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Thyroid and Blood Pressure Questions

Discussion in 'Thyroid Dysfunction' started by zoe.a.m., Sep 3, 2010.

  1. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Does anyone out there know the significance of suddenly having high blood pressure (several weeks into a major crash) and why the diastolic number being high is of concern? This has never occurred with any other crash. I guess the numbers are high enough to alert "normal" physicians, but it's odd to me because of it being quite low and stable over time.

    Also it would appear I have a growth on my thyroid. Can these things be connected? It all seems like a confusing web of symptoms that have been accompanied by severe night sweats, profound weakness, exhaustion, insomnia (mostly due to the sweats I think), loss of appetite, and amenorrhea.

    Any info or thoughts are appreciated!
  2. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    Do you have an endocrinologist? How do you know about there being a growth on your thyroid?

    I would say you need to get a doctor's appointment ASAP.
  3. Lesley

    Lesley Senior Member

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    All of the symptoms you're describing could be related to hyperthyroidism. The good news is a "normal" doctor should recognize this and know how to treat it.
  4. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Thanks for your reply urbantravels. I don't have an endocrinologist and have never seen one. I went to Urgent Care yesterday b/c of the worsening of what I've thought is a virus-based crash, and was seen and some blood work was ordered (he thought hyperthyroid, which is ridiculous for a number of reasons of course, but it's an Urgent Care facility). It was there that my lymph nodes and neck were palpated and it was mentioned.

    The blood work did not come in today and now I won't hear anything until after the holiday. I did get in with my regular practitioner and she re-tested my blood pressure and mentioned the diastolic number being more of a concern to her. She also felt what she described as a "growth" and said that I could have a growth and my labs could be completely normal. She gave me an order for an ultrasound, but again, I can't follow up until next week.

    I just sort of think that I've seen/experienced it all but this is a different set of symptoms and it's not backing down.
  5. urbantravels

    urbantravels disjecta membra

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    It could well be hyperthyroid, based on those symptoms, possibily owing to thyroid nodules. Don't panic yet, but be sure to follow up with the labs and ultrasound.
  6. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    Blood pressure & lump could be hypothyroid.

    I have had normal TSH, t3 & t4 thyroid tests for several years, despite my Dr & I thinking I have thyroid disfunction. I requested alot of the rarer thyroid tests a couple of weeks ago (due to a hoarse voice for 3 months - another possible symptom of underactive thyroid).

    Finally, the other, rarer test (that my Dr & Endocrinolgost DIDN'T do in the past) has revealed irregular results. I have the final test results to get next Tuesday.

    So, while the important thing is to get your Dr to refer you to an Endocrinologist, ensure he/she does ALL the tests, especially pituitary function (not just TSH, T3 & T4 tests which are the regular ones).

    Don't worry about the lump in the throat until you have had it thoroughly investigated (if necessary by a Throat specialist also, if the normal thyroid tests come up negative).

    Worry will only stress you out & make your BP worse.
  7. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Thanks Victoria. Oddly, I haven't been stressed per se by this "crash," but I've had a strong sense that something was very wrong. It didn't feel like anxiety or sadness, it's felt like the subconscious equivalent of "oh shit" (pardon my language). I haven't noticed anything abnormal about my thyroid area, though I never palpate my neck area b/c of years and years of swollen glands, but I've been having trouble swallowing on and off for several months and lately it's felt like a sore throat, or something stuck in my throat.

    It's interesting you say hypo, since my symptoms, other than the latest turn in the road, are much more in line with hypo. I've gained almost 15 pounds in the last 18 months after having been stick-thin for years since getting ill and tend to be chilled, etc.. I've paired my diet down to something that couldn't cause someone to gain weight unless they were doing the Ambien-sleep-eating thing :)! None of it has made sense. I wonder what explains hypo and hyper simultaneously.

    Can you share what the rare tests are? I thought the TSH was more a pituitary test than thyroid, or more their relationship. I do know that all that was ordered were the TSH, T3 and T4. A couple of months ago, a specialist I saw ordered thyroid antibody tests, but they were negative. I'm surprised (now, reading the responses) that my doctor didn't recommend an endocrinologist (since those things don't happen overnight). What's odd is that some of my symptoms are the picture of hyperthyroid, but 3/4 are hypo (which I think overlaps with ME/CFS in general).

    Is this a matter of finding a really good endocrinologist, or is this kind of thorough testing the norm? My local doctor will order almost anything I ask for, occasionally with the caveat that she may not be able to interpret the results as needed, but it can speed things up. So, if there's anything a normal practitioner can order, I'll give it a shot once things are up and running here again after Labor Day.

    My resting pulse has been very high, 90-100, for several weeks. I think it's keeping me from being able to sleep, along with the drenching night sweats. I kind of feel badly for my heart!
  8. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills

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    Hi Zoe just to let you know that my hyperactive thyroid (which started a couple of months ago) came on very rapidly ,my thyroid antibody tests would have been normal about 3 months ago and they are well up now and I have plenty of nasty symptoms. I think you are right that a lot of hypo symptoms are very similar to ME and this might be confusing the picture.

    Like everyone else, I think its time for an endocrinologist and like you I'm curious about what Victorias rarer tests are.

    And I would just like to congratulate myself on a 100th post:victory:

    Time for a sit down after that celebrating:sofa:

    OTH
  9. Mya Symons

    Mya Symons Mya Symons

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    Zoe, I don't mean to worry you, but be sure you do see an endocrinologist because if you have a cancerous thyroid tumor it produces its own type of thyroid hormone that causes hyperactivity of the thyroid and increased blood pressure. My brother-in-law had thyroid cancer and this happened to him. However, he was told by his endocrinologist that the type of thyroid cancer that is most common is very slow moving and easy to control. He had part of his thyroid removed and did not have to have chemo.

    I have Hashimoto's disease. The test for hashimoto's is called Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody Test. I also have growths on my thyroid caused by the immune system killing thyroid cells and replacing them with immune t-cells. When the disease first starts this can cause the thyroid to swell and kick out more thyroid hormone causing the blood pressure to rise, lose of appetite and insomnia.
  10. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info everyone. My shortness of breath and chest pain got worse today and so I went to the ER tonight. Nothing "bad" or anything to treat... but I got stuck 9 times before they could get blood and a bunch of veins were collapsed, so I can only use one arm and I think I'm going to look like a heroin addict for a week. They ask you all of these questions about drinking, smoking, drugs, etc. and I answered no, no, no and the nurse (she's the one who drew the blood/iv thing) then asked me if I'd been an addict earlier in my life. I thought that was kind of dumb, like there aren't medical explanations for "bad" veins and health problems. If only we were all so lucky to have a clear cause or something we did to be this way.

    The bad news was they had no interest in anything related to what I'd been told this week, but the doctor took seriously the possibility of a blood clot due to being bedridden for the better part of the last 5 wks. and he ended up saying it wasn't a cardiac event, but wasn't anxiety, and that it was CFS related and I should see someone from the University of WA (I laughed internally on behalf of everyone here at PR who is familiar with UW).

    Looks like I'm going to be resting my arms for a while though--blech, another reason to rest. I guess the lesson is that sometimes you'll get something that you'd absolutely crossed off of the list, while you were busy wondering about the expected stuff. It's so great that you guys are here to share your info because it could take me months to learn this much and to know what to look for and ask! And I almost didn't bother going to the doctors at all; it was only after a ridiculous number of symptoms that I finally took the chance, usually I just handle things myself as many of us do b/c it doesn't make sense to go in and be told that it's nothing. So that's the upside!
  11. Victoria

    Victoria Senior Member

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    Hmm......I missed subscribing to this thread so didn't remember to follow it up to see who posted next . My brain doesn't connect too well these days......I need to subscribe to a thread & have new posts immediately posted in my home email, as I don't read many PR threads these days.

    I have had many TSH tests over the last 4 years (the normal test) which were & still are normal.
    I've had T3 & T4 (which were, and still are, normal).

    I asked for a list I found on the internet - Reverse T3 (often not done by a doctor). Hope to get results next Tuesday.

