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Old 07-28-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
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Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

First post here, but have really gotten a lot of great insights from reading other posts and so glad for everyone sharing their journeys... :-)

I probably have been hypothyroid for many years (5 miscarriages in my 30s which may have been a clue - but no one looked at thyroid back then).

Just 'diagnosed' this Spring at age 60, and have been on a rollercoaster of bad medication side effects. Went from generic levothyroxine to Synthroid brand to Armour and now on NP Thyroid since last week.

Am already feeling better - the NP Thyroid has the least 'fillers' of anything tried so far, and what probably was giving the side effects.

However - still have some ringing in my ears. This started with the levothyroxine - never had it before. It seems a bit less with NP Thyroid, tho.

Exhaustion is a bit less too - but have a longer way to go on that. Hoping things will continue to improve with this new med!

Will see how labs look in 2 months...

 
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:50 PM   #2
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Welcome!

Sorry for the reason you're here but, glad you found us.

Please know that, during the meds titration process, it's not uncommon for symptoms to worsen or new ones develop.

It sounds like lucky (not) you had the pleasure (not) of developing ear ringing (common hypo symptom) as your body adjusts to new levels of thyroid hormone.

I developed quite a few new symptoms during the meds titration process - it's very, very common.

Hope you feel better soon! (and feel free to post your labs here for interpretation)
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Thank you for the explanation! I had heard that ringing ears was a hypo symptom, so wondered why I was not having it start until after taking meds... :-)

My recent labs (TSH had been 4.8 last February):
TSH 3.46 (.45-4.5)
Free T4 .96 (.82-1.77)
Free T3 85 (71-180)
T3 Uptake 32 (24-39)

So, we went from 15mg (divided dose) to 30mg NP Thyroid (divided dose) - the increase may also be helping... next labs in 2 months.

When I say I feel a 'bit' better - that's a lot! Because I've been in the dumper for so long that just a little bit of improvement gives hope...

 
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:38 PM   #4
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Glad to see the improvement in your TSH. Please know that people who are optimally medicated on T3-containing meds such as NP Thyroid will have suppressed TSH.

I can tell by the ranges that what you posted as a FreeT3 result isn't one. Maybe it's a Total T3 or "plain" T3.....

I hope you can convince your doctor to check your actual FreeT3 level next time - it often looks like this on a lab slip: tri-iodothyronine, free, serum.

No matter what, it's clear you need thyroid hormone and I'm glad you've found one that agrees with you.

I'm also glad you were started off slowly - that's really the best way to do things.

Just so you know, accurate labs can be done 6 wks. after a dose increase - maybe you can sneak in a little earlier....

Best of luck to you moving forward!
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:50 AM   #5
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Thanks - the T3 was listed as 'triiodothyronine' - is that not Free T3? My LabCorp lab slips do not have specifically a 'Free T3' listed...

Revised recent labs (TSH had been 4.8 last February):
TSH 3.46 (.45-4.5)
Free T4 .96 (.82-1.77)
T3 Triiodothyronine 85 (71-180)
T3 Uptake 32 (24-39)

This July lab result was almost identical to the last one in April, but lower than the one in February.

I appreciate your comments about hypo symptoms worsening or new ones emerging! Within a couple of days of starting the inital levothyroxine last February, my long-standing debilitating hip and back pain all but disappeared!

Now, if I forget to take my afternoon dose, my hip lets me know about it...

Since starting the NP Thyroid there have been a couple of times when 'the hip' gets achy a little while after the dose for maybe 20 minutes or so...

Still hoping that with time this regimen will start to help the crashing exhaustion, skin problems including 2-years of battling eczema, weight gain etcetera...

It all started going downhill after very difficult menopause a few years ago - but much worse past 2 years.

Thanks again - great forum!

 
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:59 AM   #6
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

"tri-iodothyronine" is "plain" T3, not FreeT3. The "plain" T3 test only measures T3 that is bound to protein and not usable by the body - the FreeT3 test measures only usable hormone.

I use the same lab you do and, the FreeT3 results looks like this on the report:
tri-iodothyronine, free, serum.

It's not uncommon for levels to stay the same after a dose increase...."all" this tells us is that another dose increase is in order.

We can't rush the meds titration process. Our bodies just can't handle too much too soon. I've seen it time and time again on forums when a person's dose was increased too much and too quickly. Each time, the person was suffering with hyper symptoms along with hypo symptoms and, often overshot his/her goal (had hyper levels). The person had to start all over. And, I've also noticed that when a "too much, too soon" person needed to start the dose that had previously made him/her hyper, he/she was reluctant to do so even though symptoms and labs showed the need.

The additional details you've shared about your experience are typical for someone going through the meds titration process.

It's like a two steps forward, one step back type of deal. The roller coaster ride does start to ease once levels are closer to optimal. However, full symptom elimination doesn't happen until after we're stable at our optimal levels.

Just as you've experienced when you missed a dose, unstable levels don't feel that good.

I've been stable since June of last year (and have needed some very minor dose adjustments since then to maintain my optimal levels). It never ceases to amaze me that the longer I'm stable, the better I feel.

