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Underactive Thyroid

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by teachenglishrach, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. WIthout sounding like one of these people who self-diagnoses all the time..... I think I possibly have an underactive thyroid. [p]
    During my training last year I put on about 2 stone in weight - I attributed this to being unhappy on one placement, comfort eating and, because one of placements was a fair distance away, I was unable to go to my exercise classes. Over a year on I have not been able to lose any of this weight and have added more despite being a member of Weight Watchers since May (a diet which has always worked well in the past because I like the 'strictness' of counting points) and visiting the gym 3/4 times per week.
    In addition to this: I have extremely dry skin on my stomach area, am exhausted all the time but then wake up in the night and can't get back to sleep for hours or wake up very early. All of these things, as I understand, are indicators of a potentially underactive thyroid.
    I have an appointment with the Nurse next week and I am intending to mention this to her then (or my symptoms at least, rather than my self-diagnosis!) and see what she says. But I was just wondering if anyone on here has any experience of underactive thyroid? And if you don't mind sharing, how long did it take for you to be diagnosed? How have you reacted to treatment etc...?
    Apologies for the lack of paragraphs but using Chrome :( Thanks in advance for any responses.
  2. Georgia99

    Georgia99 New commenter

    Hi, my mum has an underactive thyroid and the symptoms she has before being diagnosed were feeling constantly tired, dry skin, weight gain, feeling miserable and also feeling cold all the time.
    She visited the GP and they took blood tests and found she had low levels of thyroxine which indicate an underactive thryroid gland. She was prescribed Thryoxine tablets and they have worked very well. It can take some time to get the correct dose, if too much is taken your heart can beat quickly etc. but once your dosage level is accurate it is easily managed.
    I expect they will also test you for other conditions as Type 2 Diabetes can present some of these symptoms as well. It should just be a simple blood test though.
    Best wishes.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    I've been on medication for 20+ years. Kept ignoring my Mother who insisted my symptoms were like herown under-active thyroid, deciding it was just running around after a young family but when I went for a blood test the dr.s comment was "Should have listened to your Mother!"
    Have to have fairly regular blood tests until it's stabilised but after that only once a year.
  4. I've got an overactive thyroid, but for a while I was under-active as the drugs I were on kicked in and put me under. In the space of about 2 weeks I gained a stone.

    As for tiredness, all I can speak about is my own experience is feeling like my batteries were constantly on empty. Every spare minute I would sleep and no matter how much I got I would feel exhausted all the time. At school as soon as the bell went at the end of the day I would be nodding off in my chair 10 minutes later, as soon as I got home I would sleep from 6pm until next morning.

    Fortunately the treatment for under-active is fairly straightforward and under-active thyroid is one of the few conditions that you can get free drugs for, as it is seen as a lifelong condition (I've lost count of the cost of the drugs resulting from being overactive).

    You will need regular blood tests to begin with, for the first few months I had them every couple of weeks, then it went to 3 months, now I just need to go in after 6 months.

    As for lack of paragraphs, put at the start of every paragraph and
    at the end of each paragraph (if you're lazy you can just stick
    at the end of each paragraph, it still works).
  5. Thanks for the replies folks. It sounds exactly like me - cold, tired (I'm frustrated now as I've just woken up after 3 hours!) and the weight gain. It sounds silly but I almost hope that is what it is so I can get it sorted and start to feel better.

    Thanks for the paragraph tips as well!
  6. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    My 20 year old daughter is having her thyroid function monitored as she is borderline underactive. She has no energy and is tired all the time, but she is tiny (I've seen more fat on a chip!).
  7. I've got an underactive thyroid, it took nearly 7 years to get diagnosed.
    Once I got a diagnosis though, the treatment is simple. I was tested every 4 or 5 weeks in the beginning and got pregnant three months after being diagnosed so have continued to be closely monitored. My last two blood tests were 10 weeks apart and my levels are now stable (would have been stable sooner if I had not got pregnant.)
    It takes around 5 weeks for the pills to take effect but you do notice the difference.
  8. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I had none of those symptoms, went to the docs for something which I thought was a gynae issue, doc tested me for thyroid levels, diagnosed in less than a week, no problems with medication, gynae issue more or less gone.

    It is a quick blood test, do not suffer
  9. Can I also just say for those who aren't aware, that if you are on thyroxine, your prescriptions are free as it's a lifelong condition.
  10. I have an underactive thyroid. It's apparently very common in people with type 1 diabetes, which I also have. My thyroid function was being monitored anyway because of this, and I had some warning about a year in advance that it was on its way. The next blood test was normal, then the one after that was conclusive - so even if you get a negative result this time, don't be afraid to ask for another test in six months or so.

    My symptoms weren't as pronounced as yours, but that's partly because I'm used to being tired all the time!

    The tablets I'm on make things a bit better, but the consultant did warn me that many people report not feeling 100% better on the medication. I still have some days when I feel weighed down. Apparently a lot of people don't take the tablets properly - you're meant to wait half an hour after taking them before eating. I'm quite good at that as I keep them in my bedside cabinet, take them first thing, then by the time I'm up, showered and dressed, I can have breakfast.

    I hope it turns out to be something easily treatable for you. Compared with diabetes I don't find the thyroid problem much of an issue!
  11. Took me 3 years to get a diagnosis...all the while getting fatter and fatter, more and more hair falling out, sleeping 12 hours a night. I even took a handful of my hair to the doc! t diagnosed. To be fair, the standard TSH blood test didn't show my problem, but I asked repeatedly for a T4 test and never got it until I changed GP...when I went to see him about the results he said ' well, this explains a lot'. I burst into tears. 2 years on, think my meds are about right now. I feel a lot better - on the downside, I have to pluck my eyebrows again after they all but vanished. Be persistant, you know your body better than anyone.
  12. lucyrose50

    lucyrose50 Occasional commenter

    My mum, aunt and grandma all have underactive thyroids so I'm fully expecting I'm going to end up with it at some point as well! My mum was the first to be diagnosed and it took ages for her to get treatment because although she'd read up about what could be causing her symptoms and concluded that everything pointed to her having an underactive thyroid, they did the standard test for it and it came back normal - she spent several years with her GP insisting that she was depressed, which she really wasn't, and that this was why she was so exhausted all the time. I remember her getting to the end of her tether at one point and shouting "I'm not depressed, the only thing that's causing me mental health problems is you!" at him [​IMG]
    Eventually I think they got fed up of her insisting on further tests and did a more in-depth test, which came back with the result that her thyroid was extremely underactive and her GP was forced to do a bit of grovelling for leaving her untreated for so long. I can't remember what the difference was between the standard test and the other one, but it's to do with the things they test for. After my mum was diagnosed, my aunt and grandma (who'd both had similar symptoms, but not as severe) both went to be tested and were also diagnosed with the same thing. They've all done very well with treatment and are much better these days. I'm just hoping it's a LONG time before I end up with it, if I do at all, because I already have a whole host of other medical conditions so I don't want any more!

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