5 Thyroid Patterns That Won't Show up on Standard Lab Tests | Chris Kresser

5 Thyroid Patterns That Won’t Show up on Standard Lab Tests

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In medicine, the key to choosing the best treatment is an accurate diagnosis. If the diagnosis isn’t correct, the treatment will be ineffective – or even cause harm.

Unfortunately misdiagnosis is common in the management of hypothyroidism and other thyroid disorders. If you go to a doctor with hypothyroid symptoms, you’ll simply be given replacement hormones without any further inquiry into the cause of your condition.

Even worse, if you have hypothyroid symptoms but your lab tests are normal, you’ll be told you’re “fine.” If you insist you’re not, you might be sent home with an antidepressant, but no further clue about the cause of your symptoms.

The problem with this approach is that thyroid physiology is complex.

The production, conversion and uptake of thyroid hormone in the body involves several steps. A malfunction in any of these steps can cause hypothyroid symptoms, but may not show up on standard lab tests.

It’s incorrect and even negligent to assume that all cases of hypothyroidism share the same cause and require the same treatment. Yet that’s exactly what the standard of care for hypothyroidism delivers.

In this article I’ll present five patterns of thyroid dysfunction that won’t show up on standard lab tests. If you have one of these patterns, your thyroid isn’t functioning properly and you will have symptoms. But if you go to your conventional doctor, you’ll be told there’s nothing wrong with your thyroid.

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A standard thyroid panel usually includes TSH and T4 only. The ranges for these markers vary from lab to lab, which is one of two main problems with standard lab ranges. The other problem is that lab ranges are not based on research that tells us what a healthy range might be, but on a bell curve of values obtained from people who come to the labs for testing.

Now, follow me on this. Who goes to labs to get tested? Sick people. If a lab creates its “normal” range based on test results from sick people, is that really a normal range? Does that tell us anything about what the range should be for health? (For more on the problems with standard lab ranges, watch this great presentation by Dr. Bryan Walsh)

The Five Thyroid Patterns

1. Hypothyroidism caused by pituitary dysfunction

This pattern is caused by elevated cortisol, which is in turn caused by active infection, blood sugar imbalances, chronic stress, pregnancy, hypoglycemia or insulin resistance. These stressors fatigue the pituitary gland at the base of the brain so that it can no longer signal the thyroid to release enough thyroid hormone. There may be nothing wrong with the thyroid gland itself. The pituitary isn’t sending it the right messages.

With this pattern, you’ll have hypothyroid symptoms and a TSH below the functional range (1.8 – 3.0) but within the standard range (0.5 – 5.0). The T4 will be low in the functional range (and possibly the lab range too).

2. Under-conversion of T4 to T3

T4 is the inactive form of thyroid hormone. It must be converted to T3 before the body can use it. More than 90% of thyroid hormone produced is T4.

This common pattern is caused by inflammation and elevated cortisol levels. T4 to T3 conversion happens in cell membranes. Inflammatory cytokines damage cell membranes and impair the body’s ability to convert T4 to T3. High cortisol also suppresses the conversion of T4 to T3.

With this pattern you’ll have hypothyroid symptoms, but your TSH and T4 will be normal. If you have your T3 tested, which it rarely is in conventional settings, it will be low.

3. Hypothyroidism caused by elevated TBG

Thyroid binding globulin (TBG) is the protein that transports thyroid hormone through the blood. When thyroid hormone is bound to TBG, it is inactive and unavailable to the tissues. When TBG levels are high, levels of unbound (free) thyroid hormone will be low, leading to hypothyroid symptoms.

With this pattern, TSH and T4 will be normal. If tested, T3 will be low, and T3 uptake and TBG will be high.

Elevated TBG is caused by high estrogen levels, which are often often associated with birth control pills or estrogen replacement (i.e. Premarin or estrogen creams). To treat this pattern, excess estrogen must be cleared from the body.

4. Hypothyroidism caused by decreased TBG

This is the mirror image of the pattern above. When TBG levels are low, levels of free thyroid hormone will be high. You might think this would cause hyperthyroid symptoms. But too much free thyroid hormone in the bloodstream causes the cells to develop resistance to it. So, even though there’s more than enough thyroid hormone, the cells can’t use it and you’ll have hypothyroid – not hyperthyroid – symptoms.

With this pattern, TSH and T4 will be normal. If tested, T3 will be high, and T3 uptake and TBG will be low.

