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desperate for advice

Hi! In the throes of symptoms and a lack of diagnosis, I’d really appreciate any advice you could offer.  In February, I went to my GP with what I think are a pretty common list of symptoms: fatigue, unexplained weight gain, headaches, memory/concentration difficulty, dry eyes, moodiness/irritability, shorter periods, increased PMS.  She tested my hormones and my testosterone was low (5 in a range of 8-48), so she recommended that I see an endocrinologist.

This is where the fun begins.

The endo indicated that low testosterone in women is a good thing and isn’t the source of my problems.  She suspected PCOS and ordered her own battery of tests.  I’ll provide the abnormal results below for you (normal range in parenthesis):

Cortisol – LOW at 0.6 (6.2-19.4)
Dhea Sulfate – LOW at 32.3 (57.3-279.2)
Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy – LOW at 29.1 (30-100)

In addition, this time total testosterone was normal at 13.6 (10-55), as was free testosterone at 0.5 (0.0-4.2).  TSH was normal at 0.564 (0.45-4.5), as was Free T4 at 1.22 (0.82-1.77).  Endo is not at all concerned with any of these low tests, and ended up prescribing Metformin IN CASE I have PCOS and to help with weight loss.  Meanwhile, the actual problem has yet to be identified, and I’m left with the many other symptoms – including the six pounds I’ve gained in the past month (with no change to my daily routine whatsoever.)

I am concerned about the low DHEA – just given what I’ve read online.

I’m honestly not sure what to do next.  Do I return to my GP?  Seek out another endo?  Consult a hormone specialist despite most of my numbers coming back normal?  Any advice you can offer would be so appreciated – I’m at a loss!  At age 43, I have a long way to go and can’t bear the thought of feeling like this.

Many thanks,
Suzanne
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Avatar universal
Your symptoms sure point to being hypothyroid, but there was not enough thyroid testing done to confirm.  In the future, always make sure they test for both Free T4 and Free T3.  T3 is used by every cell of your body and Free T3 correlates best with hypo symptoms.  It is good that you were tested for Vitamin D.  You also need to test for B12 and ferritin.  Deficiency in these can cause symptoms that mimic hypothyroidism.  D should be about 55, B12 in the upper end of its range, and ferritin should be about 70.  It would also be a good idea to test for Reverse T3 to rule that out or in as a problem.  

At present the most important thing is to get your cortisol, Vitamin D  and DHEA-S levels optimized.  You need raise your cortisol even before starting thyroid med (assuming that the further tests confirm hypothyroidism).  So what has the doctor prescribed for the cortisol, DHEA-S, and Vitamin D deficiencies?  Can you get the additional tests done?
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Avatar universal
Hi suz
Check out selenium for thyroiditis. Get a pharmaceutical-grade, organic high-selenium yeast so you are not wasting your money. Lots of great clinical trials on selenium have shown a 21-40% reduction in antibody levels after L-selenomethionine supplementation with up to 1/4 of patients normalizing their antibody levels. (Omer Tuker et al., Dr. Gartner et al. and Dr. Mazokopakis et al.).Research on thyroiditis and L-selenomethionine from an organic high-selenium yeast have shown benefits to thyroidits and metabolism. Selenium is essential in the conversion of of T4 to T3, so without any measure of both levels, you could still have a hidden problem. Best of luck to you. Here is an easy-to-understand read on the thyroid, selenium and iodine. http://healthandscience.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=738:selenium-and-iodine-make-a-strong-team-but-are-you-getting-enough-us&catid=20&lang=us&Itemid=374
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