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Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: hypothyroidism or celiac?


 soffia - Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:24 am

Dear Doctor,
You are probably my last resort. I don’t know what to do…I’m a 20 year old girl. My problem is that I’m constantly tired, I can sleep for 12 hours and still be tired. In the morning I find it difficult to get myself up no matter how many hours I sleep. During the day the situation is similar, I don’t want to do anything, all I want to do is either sit or sleep, I feel unable to do anything active, when I stand up everything goes dark in my eyes, I feel extreme weakness, I can't concentrate. This has been the case for a while now, at first I used to blame myself , but then I realized that I need help and began looking for medical answers. I also have problems with irregular periods and intense PMS, the docs told me I have low progesterone and cysts on my right ovary, and 2 years ago I started gaining weight rapidly, I went from 110lbs to 155. Right now I’m at 140, I can’t lose any more…I also have problems with heartburn and discomfort in my stomach after I eat, my hair is falling out. My doctor prescribed siophor 500 for insulin resistance and duphaston for regulating progesterone levels. That’s great and everything, but I didn’t really feel any better, so I tried to look for answers on my own and through a sort of an elimination diet found that I do not tolerate oats and other grains, I looked it up and figured that maybe I’m gluten intolerant. I followed a gluten free diet for only 2 weeks and felt better. But everyone in my family eats gluten containing foods and from time to time I can’t contain myself, I have to have gluten, it’s like a drug.. I don’t know what to do doctor… please help me.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Sun Nov 25, 2007 9:55 pm

User avatar Hi Soffia,

I'm sorry to hear you are having so much trouble. There are certainly some things that should be evaluated. First, I would strongly recommend you have your thyroid levels tested. Your symptoms are very suspicious of hypothyroidism.

Celiac disease (gluten sensitivity) can certainly make a person feel poorly. It is a very common disease, perhaps as common as 1 in 100 people are affected with it. Some people may also simply be a little sensitive to gluten and feel better without it in their diet without having overt celiac disease.

Another possibility would be that you are sleeping very poorly. Things such as sleep apnea can rob a person of their ability to get a solid nights sleep that leads to excessive sleepiness at night and during the day. If your thyroid is normal, a sleep study may be helpful to see if any of these sleep disorders are causing problems.

You may also want to consider being tested for viruses such as Ebstein Barr virus (the cause of mononucleosis) that can cause prolonged fatigue.

Following up with your doctor is important to get all this figured out for you.

Best wishes.

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