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Old 09-04-2004, 02:12 PM   #1
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Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

Hi, Midwest1 & K9Mom.

This is my first post to this message board. I've been reading the posts for a couple of weeks and you two have impressed me with your extensive knowledge. So, I'm hoping you can help me.

I am a thirty-seven year old female who has been diagnosed with depression. This diagnosis was given by my medical doctor three or four years ago when I repeatedly went to see him for tightness in my chest and difficulty "catching my breath". It seemed with each visit, I had another symptom....tired, gaining weight, etc. After about five visits with these complaints, he told me I was suffering from depression and prescribed 37.5mg Effexor XR. 37.5mg soon went to 75mg to 150mg and I never seemed to receive any relief.

Time went on and so did my complaints which resulted in my medical doctor sending me to a psychiatrist. At this point, I was experiencing extreme fatigue, low mood, forgetfulness, insomnia, crying spells, etc. The psychiatrist diagnosed me as suffering from severe depression. I have been on a revolving door of antidepressants...again, no relief. The psychiatrist has had me on Effexor, Welbutrin, Celexa, Zoloft, Stratera, Ritalin, Zyprexa and Vivactal. I am currently on 450mg. of Effexor XR, 50mg. of Paxil CR, 100mg. of Trazadone, 100mg of Toprol, and 15mg of Buspirone.

Trazadone was prescribed due to my difficulty sleeping. I take 100mg. of Trazadone at 10:00pm and sleep until 2:00a when I begin my thrashing around in bed until I give up around 5:30a or 6:00a and get out of bed. I will then fall asleep again around 8:30a and sleep until 11:30a. I'll eat something and will fall asleep again around 1:30p and sleep until 4:30p. My sleep is never restful and usually includes vivid dreams in which I will scream out.

I recently began experiencing heart rates in the 150s. I have had EKGs and had to wear the Halter monitor which resulted in a diagnosis of Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia hence the 100mg. of Toprol in an attempt to slow my heart rate. Again, I've yet to experience any relief.

Since February '04, I have been on a medical leave of absence due to my inability to work. Instead of getting better, my symptoms are increasing. Right now my symptoms are: extreme exhaustion, still gaining weight (from 5'3" 108lbs to 132lbs), sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, low mood, forgetfulness, problems with memory and remembering what I want to say, nervousness almost to the point of paranoia, increased perspiration of which I can't even fold clothes without breaking out in a sweat, mood swings, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, dizziness if I stand up too fast, my fingernails can't grow because they keep breaking and/or peeling, the skin on my feet and legs have become dry and scaly looking, if I take the steps up to the second story of my house, I am out of breath, my heart races and the muscles in my legs being to "burn" and feel absolutely exhausted...I even have to lye down in bed until I "recover". The newest development has to do with my feet...they're now always cold and at times my feet and calves feel like blood doesn't flow to them and I have a numbness or tingling sensation.

My medical doctor and psychiatrist repeatedly tell me, "It's just the depression." But, it never goes away and it never gets better. Yesterday, I called my medical doctor's office and spoke with his assistant. I told her that I have been reading this board and am wondering if my problem isn't depression but actually a problem with my thyroid. I told her that I would like to have a test to find out what my levels are regarding my TSH, T3, T4, Free T3 and Free T4. I also told her that from what I've been reading, I maybe I should see a doctor of osteopathy or endocrology....she laughed at me! She pulled my file and said that the doctor did a thyroid test nine months ago and the tests were fine. I asked her to give me the numbers. She said my TSH level was 2.15 and my Total T4 was 12. I asked her about the T3, Free T3 and Free T4 and she said they do not test those. She said the TSH test is the most sensitive and the only test that really matters.

So...this is where you two come in! Am I crazy? According to my two doctors, "It's just the depression"....are they right? Could it be my thyroid? I'm losing all hope...years are going by, I'm taking pills by the handful and I'm not getting better. I only seem to get worse. I feel like a lost cause. I use to be so very active...softball, jogging, lifting weights, hiking....I was a part of life. Now, I'm either in my bed sleeping or on my couch in some kind of trance! Help me, PLEASE!

Hopeless in IA

 
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Old 09-04-2004, 05:47 PM   #2
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Angry Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopeless In IA
Hi, Midwest1 & K9Mom.

This is my first post to this message board. I've been reading the posts for a couple of weeks and you two have impressed me with your extensive knowledge. So, I'm hoping you can help me.

