Hi, I've been lurking here for awhile as I've been trying to learn all I can about thyroid issues. There seem to be a lot of knowledgeable people here and I would greatly appreciate your input. A couple of weeks ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's. I am a 41 year old ex-smoker with 1 child. Symptoms really started hitting me bad last year - most of the usual ones you're familiar with, but worst for me has been the fatigue and brain fog. I've gone from being "the sharpest tool in the shed" to someone who even forgets her own birth date sometimes :-( I often can't focus or apply myself to much anymore. It's taken me over a week just to make myself post this!
It took me awhile to really suspect my thyroid, despite a family history. I mostly had hypo symptoms last year, but I mistakenly thought that since I am underweight rather than overweight that I couldn't have that. I'd always seen weight issues associated with thyroid and I figured that was par for the course. Obviously I was wrong
By the end of 2007 I was having terrible hyper symptoms, and that's when I finally made an appointment to see someone, and began researching in earnest.
The first doc I approached, I was actually made to see her PA, who blew me off with the usual "maybe you're just depressed" (this despite 3 people in my immediate family with thyroid disease, myself having numerous symptoms, and elevated antibodies as well). At the time, this is what I'd had tested through her order (listing exactly as named on the lab sheet):
Jan. '08 labs
TSH: 2.215 (0.350-5.500)
T4: 7.9 (4.5-12.0)
T3 Uptake: 28% (24-39)
Free Thyroxine Index: 2.2 (1.2-4.9)
TPO Ab: 52 (0-34)
Antithyroglobulin Ab: 69 (0-40)
When I enquired about the elevated antibodies, she said she would prescribe Motrin (!!)
She grew increasingly annoyed at my questioning and the fact that I referred to things I'd read online, even things straight from medical journals. You all know the drill. I'll certainly never go back there.
On my own I had new labs done on April 3:
TSH: 3.551 (0.350-5.500)
FT3: 2.7 (2.3-4.2)
T3 Uptake: 27% (24-39)
T4: 8.6 (4.5-12.0)
T4, free (Direct): 1.01 (0.61-1.76)
Free Thyroxine Index: 2.3 (1.2-4.9)
ANA: 51 (0-99)
TSI: 98 (0-129)
On April 9, I saw an endo. She concurred with my suspicion of Hashi's, but said we'd watch it for awhile. I told her that my quality of life has gotten too bad to simply "watch" it. So she prescribed Levoxyl .025 mcg, and also told me in no uncertain terms that she will not and would never prescribe Armour, quoting me "facts" about it that I know to be untrue. I didn't care at that point as I was just so glad that someone had actually dx'd me and finally agreed to give me something for this thing that's wrecking my life. I insisted upon an ultrasound as I have a throat lump feeling most of the time and voice changes - I just would rather check it and know where I stand with that. I am having that done tomorrow.
I only started the Levoxyl yesterday (April 21); I have been diligently improving my diet and taking some supplements and wanted to see if they made any difference in how I felt before starting it. She told me absolutely nothing about the medication, discussed nothing about managing the Hashi's, just nothing at all. So I am trying to learn how to proceed with all this as I already know I am pretty much going to have to take care of things myself rather than rely on a doctor.
I know this is long and rambling (sorry, it's that brain fog thing ;-)). I welcome any input, and especially would appreciate if MG would chime in and help me with the FT3/FT4 stuff I keep seeing but not really understanding, so I can get a better idea where I should be as far as medication goes and what to watch for.
To add to this, I suspect pituitary involvement or some such. Testosterone and estradiol are apparently high, and I may have a couple of PCOS symptoms. I am having prolactin tested shortly. Adding this in confuses the thyroid stuff for me. Any guiding lights out there, please reply :-)
Additional labs if relevant:
Ferritin is very low: 7 (10-291) - I have recently begun taking Floradix Iron + Herbs to raise this and will be watching it.
Cortisol: 12.9 (3.1-16.7 - PM range) - this was tested in the afternoon, serum
RDW: 15.6 - high (11.7-15.0)
Bilirubin is high at 1.7 (0.1-1.2) - other tests that I understand to be liver-related are ok
I've got results for a bunch of other things if relevant - just let me know. I am willing to test for whatever else is necessary, as long as I can order it on my own through one of the online labs.
Thanks for your input