I posted recently (and in the past) regarding my situation. Basically, hypo symptoms for several years. Lots of throid tests - always told they were normal. Discovered myself weird pattern between TSH/FT4 (both low normal) and finally found an integrative doc few months ago who agreed this pointed to sluggish pituitary/hypothalamus and a secondary hypo situation. He started me on "supplements" to restore some vitamin/mineral deficiencies and "glandulars" to try to kickstart my pituitary/hypothalamus. Just got hold of labs done on Friday and am not sure how to interpret. Here are my last few tests and most recent:
Guess question is since my TSH is going up would this suggest I'm no longer having issues and maybe the improved nutrition is helping? What looked funny to me was that my FT4 has continued to drop and not responded to the TSH increase. It seems my body would want some more FT4 instead of less given I'm in low end of range to begin with. I have tested negative for TPO-AB and Anti-Thryoglobulin Antibody. I also tested LOW for Leutenizing Hormone and RBC's. Ferritin is stuck at 30 (11-307) even though I eat red meat and dark leafy greens every damn day!!!
And, what actually causes symptoms - is it the body responding to low Free T's or body's reaction to level of TSH?
Hi Michelle, I sure wish I could help but I am still looking for answers too! I cannot believe how similar our tests were when range is taken into consideration. I will wait with anticipation for replies to your post. I do have a couple questions because I cannot remember from your previous posts, if you don't mind. Have you had a cortisol or DHEA test? Through the doctor or privately? And is your doctor at all concerned with the ferritin number? Thanks, Hoppy
Hi Hoppy. Yes, I've had both DHEA-S and Cortisol tested via blood just the ohter day. DHEA-S is 117 (35-430) and Cortisol 8am is 18 (8-23). The DHEA-S although in range would be considered low by more progressive docs. Cortisol appears fine. Previous Cortisol tests (blood and saliva) have been normal except for my 10pm reading which both times tested at the absolute top end of normal range. I only had the am reading tested this past time. I don't go back to my doc for 4 weeks so won't have any additional perspective from him until then. Have you had these tested?
Hi Michelle, No I haven't had any testing for that. I did consult with another doctor online and this was what he said,
While I typically look at thyroid function from an "alternative" viewpoint, I
still don't suspect it to be a major issue in your case, based on the laboratory
results you submitted. If anything, your TSH levels are desirable where they are,
and do not make me suspicious of secondary hypothyroidism. Also, the TPO showing a
low level is common, and shouldn't lead to any hypothyroid symptoms. Furthermore,
to answer your questions, you shouldn't be concerned about ferritin being on the
low end of the normal range, as this test is very sensitive, and would be lower if
iron deficiency was an issue. Also, there is no connection between a contrast dye
allergy and thyroid disease-many people experience this reaction, and it is not
the iodine itself that people react to, but other chemicals within the dye.
More likely than thyroid disease in your case is an adrenal hormone
insufficiency-hair loss, fatigue, brain fog, and mood changes all point to this as
a strong possibility. Ideally, you will want to have your adrenal hormones
(cortisol and DHEA) tested, preferably through the saliva.
I did post that the other day so if you already saw it, I'm sorry.
This was not my doctor but I answered many questions and that is what he told me. I am at a standstill with my doctor now as he says everything is normal. I haven't even mentioned the ferritin result because he will probably just say that is normal too. Maybe I should find out if I can have those two additional tests done paying myself and ordering online.
I hope you get some answers and PLEASE post them. I had my hair cut the other day and the hairstylist who I have been going to for 3 years commented on how my hair was less now!! I have lots of fine hair just less of it!
Last edited by hopalong_too; 09-05-2007 at 08:53 PM.
I'm not an expert but I disagree with the ND's comments on the Ferritin level being ok at your level and am personally split on what to think about his thyroid comment. I have published data on secondary hypothryoid issues that shows even if you have tsh and ft4 in range, it's important to consider the relationship between the two and where each is in range relative to each other. there is a predictable relationship between the two. my numbers have not been consistent with the "predicted relationship". My doc believes my adrenals are not working well and is working to strengthen those as well. I've been prescribed Pregnenolone (the master hormone after cholesterol) and given other adrenal support supplements. It is true there are many shared symptoms with thyroid and adrenal issues and maybe it's just tough to sort it all out - especially when dealing with docs who are married to lab ranges only???
Well, I wouldn't say your problem is going away just because your TSH went up, because your free T4 didn't go up. TSH isn't responsible for any symptoms at all; free T4 and free T3 are actual thyroid hormones which are used by every cell in your body to carry out their metabolic processes. When there isn't enough of either or both, symptoms happen. The goal of hypoT treatment ought not to be to change TSH, but to raise the FTs.
The free T3 tests you had looked to be very adequate, but the free T4 was low. A healthy person would likely have FT4 of at least 1.0 or better on that range. That tells us that you don't have much trouble converting T4 to T3, but it does say that your stored supply of T4 is being depleted by conversion to T3. The body usually works better when the two hormones are in more balanced supply.
I'm all for natural medical methods, but truthfully... when the thyroid hormones are in short supply, nothing is likely to help enough except to supply those missing hormones in pill form. You have to assume the nutritional support is helping only if your symptoms are improving. At some point, you'll have to decide if they're improving enough to keep using nutritional support only.