I am a thirty-seven year old female who has been diagnosed with depression. This diagnosis was given by my medical doctor three or four years ago when I repeatedly went to see him for tightness in my chest and difficulty "catching my breath". It seemed with each visit, I had another symptom....tired, gaining weight, etc. After about five visits with these complaints, he told me I was suffering from depression and prescribed 37.5mg Effexor XR. 37.5mg soon went to 75mg to 150mg and I never seemed to receive any relief.

Time went on and so did my complaints which resulted in my medical doctor sending me to a psychiatrist. At this point, I was experiencing extreme fatigue, low mood, forgetfulness, insomnia, crying spells, etc. The psychiatrist diagnosed me as suffering from severe depression. I have been on a revolving door of antidepressants...again, no relief. The psychiatrist has had me on Effexor, Welbutrin, Celexa, Zoloft, Stratera, Ritalin, Zyprexa and Vivactal. I am currently on 450mg. of Effexor XR, 50mg. of Paxil CR, 100mg. of Trazadone, 100mg of Toprol, and 15mg of Buspirone.

Trazadone was prescribed due to my difficulty sleeping. I take 100mg. of Trazadone at 10:00pm and sleep until 2:00a when I begin my thrashing around in bed until I give up around 5:30a or 6:00a and get out of bed. I will then fall asleep again around 8:30a and sleep until 11:30a. I'll eat something and will fall asleep again around 1:30p and sleep until 4:30p. My sleep is never restful and usually includes vivid dreams in which I will scream out.

I recently began experiencing heart rates in the 150s. I have had EKGs and had to wear the Halter monitor which resulted in a diagnosis of Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia hence the 100mg. of Toprol in an attempt to slow my heart rate. Again, I've yet to experience any relief.

Since February '04, I have been on a medical leave of absence due to my inability to work. Instead of getting better, my symptoms are increasing. Right now my symptoms are: extreme exhaustion, still gaining weight (from 5'3" 108lbs to 132lbs), sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, low mood, forgetfulness, problems with memory and remembering what I want to say, nervousness almost to the point of paranoia, increased perspiration of which I can't even fold clothes without breaking out in a sweat, mood swings, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, dizziness if I stand up too fast, my fingernails can't grow because they keep breaking and/or peeling, the skin on my feet and legs have become dry and scaly looking, if I take the steps up to the second story of my house, I am out of breath, my heart races and the muscles in my legs being to "burn" and feel absolutely exhausted...I even have to lye down in bed until I "recover". The newest development has to do with my feet...they're now always cold and at times my feet and calves feel like blood doesn't flow to them and I have a numbness or tingling sensation.

My medical doctor and psychiatrist repeatedly tell me, "It's just the depression." But, it never goes away and it never gets better. Yesterday, I called my medical doctor's office and spoke with his assistant. I told her that I have been reading this board and am wondering if my problem isn't depression but actually a problem with my thyroid. I told her that I would like to have a test to find out what my levels are regarding my TSH, T3, T4, Free T3 and Free T4. I also told her that from what I've been reading, I maybe I should see a doctor of osteopathy or endocrology....she laughed at me! She pulled my file and said that the doctor did a thyroid test nine months ago and the tests were fine. I asked her to give me the numbers. She said my TSH level was 2.15 and my Total T4 was 12. I asked her about the T3, Free T3 and Free T4 and she said they do not test those. She said the TSH test is the most sensitive and the only test that really matters.

So...this is where you two come in! Am I crazy? According to my two doctors, "It's just the depression"....are they right? Could it be my thyroid? I'm losing all hope...years are going by, I'm taking pills by the handful and I'm not getting better. I only seem to get worse. I feel like a lost cause. I use to be so very active...softball, jogging, lifting weights, hiking....I was a part of life. Now, I'm either in my bed sleeping or on my couch in some kind of trance! Help me, PLEASE!

Hopeless in IA

i am neither midwest nor K9MOM, but if you don't mind -- i couldn't help it ...

you should do some reading, in particular dr. broda barnes' hypothyroidism: the unsuspected illness, and ridha arem's book (forget what it's called, but i have it) ...

my eyes were really opened by the barnes book: in addition to the typical symptoms of exhaustion, bloating, constipation, depression, and weight gain, hypoT is associated with arthritis, heart disease, COPD, rashes, acne, panic attacks, infections, lung cancer, and on and on it goes, and he relies on a basal body temperature (before you get up, i think), not a TSH test (my basal body temp. is 97.4, or thereabouts) -- if it's low (95 to 97-ish), you're probably hypO ...

your TSH is too high, of course -- the latest findings by the AACE state the range should be .2 to 2, and the published findings state a range of .2 to 2.5, so if you go by the latest findings, 2.14 is high ... as well, a total T4 is an old test and almost useless ...