Decreased TBG is caused by high testosterone levels. In women, it is commonly associated with PCOS and insulin resistance. Reversing insulin resistance and restoring blood sugar balance is the key to treating this pattern.

5. Thyroid resistance

In this pattern, both the thyroid and pituitary glands are functioning normally, but the hormones aren’t getting into the cells where they’re needed. This causes hypothyroid symptoms.

Note that all lab test markers will be normal in this pattern, because we don’t have a way to test the function of cellular receptors directly.

Thyroid resistance is usually caused by chronic stress and high cortisol levels. It can also be caused by high homocysteine and genetic factors.

Conclusion

The five patterns above are only a partial list. Several others also cause hypothyroid symptoms and don’t show up on standard lab tests. If you have hypothyroid symptoms, but your lab tests are normal, it’s likely you have one of them.

Not only do these patterns fail to show up on standard lab work, they don’t respond well to conventional thyroid hormone replacement. If your body can’t convert T4 to T3, or you have too much thyroid binding protein, or your cells are resistant, it doesn’t matter how much T4 you take; you won’t be able to use it.

Unfortunately, if you have one of these patterns and tell your doctor your medication isn’t working, all too often the doctor’s response is to simply increase the dose. When that doesn’t work, the doctor increases it yet again.

As I said at the beginning of this article, the key to a successful treatment is an accurate diagnosis. The reason the conventional approach fails is that it skips this step and gives the same treatment to everyone, regardless of the cause of their problem.

The good news is that, once the correct diagnosis is made, patients respond very well to treatment.

841 Comments

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  1. I don’t understand why doctors won’t listen to their patients. I have known something was wrong with my thyroid for a very long time. I always got a “normal” reading when having blood tests.
    This last week I went to the doctor got a 3.6 level on the TSH and was given an Rx for levithroxine. That’s it.
    After coming home and doing some research, I’ve found that I have to become the expert myself. I’ve even found a place online that I can order my own blood test. (walkinlabs.com) I have to figure out exactly which ones to take and then take these results to a new doctor that cares. Probably going to try to find someone that will Rx some Armour thyroid.
    I get so very tired researching online that I usually have to stop and take a nap before continuing. Ugh!

  2. i have hypothyroidism due to pituitary adenoma – have tried t4, t3 and NDT but none of these have really helped me feel better so not sure why??? and what to do to feel better

    • I am curious, was your TSH levels normal? I have a pituitary adenoma and have a lot of symptoms but I am told that since my TSH levels are normal, any symptoms I have must be psychiatric.

  3. Ok. Maybe this is the correct place to post my situation as I cannot seem to get any answers form searching.

    Always been hypo. Not a big deal, currently taking synthroid.

    My primary dr had me do labs 90 days ago and all labs were normal and fine.

    Primary dr had me do labs again a week ago. All normal labs and t3 and t4 came back normal but tsh was 11.76!! So dr felt around and said the left side felt enlarged. So went for ultra sound. That day.

    Found .6 and 1.0 cm nodules. One on each side.

    Went to ent, scheduled biopsy of nodules. Dr said he wanted to redo the tsh, t3 and t4 test to make sure it wasn’t a lab mess up. This time TSH came back at 14.92!!

    Ent dr is telling me that the ‘out of this world levels’ in my tsh are not related to the nodules. I find this VERY hard to agree with.

    To me it is like saying that your left knee has no correlation to your left bump foot with which you walk awkwardly. One had a result on another in some way. They are in line in the same system within the body.

    Anyway the ent told me to follow up with a endocrinologist about the tsh levels.

    So at this point I am totally confused.

    I can feel things being different. Can’t remember anything short term (‘wait what was I writing about? ;P) my temper is as short as it has ever been. I am sleeping every few hours no matter how I try to stay awake. I just don’t feel right at all.

    Anyone have any experiences or head of anything like this?

    Thanks
    ML

    • Hi,

      Please research which hormone is which so you have a better u derstanding of what’s being tested. For some reason, most people thing TSH is thyroid hormone…it’s not. It’s produced by the pituitary gland and it tells the thyroid to produce more hormone. If it’s high, I’d be asking the dr to check the pituitary gland! I’m currently going through something similar…it’s some sort of hormone imbalance. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to get ANY dr to LISTEN to me. I’m asking for certain tests for a reason. Be your own advocate. HAVE A BIG MOUTH! You have to live in your body, only you know if something’s not right! Good luck!

