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Thyroid Diagnosis Remains Elusive Despite Long List of Nonspecific Symptoms

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CINCINNATI, OH – Ohio resident Tracy Murphy is preparing to seek a third medical opinion about her thyroid condition that remains undiagnosed.

“It all started about a year ago” reports Mrs. Murphy. “I told my primary care physician that I was gaining weight and feeling exhausted all the time. He suggested that we check a thyroid level. When the thyroid blood test came back normal, that was when the search for my underlying thyroid diagnosis really began to take off.”

Since that time Mrs. Murphy has been educating herself about her potential condition using thyroid blogs and Hashimoto’s support groups. “It’s uncanny,” she said. “I have all the symptoms. It’s not just the weight gain and fatigue. I have occasional forgetfulness and sometimes there is hair in my shower drain. My skin usually gets dry in the winter. This was a big alarm bell for me that something had to be really wrong. Once I started thinking about my symptoms, I realized I’ve probably had a thyroid condition for the last 20 or 30 years and it just keeps getting missed.”

Local endocrinologist Dr. Cynthia Hayes has been baffled by the case. “I agree that she endorses every single symptom of hypothyroidism, and yet, her lab work indicates that her thyroid is working just fine. It is puzzling because there is really no other possible explanation for her weight gain and fatigue. These symptoms are simply pathognomonic for a thyroid condition.”

After her visit with Dr. Hayes did not confirm Mrs. Murphy’s thyroid self-diagnosis she drove 3 hours for a visit with a thyroid specialist at the university hospital. “I just really want to know I was speaking to an national authority on thyroid disease when I demand the doctor check a reverse T3. I had been forewarned by my facebook thyroid support group that the doctor would not check the right labs. That is why you really have to be an advocate for yourself.”

After the second specialist suggested adhering to a calorie restricted diet and incorporating more physical activity, Mrs. Murphy knew she was going to need a third opinion if she was going to get the thyroid diagnosis she was looking for. “It is just really frustrating that no one will tell me a thyroid disorder is the unifying cause for all my problems. The doctor even had a audacity to suggest using a moisturizing lotion in the winter might help my dry skin problems. He just doesn’t get how hard it is to have a thyroid disorder, especially when I am already struggling with fibromyalgia.”

“But there was one good thing that came out of that visit,” concludes Mrs. Murphy. “When I mentioned that my thyroid symptoms flare up when I consume gluten, dairy, or cruciferous vegetables his eyes lit up and he suggested I see an allergist instead. I think we might really be onto something there.”

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