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Can high thyroid antibodies cause constant dizziness and head pressure?...
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Can high thyroid antibodies cause constant dizziness and head pressure?

I have seen many doctors - ER docs, a cardiologist, EN&T, neurologist, ophthalmologist, obgyn, and PCP.  The last 6 months have been a nightmare.

My thyroid levels are in the range of normal TSH - 2.762, T4 - 1.28, T3 - 3.4, but my Anti Thyroglobn is 45.1 (should be between 0.0 and 40.0) my TPO Auto Ab - (antibodies) are 2332.0 yes - in the thousands range -  should be between 0.0 - 35.0.  I believe this means my immune system is attacking and trying to kill off my Thyroid?  I'm on low doses of Thyroid hormone 5 mcg of Cytomel and 25 mcg of Synthroid.  Since my TSH, T3, T4 are within normal range my PCP does not want me to get too much and go Hyperthyroid.  Hopefully this added Thyroid hormone treatment will help lower the antibodies.  I go in for more blood draws tomorrow and see her again on Monday to go over test results.  Thyroid problems affect everyone in my family, my mom had the right side of hers removed, my younger sister had Graves disease and had her thyroid irradiated, my ID twin sister was on Synthroid for two years almost 25 years ago, but has not been on Thyroid hormone for more than 23 years as they say her levels are within normal range - (she's getting hers checked again) my younger brother was just diagnosed with being hypothyroid.  It been 3 weeks since being on hormones and I'm feeling more ache and odd burning sensation in my neck area - very noticable.  I've had an enlarged thyroid with many lumps/goiters for more than 15 years but have not been on hormones before now, should I see and endrocrynologist - can high antibodies mean thyroid cancer?

I saw an EN&T in January to have hearing tests - I've had tinnitus in my left ear for more than 3 years and since Sept. 07, a constant weird vertigo that makes me feel as if I'm tilting tipping dipping lifting and now this ever present head/ear pressure. His tests showed I have no hearing loss which is usually the case with Meniere's, but that doesn't rule it out as a diagnosis according to the EN&T.  The full vestibular assessment test at the U of W I'll have done on March 20th will determine if or if not my inner ear is causing the balance problems.  The dizziness and head pressure has had me so scared, because I feel so awful, and have felt like I was near death.  I went to the ER back in mid Nov. because I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack.  That's how the vertigo diagnosis was determined.  Unfortunately it's not the spinning with nausea vertigo that goes away in a few hours or days but the type of vertigo that makes me feel like I'm dipping / lifting, tilting / tipping - ALL DAY LONG.  I don't feel like I'm going to fall over, and I feel it less when I'm active.  Walking really fast helps, but when I slow down or stop - oh boy do I feel it so much stronger.  Sitting at a computer for a long length of time is almost unbearable.  I have to get up often and move around a bit and I have been doing so writing this email to you.  Driving is not too bad, it's just when I come to a stop I feel the dizziness converge.  Go figure.....

On top of all this I'm pre-menopausal - just turned 50.  I had gone several months without my cycle and was counting the months to total a year without a period, but my cycle kicked back in on Feb 14th.  My previous period was in early Nov.  Three weeks ago my vitamin D3 levels were tested at 15.1 and they shouldn't be lower than 32.0 and for optimal health closer to 100.0.  So I'm on mega doses of Vitamin D.  50,000 IU every 3.5 days for two weeks and then 50,000 IU every 7 days for two more weeks.  Thank God I can take that amount of D with one pill (by prescription) and not have to take 50 - 1000 IU pills in one day!  Barf!  My thyroid issues have severely depleted my calcium levels in my bones.   My N - telo/Creat Ratio, Ur H is 79 and should not be greater than 38, so this mega dose of vitamin D and taking calcium citrate along with potassium/magnesium may get me going in the right direction.

I've been trying to keep my sodium intake between >300 mg and <1000 mg, as my EN&T doctor said sodium aggravates Meniere's and suggested until we reach a diagnosis to reduce my salt intake as it might help relieve the dizziness / head pressure symptoms.

