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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm really concerned that my doctors may have missed something when it comes to my thyroid. When I saw my doctor last year I told him I wanted to get it checked out, because having problems with it runs in my family. He felt it and did say it felt enlarged. But all the blood tests came back fine. So he dropped it. When I asked why it felt enlarged then he said that it's probably "normal size for ME". I don't know, I really don't believe that. I think it sticks out quite a bit actually. And I have many symptoms of a thyroid condition. What should I do since the blood tests were normal?Jennifer
 

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What kind of blood test(s) did he order? They can test for TSH which is thyroid stimulating hormone, if it is high then it usually means your thyroid is not working adequately. Low TSH would mean that your thyroid is over working. They can also test T4 and T3 levels. My doctors usually only run the TSH and then they judge from the results if my thyroid meds need adjusting. My levels are never right and we have been steadily increasing my synthroid for years now. They say my thyroid gland is still being destroyed by my immune system. They also say that in time this disease will burn itself out, there being only so much thyroid to destroy. I will have to take the drugs forever though, as once the damage is done... I had symptoms long before my tests came back abnormal. I'd find out what labs (s)he did, and if there were some he didn't run maybe you could request them. I think they can test for thyroid antibodies which may indicate thyroid destruction. The weird thing about me is that I am thin and underweight at times and suffer from D. Usually but not always hypothyroidism causes constipation and weight gain. Good luck!
 

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What kind of blood test(s) did he order? They can test for TSH which is thyroid stimulating hormone, if it is high then it usually means your thyroid is not working adequately. Low TSH would mean that your thyroid is over working. They can also test T4 and T3 levels. My doctors usually only run the TSH and then they judge from the results if my thyroid meds need adjusting. My levels are never right and we have been steadily increasing my synthroid for years now. They say my thyroid gland is still being destroyed by my immune system. They also say that in time this disease will burn itself out, there being only so much thyroid to destroy. I will have to take the drugs forever though, as once the damage is done... I had symptoms long before my tests came back abnormal. I'd find out what labs (s)he did, and if there were some he didn't run maybe you could request them. I think they can test for thyroid antibodies which may indicate thyroid destruction. The weird thing about me is that I am thin and underweight at times and suffer from D. Usually but not always hypothyroidism causes constipation and weight gain. Good luck!
 

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There is a member on this BB, K9Mom who is very knowledgable about thyroid problems. I hope she will see this and be able to help you out.Check out this link and go to the Thyroid section, it's like this BB but specializes in thyroid problems. http://www.mediboard.com
 

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There is a member on this BB, K9Mom who is very knowledgable about thyroid problems. I hope she will see this and be able to help you out.Check out this link and go to the Thyroid section, it's like this BB but specializes in thyroid problems. http://www.mediboard.com
 

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*poof* here I am
(thanks Auroraheart)Hi Homebound. I agree with you in the fact that an enlarged thyroid is not normal. I think you're wise in wanting some follow up work done to rule this out completely.Generally, the screening test for thyroid dysfunction is the TSH blood test. While the TSH is an excellent tool for diagnostic purposes, it is a poor test for evaluating thyroid function for a person being treated for thyroid disease. Here is a good article explaining the issues with the TSH test: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/9630/88875 Homebound, if I were you my first step would be to get paper copies of the thyroid tests that your doctor has already done on you. Look at the lab reports and see for yourself where your blood tested. The lab's "reference range" will be printed right there on the report and they are easy to read. The reference range for normal on the TSH test is a hotly debated issue right now. One medical organization (can't remember if it's the AACE or another) has recommended that the reference range be revised and they suggest that anything registering over a 3.0 is suspect for hypothyroidism (currently the range goes all the way up to 5.0). Believe it or not, but I've met (via the internet) several people who, once they got the hard copies of their lab reports saw that they indeed tested abnormal, even though they were told they were "fine".So, if on your lab reports you see that you tested at either extreme of the "reference range/normal range" then I would see if your doctor would run additional tests for you based on the symptoms that you have and your enlarged thyroid. Tests can be done on T4, Free T4, T3 and Free T3 levels (these are actual thyroid hormones - where the TSH tests thyrotropin, a pituitary hormone, but one that helps regulate the thyroid). In autoimmune thyroid disease further tests for antibodies are warranted such as TSI, TPO, TBII, etc. but that would be after a definative thyroid problem would be found. The antibody tests are done to find out if the cause of the hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism is autoimmune or not.Endocrinologists are the specialists for thyroid disease. If you do have a problem then you should request a referral to an Endo, preferably one who specializes in thyroid disorders instead of diabetes (hard to find).Unfortunately my experience has been that thyroid issues and patient symptoms are not taken seriously enough by the medical profession. Over on the thyroid bb at Jeff's other site, Mediboard, we encourage everyone to get knowledgeable about thyroid disease and prepare to be your own advocate.When you get the paper copies of your lab results if you need help reading them you can email me or post on Mediboard and we'll try to help you. Looking back, it took me from 1996 when I first started having bad, overt symptoms (nervousness, anxiety, hot flashes, hair loss, period disturbances, irritability and the ever present diarrhea that I had had for years prior) until 1999 to get a proper diagnosis. Good luck, let me know if I can help in any way.
 