    • I was “not feeling right” for over a year! My primary dr said I was normal. But one TSH was 28 and the next after he changed my Synthroid dose was 0.004 in 60 days. Then another change and 60 days later it was 5! I was sleeping 12-15 hours/day or not able to sleep at night. Sick all year with sinus or upper respiratory infections- ear infections-you name it! No appetite and eating little but gained 30# in a yr!
      Changed to an endocrin guy- first off he did my labs – I had converted to HASHIMOTO! And I had thyroid nodules. No Biopsy warranted as they were too small. After intense thyroid management by him- nodules shrinking and feeling better. Still have bad days and KNOW it’s diet related when I have flare-ups…. I’m working on it. I just know… Some days will be bad and some good. Just be part of a support system.

    • You need to see a surgeon or an endocrinologist and get a fine needle aspiration of the 1.o cm nodule. It is common to get nodules, rarely serious, however once they are up to 1.0 cm, further testing needs to be done because that increases the risk of it being cancer. Yes the TSH and the nodules are more than likely related. Not many GP’s know what they’re talking about when it comes to the thyroid.

  4. Id like clarification on the “pattern”:

    TSH/low T3free/normal T4free/low

    What may that be indicating, exactly? Im returning to the Dr. soon and want to be armed with information. My mess started with BP that normally ran toward high on a sporadic basis turning into full blown very high BP all the time. Since starting BP medications my weight has gone up 20# in 5 months. I cannot afford that extra weight. One of the Dr.s at my PC office wound up testing my vitamin D level. It was beyond low, and the info Ive seen says thyroid/vit. D issues usually travel together? After reading into the subject further it appears a slew of symptoms for thyroid match many of mine Ive had a long time. Definitely the nonspecific yucky feeling, everything is an effort most days, way too sleepy most of the time, carrying my body around feels like Im lugging a ton vs. my real (increasing) weight, veryevry dry skin worst on my feet (they will crack to where I cant walk), my vision is getting crappy, depression (normally staying in the worse end)… I could go on all day. About 10 years ago I got tested for high cortisol because these symptoms swallowed me again and I had had enough. Dr. said normal. My thyroid has been tested (I don’t think extensively though) and same thing “normal”. Im at wits end feeling like shit and fat and dead all the time. Im 45, heading into menopause, and should be worrying about chasing boys around! I feel crappy enough with the physical issues and the depression/exhaustedness that I wish I would just lay down and not wake up. Upsetting my Mom and orphaning my dogs is the only 2 things reminding me to suck more air. 🙁

  5. I wish I could kill myself some days. I stand up and forget what I was going to do, open cupboards and wonder why… I’m 35 and I think I have dementia. Last summer, about a third of my hair fell out over the course of a couple months. I sweat profusely, all while FREEZING and burning up at the same time. the heat comes from somewhere in my chest or neck, at the base of my skull, not like menopause hot flashes that are more, um, Vaginacentric, if you will. I can set a clock by my daily fatigue bomb. I have heart palpitations, depression, confusion, exhaustion, anxiety… my taste buds seem “off” as well as my nostrils, and it feels like I can only taste chemicals anymore… in everything. my body temp is never over 97.5. but I”m ‘NORMAL!!!”

    if THIS is normal, I want OUT.

    • I have never commented on page before, but as i read your comment it was as if I were reading my own journal entry. I completely understand everything you wrote! I’m 30 years old and have had a full hysterectomy due to years of medical issues. I also have RA and several other fun little autoimmune things that go along with it (livido, etc.) I am on HRT and have gone in to have my thyroid checked and have been told that it is low (2.1) and that it will be monitored. In the meantime, all of my hormones were doubled. I’m not sure how this is supposed to help with the very sudden weight gain, hair loss, mood swings, etc…I have a family history of thyroid issues as well. I am getting frustrated quickly and don’t know what do to. I set up an appointment with the rheumatologist, and hope to get quick resolution. I don’t have depression or hormone issues, I have thyroid problems!

