doctor for injections. Finally, I got in for a hysterectomy and they left my ovaries because they were fine and I did not want to go into surgically induced menapause. Meanwhile I'm still gaining weight. Fortunately, I do not have anemia anymore, but I've continued to gain weight; I'm still exhausted, poor sleep, and loads of other hypo symptoms. Emotionally I felt like I was going mad, so had labs done and discovered over a 3 month period I had become post menapause which explained the madness - I had completely gone through the change of life in 3 months - not 5-7 years! I tried HRT - 3 different kinds and all had side effects - migraines, more weight, debilitating joint and muscle pain, etc. I don't take any HRT now and I feel better for it. I think my body is adjusting. Now over the last year I have had my thyroid checked since I have a family history and I have a lot of hypo symptoms that existed BEFORE the hysterectomy and are still there. They would only do a TSH and Free T4. On both occasions by TSH was 2.39 and my Free T4 12.2 and 11.9. The doctor refuses to treat me for hypo. He said it's all menapause symptoms, even though I had these symptoms way before! However, they did diagnose me with fibromyalgia (which my mum has as well, but the dr said it is not hereditary). My mother went through the same things with doctors and she lived miserably for 20 years before she got a doctor with a brain. So I don't know if the fibroid thing and being so anemic for many years played havoc on my thyroid or not. Also since the birth of my son my palms (the outer part side running down from the pinky is red - it does not itch). My mother had the same thing, but no one could tell her exactly what it was from. My mother swore it was her thyroid. Anyway, I'm going to self medicate. I feel it will be the only way to see if I am hypo. I have purchased NDT from abroad and will be taking my first dose tonight. I'm just so sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I shouldn't feel this bad and I'm so depressed about my weight and body appearance. I've been thin all my life, so this change is getting harder and harder to deal with. I was on a strict eating plan and working out 5 days a week. I lost 2 kg in 8 weeks. It was a struggle. I went on holiday for a week and gained all of it back plus 2 more and I was walking 20+km a day while on holiday! I don't get it and now I'm having little sleep. I fall asleep ok, but I'll wake up about 2am and then can't get back to sleep. I'm either freezing cold or burning up. It's hard to be comfortable, and with the winter approaching I hate the thought of going outside and I usually love being out of doors. Anyway, I just need to some support and advice. I know there are so many out there with far worse problems than me, and my heart goes out to you all :) Thank you to anyone that responds xx

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  • If you have the ranges for your above results (figures are in brackes) as labs differ in their machines and ranges can be different.

    You've had a rough time with your health, no doubt about that.

    Ask the surgery for a print-out of your results and the ranges might well be on them.

    Hold off tonight from taking NDT until you get some advice on your blood tests. There's always tomorrow and I can give you some links which will be helpful if you're going it alone.

    Once you realise that doctors appear to be the last people who know about clinical symptoms you will (as you are doing) taking your health into your own hands.

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

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

    When a blood test is due it should be the earliest possible and fasting. If you are on thyroid hormones you leave about 24 hours between the last dose and the test and take it afterwards. Also ask for B12, Vit D, iron, ferritin and folate if you've not had them taken. Also ask for antibodies to be tested as that would mean you have an Autoimmune Disease called Hashimoto's. The antibodies attack the gland till you are hypo.

  • Hi Shaws! TSH range 0.27 - 4.2 and the Free T4 range is 11.0 - 25.0. Come to think of it, they did test me for inflammation markers and in one area I was a little elevated. I will ask my GP for all my recent labs and schedule another appointment. Sometimes it takes weeks to see him, so if I do start the NDT, do I just need to stop it 24 hours prior to any blood tests? Thanks!

  • If you're taking NDT, it's best to leave just 12 hours, because of the T3. T3 leaves the blood faster than T4, so a gap of 24 hours may give you a falsely low FT3 - if he testes the FT3! But, it won't affect the TSH. To get the lowest TSH, early morning fasting test, is best. :)

  • A TSH of over two, shows that your thyroid is struggling. Did they not test your antibodies? You could have Hashi's, and ca be hereditary.

    I don't know about anemia causing wrecking havoc, but low thyroid can wreck havoc on the whole body! And could very well the cause of your anemia, and the anemia plus low thyroid, the cause of your menstrual problems.

    I think your next step should be to get complete tests - which will probably have to be done privately, by the sound of your doctor! - including antibodies and nutrients. You need :

    TSH

    FT4

    FT3

    TPOab

    TgAB

    vit D

    vit B12

    folate

    ferritin

    That will give you a better idea of what is going on. You can find details of private testing on the main page of ThyroidUK. :)

  • Thank you Greygoose! Much appreciated :)

  • You're welcome. :)

  • I would suspect your nutrient levels of being too low. Just as an example, if your ferritin is 15 with a reference range of 15 - 50 your doctor would tell you this was fine and you aren't anaemic.

    In fact, most hypothyroid people feel at their best when their ferritin levels are mid-range i.e. about 80 - 90 on the range I've given.

    Since you've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia this is commonly a sign your vitamin D is far too low.

    Low vitamin B12 and low folate potentially have dozens of symptoms too.

    Ask your doctor for a copy of any blood test results from the last few years, including reference ranges, and then copy them into a post for us to read and provide feedback.

  • Thank you. Will do!

  • Could potentially be low iron or a cortisol issue which have the same symptoms as hypo. Also you could try weaning off gluten to see if your symptoms improve, sensitivity is very common (not at same time as NDT trial or you won't be able to tell which is working).

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