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(thanks Auroraheart)Hi Homebound. I agree with you in the fact that an enlarged thyroid is not normal. I think you're wise in wanting some follow up work done to rule this out completely.Generally, the screening test for thyroid dysfunction is the TSH blood test. While the TSH is an excellent tool for diagnostic purposes, it is a poor test for evaluating thyroid function for a person being treated for thyroid disease. Here is a good article explaining the issues with the TSH test: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/9630/88875 Homebound, if I were you my first step would be to get paper copies of the thyroid tests that your doctor has already done on you. Look at the lab reports and see for yourself where your blood tested. The lab's "reference range" will be printed right there on the report and they are easy to read. The reference range for normal on the TSH test is a hotly debated issue right now. One medical organization (can't remember if it's the AACE or another) has recommended that the reference range be revised and they suggest that anything registering over a 3.0 is suspect for hypothyroidism (currently the range goes all the way up to 5.0). Believe it or not, but I've met (via the internet) several people who, once they got the hard copies of their lab reports saw that they indeed tested abnormal, even though they were told they were "fine".So, if on your lab reports you see that you tested at either extreme of the "reference range/normal range" then I would see if your doctor would run additional tests for you based on the symptoms that you have and your enlarged thyroid. Tests can be done on T4, Free T4, T3 and Free T3 levels (these are actual thyroid hormones - where the TSH tests thyrotropin, a pituitary hormone, but one that helps regulate the thyroid). In autoimmune thyroid disease further tests for antibodies are warranted such as TSI, TPO, TBII, etc. but that would be after a definative thyroid problem would be found. The antibody tests are done to find out if the cause of the hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism is autoimmune or not.Endocrinologists are the specialists for thyroid disease. If you do have a problem then you should request a referral to an Endo, preferably one who specializes in thyroid disorders instead of diabetes (hard to find).Unfortunately my experience has been that thyroid issues and patient symptoms are not taken seriously enough by the medical profession. Over on the thyroid bb at Jeff's other site, Mediboard, we encourage everyone to get knowledgeable about thyroid disease and prepare to be your own advocate.When you get the paper copies of your lab results if you need help reading them you can email me or post on Mediboard and we'll try to help you. Looking back, it took me from 1996 when I first started having bad, overt symptoms (nervousness, anxiety, hot flashes, hair loss, period disturbances, irritability and the ever present diarrhea that I had had for years prior) until 1999 to get a proper diagnosis. Good luck, let me know if I can help in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks so much guys! I'm pretty sure all he tested me for was the TSH. I've had this test done twice, once last year, and once the year before that. Because I just swore something was wrong with my thyroid. Each time they say it's in normal ranges, and I'm fine.They never tell me what range I'm in though, so I need to find that out. If I call my doctor can they give me copies of the test results? Or do I need to get a hold of the lab they did it in?Here are my other symptoms. Some may or may not be related of course. Sluggish, tired all of the time, hair loss, over weight (no matter how hard I diet), dizziness, and now I even am having whacky menstual periods. This month it lasted a day and half. Not normal for me! And of course the enlarged thyroid. K9- Once I get this info I will be emailing you! I have no idea what I'm looking at and what it will all mean! Thanks so much for your help!!Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks so much guys! I'm pretty sure all he tested me for was the TSH. I've had this test done twice, once last year, and once the year before that. Because I just swore something was wrong with my thyroid. Each time they say it's in normal ranges, and I'm fine.They never tell me what range I'm in though, so I need to find that out. If I call my doctor can they give me copies of the test results? Or do I need to get a hold of the lab they did it in?Here are my other symptoms. Some may or may not be related of course. Sluggish, tired all of the time, hair loss, over weight (no matter how hard I diet), dizziness, and now I even am having whacky menstual periods. This month it lasted a day and half. Not normal for me! And of course the enlarged thyroid. K9- Once I get this info I will be emailing you! I have no idea what I'm looking at and what it will all mean! Thanks so much for your help!!Jennifer
 

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By all means, feel free to email me Jennifer. To get copies of your lab reports call your doctor. You are requesting copies of the lab reports...not your medical records (they get wierded out when you ask for medical records). They may want you to sign a release form...no biggie. I get my doc to fax mine to me. Since I've been at this almost 3 years now I don't even have to ask...they just fax it to me when it comes in!
(Your symptoms fit the bill for thyroid problems...will be interesting to see what your lab work says)
 

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By all means, feel free to email me Jennifer. To get copies of your lab reports call your doctor. You are requesting copies of the lab reports...not your medical records (they get wierded out when you ask for medical records). They may want you to sign a release form...no biggie. I get my doc to fax mine to me. Since I've been at this almost 3 years now I don't even have to ask...they just fax it to me when it comes in!
(Your symptoms fit the bill for thyroid problems...will be interesting to see what your lab work says)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again K9! I'm calling first thing in the morning, so you should be hearing from me soon! I'm really interested in what those results have to say too!!
Jennifer
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks again K9! I'm calling first thing in the morning, so you should be hearing from me soon! I'm really interested in what those results have to say too!!
Jennifer
 
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