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Old 08-18-2010, 04:32 AM   #1
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pregnant, hyperthyroid and very worried

i've been having some hyperthyroid symptoms for the past year, but i guess i was just in self-denial and told myself it was no big deal. then my husband and i decided we want to start adding to our family. i went for a preconception check-up, and was told by hospital staff (not the doctor) that all tests results came back normal. we conceived on our first try and i'm now a little over four weeks pregnant.

i went back to the ob/gyn two days ago to confirm my pregnancy and was shocked to learn that there had been a mistake and my thyroid test results were abnormal after all. the doctor ordered additional tests, and these are the results i got from the lab today:

TSH: 0.01 uIU/ml (normal range: 0.35-5.5)
T3: 4.59 ng/ml (normal range: 0.6-1.81)
Free T4: 4.49 ng/ml (normal range 0.78-1.54)

the ob/gyn sent me to an internist, who ran additional tests to determine whether the numbers are influenced by pregnancy hormones, or whether they reflect an underlying hyper condition. he said that these numbers are pretty high, and i will probably have to take anti-thyroid medication. he said the medication could harm my baby, but it would be much better to take that risk than leave the hyperthyroidism untreated, in which case, the chances are low that i would be able to carry this baby to term.

is anyone out there in a similar situation? can someone tell me honestly how bad my T3 and T4 levels are? also, has anyone else taken anti-thyroid medication during pregnancy? does anyone know why this might have happened to me all of a sudden?

 
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:16 AM   #2
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Smile Re: pregnant, hyperthyroid and very worried

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccainyoung View Post
i've been having some hyperthyroid symptoms for the past year, but i guess i was just in self-denial and told myself it was no big deal. then my husband and i decided we want to start adding to our family. i went for a preconception check-up, and was told by hospital staff (not the doctor) that all tests results came back normal. we conceived on our first try and i'm now a little over four weeks pregnant.

i went back to the ob/gyn two days ago to confirm my pregnancy and was shocked to learn that there had been a mistake and my thyroid test results were abnormal after all. the doctor ordered additional tests, and these are the results i got from the lab today:

TSH: 0.01 uIU/ml (normal range: 0.35-5.5)
T3: 4.59 ng/ml (normal range: 0.6-1.81)
Free T4: 4.49 ng/ml (normal range 0.78-1.54)

the ob/gyn sent me to an internist, who ran additional tests to determine whether the numbers are influenced by pregnancy hormones, or whether they reflect an underlying hyper condition. he said that these numbers are pretty high, and i will probably have to take anti-thyroid medication. he said the medication could harm my baby, but it would be much better to take that risk than leave the hyperthyroidism untreated, in which case, the chances are low that i would be able to carry this baby to term.

is anyone out there in a similar situation? can someone tell me honestly how bad my T3 and T4 levels are? also, has anyone else taken anti-thyroid medication during pregnancy? does anyone know why this might have happened to me all of a sudden?
Those levels in the horomones are very high and your TSH which is the chemical your pituitary produces to tell your thyroid how much horomone to make is very low. Your levels could have been more toward the norm before pregnancy so alot of doctors like to think that it's not something that needs treated because it's "normal" to them.
You should be on a thyroid medication to supress the horomone production. If you do not get those levels lowered that could cause issues with the pregnancy and and put the fetus in jeapordy. As far as I know there are only 2 medications to take for hyperthyroidism. I am on Tapazole which WILL harm the fetus with in the first trimester but an Endocrinologist told me that the 2nd and 3rd trimester would be safe. I'd be weary. PTU is the medication to take while pregnant. The only thing to look out for as far as I have been told is the liver with that medication. It could damage your liver but it's a severe side effect and probably rare. Look PTU up on the internet and research. RAI therapy is out of the question because it is radiation to slowly weaken and more than likely kill off the thyroid. Then there is surgery to have your thyroid removed and you would be hypothyroid but apparently it is easier to manage than hyper and the medication is safe during pregnancy and breast feeding.
They need to refer you to an Endocrinologist (though I didn't like mine) they know more about the thyroid and endocrine system than anyone. Don't take to much time deciding please, your levels are high, not to the extreme but still very high.
Good luck with everything

 
Old 08-19-2010, 12:10 AM   #3
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Re: pregnant, hyperthyroid and very worried

Thanks so much Irisheyez!! I went to an endocrinologist today and he said pretty much the same thing that you said and prescribed me PTU. When I asked him if I have Graves' disease, he said "yes" but didn't explain. Then, my three minutes with him was up and he was on to the next patient. I just looked up Graves and it sounds very serious, but I haven't really noticed any symptoms other than the general hyperthyroid symptoms.

