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Readers Respond: Your Top Thyroid Signs and Symptoms

Responses: 484

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Updated April 28, 2011

Tired, Tired, Tired!

I had a total thyroidectomy in 2008. My thyroid was actually working before then without medication. Since then, my worst symptom is my extreme tiredness and my levels are in the hyperactive range! My sex drive is also low and my nails and hair are brittle. The strangest symptom is the loss of hair color. I dye it blonde just to hide all the white hair, but all of my new growth is white - everywhere! The loss of my eyebrows came on in my teens, and I'm in my late 40's now. I'm very sensitive about it, so I pencil it in. I can fix the nails with fake nails, but why can't they make fake eyebrows!? LOL!
—Guest Nancy

Sailing on the Same Boat!

I totally agree with all the symptoms described here, but for me the worst symptom is infertility that comes with being hypothyroid. Thank God I'm on medication (levothyroxine 88 mcg) now and hope that will change my situation. I had an early miscarriage last year when my thyroid was untreated, so hopefully everything will work out fine this time (fingers crossed).
—Guest hypogirl

Getting Someone to Believe You

Why is it so hard to get someone to believe that one has a thyroid problem? When I was first diagnosed with Grave's disease 25 years ago, the physician at the HMO was under contract to avoid referrals to endocrinologists outside of the network. Since their endocrinologist was unavailable for two months, she tried to tell me that my symptoms and lab work were due to taking vitamins! I changed my insurance, saw a competent endocrinologist, and got treated. Recently, I started having symptoms of hypothyroid, given a residual history of Hashimoto's. Even though I was freezing cold, exhausted, and had other hypo signs, my physician discounted them because my TSH was only 3.25 and told me to exercise more. I decided to find an endocrinologist on my own. She did further testing, found that my free T4 was low and that my thyroid antibodies were very high. Now I'm on Levoxyl and some of the symptoms are going away. Keep searching for someone who will believe you.
—Guest Maggiedogs

A Lone Voice in the Wilderness

What a great site this is for all sufferers of thyroid related problems. It's so enlightening to discover that others have experienced the devastation that it can bring to one's life. I am 72 years old now and have suffered for nearly 30 years. I had a partial thyroidectomy and further surgery (sub total thyroidectomy as treatment for multi nodular goiter). Since the sub total removal, my life has come back on stream once more. I take 100 mcg of Levothyroxine x 1 tablet per day. Life is now where it was before all this lot started. All I can say is I hope I can give some positive response to anyone who is contemplating the thought of surgery. I consider my surgery was a life saver and it has given me the life I can now cope with; no more depression, no more rapid heart rate, no shakiness. A now have a total feeling of calm and being in control. It has taken years to achieve this but it's been more than worth it. God Bless You.
—Guest Alan

My Skin Hurts!

I went to the doctor today. My skin hurts so bad it feels like it's been burned. I have a lot of muscle pain too. My doctor made me cry because she was the first to mention the big right eye that previous doctors had dismissed. I am so grateful! She believes its a thyroid problem and ran a long list of tests. It all makes sense now- achy muscles, extreme fatigue, bulging eye, etc. I can't believe that I've been dying for someone to just listen and she noticed it right away.
—Guest Felicia

No Faith

Help. I feel like I'm losing my mind! I'm a 33 year old female who for the past several months have been plagued with excessive bruising to the point they appear out of nowhere. I also am experiencing eye discomfort and vision changes. Additionally, the past several weeks have been awful. I've felt extreme fatigue, hot flashes, increased sweating, headaches, extreme anxiousness and irritability, swollen lymph nodes, extremely dry hair and hair loss, increased appetite, needless to say the list goes on. I recently had a blood test which resulted in "normal thyroid function levels." SURPRISE! My problem is with the doctors. If they are so well educated and are the "professionals," why does this diagnosis seem nearly impossible for a large majority of patients to get the proper help they need? Yes, I'm a little bitter! I have excellent medical insurance but nearly no faith left in doctors. What else can a person do? How much suffering must a person endure???
—amay73

Finally

I just started Armour Thyroid. I have less pain and have lost some weight. It had affected my glucose as well. I still have issues with my blood clotting and cholesterol, but the doctor I found assures me that we will work through this as I lose weight. She put me on a low carbohydrate-type diet, Armour Thyroid, Glyset and Metformin. So far, so good. Joint pain is even much better!
—CJ1952

Thyroid -- Fed Up!

