Posted 6/7/2010 8:00 PM (GMT -7)
Hi everyone. I am posting on behalf of my husband....being a man, of course, he isn't going to do this himself. He has given into what our primary doctor has told him. Allow me to explain.
Near 11 years ago, he had half of his thyroid removed at the age of 29. I remember at the time the doctor said the remaining portion may be enough to keep up function or it may not. That either way, he should keep an eye on it for the rest of his life as eventually, it may need help.
It did appear to function after surgery and for the first few years. I believe it just gotten forgotten about.
He has always been an active person....required little sleep, a night owl and an early riser....has gotten up every morning 5:30 am, the type who can just "wake up".....unlike me who needs thirty minutes to move. He isn't a couch potatoe, active, always doing stuff outside, in the yard, etc. just a "go go go" type person.
For the past five years, a subtle change has occured. Over the past year, his fatigue has taken a toll. He'd blame it on, getting older, having young children, weight gain, not eating as good as he should....all the kinds of things that seem logical. But, he isn't the same, it just isn't "him". It occured to me a few months ago about his thyroid so I looked up hypothyroidism and was shocked at the symptoms....especially the obscure ones. I showed him and his mouth fell open.
In his mid thirties (he will be 40 in two months) his hair began to thin up top....it was odd considering that doesn't run in his family....on both sides, everyone has a head full of hair. Not only did it thin, it just changed and wasn't the same....in any event, of course, it doesn't bother me and it didn't bother him he just thought, "guess my hair is thinning on top"
A few years ago, during a physical, his cholestoral came back high....again, didn't think anything of it even though he doesn't eat a lot of the foods that cause it and it doesn't run in his family. of course he just chalked it up to "well, i guess i have to really watch it"
he has beautiful teeth, never had a cavity and last year at the dentist they said he had gum disease starting....and again, just thinking it's "getting older"
he has been suffering from insomnia on and off for years....assumed this is why he has fatigue.
his hips ache at times, nothing untolerable, and some other joints or bones here and there....nothing too bad and just assumed it's part of aging.
he was always an over active sweater...as in he would sweat a lot and that DOES run in his family. our son is even like that. he was the type of person who would have sweaty palms in air condition....his clothes would get soaked when out in the heat, etc. a few years ago, this seem to clear up for him and i remember us thinking, "wow, guess you outgrew it finally".
he also tended to have oily skin....that too has cleared up....just thought of that as a good thing.
But the fatigue is the main thing....a lot during the week, my ten in the morning, he feels the overwhelming need for a nap. he just hasn't been himself and i started to realize these subtle changes are taking their toll. in particular the fatigue, he feels bad about it and it makes him sorta miserable because of it even though he tries to fight it. it's what made me look up the thyroid symptoms. i never thought the other things could be symptoms, just the fatigue.
he was almost happy to read that....to think it could be that and then him possibly feel better. he made an appointment with our primary care doctor. she did a blood test, the tsh test....it came back "in normal range."
she told him he's just getting older, needs to eat better and exercise. she said he could go to an endocrinologist but she was certain he'd tell him the same thing because the tsh test is normal, then it isn't his thyroid.
He said he'd go to the appointment with the endo for me (you can tell he doesn't want to go just to be told the same thing). he was somewhat embarrassed i imagine and doesn't want to hear it again. also, being a man, i'm sure it's easier to give into, "i'm just getting older and shouldn't be a wimp about excepting it" or something like that.
He isn't a couch potatoe. He also could stand to lose some weight....has probably put on 20 pounds over the past 3 years but it certainly isn't from eating bad. Heck, I don't think he eats enough....he doesn't feel hungry at dinner if he's eaten a decent lunch....says he still feels full a lot of the time.
I'm just wondering if the endo will do more? is there anymore to do besides the TSH test? what kinds of questions should he ask? how do you get someone to listen to you? or if your tsh test is normal does it mean nothing is wrong? I read it isn't always reliable....the primary doctor said it is and it's standard. it's very confusing.
I guess I was sort of not educated on the subject myself so I thought I'd ask others....It just seemed to me that if you had half your thyroid removed, you have lots of the symptoms and then some, that regardless of a blood test, you'd get a little thyroid help. sorry this is so long. as i said, it's all confusing and i just feel bad for him....i know he doesn't feel like himself and i really believe it's his thyroid....knowing him as i do, i just can't believe it's cuz he's getting older, etc.