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Thyroid Diseases

Are My Symptoms Related to My Thyroid?

03/20/2007

Question:

On October 3rd, my tsh level was 4.66, free t4 .98 and free t3 2.5. But then on November 27th, my tsh was 2.35 and no changes to the free t4 and free t3. My anti thyroid peroxidase was 34 with a note stating that the assay detects anti-TPO antibodies.

I have had symptoms such as tingling and numbness in hands and feet, intolerance to cold, anxiety attacks, decreased menses, muscular pain, fatigue, blurred vision. The other symptom that I have been having is a rapid heart rate which I know is not related to hypothyroidism; instead hyperthyroidism. I have had stress tests, echos, lab work which has all turned out negative. The only thing that showed up on my lab work was decreased lymphocytes and increased neutrophils. I just wish someone could figure out what is going on with me. My mom and grandfather both have thyroid disorders. Could all of my symptoms be caused by my thyroid?

Answer:

Your symptoms are not being caused by your thyroid. Both of your TSH levels are within normal limits - the fact that it was 4.66 one day and 2.35 on another day is not significant. Measuring a TSH level is like asking your own pituitary gland whether it thinks you are getting the right amount of thyroid hormone or not. It this case, your pituitary gland is assuring us that you have the right amount of thyroid hormone in your blood stream.

You need to work closely (and probably for a long time) with a good primary care physician to sort out why you are having all of these symptoms. I really don't think treating your thyroid will make any difference in how you feel.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University