Thyroid causing persistent dizziness? - Thyroid UK

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Thyroid causing persistent dizziness?

thisguythatguy
thisguythatguy
22 Replies

I woke up around 4 months ago feeling noticeably spaced out / dizzy (but not in a spinning sense, more a little lightheaded and off balance). After the symptoms persisted, I sought medical advice. I have had a blood test, checks from an ENT and also an MRI and check with a neurologist. Nothing so far has been found, apart from my TSH level coming in at 4.1 (ref range 0.4 - 4.0).

As time has progressed, I have started to get fairly stressed over feeling this way. I am now starting to feel generally unwell, a little tired, depressed. I have felt pretty spaced out from the start, making it hard to work. I also find myself waking up once or twice per night now, although usually I can get back to sleep. I also tend to wake up feeling rather hot in the mornings.

I will seek a further thyroid panel blood test, I just wondered if these symptoms are signs of perhaps a thyroid disorder? I do not have the other symptoms I have read about (hair loss, weak nails, weight gain, always very cold, dry skin).

Is this likely thyroid or is it likely to be stress / anxiety taking a toll on me?

22 Replies
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SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator

A TSH over 3 is considered suspicious

For full Thyroid evaluation you need TSH, FT4 and FT3 plus both TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested. Also extremely important to test vitamin D, folate, ferritin and B12

Low vitamin levels are extremely common, especially if Thyroid antibodies are raised. They can cause symptoms in own right or be low due to thyroid

All thyroid blood tests should ideally be done as early as possible in morning and fasting. This gives highest TSH, lowest FT4 and most consistent results. (Patient to patient tip, best not mentioned to GP or phlebotomist)

Private tests are available. Thousands on here forced to do this as NHS often refuses to test FT3 or antibodies or vitamins

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 special offers, Medichecks usually have offers on Thursdays, Blue Horizon its more random

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.

Low vitamins are especially common with Hashimoto's. Food intolerances are very common too, especially gluten. So it's important to get TPO and TG thyroid antibodies tested at least once .

Link about thyroid blood tests

thyroiduk.org/tuk/testing/t...

Link about antibodies and Hashimoto's

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

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

List of hypothyroid symptoms

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

Thyroid issues are more likely if female, than male

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thisguythatguy

Thanks for the info.

- Vitamin D - 31 (ref range 30-100)

- Vitamin B12 - 346 (ref range 197 - 771)

- Iron - 25.1 (ref range 14 - 32)

- Ferritin - 283 (ref range 30 - 400)

I will shortly have a blood test for a full thyroid panel. I was just wondering if such a mildly elevated TSH would be enough to make me feel so spaced out and kind of dizzy all day every day.

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SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to thisguythatguy

Vitamin D is obviously right at bottom of range

Are you in the U.K.?

UK government recommends everyone supplements vitamin D October to April

Government recommends everyone supplement October to April

gov.uk/government/news/phe-...

B12 is quite low. Folate should be tested. They work together.

You can test homocysteine and MMA too to investigate low B12

Using test of Homocysteine levels to check for low b12

b12-vitamin.com/homocysteine/

Good explanation on homocysteine

veganhealth.org/b12/hcy

Oral as good as injections

aafp.org/afp/2003/0301/p979...

B12 generally

drjockers.com/warning-signs...

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thisguythatguy

Thanks again for the info. Would you think the spaced out / dizzy sensation is introduced by either the low vitamin D or B12?

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SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to thisguythatguy

Yes low B12 more likely

b12deficiency.info/signs-an...

But low vitamin D also can affect B vitamins, so it can be a combination

drgominak.com/sleep/vitamin...

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thisguythatguy

Wow thats very interesting, I did not read my B12 as low. What is the optimal range? I would like to investigate further to see if this is the root cause of my spaced out sensation, as it is driving me crazy.

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SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to thisguythatguy

Anything under 500 on B12 result can be too low for some people

Important to test folate as well.

