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Can hypothyroidism symptoms suddenly stop?

Last October, I had a TSH of 3.41 and felt absolutely terrible. I had all of the classic symptoms of hypo and my doctor begrudgingly admitted that I was subclinical, but she wasn't going to do anything about it.

My next blood draw showed a TSH of 2.13, and I was still feeling awful. My hair is so thin now, I've put on a lot of weight and can't lose it despite really low calorie diets. Can't exercise anymore.

Now, all of a sudden, most of my symptoms have stopped. My mind is still foggy and my hair is falling out but I keep gaining/losing the same 5 pounds (lost 3 pounds, gained 2 the next day, lost 1 today) every day without any changes to my diet or exercise. My skin isn't as a dry. My nostrils aren't as dry either.

I actually feel like I'm swinging a bit hyperthyroid right now, maybe. My heart isn't racing but I'm getting anxious more often than normal, waking up with my mind going a mile a minute, but that's it. The anxiety is definitely not normal for me though. Still having mood swings, too. I can exercise a little better but it still REALLY wears me out. I keep getting pains in my shoulder joints too, and my ankle joint keeps locking up like it has for months. Still have a low pain tolerance and am bruising easily too.

I've been chasing doctors for months to do all of the proper tests on me, and I've been holding off on trying to have a baby because of all of this but if the symptoms are stopping, does that mean I'm no longer hypothyroid and should stop begging to be tested? Or are my symptoms going to come back?

I've read that if you have Hashimoto's, you can swing back and forth between hypo and hyper. My TPOaB came back normal when I was checked, but I don't know what my FT3, T3, TGaB, etc. are. Just TSH, TPOaB, and FT4 were checked, and they were all normal.

Please help me. No one is giving me any answers and looking it up online isn't showing me anything either.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
What was your Free T4 value when you have tested TSH?

Free T4 and TSH test can give an overall idea of your thyroid conditions. So its very crucial you insist doctor to check these together. Also if you are currently on a thyroid hormone pill then need to stop taking it at least for 24 hrs before blood draw to get accurate Free T4 value.

Looking at weights, moods, heart pulses all can't infer whether its normal, hypo or hyper as in all three these can occur so its vital you do the Free T4 and TSH test to rule out if its due to thyroid problems.

Also its worth to check Vitamin D levels too as most of the people who have thyroid related problems are deficient in this and again don't expect doctors to know everything and if they not ready to test it do it yourself in a private lab or find another doctor.
When my TSH was 3.41 my free T4 was 1.3.
Avatar universal
Do Free T4 and TSH together and post the results here with included reference range.

Also do Vitamin D and Ferritin blood tests as deficiencies in these too can give hypothyroidism like symptoms.
I tried to get a test for several of my vitamins including D and Ferritin and my last doctor didn't even acknowledge the request. I'll be trying again at my next appointment.
It sounds like you need to find a new doctor that's willing to test, both, Free T4 and Free T3, along with the TgAb and order other tests, as needed.

What was the reference range for the Free T4 result you posted above?  Ranges vary from lab to lab and have to come from your own report for the best comparison.

If your doctor continues to refuse adequate testing, we can tell you how to get testing without a doctor's order, at a reasonable price, but it won't be covered by insurance. Sometimes, if you go into the doctor's office with labs in hand, proving that have an issue, they will change their tune.  

You're right that some people with Hashimoto's can swing from hyper to hypo and even have periods of normal, before they go permanently hypo.  I wouldn't try to get pregnant, until you've completely ruled out Hashimoto's, because thyroid hormones are essential to the growth and development of a fetus. It's necessary to know exactly what's going on before you get pregnant and make sure your doctor is willing to test your thyroid hormone levels (Free T4 and Free T3) monthly during pregnancy to make sure you're producing adequately supply both yourself and a baby who would be completely dependent on your hormones for the first 12-16 weeks until its own thyroid is developed enough to produce hormones.  Even after that, it may not produce enough on its own.
Thank you for responding.

Unfortunately, I have no range for my Free T4 nor my TPOaB. None are on the paperwork and they didn't tell me.

I've got an appointment with an ENT for swollen lymph nodes and pains in my neck next week, and I'm seeing a new PCP at the end of March. Part of the problem is these long waits to see new doctors are making me anxious, because I get frustrated feeling so terrible and just want to know what's wrong. They're also preventing me from trying to get pregnant, which makes me angry, because everything is waiting on these appointments set months in the future.

Well, with swinging from hyper to hypo, how fast does that happen? Is it overnight, or a gradual change over months? Mine seemed to change over a few days. And a lot of my symptoms are gone or lessened while new ones are here. I'm getting out of breath more, more headaches and muscle tension, and more anxiety than I've had in months.

