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Pretibial Myxedema

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Question: Personal experience with thyroid problems? Last July, I noticed some swelling on the top of my foot. I didn't think much of it because it didn't hurt, and it eventually went back to normal size. After it reduced in size, though, the part of my foot that had been swollen became discolored (spots of pink and brown.) Then, just last month, my foot became swollen again. This time, though, it was different. Instead of the top of my foot just swelling to look like a lemon was under my skin, this time there are smaller swellings and nodules of different size scattered over the top of my foot. The discoloration is still there, and it looks to be spreading. There is some localized pain at different times, but it doesn't hurt most of the time. I've noticed that my foot has been cramping a lot lately though, and I don't EVER remember having a cramp in my foot in my life. (I'm only 20.) I decided to visit the doctor about it. The X-Rays came back normal, so I went to have an MRI. The MRI showed no tumors or cysts. Apparently, it's just the skin of my foot acting funny. (I'm still waiting on my appointment to visit my orthopedic doctor.) After some research, I'm wondering if this could be pretibial myxedema that has just spread to my foot because I have since found a swollen spot on my shin. Upon researching this, I have found that I have almost every symptom of Hashimoto's disease. Constipation, always cold, and depression have started to greatly affect my life. I also can't seem to ever get enough sleep. And I absolutely cannot lose weight, which sucks. My mother and grandmother both had thyroid problems, and I have read that thyroid problems can be very hereditary. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me their symptoms that helped them discover that they had a thyroid problem, and if it sounds like I could have Hashimoto's disease or something else. If it could be something besides thyroid problems, please let me know.

Answer: I think you should do some research on celiac disease. I had all the symptoms of hypothyroidism and the doctor kept telling me it was nothing and that's what it turned out to be. It's an autoimmune disease caused by gluten intolerance. When you eat gluten your body produces antibodies which attack your intestines and other body organs. It attacks your thyroid too. It prevents you from absorbing nutrients so many of the symptoms are from massive vitamin and mineral deficiencies (especially b12). The reason you can't lose weight is because your body thinks it's starving to death so it slows down your metabolism (coldness!) and never shuts off the hunger signal. Even in the absence of thyroid dysfunction, you can still have all the symptoms of it because your body has lowered your metabolism so much. Another thing it does is prevent you from using the serotonin in your body. Most of it is located in your intestines and if they're damaged, depression is a result. Depression is actually the most common symptom of it. I had horrible depression and anxiety and it went away in like 2 days on the diet. I also lost about 20 pounds without really trying. It's super common, about 1 in 100 have celiac and about 1 in 7 have some other form of non-celiac gluten intolerance. Definitely try a gluten free diet to see if it helps. Another thing you should do is to get your medical records and look at the levels yourself. I was told for years that my thyroid levels were fine and it wasn't until I got my records myself and looked them up that I saw that they were using an outdated scale. The current standards are that any TSH above 3 should be considered hypothyroidism. Mine was 5 and the doctor said I was fine. Obviously he was behind the times. Also, many physicians are now recognizing subclinical hypothyroidism which is where your labs are normal but you still have the symptoms of hypothyroidism. Call around and ask doctors if they recognize subclinical hypothyroidism. If you can find one who says yes, book an appointment with him. My doctor told me she knew my thyroid was low because my body temp was so low. I was running about 96.8 instead of 98.6. Also, when I stopped eating gluten, my TSH went down on it's own. Hashimoto's is hereditary and highly associated with celiac disease, so is celiac. Definitely a link there. And I'm not sure what's happening with your foot, but probably a complication of the two I mentioned. Have you seen a dermatologist about it? Let me know if you have any questions, I accept pm's!………………

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