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  • Brad Bauer
    Post count: 2

    Over the last 5 years I have been having odd medical issues and symptoms that I just shrugged off as unrelated. I am finally seeking diagnosis and treatment because I can’t stand the horrid heat intolerance anymore. And since researching heat intolerance am realizing it sounds very much like I have hyperthyroid issues.

    Earlier Symptoms (Last 3-5 Years)
    • Heat intolerance — This is the number one reason I am seeking diagnosis/treatment because it is unbearable, I feel like I am heating the room. Seems to be growing in intensity.
    • Tremors — Hand tremors, diagnosed as Essential Tremors, one of the earliest symptoms
    • Granuloma annulare — Unsightly autoimmune skin disorder which can be associated with thyroid disorders
    • Nail clubbing — Diagnosed as COPD, which isn’t shocking since I smoked for 30 years.
    • Muscle weakness — I increasingly have trouble lifting my legs and arms. Trouble lifting right leg into the car, need to grab my pant leg and give it a swing, just assumed this was aging or being out of shape. Similarly when lying in bed on my back, I frequently put my arm over my head for 10-15 minutes, but then can’t lift it back down from there, w/o having to use my other arm.
    • Difficulty swallowing — Occasional, but increasingly frequent difficulty initiating and/or completing a swallow.

    More Recent Symtpoms
    • Insomnia — This was likely masked for years, because I have always been on sedative medications for anxiety. In 2020 I stopped those meds for 10 months and developed sever insomnia, sometimes only sleeping 2 hours a night, which I have never had a problem with before.
    • Dry eyes — Diagnosed December 2021. Increasingly an issue, esp because I have no choice but to sit in front of a fan due to the hot flashes.
    • Reddening of palms of hands — I thought this was just normal, but now find could be thyroid related.
    • Swollen/bags under eyes
    • Hypertension — Diagnosed November 2021

    Lifelong Symptoms
    • Anxiety — Lifelong, but it seems to have increased in the last few years
    • Depression
    • Migraines — Lifelong, I only mention this because I never felt migraine diagnosis fit me. When I have a headache, it’s always my eyes that hurt, to the point I coined the term m(eye)graines. I am now wondering if this could be Graves related.

    And I just in the last month found out I have four close relatives (mother, sister, nephew and great niece) that have all been diagnosed with thyroid issues.

    I am desperate to resolve the heat intolerance as its absolutely unbearable!

    I asked my GP for a referral, but so far after weeks I haven’t gotten a call from the endocrinologists. I did hear they requested test showing I have thyroid issues, but the problem is, I don’t have tests showing thyroid issues. My GP ran a Thyroid Cascade, but TSH came back normal so no further tests were run.

    I am taking psychotropic medications which I have heard can mask thyroid issues and interfere with detection. Is it true these can interfere with diagnosis?

    If my thyroid tests all show as normal, is there any chance I do have hyperthyroid?

    Thanks

    Kimberly
    Online Facilitator
    Post count: 4262

    Hello and welcome – Lithium in particular is known to cause hypOthyroidism, and I’ve read of occasional cases where it caused hypERthyroidism due to thyroiditis (inflamed thyroid). It might be worth asking for a stand-alone lab order of Free T4 and T3, as well as antibody tests (TSI and TRAb). The challenge, though, is that if antibodies are above the cutoff, but TSH, T3, and T4 all come back in the “normal” range, we don’t have treatments that specifically target the antibodies.

    Brad Bauer
    Post count: 2

    Kimberly,

    Thank you for your reply. I have since had T3, T4 tests.

    TSH 1.68
    T3 Free 3.6
    T4 Free 0.8

    It is my understanding all three of those tests are normal range.

    I was unable to get an appointment with either local endocrinology departments, as they refuse to see me without tests showing abnormal results. I did however just get a call back in the last week from an endo that has a private practice, and will finally get someone to at least look at my issues.

    Given the normal results I have given up hope that anything will come as a result, but at least someone is willing to look.

    Thanks

    Kimberly
    Online Facilitator
    Post count: 4262

    Hello – Also make sure that you have the normal (also called “reference”) ranges for each of these items. If a result is bumping up against the highest or lowest end of the range, some patients can be symptomatic. However, if all levels are normal, an endocrinologist will have much in the “toolbox” to work with, as we primarily have medicines to block thyroid hormone production (if you are hypER) or to supplement thyroid hormone (if you are hypO). Hopefully, this newest endo can help you put the puzzle pieces together!

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