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Readers Respond: Your Top Thyroid Signs and Symptoms

Responses: 484


Updated April 28, 2011


I guess I got the luck of the draw with my current doctor. She caught my hypothyroid and then some. She is caring and she listens. I am lucky.
—Guest Jo


My symptom was difficulty swallowing which turned out to be a swollen thyroid. I also found this symptom checklist to be helpful: http://www.womentowomen.com/assessments/thyroidhealth/default.aspx
—Guest jacqueline

Euthyroid Hashimotos

I had symptoms of cold intolerance, fatigue, dizziness, Hypoglycemic spells, mood swings, anxiety, swollen thyroid. My doctor told me, and still believes, it is menopause. I'm 43 so it could be the very beginning of it, but all my symptoms pointed to Hashimoto's. The doctor did TSH tests and came back normal, said it wasn't my thyroid, it's normal. I did my own research. Found I needed the antibody test. Got my doctor to do it. Came back with elevated antibodies which means Hashimoto's. Also, my mother was diagnosed with Hashimoto's last year and it is hereditary. My endocrinologist has me coming in for lab tests every 3 months now, with an ultra sound every six months. She will not give me any medications stating it will cause me to be hyperthyroid. So I have to live with the horrible symptoms, that keep accumulating, until my TSH levels are abnormal.
—Guest Sherrie G

Over or Under?

For 9 years I was under-medicated and misdiagnosed as well. Even though I'd told this doctor that my mother had Hashimoto's disease, he said I only needed a small dose of thyroid hormone. Over time he increased it, but just when I began to feel a bit better (I was so ill, weak, digestive problems, huge hives, etc) he would reduce my dosage, then imply that it was all in my head. After finding another doctor, his first question was, "Have you ever been tested for Hashimoto's or Lupus?" He had me tested immediately, and sure enough, I had so many antibodies that I in effect had no thyroid. After a week on an increased dose, to keep my TSH very low ( 0.047) my huge hives disappeared along with my other symptoms, and my energy level improved. This doctor is an internist and studied in Holland, where thyroid problems are taken seriously during medical training. I have always taken natural pig thyroid prepared at a compounding pharmacy, and continued to do so, only now at the correct dosage.
—Guest Carole Estrup


My latest blood test returned with a TSH level of 102 and you think 5 is bad. :(
—Guest ian

Became Very Ill

I was hyperthyroid. I had Grave's disease and I had a goiter on both sides. I lost so much weight and was tired. My heart rate was always high and my hands always shook. So, I had a partial throidectomy. Well, my surgeon said it would take at least 15 years if it were to come back. Well 6 months later and (16 different surgeons later) one finally said I will not touch you. We need to send you to Mayo Clinic because the goiter was so large it was rapping around my main artery. This was two years ago. Now I am going through radiation because they left something in there when I had a full thyroidectomy. I'm again so tired and so moody. I'm 27 and my thyroid has given me so many problems. My fiance and I just went through a miscarriage because of my thyroid. Why can I not get normal and live a happy life. Ugh, now im hypothyroid and I'm gaining weight then losing weight.
—Guest meghan


I have just been diagnosed as having Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and have had symptoms of both hypo and hyperthyroid for several months now. I have had symptoms such as ear pain and noises. I have had pressure and lump feeling in throat causing me to swallow excessively. I have had blurry and shaking vision at times. I have also had leg spasms, tremors in a couple of fingers along with hair loss such as eyebrows, eyelashes, scalp and pubic. I have tingling sensation in arms near elbows. I have dry skin and hair. I have had frequent periods. I have had rashes on skin at times and muscle cramps in legs and feet. I have had some tiredness and weakness.
—Guest Christine Toal

So Tired of Being So Tired, Etc...

I have been on Synthroid for 25 years and rarely feel decent. I routinely take a 2 hour nap on weekends and rarely feel better when I get up. Sometimes the brain fog is so bad it's a real struggle with a demanding and stressful job. It can be very difficult for me to remember anything and it has put my job in jeopardy. I have little faith in Western medicine. It's "medicine" merely causes adverse sypmtoms trying to cover up real health problems. The past 5 years I have gone to a Naturopathic MD in energy medicine. I get results with whatever is going on. I am next going to try reducing/getting rid of Synthroid as my thyroid has rebuilt to manage my body's needs. I have lost a lot of my life and need to get back what I can.
—Guest Katrina

Hypothyroid is a Battle!

