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Old 09-11-2004, 09:56 AM   #1
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Question Borderline Hypothyroidism

I was diagnosed borderline hypothyroidism last March 2003. I refused to take Synthroid because I also have SVT, which is a condition of the heart (rapid heart beat). One of the side affects of Synthroid is "rapid heart beat", so it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me to take Synthroid since I am on medication for rapid heart beat (verapamil). I started on a natural substance called "Thyroid & L-Tyrosine Complex" manufactured by Enzymatic Therapy, of which I found entirely on my own. I was doing ok on that. I had my Thyroid tested again and my thryoid was fine. Well, then I found out I have another problem, which I think is related, I have a cyst on my ovary. It was 6.3 in size in April 2004. They prescribed "Lupren" for me and I refused to take that also, because of a side effect of rapid heart beat. So, I am hanging in limbo. I haven't been back to any doctors. Does anyone know of a good natural non-prescription Thryoid supplement that has helped them and is trustworthy? Does anyone think one problem is causing another?? I have a feeling they all might be related somehow. It seems the doctors just want to treat the sympton and give you drugs and send you on your way. They don't want to look at the whole picture. I could use some good advise from anyone who might have similar problems or from anyone who has some knowledge on these things. I prefer things natural or should I say I am looking for alternative care. Thanks for any help or advise!

 
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Old 09-11-2004, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

I would like to see your test results, because the term "borderline hypoT" is meaningless. It translates to a 100 different interpretations if you were to ask 100 different doctors what it means. Frequently, full-blown, raging hypoT is diagnosed as borderline by an inept doctor. Believe me and the people on this board, more are inept than not when it comes to thyroid matters.

It's entirely conceivable that your rapid heart beat can be caused by hypoT... Therefore treating the hypoT solves the problem. Have you been otherwise diagnosed with a heart defect that has been proven to be causing the rapid HR? As for the ovarian cyst, that is another known side effect of hypoT. It seems your issues may indeed be all related to undiagnosed "full" hypoT.

Truthfully, I would feel 1000 times more secure taking prescription thyroid med than to experiment with various herbal potions which can do far more damage. T4/T3 meds are the exact bioduplicates of the hormones your own gland would produce if it could. In the optimum dosage, there are no side effects. Your body is designed to have these hormones; it isn't designed to have all the herbs and extracts, so you can't really know if your response to the "naturals" will be favorable or unfavorable.

Post your test results if you know them. We can tell you if you really are "borderline" or not. Even if you are borderline, if the condition is autoimmune in nature, you surely will be "full-blown" before long, and then ... the only option that will work is prescription hormone supplementation.

 
Old 09-11-2004, 12:23 PM   #3
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

March 2003 (before Natural Treatment) (limits Shown Are What The Lab Shows On Report)

Thyroid Panel With Tsh

Tsh 6.354 Limits (.350-5.50)
Thyrosine 4.2 Limits (4.5-12.0)
T3 Uptake 33 Limits (24-39)
Free Thyroxine Index 1.3 Limits (1.2-4.9)


October 2003 (after Natural Treatment)

Tsh 2.91 Limits (0.34-5.60)
T4 Total 6.2 Limits (4.6-9.1)
T-uptake 38.5 Limits (32.0-48.4)
Fti 6.0 Limits (5.9-13.1)

My Medical Doctor Used Two Different Labs For These Blood Tests So I Can't Really Compare Exactly. My Cardiologist Said That He Would Not Recommend Tyhroid Treatment Based On My Blood Test In October. ????? My Cholesterol Has Gone Up Tho.... I Was Concerned About That.

 
Old 09-11-2004, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

The thyroid panel you had done is antiquated and not very revealing. The only useful information that can be taken from it is that your TSH in Oct was most definitely NOT borderline. The American Assn of Clinical Endo's says that TSH of 2.5 in the presence of symptoms merits a trial of levothyroxine and will benefit most of those who try it. Even your March TSH, although improved, is still higher than 95% of the healthy population's, which is around 1.

