Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

A bitter pill

with 2 comments

Today has been something of an angry, brain-foggy day.

Dr Barnes found that low body temperature inhibits the ability of these patients’ bone marrow to produce both red and white blood cells properly. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen to the rest of the body for food metabolism, energy, and heat. Red blood cell disturbances lead to lower metabolic activity and still lower temperatures. Ability of the marrow to produce white blood cells – soldiers of the immune system army – is reduced, too, making hypothyroids vulnerable to repeated colds, flu, sinusitis, sore thrat, pneumonia, and other respiratory ailments. – Langer & Scheer, Solved: the Riddle of Illness

What interests me about this is that in a vague sort of sense I do have “anaemia”. I’m short on or have deformed red blood cells, and therefore short on oxygen.

Some years ago my parents saw a talk by Dr Leslie O Simpson, a New Zealand biologist who had been studying the blood cells of people with fibromyalgia. He had found that red blood cells did not form properly, and were all kinds of funny shapes. Instead of the normal dimple-shaped disc, some were round, spherical, cornflake shaped, and some were just mashed-up looking. The reason this hadn’t been noticed before, was that as soon as haematologists took steps to preserve the blood, the blood cells all popped back into shape. Dr Simpson was looking for people to take part in his study, and he studied my parents’ blood and found that theirs too had the characteristic misformed shapes. Unfortunately his findings were never followed up.

Chris sent me a link that contained a link to a paper identifying quercetin as having antithyroid effects. Yeah, I’m not surprised. I was taking it when I came down with that awful bout of bronchitis that I think turned into subacute thyroiditis. When your thyroid isn’t working properly, it makes you very vulnerable to infections. I bet I wouldn’t have got sick if it wasn’t for those stupid vitamins.

Now to something I’m not sure I wanted to know.

The most serious complication from oral contraceptives has been a seven to tenfold increase in morbidity and mortality due to thromboembolic diseases reported in Great Britain…

Since these changes are characteristic of abnormalities found in thyroid deficiencies… it would appear that a careful scrutiny of thyroid function should be made in all cases before initiating the Pill. The Basal Temperature has been found to be the most satisfactory test. If a woman has any symptoms of thyroid deficiency and/or a subnormal Basal Temperature, adequate thyroid therapy is maintained as long as she is taking the Pill.

In my large general practice, no cases of thrombophlebitis has occurred, and few patients have complained of water retention. Thyroid is an excellent diuretic in hypothyroidism. A few cases have been seen in which thrombophlebitis developed under administration of the Pill from other physicians.

In each instance, evidence of thyroid deficiency was present before the contraceptive was started. Thyroid prophylaxis for thromboses in those taking the Pill seems to be as effective as it is for the prevention of coronary disease. – Langer & Scheer, Solved: the Riddle of Illness

Nearly seven years ago I had a serious full-leg deep vein thrombosis that could have killed me, as a result of being put on the third generation pill combined with a mild genetic thrombophilia. Having researched the likelihood of this combination causing a DVT, I’ve always felt there must have been other factors involved. Some of those factors must have been inborn, as my younger sister developed a DVT in exactly the same way at exactly the same age, five years after me. I’m certain my sister has thyroid issues too, as we have many health problems in common. So now I understand the thyroid connection.

If I had been diagnosed with subclinical hypothyroidism twenty years ago, this never would have happened to me, or to my little sister. This is a bitter pill indeed.

Six months after the DVT I went back to the same doctor to complain that I had gained a stone in less than three months, that I was tired, weak, short of breath, cold, that I had brain fog, that I was having severe, exaggerated symptoms of PMS, and that I was having reactive hypoglycaemia that was seriously impairing my ability to work.

She sent me away with a useless test for fasting blood sugar, telling me that if I had a hormonal problem I would have to “grin and bear it because the cure is the Pill and you can’t take that”, if I had fibromyalgia, there was “nothing a doctor could do,” and that if I had a weight problem, “you need to diet and exercise more, and you would be useless on Atkins.” Then she gave me a steriod cream for the eczema that had suddenly appeared on my face, which proceeded to make my eczema a whole lot worse.

I don’t blame that doctor in particular. Likely any other doctor would have said the same thing. Ignorance breeds contempt.


Written by alienrobotgirl

28 May, 2009 at 1:19 am

Posted in Thyroid

2 Responses

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  1. I should show you my ‘before and after’ of my face from when I was given steroid cream. Two words: perioral dermatitis. Which is a bit of a misnomer, since I had it up around my eyes, too.



    28 May, 2009 at 1:41 pm

  2. Perioral dermatitis is horrible and eeevil and I wish it was dead! I have also had it around my eyes, particularly under my lower eyelashes. During a very bad patch before I found failsafe, I actually had red flares spreading out from the corners of my eyes. This was often accompanied by very puffy eyelids and eye area, and a bit of a moon-faced demeanour that I now realise is classic hypothyroid countenance, oedema caused by fluid build up (which I also have in hands/wrists and feet/ankles right now). The water-weight in hypothyroidism, by the way, is mucin, i.e. mucus, and is actually quite jelly-like when cut into with a surgeon’s scalpel. Ewww.


    28 May, 2009 at 11:53 pm

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