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Autoimmune disorder, anxiety, or both?
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Autoimmune disorder, anxiety, or both?

Hi Everyone,

I'm curious to see if anyone else has had similar symptoms.

I began having abnormal neurological symptoms in 2006 (sudden onset) and have seen the gamut of physicians. After ruling out pretty much every potential neurological disease/condition along with thyroid problems, lyme disease and lupus, the doctors eventually said it must be anxiety (I had been under excessive stress for a long period of time).

While I accept the fact that anxiety can cause mult-system symptoms, I still feel that anxiety is not the complete answer.

Here are my symptoms:
- Involuntary movements: Head shaking back and forth (like I'm saying "no") for 5-10 seconds; legs and arms jerking out randomly; and knees buckling; I have had a couple of involuntary screaming episodes
- Difficulty seeing at night (especially while driving)
- Difficulty staying asleep
- Irritability
- Footcramps (arch)
- Dry skin
- Eczema
- Frequent bloating and burping
- Tired and nauseous after eating
- Bruising and scarring easily
- Brief, involuntary abdominal contractions that cuts off my air when I'm in a hot shower (feels like someone punching me in the stomach)
- Fingers and feet turn blue when slightly cold
- Coordination problems
- Memory problems (short-term) and difficulty "finding" words

I'm curious to know if this could possibly be an autoimmune problem or is it strictly anxiety?

I truly appreciate any feedback. Thank you so much for your time and thoughts!
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9 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi There...
Do you mind telling me how they "ruled out" most neurological diseases/disorders for you?

What exact tests did you have for these things?

I hope you feel better soon

T.
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219241_tn?1357815389
Hi, sounds very similar to my symptoms I had for over 15 years. I had severe depression also. I had undiagnosed Hasimoto's Thyroiditis. Some of your symptoms sound like they could crossover into other auto-immune diseases. Have you asked to have your thyroid anti-bodies checked? I had an MRI to rule out M.S. Have you had that done? You might need to change doctors to help you sort out what it isn't and then find out what it is.
Good luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you both so much for your comments!

I have not had my thyroid anti-bodies checked. I have had my TSH levels checked several times and they have been consistently normal. Is it possible to have a thyroid problem but normal TSH levels?

Test-wise, I had a CT scan, MRI and EEG done. All came back normal. I also had the following lab work done: CBC, Lyme, Lupus, Glucose, TSH, B-12 & Folate, Liver/Kidney function, Wilson's disease, and neuroacanthocytosis.

Thank you again for your help!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi.  I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and have had these following symptoms that you listed....they have other overlapping a/i conditions associated also...see my comments in brackets....
- Difficulty seeing at night (especially while driving)
- Difficulty staying asleep (adrenal?)
- Irritability
- Footcramps (arch)
- Dry skin
- Eczema
- Tired and nauseous after eating (coeliac?)
- Bruising and scarring easily
- Fingers and feet turn blue when slightly cold (Raynaud's)
- Memory problems (short-term) and difficulty "finding" words

It is not uncommon for people with thyroid conditions to go undiagnosed for many years - 11 in my case.  Do not take "normal" for certain if you feel otherwise.  Go to web sites and check them out...eg. stopthethyroidmadness.com