thyroid disease causes depression, but when your thyroid doesn't work, antidepressants don't work ...

it's barnes' opinion that one's thyroid should be checked at the onset of any illness, so that thyroid disease can be ruled out (most often it's ruled in) ...

so my advice to you is DO go to a naturopath or a DO, and ... you say she laughed at you? how rude and arrogant ... she is completely wrong, and incapable of treating your thyroid condition if she won't do the tests! (probably wouldn't understand them anyway) ...

get the frees done, and an antibody test, and post your results here ... i'm informed that you can get these tests from healthwatch (i'm canadian) ... and toss that doctor AND shrink out the window ...

i've been thru' the AD thing in spades, and i know just how lousy it feels ...

i just reread what you're taking -- "450mg. of Effexor XR, 50mg. of Paxil CR, 100mg. of Trazadone, 100mg of Toprol, and 15mg of Buspirone" and my good lord, you poor thing ... how is it that no one thought to do a thyroid test!!

jb
who also is missing large chunks of her life thru' faulty diagnosis
__________________
keep the faith ...

 
Old 09-04-2004, 07:34 PM   #3
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Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

IM in IA too,, what part of the state are you in? Im in north central and am gonna be looking for a new doctor here real soon,,,

 
Old 09-04-2004, 08:04 PM   #4
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midwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB User
Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

My first obvious and important symptom of hypoT was... tightness in my chest.
Does that give you some hope? I knew it would.

The internist I saw at that time was not the sharpest Crayola in the box. He diagnosed GERD without doing any tests except the basic metabolic panel any doctor does on the patient's first visit. Gave me Nexium for my heartburn, and tried to give me Lipitor for high cholesterol, and a BP med for the spikey, 'white-coat' high BP I was prone to. I refused it all except the Nexium. Said I'd work on it the old-fashioned, unmedicated way first. The chest tightness continued... I wound up in the ER within a couple of weeks because of the severity. Had a cardiac workup with stress treadmill test; heart checked out fine.
But then I hit the Internet, looking for other reasons I would be having this... Found out the tightness, short breath, heartburn, high cholesterol, failure to lose weight despite best efforts at improved diet and exercise.... It all can be due to hypoT - which I have a family history of, BTW... But the blunt Crayola never asked about that. He also refused to do a TSH when I asked him to, but I insisted and he relented. When it came back at 4.83, I knew I was onto something, but he disagreed and wouldn't treat until it got to 6.0. Fired him then and the rest is history.

Sorry for all the stream of consciousness rambling... But I want to impress on you that your primary problem may indeed be hypoT. First thing, get thee to a library or bookstore and read the book jingle referred to, The Thyroid Solution by Dr. Ridha Arem. He demonstrates how troublingly often mental illnesses are undiagnosed thyroid disease. He tells what tests you should press for and how to get a proper diagnosis.

I urge you to find a good osteopath ASAP and have the right tests done... TSH, free T4/T3, and thyroid antibodies. And even if it turns out you aren't hypo, I'd still fire that psych in a New York minute. To disrespect a patient's sincere question about her health by laughing at her is unconscionable and shouldn't be tolerated, IMO. (Jingle thinks I'm too quick to recommend people fire their doctors, and I once agreed she's probably right. But do you think I am this time, Jingle? )

As for your test results, TSH of 2.15 is higher than 95% of the healthy population's, which is around .5-1.5. The T4 test is not nearly as revealing as the all-important free T4 hormone... and if you by chance take birth control pills, it isn't useful at all.

Please keep in touch... would love to hear we're right about this, and that you will get your life back again.

Last edited by midwest1; 09-04-2004 at 08:14 PM.

 
Old 09-04-2004, 08:42 PM   #5
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Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

Hi, Midwest1, jinglebts and mom2alliandmatt!

Yippeeeeeeeee.....Midwest1 has tightness in the chest also!!!!!! Sorry, Midwest, but you know what I mean!! I KNEW I would find help on this board!

Thank you all so very much for your response to my post. I need all the help I can get...obviously, I'm not getting it from my doctors! I will definitely go and purchase the recommended books!

Yes....my doctor's assistant laughed at me when I mentioned perhaps seeing a doctor of osteopathy or endocrology. I hope she was just having a bad day!!

