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Maria

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Hello everyone!! I'm a newbie. The world of psychology & it's challenges are also new to me.

I'm here for a lot of support & a little advice. I'm still not sure exactly what is going on with me & am hoping you maybe able to shed some light.

Three years ago I had an "episode" of what the doctor thought was a thyroid problem & at that time my T3 was slightly elevated. A month ago (same time of year exactly as last time) I had an episode with similar symptoms but much less mild.

I've moved to the city in the mid-term. Went to the doctor who did a complete checkover. The bloodwork says there is nothing wrong with my thyroid. Which I find strange...The weeks inbetween the blood test & the physical I could actually see my thyroid bulge in my neck, worse on the right side. The results of the physical are not back yet. But by the end of it the Doctor said everything seemed normal.

The Doctor has given me some sheets to fill out regarding anxiety & depression. I'm not sure what to think. I HAVE been under a lot of stress in the pass 3 - 5 years. Just thinking about having anxiety &/or depression is stress!!

Thanks for "tuning in" & please let me know what your thoughts are.

Maria.
 
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Welcome. :)

I've had problems with hyperthyroidism and it did cause tremendous anxiety and trembling and suicidal thoughts.

Also, anxiety and depression could cause simliar symptoms as a thyroid problem.

It's great that you're getting all this checked out and if it turns out to be depression and anxiety there are ways to treat it.

Janet
 

David Baxter

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Maria, I'm not a physician, but from what I've observed it isn't that unusual, especially in younger people, for the thyroid to have these "bursts" of over- or under-activity, returning to normal for periods of time. I suspect that in time the periods of "normal thyroid function" will shorten and then it may be easier for your doctor to confirm a problem with the standard blood tests.

How often are these things happening? And has it just been for the past year or so?

I would think it is more likely for a malfunctioning thyroid to cause anxiety or de[pression than the other way round but I suppose stranger things have happened...

Have you had any other recent medical/physical problems? A pregnancy? Anything else unusual?
 

Maria

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Have you had any other recent medical/physical problems? A pregnancy? Anything else unusual?

Yes, I was diagnosed with the herpes virus 3 years ago. Aside from that nothing.

I have been feeling extremely tired & weepy most days since the first "episode" (thyroid like). Sleeping 10 - 12 hours a night. This fatigue & nerves causes everything else in my life to run like molasses up hill.

I graduated from my second degree three years ago & have not been able to find work since then. I just haven't got the stamina or the self-assertiveness to fight for myself through the whole job search/interview process. Which of course makes things worse.

I'm so tired of it all. If it is anxiety/depression, can it be managed naturally without taking any kind of medication? I've read that getting 30mins exercise, getting sunshine, taking Omega 3 Fatty Acids & drinking 6 - 8 glasses of water a day really helps.

All this is so very new to me. I've been pretty healthy all my life. I can't function the way I am & those "episodes" are really scaring me.

Maria
 

David Baxter

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I have to say, Maria, that certainly does sound like the symptoms of an underactive (hypoactive) thyroid. Again, I'd remind you I'm not a physician.

You say you had a first "episode" 3 years ago and then another (more severe?) about a month ago. How long did the first one last and how were you doing between whenever it ended and a month ago when the current one started?

If it is determined that this is NOT a thyroid issue, I suppose the next best guess would be depression. That would also be consistent with

feeling extremely tired & weepy most days since the first "episode" (thyroid like). Sleeping 10 - 12 hours a night. This fatigue & nerves causes everything else in my life to run like molasses up hill.
It could also have a seasonal component (SAD) that triggers the depressive episodes, so it would make sense that your doctor is investigating that.

As for medications, if the symptoms are at the level you describe, it would be difficult I think for you to combat them successfully without any medication at all. Certainly, looking at your diet -- Omega-3 EFAs, Vitamin B12, etc. -- would help but I don't know whether it would be sufficient to get you over the current episode and resist another relapse down the road. Exercise and sunlight will also help but if you are at a point where you are exhausted all the time that may be problematic. Drinking water may help with daytime fatigue but it's unlikely to do anything for depression.
 

Maria

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No, the first episode was much more severe. It lasted maybe 3 - 4 months. The time inmbetween then & now, I've just been feeling tired all the time. Small things would get me weepy, like songs at church, or having to defend myself...just no energy. I did feel a mild increase in symptoms around my period.

The second episode lasted only a month and a half. I would feel the worst about an hour after lunch. Now I'm back to the fatigue. I haven't felt as weepy lately. though.
 

David Baxter

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Hmmm... is the doctor who did your blood work a GP or a specialist? When do you see the doctor again?

I'd be interested in heraing about your doctor's conclusions but it also might be worth discussing with him/her about the value of referring you to an endocrinologist.
 

Maria

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She's a General Practioner, yes. I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss my answers on the Depression/Anxiety Questionnaire. I would say that with the way I'm feeling there would be only a few answers that would be slightly anxious & the depression questions all sound like me right now, but on the mid to mild end.

I just don't want to get into all kinds of medication if it's dealing with the wrong problem to begin with.
 

David Baxter

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Maria said:
I just don't want to get into all kinds of medication if it's dealing with the wrong problem to begin with.
Of course not. I'd feel the same way.
 

Maria

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Depression & Diet

Hello again...

Yes, my doc believes it's depression. I'm not convinced that a thyroid problem is out of the picture. But I'm willing to do what I can to improve my mood.

For the past week and half I've been walking 30min a day, sleeping 8 hours, taking the Omega 3s, the B12, the multivitamins, staying away from starches, eating plenty of fruits & vegetables, staying away from the caffeine, sugar & aspartame. I'm also reading "Feeling Good" and look forward to "Mind Over Mood". But I'd like to try & stay away from the antidepressants. At least for a month. If I don't feel significantly better, I'll reconsider after that.

