Hypothyroidism

<p>Does anybody have any experience with hypothyroidism in girls? My daughter has had an enlarged thyroid since she was 11 years old. She has had signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism since then also, including weight gain, specifically fat in the belly area, sensitivity to cold, excessive sleep need, dry skin, hair loss and fatigue. The problem is, all of the bloodwork has come back showing levels within the normal range. She has had bloodwork done four times and has had a thyroid scan which showed a normal, enlarged thyroid. When she was younger, we were told her symptoms were related to puberty, which sounded reasonable enough. She is now nearly 18 and still has all the symptoms that were supposed to be puberty related. Her paternal grandmother had thyroid problems and had to have it removed in her early 30's. We do not know what the exact problem was, but she took medication for it her whole life. </p>

<p>My daughter is absolutely miserable. She has done research herself and is convinced that she has hyperthyroidism. She spoke with her primary doctor and she ordered another round of tests. But the Drs are only focused on the lab results and are disregarding her actual symptoms and family history. Anybody with any experience with this that can offer advice on how to proceed? Thanks!</p>

<p>fishymom - I asked a question about thyroid last year and was blown away by the insight of the CC parents. My doctor and I are constantly arguing about my TSH level. She wants me to be at a 3 which is her interpretation of the low end of the range, but I feel like crap unless I am at a 1 to 1.5 . I am thinking about making an appointment with an endocrinologist. </p>

<p>This may not address your specific concerns, but here is the old link: <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/808394-have-you-had-your-thyroid-checked.html?highlight=thyroid%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parent-cafe/808394-have-you-had-your-thyroid-checked.html?highlight=thyroid&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>You definitely need to get your daughter to an endocrinologist.</p>

<p>Has she had hormore levels tested? These symptoms are also consistent with PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome.</p>

<p>Kajon, thank you so much for the link to the other thread, lots of info there. I am working on getting her a referral to an endocrinologist. I will ask her dr about the hormone levels also, thanks.</p>

<p>Look up thyroid on Dr. Mercola's site. He thinks that the levels most doctors use for treatment are wrong and many people that should get help do not get it.</p>

<p>I internet-diagnosed my hypothyroidism...my regular doc took tests that came back normal. About six months later I went to an allergist for hives...she asked a lot of questions and said I didn't have allergies but hypothyroidism...she ordered tests..bingo..referred to an endocrinologist. Much better.</p>

<p>I have a niece with PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome. She is taking a diabetes pill to help control her sugar levels (a side effect of the disease). Some girls are prescribed the Pill to help control hormones. And, my understanding is that ALL girls with this disease have to maintain a low carb diet. Part of the problem is that their bodies cannot process the carbs properly and it shows with weight gain in the stomach area and higher sugar levels. </p>

<p>While waiting for tests, have her start to reduce her carbs. Egg beaters and Canadian bacon for breakfast, lettuce wraps for lunch, lean meat and vegetables for dinner. She needs to reduce bread intake, drink more water and avoid sodas, especially regular ones. Not exactly the Atkins Diet, as I cringe at the amount of cheese and fat that is allowed on the diet. Lean meats, a little olive oil and lots of vegetables might help her.</p>

<p>Find a doctor that is not so number oriented.</p>

<p>My daughter suffered from hypothyroidism... for a couple of years.</p>

<p>The numbers were not quite over the top...even though she had all the symptoms.</p>

<p>Finally found a doctor that said...forget the numbers..she has all the symptoms.</p>

<p>He didn't want to give thyroid medicine at first...wanted to try diet and other things...but I insisted..because I said my daughter already lost a couple of years...</p>

<p>She started at a small dose..25 mg..felt better at 50 mg...felt close to normal at 75 mg..</p>

<p>A change in birth control pills and the thyroid medication and she is back to normal. And her thyroid numbers are good.</p>

<p>My daughter also eats very well now. She was on a vegetarian diet and wasn't gettting enough protein.</p>

