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Frustrated that everyone thinks it is anxiety...
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Frustrated that everyone thinks it is anxiety...

I am extremely frustrated, and looking for some help.

I FINALLY went into the Doctor (which I rarely do) because the following symptoms were interfering with my life:
-hair loss
-Extreme weight loss followed by static weight (once I started eating well and going to the gym, I stopped losing weight. Go figure..)
-Carpal tunnel feelings in hands, wrists
-Achy arms
-Pins/needles in hands and feet
-Confusion, feeling in a fog
-Total exhaustion, even after a good sleep
-Clumsyness
-Debilitating headaches, sensitivity to light
-Dry, painful bloodshot eyes
-Numb feet
...I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of right now..

My doc did lab work, and told me my levels were all normal.

My TSH was 3.34 and free T4 was .7
I am feeling worse everyday, I had to shut down my etsy shop because I simply cannot keep up.

Yesterday, my hands started shaking uncontrollably (and my leg trembling) yesterday and my husband took me to the ER. An MRI was done, and they said there were not indication of MS (no demylenation). I was referred to a neurologist, but I got a very clear impression that they think it is just anxiety (prescribed xanex). I don't feel anxious (well, I will admit that I was pretty freaked out when I was trembling uncontrollably...

Any advice? I am in the Seattle area and would love a recommendation for qualified docs in the area!

Thanks!
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15 Comments Post a Comment
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1947387_tn?1325644930
I'm those values are very good.. and besides, anxiety isn't a disease that people should be diagnosed w/. It's a symptom - drs say it's a disease so they can give you a pill to mask it and not take the time to investigate the cause. Would your doctor at least be willing to try a trial of thyroid medicine to see if it gives any improvement?
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649848_tn?1357751184
What's the reference range of the FT4?  Yours is awfully low, plus your TSH is over the limit of 3; both of these indicate that you are hypo.  Can you get your doctor to run an FT3 test?  With your FT4 so low, I would think that your FT3 would be minimal, as well, because there's nothing to convert.  

I also don't recall if you've had thyroid antibody testing.  Could you please refresh my memory?  Sorry, getting old and forgetful........lol

I'd also recommend that you get vitamin B12 tested.  B12 deficiency causes numbness, tingling, "pins and needles" in the extremities, along with the most horrendous fatigue/need to sleep.  I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia nearly 5 yrs ago and started on B12 shots; I now take them weekly.  I do have some permanent nerve damage because of being undiagnosed for so many years, but so long as I take my shots on time, I do quite well.

All of that said, keep in mind that anxiety can be a huge part of all this.  Sometimes, it's caused by the actual medical issues we have; other times, it's caused by circumstances beyond our control.  It can be a symptom of something else or it can be a "stand alone" condition, that's not always attributable to thyroid. We have to look at all aspects of our lives to determine its cause.
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Avatar_m_tn
I strongly reccomend a second opinion, because I have very severy anxiety/panic attacks and what you are describing is incredibly worse. More than likely the doc you are seeing doesnt know what to do so they throw you on a benzodiazapine (which are very addictive) but the make you numb. Try another doc or see a specialist (whatever u can afford) in my opinion anxiety does not cause that sever of symptoms. Take Care Jake. And Im not a doc
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Avatar_m_tn
Goodness doctors give out psych meds like candy on halloween.  

Understand exactly what your going through, sorry it's been difficult.  I've had unbearable hyper/anxiety symptoms the past 4 yrs, normal labs, normal everything, but my symptoms were real.  I experienced all the symptoms you listed.  Docs tried to medicate me with pscyh meds, I refused them, my thought let's find what's causing the problem, I never had anxiety in my entire life, my thyroid is swollen, let's begin from there.  After 4 yrs of he!!  I had TT done last week, miraculously all my symptoms are gone !!  

Sometimes I wonder about lab values, cause they surely didn't work to my advantage.  

Don't give up hope, stay strong, don't take no for an answer, and demand answers, for peace/comfort.  I transfered to several different physicians, till I found one that was willing to work with me.  Yes, it was difficult but I knew once I found the right physician, all my troubles will be over.  Wishing you well.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm going through the exact same thing.  I was fine till I started being treated for hypothyroidism.  Now I'm a mess.  

Anxiety
Hot/cold flashes
Headaches
Tingling of extremities
Burning eyes
Dizziness
Sweating
Nausea
neck pain
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1947387_tn?1325644930
Hey, wehn I was diagnosed last summer, I did have many low thyroid symptoms. Strangely, they got worse and worse once I started Synthroid. I recently tested high for reverse T3 which can occur when taking T4 medicine and will actually make you feel sicker. Have you had a test for reverse T3?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the support, I am convinced that this is an issue with my thyroid based on my symptoms. I will definitely push to be treated just to see if it helps. Sounds like there are some other tests I should ask for as well (reverse T3?)

