I recently had my TSH levels tested due to hyperthyroid symptoms and issues, but my TSH level came back at 4.6. My symptoms include panic attacks, heart racing, heart palpitations, insomnia, nausea, missed period, low grade headaches, metallic taste in my mouth, muscle pain and over all malaise and a general feeling of anxiety. All of these symptoms seem to get worse when I lay down at night. So much to the point that I have been sitting up to try and sleep and in tears because I feel like something is really wrong with my body. My doc said that a 4.6 level was still within normal limits, but I am wondering if this subclinical results could be the cause of my horrible symptoms. I have already had an EKG, a CT scan and a full blood work up, including blood tests to rule out a PE. All came back normal. My doc prescribed me zoloft and and anxiety medication. I am not depresed, however, I decided to try the anti-anxiety med with no success in relieving my anxiety symptoms. To rule out pregnancy, I have had urine and blood tests that have come back negative. I feel like I am losing my mind because I feel awful and no one seems to be able to figure out what is going on. I am absolutely at a loss as to what could be wrong and how I can go about fixing these symptoms. It has been 6 weeks since I missed my last period and I have still not started. Any insight would be helpful. I have no idea where else to go with all of this.
Your doctor is doing you a disservice by only testing for TSH and also not using the reference range currently recommended by the AACE. Over 8 years ago they recommended that the new range should be .3 - 3.0. Unfortunately most labs and doctors still use the old range.
More importantly, TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by many variables, such that it is inadequate as a diagnostic for thyroid problems. At best it is an indicator, to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms, as well as the levels of the actual, biologically active thyroid hormones, free T3 and free T4. FT3 is most important because it is the most active, plus studies have shown that it correlates best with hypo symptoms. I have been unable to find proof that TSH even correlates with T3 or T4, much less symptoms.
I don't have a lot of hope for your doctor doing what you need, but you might try to get testing for FT3 and FT4, along with TSH. If he resists, then you should insist on it, and don't take no for an answer. At the same time you might acquaint the doctor of the new range for TSH and the importance of testing for FT3 and FT4. Another important thing to find out would be if the doctor is willing to treat you for your symptoms, by adjusting Ft3 and FT4 levels as necessary to relieve symptoms. If, as I expect, the doctor has problems with this, then you may as well start looking for a good thyroid doctor that will treat you in this manner. I think you shuld also request testing for the thyroid antibodies TPO ab and TG ab. These tests can help determine the possibility of Hashi's, which is the most prevalent cause of thyroid problems.
If you get the testing done, then request a copy and post results and reference ranges here so that members can help interpret further and advise. It is always a good idea to get a copy and write on it how your were feeling at the time as well as what meds you were on. These can be very valuable for the future.
Find yourself an actual thyroid specialist. Your Dr definately doesn't understand thyroid.
As Gimel said, you are not getting the proper thyroid tests done.
Let alone, the new TSH range is .30-3.0. Your Dr is keeping you hypo and sick.....that is why you are having all the symptoms you are having. Sounds very familiar to what I went through and the syptoms I had when I had an endo who kept me ill.
You definately need to have at least a free t4 done with a tsh again, along with the antibody testing.....and yes preferably with a free t3 test!
Don't settle for staying sick.......get a new Dr quick!
Thanks Gimel and Adina550! I think you are both right in that I need to find a good endocrynologist. I just know that I am up for a fight, because my primary doc can be really stubborn. So, for insurance purposes, I am going to have to figure out how to navigate out of this one. I had similar thyroid problems five years ago, when diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism and was treated for the problem then. I only needed treatment for a year and my levels had stayed pretty normal until now. Of course, I just had baby #4 exactly 9 months ago, so I am thinking that all this may tie in to what the problem could be. My main concern, though, is that I am having hyper symptoms, not hypo, even though I am considered subclinical hypothyroidism. I am guessing that I just don't have the text book symptoms and that they are opposite of what they should be? Kind of strange. Has anyone else had this kind of odd experience. It would be interesting to know.
One more thing... along with the hyper syptoms, I have also experience weight loss, which is great because I am almost down to my pre preg weight without much effort. So, again, kind of strange for the hypo not hyper diagnosis?
then I think I would provide a copy of this great article written by a doctor, talking about the fallacy of relying on TSH only. Also, it talks about the importance of testing for FT3 and FT4, and points out that results in the low end of their ranges is frequently inadequate.
Maybe this info will at least stimulate the doctor to do additional testing and then go from there. I won't speculate further on hypo/hyper until at least seeing the FT3 and FT4 test results. By the way, you should be aware that just because a doctor is an End doesn't mean a good thyroid doctor. Many specialize in diabetes, not thyroid. Many still have the "Immaculate TSH Belief". You really need to find a good thyroid doctor that will treat your symptoms. Depending on where you are located, you might be fortunate enough to get a doctor recommendation from a member.
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