So we now move on from TSH (which is a pituitary hormone, not responsible for symptoms in any way) to the all-important actual thyroid hormones, T4 and T3. The test you had for T4 measures the blood concentration of the T4 in both bound and free forms. T4 in its bound state is not readily available for use by the cells. It must be broken free of the protein binding it before it can be converted to T3 and absorbed by the cells. Measuring both bound and free hormone is useless, since the ratio of bound to free can be too heavy on the bound side. It's only the free hormone that counts, so measuring the free T4 is the only test that will tell you if your level is high enough. The fact that your total T4 was low in the range on both readings says that it's likely you don't have enough free hormone to do you any good.

On to T3.... all of what I said about T4 applies to T3. You haven't had any of your T3 measured, neither bound nor free, and it's as important to know that level as it is T4. (T3 uptake is not a T3 test; it's done as a step in the calculation of the FT index, which is only an estimate and not a useful test, either.)

You should also have thyroid antibodies measured... anti-TPO and anti-Tg. If ABs are present, it confirms the presence of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. This condition is permanent and always leads to total thyroid failure. The hormone must be replaced - ideally, IMO - with a natural T4/T3 med like Armour thyroid. The few people who benefit from synthetic T4 only are more likely to have milder symptoms and only a slight degree of thyroid failure. The fact that your TSH was over 6 without any attention to it means that you have more than slight degree of failure.

It's all well and good that so-called natural methods improved the test results, but they haven't improved it enough, and is unlikely to at this point in your illness.

Your cholesterol is rising because your lipid metabolism is sluggish, as is your ovarian function, and all the rest of the systems in your body. IMO, you need to replace those missing hormones ASAP, because your body will suffer even more damage as the months and years go by due to thyroid hormone 'hunger'.

 
Old 09-13-2004, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism/Fellow SVT Sufferer

I, too, am a fellow SVT sufferer (use atenolol only when needed) and also just diagnosed w/Hashi's Thyroiditis in June of this year. I was started out on 100mg of Levoxyl and did fine, no problems whatsoever. Prior to being diagnosed I was having a lot of heart palps which I contributed to hormonal symptons (complete Hysterectomy in 2002). Once I started on the levoxyl the palps went away.

My levoxyl dose was recently changed and due to a misunderstanding on my part, I took too much (ended up hyper) and did have a minor SVT attack. I took an atenolol for a couple of nights and went on the correct dose and have not had an SVT attack since.

I think almost every prescription or OTC drug lists rapid heart beat as a side effect. Whenever I get a new prescription, I read and research as much as i can about it. I have to admit, sometimes too much!!

Thinking back, I am wondering if a lot of my heart related and other health issues were thyroid related. I had an EP study and ablation for the SVT which worked for 2 years and then slowly started having small SVT episodes. Once I had my hysterectomy and before I got my hormone levels straightened out, my SVT came back full blown. So shifting hormones also play a role in heart issues, don't ever let someone tell you they don't!

You did not mention what level of dosage you were to start out at. I don't know anything about synthroid but I've have had good luck w/Levoxyl. To be quite honest I am very leery of any OTC meds even if they are "natural". I understand you being cautious regarding meds and your SVT, but sometimes being too cautious isn't good either. I've been there and done that, too.

I suffered w/SVT for 15 years before being finally diagnosed correctly so I know how frightening and scary those attacks are. Do you have a good family doctor, cardiologist, or Gyn that you could discuss this with? An Internist might be another starting place for you. You might check with your pharmacy or see if there is a compounding pharmacist in your area and ask them for doctors that you could trust. I have found that when I have questions regarding medications, I call the pharmacist, they have more knowledge about drugs, interactions, etc than a lot of doctors.

I agree that you need to get your thryoid issue addressed. I would also ask to have you antibodies, FT4 and FT3 levels ran. My TSH was 3.02 which was "normal" but I tested positive for antibodies, thus the Hashi's diagnosis. If they had gone on TSH alone, I'd still considered "thyroid normal." Luckily I have a good family doctor who referred me to a great Endo who goes by symptoms almost more than tests and who also believes that high end of the TSH should only be 2.5-3.0. There are a lot of great books out there regarding thyroid and thyroid related issues. I went to the library and checked out every books possible on thyroid and really learned a lot.

Good luck and let us know how you do.