Anyway, I am stunned by your response, Midwest1, "As for your test results, TSH of 2.15 is higher than 95% of the healthy population's, which is around .5-1.5. The T4 test is not nearly as revealing as the all-important free T4 hormone... and if you by chance take birth control pills, it isn't useful at all. My doctor's assistant said my TSH level was 2.15 and in the "normal" range. She also said the TSH test was the most sensitive. She said my Total T4 level was 12 and that the normal range is between 4.5-12. This test was completed nine months ago. I requested that the doctor order another test to learn what my T3, T4, Free T3 and Free T4 levels are. She said the doctor would not order it and insurance would not pay for it. And yes, Midwest1, I am on birth control pills and my doctor did not mention anything about birth control pills affecting the results.

In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, I am also absolutely intolerant to heat, five kidney stones and my appendix were removed two years ago, diagnosed with TMJ in '87. Are these possible thyroid symptoms also?

What really ticks me off is that I've been fighting this for years and my doctors are not interested in investigating my thyroid any further. I'm so tired of the, "It's just the depression" response! Maybe they receive kickbacks from the antidepressant drug companies!!! HA HA! But, jinglebts, you are amazing...you're comment of "thyroid disease causes depression, but when your thyroid doesn't work, antidepressants don't work" is a HUGE light bulb that just turned on!!! Why didn't my doctors catch this?!?!?

I will definitely keep in touch with you all! I would love to prove you all right and my doctors wrong!!! I will keep pushing for further tests and will post the results.

Hey, mom2alliandmatt, I'm in Cedar Rapids. Where are you?

Oh my gosh....where are my manners? My name is Stephanie and it's a pleasure to "meet" you all!

Thanks for your help,
Steph

 
Old 09-04-2004, 09:25 PM   #6
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Smile Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

Hi Steph! Welcome to the Board!

First I want to say that you are not crazy and this absolutely could be your thyroid!! Oh my...how I can identify with you here. I was 24 when my 4th child was born (I had 4 children within 4 years ) and when I became very symptomatic...moreso than ever before. I have no clue what my TSH was at the time or whether my doctor even tested me, but I was written off as merely "depressed" and sent to a psychiatrist.

I went out of sheer desperation for relief from my profound fatigue. Well, a month of meds was enough for me to realize that that these doctors had no clue what they were doing with me, and I stopped the med. It was at this very same time that I ended up having to have a hysterectomy because of bleeding that wouldn't stop...this was just 3 months after giving birth.

Now I can't help wonder if this was because of a thyroid imbalance...and perhaps a hysterectomy wouldn't have been necessary afterall.

Since the age of 17 I've had episodes of severe symptoms over the years but was always told I was "high borderline but normal" when it came to TSH. I wrongly assumed that the doctors knew what they were talking about. I also went through one bout of serious depression for which I took Zoloft for 2 years -- most definitely situational depression but possibly made worse by thyroid. I really don't know for sure.

Fast forward to earlier this year, now 43 and a blissfully happy newlywed...I end up in the ER with chest pain and pressure. As usual, nothing was found to be wrong. I've continued to have periodic episodes of chest pressure and occasionally pain. My hair soon began falling out terribly and my fatigue once again went from my usual everyday, all day long fatigue to profound and utter exhaustion. A whole list of other things started acting up, as well.

I drag myself to a new doctor only to be told my TSH was "normal" at 4.8 and to come back in 3 months. I felt so hopeless. This was just a couple of months ago and it was because of this site that I was able to learn that this was NOT NORMAL and that there was truly something wrong!

I'm now seeing a new doctor that believes in listening to the person and their symptoms when it comes to treatment, not just the labs, and I should be starting Armour within the next few weeks. He also had me do the basal temperature test (which I also highly recommend you do!) as well as some things to bolster my fatigued adrenals before I can begin meds.

You absolutely must find the right kind of doctor SOON so you don't end up having any more precious time lost to doctors that don't know how to treat you. THERE IS HOPE...and hopefully there is now light at the end of the tunnel for you!

I'm Victoria, by the way.

 
Old 09-04-2004, 11:38 PM   #7
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Angry Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by midwest1
...

I urge you to find a good osteopath ASAP and have the right tests done... TSH, free T4/T3, and thyroid antibodies. And even if it turns out you aren't hypo, I'd still fire that psych in a New York minute. To disrespect a patient's sincere question about her health by laughing at her is unconscionable and shouldn't be tolerated, IMO. (Jingle thinks I'm too quick to recommend people fire their doctors, and I once agreed she's probably right. But do you think I am this time, Jingle? )
aw shucks, you got me this time, MW ...

