First welcome to our thyroid dysfunctional family. What you are doing for your wife is wonderful. It gives me hope that there are husbands out there willing to go to bat for their wives. I can't make heads or tails out of the test results we got from the doctor.
They can be greek to most. But they are easy to figure out with a bit of study. We can help you here.
My mother in law had thyroid cancer and had to have surgery (she's 50)
Okay, what type of thyroid cancer? Some are genetically dominant these are RARE 1% of thyroid cancers. Most are slow growing and cured completely with NO sign of re-occurrence after the TT and RAI.
My wife soon developed symptoms of thyroid disorder.
How old is your wife and have you had children with in the last five years? When you have generational manifestation of thyroid issues you need to look toward the genetically dominant AI thyroid disorders Hashimoto's and Graves. Initially her (wife) TSH level was 0.072 below the .3 minimum level. She went in again a month later to have it tested and it was completely opposite and to tell you the truth, shocking.
Her TSH came back GREATER THAN 100 (RESULT VERIFIED) Thats 20 times higher than normal. How the heck does that happen? Standard range is 0.3-5.5 uIU/mL.
This occurs in Graves and EARLY Hashimoto's. Graves hyper stimulates the thyroid with TSI/TRAb antibodies.. this is like running and engine full out. If you do this to a thyroid for years it tends to burn out and die. You can be hyperthyroid one month and hypothyroid the next. In the case of Hashimoto's. Your body sees the thyroid production of T4 as a virus and develops antibodies to kill the virus.. unfortunately this means the thyroid tissue is attacked and obliterated, The rate that this occurs at depends on the antibody level. The higher the antibody level the quicker the slaughter. Early on when you have a LOT of thyroid with RICH stores of T4.. a massive tissue attack and destruction phase results in massive floods of T4 into your system. When this occurs you get flares of hyperthyroid spikes followed by hypothyroid lulls then a repeat. It is a wonderfully horrid hyperT/hypothyroid roller coaster ride. Her T3 came back TOTAL 60 (lower than the 70 min)
Her FREE THYROXINE was only 0.27
This is a clear indicator that thyr thyroid is dead.. kaput. And the source is clearly determined... But this is the shocker, her THYROID PEROXIDASE AB came back GREATER THAN 6500. But the acceptable range is 0.0-60 U/ML. So does that mean her levels are 100 times normal????
Yes your wife is 100x normal in antibodies. SHE HAS HASHIMOTO"S thyroiditis, a highly active case too. Given the month destruction of the thyroid.. high antibody levels were expected.
How bad is it?
Well thyroid antibody levels flux. I have both Graves and Hashimoto's antibodies. My levels only reached 2000.. that I know of. But at 2000 I felt like a cow patty that had been tossed into a fan and let fly. It has taken a year for my thyroid to be killed off.
Please help as I am worried.
This makes me want to swap you with my husband... but enough of that. You do not hve anything to worry about. If you annd your wife present a united front and stay on top of her MDs and her care she can live a normal.. OPTIMAL life. What kind of treatments would be necessary? Would it hurt? Does it really make your hair fall out?
SHe is going to need thyroid supplementation and constant thyroid monitoring from here on out. She will also require special treatment during pregnancies. Supplementation is done by taking a T4 supplement once a day of a T4/T3 combination twice a day. Swallowing the pills does not hurt. Symptoms do to under/over treating can cause pain and aggravations. Hair can fall out due to low thyroid hormone levels, low ferritin, and initiating thyroid supplementation. Normally it is heavy shedding and treatment allows for the lost hair to grow back. I have hair that is so long I sit on it.
I need to get it cut.. but I hate to get it cut.. so I let it grow. My hair is not as thick as it used to be.. but my thyroid hormone levels are not optimal yet.
I have a series of thyroid care and concern threads that I think you will find helpful. Get your wife on here as well. We all can help each other and learn from each other. But from my personal experience as a Hashi's/Graves/hypoadrenal/hypoglycemic/InsulinResistant/PCOS patient.. dang that is getting long.. and my mom and her four sisters all have thyroid AIs as well this is what I would press to have done:
Basically your wife is about to start a supplemental regime:
1) Given her mom's thyroid cancer history and her Hashimoto's I would recommend a thyroid ultrasound. This will let the MDs and you see if there are any nodules or suspected thyroid growth areas that need watching. This doesn't hurt and takes about 45 minutes. If a nodule of 1 cm in dimension is detected a thyroid biopsy of that nodule should be perfomed. Depending on the biopsy results a partial or total thyroidectomy may be recommended.
2) Start on 50 mcgs T4 increase by 25 mcgs every 2 -4 weeks testing TSH(3rd generatiion/sensitive), Free T3, and Free T4 until 100 mcgs is reached. Hold at 100 mcgs for 4-6 weeks test TSH(3rd generatiion/sensitive), Free T3, and Free T4. Now depending on the Ft3 and Ft4 ratio as titration progress adrenal or thyroid hormone conversion testing may be needed.
3) Your wife should be taking a multivitamin with Selenium in it. This is known to help lower the thyroid antibodies. Do not take more the 200 mcgs. Too much Se is toxic to us. A little goes a long way.
4) Test for malabsorption issues: besides a standard metabolic panel your wife needs to follow her Ferritin, vit D, B12, and Magnesium levels. All of things can be effected by being hypothyroid.
I have also been testing my antibody levels every 3-6 months.. just to see what they are doing. It will be fine the URLs for my thyroi care and concerns threads are:
My relevant Threads Summary:
Week 5 Thyroid Care and Concerns Around the World - Week 5!
Humm.. this was a rambler. We went over a few things old and new. Peruse at your leisure, if you so desire. More on physical and pulmonolgy effects.. as well as medicine and adrenal questions and my opinions.
Week 3 and 4 of my Thyroid care and concerns thread series: Thyroid care concerns around the world - week 3
This thread has a lot of discussion on the mental(cognitive), genetic probabilities, and physical effects (cardiological and pulmonary to name a few) of thyroid disorders. Look into it if you are interested.
Week 2 of my Thyroid care and concerns thread series: Thyroid care concerns around the world - week 2
This thread is jam packed with information on my ideas and opinion of what optimal and basic thyroid care should be.. accuracy of testing.. necessity of testing.. TSH suppression.. TPOAb and TSI effects and mechanisms.. Latest TSH range.. change in 2006 to 0.3-2.5! It is a lot of good stuff. It is a must read for all you getting started and questioning, “Am I getting the care I deserve?” For most the answer is “NO, I am not!”
Week 1 of my thyroid care and concerns series.. Thyroid care concerns around the world - week 1
you can read a bit about me and my story.. it continues on in the following weeks.. as well as others. It also goes into why I feel and will keep up with these weekly threads as long as I am permitted.
Also Thyroid Care and Concerns Around the World - Part 7 - TT or RAI
is my week 7 thread on RAI versus thyroidectomy, it covers cancer risks and more... Thyroid Care and Concerns – Endocrine Balance Issues
.. this deals with adrenal, malabsorption(ferritin) issues and more.. since most of us have more that just thyroid issues crop up as time goes by. My MFMs Facts and Myths on hypoT/Hashimoto's pregnancies.
.. this is my thread on pregnancy facts and myths regarding hypothyroidsm/hashimoto's.
I hope that all my research helps and THANK-YOU for caring for your wife. It will be fine.