    • Hi Sara,

      Im having the SAME symptoms, living just miserable life and don’t have energy to play with my son. These symptoms were developing for 3-4 years and God knows how many doctors, I’ve seen and how many tests I’ve had… In my tests the only abnormality is low alkaline phosphatase and TPO antibody on the low level but within “normal range”… 🙁
      I wish my doctors read this article:(((

      • Oh I wish so too. I had lots of symptoms and am now on antidepressants. They worked to make part of me feel better but not the whole me. Feeling very depressed again. I also have an eating disorder. The worse I feel the more I binge. Then I binge more because I’m upset with myself. Hard to exercise because all my joints ache and I have no energy. I work with clients who have dementia and really feel like I need to move in and be taken care of too. My memory is so bad some days

    • I completely agree with you. Recently lost almost all my appetite, but when I do try to eat I start intense cramping. I’ve told my mom (i’m 17) that it might by related to hypothyroidism and she ignore it because my tests (PLURAL) were normal and to stop being a drama queen. My patience is also decreasing from whatever was left from it, and I pretty much want to kill everyone. 🙂
      Hoped that uhm, showed that some people are on the same boat as you?

    • I feel the same as many of you,there are many days I just esnt to give up!! I just dont understand why these doctors dont get it?? [email protected] of being so tired I cant get up and do much,I am forgetfull,I have lost my homes,my cars and so much more….but I have been labled “MENTALLY ILL”.ALL I HAVE LEFT IS MY FAMILY,BUT THAT TO MAY JUST BE A MATTER OF TIME,I DONT GO ANYWHERE,I STAY AT HOME MY CHILDREN THINK IM LAZY AND JUST DONT CARE,THEY DONT TRUST ME AS I HAVE DONE SOME CRAZY THINGS….AND I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL AND NOT ONE DOCTOR GIVES ME ANY HOPE OF THAT!!!! SO WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHT AND THE DOCTORs need to discover Google??I think the hardest part is no one really understands no one helps and your left on your own,it gets real lonely at times…..But please dont give up!!!ive hah several friends whom I am sure had thyroid issues and they did give up,it just leaves many with broken hearts that dont understand still…write any time….I to have said if this is it I want out…but against doctors advice I am thinking of trying something called Bodylogic they deal with hormones,I would rather have 10 good years then 20 more like this,the only ones making me crazy are the doctors that refuse to treat me.Perhaps a lawsuit would give them a different perspective????

    • Hi everyone I’ve had all of these symptoms and more and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. But my weight is increasing rapidly my hair is thin and I have other hypothyroid symptoms and have had a variety of tests done which always fall into normal range. I have low motivation too. I live in Australia where they don’t believe we have Lyme disease so won’t test for it. But I will be in the U.S next month and was only just wondering how I go about being tested and how much it would cost. Any ideas?
      Anna

      • I spent 30 yrs telling my GP that I was suffering hypothyroid symptoms, furthermore I had a medical history which predisposed hypothyroidism ( glandular fever, whiplash, tonsillectomy and Sheehan’s syndrome – haemorrhaging during pregnancy), then there was an overt family history of the disorder including an uncle who affected at birth has learning difficulties, my grandmother, my mother and her siblings, my siblings and now my daughter and grandson…..and yet because the TSH blood test wasn’t raised according to UK definition I was told for 30 years all is well despite my body and mind failing me. Previously normally very slim I doubled my weight though I still exercised, had a physical job and did not eat big portions or junk foods.
        I would suggest you have both CRP (C-Reactive protein) levels tested, your cholesterol and ferritin too. Hypothyroidism causes a chronic inflammatory response around the body and CRP is raised as a consequence. Cholesterol levels are raised due to the effect of low thyroid hormone on the liver; DO NOT LET YOUR DOC TALK YOU INTO STATINS if raised. Ferritin levels are often low and likely to cause hair loss amongst other things. Cholesterol and CRP levels normalise with good thyroid treatment.
        However, abnormal results demonstrate a thyroid problem – years ago raised cholesterol levels were diagnostic of hypothyroidism.
        The problem we hypothyroids all have is convincing your doc.

    • Same here. Had sleep study done? I am supposed to have one soon. Sleep apnea….central mind….I believe is occurring….and I seem to have pituitary and thyroid issues that show up as normal on labs but bioenergetic testing shows a very different picture

  6. i had many tests for my symptoms and no answers. Finally I said to my Psychiatrist “what causes weight gain, losing over 1/3 of my hair in a couple of months…and make me feel like I am freezing to death from the inside out”? She said thyroid. She review all my previous blood work reports and only one showed I was low. She started me on synthoid which was slow to help. When we discussed causes of thyroid problems I learned about iodine deficiency. I come from a long line of diabetic, hypertensive overweight people. At 17 I changed how I ate and all but eliminated table salt (the easier way to get iodine as it is “iodized”) from my diet. It seems I was one of the few North Americans NOT getting enough salt. I better and warmer now (yay menopause! NOT!). So there are insidious ways to get this problem. I seen an r endocrinologist after I was better and she says I never had a thyroid issue. A degree does not make you God. Be your own Heath care advocate! Good luck!

