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Old 10-25-2012, 03:50 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,618 posts, read 31,198,912 times
Reputation: 26690

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For months now, I have exhibited every single classic symptom of hypothyroidism, including weight gain on 1400 calories a day with 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise 5 days a week. I'm 5'6", currently 120 lbs, 37 years old, female. I haven't menstruated in over a year. My skin is dry, my hair is brittle, I'm so tired I frequently fall asleep at my desk or on the sofa watching TV, my muscles are always sore, my legs and face are swollen, I'm sensitive to cold, and my blood pressure has dropped to an average of 100/70 from a previous average of 120/80. My body temperature is usually 97-97.5 F.

So I went to the doctor and he smugly informed me that A.) I was lying about my caloric intake, B.) that hypothyroidism is rare, and C.) he would humor me and do the tests anyway but he expected them to come back 100% normal.

Well, here they are, with some LFTs thrown in for good measure:

AST: 31 U/L (range 10-30 U/L)
ALT: 42 U/L (range 6-40 U/L)
T3, Free: 2.2 pg/mL (range 2.3-4.2 pg/mL)
T4, Free: 1.0 ng/dL (range 0.8-1.8 ng/dL)
TSH: 1.72 mIU/L (no range provided)

Upon seeing these results, he re-ordered a full metabolic panel plus a hepatitis screen, various hormone panels, some antibody thing, and the word "lupus" was mentioned.

Apparently my hematocrit and hemoglobin levels are low as well as my white blood cell and red cell counts, and my platelet count and absolute neutrophils levels are also low. Not VERY low, just a hair outside of the low end of normal.

What should I think of this??
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:16 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,677,768 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
1400 calories a day with 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise 5 days a week. I'm 5'6", currently 120 lbs, 37 years old, female. I haven't menstruated in over a year. My skin is dry, my hair is brittle, I'm so tired I frequently fall asleep at my desk or on the sofa watching TV, my muscles are always sore, my legs and face are swollen, I'm sensitive to cold, and my blood pressure has dropped to an average of 100/70 from a previous average of 120/80. My body temperature is usually 97-97.5 F.
I'm seeing a whole lot of red flags just here in your description of yourself.

If you're 37 years old, 5'6", weith 120 pounds and are female, why in blazes are you consuming only 1400 calories and exercising "vigorously" for up to an hour a day, 5 days a week? You're basically starving yourself. No wonder you're always tired, sore, sensitive to cold, have dry skin and hair.

Your blood pressure is FINE by the way. Most of my life, mine was around 90/60.

You don't need to lose weight, so stop trying. What kind of food are you eating in that 1400/day "diet?"
And how much water are you drinking? Are you consuming alcohol at all? Are you taking medications for anything?
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:18 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,618 posts, read 31,198,912 times
Reputation: 26690
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
I'm seeing a whole lot of red flags just here in your description of yourself.

If you're 37 years old, 5'6", weith 120 pounds and are female, why in blazes are you consuming only 1400 calories and exercising "vigorously" for up to an hour a day, 5 days a week? You're basically starving yourself. No wonder you're always tired, sore, sensitive to cold, have dry skin and hair.

Your blood pressure is FINE by the way. Most of my life, mine was around 90/60.

You don't need to lose weight, so stop trying. What kind of food are you eating in that 1400/day "diet?"
And how much water are you drinking? Are you consuming alcohol at all? Are you taking medications for anything?
Given that I've put on weight, I'm afraid to eat more. I'll be honest about that. To me, more food = more lbs.

No medication, no alcohol. I drink when I'm thirsty; I don't keep track of how much water I consume. I eat a relatively healthy diet; I eat an egg sandwich on an English muffin and some fruit for breakfast, I don't eat a lunch per se but I have a fruit and Greek yogurt parfait in the afternoon and I nibble if I'm hungry; for dinner I usually have a microwave meal with more vegetables thrown into it (I always 'pimp' a frozen meal with veg), cereal, some fruit. I don't eat junk food, I don't eat silly meal replacements or protein bars, and I don't eat out.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,677,768 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
Given that I've put on weight, I'm afraid to eat more. I'll be honest about that. To me, more food = more lbs.

