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Old 06-12-2012, 07:38 PM   #1
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Unhappy Hi! New here, in need of help!

Hello everyone, I'm new here and I need help! This is going to be long so I will try to condense it as much as possible. A little about me, I'm a girl, 24 years old.

I've been having problems for around 2 years now. It first started with chest pain. I went to my regular doctor, who put me on prilosec, which did nothing, and then referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist ran several tests, including a stress test, ultrasound, etc, and said he found nothing.

I went back to my regular doctor a few months later because I was continuing to have chest pain, and also having severe joint pain. He said I had carpal tunnel syndrome and an anxiety disorder. He gave me xanex, which I took one of and quit taking after calling him because it was doing nothing but making me loopy. He also put me on prednisone and gave me wrists braces and told me to come back in 6 weeks. I went back, no improvement, and by then my hands had developed a rather bad tremor. I asked him (based on my family history, Dad is hypo and Mom is hyper), to test me for thyroid problems. He did, and found my t4 level to be high, put me on Metoprolol for my rapid heartbeat, and sent me to an endocrinologist.

(Whew this is long)

My endocrinologist gave me a thyroid ultrasound and found nodules, which he said was nothing to worry about. I went back to him a few more times to have blood tests, and was assured everything was fine. I was supposed to have another ultrasound 6 months later (this past April) but was unable to make it. I called and cancelled the appointment and was going to call back to reschedule. Before I could do that, he had sent me a letter stating that I was at a high risk for cancer, and needed to be monitored. News to me.

Before I could reschedule my appointment, I ended up in the ER. Severe stabbing chest pain. After the round of tests they told me my TSH was very high, and my thyroid function was low, and to follow up with my regular doctor.

So we're back to doctor number one. I go to see him, and he acts like he's never seen me in his life, never heard any of the problems I'm telling him about. What?? Anyway, he takes blood, and my t4 is high. He tells me I am hyperthyroid, and he will treat me, and refuses to refer me to a different specialist. I'm beyond frustrated by now.

I made an appointment on my own with a different endocrinologist. That appointment was today (6.12.12). I took the results from the ER and my last blood test showing the high t4. He looked at them and I told him my medical history, and did a physical exam, and said my thyroid was enlarged and that I was hyperthyroid. He prescribed me Synthroid 50mg to take once daily beginning tomorrow.

So here's my big question, and I may be confused, but if my thyroid is high, why do I need to take Synthroid? Isn't that for low thyroid function?

I'm sorry that this is so long, but I'm so tired and confused. 2 years of running around, trying to get better, feeling progressively worse, and I could just cry. If anyone has time to read this and give me any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.

 
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:08 PM   #2
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Re: Hi! New here, in need of help!

"Thyroid high" or "low" is such an ambiguous term, it's no wonder you're confused. It means little, depending on what particular test is being discussed.

High total T4 is often of no concern at all in women. Do you by chance use estrogen birth control? That alone would cause high total T4. High free T4 is a whole other matter and is the very essence of hyperthyroidism.

When TSH is high, in most situations it means your thyroid hormones are low. Synthroid or other replacement thyroid hormone types or brands is the proper treatment in order to raise the low thyroid hormone levels. Doctors often say, "Your thyroid is high" when they actually mean "Your TSH is high". That's imprecise, but they do it all the time. (There are times when high TSH can be coupled with normal thyroid hormone levels, but those are much more uncommon.)

It would be best if you get hard copies of the tests you've had so we can directly interpret them for you instead of trying to decipher the verbal information you've gotten so far. With thyroid disease, it's always best to get a hard copy of every lab report that's done. You can't always trust the interpretation your MD makes.

I have seen at least one instance here on this board where a hypERthyroid person was given Synthroid, which would have made her even more hyper and increased her risks of serious hyperthyroid complications. She sought a different doctor's opinion and was, last I heard, being treated appropriately. I'm not saying that's what your MD has done; I think it's just miscommunication in your case, but medical error can never be ruled out.

You can, if you choose, postpone taking the Synthroid until you get the copy of that lab report and post its results here (with lab reference ranges for each test). We can help you determine the meaning of each result so you can be more confident that you're getting good care.
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Last edited by midwest1; 06-12-2012 at 09:14 PM.

 
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
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Re: Hi! New here, in need of help!

midwest1, thank you for replying!

