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What causes brittle and thin hair, profuse armpit sweating and fatigue?

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Posted on Fri, 27 May 2016
Question: I have had a lot of symptoms over the past couple years that I thought were related to my thyroid, but the thyroid tests show slightly low tsh over the past year and a half with T3 and T4 in the normal range. I have also had my progesterone, estrogen, testosterone checked and all were normal. I wonder if it might be related to the chemotherapy I had for breast cancer about 8 years ago. I will list my symptoms chronologically, and the symptoms have worsened over time to the point that I am having to take Coreg, Lisinopril, and Clonazepam daily. These medication have been required lately to keep my heart rate and blood pressure down as well as to control the anxiety/insomnia. My doctors are puzzled. I am limited because I do not have health insurance.
Symptoms-
-hair brittle and thinning
-profuse armpit sweating, even when cold, especially when emotional
-facial hair growth
-waking at 3-4 am with night sweats (but only at that time),anxiety, stomach upset, reflux around menstrual cycle
-fatigue
-very emotional (not usual for me at all)
-recently early morning waking more frequent (3-5 nights a week) & accompanied by anxiety & tachcardia (104-130)
-elevated BP usually 105-120/70s, now 130-140s/80-90s
-fatigue improved since adding HR, BP, and clonazepam
-Visual acuity decline rapid- noticing that I progressively have to hold print further away to prevent it from being blurry (over last 2 months)
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shehzad Topiwala (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Hormone tests

Detailed Answer:
Sorry to learn about your medical problems.

If your menstrual cycles are absent, then the night sweats could likely be menopause related. Menopause can occur prematurely in some women, and in those who receive chemotherapy of a certain kind.

When I see someone like you in my practice, I typically order the following blood tests in addition to a detailed physical examination:

CBC (Complete Blood Count, also known as Hemogram; includes Hemoglobin, WBC and Platelet counts)
Electrolytes (Sodium and Potassium in particular)
HbA1c (Glycosylated Hemoglobin = your 3 month glucose average)
Liver function tests (SGOT , SGPT, Albumin, Bilirubin, Alkaline Phosphatase)
Kidney function tests (BUN, Creatinine)
TSH
Free T4
Anti Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) antibodies
Anti Thyroglobulin antibodies
25 hydroxy Vitamin D
Plasma Free Metanephrines
None of these tests require any fasting and can be done at any time of the day.

The last test on the above list looks for an uncommon condition called Pheochromocytoma. Some of your symptoms suggest this possibility.
I understand you do not have health insurance, and it will be a challenge to get these tests done. I hope something can be worked out with your doctor
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Shehzad Topiwala

Endocrinologist

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 1663 Questions

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What causes brittle and thin hair, profuse armpit sweating and fatigue?

Brief Answer: Hormone tests Detailed Answer: Sorry to learn about your medical problems. If your menstrual cycles are absent, then the night sweats could likely be menopause related. Menopause can occur prematurely in some women, and in those who receive chemotherapy of a certain kind. When I see someone like you in my practice, I typically order the following blood tests in addition to a detailed physical examination: CBC (Complete Blood Count, also known as Hemogram; includes Hemoglobin, WBC and Platelet counts) Electrolytes (Sodium and Potassium in particular) HbA1c (Glycosylated Hemoglobin = your 3 month glucose average) Liver function tests (SGOT , SGPT, Albumin, Bilirubin, Alkaline Phosphatase) Kidney function tests (BUN, Creatinine) TSH Free T4 Anti Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) antibodies Anti Thyroglobulin antibodies 25 hydroxy Vitamin D Plasma Free Metanephrines None of these tests require any fasting and can be done at any time of the day. The last test on the above list looks for an uncommon condition called Pheochromocytoma. Some of your symptoms suggest this possibility. I understand you do not have health insurance, and it will be a challenge to get these tests done. I hope something can be worked out with your doctor