 
Old 09-16-2004, 03:59 PM   #6
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

Thanks for the info! I had another blood test done. They refused to test for antibodies tho. The Doc didn't feel necessary right now. ???? I will let you all know how things turned out. Thanks again!

 
Old 09-20-2004, 05:36 PM   #7
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

No results yet, but, had another question. Did either of you have weakness in your legs? I am wondering if that is thyroid related as well. Any thoughts?

Last edited by cfoxj; 09-20-2004 at 05:41 PM.

 
Old 09-20-2004, 08:51 PM   #8
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

Muscle weakness and cramps are classic hypo symptoms... and yes, I've had them.
Have you checked the symptoms list in our Information Archive? I bet you have a lot of them that you had no idea could be related to your thyroid.

That's one slow lab you have there... or must you wait till you visit the doctor to get the results?
We'll be waiting here... Let us know.

 
Old 09-21-2004, 07:17 AM   #9
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

I'm just curious - where did you get the idea that a rapid heart beat was a "side effect" of Synthroid. A rapid heart beat can be a sign of TOO MUCH Synthroid, but if you were to be given the right dosage it would *not* be a side effect (to my understanding and experience).

 
Old 09-21-2004, 08:21 AM   #10
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

Glynis, from what I understand when you being treatment with synthroid your heart rate will increase until you adjust to the dose - this has been the case for me, at least (from 59 to around 72 after 10 days). Subsequent adjustments can also result in changes in heart rate. But most hypoTs have a low heart rate and BP, so this type of increase isn't necessarily bad. Too much will definitely cause a rapid, racing heart rate.

Nat
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Old 09-21-2004, 05:02 PM   #11
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

Midwest1, Yes, the lab is really slow, I am going to call the doctor tomorrow. No, I have not checked the sympton list in the information archive. Where do I find that? Imoutrunning, I got the idea from the rap sheet that comes with my prescriptions. I did fill the prescription when first diagnosed, but, refused to take it after I read rap sheet. It clearly stated that a side effect of Synthroid was rapid heart beat. But, that does make sense what you said, as far as getting the dosage correct. But, when you are a SVT sufferer any increase in rapid heart beat is risky! I guess I am in a Catch 22.. and it stinks!

 
Old 09-21-2004, 05:40 PM   #12
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

The Information Archive is the first thread at the top of the thread list. Here's the addy for it... You'll have to copy and paste. We can't direct link here.
[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=106126[/url]

 
Old 09-22-2004, 02:27 PM   #13
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gopherhead
Glynis, from what I understand when you being treatment with synthroid your heart rate will increase until you adjust to the dose - this has been the case for me, at least (from 59 to around 72 after 10 days). Subsequent adjustments can also result in changes in heart rate. But most hypoTs have a low heart rate and BP, so this type of increase isn't necessarily bad. Too much will definitely cause a rapid, racing heart rate.

Nat
That is so interesting! I didn't have that problem. In fact, I got higher blood pressure from being hypo and it lowered back down as I've been restored to normal. My sister has been extremely hypo for years and they actually had to put her on meds for high blood pressure - as her thyroid levels have gotten closer to acceptable levels, her blood pressure has improved and she has been able to go off the meds.

I guess we all have different body chemistries!

 
Old 09-22-2004, 03:46 PM   #14
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

Very different, Glynis I've been all over the place; so low I get dizzy and nauseated and then high enough to freak the doctor out (although I think there was a little bit of 'white coat' syndrome going on there). Two weeks of a mild dose has put me pretty much back at normal levels. I just had an appointement with my doc and she warned me that I might feel a little anxious or jittery when I inceased my dose. I didn't feel it when I started, I doubt I'll feel it later. Who knows, ay?

Nat
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Old 09-22-2004, 04:32 PM   #15
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Re: Borderline Hypothyroidism

Well, got my blood test results! Finally! They say thyroid is fine. But, I got to thinking I take kelp everyday to help out my thyroid. I probably should have stopped taking that before I had blood test done. Duh! Cholesterol is still high, but, better. Now she wants me to be tested for Diabetes. My triglycerides were higher so I am guessing she thinks that might be a problem. Just wanted to let you all know. You all have been so helpful! I have learned a lot since I discovered this site. Thanks for being there! It helps a lot!

 
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