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18 year old male, feel like I'm dying :(
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18 year old male, feel like I'm dying :(

I am an 18 year old male and I have been suffering with a lot of symptoms for the past 4 years. It has quickly gotten much worse, and I have had so many tests with no answers. Recently, I had some bloodwork done which might point towards a possible thyroid or adrenal issue. I'm hoping that by posting my results, I may receive some answers to some of this funky labwork (posted below).

Some of my symptoms: freezing cold hands and feet, slow digestion, low stomach acid, vomiting, loss of appetite, long afterimage, feeling very lightheaded whenever I stand up from lying down, constipation, losing color in lips, stimulants (like coffee and energy drinks) have recently made me feel 1000 times better (with digestion and mood), depression, mood swings, fluid retention, flu-like feeling, memory loss, brain fog, failed the "flashlight-to-the-pupil-in-the-mirror test," unusual craving for sweets and fatty/greasy foods, headaches behind the eyes,

This has been ruining my life and messing with my ability to concentrate and do well in college.

***Also, I have 3 close relatives that have non-autoimmune hypothyroid issues***


BLOODWORK:

DHEAS: 221 (Reference: 88-483, doctor said this was low for my age)
THYR PEROXIDASE Ab: <.3 (0-9)
Thyroglobulin Ab: <.9 (0-4)
Cortisol: 12 (Morning Reference: 8.70 - 22.40)
Cholesterol: 161 (120-169)
SED Rate: 2 (0-10)
FREE T4: .72 (.58-1.64 -- Seems low)
FREE T3: 3.6 (2.5-3.9 -- Seems high)
REVERSE T3: 15.6 (9-27)
TSH: 1.63 (.34-5.60)
WBC: 4 (4-11 -- low, but was closer to high range (7.4) after blood work in less than one month...)
RBC: 4.47 (4.2-5.6)
Band Neutrophil: 8 (0-5 -- Flagged as HIGH, but doc didn't explain why)
Vitamin D: 30.5 (30-100)
Free Calculation Testosterone: 162 (47-244) ...BUT % Free Testosterone was 1.9 (1.6-2.9 -- seems low in my age)
SODIUM: 140 (138-146)
POTASSIUM: 3.7 (3.4-5.5)
Vitamin B12 is fine

My doctor gave me an anti-fungal in the hopes that my symptoms might resolve due to a candida overgrowth. However, I have done some research and have found that there's usually something underlying that causes that.

A lot of it all just doesn't make sense. I'm not sure if I have some issue with adrenal insufficiency (Addison's or some deficiency in Aldosterone), Hypothyroid, Iron Deficiency, or something along those lines?! Please help me. I'm at my wit's end and I pretty much just go to class and come back to lie in my bed every day. This isn't how anyone should live, let alone a supposed "healthy" 18 year old!!! Any help would be appreciated.

7 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
So sorry to hear that you are having such a tough time of it.  There are lots of experienced and knowledgeable members here who will be glad to do everything we can to help.  

If I read only your symptoms, I would have bet my last dollar that you were hypothyroid and that your thyroid tests would show this.  Yet, your TPO ab, TG ab, and TSH tests showed no indication of Hashi's.  Another possibility is always central (secondary) hypothyroidism, characterized by relatively low TSH and also Free T4 and Free T3.  Assuming your Free T3 result is accurate, being in the high end of its range seems to refute that possibility.

Your Vitamin D is way too low, which could be a contributor.  You say your B12 is fine, but what is the actual level?  B12 needs to be in the high end of its range.  I would not expect your iron levels to be low, but might be a good idea to test for ferritin at next opportunity.  

I was really at a loss when going through your many test results.  I have no clue about the Band neutrophil result.  One other thing that caused me to pause was your cortisol test.  First, cortisol varies so much through the day that a single test is not very conclusive.  Second I think yours is a bit on the low side for morning.  I did some looking and ran across this info, which seems to be worth checking out.


"Low cortisol/adrenal dysfunction. AD often accompanies hypo and gives low T4 with much higher t3: Free t3 is pooling in the blood unable to reach cells due to low cortisol. A saliva (or urine) four-point cortisol test can confirm this."  

So it might be a good idea to ask your doctor to run a four point saliva cortisol test and see if it confirms relatively low cortisol levels through the day.  
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I lose colour in my lips too. My lips turn very pale and can look very white. I have hypothyroidism and I have had severe adrenal fatigue twice in the past. I still have adrenal fatigue but it's not as bad as it was.  Pale lips can be due to iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, heart and lung problems.

My ex neighbour's father just had a stroke because the statin drug lowered his cholesterol too low - 3.5 mmol/L (135 mg/dL).  My cholesterol was down to 4.2 mmol/L (162 mg/dL) which isn't too healthy either.  Very similar to your cholesterol levels.  I can tick off quite a few conditions from the list below.

Causes of low cholesterol may include statins; hyperthyroidism; liver disease; malabsorption; malnutrition; chronic infections such as hepatitis C; leukemia; anaemia; adrenal insufficiency; genetic conditions.