Low B12 can cause more symptoms if folate is low too

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thisguythatguy

Sorry, turns out I have a folate result already! 6.9 ng/ml (ref range 4.4 - 31)

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SlowDragon
SlowDragonAdministrator
in reply to thisguythatguy

So folate is low

Supplementing a good quality daily vitamin B complex, one with folate in, rather than folic acid, may be beneficial

B vitamins best taken in the morning after breakfast

If you are taking vitamin B complex, or any supplements containing biotin, remember to stop these 3-5 days before any blood tests, as biotin can falsely affect test results

endo.confex.com/endo/2016en...

endocrinenews.endocrine.org...

What's your diet like?

Any gut issues, like IBS

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thisguythatguy

My diet could be better. I work long hours so end up eating lots of sandwiches, pasta, eggs etc. It could be a little more diverse and definitely include more fruit and vegetables. No gut issues at all.

My number 1 goal is just to try and end this spaced out / foggy / dizzy / unwell feeling I have been experiencing.

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thisguythatguy

So I received a full thyroid panel today, results as follows:

TSH 3.7 (ref range 0.3-4.2)

FT4 1.5ng/dl (ref range 0.9 - 1.7)

FT3 3.3pg/ml (ref range 2 - 4.4)

TPO 12UI/ml (ref range <= 34)

TSH receptor antibodies <0.3 (ref range <=1.8)

My doctor says generally this is okay, and should not be the root cause of dizziness / spaced out feeling.

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humanbean

If your problem started suddenly have you been investigated for vertigo?

There is a treatment for common causes of vertigo called the Epley manoeuvre. You can see videos of people doing it on Youtube.

I think SeasideSusie did it to herself and it fixed her vertigo.

I'm not sure if it fits your symptoms or circumstances - you'd have to do some research to work out whether it might help you.

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SeasideSusie
SeasideSusieAdministrator
in reply to humanbean

thisguythatguy

Humanbean is correct, I did the Epley manoeuvre myself. I went to my GP when I experienced problems trying to get out of bed. When I sat up I would fall straight backwards again. I explained how I was to my GP, he examined me to rule out any problem with ears, and my answers to questions lead to a diagnosis of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). He mentioned the Epley manoeuvre but didn't offer to do it (I think my may have had 8 out of my 10 minute consultation time and the manoeuvre would have taken 5 minutes!).

I looked it up on the internet, found you-tube videos on how to do it, and tried it myself. On my third attempt (I tried it once a day for 3 days) the manoeuvre ended with me experiencing massive spinning of the room then it settled down, so I knew I must have shifted the crystals, and I've had no problems since.

Worth looking into just in case this may apply to you.

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thisguythatguy

Hey, so its not actually vertigo. I do not feel like the room is spinning. Its more that I feel spaced out and perhaps kind of light headed, but not in the way that I would faint.

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Steelfish42

I had this last summer well before any of my bloodwork indicated Graves’ disease. The dr told me there’s no connection...but I believe there is. It righted itself after a few months. Then 3 months later I was diagnosed.

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inquiringmind35

I had what sounds like the same spacey feeling (I said it felt like my head was in the clouds), and the closest I could relate it to was feeling like you’re about to pass out...but not quite. It first happened when I was driving, then when I was walking across the street, and I found it quite frightening. It was another couple years and many other random symptoms later before I got the Hashis diagnosis, and no one else linked them but I’m certain they were related. I’ve had vertigo and done self-Epley too, and this was not the same thing. I sought care and “everything” was ruled out; it eventually went away on its own. You have excellent advisors here, and hopefully can address your symptoms effectively & more quickly. Best wishes to you!

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Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Steelfish42

Do you have tintinutis? I have tintinutis 24/7 for 30 years and if it starts to become louder then normal I feel as it if I'm walking on clouds and then suddenly I lose my hearing temporarily and ENT has no idea other then it's most likely my meineres disease.

