Thyroid UK
89,269 members103,764 posts

I'm new here, with a question that's puzzled me for years

My mother's symptoms: Always cold, pale dry skin and hair, hoarse voice, extremely drooping eyelids, tired all the time etc. She had numerous TFT's that all returned normal, which confused and worried her GP. In the end she was prescribed first Drinamyl then Dexedrine, which addressed the tiredness and potential weight gain and not much else.

Since my mid 50's I've begun to experience increasingly similar symptoms. Outer 3rd of eyebrows gone and the rest thin and sparse, very pale and puffy face that a doctor once suggested looked myxoedemic, weight gain that is extremely resistant to diet and exercise. drooping eyelids that have been surgically reduced and returned, and most importantly I've slowed down almost to a stop - and it really worries me. I'm also far less alert and sharp than I was, with a muddly sort of head.

However, I am not excessively cold, and my TFT returned as normal. Do you think its possible/more likely that both my mother and I have both suffered from something else?

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What are the results of your thyroid tests? Can you post them with their reference ranges.

Did you have

TSH

FT4

FT3

Thyroid antibodies

all tested?

Also, if not already done you really need

Vit D

B12

Folate

Ferritin

All those tests will give a complete picture of your thyroid and nutrient status.

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For full Thyroid evaluation TSH, FT4, TT4, FT3 plus TPO and TG thyroid antibodies. Plus vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12.

Essential to test thyroid antibodies, FT3 plus the vitamins

Private tests are available, many here are forced to get private testing to get diagnosed or correctly monitored

thyroiduk.org.uk/tuk/testin...

Medichecks Thyroid plus ultra vitamin or Blue Horizon Thyroid plus eleven are the most popular choice. DIY finger prick test or option to pay extra for private blood draw. Both companies often have money off offers.

All thyroid tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. This gives highest TSH and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, GP will be unaware)

If antibodies are high this is Hashimoto's, (also known by medics here in UK more commonly as autoimmune thyroid disease).

About 90% of all hypothyroidism in Uk is due to Hashimoto's

If you add what test results and ranges you have had, members can advise.

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Due to the number of members we have on this forum, I think the last place to go for an accurate diagnosis is a GP or Endo unless your TSH is 10 or over - if they ever do a proper test.

You need a new blood test as 'normal' to the GPs just means our tests are within normal range it takes no account of clinical symptoms we have because they are no longer trained in them or have one clue what is a symptom.

We have two private labs which will do all of the necessary blood tests your GP will not do.

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

Many GPs seem to have been taught that if the TSH reaches 'somewhere' in the range, even the top there job is done when we need our TSH to be 1 or lower with Free T4 and Free T3 in the upper part of the range. The latter are rarely tested.

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Theres no such thing as "normal "

You are legally entitled to your actual resukts and ref ranges

In order for anyone to work out whats wrong you need

Thyroid Antibodies

TSH

free t4

Free t3

Ferritin

Folate

B12

Vit d3

Reply

Just to repeat others, but a doctor telling you your TFTs are normal doesn't prove anything! Two possibilities are that they could be reading the thing completely wrong (common), or you could have one of the slightly more unusual patterns, which almost no doctor will identify.

Both sets of symptoms you describe sound classically hypothyroid. The loss of the outer third of the eyebrow is extremely characteristic!

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I was head of a primary school and never did find out what a ‘normal’ child was 😊. Normal means according to a norm and first of all there has to a defined consensus on what the norm is.

On that subject, I am sick of these bloody ‘ranges’ in all blood tests. All my red blood cell indicators are at the very bottom of the range - but don’t worry they’re ‘in range’ so no problem. The concept of optimal in range is incomprehensible to GPs.

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Hehe, very true. So many things in life where its obvious that 'normal' is meaningless :)

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Thank you all for taking the time to give advice. I've sent off for a private test as suggested and will post results when I get them.

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The fact that your GP said that you looked myxoedemic and hasn't followed through with a trial of treatment is complacency on a whole new level. My mother has had similar issues with her B12 - it had been 'low in range' for ages and is left with severe irreversible neuropathy.

I wonder when it was that doctors stopped treating on clinical presentation and having the confidence that they're correct (which is what they'd been trained to do in the past) to go on bloodwork only ... they're not data analysts. They don't understand the statistical distribution (many GPs didn't do Maths A'Level) that went into these ranges and that the vast majority of healthy individuals are nowhere close to being at the lower end of a range and that the probability of being ill if near the lower limit is actually extremely likely.

Using bloodwork is like asking for validation from a friend about something that you know in your gut to be true, even when your friend may not be the expert in such matters. I wouldn't ask a colour blind person if they thought Van Gogh's Starry Night was a good painting, for example!

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What are TFTs?

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dropbox.com/s/og3lmxa1dqadb...

TFT = Thyroid Function Test (usually just TSH but might cascade or reflex to include FT4 even FT3)

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