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Avatar universal

Symptoms related to thyroid? Post RAI.

I am a 44 y/o male who until the past two years had a fairly unremarkable medical history. In the July 2006 I underwent a thyroidectomy/parathryoidectomy. Cancer of the thyroid was diagnosed at the time of surgery.

In Fall 2006 I underwent treatment for thyroid cancer that included the typical RAI. From late 2006 until approx. May 2007 I went through a period of having my thyroid medicine adjusted until the lab levels returned to a normal range. I have been taking Levoxyl 175 mcg since May 2007 and continue to do so.

At that point (May/June 2007) I did feel better (or so I thought) and was able to resume my prior activities. However, I continued to experience periodic bouts of illness, such as colds and stomach bugs. In hindsight, I don't believe I ever returned to my baseline level of functioning.

Around December '07 I began to feel fatigued to a point that I simply didn't feel I had the energy to do just about anything. My PCP thought I may have depression which also sounded reasonable to me at the time given my symptoms. I was placed on Lexapro at the 12/07 which didn't do much and about a month or so later added Wellbutrin which gave me a brief spike in energy but didn't last.

Because I my symptoms had not really improved on the psyche meds I contacted my endocrinologist's office and they ordered lab work to check my thyroid levels which came back in the high end of the normal range. As it didn't appear it was my thyroid causing my current symptoms I returned to my PCP in February '08 to discuss the matter. He continued to believe it was likely depression. He recommended that I consider a referall to a local behavorial health clinic for more in depth assessment. I did do this since I wanted to get my life back under control and if it was depression I was experiencing I wanted to make sure I was managing/treating it appropriately.

After 3 visits (1 hr each) with a mental health counselor and another 1 hour visit with a pharmacolgist their opinion is that I am not suffering from depression and recommended further workup for Lyme and other autoimmune disordrs. I should note that in mid-March I weaned off both the Lexapro and Wellbutrin as my symptoms (described below) kept getting progresssivly worse and I thought it maybe a reaction to the meds. This doesn't appear to be the case since I still feel the same.

I returned to my PCP's office this week (he has since retued) and my labs were taken to check for Lyme, etc. I should have those results back next week. However, even thoguh I brought in a type written summary of what I've been expereincing the doc barely glanced at this and raised the spector of depression AGAIN. This is completely frustrating and wearing on me and by reading some of the posts here on this site and others, it seems like a familiar experience of many.

Anyways, now that I got some background out of the way here are my symptoms:

1) Fatigue-- I am sleeping soundly at night--in fact I sleep great; however, I wake feeling tired or exhausted almost immediately, like I haven't slept. In the past 2 weeks I have managed to make my way through work but I'm exhausted wehen I get home. One week in March I was completely out of work due to fatigue. I describe myself as a 'cat' as I'm sleeping most of the time if I can. If I'm home and not working I'll wake around 8AM, return to bed after noon and typically sleep for another 2-3 hrs. I like to be in bed betwen 8:30-10PM.

2) I have a constant pressure type sensation/headache that is localized in the forehead above my right eye. This is more aggravating from a sensation perspective than actually hurting like a migraine headache but at times it is midly painful. I also would describe this as my head feeling 'heavy' and at times it feels like someone has my head gripped in the palm of their hand with pressure being exerted on both sides of my head as well as the forehead region.

3) My face above my nose to my forehead feels flush/warm with a tingling sensation (like little pin pricks). This also a constant feeling but more aggravating than painful.

4) On a daily basis by mid morning my eyes begin to feel like they are burning (feels like your eyes might if you're sleep deprived). This feeling seems to diminish somewhat if I have the opportunity to sleep in the afternoon. I also seems somewhat better in the vening which makes me wonder if I have sopme type of photophobia going on.

5) I am having progressive difficulty with word recall, word recognition, spelling, and sentence structure. It seems like I've completely forgotten at times how to write or find the words I'm looking for---it's a bizarre experience. I'm also experiencing memory difficulties and concentration issues.

6) I feel light headed, almost off balance at times. If I move my head from side to side it almoist feels like there is a counter weight inside of my head movng back and forth throwing me off balance. This symptom has also been constantly present. My head feels like it's filled with cotton balls and I lack clarity to focus. The following is really hard to describe but I also get an electric shock type sensation that moves down my arms or into my trunk area with head movement.

Seeking opinion on above. Have annual endo visit 05/13/08.

Thank you.
8 Responses
213044 tn?1236531060
It sounds to me like you are Hypothyroid and are also having problems with your calcium levels.

When you say your thyroid levels were in the high end of normal, are you talking about your T4 or your TSH?
Avatar universal
It was TSH. I do take a calcium tablet daily. My endo wasn't concerned with the results so suggested continued follow-up with PCP. I was informed of this via his RN since I could not get an appt. to see him (just lab work was done). My annual appt. is in a month so I will discuss everything that has been going on over the past several months.        
213044 tn?1236531060
A high "normal" TSH will give you symptoms of Hypothroid.

The tingling and nerve sensations are probably calcium related. There has to be just the right balance betweem calcium and magnesium? or manganese?, or mangos (I forget) in order for calcium absorbtion to take place properly.

Your TSH should be around 1.0 or 1.5.
3.0 and above is not acceptable, regardless of what the lab says.
Avatar universal
I'm sure this will all be discuseed at my upcoming appt. I'm just extremely frustrated that once 'one' enters the medical realm of subjective symptoms when labs that have been done are 'normal' it's very easy for the clinician to focus on mental illness being the cause.      
213044 tn?1236531060
That's the truth.

You should hear the stories the girls tell. Most of them have been called crazy and handed anti-depressants.

My first GP tried to put me on anti-depressants before he finally got around to checking my thyroid. He told me I was depressed. After I went home and read about the drug, I took the free samples and the perscription back to him.

I told him I didn't feel THAT depressed. A few months later he ran bloodtests and Walla, I had Hypothyroidism.

But it only happened once. Some of these people get that treatment from every new doctor they go to.
393685 tn?1425816122

Yeap that is one word the doctor's have as a "catch all" for Dx's

Yeap - I got the crazy notes on me since I got ill. Right AR??

Now after 6 years of he// I don't give a rip if they think I'm nuts. In fact they treat me a little precautiously now LOL

Keep on them and get thos labs down as AR said - you with a TT should be lower on the charts anyway - around a .3 and more more than a 1.0.

Good Luck
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