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Old 10-01-2008, 12:17 PM   #1
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Hypothyroid/Hashi's? Questions!

Sorry - this post is a bit long! My mom was diagnosed with Hashi's back in February, and her doctor suggested that I get tested because it often runs in families. After reading up on it, I thought there was a good chance I either was hypothyroid, or was developing it, due to a lot of symptoms I have that include but are not limited to:

-Fatigue and exhaustion - I can barely get out of bed in the morning, and require a nap every day
-Always cold, but also intolerant to heat and have low body temperature
-Low blood pressure
-Frequent sore throat and hoarseness
-Extremely dry skin
-Hair loss
-Confusion/mental fog
-Stomach issues
-Bruise easily
-Joint/muscle pain
-Frequent (often daily) headaches and migraines
-Low immunity and frequent infections

So, I went to see an endocrinologist back in March and she was very thorough and ran a bunch of panels (metabolic, heavy metals, etc.) but only ran TSH and Antithyroglobulin for thyroid. Everything came back normal or in the normal range, except for my vitamin D. In March, my vitamin D, 25 hydroxy was 24.2 (32-100 range) and my TSH was 3.281 (.350-5.5 range). My Antithyroglobulin Ab test came back at <20 (0-40 range).

Based on the results, I started taking 1000 iU of vitamin D daily, and decided that I must be lazy and the symptoms were all in my head and I needed a healthier lifestyle. I live in San Francisco so was already getting quite a bit of exercise by walking around a lot, and ate pretty healthfully, but I added in more exercise and cut out most unhealthy food. I tried to stop taking naps thinking they might be interfering with my sleep at night and making me more tired during the day. The upshot was that without the naps, I was more tired than ever, and by adding in the exercise, I was about ready to collapse by 7 PM every night. I kept up this routine for 5 months, thinking I was out of shape and unhealthy and just needed to continue working at it. I also figured some of my issues were related to my getting older since that's what some doctors had implied when I asked about it a couple years back (by the way, did I mention I'm 27?)

After a bout with a random fever that I appeared to get for no reason (my temperature shot up from 97 to 99.8 for two days, with no other symptoms), I stumbled across the new TSH ranges while researching fever with low body temperature. Since all of my symptoms had been getting worse despite the diet, exercise, and change in sleeping habits, I made another appointment with the endo. She told me that the new TSH range didn't apply to me, but agreed when I asked if it was possible that this range was not normal for me, and offered up (to my shock and delight after reading these forums!) Levoxyl 50 mcg. She also re-ran the Antithyroglobulin Ab test and ran a Free T3 and TPO Ab test (but didn't run Free T4 or TSH this time, which I unfortunately didn't notice until I got the results). I just got the results for these, which were:

Free T3: 3.0 (2.3-4.2)
TPO Ab: <10 (0-34)
Antithyroglobulin Ab: <20 (0-40)

These were taken before I started the Levoxyl. So... how does this look? Is the T3 number okay? She unfortunately uses the dreaded "normal" ranges so says it's fine. Also, I'm a little confused with the antibodies, even though they're in range. Does this mean I'm developing Hashi's, or is it really normal to have low levels of both these antibodies?

I actually am feeling a lot better since starting the Levoxyl. I felt horrible for the first twelve days and actually had all of my symptoms get worse (which made me really feel ill, as opposed to before when I just didn't feel "good") but the past three days I've been feeling better than I have in years. I still have some fatigue and headache issues, and my temperature issues aren't resolved yet, but I definitely have more energy and no longer feel like I'm 27 going on 60+ years old. I'm hoping this is a good sign!

Thank you for any advice and insight!

 
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Old 10-02-2008, 05:48 PM   #2
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Re: Hypothyroid/Hashi's? Questions!

It's surprising that you haven't tested positive for either antibody. The familial version of low thyroid is almost always autoimmune in origin. But testing negative does NOT mean you don't have Hashi's. Up to 20&#37; of Hashi's victims don't test positive for either antibody, but if biopsy were to be done, the condition would be obvious.

You must have both free T4 and free T3 done at each checkup. You can't know where you stand without both tests. The FT3 you report is just below the middle of its range, which is high enough for some people, but still may not be for you. If the FT4 is similarly so-so, it's unlikely these levels are optimal for you.

I can't tell when you started Levoxyl... Did you include a date for that? If it's very recently, it's too soon to tell if the dose will completely help you or not. It takes most people 6 months, or even longer, to optimize their levels and feel "normal" again. It took me exactly a year.

My best advice is to keep reading... An educated thyroid patient will know what to ask for and has less risk of being dictated to about what she "should" be feeling.

 
Old 10-03-2008, 05:38 PM   #3
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abbygirl26 HB User
Re: Hypothyroid/Hashi's? Questions!

Hi Midwest,

Thanks for your help! I've asked to have both Free's tested when I go in for new testing in December, so we'll see what turns up then. I started the Levoxyl on September 17, so it was very recent, but it seems like it's helping some now. My doctor told me I'd have to wait a couple months to see if it is the right dose. When I go in for new testing, should I have the blood drawn before or after taking the medication that day?

 
Old 10-04-2008, 10:25 AM   #4
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Re: Hypothyroid/Hashi's? Questions!

You have your blood drawn BEFORE you take your meds. If you have your meds drawn in the morning take you meds about an hour before you have your next meal.

 
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