Enlarged thyroid nothing to worry about – Get a 2nd opinion!

Hello, I’m vesta44, I moderate First do No Harm, and this is my story about mismanaged medical care and the 4 years I waited to get it taken care of.
Backstory is that I’ve been fat for 30-some years of my life, my blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol have always been in the normal range (I’m 57 now, soon to be 58). In 1997, I had WLS that made me fatter, made my mobility issues worse, and did nothing to make doctors look past my fat for the real reasons for those mobility issues. I was told they were caused by my fat, follow the Nightmare on ELMM Street (eat less/move more) and I would be magically cured.
So for years, I stayed away from doctors unless I had a sinus infection or a serious cold that needed to be treated. After all, who needs to be constantly told that every ailment they have is caused by their fat and that dieting, which has failed so many times in the past, is the only cure?
Then 5 years ago, I met and married a wonderful man. He said I really should get a physical, see how my health was, make sure everything was ok. I had moved to where he lives, so I found a doctor there and made an appointment. Everything checks out normal, other than my thyroid is enlarged, which Dr W says is nothing to be concerned about. Okay, I believe her, until 2 years later, when I’m at my dad’s house for my mother’s memorial service and we’re talking about family health history. My mother has a history of thyroid problems (hypothyroidism), and my dad’s dad had an enlarged thyroid removed that was cancerous. They couldn’t remove all of it – it was so large by the time they got around to removing it that if they had taken it all, they would have cut the nerves that controlled speech and swallowing – he wouldn’t have been able to talk or swallow. They gave him 3 months to live (he was 87 at the time), and he lived to the age of 90.
So I come back, and at my next appointment with my doctor, I tell her all of this family history, and that I’m concerned about my enlarged thyroid. She still says it’s nothing to worry about, and then says I’m using this as an excuse for being fat. Now she and I have had our words about my weight before, several times. I’ve told her my weight is not a topic for discussion unless I’ve gained or lost a large amount in a short period of time (which has never happened). Still she pushes ELMM, still I tell her diets don’t work, diet drugs don’t work, and WLS doesn’t fucking work, what the hell else am I supposed to do? STFU and give me a referral to an enodocrinologist who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to this kind of thing. Dr W refuses. I get mad and walk out on her, go home and think for a week, find my own endo, then go back and demand that she give me a referral or I’ll find another doctor that will. She reluctantly gives me the referral.
I see the endo, we have an ultrasound done, and yeah, my thyroid is enlarged. Dr A says it’s pretty big and it should come out. I’m not real hip on surgery, but she gives me the name of a surgeon who does thyroidectomies all the time and she’s good. I talk to Dr M, we decide to wait 6 months, do another ultrasound, see if my thyroid is staying the same or growing.
Well, the 2nd ultrasound showed that my thyroid was growing, so we decided it had to come out. Scheduled the surgery, was supposed to be 3 hours, took 4 1/2 hours. My thyroid was so large, it had almost wrapped around my wind pipe, and my esophagus. Dr M said she was surprised I could swallow anything other than liquids, it was compressing my esophagus so much. She also says it should have come out when it was first found that I had an enlarged thyroid.
Just goes to show what you know, Dr W, nothing to worry about, right? I guess I should have just let it keep growing until I couldn’t eat at all, then maybe I’d have lost weight like Dr W thought I should (I am so glad I fired her). So my enlarged thyroid is gone, I’m started on Levoxyl and following up with my endo on that. Everything turned out fine, but only because I finally demanded that my doctor take my concerns seriously and give me the referral to someone who knew more about my condition than she did. (and I’m still avoiding general practitioners, I can’t find one in this area who isn’t fat-phobic and practices HAES).

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39 Comments

  1. I feel like I could have written this post! I’m guessing I’m younger than you (I’m 26), and I got told that my thyroid wasn’t just enlarged: it was cancerous.
    When they pulled it out, my surgeon after the fact told me that (in his opinion) if I’d waited another six months it would have definitely gone to my lymph nodes, which means I would have been facing metastasis.

    Yeah.

    But I was totally using my weight as an excuse.

    Reply
  2. KellyK

     /  September 19, 2011

    Oh, my. That’s really horrifying. I’m glad you were assertive and got a referral to a good endocrinologist who took care of you. Did you ever go back to Dr. W to let her know why you fired her? I don’t know if it’d make a difference or not, but it might give her something to think about.

