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Old 07-22-2010, 05:25 PM   #1
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Low Thyroid and Asthma Symptoms

Was anyone diagnosed or have had asthma like symptoms and then found out you had low thyroid? Also, why is it that many primary care physicians will ignore a low reading on a lab, even when patients complain of symptoms, but a gyn will usually follow up with it?
what is it that they know that a primary care doesn't? I have developed asthma over a three year period and never had it bother me before...I have been telling the doctor to test my tsh for about that time, and always got a call back that said normal, except when my gyn did the same test...then I went back to the primary care doctor, and had it done there to see if it would be different...they called and said normal....when I got the paperwork to take to the gyn, it didn't say normal, it was low.....

Are they ignoring women's symptoms and chalking them up to menopause, empty nest, and getting old?

 
Old 07-23-2010, 10:21 AM   #2
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Re: Low Thyroid and Asthma Symptoms

Thyroid test results are a 'language' unto themselves. An MD has to speak the language to interpret what they mean. Most don't know how. Most don't even order the best tests in the first place. They're taught that TSH is the gold standard for diagnosis. It definitely isn't. TSH can be "normal" long after the actual thyroid hormones have become deficient.

In short, it's a matter of opinion just who is hypothyroid and who isn't. Women - especially those of a "certain" age - are often not given the best medical care, but are shuffled off with a buh-bye and a script for antidepressants in hand. Thank heavens for the internet. With education and by sharing personal experiences, we are learning not to accept such shoddy care.

If your doctors are only testing your TSH, insist on tests for free T4, free T3 and antibodies, as well. If they refuse, find better doctors.

 
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Old 07-23-2010, 12:37 PM   #3
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Re: Low Thyroid and Asthma Symptoms

Hi Midwest, thanks for the reply, if I were to look on lab paperwork, what would it typically say if the doctor did do the antibody test for thyroid? anything in particular?

I have noticed that with the Armour I have been taking for 3 weeks, I seem to have fuzzier thinking and about an hour after taking it in the a.m., I feel very fatigued.....my memory was normally better before I started taking it, I also have noticed more depression....while I am also dealing with upping my estrogen patch (vivelle), I wonder if the Armour is just not agreeing with me....it is 25 mg., and this is the second time I tried to take it, the first time in April, I didn't feel right on it then either, went off till I could talk to my gyn better about it....took another lab test, and so trying it now again, it's been three weeks..

I have read others speak about synthetic and how hard they can be, this Armour came from a compounding pharmacy in another state that my gyn deals with.....they claim it is supposed to be more agreeable, but I am wondering if I should be feeling this after 3 weeks?

Shouldn't I feel something more? as in more energy, better thinking....more interest and not such a unfocused feeling? I have noticed that I have lost about 3 lbs. in 3 weeks....I was 155 when I started the meds....and wonder if that is healthy to lose that much weight so fast, while not even exercising...no energy to exercise....

do you have any thoughts? or anyone else?

 
Old 07-23-2010, 02:12 PM   #4
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Re: Low Thyroid and Asthma Symptoms

I had asthma diagnosed a few years before the thyroid. I wonder if there is a connection since they are both autoimmune disorders. The allergist says no.

 
Old 07-26-2010, 06:19 PM   #5
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Re: Low Thyroid and Asthma Symptoms

Sara, I think I may have had a slight asthma reaction once when I was a teenager, but have not been bothered with any symptoms, and I am 53...I first noticed a tightness in 08, last year it started in July and went on till about Oct....and then it started again in July this year...

I had been asking the doctor about TSH testing and mentioning that I had identified many of the low thyroid symptoms we often read about, something just wasn't right with me, but the menopause issue always came up too...

I do believe that if they really did some statistics on it, they would find people who have dealt with this issue as well, but, I believe they rely on the fact that so many people will develop asthma and not have any thyroid problems.....

But I have to say, my allergy issues were never a problem, as my thyroid symptoms worsened, so did the allergy and now asthma issues....even though mine didn't read terribly low, I believe if a person is experiencing extraordinary symptoms, it needs to be addressed....I certainly did not want to start medication unless it was needed, which is why I had several tests...to make sure that it wasn't misread ..

I did start allergy shots last year, but I felt worse on them, and it actually made the asthma worse...I believe if your glands and hormones are out of sync, nothing is going to work correctly when it comes to preventive meds...

It's funny how we read things on reliable medical websites, but doctors don't seem to know these facts...or they put a different spin on it...

