Thyroid or something else?: Hi all, I've been... - Thyroid UK

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Thyroid or something else?


Hi all,

I've been reading some of the posts here and finally decided to make one myself. A little bit of background: I'm a 25-year-old male, living in the UK for about three years, originally from a country in central Europe. I've worked as a quantitative researcher for nearly two years now. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's when I was about 15.

Now to my problem: early last year, I was going through a rather stressful period with my then-girlfriend of seven years. At the same time I began to feel 'down', tired, and 'out of it'. I also started to have a sensation of shortness of breath, characterized mainly by my inability to fully exhale, a feeling like I always breath out only 70% of the air in my lungs, say. In June another symptom appeared: a kind of a spaced out feeling that would usually kick-in around lunch time and last a couple of hours. Then in July I broke up with the girlfriend as I thought that was the main reason for all these issues. I also went to my GP; he suggested the symptoms sounded like a mild depression and agreed that the break up could eventually help solve them. He did a number of blood tests, too: full blood count, iron, and thyroid tests. The former two came back normal, the thyroid one not: my TSH was at 11.8 (0.4 ‑ 4.0), so the GP increased my levo from 150 mcg to an alternating dose of 150 and 175 mcg every other day. This actually did not make me feel much better; I went for another thyroid test in August, TSH came back at 0.05, so I was put on 175 mcg two days a week and 150 mcg five days a week. At the same time I went to a psychiatrist in my home country (my parents' wish) who prescribed me Effexor (initially 50 mg, then extended-release 150 mg) as she thought I had an anxiety disorder. I had a couple of other blood tests in the autumn such as B12, vitamin D, calcium, saliva cortisol, and another thyroid tests. My vitamin D and calcium were 'a little low' and I started taking supplements of the former. I also gradually returned to my original dose of 150 mcg of levo - my TSH in October was 0.2, fT4 at about 90% of the range, and fT3 at about 78%. The effexor was not a great success, it helped perhaps a little bit but not a great deal. This March I switched from Effexor to 10 mg of escitalopram which at least does not give me terrible night sweats and unpleasantly vivid dreams, but otherwise is not really helping either. I started taking folate about 6 weeks ago as another test revealed I didn't have enough of it.

Currently I still feel extremely out of it, tired, spaced-out at times, my senses feel kind of dull and numb, I cannot breathe properly, my throat seems 'weird'... The spaced-out feeling usually comes around lunchtime and then improves during the afternoon. Another symptom I've developed involves my nose/sinus area - it seems as if no air was flowing through it. My pulse rate is also constantly elevated.

I've also had two MRI brain scans, both look absolutely normal.

All these problems are highly correlated with the amount of sleep I get - if it's less than 7 or even 8 hours, everything is much worse. If I sleep for 5 hours for example, I am totally 'wasted', feel like I drank 4 pints of beer and can't do anything really.

Can this be thyroid? Would adding some T3 work? Or am I missing something else? I personally think it's not thyroid related; there's definitely a degree of anxiety involved, but it seems to me it's a consequence (or perhaps a symptom) rather than a cause. Any help would be highly appreciated. Thanks!

3 Replies

Have you been tested for thyroid antibodies. They can cause your TSH to fluctuate wildly. If NHS won't test do a Medichecks finger prick test, they do offers on Thursday for thyroid folks. Do you know what your levels are for iron, ferritin, folate, Vitamin B12 and Vit D? They can all affect how you feel and how well your body uses levothyroxine. Medichecks do a thyroid 11 or 10 test which include all the things I have mentioned

in reply to crimple

I have been tested for antibodies twice; for the first time 10 years ago when the diagnosis was made, for the second time in December last year. I don't have the exact levels, but they were through the roof basically, completely out of range. Iron and B12 are supposedly fine, although, again, I don't have the figures. Folate and vitamin D were 'low'. Ferritin hasn't been tested.

in reply to Toms14

You really need to get the results with the ranges (Figures in brackets) from your GP you are entitled to them, they cannot charge you for them. Ask to speak to the practice manager if the receptionist is stroppy. I recommend a gluten free diet to help reduce antibodies and stop spikes in thyroid hormones. It made a difference to me and I eventually went lactose free too. (Arla do milk, cheese yoghurt and cream that are lactose free.) I also needed to have B12 high in range about 1000 and Vit D over 110. Docs usually give 800 IU for Vit D and I need about 3000IU per day and take Vit K with it. Seaside Susie on here is really good with vitamins info and doses. Obviously we are all different with what we need. Hope you get some answers.

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