I'm supposed to take 4 tablets a day of PTU at 50mg per tablet, for a total of 200mg a day. Is that a pretty low dosage in your opinion? I would do anything for the health of my baby, and I don't want to take too much PTU in case it hurts the baby. Thanks again!

 
Old 08-19-2010, 04:13 AM   #4
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Re: pregnant, hyperthyroid and very worried

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccainyoung View Post
I'm supposed to take 4 tablets a day of PTU at 50mg per tablet, for a total of 200mg a day. Is that a pretty low dosage in your opinion? I would do anything for the health of my baby, and I don't want to take too much PTU in case it hurts the baby.
You want to take it as little as possible - just to make you not hyperT and not going HypoT. Going HypoT with hyperT treatment is very common - you don't want that especially during pregnancy.

 
Old 08-19-2010, 08:18 AM   #5
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Re: pregnant, hyperthyroid and very worried

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebeccainyoung View Post
Thanks so much Irisheyez!! I went to an endocrinologist today and he said pretty much the same thing that you said and prescribed me PTU. When I asked him if I have Graves' disease, he said "yes" but didn't explain. Then, my three minutes with him was up and he was on to the next patient. I just looked up Graves and it sounds very serious, but I haven't really noticed any symptoms other than the general hyperthyroid symptoms.

I'm supposed to take 4 tablets a day of PTU at 50mg per tablet, for a total of 200mg a day. Is that a pretty low dosage in your opinion? I would do anything for the health of my baby, and I don't want to take too much PTU in case it hurts the baby. Thanks again!
PTU will defenatly help more than hurt and I completely understand your need to make sure your baby remains healthy while developing. I have yet to be a mother but it's my biggest ambition.
As for the dosage, I am not sure if that is high or low according to that particular medication. I have only taken Tapazole and the dosage levels seem much different.
Just make sure that you keep up on your appointments with the OB/GYN and make sure they know EVERYTHING and continue contact and blood tests with your Endo. Without correcting the issue with PTU you would be at high risk for miscarriage probably more so in the second trimester.
Please keep us updated =-) I believe you will be just fine and so will your baby. Best of luck!

 
Old 08-20-2010, 04:42 AM   #6
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Re: pregnant, hyperthyroid and very worried

Hi there!

Well I saw your post and Ihope I can put your mind at ease. First of all, your levels are very high, with an almost non-existant TSH. Ok, I would not worry too much about the TSH as it can take months for that to start refelcting that it is slowly increasing(if at all). My endocrinologist was more worried about my T4 when I was pregnant. So that being said, please, please, please take your PTU! 200mg's is not a to hig dose in pregnancy. It is generally safe to take upto 300mg's or even as high as 450mg's in pregnancy with no adverse effects on the fetus. I am on PTU, however; due to elevated liver enzymes I have now opted to have a thyroidectomy. I am not scared anymore as I have an endo who is willing to help me stay thin and healhty after the surgery, so we will work on finding the right does and medicine. Anyway, your baby will be fine! I am sad to say I lost my baby at 18weeks, but it did not have to with the Graves Disease directly,she had Down Syndrome and her heart stopped in utero. Many women have very healthy pregnancies and babies on PTU, unfortunately, I was so nutrient depleted(folic acid) my angel baby was sick at conception. I wish you all the best and please ask any questions you may have! Do keep an eye on your liver enzymes with PTU. Just so you know, Tapazole is relatively safe after the first trimester if you feel better switching. Lots of hugs!

 
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