    Thyroid Peroxidase antibodies (often not done by your doctor). Like Mya, mine was outside the normal range with the note by the technician "anti-thyroid peroxicdase and thyroglobulin antibodies are markers of ahtoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's disease and Graves' disease), although they may be detected in many healthy people as well. Treatment should be guided by symptoms and thyroid function tests rather than by antibody concentrations."

    I wondered several years ago if I had Hashimoto's disease as I seemed to fit the symptoms, but this was brushed off as I had normal thyroid tests each time.

    Thyroid -stimulating antibodies (often not done by a doctor)
    Iodine (often not done by a doctor).

    May I suggest you read Dr Lowe's website http://www.drlowe.com who I read of many years ago when I was following up with the theory that almost all FM patients have disfunctional thyroid & my GP kept saying my eyes were protruding & kept feeling my thyroid/throat. At my request, my GP sent me to an Endocrinologist (who did many, many tests, but ultimately only found I had high blood sugar & low Vit D).

    My Endocrinologist totally brushed me away when I queried why my Pituitary function test was outside normal range & we had a heated discussion on diet, when she couldn't accept that I don't do well on dairy & grains (stupid twit), so I don't want to go back to her. I'm still not satisfied with the abnormal pituitary function tests done in Nov 2006.

    Extensive reading on the net & books back in 2006, suggested that us FM patient's thyroid disfunction does not show up on tests due to pituitary disfunction (hence my query about the abnormal pituitary function test at that time).

    I have since read many sites & some books which say that the true way to test for thyroid is to take your temperature (before you get out of bed) 5 days in a row & take into account your symptoms.

    I've had low body temp 36.4-36.7 for years, but I found taking my temp before getting out of bed for a week was only 36.00 degrees each day.

    I found a helpful site (when assessing my own symptoms) to be http://www.mydr.com.au/first-aid-self-care/thyroid-gland-disorders

    But Dr Lowe's site is excellent. He treats FM (my muscular skeletal specialist's diagnosis in May 2006) as basically, that FM is just another name for Thyroid disfunction. Interesting theory. Almost all FM symptoms are exactly the same as Thyroid disfunction symptoms.

    Taking your temp early morning (before getting out of bed), is the old fashioned way to check for Thyroid disfunction (before TSH tests etc) I understand, & some of the more enlightened Dr's still swear by this old-fashioned method.

    On the site I mentioned above, it seems I do have a few hyperthyroid symptoms, but I certainly have many HYPOthyroid symptoms.