No medication, no alcohol. I drink when I'm thirsty; I don't keep track of how much water I consume. I eat a relatively healthy diet; I eat an egg sandwich on an English muffin and some fruit for breakfast, I don't eat a lunch per se but I have a fruit and Greek yogurt parfait in the afternoon and I nibble if I'm hungry; for dinner I usually have a microwave meal with more vegetables thrown into it (I always 'pimp' a frozen meal with veg), cereal, some fruit. I don't eat junk food, I don't eat silly meal replacements or protein bars, and I don't eat out.
You're eating too much fruit, not enough other food, and you -are- eating a silly meal replacement. Microwave meals are not actual meals. They're over-processed, over-sodium, over-starch substitutions for quality foods. Are all those fruits fresh? Or are they like, Dole Grapefruit Sunrise segments in a pre-measured cup with natural fruit juice? Or is it canned fruit cocktail in heavy syrup?

English muffin and egg and fruit for breakfast is great. It's a solid breakfast that should get you going in the morning, and has all the elements of what most bodies need to be healthy. So kudos on breakfast, that gets a total A in nutrition-dense filling food.

Greek yogurt fruit parfait is loaded with sugar. Instead of that AND fruit - try this:
Plain UNflavored greek yogurt - and add 3 chopped small-medium sized strawberries. If you need sweetener for it, add a dripping teaspoon of honey. Frozen strawberries are fine, as long as they're not frozen with sweetener.

Also add - some slivered almonds. Dump it right into the yogurt. A tablespoon is fine.

At some point between breakfast and dinner at -least- three days a week, have a small salad. You can prepare this in the morning, very simply, without any muss or fuss or having to wash lettuce (this is the "lazy person's salad", my speciality):

Buy one of those 5-ounce packages of pre-washed, pre-dried, pre-mixed salad greens. I get Olivia's Organic Spring Mix with Herbs. One of those will last you 3-4 side-salads.
Buy a *small* container of cherry tomatoes, OR buy a single big beefsteak tomato (should weigh around 3/4 pound) and accept that you'll have to cut some of it every dayl
Buy an 8-ounce package of decent shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Grab a good fistful of salad, toss it in a plastic container. Add a half dozen cherry tomatoes. Add a few hefty pinches of shredded cheese. Sprinkle a teaspoon of those slivered almonds you already have for your yogurt over the top. A tablespoon of oil and a spritz of vinegar, and cover the container. Add a little snack-sized ziplock baggie with some seasoned croutons if you want - shouldn't need more than a handful of those. But don't put them in the container til you're ready to eat it.

That's around $2.50 for a delicious lunch, that's chock-full of nutrients, fiber, and is filling.

For supper - I recommend cooking something on Sunday, with enough leftovers to last 3 days during the week. A roast chicken, or a roast beef, or a nice eggplant dish if you prefer not to eat meat. Make a pot of noodles too - either with red sauce or a *simple* olive oil and minced garlic.

And another day during the week, get some fresh fish already deboned/filleted, toss it in a pan on the stove for a few minutes, flip it over for a few more minutes, sprinkle some lemon juice and a little dill on it, and serve. One pan and one plate to clean. You can season it with garlic instead of dill, and even add a little leftover noodles from Sunday with a little grated cheese.

You are definitely not eating enough, and your body sounds like it's starting to protest and holding back whatever little amount of energy you -do- give it. You're working off *much* more than you're taking in (remember you burn calories just by existing, sitting on a couch all day and all night).

