17 answers

Questions About Thyroid

I’m having problems with my thyroid gland swelling up. It’s happened once or twice before, but all of a sudden it’s been happing almost every day for the past month. I’ve talked to my doctor about it in the past. I’ve had two thyroid test done in the past three years and they both came back negative. I’ve looked on line and seen that a lot of the symptoms fit me. I know that I have gained a lot of weight and can’t seem to loose it. I’m not sure it that has anything to do with it. Has anybody had any problems like this? If so could you please give me some advice?

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More Answers

There's a big debate in the thyroid community about what is considered "normal" for a thyroid test. You should make sure you get a TSH, Free T4, and Free T3. If your TSH is 2.5 or above, you need treatment for hypothyroidism.

A great place to find more information, plus really good doctors for the thyroid: about.thyroid.com

Have your throid checked again in a few months. I had mine tested 3 times before they noticed a signifcant enough number to put me on Synthroid and send me to an Endocrinologist. Once I saw the endo doctor, I had multiple tests and turned out I had precancerous nodules and had surgery to have the thyroid removed. My grandmother went through the same procedure at the same time and passed away within 3 months - she waited years and years before going to the doctor. Insist on seeing the endo doctor to make sure your numbers are OK for you. I was having terrible fertility issues that was a result of the thyroid not working properly - waiting too long left me unanle to produce eggs .... but it all worked out .... I used donor eggs once I was well and have 16 month old twins. Just be persistant and mark your calendar to have it tested as soon as your doctor will allow. Maybe your body is preparing you for what your doctor can't see yet. :) Good luck!

I am Hypo-thyroid, which means that my thyroid wasn't producing enough. I didn't have experience with swelling glands, but I did gain quite a bit of weight and have been trying to loose it for a few years now. My hair was falling out,my fingernails were ridged, and I was having hot flashes at age 20. You may want to talk to your doctor and request that your TSH and T4 levels be checked. Sometimes, doctors don't test both...but it can explain a lot. I've been treated with medication and am doing much better. Good Luck!


Sometimes the thyroid will flare up like yours and by either not show significant changes in your levels, or by the time you have it tested have gone back to what is considered a "normal" range. You mention that you have a 3 year old and this has happened for the past 3 years, there are frequent occurrences of postpartum thyroiditis as well. Aside from the weight gain, you say you have several symptoms. The symptoms can be very vague with hypothyroidism and passed off as stress or postpartum recovery. You should see an Endocrinologist. Often many doctors such as family practice or general practitioners won't treat what they consider "borderline" levels, but an Endocrinologist specializes in this area and will be more thorough and knowledgable. I developed hypothyroidism after my 18 month old was born, it was found on a random test. I was having problems during the pregnancy and they tested my levels but they were "normal". When she was 4 months old my levels were way out of wack. I got pregnant again when she was 7 months and was lucky to have already been getting treatment, because hypothyroid is a major cause of mental retardation in fetuses when left untreated. It can also contribute to miscarriage and fertility problems.
Good Luck.

Hi A.,

I personally would find a naturopathic doctor or a licensed clinical nutritionist and let them check you out. Blood work will give them a lot of insight and they read things differently than medical doctors. Thyroid issues are very delicate. You can jumpstart an underactive thyroid and push it into being overactive if it is not monitored and going the other way is terribly difficult to do. Medical doctors also prescribe drugs that cause irreversible additional issues and sometimes even "fry" it and that can't ever be repaired.

I am one that usually says research and find out for yourself but the Thyroid regulates everything and you can't just try something and then try something else later. There are too many consequences.

Hope this helps!


It sounds like something might be going on with your thyroid. Weight gain and an inability to lose can definitely be due to an underactive thyroid (it can also be a lot of other things). Even though your thyroid test can back 'negative' that doesn't mean your thyroid is normal. The normal ranges are often considered too broad by more open minded doctors. A lot of doctors will treat an underactive thyroid based on a person's symptoms rather than their test results. Every body is different. My naturopathic doctor put me on a natural thyroid medication even though my thyroid test would be considered normal by regular standards. She said the levels were slightly low and wanted to boost it up--and she didn't want the numbers to dip any lower. Here's an interesting website to check out: http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/long-and-pathetic/

I would get a second opinion if I were you. And get it from an endocrinologist.

Hello A. A...my last employer did not have her thyroid swelling but had other symptoms and she saw her General Practitioner who run what is called base line testing....in other words what the insurance company will pay for....she made an appointment with a well known Endocrinologist and waited for 2 months to see this doctor. In the meantime she went out of her insurance network and got the additional tests for thyroid and paid out of pocket.When she saw the specialist she came armed with the results.Hope this info is helpful and even if it is not your thyroid at least you are able to eliminate that as your problem .All the best..M.

