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Old 08-21-2003, 10:21 AM   #1
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Kimianne HB User
Angry Please help.

Hi all:

In July my dad finally went to the doctor's. He was diagnoised with PD and dementia.

A couple days later my mom received a call from the doctor's office stating that my dad's thyroid was "out of wack" and they prescribed 50 mcg syntroid.

They have now prescribed 150 mcg synthroid. I just got off the phone with the nurse who told me that my father's TSH is 7.5.

That's off an awful lot isn't it? Should we be concerned with the big increase in medication? Is there anything that we can do to help him naturally? Any certain foods, vitamins or minerals that any of you found helped with your symptoms?

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated - my dad is 64 and I hate seeing him like this.

Thank you in advance for your help.

------------------
Kimi
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Respect them both and you will reap the rewards.



[This message has been edited by Kimianne (edited 08-21-2003).]
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Old 08-21-2003, 10:48 AM   #2
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On Monday, I saw a nutritionist/health counselor. She has many certifications and is working on her doctorate in naturopathic medicine, and actually has won several body building championships over the years. Anyway, I have HyperT so the things we discussed won't apply to your dad, but I'm going to suggest that you try to find someone like this in your area. I found my two hour session with her to be very beneficial and educational. I am convinced that there are natural things we can do to compliment/supplement our medication...and possibly eliminate the drugs at some point in the future. Back to your dad...do you have a Whole Food Market in your area? There is a reference manual that they have in their library section where various conditions are listed, background is described, and recommended supplements/suggestions are given. I personally read both HyperT and HypoT, but I can't remember what it said well enough to repeat it. I have heard others on the board discuss benefits of Selenium, so I'm sure they'll respond to you with that. You didn't mention what they diagnosed as the "cause" of his thyroid issues, have they checked his antibodies or are they just looking at TSH?
Best wishes to you and your family,
Cheri

 
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Old 08-21-2003, 10:51 AM   #3
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Kimi,
I'm not a medical professional, but from what I know, increases should be made very gradually in the elderly to avoid heart rhythm disturbances. My mother was 67 when she began treatment for hypo. Her dose was either too large to begin with, or it was increased too fast, her heart went into atrial fib, and she had a disabling stroke.

I don't mean to scare you by saying this, but it's a real possibility. If it were me, I'd search reputable websites... the AACE's is one, there are others, and gather enough solid information to question the doctor about the higher dose. If he won't listen to your concerns, I'd get another opinion before increasing the med.

Bless you for looking out for his welfare, and I hope his health will improve.
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Old 08-21-2003, 11:40 AM   #4
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Thank you very much for your replies.

The nurse said that because the increase is mcg not mg that it is nothing to be concerned with due to the small doseage. But to look for any normal allergic reactions. I am so confused here.

It appears that they only looked at his TSH. Could anyone tell me what the normal range should be? Is 7.5 really high?

I am so scared my parents are the greatest and mean the world to me. Any input would be highly valued.

Thank you again.

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Kimi
Life is a gift. Your loved ones are the benefits.
Respect them both and you will reap the rewards.
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Kimi
Life is a gift. Your loved ones are the benefits.
Respect them both and you will reap the rewards.

 
Old 08-21-2003, 11:58 AM   #5
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The normal ranges are now .3-3.0 (they changed in March of this year.) I agree with the other poster that he should start off on a lower dosage. I started at .25. Is the nurse you spoke with knowledgeable about thryoid treatment? It's doesn't sound like it by her response to you. You should try to get him to see an endocrinologist, as this is their expertise.

 
Old 08-21-2003, 12:22 PM   #6
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All levothyroine dosages are in mcg's (micrograms). For example, the leading brand, Synthroid, is manufactured in tablets in increments from 25 mcg to 300 mcg. No one ever takes anything even close to a mg (milligram). (For reference's sake, a milligram is 1000th of a gram, but a microgram is only 1,000,000th of a gram; so you can see that is a microscopic amount.) Twenty-five mcg of l-thyroxine is considered a very small dose; 300 mcg is very high and extremely more potent than the 25. One-fifty is in the middle.

