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Old 04-08-2008, 07:21 AM   #1
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How long for meds to work? Maca?

I've been taking meds (synthetic) for my hypothyroidism for only 3 weeks now. I'm trying to be patient, but I have two questions.

First, how long do I have to wait for the meds to start helping me. I know it's all individual, but what would you say, approximately?
I'm 18 and I think I've been sick for at least two years (just figured that out, after finding some old blood results, back then the doc said all was fine - with a TSH over 5!
I'm taking 50 mcg a day. The symptoms that are troubling me most are a dead libido, constipation and fluctuating energy levels.

Also, if they don't work, after how long will I be able to know that this dosis is not working and that I need a dosis adjustment?

Okay, next question: somebody recommended maca for libido and energy. Does it really help?
Also, should I maybe wait and see whether the meds help me on their own before starting maca?
And, most importantly, could I experience adverse reactions to maca?
For example, I'm afraid it might mess with my antibodies (I have Hashimoto's)...


Thanks in advance!

Last edited by marilla; 04-08-2008 at 07:22 AM.

 
Old 04-08-2008, 07:34 AM   #2
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Okay. It takes 4 weeks to determine if your body is going to take to the newly equilibrated thyroid hormone levels. So when you hit week 4.. go get your blood run and increase to 75 mcgs is all is well and you are still having the hypoT symptoms. Hashimoto's can throw you some curves though. Even on meds it will still attack and kill the thyroid. As a result you are going to experience more thyroif fluxes and hyperT/hypoT swing side effects. I was like you at 50 mcgs.. went to 75 mcgs.. threw my very hyperT.. back to 50 mcgs.. back to hypoT... I luckily have a nodule.. maybe more than one now. I am hoping to get my thyroid out. I am sick of it being such a pain. Ugh!

Keep up with us. Have you had your adrenal's checked? I was adrenal insufficient as a resultof AI attack on my adrenals as well as my thyroid. Low libido goes hand in hand with that. I have been on the meds for a week working on 2. I am actually getting urges again. It improved some with thyroid meds.. but insufficient adrenals really can make you feel like the walking dead too. What are your Ft3 and ft4 levels. If there is an imbalance (not with in 10% of each other), it could be that you have adrenal dysfunction as well.

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Oh, I'm so happy for you, mkg! I remember us talking about libido, and I'm so glad it's starting to work out for you!

What should I ask to get tested in order to check my adrenals? Cos my doc laughed when I asked her about it, and wouldn't give me any info. I can't find another one, she's probably the only doc in my enture country who'd prescribe me meds. I'm not even exaggerating, unfortunately.
So I intend to go to a private lab I once went to. But there they ask for exact names of the hormones I need checked, so I'd really need to know?


BTW, do you maybe have any advice on maca? Sorry, you just seem to know everything Thank you so much

Last edited by marilla; 04-08-2008 at 08:05 AM.

 
Old 04-08-2008, 08:12 AM   #4
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

I will look in the FDA database on maca.. may take a bit. As to the adrenal work. It is worth asking for at least a fasting ACTH and cortisol 8 am blood serum to be run. You can go to the lab for the 24 hour salive cortisol rhythm test, but I do not know how valid it would be given mail in conditions and stuff. the samples are supposed to be kept on ice/refrigerated. Try and be straight forward with your MD. Get her to run a T3 and T4 if she is unwilling to run the Fts. This will let us get a general idea about your adrenals. If there is something up.. the thyroid hormone levels will tell us. We have to go through the thyroid dance first to get to the adrenals. It can also be you are just out of wack still in your thyroid levels. See if you can get a hold of your T4 and T3 levels first. Then we will try and determine what is the next step. Finding issues and treating them is a matter of experimental due process and elimination. We have to take things one step at a time.

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Oh sorry, I totally forgot you mentioned T3 and T4. I do have these results.
Here they are:

T3 1.43 (ref. interval: 1.23-4.2)
T4 95.5 (ref. interval: 64-154)
FT3 3.9 (ref.interval: 2.8-7.1)
FT4 13.9 (ref.interval: 12.0-22.0)


How do these seem to you?

