Thyroid Disorders Community
sore throat/infections
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sore throat/infections

For those who don't know, while I have a normal TSH, my Thyroglobulin Antibodies are elevated(47). I will not be re-tested for another 3 months. I have no previous history and do not have a diagnosis.

That said, I was wondering if others here occasionally get sore throats, more than the average person? Around my uvula, it's very red but experience the pain before the discoloration.

I have had bouts of thrush (albeit, was on a number of antibiotics last year) and the last being last month. Just before that, had a UTI and my kidney hurt like heck. On top of the sore throat, my lower back is hurting and just hoping that is muscles and not some infection creeping up. Please...no!!

Anyway, I am wondering if anyone here frequently gets sore throats or at least more than the average person (I seem to get nailed every other month) and have dealt with infections more than the average person?

~Kate
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168348_tn?1379360675
Did they test you for kidney stones at all?  I have way too much exp. in that dept but the UTI and kidney pain and now lower back pain brings it to mind ??  Sometimes a stone can cause a UTI esp. if it is "on the move".

Cheryl
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Avatar_f_tn
I have alot of sore throats and UTI's. The sore throats often come when the thyroid feels more swollen, or exhausted (mostly emotional from the wear and tear of having hashitoxosis) You get ehausted worrying which symptoms will come next, or if you're having a fairly good day and overdo the energy you feel.
If I'm in the hyper phase, I urinate more often, and have ended up with UTI and kidney infection, after a horrible reaction to CIPRO I haven't been brave enough to try a new antibiotic yet, just staying away from caffine for the most and refined sugar has seemed to help a bit.
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear Kate,

I identify strongly with what you have reported. Although I have a mild case of hypothyroidism (somewhat high TSH and no antibodies), it has felt anything but mild to me. Before my thyroid gland struggle's began to make themselves obvious, I typically had a common cold once every two years. That was IT in regard to illnesses.

After beginning to take Levothroid, I went through a very bumpy spell in which I had a wide variety of the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism. In addition, I was not surprised when I read that in order for a person's immune system to operate effectively, the person's thyroid gland needs to be functioning well.  The reason I was not surprised was that I had become a living illustration. I came down with a cold on November 10th, and it lingered longer than any cold I have had in my entire 56 years of life. After 13 days, I had my physician check to be sure that a secondary infection had not crept in. She saw no evidence of a bacterial infection, and a throat culture for strep was negative, too. Thirteen days after that, the worst of the cold was over, but I still had a lingering symptom or two.

Then I had a couple of days of good health before coming down with another cold on New Year's Eve--slightly milder, and it only took 10 days for it to run its course. On January 26th, still another cold settled in. The last one reduced me to sobbing "I can't take this anymore!"

I could indeed "take it," of course, because there was no real alternative. At least Cold Number Three was no worse than Cold Number Two, meaning that it gave me about ten days worth of discomfort.

Now, I am much farther along in the process of getting my thryoid problem under control, and my immune system seems to be back on the job. It obviously has fought off an infection on two occasions in the last two and a half months' time.

I have not read your previous posts, and at this very moment, I ought to be doing something other than visiting the forum, so I really should not look up the details of what you have said in the past. Have other forum members confirmed your impression that your TSH level is normal? I wonder about that since so much outdated thinking is still being used by physicians.

I also wonder if you have seen an endocrinologist, and I wonder why your physician has recommended your waiting three months to be retested--to see if your TSH level rises? If I were in your situation of having frequent infections and also having some evidence of a thyroid problem, I would want the advice to take a "wait and see" attitude to come from an endocrinologist who had a lot of experience with thyroid problems. The decision about whether to start treatment or whether to give the situation more time is sometimes not an easy decision. I hope that you have a physician who is able to provide expert help with the process of thinking and deciding.

Wishing you all the best,
Jenny
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Avatar_f_tn
P.S. After saying that I really should not take the time to look for your former post, I realized how unfair it would be to put you in a position of feeling as if you needed to tell your story--or parts of it--all over again to me. I easily found your post of a few days ago, and now I have one more possibly helpful comment to make. Endocrine system problems in general are complex and very difficult for a physician to figure out. With your antibody level, I would hesitate--if I were you--to think that a TSH level of slightly more or slightly less than 2 means that your thyroid gland is operating normally.

I would hesitate three times over if I had been dealing with a physician who blew me off and who wanted to explain my symptoms as hypochondria. In a sense, I can say, "Been there, done that." Fortunately, almost all of the physicians I have seen have been compassionate and caring, and they worked hard at trying to figure out what was wrong with me. All of them looked right past the fact that is obvious in hindsight: my thyroid gland very slowly, but very steadily, was failing. The exception to the rule of "compassionate, caring, and worked hard" was the physician who listened to my account of my symptoms and responded with "a lot of women your age are depressed," even though depression was nowhere in my symptoms account. How tidy and how easy, huh? Yes, in saying that, I am being sarcastic! All a physician has to do is say "hypochondria" or "depression" to provide a diagnosis and treatment rolled into one...or so they seem to think.