Cholesterol performs three main functions:

* helps make the outer coating of cells
* makes up the bile acids which aid in fat absorption
* allows the body to make hormones such as vitamin D, DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, aldosterone

Causes of increased neutrophils include emotional and physical stress; nausea and vomiting; UV light; cold stress; heat stress; acute infections -bacterial, certain viral, mycotic, spirochetes (syphilis), parasites; rheumatoid arthritis; hypersensitivity reactions; vasculitis; myositis; uremia; diabetic acidosis; thyrotoxicosis; polycythemia; adrenal dysfunction; gout; influenza.
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6555161_tn?1382385462
Did you have iron checked? I agree that your Vit D does seem low-your FT4 is kind of low, but your antibodies look pretty good. However, if you have relatives that also have thyroid problems, it could be worth exploring more. I also agree with gimel about looking into a saliva test if possible to really get a good look at your adrenal function. If you're failing one of the tests for adrenal problems and have symptoms, it needs a closer look.

I know you listed a bunch of symptoms, but has anyone felt your thyroid? Do you have anything going on in your throat? Feels like a lump, tough to swallow, etc.?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you all so much for posting!! This is really helpful to have a community of people who can help. Gimel, I read the same thing about T3 and it makes sense, because I do have some issues that seem to resonate with adrenal problems. I will ask the doc to do a saliva test. My B12 is 795 (180-914).

Red_Star, doesn't my cholesterol look pretty normal though?

Bedheadblonde, I have never had Iron checked. I was actually just reading about how problems with iron deficiency and anemia can cause some of the problems I'm having. I have had a doc feel my throat and he didn't feel anything wrong with it; however, I occasionally have a feeling in my throat that makes it feel like it's closing, or like I can't breathe as well ? It only comes and goes.

P.S. Maybe my craving for stimulant-type drinks and things is due to adrenal insufficiency? Some of this stuff just gets a little confusing. I'm unsure of which road to take, or what to have tested next (besides things like ferritin, etc.)
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Avatar_m_tn
I'd suggest that you get started on about 2000 I. U. of Vitamin D to raise your level adequately.  Your B12 should be adequate.  Do get tested for ferritin to make sure it is not too low in the range.  And for sure, get the 4-point saliva cortisol test done, for sure.  I would even get re-tested for Free T3 and Free T4 to assure the accuracy of those prior results.

When results are available, please post them along with reference ranges, so that members can help interpret and advise further.
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I should add my pale lips that turn white is due to low oxygen levels from bradypnea which is one of my symptoms of hypothyroidism.  My lips are very pale this morning with very unpleasant shortness of breath and my breathing rate is down to 9 breaths a minute.  I have gone down to 6 breaths a minute and that is serious shortness of breath. At one point I wasn't automatically breathing and had to consciously breath.

Here is some info on low cholesterol. I added the SI units in [ ] in the article below.

"For intracranial hemorrhage, cholesterol levels less than 4.14 mmol/L (<160 mg/dL) were associated with a twofold increase in risk. A serum cholesterol level less than 4.14 mmol/L (<160 mg/dL) was also associated with a significantly increased risk of death from cancer of the liver and pancreas; digestive diseases, particularly hepatic cirrhosis; suicide; and alcohol dependence syndrome."

JAMA Internal Medicine July 1992, Vol 152, No. 7 - Serum Cholesterol Level and Mortality Findings for Men Screened in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial

***

"Most lay people today think the lower their cholesterol, the better. However, low cholesterol is increasingly being identified by Western medical researchers as a potential problem.  Normal cholesterol levels should be between 180-200mg/dL [4.66-5.18 mmol/L].  However, 10% of the population has cholesterol levels below 180mg/dL [4.66 mmol/L]. Cholesterol is a necessary precursor for the creation of hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and other corticosteriods.

Studies have linked low serum cholesterol levels of increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke and increased mortality in the elderly. For instance, the 24th American Heart Association Conference on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation found that those with total serum cholesterol below 180mg/dL [4.66 mmol/L] had twice the risk of hemorrhagic stroke than those with a cholesterol level of 230mg/dL [5.95 mmol/L].

Similarly, other studies have linked depression and anxiety to chronically low levels of serum cholesterol. In a study of 121 healthy young women, Duke psychologist Edward Suarez found that those with cholesterol levels below 160mg/dL [4.14 mmol/L] were more likely to score higher on measures of depression and anxiety than women with normal or high cholesterol levels.  Interestingly, cholesterol drops postpartum, and some researchers are wondering if this accounts for most, if not all, postpartum depression.

An even larger study conducted by Dutch researchers on 30,000 men found evidence of a link between low cholesterol levels and an increased risk of depression. So the days of thinking the lower the cholesterol, the better are numbered."

Excerpt from the article 11 Flavors Warm the Gallbladder, Low Cholesterol, Depression & Anxiety by Bob Flaws.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you both so very much. I am going to go back in for some more blood tests (and hopefully work out a saliva cortisol test). I will post new info once I receive it!
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