My 84-year-old sister has just been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. Her doctor put her on Synthroid. I have only briefly researched this but it appears to me there is a problem here. I have no intention of doing deep research on this issue but want to ask what I think is a simple question.
Is synthroid given for hyperthyroid? I am not finding anything on that. I don't think she misunderstood the "hyper" or "hypo" as she is not overweight and is rapidly loosing weight. She is quiet ill. Her next doctor apt. is next Wednesday but as ill as she is she may have to see him before that. I would like to be able to give her some positive input by then.
Synthroid is a synthetic thyroid hormone replacement for the T4 hormone the thyroid normally produces. So if you sister is hyperthyroid she is producing too much hormone on her own. In this case she would not need Synthroid or any T4 replacement med. If she is already taking a T4 replacement for previous hypothyroid (low thyroid hormone production) then she may need a reduction in her meds.
If in fact she is not on T4 replacement meds and she is overproducing T4 on her own then there are anti-thyroid drugs (ATDs) available. The main ATDs available are PTU (long spelling of a word that I don't know) and Tapazole. There are generics available for each. These drugs work by blocking the thyroid from producing more hormones.
Hopefully the drs will get her on the proper meds before long.
Hope that helps some,
PS. If you would like you can get a paper copy of your sister's thyroid labs from her lab sheet and post them here. There are several that would be willing to help you interpret them. So that way you know if sis is hypER-T (high thyroid levels) or hypO-T (low thyroid). Start a new thread titled "Labs help" or something like that. then list the labs with the test and results (with the ranges in parenthesis) Example.....TSH 1.1 (.5-5.5) We would need the TSH and any T4 and T3 measurements.
I certainly hope the drs know what they are doing. In a person your sisters age, giving thyroid hormone replacement for hypo needs to be done with great care and low doses.
If she is indeed hyper as you think she may be, then she needs an antithyroid as hyperkim said not the hormone.
I appreciate your response. I know very little about thyroid but just briefly searching I thought there is something wrong. She has been sick for about 3 months but last week she was hospitalized and the doctor came up with this thyroid thing. She has only been on the Synthroid about a week and she certainly is not doing well.
I guess I really needed confirmation that what I was reading was what I thought I was reading. I have diabetes and a couple other things so am pretty good at research. She only minimally uses a computer but actually she is sharp and more knowledgeable than most her age. She often asks me to check something on the computer. If I had dial up like she does I probably would not be using the computer as much.
I will pass your offer concerning the labs on and go from there. It's a shame that one must check what the doctors are doing but I have decided that is necessary.
The day she came home from the hospital she called me and asked about the Synthroid as at that point she was suspicious. Her daughter is hypo and that is what she takes so my sis was suspicious from the start.
How did we ever survive without the computer? I raised a diabetic kid back in the dark ages and I am also diabetic so I am inclined to check everything.
Some thoughts I have ~
Your sister may be losing weight and be very ill from some other cause unrelated to the low thyroid for which she is being coincidently treated. Are they investigating other reasons for her ill health?
Weight gain doesn't automatically go along with hypoT, and weight loss isn't always a given with hyperT. So you can't count on that symptom alone to confirm a diagnosis.
But... if the assumption is that she is being incorrectly treated with Synthroid, the sooner you can confirm it, the better. If she doesn't need the drug, her life is in danger.
My sister does have other problems. But isn't it unlikely that if she is hypo she would be loosing weight? I just talked to her and her blood pressure and heart beat are off. She is going to the doctor now. I appreciate all your input and will let you know of further developments.
As I said, weight change alone doesn't prove anything. If your sister can get a copy of her thyroid labwork, - her results plus the normal ranges - we can interpret it and better tell you what's what.
Please do let us know what she finds out.
My sis went to the doctor yesterday. He told her that he had said "Hypo" So he left the medicine as it was.
She insist that he told her "hyper". I know it is easy to make such a mistake but knowing her I don't think she would have made such. She worked in hospitals for years and also has a hypo daughter. Both of those would tend keep her from making such a mistake.
At least for now, accepting hypo she has to continue on this treatment for a while. Thanks for the input from all. If I need something further on this I will remember what excellent responses I got from this group.
This is weird...I was just thinking of you and your sister. Then you posted. OOOOOOO, what a coincidence!
Anyway, glad your sis is getting the correct med for her situation.
On the other hand, drs and their staff can say the opposite of what they mean and not even remember it. I have to tell this story....
A few years ago this incident happened in my OB/Gyn' office. While my vitals were being taken another nurse ushered a woman past me and into an exam room. She was told to undress from the waist up and put on the paper gown and the dr would be in in a bit. The lady (in her 60's or 70's) questioned the instructions. And the nurse repeated herself (undress from the wast up and please wait for the dr). I figured the lucky woman was not here for a pelvic exam.
A short time later, I was in an exam room (across the hall form the woman's exam room) wearing my nice fashionable paper gown waiting for the dr to come in. I heard the dr enter the room across the hall and greet the woman. Then a stunned comment to the effect that she had undressed from the waist up and not the waist down. The woman said this is what the nurse had said to do and that she had even questioned it.
In short the whole office had a laughing frenzy. Even the patients. When the dr and nurse came in for my appointment, every time they told me to do something I kept asking "are you sure?" That visit was definitely the funniest drs visit I have ever had!
Hope you enjoyed that! Here's praying that your sister get to feeling better.
That is a funny story. When you are seeing a gyn. a little funny helps get through the exam.
I have gotten to the point I question everything a doctor says or does. I could write a book about doctors, not funny stories but horror stories. Funny is better. I'm glad medicine has changed in that whereas they used to guard patient medications as top secret they have come to recognize it is best to have an informed patient.
My sis was doing well until about 3 months ago and she got the flu or something that turned into pneumonia or some such. She is not the typical 84 year old doing lots of social services work. Several years ago she and I had a fantastic vacation travailing around the National Parks in the west. Since then we have been wanting to do it again but I was always so busy there never was a good time. It looked like I couldn't get away. At 72 I work full time in our business. One day it hit me that when it comes time for me to go to her funeral should I outlive her, that it won't matter if it is a good time or not. I will go to the funeral.
She has asbestosis and it is making it hard for her to breath so she broke down and got a handicap sticker to use when she had to park some distance away from where she was going. When she told me she had that sticker I made up my mind that we would just go. My husband supports me in this so I had some help there. I called her and said, "lets go" and asked her when is best. She said the leaves will be turning in 2 weeks so let's aim for that. Well we did but took only a little over a week. She was able to walk enough for us to do most of the things we wanted to. At Walnut Canyon the walk and altitude was a little too much. The park rangers insisted that they bring her out on a gurney. They did that over her objections. I wanted to take a picture but she said no that she wasn't going to tell anyone. Later we both wished we had taken pictures. At Carlsbad we took the short tour but that was adequate and we did ok. I'm really glad now that we went when we did as I doubt that she will recover enough that another such trip could happen.
Am so glad to hear you got to take that vacation with your sister. It is a very valid point that we don't make enough time for the good things in life. Sometimes it takes a serious illness or even a funeral to make us spend time with friends or loved ones. By then the "time" we had is usually too late too little. I am trying to get that through to my workaholic husband right now. Maybe I'll have him read your story. Hmmmm.
I am sure those pictures would have been a hoot to look at and "remember the times". Especially since nothing was seriously wrong at that time. I can almost picture my 89 yr old grandmother saying "No, no I can do it!"