Am I hypo??

Hello

I am new to this group, and my main reason for joining is to help me try and find out if I have an under active thyroid.

Just to give a bit of background to this, I am 58 with type 2 diabetes, and currently about 5 stone overweight, having had a lifelong battle with my weight. As well as the diabetes treatment, I am on meds for high blood pressure and cholesterol, both of which have been well controlled for many years. I also take Omeprazole for acid reflux and Solifenacin for overactive bladder (one of the joys of advancing years!). I also suffer from Psoriatic Arthritis, an autoimmune condition which causes painful joint inflammation, but I am not currently on any treatment for this as it only flares up once or twice a year.

2 years ago I joined Slimming World and successfully lost 2 stone over six months. Then I went on a cruise, then had a spell in hospital for an unrelated problem, then it was Christmas and then I went on another cruise.......needless to say, the weight piled back on again.

I was just getting back into the swing of things and starting to lose weight again last year when things suddenly started to change. On weeks when I was not quite sticking to the diet 100% but hardly going wild, I started to gain weight at an alarming rate: with gains of anything up to 3.5-4.5lbs in one week. This coincided with when I started taking Detrusitol for overactive bladder, and although my GP changed it to Solifenacin, she insisted that weight gain was not a side effect.

Since then I have struggled to lose any weight at all - any losses are very quickly reversed - despite doing slimming world again and following the plan to the letter. I have had my thyroid levels checked several times and it always comes back 'normal'. I have repeatedly raised the issue of my weight with both my GP and my diabetic nurse, and indeed they are both on my case about losing weight in order to gain better control of my diabetes, but they will not entertain the notion that it might be a thyroid problem.

I have a number of the other symptoms listed in the Thyroid U.K. checklist such as feeling cold, cold extremities, anaemia, feeling of a lump in my throat, insomnia, repeated UTIs, protein in urine, PND and many more, some of which are actually being investigated in their own right, but they don't seem to be joining the dots, and my GP wouldn't even look at the Thyroid UK checklist that I took with me on one appointment - she just ignored that I had mentioned it!

They keep trying to tell me that it's 'just my age', that you gain weight after the menopause, but I just don't buy that. I fully accept that hormonal and lifestyle changes post menopause can lead to weight gain, but not the sudden change that I have experienced.

An acquaintance who is a nurse has suggested that the first line blood test can be inconclusive, and indeed she herself had fought with her doctor to get additional tests before eventually being diagnosed with under active thyroid, so I feel like I am banging my head against a brick wall.

I would welcome any thoughts on my situation from members of this group and any advice you can give. Also, I am prepared to go private if necessary to get further tests done, and I would welcome any recommendations on how and where I can pursue this (I am in Glasgow).

Sorry this is such a long post but I'm sure members will appreciate my frustration!

Thanks for reading.

8 Replies

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  • Firstly you must obtain a copy of these 'normal' blood test results, you're legally entitled to these although there may be a small charge.

    nhs.uk/chq/Pages/1309.aspx?...

    Despite the above I would strongly recommend , if you can afford to, obtain a copy of all of your medical records and the maximum charge will be £50. It would very helpful to see all your blood test results and any other tests carried out, perhaps joining up the dots.

    You're taking plenty of medications and often patients find that when they're correctly medicated with thyroid hormones they can reduce these. For example Omeprazole, hypo patients tend to have low stomach acid and as we age we produce less. Omeprazole is for excess stomach acid and handed out like sweeties despite having many side effects.

    Sorry, got to sort out dinner, will come back later.

  • Thanks for this - I will definitely ask for my medical records. I had no idea about the many side effects of Omeprazole - I've been on it for so long that it never occurs to me to read the information leaflet nowadays, but fortunately I don't suffer from any of the side effects. It's interesting that you say they're handed out like sweeties - my dose was doubled to 40mg a day after I had a camera down my throat to investigate the cause of the feeling of a lump. This showed nothing physical and it was decided it was being caused by acid reflux. However, I was only supposed to be on 40mg for 8 weeks (since February) but am still on it, despite querying it with GP! And in any event, it made no difference to the throat lump.......

  • You're welcome and apologies for forgetting to add to my reply yesterday!

    What did your GP say when you queried the 8 week treatment? PPI's obviously treat the symptoms but not the cause. Have a read through these, they're easy to read (don't be put off by the number of links) and should help you. Whatever you do though you would need to wean yourself off the PPI's, don't stop suddenly.

    scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/ho...

    scdlifestyle.com/2013/10/4-...

    scdlifestyle.com/2012/06/hy...

    scdlifestyle.com/2012/03/3-...

    chriskresser.com/what-every...

    chriskresser.com/the-hidden...

    chriskresser.com/more-evide...

    chriskresser.com/how-your-a...

    chriskresser.com/how-your-a...

    chriskresser.com/get-rid-of...

    There's plenty of us on here who're taking either betaine or apple cider vinegar to relieve the symptoms of low stomach acid.

  • As you have been on Omeprazole for such a long time, you may find that your throat lump is a symptom of low vitamin B12.

    Low stomach acid leads to low production of Intrinsic Factor by the stomach. Low IF means that you are unable to absorb B12 in the lower gut, leading to a number of neurological problems, one of which is the sensation of having a lump in the throat and dysphagia.

    Ask your GP for a Vit B12 blood test and take it from there. As with every blood test carried out by your GP, ask for the actual results, and the ranges, them post on this or the PA site for further advice if your GP tells you the result is 'normal'.

    Maggie

  • Have you been tested for underactive thyroid? You have a lot of the symptoms and it really shouldn't be a big deal to do the test. If your gp refuses you can have it done privately, but then you just move the battle from the blood test to the treatment, so ideally better to get the gp onside.

    If she won't test because they've done it before then as cinnamon_girl says, best to get a copy of the results and post them here.

    The only way I was diagnosed was to ask the gp to test me when I was feeling chronically tired and cold, and she was surprised to find I was spectacularly hypo. If I hadn't been tested then I could still be spinning my wheels as your levels fluctuate and you don't always catch it when a definitive diagnosis can be made.

  • Thanks for this - as far as I can ascertain, I have only had a basic thyroid test (TSH level?) along with routine blood tests as part of my annual diabetic review, so it will be interesting to get my records to see what test has actually been done, and the result. My understanding is that this 'basic' test is not entirely conclusive, probably as you say because levels fluctuate, but that GPs are reluctant to order additional available tests, for whatever reason.

    I just feel I'm being fobbed off: they see a post menopausal obese woman and are intent on blaming it on my age, telling me to eat less and exercise more, but I know my own body and I feel that there's more to it than that!

  • I hear you on all counts. But we are the very people who get Hashi's! And the people they pester to lose weight! So you deserve to be tested and it would be completely appropriate to test you.

    The important part of the tft would be the antibodies. If you have raised antibodies you will develop Hashi's and some docs will start treatment when they know that (not as simple as that but it is an extra tool in your kit). So even if your tsh is normal and everything is within range, if it is sufficiently out of kilter and close to the end of the range AND you have ABs you might get some treatment. In any case, it would tell you if there's anything to look out for or if you can be done w the thyroid hypothesis and move on to something else that might be causing your symptoms.

  • I appreciate your frustration. I am using the same wall to bang my head on with similar experience. I agree with cinnamon_girl regarding the Omeprazole as I was prescribed this for the lump feeling in my throat when seen by ENT and told I have gastric reflux. I took them for a while believing doctors to be always right but felt worse and then got choking fits. I stopped taking them and I no longer get acid reflux / heartburn. My weight has increased dramatically in the last 2 years and thats all doctors seem to see. That and age (57). Good luck. joolz.x

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