I’m comparing the past 3 years of annual blood tests to try and find a hint or connection for my extreme fatigue. My thyroid levels have been wacky, and some other results are barely within the norm for someone as young and “healthy” as me. Other numbers have been slightly decreasing and others increasing over the years. I am comparing everything yearly side-by-side to see if I can’t find some other clues as to what it could be.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the thyroid, the way my mother explained it to me as it is a butterfly shaped gland in your neck that controls your body’s release of certain hormones. Her example was the hormone that tells you when you are full. In the case of hypothyroidism, the body tells you that even after you have eaten a complete meal, you are still hungry. So you eat more and more, causing an increase in weight gain. In the situation of hyperthyroidism, the opposite occurs. Your body thinks it is full when it isn’t, causing you to lose weight drastically without trying.
I’m not going to bore you with the complete list of my lab results (but that may come later if I feel it may help others to compare) but I will cover some highlights. When I say my thyroid levels have been wacky, here is a break down of what I mean:
|Hypothyroid||.5 or less|
|Hyperthyroid||5 or greater|
Typically, if you have an UNDER active thyroid (hypothyroidism) your TSH number will be below 0.5. The typical signs of hypothyroidism are gaining weight, fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, dry skin, depression, and many more. All of which I fit into. Plus, my mother has it, and research has shown it to be genetic.
More information https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hypothyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20350284
For those of you wondering about Hyperthyroidism, it is when your thyroid is OVER active and is shown when your TSH numbers are 5 or above. Usual symptoms include losing weight, rapid heartbeat, increased appetite, anxiety, sweating, and more.
More information: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20373659#:~:text=Overview,a%20rapid%20or%20irregular%20heartbeat.
Looking at my numbers and how they go from nearly under-active to nearly overactive, it was my main reasoning for thinking that my hormones might be to blame. During my research, thyroid levels can fluctuate that much during seasons, what you had to eat that day and many other factors. I took those all into consideration, but all 3 years were fasting tests and were done all around the same time of year, summer. It is possible that my stress levels could’ve caused the fluctuation of the numbers, which is why I wanted to look into it further. However, because I am between 1-5 on the TSH level, it was not a concern of the doctor.
I’ve considered the possibility of other thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s disease or Cushing syndrome. Both have symptoms that show like hypothyroidism, but can be more complex and serious. Hashimoto’s was the more likely out of the two because it would cause my thyroid levels to yo-yo as they have been along with many other problems I have been having such as fatigue, dry skin, brittle nails, weight gain, depression, etc. The difference between Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism is in Hashimoto’s that it is considered an autoimmune disorder. It is where the immune system attacks the thyroid, causing the thyroid to act up. It also causes inflammation in parts of the body (joints, muscles, etc) that I may not be noticing.
More information on Hashimoto’s: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hashimotos-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20351855
It is extremely unlikely after my research that I have Cushing because Cushing usually includes a lump on the throat (goiter), stretch marks from quick weight gain, etc. But I am not completely ruling it out because the symptoms also include: slow healing of cuts, acne, weight gain in midsection and face, decreased libido, along with many other symptoms of hypothyroidism.
More information on Cushing syndrome: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cushing-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351310
The upside is even if it turns out to be my thyroid, it can be treated with prescribed medication and can be controlled somewhat easily. The downside is because my thyroid is “within normal range” it is hard to get a doctor to do further testing.
I may update this page from time to time with other information I find, or additional testing that is done to rule these out. Additional testing that I might do is inflammation and hormone blood tests. If it is Hashimoto’s, the inflammation testing should come back positive. Additional hormone testing might be needed to rule all thyroid conditions or narrow down the search.
**I am not a medical professional, so I can not diagnose or treat conditions. Please have all treatments, concerns, and tests run by a medical professional. This information is only to inform others and myself of the differences between each condition and what I am personally thinking.
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