I just got the test results for Antibodies, Free T4 & Free T3 and they're all normal. My previous test for T4 was within normal range but TSH was low (.01), so I'm off to get a thyroid scan & uptake today. I was looking around on the web and found Subclinical Hyperthyroidism. I have no symptoms (other than mild palpitations/anxiety/fatigue which I attribute more to menopause than anything else) and with these normal readings, I was confused. It seems that this could be the answer. It also said that it didn't need to be aggressively treated and that it often will correct itself. Has anybody heard of this before? Also, I read where it can be corrected by dietary changes (avoiding excess dietary iodine in FAST FOODS!) and by avaoding known triggers, such as ASPARTAME!! Is this for real??
I guess I'll find out more after the scan. Would love to hear any input about this type of thyroid problem.
Which antibodies tests did you have? Doctors sometimes do the wrong ones.
Besides that, I don't know much about hyperT, subclinical or otherwise. It's true that avoidance of iodine rich foods can help calm an overactive gland, as can large quantities of the goitrogenic foods. Our "Information Archive" contains lists of these foods.
Let us know how the scan goes.
Well, I got the results of the scan & uptake today, and I'm surprised!! (Not by the results, but by my doctor's reaction) My uptake value was 35 which is above the range, but not by a whole lot. And I have a nodular goiter! Which I think is basically ust an enlarged thyroid, right? Since all tests but the TSH were normal, and since I don't have any real bad symptoms, my doctor has decided to retest the FT4 and TSH levels before making any decisions. She said that we may not have to do anything for a while, but ultimately she said that it may be best to do the radioactive thing if it continues or gets worse! I was sure that she would have been yanking that thing out, so I'm pleased that she has decided to take a less aggressive course. I'm going to try to do the goitergenic diet thing and really cut back on the aspertame before the next test to see if that may make any difference.
She said that if I were younger (!?!) she would just do a course of meds, but at this point, it's better to just destroy the thyroid and deal with that. I know that it's the usual treatment, but it seems wrong to kill off a body part only to have to take meds. How does anyone deal w/this kind of thing?
Anyway, I'm glad that it's not more serious than it is, and I really appreciate all the support that everyone on the boards here has given!
As a hypothyroid person, I can assure you that it is absolutely no easier to try and replace the missing hormones with a daily pill than it is to travel to Mars. Doctors are so woefully ignorant about this condition that they routinely undertreat according to research that hasn't been updated since the 1940's.
I urge you not to lightly accept the "RAI thing", trading one problem for another. If and when your symptoms become bad enough to treat in earnest, at least give the meds a fair trial first. Doctors push RAI because it's easier for them and cheaper for the insurance companies. Don't fall for it blindly. Do your research to find out what's best for you. A good book that explains all thyroid conditions is Thyroid for Dummies by Dr. Alan Rubin.
I hope this helped, at least a little. Good luck to you.
I went to the dr with a main complaint of fatigue. On Nov 16 I was told I have Hyperthyroid according to my labs. High T4 and high T3 with -.01 TSH. Which was strange because I mostly have symptoms of a low thyroid. (I've always been told I was weird!) My doctor is trying to lower it without using the oidine method. She gave me a choice of using drugs or using vitamins. The vitamins could take up to 1-2 months, the drugs approx. 3 days. I prefer natural method if possible. But for the releif I decided to go for a combo. She first gave me a B-12/magnesium shot. Magnesium suppresses the thyroid. I will take 120mg(a very low dose) of lithium orotate(vitamin) and 1500mg of L-carnitine(vitamin) every day. These also suppress the thyroid. For the drug she precribed zoloft. She said even though I am the farthest thing from depressed, zoloft suppresses the thyroid. I will only need to take it til the vitamins get into my system. I have read on this site that when you first start treating the thyroid the thyroid will kick in and try to maintain the level it was previously at. I am experiencing this. I was previously cold natured, now I am staying hot all the time, having trouble sleeping (due to being hot), etc. I hope ya'll are right about it leveling off because right now I am experiencing some new and strange things that come and go. Hope this helps someone. I'll keep you posted........HyperKim
I assume you had just the T4 and T3 tests, and not the Freet4 and Freet3, or am I mistaken.
If you have high estrogen levels, it can show a high T4. Not sure about the T3. So, the Ft4 and Ft3 are best, because they show the thyroid hormones that are circulating freely. They are not bound to the protein like T4 is.
They did a T4 test on me, by mistake I guess. I was on estrogen replacement therapy, and it showed a high T4.
If you are feeling hotter than ususual, more frequent bowel movements, hand tremors, higher pulse rate, then that would be hyper symptoms.
** RAI ablation for Graves disease 2004**
Hi, and thanks, Midwest. From everything I've been reading, it seems that the Subclinical part would indicate that the least aggressive method would be best. So, I will try to talk to the doctor about the meds first, if anything.
HyperKim & Lady50: I don't have any of the symptoms of overt hyperT, the only thing that got me started on these tests was some rapid heartbeats, that I assumed were part of menopause. I'd like to go the natural route, too, if possible. I read that if you test early in the morning after fasting your numbers will be higher. I've always tested in the late afternoon w/o fasting. Since I'd like to see that TSH higher, I may try the early morning thing just to see.
Do any of you know or experience any of the side effects from the anti-tyroid meds?
OK, well, that didn't work so well!
I was retested for TSH & Free T4. I spent the whole weekend watching what I ate and even giving up my beloved diet Coke because of the aspertame. I went earlier than usual for the blood test, but the numbers were the same: TSH <.01 and FT4 1.3. Now my doctor is asking me what I want to do.
I understand that subclinical hyperT can correct itself or go into remission,but the goiter thing won't. I don't have many symptoms, and the ones I have are mild. Do I just sit back and watch things - testing every 3 months? Or do I try som anti-thyroid meds? My PCP said she'd be happy to refer me to an endocrinologist - maybe I should just talk to them? I hate to do anything drastic since I'm feeling pretty good, but I don't want to wait until I'm really sick to do something, either.
Lola51, Yes, I agree you need to find a doctor that knows something about thyroid.
Preferrably a doctor that is not a TSH watcher, and one that WILL keep an eye on the Ft4 and Ft3. But, most important one that will watch your symptoms, and knows the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
I don't know what the range is for your Ft4, but it looks like you might be hypo or you could have hashis. With hashis you can swing from hypo to hyper.
Also, with a low TSH and low Ft4, you could have secondary hypothyroidism.
So, if you have the time and the money, it would be best to find a doc that will have more knowledge of thyroid disorders.
Many people have had good luck with Doctors of osteopathy or Naturopathic doctors.
IMO it looks like you have hypothyroidism.
** RAI ablation for Graves disease 2004**
How long have the mild symptoms and subnormal test results been going on, Lola?
If they're recent, you could have a temporary thyroiditis, which usually resolves itself within 6 months - including the goitrous enlargement. Has your MD mentioned that, or explained why she doesnt think that's it? I wouldn't feel comfortable with her treating this, unless you've left out a lot of information.
Endos aren't always the most personable, caring doctors on earth; but for hyperT, I would still consult one. Just do NOT rush into RAI for such a mild case of hyper. Many endos just love it for various reasons that benefit only them.
I was diagnosed with subclinical hyperthyroidism (low TSH levels, everything else (including antibodies test) was normal). After a radioactive iodine uptake scan, they found a enlarged "hot" nodule (4 cm). My endo suggest radioactive iodine treatment. After the treatment (about a year), all of my levels are normal without any medication. My endo sends me for fna's and sonograms to check up on it regularly.