    As an example, I list my own "symptoms", or observations, over recent years.
    • Weight gain (back in 2003 I used to do 30-40 mins stretching & toning exercises most mornings & about 10 hours of power walking a week. I power walked everywhere. I ate a healthy. organic, fresh food diet -low in caloriesl and still kept gaining weight. I weigh nearly double (what I weighed in my twenties).
    • chronic constipation resolved mainly with diet but several weeks ago, I went back to be chronically constipated despite plenty of soluable fibre & water consumption. This is really weird, because I am an expert on this subject (& chronic diarrheoa which I had for 2+ years back in 2004.
    • feeling cold my hands & feet (& knees, funnily enough) are freezing cold. I haven't felt the cold in my adult life & particularly not when I used to get so much exercise.
    • Low basal temperature - discussed above
    • fatigue, exhaustion & low energy - I've improved in the last couple of months, but I had to drink 3 strong mugs of black coffee prior to Feb 2010 when I was working - before I even started work for the day.
    • slow reflexes - gosh, how many times have I dropped things & burned myself in the last year or two. (years ago, I could drop a glass & catch it 3 inches before it hit the floor - I used to have phenomonal reflexes & manual dexterity).
    • slow, weak pulse - chinese acupuncturist, earlier this year, said I have a very faint, weak pulse - very fragile constitution. (after 8 sessions of acupuncture & quitting work, my pulse is much better, although sometimes lying in bed at night , I feel light & "floaty" sort of, can't feel my pulse at all. I am trained in herbal medicine so am used to taking my pulse & checking other body signs).
    • slowness of thought, brain fog - had this for the last few years, got to the stage where I couldn't do my accounts job & to this day, I cannot multi-task. I have to do one thing at the time. If I get distracted, I totally "lose the plot".
    • indecisiveness - take me a few minutes to pull my thoughts together & decide "what's next". (I was an decisive person in my job most of my adult life. I have (or had) the ability to think outside the square. I could speed read a pile of documents & within minutes, prioritise, and process accounts work that would take other people 4-5 times as long. I have been like this all my life).
    • Poor memory & concentration - this contributed to my quiting my job. My short term memory is appalling.
    • Sluggishness - very, very lethargic (up until a few months ago, then I started doing alot of slow walking & using my creative right side brain. I have improved in the last couple of months.
    • Muscle weakness - have gone through periods of dropping things - last time I picked up the kettle full of boiling water off the stove & it promptly slipped through my fingers & fell on my foot. (I used to have very strong hands, arms & shoulders).
    • Pain & stiffness in muscles & joints - when I get out of bed, I'm like a 100 yr old woman, but have improved a little since I've been walking more in the last couple of months.
    • Deepening, hoarse voice - for 3 months duration now - people are starting to notice. Initially thought to be my MCS & mould allergy, but now we're not so sure.
    • Depression, mood swings and severe PMS - yes, but much better since I had an endometrial ablation Dec 2009 & I'm much happier since I quit work.
    • Thick, dry, coarse skin - being fair & blond & staying out of the sun, I've had soft, good skin for years, so I can't say this is a symptom at all.
    • Creviced, cracking skin on heels, elbows & knee caps - my elbows, knees & heels ARE starting to get rough & scaley. Odd, as my consumption of salmon, avocado, olive oil - good fats - pure salmon oil capsules, vit E etc used to ensure beautiful soft skin ALL the time.
    • Enlarged thyroid gland - not that I'm aware of, but my neck is getting much thicker & when I curl up in bed or lie in the bath, putting my head on my chest makes it hard to breath & swallow.
    • High cholesterol - yes it was, but I've now got that much, much better - but i have to work hard at this reduction.
    • Menstrual cycle irregularities (prolonged & heavy) - that's why, at the age of 56, I had an endometrial ablation in Dec 2009. At the rate I was going, each month, I was getting bloodless & despairing whether menopause would ever come.
    • Infertility - who knows, I've never tried to get pregnant LOL.
    • Numbness & tingling - this has been a very big problem for me for some time.
    • Fluid retention (swelling of face & feet) - not recently since my Dr took me off my second BP med. There was a stage when I could not tie my lace up walking shoes, but we put this down to the second BP med.
    • Brittle hair & nails - well I've not really got much in the way of nails, they are very soft. My hair has gone from beautiful, fine, ash blond silk, to curly, frizzy, straw they would make a wire scrubbing brush pale into insignificance. I'm fed up with telling people, no, I haven't had a bad perm hair job.
    • Hair loss - my hairdresser refuses to layer or cut my hair short, she says I would look like I'm going bald without these frizzy curls. My crown is very thin & my forehead hair is receding.
    I could go on & on with all the other symptoms - the common & less common. I've sort of got 97% of the "symptoms" which could belong to several health conditions if it comes to that.

    In fact I did write for a couple of hours, & seemed to have lost it all when I tried to post it. Luckily I pressed "preview Post" at this point & recaptured up to this point.

    So when I see the Dr/acupuncturtist at the clinic on Tuesday (who my regular GP referred me to when I asked about alternative thyroid treatment), I should get the last results of the thyroid tests & can discuss with her what alternatives there are to regulating/balance my thyroid function.

    On the basis of low body temp & symptoms, I'm willing to bet Hashimoto's might be next on my health problem to solve list.
  12. OverTheHills

    OverTheHills

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    Zoe, your PM inbox is full.

    I was just wondering how you are doing now and hoping you have had some medical help (that rare thing) now the long weekend is over

    OTH
  13. Impish

    Impish Senior Member

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    Dr. Hyde (a CFS Specialist) has reported finding a high rate the thyroid cancer in CFS patients. Don't mess around with this! Also I traced back through some scientific papers that MuLV's may be linked to Thyroid Cancer (this was prior to the announcement of them being found). Search for my other posts for details.
  14. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Sorry about the inbox...