    Reply
  3. vesta44

     /  September 19, 2011

    KellyK – I wrote her a 2 page letter and sent it to her, explaining why she was fired, listing bullet points of things we had disagreed about over the 4 years that I had been her patient. I never heard back from her. Last winter, when I had strep throat, I called the clinic and said I needed to see a doctor, I had a sore throat, and I would see anyone but Dr W. I go to the clinic when I have a problem and I see whoever is available, as long as it isn’t her. I don’t care if I have to wait a few days longer to see someone else, I refuse to see a doctor that refuses to take my concerns seriously. Thank Maude there was no cancer in my thyroid, it was just really enlarged.

    Reply
  4. Good thing you got a second opinion. Too many people do not. The actual removal of the thyroid is supposed to make you gain wait I understand. Is the medication to counter that?

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  5. vesta44

     /  September 19, 2011

    Gary – The Levoxyl replaces the thyroid hormone that my thyroid would have been making had it not been removed.

    Reply
  6. greyships

     /  September 19, 2011

    I’m glad you got that taken care of! My husband had an enlarged thyroid, too, but it was a cancerous growth which had wrapped around his windpipe in a similar way. It’s a very curable cancer if caught early (he’s had his thyroid removed and is in complete remission).

    He’s on Synthroid and another drug (maybe levoxyl?) and once the correct levels were found for his body, he lost weight naturally and has a lot more energy. (He was tired out CONSTANTLY when ill.) I hope you let your endocrinologist know if you’re feeling worn out or gaining weight; meds are adjustable and wow, do they make a difference when you have the right amount of hormones.

    Reply
    • vesta44

       /  September 19, 2011

      greyships – I have follow-up appts with my endo to check my TSH, T3, and T4 levels to see if the dosage of Levoxyl needs to be adjusted (6 weeks after surgery, then again in 6 weeks, then in 3 months, etc as needed). If everything works out, I should only need to see her once a year unless I lose a lot of weight (or gain it) since the dosage is dependent on weight (I didn’t know that). I’m hoping I get my energy back, I’ve been tired for years and didn’t know why (didn’t matter how much I slept, I was still tired all the time).

      Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid 11 years ago. I haven’t seen an endocrinologist since; only GPs for my synthroid. As soon as I get insured in a couple of months, I’m going to find myself an endo.

    Reply
  8. Hey, I’m really excited about this article, but I had to copy and paste it into another window because this font is totally unreadable in Firefox, plus it’s extremely tiny :(

    Reply
  9. vesta44

     /  September 19, 2011

    Kita – I changed the theme, I hope this helps the readability in Firefox. :)

    Reply
  10. vesta what part of the country do you live in? i’ll put my ear out for a good dr…i actually finally found one and it makes all the difference in the world…..for the first time in 15 year i have my asthma under control….no i dont wheeze because im an out of shape fatty i wheeze because i only use 1/3 of my lungs you jackass /headdesk.

    Reply
    • vesta44

       /  September 20, 2011

      I’m in central MN, about 40 miles west of St Cloud. I have a good endo, she’s not fat-phobic at all, thank Maude :) I just don’t have a GP right now. I could ask at the clinic if one of the other doctors there isn’t fat-phobic,but I’m not sure I’d get any good answers. And finding a doctor now who is willing to take Medicare/TriCare, with the government cutting what they’ll pay, isn’t going to be easy either.

      Reply
  11. Zen

     /  September 20, 2011

    I have a question regarding how having an enlarged thyroid feels. For you, did it ever feel like you had something stuck in your throat, right around that area?

    I was just recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism and while I mentioned to my doctor that I’ve been feeling as if there’s something stuck in my throat for quite some time, she kind of brushed it off. And it worries me. Sometimes it’s hard to swallow because of it.

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    • vesta44

       /  September 20, 2011

      Zen – It was difficult to swallow at times. I didn’t realize how difficult it had been until my thyroid was gone and I got to eat actual food again (I was on a liquid diet for the first 2 meals after surgery). I even had difficulty swallowing pills, I’d have to eat a couple of crackers and drink a large glass of water or tea to be sure I washed them down all the way, otherwise they’d get stuck.
      I’d ask for a referral to an endocrinologist. If your thyroid is enlarged, they’ll find it and order an ultrasound to see how enlarged it is (although they can tell pretty well just from physically feeling that area on your neck).

