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Happymama

Blood test for thyroid function on Monday.

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Tired
Happymama

Hi all.  

 

My perimenopause has now been chugging along for twelve miserable years.  It's not fair. I've had depression (thyroid tick), palpitations, breast cysts, low thoughts, super dry skin (thyroid tick), yellow thick skin on my feet (thyroid tick), super heavy menses (thyroid tick) and my hair is falling out approx twice as fast as it used to (thyroid tick), weight gain (thyroid tick) and severe sleep disturbance but also all of these things bar the very dry skin type perfectly well for a lack of fertility hormones, so I'm being tested for that too. And anaemia for the super heavy menses, I must be losing a few pints a month, no kidding.  

 

There is a link between hypothyroidism and MS I know.  Is there a blood marker for MS related to the thyroid?

 

 

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Crappy
Marina

@Happymama I'm sorry to hear you're going through all this...

 

Hypothyroidism and MS share many similar symptoms, which, as we know, is why it can be so difficult to diagnose MS or to tell the wood from the trees if one has both. Our Resources section has links to several thyroid sites in the Conditions that are similar to, linked to, or mimic MS category.

 

Palpitations can be a thyroid symptom, too, of either hypo or hyper. Low mood can also come with hypothyroidism. How are the outer third of your eyebrows? If thinner than they were, this can be another (lesser known?) classic symptom, along with weight gain, fatigue and dry skin, etc.

 

If there is a blood marker for MS related to the thyroid, I’m afraid I’m not aware of it.

 

Re testing - the NHS will only test TSH and not FT3 and FT4. For a proper test/diagnosis, both FT3 and FT4 should also be included, but the NHS refuse to do it, it can mostly only be tested privately. See this link and scroll down to the bottom for “When TSH Alone is Not Enough”:

 

GettyImages-530624602-5798fe465f9b589aa9
WWW.VERYWELLHEALTH.COM

Learn what a high or low TSH level reveals about your thyroid, like how it tells whether you are hypothyroid or hyperthyroid and guides treatment.

 

For test results and what’s not normal (although these are US and not UK ranges, but the principle is the same):

 

GettyImages-509173070-5968f4a25f9b582c35
WWW.VERYWELLHEALTH.COM

Learn about different thyroid tests, what they measure, and what they mean, including TSH, T3, T4, Free T3, Free T4, Reverse T3, and thyroglobulin.

 

I was told I was (mildly) hypothyroid 5 or 6 years before my DX of MS, via a TSH, FT3 and FT4 test, after a simple TSH test showed me as "normal". I’ve been on NDT (Natural Desiccated Thyroid) ever since.

 


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Tired
Happymama

The nurse wasn't there so have to wait for Wednesday now. 

 

US sites list that there's some sort of antigen you can test to see if your MS is attacking your thyroid.  But US sites recognise that early perimenopausal women get numb finger tips and that's not known or recognised here.   And when I had the buzzing while snoozing (2009) I looked it up online and found two hits on USA MS sites but not on any UK one.  Part of it might be that there are just more people over there.  And there's a lot of absolute rubbish on USA sites, I know.  

 

Last time i was tested for thyroid I was a 3.8 but the UK levels for 'normal are .5 to 5 and I could very well have had higher levels than that before then.  There's no such thing as normal, besides which a lot of research is done on men, not women. Heart attacks for instance! 

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Crappy
Marina

Oh, that must have been a bit annoying for you that the nurse wasn't there...

 

I'm well aware that that there's no such thing as "normal" when it comes to TSH tests :flowerface:. From what I can tell, these days in the UK, the "normal" range for TSH is 0.4 - 4.4. It used to have the higher end at 10, then they reduced it to 5 and then to about 4.4 or 4.2; it might also depend on the hospital or lab that does the testing. When it comes to "normal", this might be of interest?

 

 

This page on the Thyroid UK site states:

Quote

Do not just accept “normal”. You should always ask for the actual figures of your test results – your level as well as the ranges. Be aware that different areas in the country use different test ranges so one TSH test range might be 0.5 – 5.0 but in another area the TSH range might be 0.4 - 4.0. You could be “borderline” (near the bottom or top of the range) or have “subclinical hypothyroidism” (high TSH and normal FT4) or “subclinical hyperthyroidism” (low TSH and normal FT4) and not be aware of this because you have not been given the ranges of the tests.

And this page on the ME Association says:

Quote

Hypothyroidism is therefore diagnosed by finding an increased level of TSH and a reduced level of T4 in the blood. Early on, and in borderline/sub-clinical cases of hypothyroidism, both tests can be within the normal range with the TSH moving towards the upper limit of normal and the T4 at the lower end. The level of T3 is not normally measured but there are a people where the problem lies in the conversion of T4 to T3 – not the production of T4.

If your TSH was 3.8 but your (unknown) Free T3 and Free T4 levels were unbalanced, it's possible you were bordering on hypothyroidism. The problem is trying to find a doctor or endocrinologist who's more open to the "whole picture" and willing and able to do tests that include more than just TSH.

 

Good luck with your blood tests on Wednesday! Please let us know how you get on and what the outcome is?


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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