Hello everyone - I went ahead and tested my Free levels through HealthcheckUSA. A little background - gave birth last October, previously had Hashi's, and went through postpartum thyroiditis after the birth. Took several months of increasing meds until my last test in August, when I got the most normal results. At that time my TSH was 1.6, total T4 was mid-upper range of normal, total T3 was lower range of normal. Doc says everything is great - come back in November. Doc doesn't test Free's so I went ahead and tested myself instead of waiting. Here are the results (I did not take my synthroid that morning - usually take at 6AM and I didn't test until 11:45AM - hopefully that wasn't too late).
So here's the deal. I feel a lot better these days....but still have symptoms and I wonder if they would go away with a little higher T3. Here is what I have:
Cold hands (but not all the time - usually only when I am at work and sitting at my desk all day). Seems like if the temp is a little cooler than normal and I am sedentary I get really cold. Other times I am normal and even hot at night.
Some brain fog, for example, hard time remembering some names of people at work - usually not people I work with every day but I really have to concentrate hard and sometimes even then I can't come up with them.
Excess fluid in knee joints - this was horrible in the left knee when I flipped hypo about 6 months ago - couldn't walk up stairs because I couldn't bend it due to so much fluid, was even limping. They were never hot or red - saw a rheumatologist who was baffled....2 weeks after current dose I noticed great improvement. Now I can do almost anything except run for an extended period of time and sitting on the floor with my legs tucked under me (which puts the knee through the greatest range of motion) produces pain. I still feel extra puffiness too.
Bout of dry eye in left eye last weekend - but it only lasted 2 days.
Sometimes my whole right hand feels swollen - again not hot or red, and there is no pain. This can come and go multiple times during the day.
An annoying tickle in my throat when I breathe in which causes me to cough -this has been going on ever since I had a cold in July.
Otherwise, I've gotten my energy back, lost a few lingering pounds (am back in shape below pre-pregnancy weight now).
Do you think my symptoms could be related to my T3 level? If so, should I consider trying to get Cytomel (the very smallest dose available)?
Also, I tend to be a stressful person. Worry more than average, etc...Does low level stress affect T4 to T3 conversion?
I wonder if I should just stick with things how they are now because I'd hate to start on a roller coaster with T3 - at least now I am relatively content. We'd like to start trying for another baby next year so I want to get things under control ahead of time.
I've been on this current dose of synthroid for 9 weeks now - is it possible that I can still continue to improve with more time? I currently take 100mcg of selenium - maybe I should bump that up to 200?
I'm not sure about your physical symtoms, but your brain fog may indeed be relieved by addition of some T3. The "mental" effects often are worse when FT3 is low.
Read Dr. Kenneth Blanchard's book to bolster your argument with your doctor (if need be) that you want to try Cytomel or Armour.
If I remember right from what I read just a little while ago, conversion is slowed by stress. I can't offer specifics, but you should look into the use of the so-called "stress" vitamins and to some sort of stress reduction program, like yoga or meditation.
As for selenium... be careful there. The consequences of too much are worse than too little. If you've been taking 100 mcg for a long time, I wouldn't increase it at this time. Two hundred isn't too much for someone who has never supplemented it before, but that dose should be temporary and should be reduced to 100 mcg after a couple of months.