I'm desperate to feel better and very frightened.  When I was in the ER in Nov, they did a chest x-ray, EKG and CT scan of my head, a neurologist checked that CT scan from Nov and said she saw nothing and didn't see a need for an MRI.  I'm so afraid of this balance issue and head pressure, I want her to reconsider the MRI.  A coworker suggested I may have a sinus infection?  I've not had a runny or plugged up nose.................the EN&T never suggested that route.........

Grateful for any insight you may offer  :)

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23 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, go see an Endcrinologist!  Your primary physician is a 'generalist' you need a specialist.  Too  much sodium in your diet, including too much thryroid medication (which is sodium) can cause dizziness and vertigo symptoms.  The reason I know is I have a hypothyroid, but was overmedicated for 4 years subclinical hyper, and was dizzy everyday! And my primary physician couldn't figure it out, until I went to a acupnturist and she told me 'salt' was making me feel this way!  See an endcrinologist to find YOUR best TSH level and take vitamin Bs - they are very helpful.  Eat healthy foods, veggies/fruits, fish, chicken - no canned, processed foods. Also when you take your thyroid meds make sure you don't take it with a multi vit that contains calcium.  Calcium interfers with the absobtion of your thyroid meds.... Hope this helps.
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314892_tn?1264627503
I have most of your vertigo symptoms- and have on and off for 14 years.

" His tests showed I have no hearing loss which is usually the case with Meniere's, but that doesn't rule it out as a diagnosis according to the EN&T.  The full vestibular assessment test at the U of W I'll have done on March 20th will determine if or if not my inner ear is causing the balance problems.  The dizziness and head pressure has had me so scared, because I feel so awful, and have felt like I was near death.  I went to the ER back in mid Nov. because I thought I was having a stroke or heart attack.  That's how the vertigo diagnosis was determined.  Unfortunately it's not the spinning with nausea vertigo that goes away in a few hours or days but the type of vertigo that makes me feel like I'm dipping / lifting, tilting / tipping - ALL DAY LONG.  I don't feel like I'm going to fall over, and I feel it less when I'm active.  Walking really fast helps, but when I slow down or stop - oh boy do I feel it so much stronger.  Sitting at a computer for a long length of time is almost unbearable.  I have to get up often and move around a bit and I have been doing so writing this email to you.  Driving is not too bad, it's just when I come to a stop I feel the dizziness converge.  Go figure....."

I do feel like I will fall to the left. The driving situation was the same for me.I also felt better when in motion and standing still was very difficult. I had all of the inner ear testing- once in 1997- which diagnosed Meneiere's, and once last year which "undiagnosed" it. I never believed it was what I had.

They will give you diuretics (HCTZ, Lasix, etc) to remove the extra fluid from the inner ear and this usually helps. Have they rx'd this yet while you wait? Also the low salt diet is supposed to help.

None of these helped me. I was then diagnosed with Migraine Associated Vertigo which you can apparently have w/o headache. Did the Migraine diet, Topamax, beta blockers. No help again.

My TSH finally went above the "normal range" after always being above 3.8 for many years. Began Synthroid and once the TSH fell below 2, like magic, the vertigo/dysequalibrium went away.  

My dysequalibrium is back very mildly again and I am due for another TSH, free t4 next week, so I am very curious to see if my TSH has crept up a bit.

My endo is also looking into adrenal problems and possible untreated CNS Lyme Disease due to a bulls'eye rash in 1997 before the first episode of vertigo.

The inner ear testing is no fun if your ears work correctly. So it is good news if the tests make you dizzy. It doesn't last long during the tests, so it is bearable!

I needed to see an Neuro-otologist to be diagnosed. He is the same doctor that repeated the tests last year and said I don't have Meneiere's.

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427784_tn?1224973122
Thank you both for your input. I'm going to request seeing an endocrynologist.

I didn't realize that taking calcium would diminish the thyroid hormones uptake.  I've been taking calcium for a couple years because I'm at very high risk for osteoporosis. Recent blood tests showed my blood calcium levels at 9.6 and my vitamin D (25 OH) at a very low 15.1, that's why my new PCP prescribed mega doses of vitamin D.

