Jun 27, 2002
Hi Doctor, I just got results back from routine blood work and my thyroid levels were low. I had hiv related lymphoma years ago in my throat, tonsil, and had a lot of radiation therapy. I have been experiencing weight loss and fatigue for the last few months and I am having a lot of problems with swallowing especially in my lower throat. My doctor said we would check my thyroid again with my next blood work. From everything I have been reading online and doing my own research it seems to me that from my past history and from living with hiv I am a candidate for low thyroid. Am I on target with this? Thanks, Jim
Response from Dr. Frascino
Certainly radiation therapy to the neck region can affect thyroid function. Low thyroid (hypothyroid) is often associated with weight gain (rather than weight loss) and fatigue. If you are experiencing significant weight loss and fatigue, why is your doctor waiting to check your thyroid with your next blood draw? Why not check it now? In the setting of HIV disease, there are many causes for weight loss and also for fatigue. Advise your doctor you want to be evaluated for these problems now! You'll need to check for:
1. Adequacy of your diet 2. Unrecognized infections 3. Medication side effects 4. Psychological problems - depression/anxiety 5. Hormonal problems - thyroid, testosterone, adrenal insufficiency 6. Anemia
Good luck, Jim. Write back if you're still having problems.
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