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'Normal' TSH but having all the symptoms
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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'Normal' TSH but having all the symptoms

I'm a 33 yr old female and have been having all kinds of hypothyroid symptoms with a TSH of 2.5...Of course my last three TSH test has been around 2.5...My doctor says I'm in the normal range and my problems are not thyroid related..That it is all my fault....I've been to 3 different doctors all with the same TSH level and all said normal..No other testing done.  I have hair loss, my body temp upon waking every morning is around 96.8, weight gain despite diet/exercise, puffy face, irregular menses, intolerance to cold, dry skin, no sex drive, feel tired all the time, can't concentrate, recurrent sinus infections, mild hypertension, feel depressed--I could go on...Am I crazy?  I am currently trying to find a doc or endo that will listen to me and do another panel of tests but wanted to know what others think?...Thanks
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Would test thyroid antibodies (TPO and TG) -- if normal, then there is not a compelling reason to think treating a TSH of 2.5 will help....but it may be worth a trial of therapy.  

The symptoms are suggestive of thyroid disease, but there are other conditions that may do the same thing.
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I started treatment with a TSH of 2.97.  Like you, I had many symptoms and a 'normal' TSH.  I've been taking thyroid hormone for a year now and it has made such a tremendous difference.  I had pretty bad depression and constipation and cold intolerance prior to starting treatment and now those symptoms are gone for the most part.  My period, which had become very irregular and heavy went back to 28 days almost immediately.  So, despite what is common medical practice, I clearly am benefitting from being treated with my so called normal TSH.  Keep trying to find a doctor that will help you.  

Jenny
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Thanks Jenny...Thats very encouraging...I really am at my wits end with all these symptoms...I have an appt on Monday with another doctor who I was referred to and this one will treat off of symptoms as well as lab...So we will see!
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My TSH is 3.8 and my doctor tells me that is normal.  I have been seeing him for about two years after I noticed nodules, at that point he said I just need to be watched.  I called him last week because I don't feel right .. I keep getting a sharp pain in my neck, I'm gaining weight, hearing loss and my periods are not the same.  He just called and told me everything is normal and it is not related to my thyroid.  I requested my blood results and noticed the TSH level of 3.8 (for is normal), my T4 is 7.6.  I just don't know what to do.
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nycmary, I am going through the same thing.  THE SAME thing...right down to a sharp pain in the left side of my neck.  My face tingles, I'm dizzy, everyone keeps telling me I'm fine...no thyroid problems!!!!!!  I swear I am wondering if I am going to have to have a stroke or something before someone notices how messed up I have become.
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Nancy,

I'm going to see another doctor and question him on my recent labs.  My sister went through the same thing, it wasn't until her TSH got so high and she was so sick that the doctor treated her.
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thanks Mary, good luck.  I'm doing the same.
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Hi gmsunfire, I wouldn't call a TSH of 2.5 normal, especially with symptoms like you have.  In fact there is research now that the a TSH of over 2 maybe abnormal. There's an interesting article on the British Medical Journal's site about screening.
<http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/314/7088/1175>

I feel that the TSH test is not the be all and end all and thank goodness my GP agreed. Anyway - it wasn't even introduced until 1975! Until then doctors took the clinical approach. Myself - after suffering many debilitating symptoms for several years and going backwards and forwards to see him, I eventually sat down and made a note of every single symptom that I was suffering from. I had another thyroid test - TSH was 0.7. Doc told me my thyroid was normal. 'But I feel so ill I really think I'm dying' I said. At that stage I could barely climb the stairs I was so exhausted. My heartbeat was so slow, and I felt so weak, I couldn't hold my breath in the shower without nearly passing out. Also had dreadful muscle twitches and other horribles. Thank goodness he agreed to try me on Levothyroxine initally at 25mcgs. That was 3 years ago and I now take 150mcgs. My TSH has remained 'normal' throughout.  I strongly feel that the TSH test should be scrapped. I daren't even think what would have happened to me had my doctor decided not to treat my symptoms.  
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Thank you Caddy B!  I went to my new doctor last week and I brought him all the TSH labs I had done the last few years and we had a long discussion about my symptoms and he agreed with everything I was saying and he also stated that my TSH of 2.5 is probably to high for me since he referred to my symptoms as "classic textbook case"...He put me on Armour 60mg to start and I will go back and have labwork done and he will adjust accordingly based on that and how I am feeling...He focuses more on symptoms than labwork...Thank God for letting me find him!!... And since being on Armour for a week I can say that I am already seeing a difference as I am not as groggy and fogheaded during the day and can concentrate better at work...It is definitely a start!!!....I'm hopefully going to get my life back again!
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Hi gmsunfire,

I am so pleased for you! I do hope you get your life back. I've been searching for answers for so many years - thank goodness for the Internet. I really don't think you can pigeon hole everybody's blood tests.  I recall going to see a specialist for carpal tunnel syndrome, about a year before the Hashimoto's was diagnosed. He said to me 'I want to blood test you for RA first, before I do anything else.'  Told him I didn't have RA, I'd already been tested. He said 'So? I could put you into a room with 100 RA patients. 50 will test positive, and 50 will test negative, but they will all have the disease. I don't rely solely on blood tests.' That was my turning point, and I began questioning things.
Take care.
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A related discussion, TSH is 2.37 was started.
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