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's hypothyroid disease when I was 7! It has been a constant battle my whole life. No matter how well I ate or how many hours I spent in the gym I was never able to have the body I wanted. I am always tired, depressed and my hands shake constantly. Sometimes it gets so bad that I can't even write. Now that I am 24, my doctor has finally put me on Armour thyroid pills. From my experience, trying every kind of thyroid medicine known, I can say that I like Armour! I have taken Armour for 3 months and it seems to be finally kicking in! It's funny though, I had a blood test scheduled and decided that I wasn't going to take my medicine for a month (which I do not recommend) and my blood tests came back normal!! If you are the same way, you may need an ultrasound done on your thyroid! Please don't give up and ask your doctor for Armour if Synthroid, Levothyronxine, etc don't work for you! It will be a constant battle, but you will feel better than not taking anything!
—Guest Natalia


I am 68 and have 224 in the blood test for thyroid antibodies and 11+ TSH. Your info discusses if TSH is normal; mine is high.
—Guest grace

Overmedicated Is No Fun

I've have Hashimoto's that has been well controlled for the last 6 years with Synthroid. I was even beginning to get a bit cocky and lax about my control over the disease. However, recently I started having some strange and scary symptoms. Jittery, shaky and nervous all the time, emotional, frequent palpitations and scary episodes of SVT with a heart rate of 200bpm and chest pains. I waited over a 2 week period before I could get tested. I was lucky to sleep 3 hours a night during that wait. Testing showed TSH as 0 (below measurable) and T3 and T4 above the normal range. The most surprising thing is how the symptoms of overmedication can sneak up on you and the confusion you feel when it's happening (if am I over or under something else is wrong). The natural tendency is just to hope that the different symptoms will just go away. The other amazing thing is that all this happened with only a slight increase in dose from 150 to 200mcg 2 months prior. Moral of the story, if in doubt, get a blood test.

My Symptoms

I have blacked out doing nothing but stretching and fell face first. It was 7am in the morning and it wasn't hot at all. I get a lot of dizzy spells throughout my day. I am in high school and I am exhausted. I sleep all the time. That is the only thing I want to do anymore. I get home and just sit, not wanting to get up. I get a lot of pains in my legs and a ton of cramps in my feet. I have a huge nodeule on my left side and this summer, after I graduate, I am getting it removed. I don't know what to do about my dizzy spells. I can't keep missing school! I am always in pain. I will walk from class to class and feel faintish because my heart is beating so fast. I have to sit down and try to calm my heart beat. Its getting worse and worse. I have thyroid cancer so all of it is getting removed. I am losing chunks of hair at a time and I know I'm not going to go bald, but it's scary. I wish I had comfort.
—Guest Alyssa

Discomforts And Pains, I Just Need Them!

I was diagnosed with toxic goiter 5 years or more ago. My results are fluctuating. I always feel pains on my lower extremities and they are getting bigger. My ankles swell and I am getting heavier as time goes. My doctor said that is not filariasis/elephantiasis. I experience joint pains, muscle pains... in sort, I ache all over.
—Guest qrr

Blurred Vision and Hypothyroidism

I have had blurred vision for as long as 45 minutes after taking a shower. I think also perhaps in other situations, too, though nowhere near as long. I have Hashimoto's. I had a theory about this being connected to keeping my eyes scrunched shut for a long 10 minute shower. So today I kept my eyes open and as relaxed as possible. Bingo! No blurred vision when I got out of the shower! I am guessing this has to do with the ability of my eye muscles to adjust. It's as if the muscles of my eyes are, I don't know, "stiff" or something. I wonder if there is anything you can do to make the eye muscles more flexible.

Misuse of the Drug

Do not start therapy based on symptoms alone. I had difficulty just after menopause and was diagnosed as hypothyroid. I was started on medication by a physcian as there was no endocrinologist available about 16 years ago in my city. I developed lot of swelling (non pitting) over both feet. I can't walk 100 meters in one stretch though I used to go for a walk for about 4 km daily. Now my feet and legs are constantly aching. I cant just get off the medication now because as soon as I do my weight starts going up. I have to live with this swelling for rest of my life. My TSH always shows below .5. I am taking 1.18mg of Thyronorm. So unless you have proper signs and symptoms, I highly recommend not starting on medications. Also, keep an eye on swelling, especially over the legs.
—Guest ARUNA
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