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  • ecoecho
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • March 10, 2011, 12:20:31 am
    • Republic of Korea
Good afternoon,

For those of you who have thyroid conditions, could you give me some advice and guidance?

I had a complete thyroidectomy back home six years ago, and I've been living in Korea for the last two. I haven't had any problems until the last few months.

I'm having symptoms of hypothyroidism, and yet when I recently got a blood test, the doctor whom I saw at Seoul National Univ. Hospital said that my T3 and T4 levels were fine. SNUH recommended that I see a dermatologist in my area instead for my sudden extreme hairloss. The doctor didn't comment much on my other symptoms. I'm seeing a dermo tomorrow to see what he thinks, but I believe the problem has more to do with the underlining problem of not having a thyroid. I've now gone to the hospital three times in the last two weeks, with doctors just passing me off and not suggesting other diagnostics to figure out the root problem. As yes, in one of the situations, there was definitely a language barrier.

I'm taking levothyroxine, where I have to cut pills each day to get my daily dose of 125mcg. It's REALLY annoying as the chalky pills don't cut cleanly. I've read online that many people experience problems with this synthetic medicine. My parents are trying to get 125mcg pills for me from home, but to no avail so far.

So, has anyone had to navigate a similar situation in Korea? If you have, could you please PM your symptoms, your experience, your doctors and if you were successful in finding a solution? I'd really, really, really appreciate it.

I feel frustrated and lonely in this experience, as my friends can't relate. I'd just really like some help from someone who knows what I'm even talking about.

Thank you!


  • ecoecho
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • March 10, 2011, 12:20:31 am
    • Republic of Korea
Re: Extreme hairloss et al; possible hypothyroidism and need help!
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2013, 01:20:46 pm »
What other symptoms have I been having?

Recent sudden weight gain; loss of period for two months; lethargy; insomnia; achy joints; lack of consistent bowel movement; inexplicably feeling on the verge of tears at times; and feeling really out of it mentally. I think people have described it as fogginess. These are all recent and uncommon symptoms for me.

And I have had the same blood test results for the past six years until recently, but I did have another blood test last week to double check. I will visit the doctor again this week to see those results.

As for the first blood test, I took it and got back the results in two days.

I have now visited one clinic in my small town, SNUH and the Yonsei University Hospital in my area. In all situations, it's been like this:

Endo doc: You have hypothyroid symptoms, but that's not your problem.
Me: Wait, what? Then what's my problem?
Endo: I don't know. Maybe you have female-pattern baldness?
Me: But I don't have a bald spot. My hair loss is consistent throughout my head. And my other symptoms--
Endo: I don't know; I'm not a dermatologist.


Derma doc: Your hair loss is related to your hypothyroidism. Let me sell you on this Rogaine for six months at 60,000 won a pop!
Me: But shouldn't we be treating the cause and not the symptoms? Plus, what about my other symptoms?
Derma doc: I'm not a thyroid specialist. Maybe you should see an endocrinologist.
Me: I did. :/

Yep. Frustrating to say the least. But thank you for your great questions.

What other symptoms have you been having?

A significant increase or decrease or heart discomfort is a sure sign of off thyroid levels.

Do you normally have steady thyroid levels or do they go up and down? If it's the latter that may be a reason why it tested normally that time even though you may have off thyroid levels.

How many tests have you taken? Did you try different hospitals for a second opinion?

When you took the blood test, how long did the results come back?


Re: Extreme hairloss et al; possible hypothyroidism and need help!
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 01:35:20 pm »
Have looked into Adrenal Fatigue at all? Could be linked to your hypothyroidism or maybe you've been misdiagnosed?

http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/what-is-adrenal-fatigue

Also, 99% of doctors are not trained in even basic nutrition and have decades old, out-dated information on the subject. I'd consider looking into, and experimenting with, personal diet programs and discovering what kind of foods set off these certain negative reactions in your system. Brand new emerging field - takes nutrition one step further- it's called bio-hacking.



  • bts21
  • Adventurer

    • 73

    • September 04, 2012, 10:15:28 am
    • Gyeongbuk
Re: Extreme hairloss et al; possible hypothyroidism and need help!
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2013, 03:32:06 pm »
You may have PCOS, which also might fit the posted profile. Sucks if you have both thyroid problems and PCOS. When you do get periods, are they unusually painful? Have you noticed any increased hair growth elsewhere on your body?


  • bts21
  • Adventurer

    • 73

    • September 04, 2012, 10:15:28 am
    • Gyeongbuk
Re: Extreme hairloss et al; possible hypothyroidism and need help!
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 03:40:18 pm »
Also, it bears mentioning that women don't just suffer from alopecia areata (the "female pattern baldness" with specific bald spots). It's entirely possible for women to get "male pattern baldness" (androgenic alopecia), which presents itself in women as evenly spread thinning over the whole scalp. It sucks. If you have a family history of male pattern baldness, might want to look into that.


  • Miss Jonez
  • Newgookin

    • 1

    • March 05, 2013, 01:57:30 pm
    • Seoul, Korea
Re: Extreme hairloss et al; possible hypothyroidism and need help!
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2013, 10:09:52 am »
Hi there,

I am experiencing most of the symptoms you've described except weight gain (extreme hair loss, achy body or shooting pains in my side, weird vision [often feels like i'm on the verge of a migraine or that my eyes and front of my head are strained], dizziness, anxiety, and sporadic jaw pain when I open my mouth fully. I'm getting worried about it. I feel crappy and foggy all the time and then I get anxious about my symptoms as they are getting more frequent. It's becoming unbearable. I've only started seeing these symptoms within the last 3 months and I've only been in Korea 6 months. I've NEVER had any health problems before and I am active and eat well.

I am going to see a doctor on Wednesday about it. I think I'm going to demand blood work and a thyroid check. I'm not sure if they will be able to help me or if the doctor will just send me to a hospital.

 Please keep me posted on your experience and diagnosis!

Thanks and good luck!


Re: Extreme hairloss et al; possible hypothyroidism and need help!
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2014, 12:11:34 pm »
I have had Hashimoto's for as long as I can remember. The symptoms DEFINITELY sound like a thyroid problem, or as someone mentioned earlier, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). I have both, and it sucks, but it is manageable. And if you have one autoimmune disorder, your chances of having another are extremely high. I would talk to a doctor about the chance of PCOS. The other thing to point out is that dosage on sythetic thyroid medicine has to be precise. By cutting a chalky pill, I am sure it is crumbling and not even. Therefore, your doses are probably not consistent, which can cause thyroid symptoms. I hope this helps and/or you have figured out the problem already. Best of luck