Feeling down about hyperthyroidism

After seeing three different doctors about what I thought were swollen lymph nodes (with BGs consistently 60-80 points above normal), I saw an ENT yesterday and learned that I have thyroiditis. (Makes me want to call up the other doctors and yell, “How could you miss something so obvious”. One even said that it was unusual that only lymph nodes near my collar bone were swollen.)

I’ve had a sinus infection that just won’t clear up, too, as well as a weird feeling in my left ear. Turns out that I have very narrow openings into all my sinuses plus a deviated septum with a bone spur that extends into my maxillary sinus. The sinus infection caused my eardrum to be “sucked in” and that weird feeling is my eardrum just barely touching that bone spur. The ENT gave me samples of Flonase and said that it would reduce swelling and get the gunk out of my sinuses, allowing my ear to return to normal.

I had a TSH blood test and the results were .002. Hyperthyroid. I’m being referred to an endocrinologist today. (Side note: I’ve tried to find an endo in my area for years. None could see me for at least three months so I gave up. The ENT is in a city about 30 miles away and said he was certain that his office could get me in to see an endo there quickly.)

It’s possible that my thyroid will return to normal when the infection clears. It’s also possible that it won’t and I’ll need meds for the rest of my life.

I’m not sure of exactly what’s bothering me, but I’m pretty bummed. I’m grateful to FINALLY have a correct diagnosis but I also feel like it’s just one more illness/condition that I get to add to my list. Before I got diabetes (eight years ago at age 41), I was incredibly healthy except for an occasional sinus infection. Now I have a long list of chronic conditions. And I’m sick of it. Sick of having chronic sickness.

While I could view taking thyroid meds as “what’s another hormone when I already need insulin every day” or “so my thyroid is a slacker just like my pancreas,” it just doesn’t feel that way. It feels like my health is decreasing steadily despite my best efforts to stay healthy. The day to day grind of self care should have a bigger payback, y’know?

I’m pretty sure that some of the bad feelings are about the fact that I just turned 49 and all of the health issues are a big reminder that I’m not getting younger. At the same time, I’ve never really had any issues about my age so why would that be the case now?

It’s just so unfair. Isn’t one chronic health condition enough? sigh

Can any of you relate? It’s not quite the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it’s along those lines.


I understand how you feel, Janet. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism when I was 46. Before that I had never been sick…ever. I had a super immune system; rode in a bus with children who got all the childhood diseases and never got any, spontaneously cleared the HepC virus. Since then…arrythmia, acid reflux, cholesterol and now diabetes. I like to say "I never get sick, I just get conditions."Sigh. I try not to associate it with getting older and definitely try to not talk too much about my conditions, especially to healthy people!

Unfortunately having more than one autoimmune disease like diabetes and thyroid is very common (one of the ways I self-diagnosed myself as LADA not Type 2). When I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid (Graves Disease) it explained so much of things I’d been used to experiencing (I probably had had it for several years), both physical and emotional, like weight loss (I liked that one!), feeling hot when as a child I was always cold, irritability and impatience. I was glad to be able to stop all those symptoms. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, at least for me, after being stable for many years on the same dose of thyroid meds, since diabetes my TSH tends to get destabilized and I have to change the dose so I have to watch it. That was easy in Guatemala when lab tests were $16, not as much here.

I’m a decade older than you and never thought I’d have issues with age, but I do feel my mortality. I just try and keep doing fun things in life and working on the balance between taking care of my health but not making it my whole life. I have a good friend my age who has had chronic illness for twenty years but in her case she is sick and disabled to a strong degree. I figure at least I feel fine as long as I manage things. Good insurance helps. Hang in there, Janet.

Thank you, Zoe. It’s such a comfort to know that you “get it” – even if I’m not sure what “it” is. :slight_smile:

I went through the list of symptoms of hyperthyroidism and nodded my head most of the time. I’m still hoping that this is temporary and will clear once the inflammation goes down (and it’s inflammation, not infection I’ve learned). Even so, it seems inevitable that more conditions will crop up.

I like your spirit. It’s time for me to get to the fun things I want to do NOW! I have quite a list of things I want to do either before I’m 50 or when I’m exactly 50. Better get cracking.

Hi Janet. I had a hyperthyrpoid 10 yrs ago. I had it pretty bad. It got to the point where I lost 14 lbs in 2 weeks and I had every symptom there was which made it dreadful. The good thing is that I was given the radiation pill and they got my dose perfect. My thyroid has been normal for 9 yrs now without medication. It has stayed level on it’s own. Maybe the same will happen with you and yours will level out with the proper treatment. Hope it works out.

There you go, Janet! I think it’s easier for me to not freak out over aging, because I generally find it unbelievable that I’m as old as I am…I’m what??? I think it’s easier for me because I was never athletic so I don’t miss what I never had. Also I don’t have grown kids to make me feel older! Though the fact that my nephew now always treats ME at restaurants instead of the reverse is a bit disconcerting! It’s also pretty funny that thanks to diabetes I finally effortlessly lost all the weight I struggled with for years. So someone is going to have to tell me when I cross the line on wearing styles much too young for me! Seriously, though, yes, I definitely understand the feelings about aging, and when it gets me I just remind myself that I like my life and feel a lot happier in my own skin than I did when I was 20!