  7. I am having the worst problems in my life!! my thyroid levels are in what “the doctor says” seem to be NORMAL range yet im having horrifying symptoms. the doctor put me on levothyroxine years ago I still had issues 8 months later he put me on armour thyroid it was like night and day! it helped so much I felt liberated and like life had meaning purpose and joy again. I felt my 30 yrs of age not 80! (80 as in tired run down fatigued hair loss, lack of ambition, weight gain with out eating even for days! ) when my levels got too low (well below normal range) two years later on one t test they took the armour thyroid away and wanted to go back to levothyroxine which then got taken away completely overnight to where im now medication free and symptom overload again with no joy and no desire or ambition. im severely depressed and the doctor put me on an antidepressant for a second time now. the first made me worse. they keep testing it and its getting lower on the scale of “normal” ill explain. my tsh 3rd generation is at 3.589 which is more on the high range almost too high. my thyroxine free e/h/n is .79 just barely above the LOW normal range leaving it very low. they don’t do normal t4 testings on me I have asked them to do so and he agreed to do so in a month. but the problem is now they are no longer treating my issues and symptoms with anything but an antidepressant and I am seriously feeling the joy of living and desire to keep fighting go away daily to a trickle. I wish nay PRAY they find a better way to test. my doctor said indeed my gland is swollen. but those alone he wont put me back on any med for hypothyroidism!! he wants to do more tests including an ultrasound to see if its growing nodes or some type of issue with in the gland itself that is causing it to behave in such a way. but technically since he sees it in “normal” ranges his hands are tied to do anything more until my ranges go haywire again. my niece who is actually a year older then me “my mom had me in her 40s” was just diagnosed with thyroid CANCER. my sister who died last fall had thyroid issues as well!! this is not something NEW to my family heredicy line. I really don’t know what to do. the more I try to ask for help it seems the more I am given some mood altering drug rather then HELP with the main problem and to get rid of the symptoms!

    • Find another doctor – he’s not listening. And Armour thyroid is much better than Synthroid, which didn’t work for me.

      Sounds like thyroid issues! Find a good endocrinologist and ask him/her to run full blood panels – tsh, t3, t4, tgb, t3 uptake and cortisol levels. Insist!!!! And make sure your levels are compared against the functional range of 1.8 to 3.0. Anything outside of that isn’t normal. Do ur homework!

    • Go online and buy your own thyroid meds. They are available and affordable. You can also get you own blood tests. That’s what I do and I treat myself based on how I feel. I do my own research, have my blood tested and treat myself accordingly. Never felt better in my life. This might not be the best approach for all but it works for me. I’m done arguing with doctors. Nothing is more offensive then being told your symptoms are all in your head and offered antidepressants that you don’t need.

      • Hey that’s exactly what I want n need to do Bc my Dr fails me like u n others have said n I do not trust them but trust myself more
        Where do you go online for esp getting your own meds without a prescription???
        Where u order yr labs?
        Thank you very much for feedback
        I Chkd tb notified of yr answer looking forward to it!!!

    • Hi, I am totally new to all this. I feel totally tired and have terrible brain fog and all my tests are normal. I just bought the book “The Root Cause” and another cookbook that looks like it’s some kind of gluten free cookbook but supports thyroid health. From what I am reading of this online it seems that diet and vitamin supplements are really important. Selenium, and also Vitamin D along with a very strict diet to support thyroid function. If the drugs don’t help and the doctors are playing God, all you have left is food and vitamins. I am being told I am perfectly fine even though I feel pretty bad most days so I am starting with diet and vitamins. Hopefully I can nip this in the bud. Have you looked at the autoimmune disease Hashimoto’s? That’s what I think I have. Don’t give up. Believe me, I know it’s hard when you feel like shit all day. Hang in there. (( Hugs ))

  8. My Grandmother had thyroid problems also my mother, my sister and 2 nieces, but I do not. I have ALL the symptoms (fatigue, weight gain, hair loss) to just name a few. The doctor wont go tye extra mile to check further on these tests. What do I do!?

