Newbie, questions

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2007
Newbie, questions
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 1:32pm
I have been experiencing strange symptoms for a year, and finally made an appointment to get my thyroid checked next week. I am wondering if I have Grave's disease. It would make everything make sense. If I don't, then I guess I am just crazy! I have been having hot flashes (I am 31), irritability,fatigue, anxiety, irregular menstrual cycles, strange patches of skin on my legs and feet, etc. The list could go on and on.
I am wondering what kinds of tests they will do when I go, and how long the results will take. After that, what do I do?
It doesn't help my comfort level that I am going to a doctor I have never been to, having moved to a new state a year ago.
I'm just wondering what to expect, and whether or not I can feel for abnormalities by feeling my neck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-05-2008
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 6:38pm
In my experience, they feel your thyroid to see how it feels. (They also listen to your breathing and such - not sure why.) Mine usually check to see if my hands are steady or not (you've probably read that shaky hands are a symptom). They will probably ask what symptoms you've been having. And - a biggie - they'll draw blood to check your thyroid hormone levels. (Not sure how long it will take them to get back to you but it could be a week.) All in all, not a big deal at all. If your levels are abnormal they can put you on medication, but it takes something like 4-6 wks to start working. They continue checking you on about a monthly basis or so til they get your levels in line.
I wouldn't worry too much about the new dr in a new state thing. I'm on my 3rd endocrinologist now and I typically don't really care who it is as long as they make me feel better asap! But, having said that, if I end up w/an endo who doesn't share my views on treatment course, I would switch to a different dr. For instance, my 1st endo wanted to zap my thyroid w/radioactive iodine w/my 2nd episode of hyperthyroid, stating - it'll just keep coming back. Well, that may be but I don't want radioactive anything going into my body, potentially leading to cancer down the road! But, that's just me. I prefer the periodic bouts of medication to settle it back down.
I've never been able to feel any abnormalities in my own neck, even when I was once told that I had a bit of a goiter. Probably because I have no idea what a normal vs abnormal thyroid feels like.
Avatar for cl_calley7
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Thu, 03-04-2010 - 7:43pm

Hi Meredeth,

Welcome to our board.

At the appointment, the doctor will probably feel your neck to see if there is any swelling and sometimes they can feel nodules.