Now after reading facts about the Parathyroid glands and how their dysfunction can cause calcium to be drawn away from bones causing dangerously increased calcium levels in the blood.  http://www.parathyroid.com/low-vitamin-d.htm  I'm concerned that I have been given a very risky - too high a dosage of vitamin D. (four-50,000 IU pills in a two week period!) I'm going to have her check my PTH levels.  Have either of you had that checked?

Perhaps if my TSH goes below 2.0 my vertigo will stop!  My first test was 2.762, took more blood draws today and will see results on Monday.  I hope it's just the TSH level causing my vertigo, but if I have Meniere's I can deal with it.  I understand the vestibular testing is going to be rough, but I hope by doing so I'll get some answers soon.

Thank you for listening and responding!  M.
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314892_tn?1264627503
If your vertigo improves after the TSH drops- PLEASE let me know!!
Can you post back with your new TSH level? I'm very curious.

My calcium is on the very upper end of normal, so I have been wondering lately. Otherwise, I have not had that checked out.

Good luck with the testing.
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465389_tn?1209567574
My TSH is high and I currently have v,severe ertigo/dysequalibrium. Im waiting for my TSh levels to drop and hopefully this will subside. I feel so terrible. And Im also scared that this feeling in my head is being caused by something other than my thyroid.
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393685_tn?1325870933
I do notice on any meds changes - especially when on SYnthroid - I had a heavy pressure in my head and the vertigo seemed to be worse. I am not sure if it happens because of the hypo state I was still in or the meds. I know have been put on Armour - for other reasons- and see an improvement on that dizzy feeling. Still have it - but not as bad as it was.
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Avatar_n_tn
Wow! I feel so at home reading all of your posts.  I feel the same way all the time, and have felt this badly for three years.  Two thryoid goiters were discovered and biopsied four years ago.  My regular doctor put me on Synthroid to keep the goiters from growing.  I take the lowest dose possible of Synthroid.  Three years ago, I went to the emergency room because I thought I was dying.  I felt so badly. I felt dizzy, unbalanced and just really weird.  Of course, when I got there, they found nothing wrong.  I have been to so many doctors in the past three years.  They all just shake their head and wonder why I feel so badly.  My thryoid blook work is always in the normal range.  I have had sleep studies, heart stress tests..etc..nothing.  I believe that the Synthroid may be causing me to go from hyper to hypo thyroid ,  Please tell me how you feel when you are either hypo or hyper.  I am constantly fatigued, dizzy, feel faint, feel unrefreshed in the morning after what seems like a good night's sleep, moody, irritable...etc..I need to figure out was is wrong and change this situation once and for all.  I believe that my thryoid goiter is making it difficult to breathe, too. It is rather large and right in the middle of my throat.  I need help!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I was diagnosed with a goiter and my thyroid levels are within normal range. I have felt dizzy, tired, and I just can't seem to think clearly. I added some iodized salt to my diet over the past two weeks and for the first time in a year I feel normal. The dizziness is gone. I hope this helps.
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Avatar_m_tn
well i am a 38 year old male and have been suffering all these symptoms you ladies have described since 2007 and have been rounds with doctors and specialists whom all couldnt figure anything out and no one thought to send me to an endricronoligist although recently i had sever shoulder pain and went to me general whom sent me to the ortho surgeon who took xrays and saw calcium on my brain with concern he called for an MRI. MRI came back and showed a rathke tumor on my pituitary gland pushing it asside causing my LH and FSH hormones to be low along with my migraines and constant vertigo. I was referred to an endricronologist and found this out after blood work. I have trouble trying to lose weight over the past years didnt know about the other ones he didnt say so i will check the paperwork. He also started treating me with Tesosterone and Vitamin D since level was 14.1 so i am taking 50,000 units per week. He hasnt started treating my thyroid although i have rapid arthritis occuring causing havoc in my joints, both knees, both hips, both shoulders except one just got repaired and mild in both ankles. Remember im only 38. Apparently Rathke cyst tumors are very commen especially in women. IDK why God blessed me with the opportunity to experiences this but its traumatic and knowing their are others also experiencing this makes it more traumatic yet less insane since i have been searching and hunting for reasoning for all the other symptoms now it all makes better sense. God bless each and everyone one of you and i pray you get healed quickly and rediscover living when you get through this difficult endeavor. I am looking forward to reversing and resolving this aweful feeling. If i didnt have a beautiful wife and two wonderfol sons i wouldve checked out months ago. Being strong is hard to do and losing the ability to perform as a career musician is heartbreaking and traumatic at least. I am being extremely proactive with my dr.s and not missing any appts. and scheduling them as soon as possible from one doctor to an other. I am seeing a rhumatoid specialist and ENT for swallowing issues as well. I am getting treatment for each issue separtely and hoping when they remove this thing from my brain i will be back to normal at least mostly is all i hope for. My good friend told me i wouldnt be me if i were normal. Guess thats a good friend! I wish you all well and God Bless!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well I am a 35  year old female.  I have not felt like myself since February.  I started with nausea.  They took my gallbladder out.  The nausea continued after the removal although it is not everyday now.  I am constantly fatigued and have a weird head sensation.  It is very hard to describe, almost a lightheadedness that lasts all day.  I have had a cat scan with and without contrast and it came out clear.  I am now seeing an endocronologist.  I only have half a thyroid due to a goiter my other half was removed.  I have never had a problem with any of my levels.  They took 8 tubes of blood and an ultrasound of my thyroid.  I now have 3 costs and 2 masses on the half that I still have.  I go in next week to discuss results and possible diagnosis.  Just want to feel like myself again.  Want this weird head feeling and fatigue to go away.  Any ideas?
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Avatar_n_tn
Do any of you have tracking issues with your eyes? Trouble focusing on moving objects or if you're the one moving? I've been on synthroid for 2 years and always thought I had vertigo but recently realized it was a tracking issue.
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Avatar_m_tn
Could be that you are not taking enough Synthroid.  Or maybe your body is not converting the T4 to T3 adequately.   The best way to assess your status is by testing the levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4, and comparing results to their reference ranges.  

