Hi. I am new to this site- and new to considering all things thyroid related so please excuse any ignorance I may have!
I have been having health problems for 3 years now (I am 38, female). My health 'journey' is a very long and winding road and I'm not sure how much detail to put down but I'll try summarise.
My main symptom over all this time has been fatigue- at times I have felt so fatigued it was as though I'd been drugged- I literally couldn't do anything for very long periods. I still struggle with fatigue but having made many (MANY!) life changes, I can usually just about manage- but I feel I'm not able to live my life 'normally'.
I have also had skin issues- it all started with tiny, very painful blisters on my face (around nose and 'laughter lines). That stopped when I eliminated gluten but since I get a rash on my neck and chest, which I still get, especially if I am struggling. I have also had abdominal problems- intense pain and bloating, making me look 7 months pregnant, which I no longer experience thankfully. I've had loads of other weird symptoms- tingly fingers, flaky skin, anxiety symptoms but not actually feeling anxious (racing heart etc). I also need at least 9 hours of sleep- any less and I feel as though I've had 2 hours. I track my sleep and it's usually quite good.
All of these symptoms have led me to have a lot of tests- some of which I've fought for and some have been pushed more by the medics. The things that have been suggested/ruled out are- coeliacs (blood test and endoscopy), endometriosis and ovarian cancer (laporoscopy) and HIV (blood test). I have been found to have 2 large fibroids- both outside the uterus so have been thought to be non problematic.
While I was waiting for surgery to test for endometriosis/ovarian cancer, it was suggested I try the contraceptive pill, continuously for 9 weeks. I did this and my symptoms changed quite instantly. The gastro issues stopped and have not come back and my fatigue started to very gradually pick up. I stopped the pill and things didn't return so kept off it. The Dr just said it was a hormonal imbalance, rectified by the pill and that was me discharged. Cured apparently!
Right now, I'm having a bit of a flare up (neck rash and bad fatigue) but in general, the past few months is the best I've felt in these past 3 years. But I'm still far from where I'd like to be and where I feel I should be for a 38 year old who takes very good care of themselves. My lifestyle is so healthy- I really feel I should be bounding about! I had to reduce my hours to part time (3 days a week) and need my 2 recovery days or I just can't function. I can't do many activities and cancel lots of things. I do feel I can't live a normal life. I see my friends with children and working and exercising, going out etc and I just can't fathom how they do it. I struggle to just work 3 days.
I am seeing a physio for hip pain. She is also trained in Chinese medicine and has quite a holistic/functional medicine outlook on things. She has been surprised at how blocked my lymph nodes feel and has been working a lot around my neck. This week, she asked about my thyroid and asked if I'd ever had it tested- I had and was told it was 'normal' but since she raised this, it made me wonder and I looked back at my results. I have TSH and Free T4 results from Aug 2014 and May 2015- Free T4 was 13 both times but my TSH was 2.4 and 4. I just wondered if this was something that would be worth looking in to?
To be honest, I am very reluctant to go back to a medic. I have lost all faith in western medicine. I feel I was made out to be a hypochondriac when the reality is, I avoid going to the Dr; I hate going and always worry I'm wasting their time. I haven't been back since I had the laparoscopy a year ago, even though I still struggle. I had a really stressful time with them raising the possibility of ovarian cancer and endometriosis and feel I went through many unnecessary procedures, without anyone really sitting for a minute to fully understand what was going on with me. I feel I've got on much better since I've taken my own control of things and used other ways to improve my health- yoga, meditation, becoming vegan etc. BUT if there is an underlying thyroid condition that could be helped with medication, I would like to know.
I would really appreciate anyone's advice on whether it would be worthwhile to do further testing for thyroid function.