Do I have a thyroid or autoimmune condition?

I’ve been having some seemingly minor health-related issues recently and I was wondering if these are indications of some kind of thyroid disease. I’m a 19 year old ethnically Chinese male born and raised in the USA.

I think I might have developed a mild case of Hives. It started around 1/3/11 and I get occasionally itchy around my legs arms back or chest which is followed by minor, small red bumps. It persists off and on daily usually in the morning/afternoon, but it isn’t too disruptive to everyday life. When I was maybe around 13, I also developed a case of shingles that went away after going to the doctor and taking meds.
I might also have some kind of Angioedema. It usually is just a raised bump under my eye about an inch and a half long when it occurs and goes away usually overnight. These started happening fairly infrequently maybe 6 months and might have happened on three or so occasions.
I’ve also developed a minor left eye twitch in the past 6 weeks or so. I’m not sure if this is at all related to the other issues.
My dad developed thyroid disease (I think hypothyroidism) sometime in his early-mid 20s which obviously raises my chances of having it.

Other than these symptoms, I don’t particularly identify with any of the common hypo or hyperthyroidism symptoms.

Finally, I should also note I took the quarter off from college to do some independent travelling in the Middle East and do some volunteer microfinance work in Uganda, so finding adequate healthcare might be an issue for me if there is indeed an imminent problem.
I’m still in Israel and have yet to travel to Uganda.


  • Sounds like you have a significant Allergic history but not thyroid related. Know what you are allergic to and monitor your thyroid (TSH) levels with your doc every year. High TSH = hypothyroid. Low TSH = hyperthyroid. Good luck.

  • Ginny Jin

    you can easy pick up a parasite in Uganda – you could have got traveller’s disease

    well be careful

  • Dr Conners

    An autoimmune disorder is named after the primary organ being attacked that brought the patient to the doctor’s office. Hashimoto’s is autoimmune hypothyroid and though the thyroid was the primary attack (in your father’s case), it does not mean he didn’t,or couldn’t have other tissues affected. The subcutaneous fat layer (under the skin, all over the body) is a common site of attack for autoimmune conditions and is different, yet similar in symptoms, to allergies. Allergies are acute inflammatory reactions; autoimmune attacks are chronic, more destructive, and though the immune attack may wax and wane, the damage can be severe, especially as time goes on.
    You may read more about autoimmune diseases in my book, it’s free as a download on this site:

    Hope this helps,
    Dr C

  • stealthwind

    It appears there might be two things going on. Perhaps you are a bit iodine deficient and your diurnal cortisol rhythm might not be as it should be.

    Compilation of iodine information:
    Here is a thyroid based adrenal article, but the cortisol information is pertinent:
    Otherwise, see the book "Safe Uses of Cortisol" by William McK Jefferies.

    Thyroid issues are not usually genetic, they are associated with iodine deficiency which is not an uncommon condition. The deficiency (whether it affects the thyroid or other ‘parts’) can stress the body which in turn can affect the adrenals, causing cortisol to lower as adrenals weaken.

    It would, at least, be worthwhile to explore this further.

  • Richard Lapi

    In my own opinion, hereditary thyroid disease is not a great news for children. The most common hereditary thyroid dysfunction problem is when the immune system attacks the thyroid resulting to hypo or hyper thyroid. Get tested for thyroid function before it’s too late.

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