...Julia
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465975_tn?1224235235
I have most of these symptoms, the Eczema, footcramps are the missing ones for me. I have been seeing an MS expert for two weeks I was refered by my neuro. he is treating me for transverse myelitis. My internist and regular neuro say I have MS that has not presented yet, hence the trip to the MS expert. next appointment is may 6 will keep you posted. Hang in there. Do not stop looking until YOU are satisfied. You know your body best.....good luck and god Bless......mike  
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219241_tn?1357815389
IN response to your question 'Is it possible to have a thyroid problem but normal TSH levels?' in one big fat word YES! Can't tell you how many times I had the TSH levels checked and told you are 'normal' I wanted to scream at the doctor...NORMAL FOR WHO, AN ALIEN!!!? Put on 30kgs in less than a year...(that's er....umm....quick maths here...um nearly 14 pounds!) Lost more than 45 kgs (you do the maths!) in less than another year...heart palpitations, etc etc etc. Hashimoto's is one the THE most common thyroid disorders on the planet. It often creates a hypo then hyper then the old switcheroo for many years before it finally kills  off the thyroid. BUT in a huge weird cosmic way the body keeps pumping out normal levels and pretends to be ok.
  Too many people have the 'normal' TSH but doctor's still fail to check the anti-bodies (as I said took me 15 years to get anyone to believe me, but in the end I got angry and said TEST ME or I will sue you!, nicely of course!)
So, my words of advice? Insist on the thyroid anti-bodies test! Let us know how you get on!
Cheers!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I wanted to comment on your question about Thyroid tests.  For 5 years I have had so many symptoms of both hypo and hyperthyroidism.  I had my TSH checked so many times I cannot count.  All came up either normal or borderline.  I finally got a new symptom: (choking) in the last year.  I finally gave up and told my Dr. about it (You would have to read some of my history in the Lupus Community to find out why I didn't want to tell him....I have had 9 surgeries in 2 1/2 years and much more, AND AM SICK OF HOSPITALS! !!).  He had me go to a gastro. and they did a EMG, ultrasound with barium and swallow a radium (sp?) pill and do a ct.  When he sent my report to my Dr. he wrote in the determination: All looks normal or something like that.  I got a copy of the report at the first of the year because our insurance changed and I needed them to go to the new Dr.  I read through the whole thing and noticed the radiologist had written that he found a 1cm nodule on my thyroid.  But remember in the ending notes he didn't mention it!  I got online and found that a nodule that big could make it hard to swallow because everything is so tight right there in your throat.  When I went to my new Dr. I showed him and he decided to do another ultrasound, ct, sooooo many blood tests etc.  The ultrasound and ct came back showing multiple nodules all over my thyroid!  He then did a T3 and T4 free test.  He dx'ed me with hypothyroidism and put me on Synthroid.  Within a month I was not choking anymore and the sweating is soooo much better as are the muscle aches, Fibromyalgia, TMJ & my MVP is not acting up so much (CFS is no better than before).  Well he sent me to a Rheumy 250 miles away and he listened to me for about 45 min. ran a whole bunch of tests and dx'ed me with Lupus, although I have been being tested for Lupus for 5 years with a negative dx from other Drs.  My ANA was positive at 1:80 (this labs reference range is <1:40 is neg). Seems low but it says positive with nucleolar pattern. With about 10 other tests being high also. Liver and Kidney involvement also.  Now I don't know since I was dx'ed with hypthyroidism before Lupus, if it had anything to do with my hypothyroidism. They started me on Plaquenil about 5 days later than Synthroid, so I don't know what pill is really making me feel better either.  LOL  Such a mess.  I am on the Duragesic Patch 50mg for pain.  AND about 15 other meds too boot.  Good Luck.  I hope you have better luck than me.  Well, I guess I should feel lucky because I was choking huh?  LOL it did get me dx'ed finally!
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486512_tn?1208780787
I have all of your symptoms except for the involuntary movements, abdominal discomfort and extremities turning blue.  I also have frequent hand cramping and little lumps forming on a couple of my finger and toe joints.  I'm currently seeing a Rheumatoligist and awaiting test/x-ray results on May 23rd.  They suspect Lupus, but not sure at this point.  I've had these symptoms for several months and my PCP is at a loss.  I did have a positive ANA, which caused my PCP to send me to the Rheumatoligist.  Thyroid was removed several years ago due to Thyroid Cancer.  Synthroid STILL not regulated!  I am on anti-depressants, BP meds, HRT, and Synthroid.  I'll let you know what I find out.  I plan to keep on searching for answers because all of this mess is effecting my quality of life.  Good luck to you! Please let me know what YOU find out.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so much for everyone's comments. I truly appreciate the feedback and insight into your personal experiences with similar symptoms. I wish you all the best in  your continued search for diagnosis and treatment, and I will be sure to update everyone if I find out anymore information. It's sad to know that their are so many of us that feel at a loss in terms of finding an accurate diagnosis, yet comforting to know that we are not alone.
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