      Reply
  12. Zen

     /  September 20, 2011

    I’ve had that same problem with pills ever since I had dry sockets in high school, actually. I saw your other blogpost about this and nearly burst into tears when I saw you had trouble with it too. I also sometimes have trouble swallowing in general.

    I’ve never really had someone feel up my throat to check for an enlarged thyroid, but I think I will definitely try to get an appointment to check that.

    If it’s not too much to ask, was your thyroid visibly enlarged? I’m afraid it could be hidden under the fat on my neck.

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    • vesta44

       /  September 20, 2011

      Zen – It wasn’t visible that I could see, and I don’t have a lot of fat on my neck. But a good doctor should still be able to feel if your thyroid is enlarged, even if there is fat on your neck, the feel is different, from what I understand.

      Reply
  13. Oh, Vesta, this is my first knowledge of this story. What a travesty! If you do get your energy back, a lawsuit might be in order for Dr. W. I don’t know how they’d calculate damages, but her treatment was just unconscionable.

    Reply
    • vesta44

       /  September 27, 2011

      Debra – To sue her, I would have to have other doctors who agreed that what she did was malpractice, and since I wasn’t really harmed by waiting 4 years to have my thyroidectomy (after all, a reduced quality of life isn’t real harm [/sarcsm]), I don’t think I’d get anything monetarily, nor would she get even a reprimand or anything like that in her record. I’m just glad it’s done and that there wasn’t any cancer or other disease, and that it was removed before it grew so large it couldn’t be entirely removed. I’m not seeing Dr W anymore, even though I still see my neurologist and my orthopedist at the same clinic (if I have any other issues where I need to see a GP, I call the clinic and request to see any doctor but her). At least I have a good endo and don’t have to rely on Dr W for any of that.

      Reply
  14. mamabigdog

     /  October 3, 2011

    I am in the middle of something very similar. About 7 weeks ago, I started feeling this pressure in my neck. By three weeks ago, my speech and swallowing was impacted and the pain was pretty bad. My regular doc (the same one who ignored my long term acute anemia – iron at 6 when it should be over 100) said my neck was “too fat” for her to do anything. She sent me to an ENT who ran a tube down my throat, despite the fact that I told her the throat itself wasn’t sore, only to tell me that GEE! Your throat has no infection! Must be a muscle-skeletal problem. Uh, NO. It’s not.

    I emailed my blood specialist- the one I had to find on my own who is now properly treating my anemia with IV iron. He got me booked for a thyroid ultrasound, and lo and behold, what do we find? No fewer than THREE nodules, all larger than marbles, all qualified for biopsy. I’m now awaiting the endocrinologist referral to figure out what they want to do. Since that time, the pain got better for a few days, but now its coming back and I’m expecting to be voiceless again in just a few days if it goes like it did the last time. I depend on my voice for my job, and I’m really concerned about damaging it.

    That said, I could tell you 100 more tales of doctors treating be badly due to my weight. My husband is heavy too, and even he gets more respect than I do, but he still has trouble. These doctors would rather see me die than have to touch or treat me like their oath says they should.

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  15. healthcare = disappointment