No one but you can decide whether you feel comfortable waiting to be tested again in three months or whether you are fed up and want to undertake the gargantuan task of traveling to see an endocrinologist. Just know that the picture is not as clear-cut as your "maybe you are a hypochondriac" physician is making it seem to be. Potentially, you could feel a lot worse than you are feeling now before you produced the laboratory results or symptoms that would say "thyroid problem" without a shadow of a doubt. The time may arrive soon when  you will want to see a physician who understands and can interpret subtleties.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi
i had hashimotos (undiagnosed - hashimotos is when you have antibodies) for 5 years before being diagnosed. i got sick with every virus and bug possible. if something was going round i would get it before everyone else! i got sore throats a lot too - so much that one of my doctors couldnt figure out why my throat was constantly so red and i didnt have tonsilitis! (he used to scream every time he looked in my throat hahaha - well not so funny i guess coz it was from thyroid)

i started treatment (on synthroid) 9 months ago and have only been sick a few times (other than from the treatment - my dosage was way too high - am still trying to find the right level/drugs). the sore throats have gone away.

i also had a lot of thrush - which i have now found to be caused by lactose intolerance (well actually a complete intolerance to dairy) - although this may not be the cause of your thrush you could try cutting out dairy for a week and see if it works. i also had a mild UTI (well it wasnt actually a UTI - i was tested by doc - it just felt like one) - which turned out to be caused by eating cheese.
basically what im saying is that my thrush and UTI were caused by allergies (which seem to be increased when my thyroid levels are not exactly right). it could be possible that your thrush is caused by allergy to something else. (eg. i also get it from products with lemon oil in them. go figure!?!)

also apparently a lot of people with thyroid problems also have a gluten intolerance (although are not coeliacs (very bad intolerance to gluten) - which can be tested by doctor). and apparently a lot of people with gluten intolerance are also lactose intolerant.

i didnt have any problems with kidneys or lower back.

i hope you get better soon.
and i agree with the last person (sorry i forgot their name) - a tsh of nearly 2 may require treatment if you have antibodies!

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125112_tn?1217277462
jd2,

Which antibodies do you have and what were your levels when you were finally diagnosed?


Oh! The red throats...me too. Right now mine is inflamed. Guess what...my tonsils were removed last year. They were huge but I expected my throat issues would disappear with removal. Well, they didn't.

I wonder why the thyroid can inflame the throat, beings that it exists on the outside. Anyone hear why?

I have wondered about the dairy issue and oh, well...have to buckle down and try to not eat it for awhile. While not a big milk fan...love cheese, yogurt, ice-cream. As well as Gluten products.

So overall, with treatment...you would say you feel better now? Did the Dr. ever run an ultrasound on your thyroid?

Thanks again,
~Kate





hi
i had hashimotos (undiagnosed - hashimotos is when you have antibodies) for 5 years before being diagnosed. i got sick with every virus and bug possible. if something was going round i would get it before everyone else! i got sore throats a lot too - so much that one of my doctors couldnt figure out why my throat was constantly so red and i didnt have tonsilitis! (he used to scream every time he looked in my throat hahaha - well not so funny i guess coz it was from thyroid)

i started treatment (on synthroid) 9 months ago and have only been sick a few times (other than from the treatment - my dosage was way too high - am still trying to find the right level/drugs). the sore throats have gone away.

i also had a lot of thrush - which i have now found to be caused by lactose intolerance (well actually a complete intolerance to dairy) - although this may not be the cause of your thrush you could try cutting out dairy for a week and see if it works. i also had a mild UTI (well it wasnt actually a UTI - i was tested by doc - it just felt like one) - which turned out to be caused by eating cheese.
basically what im saying is that my thrush and UTI were caused by allergies (which seem to be increased when my thyroid levels are not exactly right). it could be possible that your thrush is caused by allergy to something else. (eg. i also get it from products with lemon oil in them. go figure!?!)

also apparently a lot of people with thyroid problems also have a gluten intolerance (although are not coeliacs (very bad intolerance to gluten) - which can be tested by doctor). and apparently a lot of people with gluten intolerance are also lactose intolerant.

i didnt have any problems with kidneys or lower back.

i hope you get better soon.
and i agree with the last person (sorry i forgot their name) - a tsh of nearly 2 may require treatment if you have antibodies!
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125112_tn?1217277462
This just it, early on...I went on an emotional roller coaster. I was getting pinged with "aches & pains" but discounted them. Things were cropping up, wait for them to go away, they'd subside and back again! It wore me out. In the past, I truly was a picture of good health. Finally after dealing with this on my own for many months...went to my Dr. but as you can see, until recently...did they consider looking further and that was because I nudged him.

