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Forum Name: Endocrinology Topics

Question: Hypothyroidism Symptoms persisting with treatment?


 jd419 - Fri Oct 16, 2009 12:22 am

I am a 27 yo female who was diagnosed with hypothyroidism via a goiter when I was approximately 12 years old. I do have a family history of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid. My aunt was successfully treated 10+ years ago. My mother DNA tested positive for the gene, however I was tested and do not carry the gene. I am currently on 100mcgs dose of Synthroid. My dosage and blood levels have been consistent for about 8 years.

Being so young at the time of diagnosis I do not remember if I had any of the typical symptoms before I was diagnosed. My goiter was discovered by my primary care provider during a visit for strep throat. I saw an endocrinologist immediately and began treatment, no more goiter. My question is why do I seem to still have a lot of the classic hypothyroidism symptoms? For several years I have had quite a bit of pain (aching) in my hip joints, cold intolerance (not severe), and fatigue. I am not always tired but people close to me joke that I have an idle mode. I just seem to run out of gas at times and fall asleep easily if inactive. It's gotten to the point that my inability to stay awake/alert irritates my bf frequently. Is it common to still have such symptoms? All my research tends to indicate that symptoms should clear up with treatment but mine seem to be persistent. I have mentioned this to my endocrinologist, but unfortunately, I have had a hard time keeping a consistent doctor (a pregnancy, change in career to research, professional sabbatical) but have stayed in the same medical system. I am in a healthy weight range, get exercise regularly, and have no other major medical problems. Blood pressure and cholesterol were recently checked and are very good. I am also on birth control (my levels were adjusted after I began these) and folic acid supplements.

Is it likely that my symptoms now are resultant from my medically controlled hypothyroidism? I
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:03 am

User avatar Hi,
Your situation is very genuine. A substantial number of hypothyroid patients on Thyroxin(tetraiodothyronine or T4) may not be feeling entirely alright despite normalization of their thyroid functions.
Some have labeled these symptoms as 'phantom' symptoms and so on....
Others have looked into this phenomenon more rationally and some studies have shown the benefits of adding T3 (triiodothyronine) to the Thyroxin(T4).

(Endogenously secreted T4 needs to be converted to T3 in the tissues to exert its full biological activity).
Adding T3 to T4 appears to add to the quality of life.
Good luck!!

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