I'm new here. A little background - I had my first child a year ago in July. After he was born, I lost quite a bit of weight without trying, then all of a sudden, it stopped and I developed post-partum depression. After another month or so, I started gaining weight no matter how much I exercised or how closely I followed a diet.
My doctor performed several thyroid tests over this period of time (a total of 4) and while all the tests confirmed my hormone levels were in the "normal" range, they indicated that at first they were close to hyper, then mid, then hypo, when I started gaining my weight. So since my tests were in the normal range but I was still having symptoms of hypo (weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, depression, irregular menstrual cycles) my doctor referred me to an endocrinologist.
He did another round of TSH and free-T4 tests, as well as a thyroid antibodies panel, dx'd me with "post-partum thyroiditis" and set me up an appt for a year. I get a call a day later from the endo's office telling me that my TSH and free-T4 tests were ideal, BUT my antibodies were highly elevated at 214 (I was told by them that their normal range is 0.0 to 9.0) and changed my appt to come back for a repeat in 6 months instead of the year. He didn't advise any treatment right now. But I am miserable. Is it possible that the antibodies are making me feel this way? Should I call and insist on further testing?
are you talking about anti-thyroid antibodies? i'm guessing there are many different antibodies, and i'm not sure which one your doctor is talking about.
ALWAYS get copies of your labwork. you can get them from your doc or your lab.
if you have anti-thyroid antibodies, for example, it would mean you have hashimoto's, not just post-partum thyroiditis. i'm just not sure which antibodies we're talking about exactly, and that would be important.
in any case, if you're feeling miserable, a 6 month follow-up isn't sufficient. you need some answers.
It was a "TPOAb" test - thyroid peroxidase antibody and the result is 214.1 IU/mL, so I'm not real sure if it's "antithyroid" antibodies or just thyroid antibodies... I'm so new at this and to be quite honest it's overwhelming...
My endo didn't really give an explanation, only told me to come and repeat the test in 6 months.
Find a different doctor. You should be treated now. Endos are notorious for denying the number and severity of symptoms that thyroid levels just a bit off can cause. (Of course, that's because they don't understand the difference between "a little off" and "way off".) Your TSH and free T4 may not be as "ideal" as they think. Request a photocopy of all lab results for you to see for yourself.
Call the offices of the new MDs you're considering. Find out if they treat Hashimoto's thyroiditis when symptoms are present, even before all levels move out of range. There are MDs and DOs who will do that; the challenge is to find one. It can be done, though.
You don't have to suffer while that endo sits on his hands.
ETA omitted words, ... number and severity "of symptoms"
Thanks for your input. I really needed some reassurance before I call my endo back and request addt'l tests. I would call a new one myself, but my insurance requires a referral, and my regular doctor referred me to this one....
Is there any tests in particular I should ask for? Or just tell him what I've told you and see what he suggests?
Again, I really appreciate any input you can give. I am so oblivious to this stuff.
the main ones are Free T3, Free T4, TSH, TPOab, and TgAB. you should be tested for all of those.
those will show the levels of 'active' thyroid hormones in your blood and also prove that you have autoimmune hypo/hashimoto's. with your symptoms, and high TPOab already established, i'll bet your Free's are out of whack too.
get assertive with your endo and don't be intimidated. your going to have to educate yourself, and educate them as well. lots of folks here have gone/are going through this, and there are some great books out there about thyroid diseases and how endos have the well-earned reputation of not listening to their thyroid patients. keep pushing.
I went in to see my regular doctor for a checkup and told her about my endo visit and also showed her my lab results with the high score on TPOAb and explained that I was still feeling like crud. She was concerned about him not taking any kind of action, so she's referring me to a different endo. I go in Oct. So, slowly, but surely, I'm on my way to feeling better....
Stress the fact hat you are a woman of childbearing age. You need proactive treatment of your Hashimoto's thyroidits. However if it makes you feel better antibody levels of 200 are high.. but not extremely HIGH. I have had levels 2000 in origin. I felt like crude as well. My first Endo blew me off too. My TSH was too normal. By doing such that Endo let my bod lay waste to my adrenal glands and run havock with many other important systems. Waiting on an Endo may not be your best result. I went through 5 MDs until I found an integrative medicine Internal medicine MD to treat me. In three months she and I have caught and begun to fix what should have been done 5 years ago.
I have a couple of posts I composed during my research period. I think they will help you with your MDs and general knowledge. Take a look at these threads when you get a chance.
Thanks MG, I will be sure and take a look at those. I don't know if it's related, and probably never will as I never had my thyroid checked until AFTER the birth of my son, but I suffered an early m/c in 06, and had severe swelling issues while pregnant with my son, I was induced 2 weeks early for his size (9lbs5oz).
I'm going to be very forward with the new endo and stress the fact that I may not be done having children, and I want this fixed already!
My latest Endo granted that a femal of childbearing age should be on thyroid meds with Hashimoto's It is known to reduce antibodies as well as help with symptoms. Miscarriages and other complications are very common with thyroid dysfunctional patients. My one and only pregnancy was HADES! My OB didn't bother to test me even after I requested it DURING my pregnancy. My Family history was of little consequence and my TSH was normal.. well that may be.. but a DANGED TSH is not everything. I really can get boiling over TSH huggers.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.