I don't know if men are dosed differently than women, but how much med to start with is just an educated guess. A TSH of 7.5 is high enough to indicate hypoT, but not high enough to say your dad is sicker than a person with a TSH of, say, 10 or 12. In fact, some people can have TSH in the hundreds and not even feel sick at all. TSH alone is not a reliable indicator of thyroid gland function. Many, if not most, doctors in any case would still be conservative with dosage when initiating treatment.
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Old 08-21-2003, 12:40 PM   #7
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Once again thank you so much for your replies. As I am sure you can all tell I am clueless when it comes to all of this stuff. I am sure I will be returing with more and more questions. I hope you do not mind.

Midwest: I think the nurse was just trying to set my mind at ease by illustrating that mcgs are so small. I don't think that she was talking about this medicine coming in mgs.

I guess I need to talk to my mother about getting dad to an endo. and figure out exactly what is up.

I will look for some for her easy reference so she can call and get a referal.

Thank you for your time.



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Kimi
Life is a gift. Your loved ones are the benefits.
Respect them both and you will reap the rewards.
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Life is a gift. Your loved ones are the benefits.
Respect them both and you will reap the rewards.

 
Old 08-21-2003, 12:59 PM   #8
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You're welcome back as often as you need, Kimi.

I don't want to harp on what the nurse told you, but it does look like she wanted to just appease you. There is a big difference between a dose of 50 and 150. Yes, micrograms are teensy, but in this case, they're potent.

I would never advise you to make health decisions only on the advice of lay people on a message board, especially me. All I want to do is to encourage you to find out all you can about this condition, so you can form a basis on which you can intelligently consult with the doctors who ought to know what's good for patients. Realistically, though, they often do not... especially with thyroid disease.
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Old 08-21-2003, 02:07 PM   #9
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I agree with midwest1, that is a big increase in meds. Usually the increments are .25, .5, .75, .88, 1.0, 1.25, 1.5...and so on.. So you can see there is a big increase from .5 to 1.5. Just because it is mcgs and not mgs, does not mean that this a not potent medicine. As midwest said, we are not doctors, but most of us have started out with lower doses and worked our way up to higher doses. It can be dangerous to increase too fast. Even though we are not the "experts", many of us have diagnosed our own problems and have found info from the site to help us supplement and to try to improve our quality of life thru the knowledge we have obtained. Some here know more than their doctors about thyroid disorders. I keep giving mine new info every visit.

If that was my father, based on what I do know, I would NOT let him take that new dosage. I would have him seek out an endo...pronto.

I wish your father all the best.

[This message has been edited by girlygirly (edited 08-21-2003).]

[This message has been edited by girlygirly (edited 08-21-2003).]

 
Old 08-22-2003, 07:30 AM   #10
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Thank you all.

I cannot make decisions for my father as my mother is still in charge.

What I did was print this post off and printed a list of endos. I went to visit them last night and presented her with this information and asked that she does not let dad have the increase dose.

She has agreed to have a consultation with dad's doctor and ask for a referal to the endo. And not to have dad take that medicine yet.

My fear now is that with them both in thier 60's they are still at the "the doctor knows best" stage of all this. I'll keep talking to her though - this is too important to leap into blindly.

God bless you all.

------------------
Kimi
Life is a gift. Your loved ones are the benefits.
Respect them both and you will reap the rewards.
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Kimi
Life is a gift. Your loved ones are the benefits.
Respect them both and you will reap the rewards.

 
Old 08-23-2003, 02:01 AM   #11
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Personally I would be leery of that kind of increase...usually in my experience and from what I read, the maximum increment of increase is 25mcg.

Of course, to speak to the other issue in here, it is confusing, because people don't uniformly use the same abbreviations and terminology. If you note, I put the c in the abbreviation to denote micrograms as opposed to milligrams. It can be a very confusing issue - no one should EVER be on anything close to a milligram of thyroid hormones.

 
Old 08-23-2003, 06:24 AM   #12
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the correct abbreviation for microgram is mcg, and the correct one for milligram is mg ...

jb, a tech writer/editor
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keep the faith ...

 
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