Lab ranges
TSH   range 0.40 - 4.00 uIU/mL
Free T4 0.5 - 1.6 ng/dL

Any recommendations for physicians in the Seattle area?
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Avatar_f_tn
Please throw out the Xanax!  They can lead to nothing but trouble.  A very dangerous, addictive drug.  Your problem looks like thyroid to me.  The amount of symptoms are incredible.
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649848_tn?1357751184
Sometimes we're too quick to blame the thyroid for all our ills...... been there, done that.
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Avatar_m_tn
Blood tests recommended if you can get them:

1) Free T4 (FT4)
2) Free T3 (FT3)
3) TPOab - one of the Hashi's antibodies
4) TGab - the other Hashi's antibody
5) TSI- test for Graves
6) Vit D3
7) Vit B-12 - low B-12 can cause tingling in extremities
8) Iron
9) Selenium
10) could get cortisol tested as well for adrenal fatigue.  If you have been hypo for a long time your adrenals try to make up for the lack of Thyroid and get "burnt out" so to speak. The best test for this is a 24 hour urine or saliva test.  This is MUCH better than a one time blood test snapshot as your cortisol levels vary so much throughout the day.

many people who are hypo are often low in the vitamins listed. Selenium helps with the conversion of T4 into T3.

Reverse T3 can be tested but that is a little less common issue and from what I understand a fairly expensive test.  Until you know where your FT4 and FT3 levels are and how you might respond to Thyroid drugs I'm not sure it is worth testing initially.  If something funky is going on after knowing the FT4 and FT3 levels, then it may make sense to test for Reverse T3 (RT3).

As stated above if our T4 test was for Free T4 and using a common range you would be very low if not below range on this.  Most people do not feel well until their FT4 is in the MIDDLE of the range.  AND they also need their FT3 to be in the UPPER 1/3 of the range.  As stated above with such a low T4 value the chances your FT3 is above mid range would be slim let alone reaching to the upper 1/3 of the range.

I'm not a big proponent of anti-anxiety or anti-depressants. But sometimes they are needed.  If nothing else for a short period of time.  It sounds like you had pretty significant symptoms.  Only you can decide if taking these is the best thing to do.
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929504_tn?1332589534
It is very easy to blame the "thyroid" issue on illnesses or issues that occur after the thyroid problem. I am speaking for myself and I do blame "all" of my added issues on not having a thyroid and being hypothyroid simply because they all occured "full blown" after my surgery, whether they were "dormant", "underlying" or whatever. This is what we here from the doctors, and it's sickening to me.
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929504_tn?1332589534
Trust me when I tell you that having an Anxiety Disorder can make you feel as if you are dying. The symptoms are very critical as they were in my case. My symptoms were: "Feeling Faint" Blurred vision" Heart Palps", Depression, Brain Fog, Wobbly legs, Hot flashes, Numbness, Anxious to no end, etc etc. I was treated with Zoloft and xanax and they helped tremendously with my symptoms. I was symptom free for over 14yrs until I had my Thyroidectomy and here came the Anxiety/Panic Attacks again.
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649848_tn?1357751184
I'm sorry if you find it "sickening", but it's true; once we have a thyroid problem, it is very easy to blame everything on that, because symptoms can be so varied and the list of symptoms is basically endless........ But there are countless other things that cause a lot of those same symptoms.

I am very well aware that doctors use this line all the time; they've used it on me than I care to think about, but, in all fairness, there have been issues for which my thyroid was NOT to blame, even though I tried hard to blame them on that.
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok, maybe it can be a bit of everything (most of times, things mix and you think it´s one huge thing).
Maybe you DO have some problems with thyroid, but have anxiety too.
I suffer from anxiety/panic attacks, and have had those symptoms you are talking about (except the weight loss, but then again, that can be the thyroid or your lifestyle). The most strong ones are the numb hands and feet, pins and needles in the hands, total exhaustion, confusion, (sometimes "despersonalization", dunno how it´s called), and of course you freak out.
I´m not a doctor, but based on my experience, I would recomend you take a break with work, go make some tests about the thyrod, AND get yourself to a psychiatrist office and psicotherapy... maybe you have lots of things tangled up and feels like a bomb. It does sound like there is some anxiety in there... psycotherapy can really improve that :)
And try to be calm, it will go away, it has to, things like that don´t stay. Though you might have to change your lifestyle and habits... get good sleep, exercise, and food. And whatever you do, don´t drink coffee, tea, or alcohol, and don´t smoke!
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi! I had very similar symptoms when I had hyperparathyroidism. I also had frequent heartburn, constipation, and kidney stones. It wouldn't hurt to have your calcium and PTH levels checked just to be sure as many of the symptoms mimic thyroid and pituitary disease.
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