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Old 01-20-2005, 01:04 PM   #1
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Question New TSH Limits?

Hello, all:

All of my female relatives have hypothyroid -- mother, sister, grandmother, aunts. My sister was dx a few years ago with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. I am the age she was when dx. I am older than the age my mom was when she developed a goiter and had her thyroid removed.

I have been utterly exhausted, I mean fatigued beyond all measure, for literally 2 years now. I have had several thyroid tests. They always come out normal. My most recent test showed TSH of 2.88. Although I asked for a thyroid "panel," they did not run T3 or T4.

My question is what is now considered a high (hypothyroid) TSH level. I had read that it had been reduced to 3.0, but then I also read on this board that it was reduced even further to 2.5. This would -- at long last!-- put me in a state where I can FINALLY get some treatment.

I just went to have blood drawn for TSH, T3 & T4, but I don't see the endocrinologist until Feb. 2. I want to be armed with this information if some society or organization has lowered the upper limits. In addition to fatigue, I have hair loss, dry skin, and had terrible menstrual problems until my hysterectomy last November.

Thank you!

Cindy

Fatiguegalore

 
Old 01-20-2005, 02:17 PM   #2
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Re: New TSH Limits?

Hi,
I feel your pain! Im not sure what the new numbers are, but my doc said she starts treating people if thier tsh is over a 2.0

Ask your doc to do a full panel including the one that tests the antibodies. I felt horrid for years but all thyroid panels came back normal, finally I went to an endocrinologist and he did a antidbody panel. mine was sky high, so it proved I had something going on. and we watched and finally my thyroid panels showed I had a messed up thyroid.

 
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Old 01-20-2005, 02:18 PM   #3
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Re: New TSH Limits?

With as strong a family history as you have, your doctor is being stubborn and stupid about getting to the bottom of your symptoms. Antibody testing would very likely reveal that you too have Hashi's, and it would be in your best interest to start treatment sooner rather than later. Very good doctors know this, and would quit fighting with you about it.

I swear I read at one time in an American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists press release that a "sustained" TSH of 2.5 merits trial treatment. However, I believe that release may have been edited, because it no longer says that in so many words. However, if you do some research into the position of The National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, you will find they advocate the 2.5 limit.

The problem with the term "sustained" is that TSH naturally and normally fluctuates on a daily - even hourly - basis, and people suffer for years before any one level becomes consistently above the "normal" lab range. That's bogus. Reprehensible.

Here are two URLs to the AACE website. The second talks about a "sustained" 2.5 level being possibly abnormal.
http://www.aace.com/pub/tam2003/press.php
http://www.aace.com/pub/tam2003/explanation.php

Good luck at the endo. Be sure to let us know the result.

 
Old 01-20-2005, 02:21 PM   #4
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Re: New TSH Limits?

Hi Cindy. I am new to hypothyroidism, but I do believe the new high range for TSH is 2.5 I am sure someone here will direct you to the source. I can tell you that my TSH has been over three and was at 2.88 when I started treatment.

Have you ever had an antibody tests done? This is finally what helped me to get treatment. However, I understand if you find the right doctor you will be treated on your symptoms, history etc. and not solely by your test results.

This is a wonderful site for information and help. I am sure you will get some wonderful advice.

Do not give up. You will get the help you need. Hang in there okay?

 
Old 01-20-2005, 02:28 PM   #5
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Question for teko2000

Hi teko2000:

Could you share your antibodies results with us please?

Thanks,
Roberto

 
Old 01-21-2005, 02:06 PM   #6
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Re: New TSH Limits?

Ladies:

This is awesome information. Thank you. Midwest1, I checked out all the material I could on the AACE website, and all seem to refer to the 3.0 limit. I will look at the biochemist website.

I don't know why, but this doc (she's an endo) is being stubborn. She's the one I saw a year ago when I had these symptoms, but only a TSH of 2.5. T3 and T4 were low normal. Yet she wouldn't treat me then. I can only hope my persistence this time convinces her to help. Unfortunately, I think she poo-poo's what I say because I have had treatment for depression. (And where might that depression come from??)

