February 25, 2008,
A.A. asks from Saint Petersburg, FL on January 31, 2008
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?
M.R. answers from Tampa on February 04, 2008
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
D.G. answers from Jacksonville on February 01, 2008
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!
B.H. answers from Naples on February 01, 2008
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!
K.A. answers from Jacksonville on February 01, 2008
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.
M.H. answers from Fort Walton Beach on February 01, 2008
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!
P.G. answers from Orlando on February 01, 2008
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.
M.D. answers from Melbourne on February 02, 2008
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.
K.B. answers from Fort Walton Beach on February 01, 2008
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!!