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Old 08-13-2008, 09:33 AM   #1
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TSH 4.6 - I don't believe diagnosis

I apparenly have none of the symptoms of hypothyroidism that I've read about. My doctor recommends 25 mcg. daily of Synthroid. She wanted to start it a year ago when my TSH was 4.0 but I chose not to. My TSH went down (see below) and now is 4.6.

I just don't believe I need to take anything since I'm having absolutely no symptoms. Actually since my blood pressure used to be high and I've successfully lost weight and added exercise to my life recently it makes it even more difficult to believe.

I'd appreciate any input from anyone as to whether you agree with me or have an opinion as to why I should start the Synthroid. Thanks in advance...

Here's more details of my medical history:

51 yr old male, 5-11, 215 lbs.

TSH 4.0 July 2007, then 3.6 March 2008, now 4.6 August 2008
My younger sister (age 45) has been hypothyroid for several years. Her TSH was 139 at diagnosis. Her condition is under control with thryroid supplement.
My younger brother (almost 50) has no thyroid problems, nor do my parents (mother is age 79, father passed away 12 years ago at age 68 of liver cancer).

My energy level is fine. I'm not depressed. No dry skin. I've lost 12 pounds over the last 5 months - through diet and exercise. I've started running again for the first time in about 20 years.

I used to have trouble thinking and with memory, but I was diagnosed with ADD a few years ago and have been taking 40 mg Strattera and have been much improved. The ADD had been there my whole life (based on symptoms and experiences) but was never diagnosed.

I was diagnosed with high blood pressure in July 2007 (it was 172/120). It was a surprise since it had been normal 3 months before that. I'm taking 40 mg Benicar and 20 mg Dynacirc and it's been normal for 6 months now.

I was diagnosed with prostate cancer 3 years ago at age 48 (PSA 4.6). I had a radical prostatectomy and my PSA has been undetectable since.

Only other med is Protonix in the morning for excess stomach acid.

Again, any comments/suggestions would be VERY much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:32 AM   #2
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Re: TSH 4.6 - I don't believe diagnosis

Hello!

I am not too well-versed on thyroid issues since I was just diagnosed recently; however, I understand your situation because I also have a hard time believing I'm hypoT.

I had no symptoms other than dry eyes in the winter time - and that only happened during two winters - once right after my dad passed away and a couple of years later after another stressful time. I am thinking those incidents might be stress-related.

Anyway, I only started truly experiencing problems after my doc started giving me meds to take. In his defense, I went to him complaining of some things that might seem to be thyroid related (but could also have been anxiety) and my numbers looked a little high, I guess. My TSH was 3.5.

In response to your post, I would say maybe you should consider getting a second opinion. I know that people can be asymptomatic and still have relatively high numbers. I suppose the question is whether or not you want to remain untreated (assuming you even need treatment) and wait to see if symptoms develop.

Also, from what I have read from these very informed people here, you will need to now your T3 and T4 numbers in order to fully understand how your thyroid is functioning. It's only with those numbers that you will be able to determine if your thyroid is starting to malfunction.

Good luck to you and I hope that everything works out for you!

 
Old 08-13-2008, 10:48 AM   #3
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james_wv HB User
Re: TSH 4.6 - I don't believe diagnosis

Thanks momoffour.

I have told my doctor's office NOT to call in the Synthroid prescription at least until I talk to the doctor - hopefully she'll call me today. I will ask for a T3/T4 test.

So my next question is what exactly will that tell me? How do I make sense of those results? Is a thyroid antibody test also called for now?
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: TSH 4.6 - I don't believe diagnosis

David,

I'm sure you will get better information from some other people here but here is what I know, in very elementary terms:

T3 is secreted by the thyroid and T4 is converted to T3 by your body. I believe your T3/T4 levels and TSH levels affect each other (which seems obvious). Anyway, a raised TSH level is usually the first indicator that the the thyroid is starting to fail. If your TSH level is elevated, that indicates that your body is not producing enough T3/T4. Again, these is a very elementary explanation. Sorry. I am learning too.

I believe knowing your T3/T4 numbers will allow you to see if your thyroid is actually starting to fail and would explain symptoms, if you had any.

As for the antibody test, I think that is important because it tells you whether you have an autoimmune disease such as Hashi's. You should ask for this test as well.

In essence, the more information you have the better off you are. Whether you decide to get a second opinion or not, you will at least be very well-informed about what your body is doing.

Good luck and here's to hoping you don't have to take meds and that you remain symptom-free.

Kelly

 
Old 08-13-2008, 12:09 PM   #5
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Re: TSH 4.6 - I don't believe diagnosis

Thanks again. My sister told me last night she was a real mess when she was diagnosed. As I posted, her TSH was 139, which is apparently amazingly high.
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:36 PM   #6
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Re: TSH 4.6 - I don't believe diagnosis

First, keep in mind, the dose your doctor gave you was a teeny tiny starting dose----it wouldn't hurt if you tried it.

It might be that your TSH is a tad high (it's still in some ranges that doctors use), and your free t4 and free t3 are fine, and that's why you have no symptoms.

Personally, if I felt fine, I would fill the prescription, and then hold on to it. If I did suddenly get symptoms, I would try it, and in the meantime, I would have it checked regularly by a doctor---so if it does start climbing abnormally high, you will catch it before the symptoms get difficult like your sister.

It's interesting to read your post, because so many people here have the opposite problem, they want to try the meds because they have symptoms, but their doctors don't acknowledge the tsh being high enough.

But I agree with you, I wouldn't take the hormone if I felt great.

 
Old 08-13-2008, 01:37 PM   #7
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Re: TSH 4.6 - I don't believe diagnosis

For some reason, there are more men in your situation than women. Seems that men only get symptoms after their TSH becomes very high. Women usually have multiple and severe symptoms at a level of 4.

Just as a side note... Your TSH didn't actually fluctuate much at all between those tests. It fluctuates that much just in one day's time, let alone over months/years.

I'm with Reece on whether to take the hormone or not. One deciding factor would be whether your LDL cholesterol is high. HypoT is the second-leading cause of high LDL, and treating it would lower the cholesterol by several percentage points and preserve artery health.

Otherwise, if your free T4 and free T3 levels are at mid-range, I'd probably wait to treat. It seems clear, though, that you will one day have to supplement your hormone.

 
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