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Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

21 REPLIES 21
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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Just a reminder for anyone else reading this that may have thyroid sympytoms mentioned on this thread, that a Thyroid test is very easy to do just a simple blood test and you find out in a few days. Very easy to diagnose. Don't suffer as it's so easy to rule out and very easy to treat with medication which gets your energy levels going back up very quickly.

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Sorry, I should have said I have a woman GP - not GO 🙂

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

I too have been dx with an underactive thyroid since finishing treatment. I had rads to my neck as well as the chest area and underarm. Research on the internet confirmed that rads to the neck can destroy part of the thyroid. This was also confirmed by my GP. I did not really have any symptoms although my hair was slow to come to back after chemo. Still not right and that is over 3 years since finishing taxotere. Have put on a stone in a year which I cannot shift.

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

hi all
i am 3 weeks after RT, and i am still feeling fatigued, where my whole body seems to collapse inside and then i have to take to my bed where i sleep for 2-3 hrs which is most afternoons, if anyone knows how long does this go on

do u think its too soon to get tested for thyroid?

seem to remember way back before BC that i was tired and slept for england. before chemo and during i was diagnosed with aenemia, during chemo i had a blood transfusion, in the long run i didnt see any improvement.

would thyroid be checked routinely while under going all these treatments for BC.

yvonne xxx

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

I've been on a few websites written by doctors who recommend that women should be tested for thyroid function when they are menopausal or post meno as a standard thing. I find with being post menopausal you are suddenly on your own. You still get the odd meno symptom (and I have virtually no libido at all), but there's no real help. I have a woman GO who just keeps saying I need to be taken away to a hotel to feel sexy. To say she has no idea is an understatement.

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Me too! Mine is probably hereditary because my dad had an underactive thyroid. Mine was only shown up when I went through all the tests during cancer treatment, but I suspect I`d had it for years. I`m now on 137mcg of thyroxine, but I still feel tired quite a lot. No dramatic weight loss since taking thyroxine, what a disappointment!

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Hello

Haven't posted on here for a very long time (just checked in to find out about some tamoxifen symptoms) and saw this interesting thread, and thought I'd add to the answers. I also was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease (underactive) after I just couldn't get any energy back many months after treatment. There were quite a few threads about thyroid probs on here at the time that were useful. I didn't have other symptoms, just chronic fatigue and some balance problems. I can't remember the statistics, but at the time I looked into it and several studies did suggest a higher incidence of thyroid problems in women wih a history of bc, but the cause/effect wasn't conclusive. Any hormone imbalance can effect the thyroid, but it wasn't clear whether that was fuelled by treatment. I'm sure someone medical will have more info, I'll be interested to read further replies. I've been on thyroxine for quite a while now, gradually taking a bit more over the months, but does the job!

C

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Saw my doctor today and I'm having thyroid function test next week along with a whole range of other blood tests. I didn't mention thyroid but it was the first thing she thought of.
In a way, almost hoping it is because there will some treatment that might make me feel better. I've had a week of terrible fatigue and it's really got me down.
elinda x

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

I also developed under active thyroid after having rads and chemo. it was my ONC who diagnosed it as like many have said here I was exhausted post chemo and put it down to fatigue and tamoxifen, which was not agreeing with me. She tested my blood and diagnosed under active thyroid. I am on thyroxine and have blood tests every 6 months, then they adjust the level accordingly. I went through the menopause straight away too after my first FEC, I never had another period.

I never really know if all the extra SE are from RADS and Chemo, or the menopause or medication.

I also developed carpal tunnel in both my hands and hgad to have 2 operations, this again I put down to chemo/RADS. I too am battling with my weight, I can#t exercise because I'm crippled with arthritis in both my knees and this has got worse from Chemo and Exmestane.

Still I'm still here, so hey ho! I'm 4 years post chemo now.

Sarah X

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

This is the problem I have - when I read up on underactive thyroid last year most of the info said it mimics the same things you get with being post menopausal. I've started yet another diet this week, this time I'm reading Dr John Briffa's new book. It takes you down the route of low carb, but not in an extreme way like Atkins, more like a GI route. I fell off the gym wagon for a bit as I got very despondent; this has unfortunately ended up with me gaining half a stone so I've bought all new gym gear and am starting again tomorrow. If I don't lose weight with this I don't know what I'll do. I feel very cut adrift from my GP surgery as they just keep saying "oh well, you're post menopausal". I feel like telling them they don't need to remind me as I live with it every flaming day.It's like once you are through the menopause nobody is interested.

