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Thyroid Diseases

Irregular TSH Test

03/24/2009

Question:

Around June I began having problems with my heart racing (~171 bpm). This happened on several occasions. After my 3rd hospital visit I was told that my TSH levels were high. On top of that I have had bad stomach pain around my liver area and my throat spasms almost everyday,and insomnia. I have been taking protonix for GERD, Zertek and Nasonex. Long story short no one knows what wrong. I continue on a day to day basis like this and I haven`t slept in weeks. Do you have any advice as to who else I can see?

Answer:

If your TSH is high, that means that the thyroid hormone levels in your blood are low (the TSH runs opposite to the thyroid hormone level). If the thyroid hormone level is very low, you could get symptoms of hypothyroidism - weight gain, sleepiness, feeling cold, constipation, dry skin, muscle aches, hoarseness. If your thyroid level is only a little bit low then it might not give you any symptoms at all.

You need to have a test called a "free T4" to see how low the thyroid levels are in your blood. However, even severe hypothyroidism would not cause a racing heart (that would be caused by too much thyroid hormone, not too little), stomach pain, throat spasms, or insomnia, so I'm afraid that the abnormal TSH probably doesn't have anything to do with the way you are feeling.

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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