  9. I am a 68 yr old female and have had the T3 T4 tests but my Dr. tells me my thyroid is fine……..I’m always cold,I wear extra clothes so I don’t get cold, A/C is not my friend. I don’t know what to tell my Dr. as to not offend him about the tests I need to check my thyroid. Any suggestions would be appreciated,

    Signed
    Really tired of being COLD all the time 🙁

  10. I’m 46 and I’m taking hrt for an early menopause, I’ve been feeling unwell for sometime and putting it down to symptoms of that. But over the past 6 months I have experienced fatigue, weight gain, muscle aches the list goes on, I’ve been to the doctors and they have tested my thyriod and said it,s normal!!! Yet I have all the symptoms, they said I was depressed and wanted to prescribe me for that, I’m not just desperate to get a diagnosis. I have now in desperation booked an appointment at a private clinic to hopefully get some answers, as I have read that estrogen can effect results and mask the fact there is a problem with my thyriod!! Can anyone advise?

  11. I am 23 years old, struggling to figure out whats wrong with me. I have every single sign of hypothyroidism, yet all tests have come back normal. I have seen countless doctors, with no answer. They say if the tests are normal, then i cannot be treated. I’m at my wits end, with no other help to be found. My father also has hypo & has told me this is exactly how he felt before he was diagnosed, but he was lucky & it immediately showed up on his tests. I have no idea what else to do, If i have to be asked again if i’m “depressed”, i really will be depressed! I just had to cut 10 inches off of my hair due to most of it falling out & the rest just turning dry & brittle. I have gained 12 lbs in the past 2 months (very hard for me to gain weight), I’m so fatigued & exhausted, i can barely function, yet somehow i’m considered “Normal”. If anyone finds an answer or finds correct help, please share!

    • could you have fibromyalgia? Many symptoms of thyroid issues mimics that of fibromyalgia and there really isn’t anything to test it.

      • I’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which recently go much worse, my tests for thyroid came back normal so it must be the fybromyalgia? But I can’t cope with feeling so awful all the time

    • Same thing here, I’m looking into methylation a lot at the moment. And beg your doctor to refer you somewhere!

      • Maybe it is time to get out of Dodge (as they say) and find some “real” help…I can recommend Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand…You will be directed to the specialist of your area of need, they are professional and experts in every field of medicine & health… They are half the price or less compared to many countries. My husband & I have been there and I can recommend it 1st hand….Go to their website http://www.bumrungrad.com You can contact them by email and tell them your need, if you already have some test reports from your doctor even better. Also go to youtube and watch a few video clips of the place and people who have gone there…youtube.com bumrungrad International Hospital Tour and youtube bumrungrad hospital featured on 60 minutes… There is help and you don’t have to pay through the nose to get it you just have to be willing to step out of the box & have a few bucks to travel… Accommodation & food are also very cheap in Thailand.. May your prayers for wellness be answered.

    • Hi Morgan,

      Did you ever resolve this issue? I’m 23 as well in the same situation. All blood results came back normal but still have all the symptoms. My doctor won’t listen and I’m not sure what to do.

      –Sam

      • Hey Sam,
        I was referred to a gyno & was told I have PCOS & I’m “insulin resistant”. She said it produces a lot of the same symptoms of hypothyroid. She also said my Vitamin D was low. I Was put on Meds but I still feel like crap so I’m not fully convinced that I have pcos, although I do have cysts on my ovaries. I will say tho, just with the vitamin D once a week, I do feel some what better, but the fatigue is still horrible & I could sleep all day if I let myself. I’m still convinced it is thyroid bc the Meds for the pcos have not helped & I’ve been on 2 different kinds. So I’m still searching for some other opinions. I’m sorry & I know exactly what you’re going thru. Praying you find an answer, as well as myself!!

        • I have been reading about Hashimoto’s and the different connections between the thyroid and hormones. I know what PCOS is and I would highly suggest looking into books about Hashimoto’s disease which is an autoimmune disease related to the thyroid function. I am 48 and am experiencing all of the clinical symptoms of hypothyroid buy all my tests are normal. I am moving forward with the assumption that I am at the beginning stages of this disorder and am going to try and treat that. There is a great site I found called the Hypothyroid Mom. I found some great resources on there. Be your own advocate, because this is a very complex problem and it seems that we are the ones who truly know our bodies. Good luck!!

  12. I’m 15 years old and in the last 3 years, I’ve been to the doctors and hospital 6 times because i have had all the symptoms for hypothyroidism. Every time I’ve gone to visit my doctor, she sends me in for a lab test and it always comes back “negative”. I want to go in again and get tested because I strongly strongly believe that this is the reason to why I struggle more and more in my everyday life. I should also include that my mother and many more of my family members have thyroidism.