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Framboise

In my case the spaced-out sensation came from very tight neck muscles due to an old injury. Had you lifted anything extra heavy, or awkwardly before it started? Does your neck feel tight or hurt? Had you had a whiplash etc previously? Of course tight neck muscles can also be caused by low thyroid levels, but they can be helped by a good osteopath or someone similar. It might be something to check for. Good luck, I know how miserable that sensation is!

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thisguythatguy

Thats interesting, I have read similar stories online. I have had no neck injury that I recall, but I do work long hours at a computer all day and occasionally will get some neck tension, nothing major. The thing is, I also kind of have a general feeling of unwellness, which I find hard to blame on just my neck. Did you have any other symptoms?

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Framboise

To start with I just felt spaced out. I also worked partly at a computer and partly comparing documents by learning over a desk with awful posture. I'd get palpitations but felt fine otherwise, but over several years was tested for every imaginable neurological disease, MRIs, dopplers of neck arteries etc. and when they found nothing wrong I got really stressed out and then I got exhausted, couldn't sleep, started feeling nauseous and finally just couldn't cope.

Later I was diagnosed with a thyroid problem by Dr Skinner although my blood test results were perfectly normal, but no amount of thyroid treatment since then has affected the spaced out feeling when it comes back. That has only ever resolved by treatments to my neck from people like cranial osteopaths. However, if the thyroid is sluggish then the body generally can't cope with other things that are wrong. It's a vicious circle!

You could see what a good osteopath, cranial osteopath, sports massage therapist or myofascial therapist thinks - but preferably get a recommendation for a really good one. They might be able to sort it out, but they also should be able to tell you if something else is causing the problem to persist and they'd know if it was something they shouldn't treat.

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dtate2016

I had a strange kind of dizziness early on before I knew that I had Hashimoto’s disease. I used to describe it as an internal earthquake! It’s seem to come about most often after I’ve had something too salty like a hotdog or really anything with too much salt. It would also happen if I took calcium sometimes. After I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and begin taking T4 - ( which worked only some of the time but that’s another story) The dizziness would occur again if I took the thyroid supplement with calcium tablets. Like you, it wasn’t the round and round dizziness no not at all. It was this sudden, violent shaking from within and it wouldn’t last very long but it would leave me nauseated and weak. If I was driving I would have to pull over. If I was home many times I would go and lay down for a few minutes. But time and time again recovery would come after I drank massive amounts of water - for I would be so thirsty after one of these attacks.

30 years into this disease and after being well controlled on NDT, and learning to take vitamin supplements separate from the thyroid supplementation - this dizziness rarely occurs . When it does I know I’ve done something wrong with the medication usually it’s because I forgot to take it Or I didn’t take it at the same time every day. I don’t have any of these other maladies like pernicious anemia or low iron etc. etc. I found out I did have low vitamin D, which I was supplementing even before I found out through the blood test that it was low.

So I never really ever found out what caused the earthquakes - one doctor told me it was a classic symptom of a thyroid storm. Makes sense with Hashimoto’s - for you never know when your own bodies thyroid hormone is going to fluctuate with Hashimoto’s.

I did become very mindful of salt consumption. I have since changed to what we call here in the United States “real salt”. - which is not the salt that comes in the box but the salt that comes from the health food stores and it’s pink and full of minerals - and at least 10 times more expensive! Ha!

I wish you well on your search - if it’s anything like what I have experienced it’s a dreadful dreadful, brief but dreadful time.

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thisguythatguy

So I received a full thyroid panel today, results as follows:

TSH 3.7 (ref range 0.3-4.2)

FT4 1.5ng/dl (ref range 0.9 - 1.7)

FT3 3.3pg/ml (ref range 2 - 4.4)

TPO 12UI/ml (ref range <= 34)

TSH receptor antibodies <0.3 (ref range <=1.8)

My doctor says generally this is okay, and should not be the root cause of dizziness / spaced out feeling.

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