    Man, I haven't even had time to check it today. Today sucked brilliantly. The ultrasound results came back and I need a needle biopsy--will get it Monday. The radiology nurse said she doesn't know anything about the procedure and they only started doing them there recently (to which I said, but the doctor isn't new to them, right??) and she didn't know how I should prep. But they'll call me tomorrow.

    Anyone know if having so many awful symptoms can give one an idea of whether to expect good or bad news? That's probably tough to answer...

    I'm not myself today/tonight. A few hours after I got the biopsy news (which is hardly the end of the world except that that needle is going into my damn neck), I hit a cat and watched it die--it was awful and I haven't hit an animal (other than a mouse) since I hit a raccoon at 15 when I was learning to drive. It's feeling pretty tragic right now, but worse for that cat's kittens than for me. Just what a shitty day (pardon the language, it's just the only way to express it).

    Thanks for continuing to give me info guys, I had no idea how little I ever thought about my thyroid...

    One thing of interest (and maybe belongs in the Klonopin thread) was, looking back at my ex-doctor's office's paperwork and labs for older thyroid info: never once in 4 years was even a TSH ordered, but--and you really can't beat this--my doctor (the one who told me I was "stoned" all of the time if I was taking Klonopin and didn't seem to think I had a physical illness) had ordered drug tests on me on a few occasions. Guess she was looking for the answers she was hoping to find. Feeling really glad I left that practice. Hilarious sidenote: I came up clean for Benzos.
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Hard to say.. ME causes so many symptoms anyway by itself.

    Sorry to hear about you hitting a cat.. yeah that would make one feel quite lousey. Glad you left that doctor!!

    best luck with your tests.
  16. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    I was just found to have nodules on my thyroid..It started off that my lymph glands for really sore and it lasted for 6 weeks. So I had my physical and mentioned it to the doctor. He said my thyroid felt swollen and sent me for an ultrasound. They found 3 nodules -2 on the left and a larger one on the right. I was told it was large enough for a biopsy but not I am wondering..

    My endo said she would do a follow up scan in 6 months. Since I had the first scan in January I have not felt well at all. I am on levoxyl and cytomel but continue to have weight gain, worse fatigue, constipation and a very low temp. I am seeing the doctor next week and am going to ask for another scan because now I am getting worried.

    I am sorry too about you hitting the cat..we lost a cat 5 years ago by letting him outdoors and he just never came back. We learned the hard way to keep our cats indoors. I still feel guilty today that I put my wonderful cat at risk by letting him go outside. I hope your biopsy goes well..I might be having one myself in the near future.
  17. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Isn't this the truth!? Though, when I thought this was a 'flare,' I became skeptical after a few weeks because of the sheer number of symptoms and how acute and disabling they've been. It's hard to get the confidence up, or even just to have the thought process: I must go to the doctor's for these symptoms... I've learned the hard way that that is generally a whopping waste of time and energy and who wants to be questioned about feeling so poorly and then told there isn't anything to do? (I'm guessing you're more than familiar with this taniaaust, based on your blog).

    soxfan,
    I don't know what the norm is for when someone is sent for biopsy, but if I get a chance to talk to my doctor (she's leaving until the 24th after today), I'll ask her about size and biopsies. I think the symptoms should be factored in to having the biopsy as I know people with nodules that were benign, but they did not have life-altering symptoms.

    I too have had the weight gain (how one gains weight on oxygen alone I don't know!?) and worsened fatigue (and weakness--like trouble lifting something under 5 pounds, etc.) and went from having been at a normal temp for years to being a sweaty, feverish mess at 97.0F, so it sounds like we are having similar experiences. I'm going to try to find a doc or med. professional who can tell me how growths on the thyroid can create these symptoms if it's not cancer--sounds like regular, run-of-the-mill docs do not think about this or know the answer.

    I have a 20-year-old cat that is so dear to me and I would be heartbroken if she were hit, and especially, if she suffered (which this other cat did). It's been a night, but I still feel like I'm back at that moment; it's just horrible. I plan on at least getting them a supply of kitten food and products and anything else I can think of. The worst part is that I had taken a few hours to digest the biopsy news and was relatively calm and centered when it happened. I would somehow feel better if I'd just gotten bad news and hadn't been totally focused on the road, etc. but I was driving 15 mph and have seen that same cat close to 100 times in the past couple of years.