  13. I pray all of you find help. I found out just recently that Premature Ovarian Failure, such as what I went thru at 19, ( 22 years ago) can cause thyroid trouble, and as with all of you, I have had ALL the symptoms. I’ve been sent to several Endos, went to endless numbers of doctors, and they always want to blame it on the Ovarian Failure, problem is, when they put me on the Hormones, the weight Gain gets worse and I don’t feel any better. In fact, some times, I just feel worse. They have tested my thyroid so many times that I’ve contemplated naming it so they can address it by a name. I’m sick, tired, and fed up!! This last doctor has decided to do an ultrasound on my thyroid after he felt my throat and said that it felt “full.” I hardly know what good it will do, my labs are always negative, regardless, and MOST doctors won’t treat it without positive test results. GO FIGURE! They treat all kinds of “SYMPTOMS,” but won’t treat your thyroid based on “SYMPTOMS.” I thought I had found a good doctor, but he was no longer taking any patients. All the good doctors are taken!!
    My heart goes out to those suffering from Thyroid “Symptoms.” I wish you all the luck in finding a doctor who can help you.

  14. I was asking this because I don’t know if here I can get an answer at my question. Thank you very much!

  15. My recent labs showed low TSH (0.130) and high T4 Free (2.16). I have been taking Synthroid for 20 years. Doctor reduced the dosage. But I’m confused: most reports don’t address low TSH and elevated free T4. What’s my diagnosis?

  16. I am losing my hair gaining weight and I am tired all the time lab tests say I don’t have a thyroid problem I think the doctors are wrong

    • I am in the same boat. I was even sent to an endocrinologist and they tell me my labs are fine so I am fine. I’m frustrated bc I have horrible symptoms, know my body, and feel like crap.

      • I have the same, all my labs were fine, ultrasound showed 4 nodules! I have about 40 out of 50 symptoms and have gained 20+ lbs in one year. Doc says “you’re fine, get another ultrasound in a year”…. I can’t live like this for another year. If I gain another 20lbs I won’t want to be in my own body anymore. This isn’t my body. This is a fat tired body. I am only 31.

  17. I have all symptoms of hyperthyroidism, i lose so
    much weight while I have a good meal plan with about 2500 Calories a day. Each blood yeat, it comes oit nornal for hyperthyroid. I know these aren’t accurate. There is no othwr possible explination to why I match each symptom, I remember mh doctor saying something about a thyroid protien thing, the lab results for that came out abnormal. She said it doesn’t have to do with thyroid problems. I don’t know what to do, these lab results aren’t quit accurate.

  18. Well maybe your advisors just want you to de stress. Forget about what hurts. Get away from negative people, the house, and all thoughts of work and finances. Just for two days. Take a break. Go watch a creek, water seems to a calming element.

    Second, write a list of your ailments, initial manifestations’, your age, puberty onset, and school involvements. work. Maintain a list of these. and be honest about. where you lived, exposure to salt and fresh water climates, exposure to sunlight, sporting activities, basicially stress relievers. If you have always had a dry mouth, but it did not manifest itself until you were older, then it was affected by your changes and stresses. Check with other family members of the same gender for similar affects. Also, you may have been prescribed synthetic medication where natural may be needed. Do you yearn for specific foods. i.e. Sweet Potato Pie… (its because of the IODINE contained within) Also sea food. many other foods urges indicate other changes or needs for your dietary needs. Listen to your self.

    Then start looking for a new doctor. I learn of my condition from a concerned friend,, then after taking medication upon medication…I found out from a free clinic doctor who voluntary went to third world countries that I was taking the wrong medication. go figures.

    But take a walk, be around positive people, lay down the law as it were upon those whose unrequited desire is to point out your issues and think positive. Laugh.

    Then go to an open minded General Practioner, provide a copy of your list and listen to what they say. Do not provide copies of test results. you need a new set. I even went above and beyond and bought two additional tests online. for hair and 4 stage saliva test. Those ended up being the indicators. Go to your minister and ask for a doctor recommendation. They have more clout and contact. Ask your more influential friends for their input as well. Best of luck.. don’t forget to check your water and air quality in and around your house and work place. Have your HVAC professional cleaned, use HEPA filters, sterilize the pool, and avoid open water, avoid power lines. old microwave ovens, check for RADON, lead and asbestos, mouse and bats droppings and urine need to be abated as well. Due Diligence.