If you will post your thyroid test results and reference ranges, then members will be glad to help interpret your status and advise further.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello everybody. I'm 19 years old and I have a thyroid disease. My mom died when I was 12 and ever since then I haven't been on my synthroid because I got thrown into a family who didn't care. I DESPERATELY NEED HELP. I'm just learning to do these things on my own such as going to the doctor and taking care of myself medically. I have a horrible case of vertigo its been here for 2 weeks now. I don't understand much of my disease that's why I'm on here seeking help so I can better understand...I'm not dieting and I do eat a lot of fast food. I'm very scared because the vertigo makes me believe I'm dying & I can't even get out of bed sometimes. I just went to the doctors yesterday finally because my friend let me have money to go, I have no insurance. And I just started my thyroid meds again but I'm on generic not synthroid. If anyone here has/had vertigo and knows ways to get healthier please message back, thank you.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, and welcome to the forum!

First of all, have you been officially diagnosed with Hashi's?  Are you sure you do have antibodies?

Have you had many hypo symptoms over the past seven years?  What are your current symptoms?

Did you doctor do blood work, and do you have the results?

Vertigo can be caused by thyroid issues, especially thyroid swelling (goiter) or nodules (overgrowths of thyroid tissue).  Do you have either of these?  I've had vertigo also, and it had nothing to do with thyroid.  You might do some research into "benign positional vertigo".  This is caused by the little crystals in your ears that make balance possible getting themselves into a whirlwind.  There's an exercise that helps quiet them back down.  One of the telltale symptoms of BPV is dizziness that is greatly increased by any movement of your head.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, I don't know what Hashi's is but my doctor did my blood work two days ago & I'm on Levothyroxin (levothyroxine) the generic synthroid. I'm taking 25 mcg. She didn't tell me that I had the goiter or nodules but I will do the research on the benign vertigo. But I went to the hospital & they told me I have vertigo. I've been extremely busy and can't get out of bed. Sometimes I don't want to talk and sometimes any little noise will hurt my head. And thanks for the reply.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hashi's is short for Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  It's an autoimmune disease that's the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the developed world.  Whether you have it can be determined by a blood test to check for the antibodies that your body produces if you have Hashi's.

It's a very good idea to always get the results of all the tests your doctor runs.  You can call your doctor and either get the results verbally or ask for a copy.  You should keep all your thyroid blood work together so that you have your own personal history available at all times.  I put all of mine in a spreadsheet.