Well, I'm coming into my 18th year with this problem maybe even longer.As a child always fat, felt stupid, thick, even tired as early as 10 years, I wondered if death would be better than being alive. I hit puberty and now looking back on this I now understand this must have been thyroid. At 13 years old I started to gain weight and it kept coming. By 24, I was 24 stone. I then went on to have children. I lost a massive amount of weight and went down to 8 stone, everyone I knew congratulated me but I felt ill all the time and tired. My joints killed me...periods left me exhausted. I had no energy, couldn't sleep because I had a small child. The weight crept back, second baby I was back to 20 stone without even blinking. I was sick sick through this 9 months of hell. Weight dropped again after my son was born The last 17 years have been hell. In 2004 doctor told me I had a goiter this was removed and I felt worse, depressed, tired, bowel problems, a constant struggle.
—Guest Sharon

long road to discovery

It has been 12 years for me to get a diagnosis. Started when I was 18 tachycardia, orthostatic intolerance, muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness, stroke like symptoms. Seen doctor after Dr for 12 years all thought I was crazy finally sent to Mayo where a neurologist did a thyroid antibody test and I was finally sent to a endocrinologist who finally diagnosed me with Hashimoto's, took meds felt good for a few months then I became hyperthyroid and then the doctor stopped meds and I crashed into a severe hypothyroid state and have been fighting it for the last couple of weeks. I walk around like I am having a stroke. Cannot think numb on the left side of my body, muscle pain tingling headaches,muscle weakness, shortness of breath, and much more put on 7 lbs in 1 week. I am in hopes I am finally on a regulated dose and better health I am only 30 years old.
—Guest use1015

My Symptoms

My symptoms started 3 years ago, with panic attacks, skin changes. For about 9 months I went back and forth to doctor after doctor, then was diagnosed with lump in neck, it was drained. I wasn't told what it was, and I never asked. Suddenly I gained a little extra weight. By this time time my periods had dwindled to virtually nonexistent, had a thyroid test (normal), went on holiday, and started suffering from very swollen legs and very painful feet all the time. Now, I have no sex drive, anxiety, panic attack for weeks on end, and the doc gives me all types of drugs to combat symptoms and none work. Now I feel totally exhausted all the time, I can't get to sleep, one minute I'm happy, next sad, and I'm convinced I'm dying of about ten different illnesses.
—Guest jando

Happy Ending

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about six month ago. Since I've started taking Eltroxin my health has improved dramatically. While undiagnosed, I suffered with insomnia, muscle cramps, swollen glands, weight gain and snored like crazy at night and it was in my first year of being married. So relieved that the medication is working and I'm feeling and looking like my normal self again. (My tsh levels were >100 when I was diagnosed!)
—Guest Relieved

Hot all the time

I have been on thyroid of some kind since I don't even remember when. I now take 112 mcg of levothyroxine once a day. My main complaint is that I am always feeling hot even when no one is. I am so tired of wet hair and not being able to dress as other people because so many clothes are just to warm for me. It has became a joke to people I know but it is not funny to me. I tried hormone patches but they did nothing. I don't feel my doctor thinks it is important.
—Linda47715

rving mama

Shaky hands, insomnia, cold intolerance, shortness of breath with exercise, anxiety, and stress!
—Guest gloria

Taking Action on My Symptoms

After reading all the responses, I realize now that I probably have a thyroid problem. Depression, dry skin and hair, constantly tired (even with a full night's sleep), sleeplessness even though I'm exhausted, tongue problems (it feels dry even though it's not), and tingling feelings. For years I have extremely heavy menstrual flows and then had a hysterectomy. I had many symptoms that I thought were part of menopause -- like panic attacks, night sweats, hot flashes, heart palpitations. I was diagnosed with nodules on my thyroid 8 yrs ago and was just told to "keep an eye on it" even though my thyroid tests came back negative. I've been reading up on thyroid conditions and I AM going to make an appointment with a doctor to check out not only the nodules, but also my thyroid levels.
—Guest DEBBS

I feel your pain

I have been suffering with this problem for quite a while now. I figured all the symptoms I had were from my sarcoidosis, but I found out it was my thyroid. The worst thing is not being able to sleep. I sometimes go days without sleep. When I try to lay down my legs are restless and itchy, I can't get comfortable I am so miserable. My hair falls out in the shower I am always fatigued and moody. My heart feels like it's going to pound out of my chest. I can't sit still, my memory is so bad I feel like a top spinning out of control. But I feel better knowing I can share with people who understands what I'm going through.
—Guest lana

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