I am having hypothyroid like symptoms, such as hair falling out/breaking/thinning, being very cold, brain fog, dry skin/eyes, easily fatigued, inner ear itching, impaired memory, never feeling rested, some elevation of total and LDL cholesterols despite working very hard to lose weight (but with normal Tri's and good HDL), brittle/ridged nails, etc. These symptoms have been especially bad for the last year or so, but have appeared on and off for close to 10 years.
I have lost about 25lbs over the last year, but that was through calorie counting and weighing all my foods down to the gram. I gain weight very easily and lose very slowly, and with great effort.
The only other medical issues I have are Raynauds and osteoarthritis. The Raynauds has gotten worse in my hands and feet, but the coldness I've been feeling is now in my entire body....it just feels different from the Raynauds, which I've had since my 20's. I simply cannot keep warm.
I also have noticed some swelling/hard area on my left side of my thyroid, as well as at the midline, about the size of a nickel, when I touch that area of my neck. I can see it when I swallow, or with my head flexed backwards, but otherwise I don't think it's visible. This is a fairly new development within the last two months.
Around the time I found this swelling that my voice often becomes hoarse/strained, and I now have a slight cough with a feeling of discomfort when swallowing. For example, pills now keep getting caught in my throat often. Even liquids feel like they get trapped, as in residuals of liquids often slowly drip down my throat after I've swallowed the major portion of the liquid.
I decided to have some lab work done, as I'm a disabled veteran and the VA is quite hesitant to prescribe the thyroid and iron panels that I have seen recommended on various boards without something being out of range first. The VA strictly uses TSH, until it goes off the charts low or high. My TSH results have, over the years ranged from .86 to 2.91, on a scale of .4-4.6. Iron is usually on the low end, but just above borderline, so no further tests with them.
I have never had any symptoms of hyperthyroid, but many of hypothyroid. All my thyroid results look reasonable to me, but I still feel horrible. The iron panel I don't understand at all.
Additionally, I have a history of low vitamin D (below 10 twice, and at 31 last year (Range of 32-100) but the VA said to wait till next appointment to test it again. I'll have that tested at my next appointment in a few months. It is likely too low, again, so that may be partially responsible or contribute to for how bad I feel at present. However, getting my levels up never really made me feel much better....the other symptoms persisted.
As an aside, I was briefly on generic Synthroid five years ago, from the VA, at a low dose of 25mcg when my TSH was 2.91, but that only lasted one year. When my TSH went back down to 1.3, the thyroid meds were taken away. Again, they would not test T3 or T4, neither totals nor frees, so I have never known where I am on the spectrum, even when I was treated for hypo at that time.
Here are my current results:
TSH: .941 Range: .450-4.500
FT4: 1.23 Range: .82-1.77
FT3: 3.1 Range: 2.0-4.4
Thyroglobulin Antibody: 0 Range: 0.0-0.9
TPO: 8 Range: 0-34
Ferritin: 115 Range: 15-150
Iron: 47 Range: 27-159
TIBC: 272 Range: 250-450
UIBC: 225 Range: 131-425
Iron Saturation: 17 Range: 15-55
So, I guess my question is what does this all mean? Do I appear anemic or could my thyroid numbers be off due to estradiol and medroxyprogesterone in the last year? (I'm obviously perimenopausal at 49, but no menstrual cycle due to having Novasure procedure for heaving bleeding and multiple ovarian cysts 7 years ago). I was thinking possible Hashi's, but the antibodies don't indicate it either.
Thanks in advance and sorry this was so long. I'm just a bit confused as to what's going on and don't believe it's all just "normal" or worse, "in my head". So, I wanted to get the board's thoughts. Maybe from that point I can do some additional research or maybe seek an outside doctor's opinion, if necessary.
I do have additional blood test levels over the past few years for TSH, cholesterols, serum calcium, general panels etc. If anyone thinks they are relevant/needed, I'd be happy to add them.