     /  October 4, 2011

    Argh this makes me so angry. Inept doctors are the bane of my existence.
    If I may add a story: when I went to a psychiatrist for the first time in my life as a teen, she spend a significant amount of time, on every visit, telling me that I need to lose weight and insisting that I exercise. I mean, JESUS, I was a 16 year old who’d just had a serious nervous breakdown,attempted suicide, came from a rather dysfunctional family and has been diagnosed (by the doc herself!) with severe depression, you’d think she had better things to discuss with me than the extra 10 kgs I had back then. (Not to mention that depressed people usually hardly find the energy to roll out of bed to take a wee, so advising them to exercise is a laughable idea) If she considered my weight such an important issue, she could’ve connected the dots and, seeing how both depression and weight gain can be symptoms of hormonal imbalance, she could’ve run some hormone tests. But no.
    (she had also done a lot of incompetent and harmful things to me, but that’s another discussion)
    None of the psychiatrists I went to later suspected somatic factors to my mental state either.
    When I got conscious and motivated enough to recover, after some years of unsuccessful therapy, I finally got around to checking my general health, and it – obviously – turned out I do have serious hormonal imbalance . Once I started treatment both my weight dropped and my depression went away, unfortunately leaving a whole lot of terrible memories and a few years of my life lost to apathy.
    Doctors and other “commenters” often say that fat people use hormonal imbalance as an “excuse to be fat”. No, fat people worry about their health just as much as everybody else, and when they see something that might be a symptom, they want to get it checked. Weight gain IS a symptom of many diseases. Somehow the general idea is that you should first torture yourself with diets (ones that skinny people would never agree to go on because of how unpleasant they are) and exercise before you may timidly suggest that maybe, just maybe, your fatness comes not from being a horrible lazy person, but from an actual health problem. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it’s like telling somehow who feels pain during PIV intercourse to stop having sex for a year before they get their genitals checked, because maybe they’ve been “overindulging” – NOT ONE doctor would do that, because running some tests is just much easier and more humane than limiting someone’s life. Yet this is what is done to fat people – instead of just taking obesity as a possible symptom and checking “just to be sure”, they make people go through a nightmare, because they assume we deserve it. WE DON’T. We deserve to have ALL of out symptoms taken serious, for fucks sake, this is what we PAY for, isn’t it?

    Reply
  16. Tracy B

     /  October 25, 2011

    This sounds like what I am going thru, except that I can’t GAIN weight. My hair is falling out, my skin is so dry that sometimes it bleeds. But my doctor says my enlarged thyroid is nothing to worry about. Many of my family members have had problems with goiters. When my mom had her second surgery, hers was so bad that her parathyroid had been absorbed! I have trouble swallowing, and my throat always feels so tight. After reading all this, I think I will contact my insurance company and get a referral directly from them (it helps that my ins. co. is great about this stuff!)

    Reply
  17. Fredricka

     /  November 12, 2011

    Hello I was trying to have WLS .my insurance company denied me and said I should go see an endocrinologist.well I went thinking nothing was wrong .all the time knowing I have been dealing with some sympton of thyroid problem.i have been extremely tired , dizzy,hair loss weight gain .when iam on dieted so I can have weight loss surgery.going to the gym everyday workout for two hours watching my clories and nothings helping.i stared out thinking weight loss surgery will help me feel better.now iam worry about my thyriod .i went to the endorcrinologist and he is sending me for an ultrasound and blood work.he said it feels like an enlarge thyriod.i hope all goes well for me.now iam starting to have anxiety.did you ever get your weight under control.i hope you are doing find.sorry so long.

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  18. Melissa

     /  February 6, 2012

    I just had an unltrasound which showed an enlarged thyroid but my GP says its nothing to worry about since my thyroid blood test came back normal last June (2011). Is this something I sould push or worry about. I dont known who to trust, Im not a doctor, ya know?

    Reply
    • vesta44

       /  February 6, 2012

      Melissa – It depends on how enlarged your thyroid is. Mine was very large, and my thyroid levels were normal too (but I also had a family history of thyroid cancer). I found an endocrinologist and insisted my doctor give me a referral to her. She looked at the ultrasound that had been done, and had another one done 6 months later. My thyroid was larger at that one, so we decided it needed to come out.
      If your thyroid is getting larger, then yes, it is something about which you should worry. And the only way to know if it’s getting larger is to have ultrasounds done of it at intervals to check the growth. Don’t leave it to your doctor – if you can get a referral to endocrinologist, see one and have her/him track it, they know more about it than a GP would.

      Reply
  19. Jenny

     /  March 7, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your story! It makes me angry that a dr treated you that way. NO respect! I had that happen to me too, a few years ago. I’ve always suspected I had something wrong with my thyroid since my dr has been monitoring my blood levels since I was 16. When I got married I asked if I could get them checked, military hospital btw, and my dr told me not to look for excuses on why I was gaining weight. That “it is much easier to blame a gland than to work out”. HOW RUDE! Here I was thinking it’s my fault so I work out like crazy to get no results, change my diet, no results. Fast foward a few years, now I’m 23 and in december 2011 I started noticing this lump in my throat. I thought it was my tonsils since I had just recovered from streph throat but it felt so different since it was in my lower throat. I went to the dr in January and the dr suspected it was my thyroid. They ran blood tests and ordered an ultrasound and the blood tests came out normal. When I got my ultrasound results I was told I JUST had an enlarged thyroid with no nodules. Let’s just say I am done with that dr after reading your story.
    I have a one year old daughter and need to know what is going on. There is a lump in my throat more in the trachea area and it scares me to death. I’d rather deal with whatever this is head on than brush it off. sorry for the rant. lol
    But, I applaud you for taking matters into your own hands and doing what’s best for your health. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I, too, want to take this to whoever will help me. :)