 
Old 07-26-2010, 08:53 PM   #6
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Re: Low Thyroid and Asthma Symptoms

Quote:
Originally Posted by SureBett View Post
Hi Midwest, thanks for the reply, if I were to look on lab paperwork, what would it typically say if the doctor did do the antibody test for thyroid? anything in particular?
The antibody tests are named something like these:
TPO antibody or thyroperoxidase antibody or Anti-TPO Ab
Tg antibody or thyroglobulin antibody or Anti-Tg Ab
The results will read with a < or > sign, and the reference ranges have a < sign with a number following as the norm.

There will be an adjustment period for nearly everyone who starts thyroid hormone. I've heard reports such as yours but can't say it was true for me. Replacement thyroid hormone doesn't alter body chemistry like other Big Pharma moneymakers do, so I can't explain things such as fuzzy-headedness just from taking thyroid hormone. Almost all side effects are related to dosage imprecision. Symptoms of hypoT can and do often become worse as the body adjusts to having more of the hormone it's been lacking for a long time. It's not that I don't believe you're having those effects; I just can't explain them.

If you're trying to increase your estrogen at the same that you're trying to adjust to thyroid hormone, it's frankly confusing your body. All hormones interplay with each other in a delicate balance. Fluctuating estrogen levels interfere with thyroid balance in a big way. Excess estrogen stifles thyroid function, but waning estrogen causes issues too. I don't know enough about this interplay to recommend anything specific regarding how to proceed. But I do know that the estrogen patch might be interfering with thyroid treatment.

Such a small, starting dose of thyroid won't produce much in the way of symptom alleviation very soon. It just isn't enough to increase your blood level of the free thyroid hormones, T4 and T3. Each new dose must be taken for about 4-6 weeks, blood levels taken, and the dose gradually increased until T4/T3 rise above the lab range median and symptoms are relieved. It's a slow, sometimes tedious process, and it requires a patient patient. A tiny dose such as yours can have the effect of lowering TSH without increasing T4/T3 at all. The decrease in TSH then switches down your own natural thyroid function, leaving you with even less T4/T3 than you had when untreated. The best way to treat hypothyroidism is to gradually increase the dose enough so the natural gland function gets turned off and the exogenous hormone becomes all you then need. If your MD's intention is to keep your dose at this same low level indefinitely, it's a bad plan that will not work. Just so you know.

If by chance you give the Armour a fair trial but feel worse all the time while being patient and trying to adjust, it might be that you have adrenal fatigue. It's probably the primary cause of intolerance to thyroid treatment. I can't tell you any more than that about it, just that not all MDs recognize it as a "real" ailment even though all of the thyroid preparations contain prescribing information to test adrenal function when thyroid intolerance is an issue.

Natural thyroid is said to have a diuretic effect. Perhaps the 3 pounds was water weight? I don't know; personally, my weight varies by up to 3 pounds in any given day, depending on how much salt I eat or how much I perspire. I do know that 1 pound per week is not at all unsafe. I've been told so by a registered dietician.

 
Old 08-08-2010, 03:10 PM   #7
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Re: Low Thyroid and Asthma Symptoms

Hi Midwest, thanks for the reply....I do go back to get my lab work done in about a week, and then an appt with the doctor, who by the way is my gyn...who works with many women with this situation who has reached a level of fatigue that many of their doctors are putting off to just menopause and not giving any treatment at all....

I will say that things have improved with the Armour thyroid...I am not going to give the upper dose of estrogen patch the credit, because I am not sure it has the ability to take one out of a severe fatigue state such as what I was in....I have used the patch for awhile and know that it is not something that gives me a lot of energy, just keeps hot flashes at bay....

I believe that I did have some water weight loss, because it does feel like some days I am carrying around 5 extra lbs of weight, it just fluctuates....with the heat and extra water intake, I guess that is normal...

I have read where some people have said they gained weight on thyroid meds, which doesn't sound good, I do know that added weight puts so much stress on my feet and calves, but at the same time, I think if the fatigue is under control and your quality of life improves, some weight gain may not be a big issue....

I am going to mention to the doctor that I have read many posts about increasing the dosage of the med to get the best results....just so she knows that I am aware of that...

I am confused by one thing though...I read somewhere that once a person takes a thyroid med that their thyroid stops working and depends on the medication....I just wonder if this is why my doctor didn't see the need to send me to an endo to evaluate my symptoms and thyroid reading...even though it was not in his opinion to be a strong number, I was having some pretty bad symptoms....

I suppose once a person starts this treatment, it is pretty much something they must keep up....and my concern is about the Armour, which some have said is hard to come by....if that is the case, I wonder about hospitals access to getting it, and if someone is hospitalized, would they be able to get the med or depend on the person bringing it from home....

I will say that this treatment was one that I wished I had never had the need to start, it is one of those things that you just wish you could avoid....

any thoughts?

 
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