 
Old 04-08-2008, 08:40 AM   #6
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

FT3 3.9 (ref.interval: 2.8-7.1) This is low at 25.58% You want to be 50-80% of range. You know this though.. lets look at balance.
FT4 13.9 (ref.interval: 12.0-22.0) 19%.. so you are low here as well.. but are you balanced?

25.58 - 19 = 6.58%. Your levels are with in 5-10% deviation range.. so you are balanced and the adrenals most likely are not your issues. This was before you started meds though. It may have changed. Mine went from balanced to 42% deviation in 3 months. Thats is what an AI attack on little adrenal glands can do for you. At four weeks get a new Ft3 and Ft4 panel run. Get a copy of your results and we shall see how it is going.

MG
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Old 04-08-2008, 08:51 AM   #7
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Thanks, mkg! Honestly, I have no idea what I would do without you! You're awesome!

 
Old 04-29-2008, 03:30 PM   #8
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Hey, these are my new results (blood taken a month after starting the meds):

FT4 16.41 (range: 10.0-25.0)

FT3 3.36 (range: 2.2-6.8)

TSH 1.57


As far as symptoms go, my constipation, which had gone away after I first started taking meds, returned exactly a month of taking them. So, I waited for a few days, and then I upped my meds on my own (cos I know that my endo would never ever up them, and I was desperate).

The above results, though, are from before I upped my meds, back when I was taking 50 mcg a day (now I take 75 mcg). Actually, they're from the same day my constipation returned.

My sex drive has been non-existent throughout all of this and I've all but given up hope of it ever returning.

Any thoughts, please?

 
Old 04-29-2008, 06:57 PM   #9
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

FT4 16.41 (range: 10.0-25.0) 6.41/15*100 = 42.7 % This is definitely better, but still not optimal.

FT3 3.36 (range: 2.2-6.8) = 1.16/4.6*100 = 25.2% Well I hat to be right.. but you are having issues with your T4 to T3 conversion. Now 17.5% deviation. As your T4 levels increase the deviation may continue to increase as well.

Now what can cause this? Too much cortisol or active T4 conversion to rT3 versus active T3. Can you talk your MD into the rT3 test and an ACTH/Cortisol test.

I was diagnosed adrenal insufficient as I am sure you know. Since treating that my libido is beginning to increase. Unfortunately my thyroid levels are on the flux. I hope you get your answers soon. The continued low T3 will be causing you many issues.

MG
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Old 04-30-2008, 07:21 AM   #10
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Thanks, mkg God, I was really hoping this wouldn't happen.

Well, it seems they actually did run a cortisol test on my blood this time.

cortisol 661.0 range: 138-690

I don't know how important it is, but they took the blood sample at 8.30 in the morning, an hour after I woke up (though I slept max. 4 hours that night).

I've also found the cortisol result from the blood test from a private lab, done right before starting the meds. I hadn't even noticed it before in all the jumbled papers they gave me. Here it is:

cortisol 656.5 range: (7-10 am) 171-536
(4-8 pm) 64-340

Taken, I think, sometime around noon. Should it be compared to the 7-10 pm range then or?

Seems to me the first time around the cortisol levels were even higher. So why was I balanced then and now I'm not?

Sorry if I'm being a pain, I'm just so confused...

 
Old 04-30-2008, 07:57 AM   #11
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

You are not a pain, and I am curious as to why you were balanced then and not now. The only thing I can think of is there is a fail safe in our body that when thyroid hormones get too low.. T4 to T3 levels kick into overdrive. The result of this is that as much of your T4 as possible is converted to T3 to support stressed active systems.. like metabolism and blood flow. This is purely theory now..

In your case you were producing only 6.6% more T3 than T4 when this cycle was working with out meds.. then you added the meds and the T4 to T3 suppression trend had enough T4 to show itself. Also blood work when you are dealing with cyclic hormones is tricky. It can be hard to catch something by blood work alone.

So I recommend getting that ACTH drawn. Your cortisol is on the high end. I wouldn't say Cushing's but you are on the hyperadrenal side of things IMO.