Oh the coffee, I drink a pot a day. I suppose I should try cutting back.

In reading these posts, I see that these symtoms (symptoms)/infections is sadly common. :-[
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125112_tn?1217277462
Jenny,

Feeling like you couldn
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125112_tn?1217277462
No, they never tested for stones...though did run a blood test. Early part of last year, I wondered if I passed a stone. My lower back was hurting, put a massager to it...and eww...almost tossed my cookies. Went to the potty and saw 2 tiny, blackish, flat looking pebbles. Haven't seen that since.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, Kate--

You are entirely welcome! Thank you in return for identifying with my comment about the "I can't take it anymore" feeling. A great value of this forum is being able to hear from other people that a thyroid problem is uniquely punishing for many of us. We are not being sissies when we feel we have reached the end of our rope, and it helps to be reassured of that.

I looked for anything discussing thyroid function and immunity, but all that I found were passing comments in a spirit of "everyone knows this to be true, of course." There undoubtedly is a complete discussion in one of the textbooks that medical students read their way through. Unfortunately, that sort of nuts-and-bolts information often is not easy for a layperson to find, as I have discovered in the past when trying to understand certain aspects of menopause.

At least I found an example of the passing comment in what seems to be a mainstream source--an article in the Journal of Nutrition, written by people who seem to be solid scholars. This matters if you ever want to mention the comment to a physician, most of whom want to be sure that information is coming from a mainstream source. Here is the comment, followed by the URL that will take you to the page containing the comment:
"Hypothyroidism has adverse effects on immune function; it generally impairs the ability of neutrophils to respond to a challenge or to foreign organisms."
http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/133/5/1457S

In regard to your situation overall, you are hitting an important nail squarely on its head, in my opinion, when you say "I think it warrants more of a genuine look." I am really outraged that a physician would listen to your report of rapid shifts in weight in each direction, which fairly well shouts "endocrine problem" even to me as a layperson, and discount you, as you said, by labeling you a hypochondriac...and then collect his fee without lifting another finger. It makes me want to say sarcastically that it must be nice to make an excellent living with so little effort.

With a physician like that, I am reflexively suspicious of the soundness of whatever he is thinking that made him recommend a three-month wait. Maybe there is some sensible thinking going on, but I am sure you can understand why I have my doubts!

I also am concerned about the idea of someone in your situation taking a wait-and-see approach. When I went from feeling quite well to feeling as if something inside me was alarmingly out of whack, I made the transition within a month's time. Possibly the one factor that saved my sanity was having already started to establish a relationship with a physician who could provide competent help with what turned out to be longstanding hypothyroidism--very subtle for many years--that suddenly began to assert its presence strongly.

So when you say that you really hate to think of possibly feeling worse, it makes me glad that you have thought of a next step to take. Your idea of seeing the internist in your home town seems like an excellent idea. He sounds as if he would take you seriously, which is about 90% of what you need as a next step. Someone competent--and the internist sounds as if he could be the one--needs to understand that you need to have the evidence accurately interpreted now, not after you have had a downhill slide in your already not-great well-being.

Before I close, I would like to comment on one of your questions to someone who replied to you yesterday. Let me preface my comments with a word of explanation, though. Having antibodies to thyroid peroxidase suggests that your thyroid gland may not be producing as much thyroid hormone as you need, which is my situation also. Even though I do not have antibodies, underproduction is underproduction. Most of what is true for you is true for me, too, and vice versa. That means that you can take heart in my report that yes, a person definitely can feel better after treatment is started and usually does. It can take longer than some of us wish it would, which is all the more reason for you to be taking action. I am very glad that apparently you are planning to do just that. Good luck, and let us know how it goes, okay?

With best wishes,
Jenny
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125112_tn?1217277462
Jenny,

I think, for many people, it requires being in another person's shoes or truly listening and envisioning what it must feel like to have so many areas within the body affected...to be empathetic. Too, it's hard to understand when you hear little from a person suffering from a thyroid condition. For example, my mother in-law told me years ago that she was hypothyroid but the only thing she complained of was her weight. I didn't know what the thyroid was, were it was located, it's role and how much it could greatly impact a person's life.

I feel like my life has been robbed. You know, yes...I do have a-lot on my plate but I know that I am not me persey. There are moments and they are very brief- that I remember a certain "feel good" feeling.  When you see that woman out-of-doors smiling, being active...and obviously feeling good and enjoying life. When I see that, for that brief moment...I remember feeling that way and of course, a moment of depression follows. An instant comparison. I feel like I am looking into life, rather than being a participant of it.

I am going to share a piece of that Journal (with url in case he wants to read it in full) to my Dr. Thank you for sharing it. I also just passed it along to my mother-in-law.