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  20. Camille

     /  May 21, 2012

    I am a firm believer of reporting bad doctors as often as i can or adding my two cents online with their full name attached.

    I was having a miscarriage about three years back and experienced a horrible GYN who really didnt know or care to know my health history and was more concerned with trying to give me birth control (mind you, I already had a child, had been married for a few years and owned a business). She was rude, curt and very impatient with me…even though i was in the midst of my first miscarriage. As if the experience of THAT wasnt traumatic enough??!!

    But because I was young and african american, she automatically assumed that I needed to be on birth control. I believe hormone altering chemicals are going to be the downfall of a lot of women’s fertility and the provocateur of thyroid and other endocrine affecting problems.

    i went to the front desk to complain. Apparently this witch had been evil to EVERYONE who saw her that day (9 people were there before me that had seen her that morning). One nurse said something to the effect of “she had on those ugly high heels and is acting like a witch because her feet hurt.”

    So….i get disrespected because …your…feet…hurt?

    Complain. LOUDLY.!!! So that no other woman has to endure what you endured.

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  21. Amber S

     /  June 5, 2012

    I am 32 years old and have been going through hell for months now. Have been to my primary Dr 4 times in the last months, for sore throat, trouble swallowing, chest pains, shakiness, hair loss and weight loss. I have had blood work done as well as a Heart Eco ultrasound and everything came back normal. So he decided to give me sleeping medication and send me home. I finally had it because I have been feeling so ill and I know my body, something is just not right at all!! I finally decided a few days ago to go and see an alternative medicine Dr (which is not covered by insurance and cost me $300) I spent 2 hrs with her and right away she felt my throat and said it feels very enlarged. Even though I explained I had my blood work done already for my thyroid and it came back normal she said there were 6 different levels that needed to be checked and I am going for a thyroid ultrasound in a few days. She really thinks this is what is wrong. All I want is an answer so that I can finally feel normal again and I really hope and pray that it’s not too late and that the Dr I had before did not miss this or I really think I may take it a step farther with there practice. I don’t understand how a Dr can run a few test, rule a few things out and yet the patient is still not feeling well but you stop and send them home with sleeping pills…….

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  22. Christina

     /  June 13, 2012

    Hi. I am 35 and have been battling hypothyroid for years, it runs on my mom’s side of the family. My mom had hers removed 10 years ago because she kept passing out when they tried to do a biopsy. There was no cancer. I have been taking Synthroid, 150mg for my issue. I noticed in the last six months that I have been so exhausted it is hard to get through the day without wanting a really long nap, makes it hard to work. I burned up all of my vacation days because I have a hard time making it through a five day work week. Weight gain has also been an issue for me. I have trouble swallowing and my neck will feel tender and hurt occassionally. I had an ultrasound done that showed my thyroid was enlarged and there is a 3cm cyst on it. I see an Endo on the 26th of this month. I hate waiting so long to see a specialist. The first endo I saw never even ordered an ultrasound, said I should take Selenium and that was all they could do. She told me that 150mg of Synthroid was already a lot and that basically she didn’t think my thyroid was working at all. So my GP ordered the ultrasound and is sending me to a different Endo. I am anxious to see what this doctor says.