Thank you,

Cindy

 
Old 01-21-2005, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: New TSH Limits?

Here are the biochemist guidelines

http://www.nacb.org/lmpg/thyroid_LMPG_PDF.stm

 
Old 01-21-2005, 04:41 PM   #8
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Re: New TSH Limits?

You should ask your doctor to test your FREE t3 and FREE t4. Those are the hormones that are used by the cells. These are the ones that really matter. Your t3 and t4 levels could be fine. But if much of your t3 and t4 are staying bound to the protein, they can't be used by the cells. Therefore, your t3 and t4 could be in the normal range but you could be deficient in FREE t3 and FREE t4. This would mean that you could be hypothyroid even though your TSH is within "normal" range. In that case, you should be treated.
Have you had an antibodies test?
Barb
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Old 01-21-2005, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: New TSH Limits?

I just saw your post to Midwest about depression. I hope I'm not too forward by suggesting that you may want to find a new doc. A doc who thinks that depression has nothing to do with thyroid issues is NOT very knowledgable in thyroid problems. I went through the depression to the point of thinking of committing suicide. Nothing worked for me until an Er doctor put it all together in a 3 minute discussion with me. I told her I was depressed, I was loosing hair like crazy and I was recently diagnosed with ulnar nerve entrapment (like carpal tunnel syndrome except it's in the elbow). She said "I'd like to run a test to check your thyroid". EIGHT MONTHS of going to my doctor every two to four weeks and complaining of all these symptoms (I had more) and about 2 years of suffering and he didn't have a CLUE! And this ER doctor nailed it right on the head in a 3 MINUTE conversation! My TSH was 8.6.
A knowledgable doctor is extremely important. Please don't waste your time letting this doctor write you off as depressed or anything else. You need and deserve better than that.
Barb
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Old 01-21-2005, 05:56 PM   #10
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Re: New TSH Limits?

FatigueG... I found more info for you about a TSH of 2.5. I had completely forgotten I filed this away some time ago.

http://www.thyroidtoday.com/TTLibrary/current/AACE%20Newsletter.pdf

In all honesty though, don't expect to sway an endo who resists your best efforts, no matter how much info you bring her. Endos are notoriously rigid, and they may be very good at treating diabetes, but most are horrendous with thyroid. A lot of us on the board have had much better luck with holistic-minded MDs... me included.

I agree with Barb completely in what she advises you about depression. An excellent book with a strong focus on mind/thyroid issues is The Thyroid Solution, by Dr. Ridha Arem. Too bad your endo hasn't read it. She can't have, or she'd know something about it.

 
Old 01-22-2005, 09:28 AM   #11
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Talking Re: New TSH Limits?

Midwest1:

Thank you for the link! Yeah!!! If the witch -- I mean the endo -- won't treat me on this info, I will give up on her. My psy. is an osteopath. I wonder if she would feel comfortable starting me on synthroid or levoxyl. She once had me on cytomel, but it drove my T4 down, and that's when I went to the endo, who took me off the cytomel. So I won't ask for cytomel again. What would you folks recommend that I ask for? I am reluctant to try Armour, as it sounds rather new and untested.

fatiguegalore

 
Old 01-22-2005, 10:11 AM   #12
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Re: New TSH Limits?

Ohmigosh no! Armour is the oldest of the thyroid meds. It's been around since the late 1800s! It fell out of favor when Synthroid was intro'd in the 1940s and launched their smear campaign against what had worked for decades. Millions of people who take T4-only synthetics today are still symptomatic and unwell because T4 is not the only hormone necessary for good health. Armour has all the hormones, but granted - in a slightly different ratio than the human gland provides. For that reason, Armour can cause FT4 to become low; but that can easily be fixed by adding a small amount of T4 to the Armour dose.

Osteopaths are among the most "thyroid friendly" of the specialities, and they more often are willing to prescribe Armour. So... go for it!

 
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