Here is the new "news": I just received a call today that it looks like my skin test is coming here much sooner than expected (next week). This would mean that my appointment with my doctor will bump up. This is what I am going to do: make an appointment with him, try to push him for an ultrasound and answers.
I was planning on going out-of-town but somebody threw a wrench into the machine. I can not believe this (why does road blocks always come my way!?) but a floor installer was here last week-end laying down vinyl. He was here for a total of 16 hours between 2 days. He stopped by here a few days ago to tell us...that he was diagnosed with having scabies! Does this mean we get it, no (and I hope not!) but from what I have read...it takes 4-6 weeks to show up. In good conscience, I can't sleep anywhere outside of my home.

I can not even come up with a speculation as to why my Dr. wants to wait 3 months for further tests. What do you think? I am wondering if he's going to be doing any kind of reading about elevated thyroglobulin antibodies. I don't know if I mentioned this but we only have 3 doctors here. He and the last one I essentially fired, own the practice.

I don't want to prolong this and a big push is coming from me, on account of it. What hurts me, is that what do they think: they know somebody has been having a real tough time and for almost 2 years. Their attitude is, "What's another 3 months?" I don't understand. I know that sounds naive.

After I clear of the scabies concern, future appoinments will occur outside of my town. Unless they are urgent (infections etc.)

Thanks again Jenny. I am very glad you are here and knowing  that you are, makes me feel better. I appreciate your kindness, willing to reach out and communicate with empathy. You chose your nickname well.

Sincerely,
~Kate


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Avatar_f_tn
Dear Kate,

Your kind words about my empathy have immensely brightened my day. Thank you very much! Your empathy is a help to me, too, though; isn't it amazing how much better it can make a person feel to see her experiences described perfectly by someone else? When you say that you feel like your life has been robbed, you are bringing my feeling to life. I once read the comment "My emotions are not my own," made by someone with hypothyroidism. I doubt that she meant she could not control the way she expressed (or did not express) her emotions. She probably meant that she no longer recognizes her emotions as characteristic of her. The "neuropsychiatric effects of hypothyroidism," as I saw them termed, are something to reckon with. I used to stay on such an even keel emotionally.

Now, I have the very same feeling that you do about knowing that you are not yourself. On the outside, the world is seeing the same old Jenny, I think, but I am conscious of keeping a "same old Jenny" outward shell in place while I wait for the right medication regimen to be found that will give me back to myself again. I, too, have moments when I see someone who obviously is enjoying life, and it sends me into a brief nosedive of depression, because I can remember what it felt like to be that way. Some days are better than others, but it is almost worse to have a really good day that is followed by a bad day than it would be to have my days be consistently bad.

Until my hypothyroidism began to make its presence known, I do not think I heard anyone describe the condition. You are right; you need to hear about it in detail and also really think about what you are hearing in order to understand. This forum is invaluable for being a place where you can come and express your feelings, knowing that everyone who reads your comments will KNOW that you are not simply being a whiner.

That includes the times when you have a difficulty that is piled on top of your thyroid problem, and you start to wonder just how much one person can endure. I am SO sorry to hear about your exposure to scabies!! Talk about having a wrench thrown into the machine; wow! It is the last thing in the world you need, I know.

In regard to your local situation with doctors: You did mention having only two of them on your tiny island. When I read your description of where you live and what it means in regard to medical care, the thought crossed my mind that many people probably think "paradise" if they hear about where you live, not stopping to think that paradise can have its drawbacks.

I am so sorry that medically, you are stuck with the local situation you have. As for why your physician suggested waiting three months, the pessimist/cynic in me thinks that he was drawing on a guideline he learned long ago for a good interval before retesting someone's thyroid functioning. I would like to be wrong about him and think that maybe he wants some time in which to brush up on what he knows about thyroid problems, but his having handed you a diagnosis of hypochondria brings out the pessimist/cynic in me again.

I do not understand either how physicians can be so heartless. You are right; for some of them, it seems so easy to tell a patient to wait awhile without their even beginning to think about what the situation is like for a patient who has been suffering for many, many months already. I am hoping fervently that when you are past the scabies risk period and can see the internist who practices in your home town, he will be compassionate enough to offset some of the pain caused by your current doctor. Having had an experience or two myself with a heartless doctor, it is difficult not to have a mean-spirited hope that someone like that will bump up against someone else's heartless attitude at some time in the near future.

Oh, shucks, let me be honest and say that it is impossible for me not to have that mean-spirited hope at times. It is rotten thoughts like that, along with humor of any and every kind, that keep most of us going as we pursue a return to the person we used to be. Then having kind and caring people who are willing to reach out makes a huge difference, too. I am every bit as glad that you are "out there" as you are glad to have me. Take care...or at least as much as you can, under the circumstances!

Sending you an e-hug,
Jenny
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