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  23. It is appalling and more common than we would like to think. I am so happy for you that it is finally being sorted out. I have little need to post my story as it is basically (thus far anyway) your story. I am a 39 year old, mother of 4 who is currently at the 2 year mark and have finally (after about 6 goes) just seen a GP (from the same practice) that actually took my concerns (heart palpitations, tremors, sweating, weight gain – 5 kilos in 3 weeks (plus the rest), menstrual/hormone issues, muscle weakness/numbness, fatigue, trouble swallowing/sore throat) seriously. I also had an orginal GP who would say ‘Oh, we don’t worry about those things – subtext: in a person as fat as you’. My bloodtests also came back fine. I don’t know how many times I have said ‘Look, I was fat before, but I wasn’t sick! I am now sick!’. In the 2 weeks since someone started listening I have found out I have multinodular goiter (an enlarged thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (Graves Disease type finding – but still working through things). Not sure what it all means yet, but I am happy that hopefully something will be able to be done about it. I too will be writing a letter to the ‘evil wrongdoer’ as soon as possible. Good on you for spreading the word – ‘Get a second (or third, or fourth) opinion!’, and best of luck for the future. x

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  24. Hi Vesta, It’s amazing that this same problem has happened to so many of us. I’m 48 and had a very large Thyroid Goiter most of my life. I started having health problems just before I retired from the Air Force and I got the same story that you got from doctor’s, that nothing was wrong with my thyroid and that I needed diet and exercise. At the time I was only about 20 to 25 lb’s over weight. Over the course of about 15 years I had gained over 100 pounds and they still said there was nothing wrong with my thyroid. I already know I had family history with thyroid issues, i.e. my mother and several of my aunts had enlarged thyroids. My heath started to deteriorate rapidly about 4 years ago when I ended up in the hospital (Veterans Administration) with Congestive Heart Failure symptoms, but the doctor’s couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Finally a heart doctor at VA after running every test under the sun said that there was nothing wrong with my heart and he was the one who sent me to an Endocrine doctors (VA). The Endocrine doctors said I was borderline but not serious enough to go on medication…..wrong! They sent me home after I was well enough a few months later I started developing issues with my breathing and was diagnosed with severe asthma and was given a nebulizer to use at home. They also sent me for a sleep study to see if I had sleep apnea, with I was diagnosed with as well. So my health kept tanking on me rapidly over the next couple of years until I ended up back in the ER, this time not VA, but a local hospital. This happened a week after I saw my Respitory doctor because I was having asthma issues, so I thought….He had put me on prednisone, so because he was the last physician I had seen, the ER doctor’s called him instead of VA thank GOD!! So because he was my caring physician he decided to have them run some thyroid tests as well as run conduct an ultrasound. He was also friends with a well known local Endocrine surgeon who he asked to come up and see me, she agreed and after seeing my ultrasound she was disgusted that no one had even guessed suggested that this was the cause of all my problems. She said my thyroid was the size of a Texas Ruby Red grapefruit and that no wonder I couldn’t breath. She said that it had to come out or it would choke me to death. With my permission of course we scheduled the surgery for 2 weeks from that date, because she wanted to put me on an iodine solution to reduce the size before surgery. The day of the surgery nothing went as planned, like you my surgery was only suppose to be 3 hr’s long, and mine was 4 1/2 to 5 hrs long as well. She said it took 3 anesthesiologists to intubate me because my thyroid goiter was choking off my windpipe. They said it was a wonder that I could even breathe because I was breathing through the equivalent of a McDonald’s straw. My thyroid weighted 88 grams and was confirmed to be indicative to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Was put on Synthroid and doing well with it. Almost immediately after surgery about a month I no longer needed my Asthma medication and didn’t need a C-Pap for sleep. My doctor’s now feel I was miss diagnosed due to my miss-diagnosed thyroid, which we now know was the cause of the majority of my health issues. That was 2 1/2 years ago and after making a life style change of eating healthy (Glycimic index, Whole Food) I have lost over 40 pounds and continue to lose weight slowly but surly. I’ve never felt healthier in my life! But had I not been pro-active in my health and had a vigilant Respitory doctor, I would still be in the same boat, if not seriously ill or dead today. Thank you for your story, there needs to be more of us out there telling our story to those who feel they have no voice or no hope. There is hope, you and I are proof of that!! God Bless!!