I do take birth control, it's Loestrin 24fe. I believe it's a low estrogen version.

I have the lab results from my last regular checkup and from when I was in the ER.

From the regular checkup:
Thyroxine (t4) was 12.7 ug/dL and the range is 4.5-12.0 ug/dL
Triiodothyronine (t3) was 176 ng/dL and the range is 71-180 ng/dL
Triiodothyronine, Free, Serum was 3.6 pg/mL and the range is 2.0-4.4 pg/mL
Free t4 was 1.03 ng/ml and the range is 0.75-1.54 ng/ml
TSH was 4.44 uIU/ml and the range is 0.25-5.00 uIU/ml

From the ER
TSH was 6.49 uIU/ML and the range is 0.358-3.74 uIU/ML

It's greek to me but I typed it exactly as shown. If anyone can interpret that would be great!

 
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:02 PM   #4
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Re: Hi! New here, in need of help!

midwest1, thank you for replying!

I do take birth control, it's Loestrin 24fe. I believe it's a low estrogen version.

I have the lab results from my last regular checkup and from when I was in the ER.

From the regular checkup:
Thyroxine (t4) was 12.7 ug/dL and the range is 4.5-12.0 ug/dL
Triiodothyronine (t3) was 176 ng/dL and the range is 71-180 ng/dL
Triiodothyronine, Free, Serum was 3.6 pg/mL and the range is 2.0-4.4 pg/mL
Free t4 was 1.03 ng/ml and the range is 0.75-1.54 ng/ml
TSH was 4.44 uIU/ml and the range is 0.25-5.00 uIU/ml

From the ER
TSH was 6.49 uIU/ML and the range is 0.358-3.74 uIU/ML

It's greek to me but I typed it exactly as shown. If anyone can interpret that would be great!

 
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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Re: Hi! New here, in need of help!

I posted twice. I'm sorry!

 
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
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Re: Hi! New here, in need of help!

Hey all, new question, but I didn't want to start a whole new thread. I started my synthroid per my Drs advice, and it's been going good, but today I'm having terrible chest pain. Now chest pain is nothing new to me, but I know what my normal pain feels like, and this is different. Very hard to explain. Is this normal?

 
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Old 06-20-2012, 02:23 AM   #7
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Hi there,

As far as I understand you started Synthroid quite recently?
When one starts treatment, the body needs time to adjust and unfortunately that can give it's own set of symptoms. (hyperlike but temporary and they flare out again). it's not uncommon for adjusting symptoms to start about a week after treatment. If you don't feel it's adjusting symptoms, I'd contact your doctor but if you feel it could be that, I'd wait and see for a couple of days.

hang in there.

 
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Old 06-20-2012, 04:04 AM   #8
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Re: Hi! New here, in need of help!

Hi Weldinggirl,
As Midwest guessed, you are hypOthyroid, not hyperthyroid. Your total T4 is high, probably due to your birth control but your free T4 is low. You likely have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, especially considering the thyroid nodules. Synthroid is appropriate in your case. However, you should make sure that you have lab work done every 6 weeks and keep asking for dose increases (12.5 to 25 mcg, I believe but no more) as long as you are feeling hypothyroid symptoms and your labs allow for increases. You are not going to want to stay on your starting dose and will probably double or triple what you are currently on by the time your levels are optimised.
For future labs, you really only need TSH, FT4 (free thyroxine) and FT3 (free triiodothyronine). As you may have noticed, checking the total T4 and T3 is an inaccurate measurement of your thyroid status.

 
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:30 PM   #9
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Re: Hi! New here, in need of help!

Thanks guys. It hurt for a while but hasn't hurt any today so I'm hoping it's just my body adjusting as I have only been on the medication for a week.

On a positive note I haven't had nearly as much shaking in my hands! Any improvement is good!

 
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:24 PM   #10
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Re: Hi! New here, in need of help!

Hi there! I'm Lean.Same with your age. When i was reading your story, I have the feeling of "as if reading my own letter". I've had my thyroid operation last 2009 but now I can feel some "side effects of partial removal" in my body. Well, my suggestion to you is ask for a second opinion because when i was at your stage, I had seek 3 doctors in order for me to understand my situation. Don't take medicines if you're hesitant.

Hope this reply might help you in some other ways.

 
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