You don't need a lot of food. But you -do- need to eat more than what you're consuming now and you need to eat more *nutritious* foods than you're currently consuming.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:40 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,618 posts, read 31,198,912 times
Reputation: 26690
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
Greek yogurt fruit parfait is loaded with sugar. Instead of that AND fruit - try this:
Plain UNflavored greek yogurt - and add 3 chopped small-medium sized strawberries. If you need sweetener for it, add a dripping teaspoon of honey. Frozen strawberries are fine, as long as they're not frozen with sweetener.
I use Faye fat-free Greek yogurt in the parfait, not sweetened or flavored yogurt.

Quote:
Also add - some slivered almonds. Dump it right into the yogurt. A tablespoon is fine.
They disagree with my dental work; I could go for walnuts I guess.

Quote:
At some point between breakfast and dinner at -least- three days a week, have a small salad. You can prepare this in the morning, very simply, without any muss or fuss or having to wash lettuce (this is the "lazy person's salad", my speciality):

Buy one of those 5-ounce packages of pre-washed, pre-dried, pre-mixed salad greens. I get Olivia's Organic Spring Mix with Herbs. One of those will last you 3-4 side-salads.
Buy a *small* container of cherry tomatoes, OR buy a single big beefsteak tomato (should weigh around 3/4 pound) and accept that you'll have to cut some of it every dayl
Buy an 8-ounce package of decent shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Grab a good fistful of salad, toss it in a plastic container. Add a half dozen cherry tomatoes. Add a few hefty pinches of shredded cheese. Sprinkle a teaspoon of those slivered almonds you already have for your yogurt over the top. A tablespoon of oil and a spritz of vinegar, and cover the container. Add a little snack-sized ziplock baggie with some seasoned croutons if you want - shouldn't need more than a handful of those. But don't put them in the container til you're ready to eat it.

That's around $2.50 for a delicious lunch, that's chock-full of nutrients, fiber, and is filling.
I used to have a huge salad of basically raw vegetables, spinach, etc. for lunch but stopped doing that because in my mind it wasn't "working", i.e. weight was creeping on by the tenth of the pound.

Quote:
For supper - I recommend cooking something on Sunday, with enough leftovers to last 3 days during the week. A roast chicken, or a roast beef, or a nice eggplant dish if you prefer not to eat meat. Make a pot of noodles too - either with red sauce or a *simple* olive oil and minced garlic.

And another day during the week, get some fresh fish already deboned/filleted, toss it in a pan on the stove for a few minutes, flip it over for a few more minutes, sprinkle some lemon juice and a little dill on it, and serve. One pan and one plate to clean. You can season it with garlic instead of dill, and even add a little leftover noodles from Sunday with a little grated cheese.

You are definitely not eating enough, and your body sounds like it's starting to protest and holding back whatever little amount of energy you -do- give it. You're working off *much* more than you're taking in (remember you burn calories just by existing, sitting on a couch all day and all night).

You don't need a lot of food. But you -do- need to eat more than what you're consuming now and you need to eat more *nutritious* foods than you're currently consuming.
Thanks for the tips, I'll keep those in mind. I don't eat total crap at dinner; I realize a lot of frozen meals are full of garbage so I tend to buy higher-quality ones and I dress them up with lots of broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

I have had extensive dental work done and have several crowns, tons of fillings, and one root canal (so far) so anything very sugary hurts my teeth; I'm literally sitting there moaning in pain with my hand up against my cheek. So I'm not over-consuming sugar. Some foods, like slivered nuts, get caught in the gap between my crowns and my gums and bug the heck out of me. Flossing doesn't shift them; I have to brush my teeth or sometimes use a water-pik to dislodge them. So I avoid certain foods to try to eliminate that problem, though I can eat most if not all raw veggies without any issues.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Mississippi
1,246 posts, read 1,716,371 times
Reputation: 2486
OP, if you have gained weight and now weigh 120 it makes me wonder how much you have gained. All of the symptoms that you list can also be attributed to being underweight. You are in no way overweight at 120 lbs at 5'6". Also your TSH level is fine. In fact, the level that is "normal" for me is 4 to 4.5. I am 33 and have hypothyroidism from Hashimotos, so you don't have to be "old" to have an underactive thyroid for whatever reason, but I agree with your doctor that hypothyroidism is not your problem.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:02 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,677,768 times
Reputation: 20198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Madeline2121 View Post
OP, if you have gained weight and now weigh 120 it makes me wonder how much you have gained. All of the symptoms that you list can also be attributed to being underweight. You are in no way overweight at 120 lbs at 5'6". Also your TSH level is fine. In fact, the level that is "normal" for me is 4 to 4.5. I am 33 and have hypothyroidism from Hashimotos, so you don't have to be "old" to have an underactive thyroid for whatever reason, but I agree with your doctor that hypothyroidism is not your problem.
The fact that she's obsessed with weight gain (really? she complains about her weight creeping up by a TENTH of a pound? Really? Are you freaking kidding me?) tells me right there that she has an eating disorder.