  19. I have many symptoms of thyroid issues, fatigue, memory problems, problems concentrating, always cold, sleepy… Where can I find a dr who test all these things and is knowledgable in this subject?

    • You have to keep going to doctors! I’m in SC and have had a terrible time with docs! I have sjorgrens and lupus and bunch of problems! I today was told by my doc (gp) that my blood work showed my thyroid was a little low. And is not going to do anything I should see physiatrist! I asked doc if she could refer me to a endocrinologist and they waited and called me back and said No. So I called until I found one that would take me without a referral. Nobody knows your body better than you! Imso tired nails and hair thinning. Cold all the time! Something is wrong! I pray I can figure more out. Before I do give up!

      • I have had a thyroidectomy, but during my journey to find out what was wrong with me, I had one endocrinologist tell me that he could do nothing for me because my labs were all “normal”. I had tears in my eyes as I asked what I was supposed to do, because there was SOMETHING wrong with me. He looked at me and asked if I had ever seen a psychiatrist. I could have punched him in the nose. Keep searching, keeping changing doctors, until you get a proper diagnoses and treatment. Normal labs do not necessarily mean there is not a problem. Symptoms play as much of a role as labs. It took two years and 5 doctors to find a 7 cm nodule on my left thyroid. I had classic hypothyroid symptoms.

        • Interesting! I have the opposite problem, labs come back saying I have hypothyroidism but I feel 100% fine, while the doctors want me to take the replacement hormone. I agree symptons should be more important than lab results…

        • that is what I’m going through. Labs and ultra sound are normal! I know something is wrong. Neck visibly swollen and I can feel the swelling. My doctor even felt it. She just tells me everything is normal and have a nice weekend.

          • This happened to me a year ago. My history, 11 years ago I had my right part of my thyroid removed due to a nodule. I am now left with just the left side. I have never been offered meds because they the docs say that the blood tests are fine. But all of my symptoms say otherwise and there is not one doc to help me on this. I have seen an endo, my family doc, a surgeon, an ENT and back to my family doc that wanted to give me nerve pills for all this. My blood tests the endo doc says are in the medium range…What does that mean?? So they the docs will not do nothing for me. I have had a partial hysterectomy, leaving just 1 ovary and tube, 2 years ago. I thought since this is happening with me if the hysterectomy and the thyroid have something to do with each other. So Im going to request hormone blood testing from my OB doc. I have an appointment next month. I am hoping to find something out. My symptoms are getting real bad. I think sometimes is it in my head am I crazy???

      • In San Diego there is a hormone specialist doctor named Dr. Melinda Silva in Chula Vista. I plan to see her and my breast implants totally screwed with my hormones, thyroid, and adrenal glands. She has great reviews. Check her out.

  20. I have fatigue, migraines, nausea & vomiting, thin nails & hair, unexplained random body pains, blurry vision that comes & goes, POTS diagnosis, and thyroid problems run in my family. My TSH level was 1.4 & the Free T4 was .8 so the DR says I’m normal & I’m so sick all the time that it’s hard to function. Any thoughts?

    • Anne, I am the same way. My lists of issues are a mile long, but the most significant things are minute by minute mood swings, fatigue, migraines, nausea, nausea and more nausea. Thin, brittle nails and thining hair. Nummular excezma, unexplained random body pains, blurry vision that comes and goes (especially when going down stairs and brushing my teeth – it’s almost like my eyeballs are bouncing). Thyroid runs in my family too. My fasting TSH on Friday was 1.8, my T4, Free was 1.02 and my T3, Total was 127. My PCP basically told me I’m crazy and need an antidepressant. I’d like to punch her in the throat at this point.

      • Hi Jennifer – I have very similar labs to yours, although I don’t know my Total T3, just my Free T3. Have you made any headway? I’ve been on NDT for 3 weeks and feel absolutely horrible. Considering stopping it and reevaluating after my adrenal test.

      • I thought I was crazy because my thyroid was bad and my RA was bad, and I was doing everything the doctors said, and I wasn’t feeling any better. This went on for several years. I went to a psychologist, thinking maybe I secretly didn’t want to get better. She came to the conclusion that I was not depressed or sabotaging myself, and that I needed to push back harder on my doctors (which I did, and got improvement). Currently, I’m facing yet another thyroid issue that isn’t improving despite the doctor changing my treatment. I’m waiting for her to tell me to go see a psychologist or psychiatrist at which point I will tell her I have and I’m not depressed, and she (the endo) needs to figure this out.

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