    Thanks for continued info and and I'm wishing you both some luck with doctor issues...
  18. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    zoe- I just dug out my copy of the ultrasound I had in January. It says that I have multiple nodules which are solid. The largest being 1.8 x 1.5 x 1.5. I am going to do some reading on what the criteria is for having a biopsy. My TSH jumps around from month to month even though my medication dosage doesn't change.
    I haven't felt well at all since January and have actually gained almost 12lbs. I had been at the same weight for 10 years. I have tried everything to try and lose it even though I have no idea what caused the gain. I can't even shed 1/2 pound. It is crazy...
    My endo knows nothing about CFS and I don't think she even believes in it so I have a hard time trying to convey to her how terrible I feel. The other crazy thing is my cholesterol was 190 in January and it went up 45 points to 244 when it was retested in August. I haven't changed my eating at all. In fact I am probably eating less...It has to be connected somehow. I don't really like the endo so I am thinking I have to change.

    I know I would be devastated if I hit someone's cat or dog or even a chimpmunk. But remember that the owners put their pet at risk by letting her out. It was just an accident that was waiting to happen. I will never know what happen to our cat but I am pretty sure he was hit or killed by another animal and like I said to this day I feel terrible about whatever happened to him. You are thoughtful to give the owners some food and supplies and I am sure it helps you to somewhat feel a little better. Take care and please keep posting because this topic is really of interest to me.
  19. zoe.a.m.

    zoe.a.m. Senior Member

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    Hi soxfan,
    I'm too tired to do much more than blink but I got my radiology report today so that I could post it for you in case you had a report so you could compare them! Sounds like we're on the same page with weight loss/weight gain and cholesterol that jumps from high to low or vice-versa. Weird...

    I spent quite some time in the pet store and was visiting with the owner's dogs and his cat Orpheus who was born with no hip sockets. It was wonderful to be around them and to see that a cat that presumably wouldn't have survived or found a home has a great home and lots of company and love. I was reading some Tibetan things about death and they feel it's important not to have so much remorse over the death that you keep their spirit from being able to move on, so I'm trying to remember that.

    I've got a kitty shouting at my feet right now reminding me to eat and rest: I'll post my RAD report later...

    Okay, here's the report:

    INDICATION: Enlarged thyroid gland.

    FINDINGS: The right-side thyroid lobe is 3.9 by 1.2 by 1.6 cm and the left thyroid lobe measures 4.0 by 1.1. by 1.4 cm. The thyroid parenchyma is heterogeneous bilaterally. There is a 0.3 by 0.3 by 0.3 cm solid nodule in the upper pole of the left thyroid lobe. The isthmus measures 0.2 cm in AP diameter.

    CONCLUSION:
    0.3 by 0.3 by 0.3 cm solid appearing nodule in the upper pole of the left thyroid lobe may represent as thyroid adenoma or a complex colloid cyst. The possibility of a neoplastic process cannot be excluded. A fine needle biopsy is recommended.
  20. soxfan

    soxfan Senior Member

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    zoe- I dug out my report again so I could write you exactly what mine says:

    Findings- Multiple palpable nodules

    Findings- Real time anc color Doppler scanning were performed. There is no prior study for comparison. The right gland measure 4.5 by 2 by 2 cm and the left gland measures 2.9 by 1.5 by 1.5 cm. There are multiple nodules bilaterally. On the right side is the largest which measures 1.8 by 1.5 by 1.5 cm. It is isoechoic solid nodule at the upper pole.

    On the left side there is a uniformly hyperechoic solid nodule at the upper pole measuring 1.3 by 0.7 by 0.6 cm.

    Conclusion- Multinodular gland with the largest nodules being solid located at the upper poles as described.
    From what I am reading it seems as though mine might be larger so I am now really wondering why a biopsy wasn't suggested. I was reading online that if they are 1.5cm or larger then they should be biopsied. I will be looking into this!

    Yes I like what the Tibetan reading says..it does make sense and I will have to remember that also when I think about my kitty. I always get my cats from the shelter. We have had the most wonderful loving cats from there.
    Keep in touch and thanks for posting your report..

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