Ok, Traicy, I’m confused! They were unable to control my hyperthyroid with meds, so they used radiation to destroy it, so I no longer have a thyroid and have to take Synthroid to replace it. You had radiation but if it didn’t destroy your thyroid what did it do??

Zoe, I forget how old I am all the time and am sometimes surprised at how old I am when I remember. Thank goodness that I was born in 1960. That means that the last digit of the current year also is the last digit of my age. Sad that it’s come to this . . .

My weight loss was what prompted my initial diagnosis of diabetes (Type 2, later an accurate diagnosis of Type 1). I enjoyed the perks, too. People asked what diet I was on and I said, “Trust me. You don’t want it.”

My sons are good reminders of my age, just as you suggested. How did they get to be 21 and 18 – and well over six feet tall? Where was I?

I have had type 1 for 35 years, diagnosed at age 21. Frankly, I never expected to even see my 40th birthday. DB had taken its toll on a number of members of my extended family, at very young ages, so I just assumed I’d be short-lived too.
And now it’s very freaky to be experiencing “old age” stuff too - I mean, give me a break. I have the beginnings of arthritis and all kinds of various aches and pains. In addition to insulin I also take meds for blood pressure, depression, insomnia, thyroid and now cholesterol. I’m son gonna have to get another multi compartment pill box. Each new diagnosis makes me wanna pound my head against the wall…yet…all of the meds seem to be doing their job and I have reasonable insurance to pay for them. Still, I feel like an old house that looks okay on the outside but has termites chewing away at the innards. Sigh…

Traicy, that happened to me, only I didn’t need meds when high, and testing showed I had high levels of thyroid antibodies… I was developing Hashimoto’s. It took about 5 years from the stretch where I was hyper to when my thyroid finally quit though. Now I’m on complete replacement and will be forever :frowning:

I can also relate.I was 20 when I found out that my thyoid had a nodule and it had to be removed.(I was also 4 months pregnant with my first child)Being high risk during pregnancy,I was very concerned about their health.I unfortunately miscarried one child.I felt the guilt because I have no thyroid and it put me in the high risk group.Ayear ago I was diagnosed with diabetes my cholesterol levels were off among other things.I just hope that whenever I go for anymore checkups,they don’t find anything else wrong with me.I feel I have enough on my plate when it comes to health related issues.

Great metaphor, Kathy!! I glare at any doctor that wants to prescribe meds for anytime other than morning or bedtime, because I refuse to get the larger med box!

Yeah, me too, Janet, weight loss was a part of my diagnosis and I get the same question, “what are you doing to lose all that weight, you look great.” Sometimes I say what you said, “it isn’t worth it” but sometimes I just smile all self-righteous looking and say thank you. I call it my “giftie”. Seems like there should be some compensation for being stuck with diabetes, right?

Thyroid problems are very common in women & even more common in people with diabetes. For years, before being diagnosed with Type 1, I had hypothyroid symptoms & told doctors about this. Every test showed I was borderline low, so I was never prescribed thyroid meds. Wasn’t until I was diagnosed Type 1 that an antibody test was done & it was off the charts. Still struggling to get my thyroid doses right. Think that may be even harder than the insulin!

I’m never sick & rarely get as much as a cold. It’s hard to accept always having been as healthy as a horse & now to have at least two chronic conditions. I wake up some mornings & feel like I’m 90. Hey, what happened to my young body? Oh yeah, that’s right, I’m 54:)

Gerri, I have hypothyroidism and type 1 diabetes for 41 years. I find both of them some intrusive in my life, but the hyp thyroidism is more easily manageable. However, my almost three week stint with a new a MM CGMS has been quite helpful… I do not have the same younger body, as the celuulite and the sags are a’comin and a’stayin(LOL), as well as pains and aches and random stiffness… But I would not trade the peace of mind of maturity for tight thighs… and U look good anyway, girlie, for 54… I am 54, too, and pretty healthy and happy…

God Bless,

I never would have guessed you’re 54. You’re beautiful at any age. I wouldn’t trade peace of mind or maturity for tight thighs either:) Not sure my thighs were even that tight at 24–lol!

Happy your new CGMS is helping–yay!

Thanks for all of your replies. It’s so comforting to know that others have been there, done that.

Question: as I mentioned, I had a TSH test and the result was .002, indicating hyperthyroid. I can’t get in to see the endo until November 9, which seems like too long considering that my thyroid is still swollen and I’m concerned about the potential effects of not treating the TSH-indicated problem. Should I be seen by an endo sooner – or is this in the “nice to see an endo early but fine to wait to get in” category?

Also, I contacted my family practice doc, asking the same questions. The response was that it’s okay to wait and in the meantime he would prescribe atenolol 25 mg. When I saw what actually was prescribed, it was Inderal 60 mg LA. I looked up Inderal and can’t figure out why it would help me. I’m also concerned that it’s used to treat high blood pressure – and I’m already on Diovan (to protect my kidneys) and have never had high blood pressure. On Diovan, my blood pressure sometimes is too low as it is. Would Inderal make that worse?