15 years ago I was diagnosed with Graves after delivery of my son. Because I was breast feeding the doctors tried treating with diff meds that didn't work. I had my first RAI trmt two years after my initial diagnosis and was told a year later it need to be done again. I was put on Synthroid and for the next 10 years have dealt with all the BS you all know about....weight gain, loss, gain & more gain, feelings of depression, fatigue, anxiety and the list goes on. Two years ago because I was feeling so horrible and after reading some of Susan Somers books I found a anti aging doctor who put me on bio identical progesterone and switched me to Armour Thyroid. At that time I was taking 175 mcg's of Synthroid. After a few tweaks I am currently taking 4 grains of Armour or as my doctor of the past few months prescribes 240 mg's. I was feeling fine for the first few months then my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Five surgeries later, braccytherapy and radiation he's doing well. The followups have been very stressful for me because of the high incidence of reoccurrence. I have been under a great deal of stress the past 6 months....just normal life stuff. I have been depressed, feeling very anti social, very heat sensitive, achy joints, very tired, headaches, feeling overwhelmed, anxious and recently have had what I consider two panic attacks. My PMS seems to last all month and I have moderate spotting a week before my period. Then 3 weeks ago I started having a constant numb and tingling feeling in my left wrist and some of my fingers. The tips of my fingers go from a burning sensation to being cold. They are not changing colors and nothing is swollen. The sensations come and go through my arm and now the bottom of my left foot. I saw an acupuncturist last week who suspects a pinched nerve.
I feel like I hate the person inside me that I can't control, but know there is a ME somewhere in there that I like being.
Sorry so long....getting to the questions. I saw a new doctor who comes highly recommended and is very close to my home last Thursday. She looked at
my Armour dosage and last two labs and said I'm on lethal doses of it and
thinks now I'm hyper. She thinks i may be low in b-12 and magnesium. I did labs Friday because shewants to run "her" tests. She also mentioned something about checking for antibodies. I know I should know more about all this, but I've lived in and with this FOG for so long that I don't even know sometimes what to ask a doctor. My BP was 149/105 and my pulse was 112.
Here are the lab results I have. The T3 and T4 tests seem to be different and again I don't understand.
Labs done Sept 2011
TSH, 3rd generation w/reflex to FT4. 0.01 Range 0.40-4.50
T4, Free 0.9 Range 0.8-1.8
T3 uptake 32 Range 22-35%
Labs done February 28, 2012
TSH 0.01 Range 0.40-4.50
T4 (thyroxine), total 6.4. Range 4.5-12.0 mcg/dl
T3, total 96 Range 76-181 ng/dl
Thyroid peroxidase antibodies. 18 Range <35 IU/mL
Please help with any advice. I'm losing my mind, AGAIN!!!!!
The new doctor is certainly no expert on Armour or thyroid. You may not ever be better if you continue seeing her. Her first, most major, mistake was telling you your Armour dose is "lethal". Totally absurd. She's basing her opinion only on your TSH level, which is wrong. TSH will be suppressed when Armour is the treatment of choice. It's expected to be low and should be ignored. Second huge mistake is saying you're hyperthyroid. There is absolutely no validity in that, given your very low T4/3 levels.
Treatment should be based on the free T4 and free T3 levels. You haven't had a free T3 test; T3 uptake is an outdated, useless test that tells you nothing. Total T4 is also inaccurate and not very useful. However, we can tell from the basement level free T4 that, for some reason, that high dose of Armour isn't doing you much good. T3 total, while not as accurate as free T3, is also very low. You definitely are not taking a "lethal" dose of Armour. It seems as if you're taking nothing at all, based on your FT levels. No wonder you're suffering so.
At this stage of the game, it won't be very useful to test for antibodies. There isn't anything you can do about them anyway. The thing you need most is an effective thyroid replacement med in the right amount.
Are you taking your Armour on an empty stomach apart from iron or calcium supplements? Are you storing it properly? If so, it might be worth switching to another brand of dessicated hormone to see if something else will absorb better than Armour. I personally found that Armour, before its 2009 reformulation, worked extremely well for me. After that, it didn't work at all. The "new" product has left many of it formerly successful users hypothyroid again. That could be your problem.
Other brands of dessicated thyroid are Erfa (from Canada) and NP Thyroid (by Acella labs). You might also try a compounded formula obtained from a specialty drugstore.
Because of your heavy stress load, it also might be worth having your adrenal function tested. Adrenal stress doesn't allow the body to make use of the thyroid hormone you take. Other than that, I don't know much about adrenal function, sorry.
__________________ "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln