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Old 06-06-2008, 10:43 PM   #1
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Unhappy TSH level and past problems - need advice!

Okay, I am going to a reproductive endo for various strange symptoms. I have been through times where my menstrual period lasted 2-3 weeks, my hair was falling out like crazy, my breasts shrunk, EXTREME pain during my period etc... Well, I was diagnoised with endometriosis, but I asked the doctor to run some other tests. Just because I just know that something is not right. In addition, I have not been able to get pregnant. Hormone wise, my testosterone was slightly elevated and my progesterone is low.

In addition to the hormone tests typically done for reproductive health, I asked that my thyroid be checked as well. I just got my results and my TSH was 3.89 mU/L (0.45-4.50 per the lab). From some reading that I have done, the range has changed to 0.5-2.5 due to recent research. With this latest range shift, my TSH level is elevated.

Although I don't have the typical symptoms commonly associated with hypothyroidism, such as weight gain or high cholesterol, I am still concerned with my level. I do have some other symptoms such as: extremely painful periods (to where I can barely function), I'm cold all of the time (I assumed this is because I'm thin), I seem to be tired all of the time and a I lose quite a bit of hair (doctors seem to ignore this because I have thick hair, not as thick as it used to be). I guess I have to go bald before I get listened to.

I'm wondering where to go from here, the reproductive endo does not seem to care about my symptoms. Is this TSH level a concern with my given symptoms? Whatever is going on with my body, I just know there is something not right.

 
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:22 AM   #2
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Play_Hard View Post
Okay, I am going to a reproductive endo for various strange symptoms. I have been through times where my menstrual period lasted 2-3 weeks, my hair was falling out like crazy, my breasts shrunk, EXTREME pain during my period etc... Well, I was diagnoised with endometriosis, but I asked the doctor to run some other tests. Just because I just know that something is not right. In addition, I have not been able to get pregnant. Hormone wise, my testosterone was slightly elevated and my progesterone is low.

In addition to the hormone tests typically done for reproductive health, I asked that my thyroid be checked as well. I just got my results and my TSH was 3.89 mU/L (0.45-4.50 per the lab). From some reading that I have done, the range has changed to 0.5-2.5 due to recent research. With this latest range shift, my TSH level is elevated.

Although I don't have the typical symptoms commonly associated with hypothyroidism, such as weight gain or high cholesterol, I am still concerned with my level. I do have some other symptoms such as: extremely painful periods (to where I can barely function), I'm cold all of the time (I assumed this is because I'm thin), I seem to be tired all of the time and a I lose quite a bit of hair (doctors seem to ignore this because I have thick hair, not as thick as it used to be). I guess I have to go bald before I get listened to.

I'm wondering where to go from here, the reproductive endo does not seem to care about my symptoms. Is this TSH level a concern with my given symptoms? Whatever is going on with my body, I just know there is something not right.
The TSH isnt really enough to confirm whether you're hypo or not - but it is certainly an indicator that you very well could be. You need to ask for Free T3 and Free T4 tests to give you a better picture of what is happening with your thyroid.

Good luck with everyone - this thyroid disease aint nice!!!
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:46 AM   #3
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

That high TSH is a gigantic red flag, and is likely the reason you aren't getting pregnant. For confirmation that this is so, get a hold of a copy of Living Well With Hypothyroidism by Mary Shomon. Chapter 11 gives specifics of her own struggle with infertility, how she could not conceive with TSH at 4.1, and how she finally conceived once her hypoT was treated and her TSH lowered to 1.2.

It constantly amazes me - the MDs who should know better and don't really know squat.

Last edited by midwest1; 06-07-2008 at 07:47 AM.

 
Old 06-07-2008, 07:47 AM   #4
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

I too have severe endometriosis. Extremely painful periods and difficulty getting pregnant are unfortunately major symptoms. After many years of heavy bleeding, I now find myself with very low iron. Make sure to have that checked along with your Ferritin. Low iron can also cause many of the symptoms you explain, including hair loss. I just went to a regular endocrinologist for many of the symptoms you describe (including major hair loss) and he is definitely listening to my concerns. If possible, you might want to find another doctor.

