Hi...I have Hashi...but now Graves. If I'm taking a beta blocker that makes me feel generally "ok" do I need to think about other treatments (like RAI, antithyroid drugs)?? In other words...if I just take beta blockers, will the Graves continue on it's course of damage to my body? Thanks for any suggestions/advice!!
The beta-blocker does nothing to affect your thyroid hormones. It will help you feel better by controling some of the side-effects/symptoms of a hyperactive thyroid. A hyperactive thyroid, left untreated, can lead to problems with your heart (however, the beta-blockers may help with that a bit). I would be surprised if you found a doctor that would allow you to go untreated. If the levels are "off" enough, I would suggest you try methamazole or tapazole (I think that is the name of the two drugs that help slow thyroid hormone production). I had Graves, and elected to treat it with RAI. I very much regret that decision, but I have learned to forgive myself for it
Thanks for the info. I guess I (subconsciously) knew the answer to that question...just didn't want to know it for sure....my problem is, I don't like any of the treatment options out there!! Hard for me not to go into denial on this one. My endo is recommending RAI, but I'm thinking I might try the antithyroids first. Do you mind if I ask why you regret RAI? Some posts I've read of people who've had RAI are very positive (they're happy they did it)....it's just SOOO permanent!!! Did you try antithyroids before RAI?
No, I did not try antithyroids. It seemed like the easiest option at the time and my doctor felt it was the best option. I was just very uneducated about it. For me, I've really struggled with hypothyroidism now. I had the RAI done in November of 2002 & I quickly went hypo. My levoxyl dosage has been upped from a starting dose of 100mcg to 200mcg & my levels are still not good. I did get a somewhat normal lab back in September & I did feel pretty good for a while, but I've started feeling "foggy headed" again. I dunno. I just don't think I would have chosen RAI knowing what I know now. I know it's not this difficult for everyone... this is just my experience. And you are SO right about it being permanant. At least on antithyroid meds you have the possibility of remission and the RAI option is always out there. Once you chose RAI, there are NO OTHER options. And, I'm taking two pills a day (another reason I was told to go w/ RAI was because I may not have to take any meds). I'm sorry... as you can see it has been very frustrating for me and I really would like to stress to anyone thinking of RAI to make sure you've tried all the other options.
I'm also very curious since you were previously Hashi, if this hyper stage is merely transitional... that maybe you are having an antibody "flare up" or something? I'm interested in learning more about how you learned you were hypo and then how you learned it switched to hyper? I would DEFINATELY not go w/ RAI if there is a possiblity that you may go hypo again... why have something kill your thyroid AND have the antibodies working against it to? Anyhow, that's just my opinion.
Most of my story is posted on the "need help with meds-meep" thread. When I had labs in the fall, my doc (internist) said I had antibodies to my thryoid and would eventually be hypo...but nothing significant then (I felt ok...just a little tired)...I mean I could still work out and everything. My current symptoms have only been present for about a month...in January I started "not feeling right" and it just go worse...about 2 weeks ago my doc. said Graves... the endo last week said it was "Hashitoxicosis" (??). I'm also wondering (hoping) this hyper stage might be temporary (??). I am trying to educate myself...probably going to order some books. On another thread I saw the "Thyroid for Dummies" was recommended. I guess I am a little worried about side effects of antithyroid drugs...but side effects from RAI could be worse (??). They called yesterday and told me when my uptake scan is scheduled...I think I might cancel that. It's so hard not to have this consume my thoughts all the time...
Here are my fall lab results:
FT3 259 (230-420)
FT4 1.0 (.8-1.8)
TSH 1.1 (.4-5.5)
Anti Thyroglubulin AB <2.0 (0.0-2.0)
Anti TPO Antibody 41.9 (0.0-2.0)
From my most recent labs (1/25/05) I only have these results:
FT3 1600 (230-420)
TSH <.01 (.4-5.5)
FT4 5.7 (.8-1.8)
Yep - you are definately hyper. Bless your heart. You might want to go ahead and have the scan. Maybe you could ask K9 about the scan. I had a doctor once tell me it was the definitive test for Graves, but I was told later that was not the truth. I was also told by a doctor once that I may have never had Graves (even though that was my original diagnosis) but Hashimotos all along. I think he was wrong, but I was quiet distraught when he told me this b/c I had RAI! I really do think these may be transient numbers for you though since you were not hyper just a little while ago. I would say it's definately too early to go the RAI route. (I just kinda went along with it all... scan, sure... fna biopsy, sure... rai, sure... etc. -- <I also had nodules, btw>).
As you can see, I am confused about your situation even though i was in a similar situation. I really don't believe doctors know as much about antibodies as they would like for us to believe because I swear I ask every doctor I see to make it clear for me and it's still clear as mud
Zekat....thanks so much for your help and sharing info. about your own situation. I think I might need to ask my internist if I have Anti-Thyroglobulin AB...cuz in the fall that number was normal....do you (or anyone else out there) know if these are the antibodies necessary to diagnose Graves? I think the Anti-TPO are the ones that = Hashimoto (??). Don't I need to have antibodies to both in order to be both Hashi/Graves? Maybe I really do have just Hashi...but with transient hyper because thyroid is already dying and releasing the hormones it contains (??) Wow....I don't even know if ANY of that makes sense! No wonder I'm sooo confused!!!