<p>Only took a couple of years...</p>

<p>I had posted on the other thread...my then 10 year old D had lost a ton of hair, had constipation, fingernail issues, slow growth, cold sensitivity - we also have an incredibly compelling family history with hypothyroidism. We were jerked around a bit but got the right diagnosis about 6 months later. She's been on synthroid for nearly 3 years now and is growing, developing, no hair loss, other issues gone now.</p>

<p>The endocrinologist suggestion is excellent. I don't get why general practitioners or pediatricians won't order the right tests and interpret them correctly, but I have had enough relatives with this and heard enough stories to say go straight to a specialist.</p>

<p>All my symptoms (of hypothyroid) started in my early teens. I do not have poly-cystic and never have had, but I did not test into the treatable zone until my late twenties. My father and aunt have hypothyroid so I had a family history and both my sibs have autoimmune disorders. I do wish I would have been started on Synthroid much younger as I spent a good part of my late teens and early twenties being tested for mono and a million other "possibilities" for my symptoms. Bingo...hypothyroid finally affirmed in mid-twenties. I was very athletic so did not have any weight gain issues when young but everything else was totally in line with hypothyroid (the fatigue, the depression, the cold intolerance, the dry skin, low resting pulse rate, high normal glucose and on and on) which the doc attributed to all kinds of things like puberty, college-life, etc. etc.. I'm convinced my youngest son is hypothyroid, but is, too, not "testing" out of the normal range. Time will tell and the docs are reluctant to do much until the tests go out or range. I can't tell you OP how sympathetic I am. It's very frustrating. Meanwhile your D needs to get plenty of exercise, eat a very healthy diet to keep her weight and glucose normal because that is a challenge in and of itself and get enough sleep to battle the fatigue. If she does everything "by the book" that is in and of itself a compelling argument to bring to the docs.</p>

<p>Thanks pumpkin! I am so frustrated right now, had labs done on Tuesday and still no results. I called the dr Thursday afternoon and left a message yesterday. My daughter just flew out this morning for a 3 week training camp and it would have been nice to get the results before she left. I did tell the dr that I even if the labs were ok, I wanted her to try the meds, based on her symptoms and family history. I know her dr ordered a much broader range of tests this time than she has in the past, so maybe we will learn more this time around. But it is just so frustrating!</p>

<p>Thanks momofthreeboys. My daughter is a well-trained athlete and the weight issue is really hard for her. It is not really the weight but the fat. She eats very well, trains 6 days a week but is unable to get rid of the fat around her belly. She is also loosing a lot of hair recently. Her blood sugar levels are normal but her cholesteral ratio is off. Her LDL is fine but her HDL is low, despite her rigorous training regimen. It has been like this since she was 12.</p>

<p>I was dx after my third son was born. They asked 'do you have weight gain, are you tired, cold, have dry skin?' I seriously laughed out loud...'I had a baby two months ago, three children under the age of 5, and it's dead winter in the mountains'. This is why it is often missed. As women our bodies change frequently and weight changes, fatigue, etc., can often be attributed to other things. Sometimes a keen GP will pick this up, but rarely. Usually it takes pressure from a patient and/or caregiver with a good endro. to come to a level of what will be healthy. Everyone's target numbers are going to be different. Like other's, I feel lousy unless my levels are kept very, very low. Thyroid issues can shadow many other illnesses, even depression. It's all connected. Finding the doctor that will treat the symptoms and is concerned with the point of you feeling good and living a healthy life, as opposed to being ruled by a lab result, is a true find and well worth looking for!!</p>

<p>fishymom, my doc told me that the HDL is related to the hypothyroid...I have the same issue, normal cholesteral, normal bad cholesteral but really can't get my good cholesteral into the normal range. My dad and aunt also battle this. Boy, I'd bet the bank on hypothyroid...it sounds so MUCH like me at that age. I was very athletic, but that was the only thing that kept me from gaining weight...my whole life I've had to limit my calories relative to what I burn and watch it like a hawk far more than the 'average' person. My 16 year old son has all the same things happening and he's a 3 sport athlete but "suffers" from all those symptoms and also has the good cholesteral battle and high normal glucose. He can't put on weight at the drop of a dime but stays normal only because of his diet and exercise regime. I really hope you find a doc that will help your daughter sooner rather than later. My hair is falling out right now and I've been stable for a couple years, but go in next month for my semi-annual thyroid check and I betcha my dose is going to get adjusted. My hair is my first symptom, followed by fatigue and then the depression if I wait too long to adjust the dose.</p>