The PCP, Endo, and Gyno I talked to all said it was fine to get pregnant right now, but my gut was telling me not to. I'm going to keep trusting my instincts and not try right now. Thank you for making me feel a little less crazy with that.
I meant to say swinging from hypo to hyper, rather than the other way around.

It's also worth noting that my weight is fluctuating like CRAZY right now. No change in eating habits or exercising and I keep gaining 3 pounds in a day, then losing 1-2 the next day, then wake up having lost weight only to gain 2 pounds within a few hours. My body has never done this, and my weight has never fluctuated so rapidly.

Also, with the labs, it's going to be really hard to afford that but if I'm out of options, that's what I'll have to try when I can eventually afford it.
No, you're not crazy, at all.  Don't let anyone try to convince you that you are.  You're right to follow your instincts.  Getting pregnant when your thyroid hormone levels aren't optimal can set you up for miscarriage, or other problems.  

It's different for all of us, the switch from hyper to hypo and back can go quickly or it can take a while.  I used to have them, too, only I didn't know that's what it was, at the time.  My hypo episodes usually lasted a few months, but when I started swinging back to normal or hyper, it didn't take long - my weight would drop like a rock.  

I know it's frustrating to wait several months for a doctor's appointment, but that's typically what it takes for good doctors (sometimes even for bad doctors).  

Your anxiety could be caused, partially, by your frustration of having to wait and not knowing what's going on.

Weight fluctuating on a daily basis is normal - that can depend on what you've eaten (even if you're eating the same calories), the exercise you got the day before, how much fluid you're retaining, whether or not you had bowel movements, etc.  It's okay to weigh every day, but instead of thinking of it, in terms of daily weight, average it over a week or so and see how it works out. My own weight, often, fluctuates by 2-3 lbs/day.  

I know it seems easy for me to say, but try to have patience until your doctor's appointment.  Just know that by waiting to get pregnant until you're in the best of health you will be doing what's best for yourself and your baby.
Thank you again.

I'm now feeling absolutely terrible. I feel like I'm on speed or something. Really anxious off and on and jittery. I also don't have a ton of energy, but I'm staying up a lot longer than normal with no issues. Like I don't have a desire to sleep even though I'm tired (but not like I was when I was hypo).

The anxiety isn't out of frustration. It's coming on at very random times, even when I'm out having a good time and not thinking about it.

My weight, however, isn't dropping. It's dipping lower than it's been in a while and the next day climbing back. I'm starting to lose my desire to eat, too.

I will have patience. My husband approached me on Valentine's Day about trying that night, and I had to turn him down.

But that did give me the idea to tell the doctor that we're actively trying, and I could be pregnant. It could hopefully spur them into action more than if I wasn't. I will also be telling them that hypothyroidism runs rampant in my family, which isn't confirmed, but I strongly suspect it anyways.
I'm sorry you're starting to feel worse; that could be a result of changing thyroid hormone levels, changing adrenal levels or feelings of anxiety.  

Unfortunately, anxiety can be a factor, even when we don't "feel" anxious or aren't consciously thinking about our problem; the problem is always there whether we realize it or not.  I'm not saying that's entirely what's going on, just that we need to realize how much of an effect anxiety can really have.  I kept saying that anxiety wasn't my problem, either, but it was.

Anxiety "is" also a thyroid symptom.  It can apply to either/both, hyper or hypo.

Inability to lose weight can, definitely, be a thyroid issue also, though if you were hyper, you'd most likely be losing, though not everyone who is hyper loses weight.

While I understand what you're saying about weight fluctuation, it's important not to put too much confidence in daily weight measurements.  My weight can change by 2-4 lbs, sometimes more over the course, of a day... for instance, this morning, I weighed 141 lbs and by tonight, I'll weigh, at least 143 and maybe 145, but I probably won't eat more than 600-700 calories all day and it takes more than that just to stay alive.  That 2-4 lbs I gain over the day will be retained fluid, stomach contents, etc and most likely, by tomorrow morning, I'll be back down to this morning's level of 141 again.   I record my daily weights, then average them over the course, of the week and consider that my weight for the week.  Or you can take your weight at the beginning of the week and at the end of the week and if you're higher at the end, you gained and if you're lower, you lost.  

What I'm trying to say is that the weight you lose/gain on a daily basis is not all "fat" loss/gain, since 1 lb of fat is equal to 3500 calories.  That means you'd have to eat 3500 extra calories/day to gain 1 lb of fat or eat 3500 less calories/day to lose 1 lb of fat, so our fat content doesn't fluctuate that much on a daily basis, but our fluid and stomach content can.

