Thyroid problems??

Hi , new here so hope I've posted this correctly! I'd be extremely grateful for ANY advice/opinion/input! In a nutshell I have been poorly since my son was born three years ago, I am 40 years old, doctors are not much help and I'm getting worse, daily symptoms include - Muscle weakness (feeling like my blood pressure drops) pain in limbs, awful night sweats, hormone problems, extreme tiredness (getting worse) reoccurring infections (chest and bladder or kidney) mystery hospital admissions that always end in me been given a lot of IV fluids, weight loss but hungry all the time, salt cravings, daily migraines and low iron. The reason I'm questioning thyroid problems is because both my aunt and cousin have under active thyroids (and I'm clutching at straws now!!)

An average blood result for me is

SERUM FERRITIN 10ugL. (20.00-291.00ugL)

RBC 3.93/L. (4.20-54010/L)

HAEMATOCRIT 0.357 L/L. (0.37-0.47L/L)

TSH 1.0mu/L (0.55-4.80mu/L)

SERUM FREE T4 11pmol/L. (9.00-23pmol/L)

I was given ferrous Fumarate for my low iron which helps ease my limb pain, but I'm not any the wiser as to what could be causing all other my daily symptoms or why I'm iron deficient (As you can see my thyroid tests are 'within range' but just wanted to check. Thank you very much in advance 😊

17 Replies

  • Aha! Just posted in your PAS thread!

  • low TSH and low free t4 says Central /2ndary hypothyroid your GP should have recognised that

    its different to the normal Primary hypothyroid

    your very low ferritin and aneamia is worrying and shoild be properly addresses by an urgent appt with a heamatologist

    however i would suspect other factors are also involved

    do you cook using aluminium or non stick coated cookware or foil or things like george foreman grill ,electric coffee machine etc

    have you had a load of amalgam fillings recently

    do you get bloated or react to wheat or gluten containing foods

  • Thank you very much for your reply reallyfedup123 (great user name) appreciate your input and found your reply very interesting, I do not use alimiuim products, and do not have any fillings (unusual I know!) very interesting though, would this be some kind of a mineral imbalance? Absorption issues? (Just interested!)

    I completely agree with you 100% re I should have been referred to a heameotologist (I have never actually even been told I have anemia, infact I had to ASK for treatment!?! They gave me ferrous Fumarate)

    This 'secondary hypothyroidism' is actually been mentioned a few times in replies, very very interesting.

    Thank you so much once again!

  • The first thing I noticed was the mention of salt cravings.

    This may be a sign of Addison's Disease :

    I'm sure there are plenty of other causes for salt cravings, but Addison's Disease is the only one I know of. Do the symptoms listed fit your symptoms? If they do then you need to find out as soon as possible. I don't know how it is diagnosed, but you could get some info from this - it is the Endocrinology Dept Handbook for the Imperial Centre for Endocrinology in London :

    Do a search for the word Addison in that document and read the sections it appears in.

    The fact that you get lots of IV drips when you go into hospital could be suggestive of Addison's too. According to the Wiki link on the subject low sodium is a common problem, and the short-term remedy for that is saline solution given through an IV.

  • I forgot to say - low cortisol has a bad effect on the thyroid. There are links between the functioning of the adrenals, thyroid, hypothalamus and pituitary systems. If one goes out of whack then the others could under-perform even if they are completely healthy.

    So, if you have low or virtually non-existent cortisol you might have lots of problems seeming to be thyroid-related (for example) but the issue at the root of it all is an adrenal problem. Your thyroid, under these circumstances, could be completely healthy.

    Please be aware that I have no training and no qualifications, so please don't panic. I could be leading you up the garden path.

  • Thank you very much for your input humanbean, found it very interesting and helpful, and no, I do not think for one minute you are 'leading me up the garden path' haha infact, you mention Addison's disease and the lovely (retired) Dr Chandy (of did say he'd like it if I was checked out for this, but obviously GPs don't usually like being told what to do, so I aren't ask (however, now I'm actually getting worse so I'm going to bite the bullet and ask for thyroid/addisons testing) so thyroid blood tests and Addison blood tests are two different things then I presume???

    Thank you very much once again!

  • Oh yes - thyroid function tests and tests for Addison's are quite different.

  • Oooo thank you for the replies kind people! Didn't expect it so quickly! I'm going to study them right now!

  • Another possibility... When your son was born did you have a major blood loss? There is a condition called Sheehan's Syndrome which can occur following massive blood loss during childbirth. It damages the pituitary and women can develop hypopituitarism and secondary hypothyroidism.

  • No great blood loss with childbirth humanbean, I did give birth 3 months early, possibly because of un diagnosed B12 deficiency, or the C.Diff and sepsis I contracted (I still do not know which one of those actually caused the early labour)

    Obviously with NHS fit to bust, no one has had the time to work this out unfortunately.

    I have however, been trying to tell my GPs I haven't been right ever since

    Thank you for your help, it's great to be getting other ideas and educated opinions!

  • Your TSH is rather low for your fT4 figure. It suggests your pituitary is underperforming. Unfortunately endocrinologists tend to think only of 'secondary hypothyroidism', when it is quite pronounced and the TSH is virtually undectable. Some of your symptoms are consistent with lower adrenal hormone levels also and these are stimulated by the pituitary. I would try and get your doctor to refer you to an endocrinologist with a view to checking your pituitary function. I also think you should ask for a trial of levothyroxine, sufficient to bring your fT4 up to around 18.0. They can then see where your TSH settles with a more average fT4.

    Unfortunately most endocrinologists are not much use but you need one to carry out the appropriate tests.

  • Wow Jimh111....very interesting, thank you, yes, I do feel I should have been referred to some kind of specialist a long time ago, so I suppose the question is a haematologist or endocrinologist, (I suppose the latter would make sense) as you already know the problem does seem to be the ranges that the GP surgerys use, I always get a 'no action needed' even sometimes when there is an exclamation mark next to the result, so now I ask for a copy, only because there has to be a reason for me feeling so dreadful, and I suppose it's upto me to find out if they won't.

    Thank you so much again!

  • If you are in the U.K., ask your GP to test your cortisol. Get blood test appointment for 9am as reference range is based on this timing. From memory, over 400 is normal and under 100 you'd get a diagnosis of Addison's. If it's in between the GP should refer you to an endo for further tests.

    Initially I thought my daughter was hypothyroid but it turned out she has very low cortisol which suppresses thyroid function. An anti-inflammatory gluten free diet, supplements, gentle exercise, rest and stress reduction have helped her a lot.

  • Thank you very much josiesmum, really appreciate your input, very interesting, can I ask, did your daughter receive any sort of medication at all? Or did you try to manage it naturally yourselves.

    Thank you very much once again!

  • No, she hasn't taken any medication, just tried a lot of stuff we've learned from this group and the internet. Started with the autoimmune diet (as she was having severe digestive issues) then kefir, probiotics, vitamins and minerals etc.

  • if you have low stomach acid, ever bloat , feel constipated etc......common will not absorb nutrients and you may be low in b12, d3, etc as well as your iron.....take hci with pepsin and enzyme before each meal and it fixes it and easier to get your levels back up....that personal experience...

  • Thank you very much jacrjacr, really helpful information, much appreciated!

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