 
Old 06-08-2008, 12:58 AM   #5
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

Quote:
You need to ask for Free T3 and Free T4 tests to give you a better picture of what is happening with your thyroid.
I have asked my reproductive endo to do a full thyroid test, but he just said a full panel does not need to be done unless the TSH is out of range. He does not think my 3.89 is too high. Instead, he wants me on clomid my next cycle. From what I read, this is probably going to be a waste if I the root of my problem hypothyroidism.

I have always thought that there is one underlying reason for all of my symptoms. All of what I read about hypothyroidism makes my symptoms make sense for once in my life! For the first time in years, I feel like this has to be my answer, I just know. After 2 laporoscopy surgeries for endometriosis and absolutely no relieve what-so-ever, it has to be something else that would cause long, super heavy and EXTREMELY painful periods. I dread my period EVERY month!

 
Old 06-08-2008, 07:33 AM   #6
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

My honest opinion is that you need to find another Doctor. You have classic symtoms of HypoT, yet Endo is choosing not to put them together w/ TSH of 3.89. <<~duuUuhH ! ! !

I'm 2.5 years into leveling Hypo-Thy meds & have seen 4 different Dr's. Like mid-west said, its amazing that sooo many of them (even so-called SPECIALISTS!) seem to know NOTHING about Thy care. They're CONTENT in shoving our square bodies into THEIR round holes of mis-guided medicine,,,

Keep on fighting FOR YOU and what you know is WRONG with your body

Sue

Last edited by Suey77; 06-08-2008 at 07:34 AM.

 
Old 06-08-2008, 10:31 AM   #7
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

Hypothyroidism is certainly not the explanation for every case of infertility. But it appears to be a strong suspect in your case... or at least, a significant contributing factor. It's a pity your ignorant MD doesn't recognize what's smacking him in the face. He's extremely backward in his thyroid/fertility knowledge. You would do well not to waste another penny on that man, much less risk the heartbreak of infertility for even another day.

Here are the facts:

The A A C E says that TSH above 3.0 is abnormal for most of the population. But many experts suggest that a woman trying to conceive be kept at even lower levels, in the 1.0 to 2.0 range, in order to meet the increased demand that pregnancy puts on the mother’s thyroid production early in pregnancy. The normal TSH level for pregnant woman without autoimmune thyroid disease is 0.9. A TSH of .9 is a far cry from the so-called "normal" TSH levels of 3 or 4 or 5 that some doctors - apparently including yours - feel are no problem whatsoever to getting -- or staying -- pregnant.

HypoT frequently disrupts the repro hormone balance which causes menstrual irregularities, lack of ovulation, short luteal phase, polycystic ovaries, and high prolactin levels. All of these cause or contribute to the failure to become pregnant.

Thyroid antibodies can cause high-normal (less than optimal) TSH levels, and interfere with placental attachment. It sounds as if you haven't even been tested for thyroid antibodies, right? The autoimmune type of hypoT caused by antibodies creates TSH values significantly higher, though still normal, in the first trimester than in women with healthy pregnancies used as study controls. A 1994, a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism proved that.

Even if you would manage to conceive with TSH near 4, it's unlikely that you could maintain it. And if you did, the baby would be at developmental risk, because you aren't making enough thyroid hormone for yourself, much less for a baby, too.

If you search for yourself at PubMed, you will find numerous studies regarding the minimum requirements for T4 to create and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor doesn't even seem to understand the need to test T4 at all, much less understand the bare minimum it must be for successful pregancy and childbearing.

You do need all of the following tests, despite what that "doctor" is telling you:
TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
Free T4
Free T3
Thyroid autoimmunity testing — tests for various antibodies against the thyroid — should also be done. These tests include:
Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Antibodies
Thyroglobulin/Antithyroglobulin Antibodies

I hope I helped you to understand how this man is not likely to help you. And I hope we'll be hearing from you within the next year that you are happily pregnant and thyroid-healthy.
Best of luck to you!

