Hello. I believe I have hashimoto's...not sure.... my doctor (gp) says I have an autoimmune disorder that's affecting my thyroid causing it to become larger. She won't really call it anything. I also have two nodules...positive for antibodies.
I had an appointment today specifically to talk medication. I have had the symptoms of hashimoto's for two years. I asked her if I could have a trial of medication and she said no, due to osteoporosis issues. I know, I know...there really is no osteoporosis issue. I didn't challenge her because she believes this so vehemently. I told her I was willing to take a supplement and do weight bearing exercises. She did say that my tsh was always within range and medication won't help shrink my goiter. I told her the range has changed in recent years and a tsh of 4.2 is not normal. She said tsh's between 5-10 are considered normal in certain circumstances. I know what you're going to say...find a new doctor. I will...but I live in a small town...there really isn't much choice. The good news is she will be sending me to an endocrinologist. I probably won't get my appointment for two months because I live in Canada and our medical system sucks. I just wanted to let you know how it went. Also....I probably could get armour thyroid myself. Does anyone with hashi's use armour? Does it work? Thanks for your time. Have a great weekend.
If you tested positive for antibodies the chances are that you have Hashimoto's. Tell your doctor to look up the definition of Hashi's, she will find that Hashi's is a autoimmune disorder. With nodules, goiter, and a TSH of 4.2 I'll bet your doctor a 100 bucks that you are Hypo.
Your doctor sounds like she needs to go back to medical school. Find a new one.
I have Hashi's with a normal TSH (much lower then yours) and low free T's. I am currently on 90mgs of Armour. I also have osteoperosis. Unless you are over medicated or hyperthyroid, thyroid hormone doesn't cause osteoperosis. Not being medicated when you need to be can cause problems.
Does anyone with hashi's use armour? Does it work?
I have Hashimoto's, use Armour, and yes, it works for me. But it isn't the right choice for everyone. Your first and main goal should be to get diagnosed, not to choose the right form of hormone and DIY.
You may have seen several people here who self-treat out of desperation. I completely understand that, but unless anyone has read actual medical textbooks and studies to serve as their guideline, in my opinion, it's a bad idea. They may have had some success doing it, but they undoubtedly have dodged bullets to gain that success. The whole affair is tricky enough with the help of a caring, competent MD.
Two months really isn't a long wait to see an endo. It's typically even longer where I am. I was assigned an appt 4 months from when I called; only got in sooner on someone else's cancellation. You've been sick for two years; two months more won't make too much difference. Anyway, you're going to need patience once you start treatment. This will be good practice.
I have read here that some Canadians cross the border for treatment. Are you close enough to the US that that's possible? Would a private pay consultation be out of the question? Does the system allow for an appeal? You could find information (like that from AACE) to support your position that you should be treated now to use as ammunition for the appeal.
I hope you can figure something out without resorting to self treatment.
Armour has helped me more than Levoxyl did. But I agree with midwest1 - it's not a good idea to self medicate. Wait to see the Endo, and at least find out what he/she has to say with regard to your treatment.
My doc checks my levels every 6 weeks, and my dose is adjusted based on symptoms, and lab levels combined. (Although my symptoms come before the lab values - even if the labs are a little too low, or high, if I feel fine, I can stay at the dose I'm at). I could not find an Endo who would allow that flexibility, so have settled with a Medical Doctor who is more holistic in his approach. But they are few and far between.
I guess I can wait a couple of months to see the endo before I start self medication. I thought armour was safe, though?? I have an appointment to see a holistic doctor in the next couple of weeks. I think she may be able to address my thyroid issue as well. I've read that many people have had success going this route versus conventional medicine. I'm close to the States, but not close enough. Canada's medical system is a farce. When my gp told me she thought I had ms, the neurologist she referred me to said I would have to wait a year for a mri. I went to Quebec and paid $1,000.00 for it. Believe me, I would pay if I could. We're headed that way, anyhow (two tiered healthcare). It's a shame because we're taxed up the ying yang for "superior medical care" - NOT.
Again, thanks for the replies. I read the board every day and appreciate all the wisdom and insight everyone has to offer.
It is safe, but it isn't aspirin. It's safe only in the amount needed to replace what you're missing. Since you nor anyone else in this world knows exactly how much you're missing, it takes educated skill to figure out the right dose. It also takes blood tests to determine whether your free hormones are getting too high. Do you have access to a lab that accepts patients without MDs orders?
My mother suffered a devastating stroke because of a dose error that her doctor made. The dose was either started too high or it was increased too fast. The wrong dose can cause heart rhythm abnormalities that will either kill outright or secondarily by throwing clots to the brain. She was unlucky; the stroke didn't kill her. It only completely ruined the last 10 years of her life. She was fortunate that her children were well-grown and didn't need her in the sense that a woman of... oh, say 35-ish... would need her. When you think that even an educated medical person can make such an error, why would you think it couldn't happen to you treating yourself? Why would you risk doing that to your children, if not to yourself? You just don't know what you don't know, and that's scary.
There have been several Canadians who've sought out naturopaths and done well that way. We on the board whole-heartedly recommend holistic doctors of any speciality. They're usually more thyroid-friendly than endos. Most endos are far too rigid, just as Ora has discovered. Either way, I truly hope one of them will help you.
You have given me great advice. I am just frustrated. Hashimoto's is a pain in the butt. It's not really clear cut like hypo or hyper. There seems to be many schools of thought with regard to the necessity of treating hashi's. I DON'T want to follow my doctor's advice and wait for my thyroid to die. I think it's worth saving. I guess the onus is on me to seek a second, third, fourth opinion. I am just afraid they're all going to be like the first. Time will tell. Thanks again.
I'm glad I got through to you. As much as I despise doctors who refuse to see the light, I hate thinking that people are resorting to unacceptable risks in their search for health.
You seem to have a misconception about Hashimoto's disease. If you have TPO and/or Tg antibodies, there is nothing you can to do stop your gland's destruction. It's going to happen... nothing can be done about it. The easiest thing to do is to start treatment in a low dose to try and replace the amount of hormone your gland isn't making right now. As the supplemental hormone dose is increased, it will gradually ease the burden on the sick, overworked gland until the med does the entire job of providing your body with hormone. After two years of Armour supplementation, my own TSH is completely suppressed so that it no longer can send a signal to my gland to make hormone. I have no idea whether my gland is dead or not, but I have enough hormone from the outside source.
As for the disease not being "clear cut", well... most of the time it actually is. A few people have those wild hypo/hyper swings, but most don't. Most just gradually get metabolically slower and slower until they can't function anymore. My current doctor, who has restored my thyroid health, doesn't even test for antibodies. When he sees FTs at the bottom of the range, he gives a trial of Armour, because he knows low FTs are what constitute hypoT. His philosophy is that hypo is hypo, and it doesn't matter what the cause is, because the treatment is the same for all causes.
A good book for people having trouble getting a diagnosis is Solved: The Riddle of Illness by Dr. Stephen Langer. Maybe it will give you some ideas of how to convince the doctors you will see shortly. Forget about the primary doc you've seen, because you just can't fix stupid.