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Old 03-29-2004, 11:56 AM   #1
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imoutrunning HB User
Starting out on Synthroid, what to expect

In 1996, I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease. I took antithyroid drugs for one year and then went into remission. Since 1998, I've been doing well - had one time of great stress where I started to go hyper again. I lost all the weight I gained while on PTU and was doing great. Over the past year, I've gained back about 12 - 15 lbs... yet I exercise for up to 2 hrs a day, 6 days a week. I run, spin, lift weights, do yoga. I usually have at least 90 minutes of cardio 5 out of the 6 days. So, it was very weird when I started to gain weight. Now I've been maintaining for a long time - but having recurrent sinus infections, anxiety during PMS with waves of weepiness, heavy, long periods (terrible), occasional insomnia, hot flashes, cold flashes, weird muscle aches/pains.... I finally went to the doctor (I haven't been regular with my blood work, I got lazy) and my TSH was 4.39. (According to the new AACE guidelines, anything over 3.04 is hypo). I have always felt best when my TSH was between .8 and 1.8. Sooo, my doctor started me on 25 mcg of Synthroid a day, starting three days ago. She thinks a low dosage will be enough to get me back into a better range.

My question is: how long will it take to feel some improvement? I know when I was taking the opposite, anti-thyroid drugs, it took 21 days to notice improvement and 10 weeks for excess thyroid hormones to be depleted from the system. I am hoping that this won't take that long!

Somehow, I've still be forcing myself to work out. I've never stopped, just dragged my tired body through the paces, putting out the effort I could. Plus, running or other cardio seems to revive me and give me a short term energy boost. My running times have gotten slower and slower, even though I'm getting right up into my target heart rate. (I had been able to run 9 minute miles, now I timed a mile last week at it was 12:30...ugh). I'm already registered for a 5K on May 1st with my oldest daughter.

Is it common to have both hyper and hypo symptoms as you adjust? What types of things should I expect?

Thank you so much -- this sure is different than when I was trying to get my thyroid to calm down. (That was hell on earth, but a hyper type of hell, restless, edgy. This is a dragged down, strange thing).

Glynis

 
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Old 03-29-2004, 09:15 PM   #2
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audreyjudith HB User
Re: Starting out on Synthroid, what to expect

Quote:
Originally Posted by imoutrunning

My question is: how long will it take to feel some improvement? I know when I was taking the opposite, anti-thyroid drugs, it took 21 days to notice improvement and 10 weeks for excess thyroid hormones to be depleted from the system. I am hoping that this won't take that long!

Glynis
It WILL take time, possibly longer than you think. I have heard ranges from 4 months to 1 year. You should have a standing lab order from your Doc to do labs once a month. Make sure they do the same labs with the same ranges every time or it will confuse even the Doc. If they do a Free T3 on one lab and the next one they do a Total T3 uptake..... confusion will ensue.

EXCELLENT on the working out..... you are way ahead of the game. Great for the body and sole.

 
Old 03-30-2004, 06:55 AM   #3
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MauraL HB User
Re: Starting out on Synthroid, what to expect

The Synthroid starts working the day you start taking it, but it takes weeks for the serum levels to build in your blood. Symptoms start to resolve at about three-four weeks for most people. By six weeks, your TSH should have adjusted to higher hormone levels, and that's when you usually get labs to monitor LT4 replacement. At that point you'll reassess your symptoms and look at the labs to see if you need a higher or lower dose.

You've been slowly going hypo for a while, so it is not reasonable to expect that all your body systems will spring back the minute your thyroid hormone levels are optimized--that's why it can take a few months before you really start feeling like yourself again. But everyone is different; some people feel great in a couple of months, others have said they did not feel really well until the had been in a steady state (euthyroid on a stable dose of replacement) for six months or a year. It really depends on so many factors that it's not possible to make predictions.

 
Old 03-30-2004, 12:47 PM   #4
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imoutrunning HB User
Re: Starting out on Synthroid, what to expect

Thanks so much for the replies. So, there is a possibility that in a couple of weeks I won't feel so exhausted in the morning? As it stands, I feel like I'm dragging until mid-afternoon. Today I had the "cold and can't get warm thing" and took my temperature, it was 96.5. I went back to bed and put blankets on, still my skin felt cold. But, since I homeschool the kids, I had to get up and start school, try to function. Around noon I was up to 97.5 and stopped feeling so wooden.

I started taking it Saturday morning, so I'm thinking...hmmm. 4 days down, 17 to go for some noticeable improvement.

 
Old 03-30-2004, 04:46 PM   #5
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littlerocklisa HB User
Re: Starting out on Synthroid, what to expect

It wasn't until I, a 150 lb. woman, was at .150mcg before I really felt back to normal. And that took 4 months. Had to switch docs two times before I got this dosage. I'm now back to running myself and don't feel like I have lead legs. And I can go all day without a nap.
Lisa

 
Old 03-30-2004, 07:54 PM   #6
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imoutrunning HB User
Re: Starting out on Synthroid, what to expect

Lisa - glad to hear that you run, too, and that you are back to it. It gives me inspiration I've been trudging along anyhow, just going slower and slower. Now when my daughter and I do our long runs, we do it at a place where she can go her own speed and keep looping back to me, since I just am slowing us down. I had planned on training for my first marathon, in October. I psyched my friend into it and now I don't want to let her down. I'm also the same weight as you. I was wondering, what was your TSH level when you were diagnosed? What did it get down to before you felt good again?

I'm sure that it is the running and weight training that I have done continuously that has kept me from blowing up like a balloon. I did get bloated, my face got all puffy. As the exhaustion and anxiety grew, I kept thinking that I must have overtraining syndrome.

Glynis

 
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