I read Tree Frogs history, and alot of it mirrored my own story. Recently I had yet another TSH test and it is currently at 1.74...I noticed Tree Frog was at 2 when she was finally able to get help. Is this reading low enough for a doctor actually to take me serious and get me some help? I did mention all my sympotms to my doctor and he said"We could try some thyroid, but I hate to rush into it." He is sending me to a endocinologist next month, but in the mean time, does anyone know if a General doc can order a TRH test that Tree Frog was talking about or if I have to wait for the endo? I'd like to be armed with test results when I go in so I don't have to wait any longer than necessary for treatment. Thanks for any info or help you can share. -enigma-
Welcome, enigma. Any doctor can order blood tests (even if they're for an area of the body that doctor does not specialize in). However, it is likely that your Endo will also want to order a panel of blood tests when you first discuss your symptoms -- even if you are able to present your historical lab results. It shouldn't take too long (a few days to a week) to determine if thyroid meds are needed.
TSH alone is not sufficient to get a complete picture of your health. Ask the Endo which tests he/she prefers. At a minimum they should also test your Free T3 and Free T4, and you can discuss the need for a TRH.
Our Information Archive thread discusses some of the more common blood tests and what they indicate. (Page 2 includes a post about the TRH.) There is also a list of questions to ask a new or potential new doctor that you may find helpful in your discussion with the new Endo.
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It may be helpful to bring a written symptoms list to that doctor's visit. The more information you can present, the better.
If your problems are thyroid-related, it can be a long process to balance your meds until your symptoms are alleviated. But be persistent and watch your body. Hang in there.
Thanks so much for answering, I was beginning to wonder if my message was too vauge.
I was treated for hypo when I was a teenager and then when I moved away to college and changed doctors I let my prescription laps and then could not afford the doctor to get the med updated. In the mean time, I guess enough time laps that I forgot about the thyroid all together and then was diagnosed with Lupus and Mixed Connective Tissue Disease...now I can't get them to stop fixating on the MCTD and get back to dealing with the Thyroid.....Frustrated to the point of just giving up. So thanks for giveing me some ammo in the form of information to take along with me. Anything else you can thing of that I should ask or inform me of would be great. Again, my sincere appreciation.
P.S. Enigma is what my GP calls me and my symptoms!!! Great guy, but he's over his head here admittedly and is reffering me to the Endo.
MCTD, Lupus, and other autoimmune disorders are sometimes related to thyroid disease, especially if the thyroid disease includes antithyroid antibodies.
I think you posted at a time when many of us have had turns of extreme busy-ness in our lives -- hence the slow response time. I've been swamped at work and had to step away from the board for a couple of weeks, and I've not seen much from the other frequent posters lately, so I assume their lives have become recently complicated as well.
Your TSH of 1.74 is within normal limits for most laboratories, but that doesn't mean you're not hypo (or hyper). If you do have thyroid antibodies, your TSH may not be at all revealing, because it tends to fluctuate with the antibodies. Symptoms can be fluctuate as well from hypo to hyper or a combination of both.
At a minimum, I would ask your new Endo to test your Free T3, Free T4, TSH and thyroid antibodies. You may also want a TRH test and some of the other blood tests available.
If possible, keep track of your symptoms and responses to treatment, medication & diet. It's a really good idea to keep a notebook with sections for your medications and doseage changes, symptoms, tests & results, doctor's recommendations, etc. It gives a much clearer picture of what's going on when you can refer back to how you treated a symptom you remember you've had previously, and gives you lots of info to present your doc.
In the meantime, if any questions come to mind, feel free to ask anything at all. There are tons of folks here to help.
Thanks for the reply. It will help me when I go to the Endo. Normally my temp runs about 97.3, but lately I've been hot and it's been running 99.8 for a couple months and joints are killing me. I will start a notebook as you suggested. Thanks for the help and the Lifeline from the frustration and feeling of giving up (which of course is not an option if I want to actually Live....and I desperately do. Give yourself a warm hug from me!!! -enigma-
Thanks for the reply, Tree Frog. It is a very busy time for everyone, including me. But the pain and fatigue, yet can't sleep for the life of me, is messing with my ability to keep up with my 2 businesses, 3 kids, husband and 47 acre ranch complete with animal care too. I'm really plunging into dispair, but thank God for this board and those that are giving me hope where I've found none before. Love you all out there. God Bless-enigma-
PS I feel so feverish today, but took my temp and it is 97.3 again and go from shaking chills to throwing off clothes but freezing again when I do???? Suppose this is all part of the thyroid thing, or at least a possibility, hu?
Hi enigma. I don't usually recommend supplements until someone can get to a doctor for baseline tests, but you sound so uncomfortable. Have you tried taking Maca? It's a Peruvian root similar to a turnip that supports the thyroid and adrenals. I take a brand called Royal Organic Maca (type that into a search engine and you can order it from the web), building slowly from 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of powder a day as tea until my symptoms were relieved. You can also take capsules - they're just more expensive.
Maca is the only thing that helped my body ache, fluctuating temperature and lack of energy & libido. It does not seem to help everyone, but I think it's quite useful for those of us with thyroid antibodies and/or adrenal fatigue. It's high in Selenium (also good for thyroid), which helps minimize the thyroid antibodies and sometimes eliminate them.
Usually I would suggest that you get baseline blood tests from a doctor first, get stabilized on your meds, and then try this supplement. But it is also possible to get stabilized on the supplement and then add meds to the mix afterwards. You'd probably have to adjust the meds when you started the supplement anyway.
I've posted some stuff about Maca in the Info Archive (Page 2 - 2/21/02 post), but there's also some good interviews on About.com from the woman who heads the company from which I purchase my Maca:
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Thanks for your concern. Yes, I am turely uncomfortable...haven't slept more than a few hours in the past 5 days and it's really wearing me down as you can imagine. I will take your advice on the Maca. Never heard of it before, but am looking forward to trying it. Thank you!!! -enigma-