YES, YES and i repeat YES!! you are most correct ma'am ... this tale is one of the worst i've heard (altho' i'm sure there are many like it, or worse, and i'm just a naive little weenie -- but it's one of the worst i've seen) ...

what really bothered me is the number of antidepressant/antianxiety (and ritalin??) pills that Hopeless is on or has been on ...
Quote:
The psychiatrist has had me on Effexor, Welbutrin, Celexa, Zoloft, Stratera, Ritalin, Zyprexa and Vivactal. I am currently on 450mg. of Effexor XR, 50mg. of Paxil CR, 100mg. of Trazadone, 100mg of Toprol, and 15mg of Buspirone.
i know that each specialty tends to (does!) seek out the ailment they're trained in, and to a certain extent i understand, but i am enraged when i see so many ppl with thyroid disease who don't know they have it, and are, to some degree, miserable, and there's no reason for it ... i most assuredly blame the shrink, and her medical doctor both ...

the dosages are quite hefty too (not anywhere near as high as they might have gone tho') ... i was only on 30mg paxil, and when that wore off -- due to hypO that no one caught-- 300mg of effexor (and remereron and manerix and luvox and celexa and yada-yada) ... if he's any good at all, would as little cytomel have gone amiss?

he gave HL (so much better than Hopeless ) a very serious diagnosis (and quite large doses of medication), one from which she was not likely to emerge and, more likely, she would have worsened and died miserable and probably early (ok, i'll stop catastrophizing, but really, it's all a bit much!)

i just read in the paper today that a study shows that hypothyroid disease causes glaucoma -- i knew it!! not that that's a good thing, but at least there's proof of connection b/c -- in june i found out that have hi pressure in my right eye (after 15 years of regular eye exams, which were all normal), so shall have to go at best for regular checkups or at worst be treated for actual glaucoma ... my grandmother and dad had it, and my g'mother also had vicious migraines and was chubby and who knows what else she had 'cause she's not available for close questioning ...

of course (disclaimer), HP just may not be hypO and her shrink is brilliant and she's a hopeless (oh, i said it myself!) case, but i'm betting she's not ... time will tell ...

you got me there, MW )

jb
who now thinks thyroid disease causes everything ...
__________________
keep the faith ...

Last edited by jinglebts; 09-04-2004 at 11:46 PM.

 
Old 09-05-2004, 12:26 AM   #8
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Talking Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopeless In IA
In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, I am also absolutely intolerant to heat, five kidney stones and my appendix were removed two years ago, diagnosed with TMJ in '87. Are these possible thyroid symptoms also?
certainly TMJ can be, b/c if you have thyroiditis, the pain can extend to the jaw or ear and can be confused with a lot of other ailments, including TMJ, ear infections and strep throat ... heat intolerance is one of those symptoms that applies to both hypER (more commonly) and hypO (i'm hypO and i have it, and it's not unusual) ...

i don't at this moment know there's a direct correlation between hypO and your kidney stones/appendectomy, but since anything's possible with this disease, i'd wait for further news (or someone on the board may have had an experience with one or the other) ...

i'm trying (just out of interest, and b/c i can't stand not knowing) to trace the roots of my own illness, and have traced it back to the pancreatitis/gastroparesis i had three years ago, then (in 1987) the CFS, and now think that when i got mono (too long ago now to think), i never completely recovered ... and since i also think that everything's related, it's probably true that i was slightly hypO all along ... i now think that i haven't been well since i was 18 (ouch!), and a simple basal temperature test would have determined that (my temperature has always been on the low side -- 97.5 it was today) ...

jb
__________________
keep the faith ...

Last edited by jinglebts; 09-05-2004 at 12:27 AM.

 
Old 09-05-2004, 06:48 AM   #9
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AprilPow HB User
Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

I am hyper and had an apendectomy in 01. I can't say it's related though. Honestly it seems hard to remember how I felt those few years ago.

I have a thought too. I read about taking your temp, but my temp is never really high. I sweat buckets but my body temp is almost always on the low side. Which I thought would be opposite since I am hyper.
Maybe the sweating keeps me cool.


April

 
Old 09-06-2004, 11:59 PM   #10
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Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

Hopeless,

I'd also like to add that your history reads like mine. It all really kicked off with the breathing problems as well. I think I have probably been hypo for years but this was the marker for when it really went down hill.

Please, please, please save yourself a lot of time, stress and worry (not to mention the AD's) by getting yourself to someone who can do the tests and advise you on thyroid issues properly. I wasted months in bed with a diagnosis of CFS and was put on ADs with no results.

Good luck and let us know how you get on,

Felix x

 
Old 09-07-2004, 08:54 AM   #11
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Talking Re: Midwest1 & K9Mom, Please Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Felix73
I wasted months in bed with a diagnosis of CFS and was put on ADs with no results.
me ditto ...

jb
__________________
keep the faith ...

 
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