<p>If a person feels great why does a low good cholesterol number matter?</p>

<p>Obviously, that's not the case for a couple in this thread, but maybe some people just have lower numbers and that's it. Just like some people have hypothyroidism with numbers in the average range.</p>

<p>My first symptom that my dosage is off is my elbows. The skin on them actually cracks - weird, but them so am I!</p>

<p>My son was diagnosed with Grave's disease (hyperthyroidism) when he was 20. He actually developed thyrotoxic periodic paralysis (TPP), and a severe episode of paralysis really got the attention of the ER doctors. He was hospitalized, and the neurologist ordered thyroid tests. Bingo! Of course, he had been having symptoms for years, but no one thinks of an adolescent male having thyroid problems; in addition, he has does not have an Asian background (where TPP is much more common) so he was an unusual case.</p>

<p>He has since had radiation treatment to "kill" his thyroid. He is technically hypothyroid now, and will be on thyroid medication for life. He sees an endocrinologist regularly to monitor his levels. His medication was just increased again (it's been 5 years since diagnosis), so continuous monitoring is important.</p>

<p>He tells me he can definitely tell the difference when he misses a dose or when his dosage is too low. </p>

<p>It is important to find a good endocrinologist. My son's looks at the numbers, but also talks to him a lot about how he feels. Having numbers in the normal range does not necessarily translate to feeling well.</p>

<p>I have also noticed that a lot of my friends' doctors will test their thyroids by running only one of the tests. My son's endocrinologist always runs at least a T4 and a TSH in combination; one result can be "normal" and the other one not be.</p>

<p>I was diagnosed as hypothyroid at age 9. I'm now in my middle 40s and it has been an odyssey from the time of diagnosis. For someone diagnosed very young, there can be issues with pregnancy and major changes in the dosage needed. I've had bloodwork every three months for over 30 years because the levels have been known to change drastically. It's an issue that people often think is very minor, but it most certainly is not, particularly with a female who has not yet completed puberty and then through the childbearing years. It is imperative to get to a good endocrinologist and stay with him/her.</p>

<p>I've been told that it can take seven years for hypothyroidism to show up on lab-based tests. I don't remember exactly why it takes so long, but I know it was very frustrating for me, as a teenager, because I had all of the symptoms and the thyroid tests continually came back okay, or just a little low. Finally, at 21, my exercise physiologist noticed my levels of TSH were high. She encouraged me to focus on my nutrition and asked me to come back in six months to retest the levels. Frustrating! I felt as if the whole medical community was ignoring me and refusing to take a preventative approach to medicine; waiting until my disease progressed before offering help. Luckily, I have an excellent PCP who explained their rationale for waiting; even going so far as to draw elaborate diagrams about the biological mechanisms involved. </p>

<p>Six months later, my lab tests came back perfect. I'm actually now incredibly thankful they didn't just send me home with thyroid meds. I've got a strong family history (maternal grandmother, mother, numerous other relatives) and all are dependent on those meds for the rest of their lives. I have my doubts about them having "genuine" hypothyroidism at the start, but it doesn't matter anymore. Because they took meds, they will not have a chance at reversing it in more natural ways. The body gives up on making the necessary hormones if you take medications for hypothyroid (synthroid, armour thyroid, etc.) and after that you're dependent on medication for the rest of your life.</p>

<p>In my opinion now, I think doctors are too quick to diagnose medications for hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can be a symptom, just as much as it can be a disease. Most doctors, however, see a number or two on the lab test, send them home with a prescription, and move on to the next case. For some, this may be effective. For others, like my Mom, medication will continue to be ineffective if the root cause is ignored. It may even be harmful if a doctor is insistent on continuing to increase the dose to a therapeutic level.</p>