And all that dental work excuse - floss solves MOST of it. I have two bridges and an implant on just my upper mouth, and I can even eat popcorn as long as I floss at some point before I go to bed that night.

And the "I'm not eating sugary foods" is horsepucky. Fruits are LOADED with sugar.

And the "MY processed frozen microwave foods are high quality and I add veggies so that makes it wholesome nutrient-dense foods" is equally horsepucky.

The OP is obsessed about her weight, she's eating way too little, and eating too much of the wrong foods, and making excuses for it.

If she's hoping to get medicated for an illness she doesn't have, I'll toss Munchausen's into the mix.

She's also not reading labels very well. It's FAGE - not Faye...the fat-free version is "Total 0%" and it contains 7 grams of sugar in a 100-calorie cup. That means 28% of the calories is sugar. Then she says she's making a parfait with it, so who knows what -other- sugars she's adding. If she's adding fruit, she's adding sugar.
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:55 PM
 
14,701 posts, read 18,790,217 times
Reputation: 20225
And the OP's eating disorder is probably the reason she hasnt had a period in over a year.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:01 PM
 
Location: North Texas
23,618 posts, read 31,198,912 times
Reputation: 26690
Quote:
Originally Posted by texasfirewheel View Post
And the OP's eating disorder is probably the reason she hasnt had a period in over a year.
My percentage of body fat is fine; I used to take the pill continuously and my OB/GYN says this sometimes happens. She said to come back if my periods didn't start up again and she'd give me medication to make them start up again, but I don't miss having them so I haven't done that.
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,549 posts, read 26,166,023 times
Reputation: 26564
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigDGeek View Post
For months now, I have exhibited every single classic symptom of hypothyroidism, including weight gain on 1400 calories a day with 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise 5 days a week. I'm 5'6", currently 120 lbs, 37 years old, female. I haven't menstruated in over a year. My skin is dry, my hair is brittle, I'm so tired I frequently fall asleep at my desk or on the sofa watching TV, my muscles are always sore, my legs and face are swollen, I'm sensitive to cold, and my blood pressure has dropped to an average of 100/70 from a previous average of 120/80. My body temperature is usually 97-97.5 F.

So I went to the doctor and he smugly informed me that A.) I was lying about my caloric intake, B.) that hypothyroidism is rare, and C.) he would humor me and do the tests anyway but he expected them to come back 100% normal.

Well, here they are, with some LFTs thrown in for good measure:

AST: 31 U/L (range 10-30 U/L)
ALT: 42 U/L (range 6-40 U/L)
T3, Free: 2.2 pg/mL (range 2.3-4.2 pg/mL)
T4, Free: 1.0 ng/dL (range 0.8-1.8 ng/dL)
TSH: 1.72 mIU/L (no range provided)

Upon seeing these results, he re-ordered a full metabolic panel plus a hepatitis screen, various hormone panels, some antibody thing, and the word "lupus" was mentioned.

Apparently my hematocrit and hemoglobin levels are low as well as my white blood cell and red cell counts, and my platelet count and absolute neutrophils levels are also low. Not VERY low, just a hair outside of the low end of normal.

What should I think of this??
Read this.

Anorexia nervosa - MayoClinic.com
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