Last edited by midwest1; 06-08-2008 at 10:33 AM.

 
Old 06-08-2008, 11:25 AM   #8
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

Thank you so much for your replies! I am going to only one more appointment with with this doctor, I will have with me print outs of all of the reaserch about the new TSH ranges and will bring the book that I bought "Living Well With Hypothyroidism" by Mary Shomon. If he does not listen, I'll leave all of my papers with him in the hopes that he will actually listen to the next person in my position. I am tired of doctors that have such an arrogant attitudes and just can't listen to their patients. I just know that there is something else wrong with me, that is why I asked for a thyroid panel. I just know because it's my body.

Hypothyroidism just explains so many of my symptoms, where endometriosis alone never quite explained all of my problems. I feel like one of those stories on Discovery Health, where the patients diagnoised themselves. Now it's time to find someone who will listen, I am going to talk to the doctor to see if they are worth my time prior to even making a trip to them. I have a very busy schedule and don't like to waste time.

How long did it take any of you to regulate your thyroid once you found a decent doctor?

 
Old 06-09-2008, 08:12 AM   #9
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

Unfortunately I don't think our stories of stupid medical professionals are r a r e ! (some ?) Doctors act like GODS. Last time I checked this is MY BODY therefore I should have some say about medicine that I'll take for the rest of my life , , ,

6 weeks into my Thyroid care, I fired my primecare-Doc of 4+ years over her REFUSAL to let me medicate with Armour. All while KNOWING I was having horrid side-effects on levothyroxine & not offering an alternitive med! Doc#2 let me have Armour for a short while, but ended up being part of dumb & DUMBER also. Doc#3 (Osteopathic) was reasonable, but dropped the ball so I ended up seeing Endo. Endo (Doc#4) got me where I felt only OK - but wouldn't listen to my complaints that I didn't feel RIGHT. So I went back Doc#3 and had to BATTLE to get on Armour. (I prepared to pay $200 per visit out-of-pocket for another Endo, if Osteo kept w/ the TUDE - thankfully he reverted back into his OLD reasonable self)That was a little more than a year ago. And I'm glad I fought FOR ME .

That paragraph is highly edited Reader's Diegest version of the last 28 months of my life. If I ever wrote a book about my RoLLeRc0asTer Thyroid experiences, it'll be titled:
The Problem w/ N-O-R-M-A-L When a Doctor says NORMAL & you feel anything BUT that,,,

 
Old 07-01-2008, 08:47 PM   #10
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Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

Well, I went to an endocrinologist today and he is considering my TSH level of 3.89 to be something to check into. However, he didn't quite believe that my severe menstrual cramps may be an explaination of a thyroid issue. I don't agree as what I have read suggests that heavy bleeding and severe cramps could be signs of hypothyroidism. I did mention that to him and he didn't totally rule out that as a symptom and seemed to take that into consideration. I had my progesterone, testosterone, free T3 & T4, thyroid antibody and TSH tested. I was nervous at my appointment (I get easily stressed at doctors appointments - white coat syndrome) so I didn't cover everything that I wanted to talk to him about.

Another symptom that never really gets noticed at doctors offices is my slightly low blood pressure, since I get so stressed when I go to the doctors it goes up higher. My usual blood pressure ranges between 94/60 - 110/75, but at the doctors office it's around 120/80 - 140/90 due to my stress! My primary physican who I am very comfortable with is the only doctor who can measure my bp without me being stressed!

Hopefully, I will have some answers next week. I am so tired, figuratively and literally, of being passed over with my symptoms.

 
Old 07-03-2008, 07:47 AM   #11
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Cool Re: TSH level and past problems - need advice!

Glad the Endo thinks 3.89 is something that SHOULD be looked at.

Keep us posted

 
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