There's also such a thing as not eating enough calories.

Insulin resistance is another possibility as far as inability to lose weight.

It "is" important for your doctors to know  if thyroid conditions run in your family, because that would make it more likely for you to get one.

If your doctors won't do further thyroid testing, soon, I'd suggest that you find a new doctor.
Avatar universal
I'm not sure if this will be seen anymore, but I have an update.

I ended up going to the ER with a racing heart and left arm pain and difficulty breathing. Everyone thought I was dealing with hyperthyroid and kept asking if I'd been tested.

They tested my TSH, which came back at 2.82. I don't have a range for this one unfortunately.

The next day I'd already had an appointment with an ENT scheduled, so I talked to him and he agreed to run a few tests for me.

My blood was drawn 2 days after I went to the ER, and these are my results:

TSH: 1.54 (.4 - 4.2)
FT4: 1.2 (0.8 - 1.7)
TPOAb: <5 (0 - 5)
T3: 122 (87 - 187)

So everything looks normal here, right?

Is it normal that my TSH fluctuated so much in just two days?

And since these tests came back normal, I'm wondering if I've had hypothyroidism at all this whole time. Even though my initial TSH was 3.41, maybe I don't have it after all?

Should I order my own labs for a total, full thyroid panel, or, since these results are normal, should I just drop it and assume I don't have hypothyroidism and start looking into it being something else?

And since my TSH is fluctuating so much, and it was 3.41 last October, is it safe for me to TTC right now or not?
No, I'm sorry - everything there doesn't look "normal"... Your Free T4 drawn at the ENT is still less than mid range, at only 44%, so it's not optimal, even if your TSH looks pristine.  On top of that, they ran Total T3, not Free T3 and the result is only 35% of the range, which is dismal and indicates that Free T3 would be totally inadequate, if you could ever get anyone to do it again... Free T3 should always be higher in its range than Free T4 in its range.

You've had 2 TPOab tests done, but have yet to have a TgAb test and as I mentioned previously, they're both markers for Hashimoto's, so until you have the TgAb test, you can't rule out Hashimoto's.

As for your TSH fluctuating - TSH can fluctuate as much as 75% over the course of a single day and it's affected by a lot of things besides thyroid hormones, so yes, it normal for it to fluctuate that much in a couple of days.  
TSH is, typically, higher in the morning, but not always.

Personally, if it were me, I'd want to make sure my body was in the best condition I could make it in order to carry a fetus.  I wouldn't consider TTC until Hashimoto's and hypothyroidism had been completely ruled out or confirmed.  That means testing, both TPOab and TgAb and doing a thyroid ultrasound to test for nodules and characteristics that indicate Hashimoto's, since some people are diagnosed with Hashimoto's without antibodies.

I would also insist that Free T4 and Free T3 (NOT Total T4 or Total T3) be tested, at least a couple of times a few weeks apart and all results be mid range or higher.  So far, you haven't had any Free T4 or Free T3 results that are optimal.

You also haven't gotten Vitamin B-12, D or ferritin tested, that I can see, so I'd strongly suggest that you get those done.  Ferritin is necessary for the conversion of Free T4 to the usable Free T3 and since your Free T4 is close to mid range, but your T3 is low in the range, that's certainly something to be considered.  Vitamin B-12 and D deficiencies can cause some hypo-like symptoms, and make you not feel well.  You'll need to feel your best during a pregnancy, so those levels need to be optimal (not just "in range") also.

Your doctors may tell you it's perfectly okay to go ahead and TTC, now, but they're ignoring the possibility of secondary/central hypothyroidism because you have low TSH.  No matter the cause of hypothyroidism, it can be detrimental for a fetus, because you have to provide adequate thyroid hormones. Of course, this is just "my" opinion.  
Thanks for all of your help. I keep getting jumpy about my results, thinking they mean I'm fine because I'm afraid to blow this out of proportion if nothing is wrong with me.

The ENT told me he would be testing TgAb but he didn't for some reason.

I'm going to order my own tests.

As far as B-12, D, and Ferritin, are those easy to get ordered by a doctor if I request them, or would I be better off ordering it myself, you think? Especially since I'm sure the doctor will only consider my TSH. I ask just because of how expensive the tests are for those.

Also, while we can't rule out Hashi's yet with that the TgAb test, based on my current results, would that mean I'm hypo, or no?

