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Thyroid Diseases

Thyroid Cancer

02/16/2006

Question:

3 years ago I had my thyroid glands removed. They found cancer. Since then I have been on thyroid replacement therapy. I gain weight constantly, I have a very hard time loosing weight and I have most of the symptoms of someone with hypothyroidism. I have been complaining to my doctor for 2 years about it. Last year she put me on a anti-depressant. What do I need to do to get things fixed?

Answer:

The symptoms of hypothyroidism can be very non-specific.  Lots and lots of people with perfectly normal thyroid glands get unexplained weight gain, tiredness, constipation, and other symptoms that could also be caused by hypothyroidism.  Fortunately, the blood tests that we have for diagnosing hypothyroidism are extremely sensitive and reliable.  If your doctor has checked your thyroid hormone levels in the blood and they are not low, then I agree that changing your thyroid hormone dose is unlikely to make you feel better, and other possible causes for your symptoms should be sought.

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Response by:

Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE Thomas A Murphy, MD, FACP, FACE
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University