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

I'm glad I found this thread as it has prompted me to go to the doctors again tomorrow. I have been suffering with such debilitating fatigue since treatment ended over 2 years ago. I did have thyroid level checked soon after finishing chemo but not for a couple of years now.

I have very dry hands, extreme tiredness, muscle aches, severe constipation and this year I've been feeling very cold (in between hot flushes)which is unusual for me as I was always someone who never felt the cold much. If nothing else I think I need to rule out hypo thyroidism.
I do also get bad headaches but not sure that's connected.

Trouble with all these things is that it could be a number of things from chronic fatigue syndrome, menopause, tamoxifen to thyroid or possibly a horrible combo.

Elinda x

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Hi all, I was really interested to see your comments.

I was diagnosed July 2011 and didn't have rads or chemo, but had MX with recon Oct 2011. My wound only closed last week plus been on Tamoxifen 3 mths.
I can't seem to get my energy back and thought maybe it's just early days but I'm also feeling the cold now whereas I used to get too hot. My son's just been diagnosed with underactive thyroid & my mum/sister have it so might ask for test if no change soon. Thanks x

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

I've just recently been diagnosed as underactive Thyroid. I had Chemo and Rads and was so exhausted, I just put all the symptoms down to ongoing fatigue post treatment. I was so depressed that I decided to go to the doctors and get some anti depressants to help me get back on track. While there I asked them to do a test for diabeties, anemia and thyroid. Doctor perscribed anti depressants in the meantime.

I didn't take them thought I would spend a week at my mums instead, which was probably the best treatment. Anyway day after blood test my own doctor called me back to say I was underactive, very badly so and put on medication immediately.

My symptoms were so similar to fatigue suffered through Chemo I'm now not sure if I was suffering from the Chemo and rads or the underactive thyroid during treatment. Were those days when I couldn't get out of bed due to my Chemo or my thyroid.

Symptoms of Thyroid I was suffering from were, depression, mental foggyness, exhaustion, sleeping all the time, not able to make it up the stairs, bloated face, baggy under the eyes, weight gain, sore arms (had this from the veins being blasted with Chemo and also can be down to the pins and needles of the thyroid problem), heavy legs, lack of balance etc.

The SEs I think are only with Hypothroidism are the extreme feeling of being cold all the time, extremely dry skin on my hands and tingling in the fingers, and possibly the bloated face if you have been off steroids for a while.

I would suggest that anyone post cancer treatment with continuing symptoms of fatigue and other symptoms asks for a Thyroid test.

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Hi Adi,

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism following chemo. I was initally overactive (thyroiditis they call it) however i then became extremely underactive and i put on a lot of weight. I now take levothyroxine and it seems to be incontrol. my antibodies were positive aswell and they said it was hashimotos thyroiditis. I queried whether it could be due to treatment but they did not think so.

its interesting to see a few of youu have also thought about this.

pippa xxx

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Evening Ladies, thank you so much for your responses, which are quite reassuring. I have had very high cholestrol for a number of years and went sky high on the chemo and still very high now. Not taking Statins as they made me very poorly when I took them before, but may need to review this. I am post menopausal so appreciate that some of the problems are caused by this. It was my GP who wanted to check all my bloods again due to the excessive tiredness/breathlessness.(He has been wonderful through my treatments). Blood counts are very good compared to earlier on but the results for TSH and T4 have come back showing Hypo Thyroidism and also tested for TPO thyroid antibody which came back positive. It is no wonder I cannot lose weight and I was blaming the Arimidex, which even my consultant confirmed that if you are on Aromatose Inhibitors, weight loss is very difficult. Started my thyroxine today so won't see any change for a few weeks I don't think, but doctor wants to do another blood test in 4 weeks. I won't give up trying to lose this excess weight, so will persevere with it and will let you all know. Just want the tiredness to go! I think as long as I am trying to shift it, I will feel better for it as this disease has already caused me enough health issues. I thought having treatment for C, would be over and done with once active treatment finished. Boy was I WRONG!!!! Enjoy your evening ladies x

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

About 1 in 20 women over age 50 have thyroid disorders... Not sure what age you all are but it could well be a coincidence and that perhaps you treatment has made you a bit more body aware and keen to get things checked out.... I often wonder if we didn't have BC would we be so bothered or just out it down to the ageing process which a lot of things are.