Excess cortisol can cause some nasty side effects:
Increased libido - excess corticosteroids
Loss of scalp hair - excess corticosteroids
Increased facial and body hair - excess corticosteroids
Round face - excess corticosteroids
Excessive body fat in torso and back of the neck - excess corticosteroids
Muscle weakness - excess corticosteroids
Reduced muscularity - excess corticosteroids
Easily bruised skin - excess corticosteroids
Poor wound healing - excess corticosteroids
Increased blood pressure - excess corticosteroids
Osteoporosis - excess corticosteroids
Increased risk of infection - excess corticosteroids
Kidney stones - excess corticosteroids
Diabetes - excess corticosteroids
Mental disturbances - excess corticosteroids
Depression - excess corticosteroids
Hallucinations - excess corticosteroids
Menstrual cycle irregularities - excess corticosteroids
Short stature - excess corticosteroids

Now you would think you would not have the libido issues, but in the case of your thyroid hormone levels being hypoT will surpress the sex hormones. So you have two fronts to fight now. You need to keep checking and look into the adrenals thoroughly. I would still get teh rT3 run to rule out poor conversion if I were you. I also feel if you get that T3 up and the Ft3 and ft4 in your optimal region things will get better.

MG
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Old 04-30-2008, 09:26 AM   #12
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Thanks. I'm worried about fighting on two fronts but I'm glad that I know what to look for now and it's great having someone to explain all this better. I'll get the rT3 and ACTH tests done and let you know then. I'll try to stay positive and patient, guess that's the only option I really have

 
Old 05-08-2008, 01:49 AM   #13
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Turns out that not a single lab in my country does the ACTH and rT3 tests. So I'm going abroad to get them done. Of course, I can't go abroad all the time, so is there anything else (beside the tread-of-the-mill TSH, fT3, antibodies etc.) I should ask them to look for while I'm there?

Cos if I don't do it know, who knows when I'll get the chance...

Also, what would the treatment be if it turns out that my body's converting T4 into rT3 instead of T3? T3 supplemntation? Cos I seriously doubt that's possible in my country, so I'm slightly panicking at the thought.

 
Old 05-08-2008, 07:04 AM   #14
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

If you are making rT3 versus T3, you have to have it shipped into you. Only taking Armour or cytomel will get you what you need.

Well if you are going for the shot gun approach,

ACTH, rT3, Selenium, Iodine, TRH, PTH... hummm.. you on beta-blockers for a heart issue? If not, Aldosterone, renin. You had the cortisol run.. TBG to see how well you bind thyroid hormone..

You can get the TSH, Ft3, Ft4 and antibodies in house right? Were they able to test you for Selenium and iodine to see if it is a mineral deficiency causing conversion issues (Selenium and iodine are the main culprits).

TRH - hypothalamuss thyroid function
ACTH - pituitary adrenal function
Cortisol and Aldosterone - Adrenal output
TBG - thyroid binding globulins..
Iodine and Selenium.. I can not think of much more.. but you can ask the MD what you need to track down a conversion error issue.

Not a SINGLE LAB? *snort* I find that odd.

MG
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:15 PM   #15
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Re: How long for meds to work? Maca?

Thanks for all the info. I'll try to get it all done, if possible. It will cost me a small fortune, what with being a poor student and all, but I guess you gotta do whatcha gotta do


Oh, another question: I don't really sleep much. Maybe 5 hrs per night. It's something I've been doing for years now (since elementary school), and it has to do with me being terrible at organizing time. I'd call myself sleep-deprived. Could it maybe help with the cortisole problem if I start sleeping normally or is it an unsolvable problem like the thyroid one?
Also, is it possible sleep deprivation was what activated my Hashi's in the first place?

Not a single lab. I called all the private labs in the country and all the clinics and hospitals in the capital. No luck.
It's not actually all that surprising. It's a small, small country (only 4 million people). Beautiful to live in for a healthy person, but once you get sick it's bare survival you're fighting for. A good example of much is (not) invested in our health system is that the roof of the neonatal ward of my town's hospital actually collapsed a couple of years ago. The system is in complete disarray.

I'm pretty sure you can't get Armour or Cytomel here. Maybe I could get a European brand containing T3? Doesn't seem likely, though...

 
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