I've noticed that I'm sleeping better & feel better in the mornings. But I feel fatigued again come an hour after lunch & that continues into the early evening until around 7:30pm.

Is there something I'm eating that maybe causing this fatigue & slight dizziness? or is it just the nature of the beast? Have I got the diet thing covered or is there something I may have missed?

SAD - I came from a NorthCoast community and have always noticed a slightly sadder disposition from around the end of August to about March or April. I have noticed that I feel happier, more energetic in the sun. I wake up in the morning craving a sunny day. So, I'm going to give daylight therapy a shot for 2 weeks. My question has to do with my glasses. Two years ago I bought a stylin' pair of glasses with slightly blueish lenses. I'm starting to wonder if my glasses maybe compounding my problem. Can the colour of one's lenses have such an affect?

Just thought I would throw some of this out there, before I go and spend $$ on new lenses.

Thanks for all your help...Maria.
 

Daniel

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The glasses would be a potential problem if they were blocking a significant level of sunlight...like sun glasses. Blue-colored light, in-and-of-itself, does not seem to be a problem:

Testing has shown blue light is the best colour for resetting an out-of-time body clock, the cause of problems like jet lag.
http://www.mydr.com.au/default.asp?Article=3944

I prefer to eat small meals throughout the day. This may help prevent the feeling of tiredness that many "normal" people feel after eating lunch. Eating small meals may also help in keeping energy level constant, but, of course, it's just one of many small things that can help.
 

David Baxter

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Maria said:
Is there something I'm eating that maybe causing this fatigue & slight dizziness? or is it just the nature of the beast? Have I got the diet thing covered or is there something I may have missed?
If you were previously a regular coffee, tea, cola, or cocoa drinker or consumed much chocolate and are now "staying away from caffeine", the fatigue could be a caffeine wirhdrawal effect -- it's only been a week and a half.

Try drinking a more plain water during the day -- one of the local radio stations had an interview with a physician a while back who said that insufficient water intake was the number one cause of daytime fatigue.
 

Daniel

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The Institute of Medicine recommends that men consume 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day. These guidelines are based on national food surveys that assessed people's average fluid intakes.

In an average adult diet, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. The remaining 80 percent comes from beverages of all kinds.

Fruits and vegetables — besides being good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber — contain lots of water. For example, oranges are 87 percent water, and cucumbers are 95 percent water.
http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/library/NU/00283.html
 

David Baxter

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But of course some of the things that contain water don't help, because they contain diuretics or otherwise dehydrate you, like coffee or beer (and other forms of alcohol) and many soft drinks.

General rule of thumb: If it tastes good, don't drink it :eek:)
 

Maria

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Well I've been drinking only decaffienated coffee for the past 3 years. One decaf latte in the morning & a decaff espresso after supper with a tiny piece of chocolate for dipping. Decaf does have a small amount of caffiene in it. I've stopped all of that after the episode this Sept/Oct. I do drink tea, but mainly green teas. Again...not that much of it, usually only 1 cup around 3:00pm.

I have been drinking lots of water (last week and half) around 8 glasses a day. I suppose that has not been long enough though.

I will try eating smaller amounts more often...see how that goes.

Thanks for your input. Maria.
 

Daniel

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I do drink tea, but mainly green teas. Again...not that much of it, usually only 1 cup around 3:00pm.

Does the green tea help at all with the fatigue...does it give you a little mini-boost? One cup does for me...at least for a half hour or so. For some reason, it seems to help me more at night when I need to stay up late to finish a deadline.
 

Maria

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A cup of TEA!!

Oh ya!! I love my cup of tea...it's like you described. I'm not sure how long the comfort, feel good sensation lasts. But there is definitely some sort of release there, like a comforter on a cold winters night!

How much tea do you drink?

Maria.
 

Daniel

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I usually drink 0 - 3 cups a day throughout the day, depending on my energy and stress level, with 0 cups if I have stress/anxiety. It also helps, of course, in losing any extra weight I may have. Supposedly, according to Dr. Perricone, the antioxidents in green tea also help make the skin look healthier.

How much is usually taken? Much of the research documenting the health benefits of green tea is based on the amount of green tea typically consumed in Asian countries—about 3 cups (750 ml) per day (providing 240–320 mg of polyphenols). However, other research suggests as much as 10 cups(2,500 ml) per day is necessary to obtain noticeable benefits from green tea ingestion. To brew green tea, 1 teaspoon (5 grams) of green tea leaves are combined with 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water and steeped for three minutes. Decaffeinated tea is recommended to reduce the side effects associated with caffeine, including anxiety and insomnia. Tablets and capsules containing standardized extracts of polyphenols, particularly EGCG, are available. Some provide up to 97% polyphenol content—which is equivalent to drinking 4 cups (1,000 ml) of tea. Many of these standardized products are decaffeinated.
http://www.mothernature.com/Library/Ency/Index.cfm/Id/2102007
 
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What did your doctor say about the dizziness?

It sounds like you're taking the right steps to help yourself. That's great.

:)
 

Maria

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Thanx Janetr...anything to get back on track :) & thanx Daniel for the tea tips. It's great to be able to bounce ideas off people who have been there & done that :)

Dizziness. It's something I've been expriencing in the last week and half after my last Doc's appt. Maybe it's the exercise & new sleeping pattern kicking in? I'm just going to deal with it (unless it gets worse) for the month until I set up another appointment with her.

A friend of mine mentioned being short on iron...I'll have to run that one by my doc too.

I just picked up a Daylight lamp for a two week trial period to see if that will improve my general wellbeing. 20 mins to start...wish me luck!
 

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