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Old 02-08-2009, 05:02 PM   #1
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How long does it take for a person to be diagnosed & treated for Hypothyroidism?

I haven't been feeling very well for a long time. I'm only 32 years old, but I feel like an old lady already. My previous doctor, who was a physicians' assistant, diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia. Now I have a new doctor (internal medicine, M.D.) who did all these tests to rule out other, more serious things - rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, Lupus, etc...all negative.

On 1/29, I went in and he was concerned because my heart rate was 140 and my blood pressure was up a little bit. He did an ultrasound of my thyroid and an EKG, but didn't find anything wrong. They drew my blood and my TSH is 0.93 (s/b 0.34-4.82) which he marked as 'good' and my Free T4 is 0.50 (s/b 0.59-1.17). How reliable are these tests? It seems like doctors classify everyone as the same and don't care about your symptoms. He wants to wait three months and test it again (no treatment at this point). I can't imagine feeling like this for three more months! My hope is that maybe this thyroid thing is what's really wrong and it's not Fibromyalgia, because Fibromyalgia isn't treatable. So, I'm going in tomorrow to talk to him about it. I'm wondering if I should demand to be treated? Here are my symptoms...

- headaches (mostly tension ones), occasionally migraines
- losing coordination in my hands (picking up things is getting difficult)
- shaky and nervous all the time
- my voice/throat get scratchy and hoarse a lot
- I feel very irritated and annoyed all the time, like I could just explode over the tiniest things (my co-worker's chair squeaking, certain people's voices, people 'gabbing' too much at work, etc...)
- skin is always itchy and irritated, dry
- haven't had much of an appetite for the last couple weeks (previously I ate all the time, food was like my 'friend', but not lately)
- have been steadily gaining weight for the last couple years
- absolutely no energy, can barely get myself out of bed in the morning, crawl back in bed as soon as I get home from work (I get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, so it can't be lack of sleep)
- stiff and sore all the time, can't even kneel down anymore because it hurts my knees and I can barely get back up
- seems like I'm losing more hair than usual (my hair is long and I know it's normal to lose some of it, but lately my drains have been clogging up, which never happened before)
- I cry VERY easily, it's so embarrassing!

Sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy! Any advice would really be appreciated.
Thank you!

 
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:33 AM   #2
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Re: How long does it take for a person to be diagnosed & treated for Hypothyroidism?

The tests are accurate as far as they go. The rest depends on the knowledge and skill of the MD to interpret the test results. Clearly, yours is not very skilled, or he would know that a free T4 level below the lab range is a problem that needs to be addressed NOW, not re-evaluated in 3 months. He is likely operating on the false assumption that because your TSH is frustratingly "normal" that the free T4 is moot. He's wrong.

If you feel strongly enough that you want treatment now, you should push the issue that you don't want to wait any longer. You may also want a referral to an endocrinologist to find out why your TSH isn't registering the need for more free T4 as it should be. That could indicate a pituitary dysfunction that isn't sending a signal to your thyroid gland to make more hormone.

Get yourself a copy of Thyroid for Dummies from your public library or bookstore. It explains the basics very well. It should help you understand how a healthy thyroid should work and what happens when it doesn't.

Good luck in getting the treatment you need before you have to suffer much longer.

 
Old 02-09-2009, 10:30 AM   #3
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Re: How long does it take for a person to be diagnosed & treated for Hypothyroidism?

You have all the symptoms of low thyroid (Hypothyroidism). Have you considered bioidentical thyroid hormones? They're natural hormones made to fit your body without the side effects (i.e. cancers). If you're in Minnesota, Dr. Khalid Mahmud in Edina, MN is an expert on bioidentical hormone replacement. If you need more information, get Susanne Somers' book "Breakthrough" Eight Steps to Wellness. It has a lot of information on how your thyroid works and treatments for it.

Last edited by moderator2; 02-09-2009 at 02:22 PM. Reason: posted disallowed website(s)

 
Old 02-09-2009, 11:34 AM   #4
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Re: How long does it take for a person to be diagnosed & treated for Hypothyroidism?

Oh, thank you so much for both of your comments! I'm rather new to this whole thing and don't know much about it. I definitely need to do some research and appreciate your suggestions.

 
Old 02-11-2009, 07:32 AM   #5
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Re: How long does it take for a person to be diagnosed & treated for Hypothyroidism?

If the endo doesnt help you or of you have to wait for months to get in to see him, try to get an appt with your gyno. Sometimes they are alot better at hormone issues than the endo's .Most endos that I have come across always go by tsh and don't look at the frees at all. Don't let it wait any longer though because things will just get worse, you definately nedd thyroid hormone with the free t4 being below the level.
kathy

 
Old 03-12-2009, 09:54 AM   #6
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Re: How long does it take for a person to be diagnosed & treated for Hypothyroidism?

Wow we are clones, I have been having fibro/thyroid symptoms for about 8 to 10 years, and I swear, I think I will be in a wheelchair before long If something isn't done. I have not been able to kneel or squat down because of knee pain in 8 yrs. I have seen two Neurologists, they have ruled out Fibromayalgia because I have no tender points. The Rehumatologist suggested maybe I have Restless leg syndrome. My back doctor said all my MRI's were good. All my bloodwork shows TSH normal range .79. I am seeing an endocoronist this week, and praying he will help me. Hang in there and don't give up, from what you posted, I feel you could be hypo. Heres my symptoms list:

Tingling, numbness in legs and feet
Sharp electric type pain in feet
Fatigue and weakness
Low Basal Body Temperature averages 96.7
Skin feels cold to touch, I freeze when everyone else feels warm.
I have to use electric heaters, & extra clothing even in Summer.
I never sweat no matter how hot it is.
Dry, Itchy Skin, (On my Back, head and legs mostly)
Thin spots in hair (these areas itch all the time)
Heart palpations,
Extreme weakness in legs, have difficulty climbing stairs, squatting, walking
high blood pressure
Dry coarse hair (won't perm)
Cold feet and legs
Unable to exercise without extreme leg/foot pain and exhaustion
Some weight gain
Bloating in Upper abdomen
Depression/ panic attacks
Poor memory, forgetfulness
hand tremors
Difficulty Concentrating
Muscle cramps in feet and legs, sometimes fingers
Thinning of eyebrows (outer half)
Tightness/Pressure in Chest (front and back)
Joint pain/stiffness (especially knees and toes)
chemical sensitivity
dry burning eyes
Difficulty Staying Asleep.
Frequent Urination (about every hour day and night)
Drowsy all the time. Difficult to drive without falling to sleep.
Difficulty hearing
Ringing in ears
blurred vision at times.
corporal tunnel symptoms (pain, mostly in thumbs and palms)
burning tongue and lips

 
Old 03-12-2009, 10:38 AM   #7
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Re: How long does it take for a person to be diagnosed & treated for Hypothyroidism?

Just because your doctor is an internist, doesn't mean that handles many thyroid patients.

1st he didn't test your free T3. My endo (thyroid specialist) says that my free T3 tells him how I'm feeling, free T4 is only a small part of the picture

2nd your T4 is out of range and you have all of the symptoms described for hypothyroid. That alone should be enough.

3rd, find a new endo now. When you start your medicine, you will need someone who has their head on straight to regulate it. Otherwise you may never get better. Do some research, ask around and find out who is the best in town.

 
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