Once you get your results, you can post them if you'd like, and members will help you interpret them.  If you get your results over the phone, please be sure to ask for reference ranges along with results.  Ranges vary lab to lab, so you have to post them along with your results.  Also, you might want to post your own new question...sometimes old threads like this one get kind of ignored.

An ultrasound is always a good idea to check for and monitor nodules and swelling.  Most of us with Hashi's have nodules.  Your doctor might be able to feel them is she palpates your thyroid, but a U/S is more accurate.

My vertigo sent me to the ER as well.  I thought I was having a stroke since I knew that I hadn't had the ten drinks too many that would have given me the spins that I had!  LOL  Try the exercise...it's completely effortless...it might not help, but it won't hurt.
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Avatar_f_tn
:)  thanks for the help again. My doctor didn't say anything about hashi's but like you said I will call and ask. And I'm going to get my results too so I can keep track. When I went to the gyno they suggested an ultra sound because I had 'abnormal cells' in my tummy. So next month I'm going to work on that...and about the exercise I'm going to try too, I'm almost ready to try anything to make it go away. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 45 years old and starting feeling so dizzy about a week ago.  The same day as the dizziness started, I notice that my neck had a golf size lump on it.  You could see this visibly without even getting close.  I have all of the symptoms that most of you list.  Fatigue, irratable, crying (even though on Celexa for the past 10 months).  I went to the doctor on Thursday and they said that my thyroid was enlarged and they sent me to the lab for a blood drawer. They also wrote me a script for an ultra sound.  The problem is that I do not have insurance and don't know if I should bother with the ultrasound. How serious of an issue could this be?  I do feel like crap all of the time and don't want to feel this way any longer but also don't want to bankrupt my family for nothing.
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Avatar_f_tn
I understand being un- or under-insured, but I think the U/S would be money very well spent.  Once you get a diagnosis, the treatment for thyroid disorders is usually quite inexpensive, and the difference it can make in your life is significant.  Have the U/S...it's important to know what that lump is all about.
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Avatar_f_tn
Guys, we all need to know about hashimoto encephalopathy. It is when the thyroid antibodies are attacking your brain too. It is an extremely rare diagnosis but suspected to be grossly under diagnosed and not so rare in occurance. We need to push for recognition of this condition.  It is treated with high dose prednisone or other immunosuppresants. The medical community struggles to accept the idea of autoimmune brain stuff. If your hashimoto is causing this and you are fortunate enough to get on treatment it is life changing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, i too am experiencing same syptoms (symptoms), my tsh levels are up around 8 and my antibodies are around 1000, so have been diagnosed with Hashimoto's. I have the daily unbearable dizziness, the same syptoms (symptoms) as yur-self. Feel like i'm dying or suffering from some un-diagnosed disease. Am away in a couple of weeks to see a specialist who apparently is very good, so fingers X. Gud luck :)
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649848_tn?1357751184
You have attached your comments to a very old thread.  twintwo has not been active on the forum for several years, so it's unlikely she will respond to your comments.

It's unlikely that the antibodies are causing your dizziness.  Are your blood pressure levels normal?  Often low blood pressure can cause dizziness.

Have you had thyroid labs done, other than TSH and antibodies?  Which antibody test was that?  You should also be tested for Free T3 and Free T4, which are the actual thyroid hormones.  TSH of 8, indicates that you are hypo; however, TSH is really not indicative of actual thyroid hormones.

Do you have other symptoms, such as weight gain, constipation, muscle/joint aches/pains, foggy thinking, etc?
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been suffering from same issues that you have mentioned (@Twintwo): Constant dizziness, vertigo, weakness, and also sweating while I'm sleeping.
The pressure in my head and not being able to think straight is killing me. I have saw GP, and consumed 3 different antibiotics and it didn't help. it has been more than 3 months now and it is start scaring me.
Saw ENT Specialist and he said it is Labyrinths and should be resolved by it self. But I saw another GP doctor and she said it could be due to my TSH, Since my T4 was a bit low 2 years ago.
I don't know what to do, just done a blood test and the result should come soon. Any suggestions?


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