I was checked for thyroid problems after getting very high cholesterol and thyroid was borderline but antibody set apparently was normal and thyroid is now back to normal again and cholesterol is still high on statins but better than before.

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Hi,

Thought I would let you know adi that I also am showing signs of an Underactive Thyroid. Had my blood tested before Christmas as I am still feeling very tired (and still having herceptin) - my onc was very surprised for it to show that I had raised TSH levels. In theory my thyroid is producing enough hormones but my body is having to work overtime to do this. I will be getting the levels tested again a few months after treatment finishes and if still high will go on thyroxine. Just one more thing added to the list! I was told it could be due to the chemo or herceptin or even the tamoxifen or simply down to the trauma that my body has been through.

Emma x

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Hi adi we not spoke in ages hope y ok I've got a underactive thyroid but have had it 20 yrs plus but I know my chemo made it go up and down and now my voice and throat hurts a lot more than it did post chemo I don't think we will ever know truth they don't Laura

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Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

I did put on about a stone during treatment as I was too unwell to do exercise (also I had really painful joints on Taxotere). One of the reasons I asked to be tested was because and awful lot of menopause/post menopause issues are similar to thyroid problems; I also have an elder brother who is Type 2 diabetic and when I was on the steroid they give you during chemo I was showing the symptoms (which thankfully went back to normal after the steroid were out of my system) I've been on a few sites run by Consultant Gynaecologists who believe post menopausal women should be tested as standard to rule underactive thyroid out.

What I was a bit annoyed with was nobody from my GP surgery bothered to ring me with results, I was just told to ring in after 2 weeks. When I did they'd had the results for about 8 days as tey came back early. I see a woman GP who has absolutely no interest in any of my post menopausal issues, she says women need to just get on with it. Becoming post menopausal was pretty much an overnight thing for me - I never had a period after I started chemo, no hot flushes nothing, that was it. There is little or no help once you are out the other side I'm afraid.

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

My endocrinolog had me tested for this a few weeks ago. I wasn't showing any classic symptoms, but I do have type 1 diabetes, and an underactive thyroid is often a kind of evil cousin of diabetes (both can be auto immune problems).

Turned out she was right, TSH and T4 both came back showing Hypo thyroidism. They then tested for TPO thyroid antibodies. The normal upper limit is 5.8, mine came back at over 2000!

So it's Hashimodos (auto immune thyroid problem).

I've no idea if it was helped on its way by the chemo or not (I didn't have radiotherapy).

I started taking the thyroid hormone replacement tablets about a week ago.

Oddly my weight hasn't changed at all, I'm still the same weight as pre-cancer.

Member

Re: Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

I had tests done for this a few weeks before Christmas as I also cannot shift the extra weight I'm carrying despite spending a year in the gym, doing yoga and watching what I eat. I gained half a stone of WW ProPoints last summer and gave up after 10 weeks of doing it. In my case the blood tests came back negative despite all the symtoms I had. The only excuse they can give me is I'm not losing any weight because I've been post menopausal for 4 years now. Not much help I'm afraid.

Member

Underactive Thyroid caused by treatment?

Hi ladies just wondered if anyone else been diagnosed with underactive thyroid after active treatment. Had WLE and SNB this time last year, followed by FEC/Taxol and radiotherapy. Went back to work in October on a phased return but still very tired even now. Was very anaemic during treatment together with lots of other SEs so GP keeps an eye on me and carries out regular blood tests. Got a shock today when informed that now need to take more drugs for underactive thyroid. This could be the reason why the excess 2.5 stone gained during treatment is just not shifting, despite watching what I eat. Wanted me to start on the tablets straight away, and see him next week when he can explain the whole situation in greater detail. My question really is was it the chemo or the radiotherapy as had rads to clavical area and now worrying myself silly as to how much more damage has been caused. Any one else in similar situtation?