Thyroid Problems/is my husband hypothyroid?
QUESTION: Dear Dr Kulkarni
I hope you can help, my husband is getting very upset at his lack of ability to lose weight despite diet and exercise - he needs to lose about 4 stone but is finding it impossible! He has been like this for about 20 years, he is now 46. He does have a very low basal temperature and it is about 97.5 during the day, he does have a tendency to retain water and has bags under his eyes and also very stiff joints, but other than that he has normal energy levels and doesn't feel ill at all. Is it possible that he could have a thyroid problem? He does have a condition at the moment which is low testosterone and he has to put it on as a gel every day and has done that for years...Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!
ANSWER: Hello Jade,
Warm Welcome to you!
There are chances that your husband having subclinical hypothyroidism. These patients exhibit only few symptoms of hypothyroidism and their illness does not come to lime light until proper lab investigations are conducted. Please send his hieght and current weight if possible. His symptoms could be due to anxiety as well. Have you checked his random blood glucose level for diabetes? If it is hormone related then, either there is problem with adrenal/thyroid/pitutary. But my first impression is, I think there is problem with his adrenal gland which is causing water retention, weight gain and low body temperature.
If you have any recent lab reports please send me.
Take care. Have a great day. Bye.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Dear Dr Kulkarni
Thank you very much for your answer, he weighs 207lb and is only 5 feet 5 inches tall. No labs unfortunately, he refuses to go as in the past everything has come back normal. He did self treat with hydrocortisone though a few years ago, he was feeling ill at the time and it made him feel better although he lost no weight at all. Then he started doing interval training on an exercise bike - after 2 or 3 months of doing this he started to show signs of high cortisol so stopped the hydrocortisone. Then he stopped the exercise and low cortisol symptoms came back eventually (inability to handle stress) so he has now started the exercise again...but it seems that whether is cortisol is low, high or normal the weight stays the same!! It's very confusing and I hope you can help get to the bottom of it...
Have you checked the serum cortisol level before? How you are telling he has low cortisol level? Has it been diagnosed before? Does he consume alcohol? How much quantity? How often?
But Jade if he refuses to undergo the lab investigation, its very difficault for any doctor to diagnose and self treatment is not acceptable as well as risky. Which country you are from? My recommendation is he needs hormonal profile tested if its not been done recently. And big NO NO to self treatment.
Take care. Bye.