Hi A.! A friend of mine was having issues a few years back that she thought were her thyroid and every test came back negative. A homeopathic physician insisted that she go back and have her doctor run a different type of thyriod test and that one came back positive and she has been on medication that has solved the issue ever since.
Trust your instincts and if need be, see another doctor who will be willing to listen to you and not stop until they get to the bottom of it!!


Ann, I have suffered with Thyroid disease since I was 16.

Thyroid disease and conditions should not be ignored.

This is about much more than gaining or losing weight.
See your primary care physician and insist on seeing a specialist. The blood tests are not always reliable and there
could be something hormonal going on.

You may only need medication and monitoring but it could be something more serious.

If you live near the Gainesville, Fl area I can suggest you see Dr. Ann Glowasky. She is tops in her field and easy to talk to and ask questions of. The link above will allow you to check her out.

She literally saved my life six years ago and I trust her implicitly.

I do not make it a practice to recommend anyone but I have no qualms about recommending her.

Best wishes,

Hi Dear A. A.,
If the doctor you are seeing is a GP or family doctor, you may want to take matters into your own hands and ASK to be referred to an endocrinologist. If it is thyroid, a specialist would be great as a second opinion. I don't think we should expect a generalist to have all the answers.
If I have learned anything from having twins, now 9 years old, it's that sometimes the Dr. doesnt' get it right. If you are lucky you don't get worse, but you might. Keep looking for a solution, don't let the medical community dismiss your own knowledge about your body. They try but "they ain't perfect." Peace, nancyt

weight gain is not an automatic reason to suspect thyroid... but since I am taking Armourthyroid, I've done much research and some people have a thyroid problem even though the numbers don't show it... I would find another doctor, one who is willing to see that possibility... the medicine significantly helped my symptoms, however I have found for weight loss that a balanced diet between carbohydrate, protein, fat and plenty of fiber, increased activity and accountability is what works.

need a second opinion, get a TSH, T3 and T4. If they're negative its not your thyroid, and if your neck is swollen it doesn't just go away, hence the word goiter. Have your B12 checked. I am 42 and come from a long history of this, its more prevelant in menopausal women- although when I was diagnosed my child was 2yrs old. let me know how it goes. also I'm an er nurse


I am not trying to scare you but demand a thyoid uptake test. I have had many thyoid blood test and all came back negtive. I have not been able to get my weight off for 9 years and I have tried. I stated to work out 5 days an week and seem to be getting toned but my weight stayed the same. finally at a gyno appt they found a lump in my thoart (goiter). I went to a sugeon and he ran the uptake test on my thytoif. He sent me for sugury only taken half but wound up taking all of it. Now in my case i had thyoid cancer which is a good form of cancer becuase it is treatable. after the surgery i saw myself losing weight but now that i am on medicartion for it i gained but slowly losing and this is only because they are tying to regualte my meds. Now I am back at the gym and watching what I eat and I know once i get reglated on my meds i will be the low hundred agains.

Take care of yourself and you will start to feel better.

Hi A..
I also have Thyroid Disease...as do most of the women in my family and several friends. This is NOT something to be ignored or taken lightly, and unfortunately, it sounds as if your doctor isn't taking it serious enough.
The blood tests don't always tell the whole story. If you don't want to go to a specialist - which I recommend - or you don't want to switch your primary care physician, request that he order an ultra-sound of your thyroid, along with whatever other tests he can look up to have done to determine where the problem lies.
Your thyroid has a direct affect on most of the other organs in your body, so please take a serious, "pro-active" approach with your doctor!
Good luck!
Mary Ann

Hi A.,

I do not know what might be wrong, but I have a friend that started having problems a few months back. Her doctor couldn't find the problem, but determined that it was in her best interst to have the thyroid out. It would mean that she would need to live on meds for the rest of her life. She started taking Cellfood and after a month went back to the doctor to get new tests. All of her symptoms have gone away and the doctor said all of her tests were 100%, so no surgery. I don't know if it will help, but it might. Check out www.cell-food.biz and read about it to see if it is something that might help you.
Good luck to you!

Hi A.!

I had all the same symptoms you had, including being tired, mild depression, weight gain, etc.. well 1 year after having my son, I went to the doctor and I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I take Synthroid now .They have it in differnt doses. You might want to go to another doctor and get a second opinion. I dont know how your insurance works but if it goes on for too long without treatment it can cause death. Not trying to scare you but it can be serious..
Godd luck with it and keep me posted =)
God Bless!
C. Knapp

My thyroid does not function and I just found out a year ago. I had my Internal Medicine doctor, and he just gave me check up orders for the T3-T4 tests and they all used to come out normal. I finally went to see an Endocrinologist, and he ordered a blood test called TSH and a thyroid sonogram, and found out that my thyroid does not function and that I have Hashimoto`s thyroiditis. I am now well, with medication (synthroid). I was always tired, nervous, and had gained weight also.

Hope this information is of some help.

M. Munoz


I am 63 years old, retired from the government and live in Puerto Rico.

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