Thyroid UK

In need of advice (and you ladies rock)

First, I want to say, I'm so impressed by the knowledge here. I live in Montreal, Quebec on the other side of the pond and I'm just starting to educate myself about thyroid health. It's astounding to see how difficult it is to get proper treatment.

All the women in my family have bad thyroids, my aunt had one removed because of cancer and my mother's flat out died when she was 27. Her symptoms were completely ignored and while pregnant with me her thyroid failed. By the time I was born she was six months away from organ failure.

I am 31, I received a clinical diagnosis of fibromyalgia two years ago. I had a nagging feeling that it wasn't the issue. Two years of naturopathy and I am pain free but still have fatigue issues. Turned out it was multiple food allergies due to a terrible leaky gut. I know now all of my health issues stem from untreated PTSD after a friend was brutally murdered ten years ago.

Now I am at the point where my TSH has risen one point over the past year (it is still within range) and I am having symptoms of a sluggish thyroid. Fatigue, heavy chest, low blood pressure in the morning, light headedness, dry skin. I can't even have sex because it completely drains me!! Good stress wipes me out just as much as bad stress. I know I have multiple mineral deficiencies (at least 8 pretty bad ones) that need correcting and a moderate anxiety disorder. I just started seeing a holistic nutritionist, we will be feeding my endocrine system and nervous system. My symptoms worsened recently after a terrible panic attack. Extreme muscle fatigue and two trips to the emergency room revealed nothing out of the ordinary. TSH 2.71 (0.5-4.0) My doctor has been at a loss these past few years but only now that I am having these strange extreme symptoms is he starting to listen... I feel like I have been driving everything and it is exhausting.

Could my symptoms just be longterm nutrient deficiencies and anxiety putting strain on my endocrine system? I just realized that because of my food intolerances I haven't been eating much of anything that has good sources of fuel for my thyroid. I feel better after I eat meat so I suspect my B12 levels could use work.

Considering my family history I want to get ahead of this! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. <3

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Welcome to the forum, LaydieAurora.

TSH 2.71 indicates your thyroid is beginning to struggle but in the UK NHS won't make a diagnosis of hypothyroidism until TSH is >4.0 or FT4 is below range.

TSH 2.71 rules out primary hypothyroidism but doesn't rule out secondary/central hypothyroidism. Perhaps your doctor could check FT4 and FT3 next time. Ask for thyroid peroxidase and thyroglobulin antibodies to be tested too. If these are positive it indicates autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto's) which causes 90% of hypothyroidism.

Multiple mineral deficiencies will make you feel fatigued and unwell but are unlikely to be elevating TSH. Good vitamin and mineral levels will make it easier to absorb and metabolise thyroid replacement if you are prescribed it in the future.

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Thank you Clutter,

I have been asking for my T3 and T4's for at least a year. In Canada, generally they test these only when the TSH is abnormal. I am mentally preparing myself to push my doctor when I see him this Friday. He gave me a referral to see someone in internal medicine in hopes of finding the cause of my fatigue but I don't know what tests that entail. I also have a referral for a gastroenterologist. He actually gave me an SSRI to try to get the serotonin up in my gut to improve nutrient absorption. It helped with my energy but I had a terrible episode of anxiety. I'm hoping he will finally agree to send me to an endocrinologist, I've been asking for a while.

I was taking some natural thyroid support supplements until very recently. Perhaps I should get back on those.

I'll take note of all this and ask my GP. Thank you!

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LaydieAurora,

Perhaps you could tell your GP that testing TSH doesn't exclude a diagnosis of secondary/central hypothyroidism and ask him to check FT4 and FT3 as a one off. If not, perhaps you can order private labs. Hold off supplementing thyroid support until you have had the tests.

Most thyroid support doesn't have active T4 and T3 hormone and is often just a mix of vitamins and minerals. 100mcg/200mcg selenium is good thyroid support though.

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Hm, the mention of autoimmune thyroiditis is interesting. I have yet to find the source of high inflammation in my blood tests. I always thought it was the inflammation in my muscles...but now that's been resolved I'm left wondering where it could be coming from. My sed rate was at 50 on my last blood test. The lowest I've gotten it since falling ill a few years ago was 38. Normal range here is 0-15. My doctor doesn't know what to make of it.

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LaydieAurora,

Autoimmune thyroiditis can cause inflammation but not sure it would be as high as 50.

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Clutter,

K, I'll do some reading. I'm hoping the tests I'll be getting done by internal medicine will finally locate the source/cause of this inflammation. Thanks.

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Ah, yes, true. I'll hold off on thyroid supports until all my tests are done.

I'll mention secondary/central hypothyroidism to him, thanks.

I started eating 3-4 brazil nuts a day and it immediately cleared up the heavy brain fog. I'll discuss a selenium supplement with my holistic nutritionist. She is giving me my full protocol tomorrow, I wouldn't be surprised if she's thought of that already.

I've tried herbal supplements with adaptogens like ashwagandha root and another supplement with animal glands. I can't really say which one worked better. Seeing that I've been studying medicinal herbalism for the past eight months I'll look into plant thyroid support.

Thanks.

:)

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If you've been given a diagnosis of Fibro, the following is from an archived site of a doctor/scientist who was also an Adviser to Thyroiduk.org.uk before his untimely death.

web.archive.org/web/2010103...

He also ran the Fibromyalgia Research Foundation and found that his patients only recovered on T3 alone. He also stated that fibro patients had Thyroid Hormone Resistance and that is the reason T3 worked as it did not need to be converted, i.e. T4 is used in hypothyroidism but it has to convert to T3 into the Active thyroid hormone.

web.archive.org/web/2010081...

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Shaws, I'll take a look at this thank you, although I don't think I have fibro. I have friends who do so maybe I'll pass this along. I've seen a rheumatologist for the fibro test and I was told my problem was dietary. That's why I went to a naturopath. My GP gave me that diagnosis because he has no idea what is wrong with me and at the time I had full body inflammation and chronic pain to the point where I was bedridden for nearly a year. After a switch to a whole food diet and a detox using herbs I am now completely pain free so not sure about the fibro. At one point he said I could have rheumatoid arthritis but yeah, no definite diagnosis for these past four years even though I have a clinical diagnosis of fibro... Thanks again for the links, there's not a lot of good info on fibro out there.

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If you are now pain-free your change to a whole food diet etc has worked I think you've found your solution.

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Yes, I'm hoping changes to my diet will resolve the fatigue and other symptoms. Because of food intolerances I haven't been eating foods that are good sources of fuel for my thyroid or nervous system for about two years. My anxiety has gotten worse and I've experienced some stressful life events recently. The strain on my endocrine system seems to be showing.

The tests will be good to keep track of everything seeing that hypo is big in my family.

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Yup the selenium works. 200mcg and my symptoms gradually go away. It kicks my gut into working order and clearly supports my thyroid. The inflammation in my body drops significantly and for two hours yesterday I felt almost normal, healthy and refreshed...something I haven't felt in four years. I do have a leaky gut (which I am getting treated for) and I know I have multiple nutrient deficiencies, obviously selenium was one of them. I was amazed at the difference it made. Unfortunately the whole food selenium supplement I was taking which is made of yeast caused some pretty bad gut irritation and inflammation. So now I'm on the hunt for a preferably whole food supplement that agrees with my leaky gut...will be telling this to my doctor and I will make sure to get blood tests to check all my nutrients. I've gotten that done with my naturopath but he can't use those results. Thanks!

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