Thanks again for helping me. I really, really appreciate it.
It's not Hashi's that determines whether you're hypo or not; nor is it the level of TSH... it's the levels of actual thyroid hormones, Free T4 and Free T3, along with symptoms that determine whether or not you're hypo or hyper. Having Hashimoto's just tells you that if you aren't hypo now, you probably will be eventually, because the antibodies attack and destroy thyroid tissue, so, at some point, there will no longer be enough healthy thyroid tissue to be able to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones.

I understand how badly you want everything to be "normal" and that you want to TTC "now", but and I also understand that doctors are quick to accuse patients of blowing things out of proportion if results are within reference ranges; however, if you have any symptoms of a thyroid condition and since your Free T4 and Total T3 are not optimal, I, personally, would consider you hypo... If you weren't getting ready to TTC I wouldn't think it as important, since you don't have severe symptoms, but it's critical that you make sure there's adequate thyroid hormones for a fetus, or you risk miscarriage or birth defects.

Some doctors are quite willing to order B-12, D and ferritin upon request, others not so much.  It all depends on the doctors and considering that none of your doctors have ordered the Free T3 if you've requested it, I'd have to wonder how willing they might be to order the other tests, as well.

There's a website from which I've ordered labs before and you can get a full thyroid panel (TSH, Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, TPOab and TgAb) for $175 and for $190, you can get a nutrition panel that includes vitamin B-12 with folate (good for pregnancy), vitamin D, ferritin, magnesium and couple things you don't really need, but are good to have and it's cheaper to do the panel than individual tests.  That's a total of $360, whereas you'd pay well over $1000 out of pocket if you just went to the lab to get them...  You order online and have the blood drawn at a nationally recognized lab. In a couple of days, you get the results all at once and you have everything you need, without arguing with a doctor for it.  I'm not trying to push you into anything. If your doctor will order the tests so insurance can pay for it, that would be much better. It can't hurt to ask.  I just want you to know there are options.
Thank you once again. It's not so much that I'm desperate for normal results, I just want a concrete answer. If I'm hypo, that's fine. I just want to know, you know? I can wait to have a baby for all of this to be normal, but at this point I can't find enough answers to be able to determine whether it's safe to go ahead with it or not, and doctors are no help at all.

What would constitute severe hypo symptoms? Up until recently, I had practically all of them. Now I still have a lot of them, and others have been replaced with hyper symptoms. My insomnia is insane right now. I'm on 2 hours of sleep at the moment because my body decided to wake me up. Some of my symptoms are constantly shifting, getting better for a few days then getting bad again.

Could I please get the website you use? The one I was going to use had those tests more expensive than $360.

I'm going to try to go ahead and get all of the tests, just so I can finally put this to rest in my mind one way or another.
The frustrating thing about thyroid is that it's not always concrete and I really shouldn't have used the term "severe" because symptoms don't really have to be severe to be considered hypo...

Another thing to keep in mind is that many symptoms can cross over i.e. apply to either/both hyper or hypo.  For instance, not sleeping - there would be nights during my most hypo period when I wouldn't be able to sleep a wink, but I'd be SO tired. Or I'd go to sleep, but couldn't stay asleep and once I woke up, I'd not be able to go back to sleep and it wasn't because I was rested, either... I had horrible heart palpitations, rapid pounding heart beats, etc and those are, typically, considered hyper, but I  was anything but hyper... Anxiety and fatigue are a couple of others that apply to either/both.  I also had very low heart rate, which is a hypo symptom.

Some of these symptoms can also apply to the vitamin deficiencies we've talked about.

That's why testing, both, Free T3 and Free T4 is SO important, because if the actual thyroid hormone levels are not too high, you're not hyper, no matter what your TSH is.  

I'll message you a link to the site and the tests I quoted the prices for...
Thank you for all of your help. I got my tests results back today.

B12: 903 (211-946 pg/ml)

Folate (Folic Acid_ 19.1 (>3.0 ng/ml)

Iron Bind.Cap.(TIBC) 352 (250-450 ug/dl

UIBC 290 (131-425 ug/dl)

Iron Saturation 18 (15-55%)

Ferritin 45 (15-150ng/ml)

TPOAb 7 (0-34 iu/ml)

TGAb <1.0 (0.0-0.9 iu/ml)

RT3 18.3 (9.24-24.1 ng/dl)

TSH 2.85 (0.450-4.500)

FT3 3.1 (2.0-4.4 pg/ml)

FT4 1.15 (0.82-1.77 ng/dl)

LDL Cholesterol 127 (0-99)

Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy  23.5 (30-100.0 ng/ml)

I know my LDL is high and my Vitamin D is low, but are the thyroid tests okay?
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