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thoroughly confused

Posted In: Medical Stories 5 Replies
  • Posted By: lagale
  • January 21, 2008
  • 03:21 AM

I am 63 y.o. female, have been treated for hashimotos/hypothyroid since 2002...however I cannot seem to stabilize. I am currently on armour thyroid 2 grains and as well on isocort for low cortisol levels. My symptoms have been:

-Extreme loss of weight, especially in the face very gaunt. This has been somewhat controlled since I started treating adrenals by reducing thyroid meds and increasing isocort.
-Hair loss is confined now to much pubic and underarm hair loss, and to the upper part of head......the rest of hair is very thick. In 96 around menopause I lost a chunk in the upper front of hair and since then the top volume has decreased considerably but the rest of hair is very thick. I am concerned about loss of pubic & underarm hair which has not grown back.
-I believe I had PCOS although did not know it at the time and only now realized it as my daughter was just diagnosed. I had trouble conceiving and was on fertility pills where I gave birth to twins (now 25). I had irregular periods, acne and difficulty conceiving. The delivery was normal although I did hemorrhage after delivery.
-I notice now that I seem to have a lot of loss of body mass or rather my shoulder bones seem to almost stick out...My gauntness in face has improved but is still thinner than normal.
-My recent thyroid results show tsh at 2.17, free T4 at .9 (.8--1.8) and Total T3 is 146.3 (60--181). I have hashimotos whereby my antibodies have declined steadily since October 2006 from 5500 to the current 1300 (still high but apparently declining).
I have read about Sheehan's Disease just now and am concerned I might have this and would like to know how I could test for this with lab work and how it can be corrected. Although I have been recently re-increasing my thyroid meds to the current armour 2 grains, I have become tired lately during the day. I am afraid of increasing further the meds as to put stress on the adrenals.
I am very confused how to proceed. I have lost compelte faith in most doctors who don't even check adrenals, etc. and I have mostly discovered my own such as hashimotos........
What kind of doctor would be best to consult, because no endocrinologist has ever helped me. Thank you, lagale

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5 Replies:

  • I am sorry you are going through all this. Is it possible something else is going on besides the thyroid and adrenal? The thyroiditis places you at increased risk of other autoimmune diseases. One that comes to mind is celiac, which can lead to malabsorption, weight loss and muscle wasting. Another thing that comes to mind is hashimoto's encephalopathy, although you do not endorse the typical symptoms of it. I mention HE only because I have it, and I have widespread muscle wasting too (my face looks quite gaunt and it used to be very round), which I think must be related somehow to the HE.Do you think you could see another endocrinlogist that you trust, who would be willing to check your adrenals and thyroid function more carefully? Or maybe a rheumatologist, who can screen you for all the other autoimmune things that can go along with thyroiditis?I am sorry you are going through this. I know what it is like to be burned by your doctors. Maybe you can find an understanding one who wants to get to the bottom of your symptoms.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 22, 2008
    • 08:46 AM
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  • Can you tell me exact symptoms of HE? I have hashimotos with high antibodies that have been declining since one year ago (antibodies originally 5500 now down to 1300 which are still high)........how do you treat this? I will look it up also. My basic symptoms are:weight loss & gaunt in face (although somewhat improved now with help of adrenals)low T3 & T4 levelsloss of pubic & underarm hairloss of hair (only) to top area of headsome memory loss; Basically I think this is it But I think the hashimotos being auto-immune definitely could cause problems in other areas..........thank you for your advice.........S.
    lagale 5 Replies
    • January 22, 2008
    • 03:17 PM
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  • Hello again, I just looked it up and it doesn't appear that I have those symptoms except for some memory fog; as for celiac I tested for this about 1 year ago and my levels are fine.........obviously though I do have something, and I would like to find out what it is to correct it if possible.......I suppose I will retest for adrenals by saliva, and possibly take the ATCH test although I am nervous about the injection of insulin in order to test........armour aside from adrenal support is only meds I take and I hate to inject other things into my body.......S.
    lagale 5 Replies
    • January 22, 2008
    • 03:22 PM
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  • There's some overlap between Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (which is common) and Hashimoto's Encephalopathy (which is a rare complication of HT), namely fatigue and mental slowness.There are a few good sites on HE if you Google it. In me, it produced profound fatigue and headaches, subtle neuro symptoms, and balance problems. Perhaps even memory/concentration/ language problems. The HE symptoms do not seem to correlate with antibody levels. I'm not sure if HE is a possibility in you or not or fits your description, but I thought I'd throw it out there because it took me such a long time to find my diagnosis and I do not want anyone else to go through what I did. As you probably know, low thyroid can also lead to fatigue and mental slowness plus hair loss, constipation, elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, dry skin, susceptibility to compression neuropathies (carpal tunnel), heavy periods, low appetite, etc.With your hair loss, perhaps you might just have hypothyroidism and/or other hormone imbalance. The specialist who diagnosed my HE was a neurologist. Most doctors have never heard of it.I am so sorry you are having such bad symptoms.I hope you can get answers soon.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 25, 2008
    • 09:01 AM
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  • I don't have the symptoms of HE (or most of them) and with Lyme Disease, how do I test for this? I don't think I have it because my primary residence is Mexico City where this is unheard of, but anything is possible. It does seem that the symptoms you describe are similiar to what I have. Can I take a blood test for this? S.
    lagale 5 Replies
    • January 25, 2008
    • 03:04 PM
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