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  25. Shanon

     /  September 9, 2012

    Boy, I don’t know how long ago this happened, but you should have, at the very least, filed a grievance with the AMA. I would have sued her for malpractice and I’m not a letigious person. Dr. W (although I can’t for the life of me understand why you are protecting her by not mentioning her full name) was negligent in her disregard of your condition. I had a similar experience with an internist, named Riley Hill. I complained for months of sharp, severe pain in my left knee. He took an x-ray and it was clear so he told me it might help if I lost a few pounds. The pain became so bad that I could barely walk and began to have pain in my right leg due to over-compensating for the pain in the left. I expressed this over and over to him for months until I finally got fed up of his utter lack of attention or interest in what could be causing the pain. I made an appointment with a completely different doctor who immediately took an MRI and ordered surgery for a torn meniscu

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  26. Katie

     /  January 7, 2013

    Thank you for sharing your story. I was wondering if your thyroid was just enlarged or enlarged with nodules? Also did you have blood work? Did it show you were hypothyroidism?…. My 5 year old daughter was just diagnosed with an enlarged thyroid, no nodules and bloodwork shows hypothyroidism. It is quite large, visible to the eye, that is why we took her to appt. We have an appt with a specialist in a couple weeks….

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    • vesta44

       /  January 16, 2013

      Katie – Mine was enlarged with nodules, and they biopsied it for cancer (no signs of cancer, thank goodness). I think the reason my doctor didn’t think it was anything to worry about is because my TSH, T3, and T4 always tested in the normal range (but my TSH now, with medication and no thyroid, is about 1/3 of what it used to be, T3 is the same as before my thyroid was removed). But it was causing me problems with swallowing – I just didn’t realize that until it was no longer there. And now that I don’t have my thyroid anymore, when I look at older pictures of me from when I still had it, I can see where it was enlarged on my throat.
      Removing it was the right thing to do.

      Reply
  27. TreyK

     /  January 20, 2013

    My wife is having thyroid issues, it gets swollen and painful. Her primary keeps saying that he feels her thyroid is swollen and “woody” as he puts it, but everytime he sends her for an ultrasound (three times now) it always comes back saying her thyroid is normal. Her bloodwork is off and the doc put her on levothyroxine, but it seems to keep getting worse. It is to the point where sometimes she has trouble breathing. I cant figure out why the ultrasounds arent showing anything when the doctor himself can feel that something is wrong. I think it needs to be removed, but she is on medicaid and they aren’t going to cover that without having a reason and having normal ultrasounds leaves no reason. Not sure what to do at this point.

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    • vesta44

       /  January 21, 2013

      TreyK – Is the doctor your wife is seeing an endocrinologist? If not, see if her doctor will refer her to one (I think Medicaid will pay that if it’s a referral, and you can’t get in to see an endo without a referral). An endocrinologist will know more about this kind of issue than a GP. And an endo will probably have another ultrasound done and find any issues that the others may have missed.

      Reply
  28. Angela

     /  February 22, 2013

    Vesta44, Are you having any complications since your thyroid was removed? I have gained 30 lbs in 7 months, I have hashimoto’s and an enlarged thyroid. I DO not have insurance and I am scared to death! I feel like crap all the time, joints hurt, heart palps and extremely tired! I am so tired of my doc yelling at me for being heavy! I work my butt off at my job and eat very healthy! I try to tell her its really hard to work out when I am so tired all the time. I had a Nuclear test scheduled for next week but I cant afford it with no ins, so I had to cancel it!

    Reply
    • vesta44

       /  February 22, 2013

      Angela – It took about nine months to get my thyroid meds regulated so that my TSH was in the “normal/close to normal” range. I am sleeping better, and I’m not as tired all the time as I used to be. The best thing, though, is that with my enlarged thyroid gone, I don’t have as much trouble swallowing pills or what I eat. I didn’t realize how hard I’d been working to swallow until my thyroid was gone. So I don’t think I’m having any complications from that, and I know my health is better now.

      Reply
  29. rea

     /  March 11, 2013

    since im 17 i had a problem in my neck,most of the people says that maybe i have a goiter,but for me i ignore it because i dont feel any symptoms of goiter,but when im breastfeed to my 2nd baby i feel strange to my throat and neck,i was stress and scared to what i noticed to my neck,there are (bukol)in right side of my neck,many people noticed it..ive never seen a doctor before until now thats why i dont know if i had a goiter,.

    Reply
  30. Ro

     /  March 13, 2013

    Vesta,
    I also live in MN and am having similar issues with my thyroid being enlarged. My TSH levels are normal per my doctor. Can you give me the name of your endo? Thanks

    Reply

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