I know my first-ever thyroid forum always said "nothing feels better than stable thyroid hormone levels" and I couldn't appreciate it....now I do.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:06 AM   #7
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

I forgot to mention something.

Since you are taking desiccated thyroid, it's expected that your FreeT4 level will be proportionately lower in the range than your FreeT3 level.

Most people are find with this.

However, if you are still dealing with hip/muscle pain once your FreeT3 level is optimized, I suggest you take a good, hard look at your FreeT4 level.

If it's below mid-range, it could very well be to blame for the pain.

We can talk more about it if you even have to address this situation but, I wanted to make you aware of it moving forward.
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:39 AM   #8
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Thanks Sammy...

I have combed through my LabCorp slip and it does not have a 'tri-iodothyronine, free, serum' option, tho it does have the Free T4...

What lab test number is assigned to the Free T3 - maybe I can get my doctor to add it...? Edit: Found the LabCorp test number 010389 Triiodothyronine (T3), Free, Serum - will get it added to next test!

I have one old lab test from 2007 and my TSH was 3.923, but the range was .35-5.5 back then. I guess what I have is called 'mild' hypothyroid, but it sure has insidiously impacted my life.

Sammy, how long did it take for you to become stable this year. Seems like if I've been hypo for many, many years, it might take awhile to climb out of the hole...

Thank you for the note about the hip pain - it was so bad before the meds I was 'walking' (if you can call it that!) sort of at half mast... Will monitor that with the titration...

Last edited by tweetzer; 07-30-2012 at 09:01 AM. Reason: Found the LabCorp Test number...

 
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Happy to help.

Glad you found the lab test number and, most especially, that you'll be getting your FreeT3 level checked next time.

Uh, I wouldn't necessarily say you have "mild hypothyroidism"....people can be dealing with debilitating symptoms with "normal" (aka in-range) thyroid labs. I was blown away at how different I can feel between optimal levels and not.

I became stable in June of last year and it took 15 months to get to that point.

I was already being cared for by a thyroid-savvy doctor and knew what had to be done to optimize my levels. Since my levels optimized twice during the meds titration process and I was symptom-free for 3 months each time, I obviously didn't get dose adjustments at those times.

It usually takes close to a year for levels to be optimized....but it definitely requires working with a thyroid-savvy doctor and getting labs.

Since the meds titration process is painfully slow, I think it's a good idea to maintain a symptoms journal as they relate to labs. While using FreeT4/T3 levels around 60-80% of range is a reasonable treatment goal, identifying the individual's optimal levels is easier when a journal is kept.

If you'd like to know about mine, please let me know and I'll share some highlights.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:36 AM   #10
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sammy64 View Post
If you'd like to know about mine, please let me know and I'll share some highlights.
Thank you - that would be great! I have been trying to remember to write down symptoms/side effects as things progress, but find myself forgetting due to the 'brain-fog' aspect...

Many nights after being in bed for awhile, my legs and feet get a very strange heavy pressure type ache that last a half hour or so - a couple times per night. This is just since being on thyroid meds.

Also, lately have been having a few small headaches, which is not common - and have had a couple of 'auras' or optical migraines (flashing zig-zag lights pulsing in my field of vision for 20 minutes or so). Opthamologist says no eye problem - not to be concerned. But wondered if this might be another med/hypo side effect...

Looking forward to better days...

 
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:45 AM   #11
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Maintaining a symptoms journal as they related to labs was suggested to me by my first-ever thyroid forum. It was key towards identifying my optimal levels.

I soon realized that noting "feeling good" or "not feeling good" on my lab reports wasn't enough.

I maintained separate Word documents that covered the period of time in between labs. This way, each document represented what was going on with me in relation to whatever dose(s) I was taking at the time.

I would title each document with a date range that reflected the date of the most recent labs and the date of my upcoming labs.

My daily entries weren't particularly long and they were based upon what symptoms I might have been dealing with at the particular time.

Even though I had easily 30 symptoms during the early months of the meds titration process, many of those dissipated once my FreeT4/T3 levels were above mid-range.

This confirmed for me that I was like many people in the fact that I needed both my FreeT4/T3 levels above mid-range to feel well.

I was then dealing with a cluster of fluctuating symptoms. Watching the patterns that developed after a dose increase helped me to realize that my levels weren't necessarily optimal just yet.

This period of time often showed an improvement of symptoms after a dose increase....and then a worsening of some before the time of my next labs. This is a typical experience that tells us our dose(s) and levels still aren't optimal.

Since each of us has his/her own typical cluster of symptoms, it makes sense to note only what applies to the individual.

Therefore, my journal consisted of daily notes about the quality of my sleep, digestion, energy level, strength, stamina and mental function.

I would also note anything that might have been going on that particular day that could have affected how I felt.

An example of this would be noting the chills I had at night and also noting I attended my son's hockey game and/or it was below-freezing outside. I certainly don't want to blame my thyroid for everything

You can only imagine my excitement when my journal entries only consisted of improvements. This was a sign that the labs I had 6 wks. after starting the particular doses could very well be my optimal.

Sure enough, my FT4 level came back around 90% of range (my optimal FT4 is higher than the 60-80% of range most people need to be symptom-free) and my FT3 level at 75% of range (typical for most people)

Moving forward from there, I continued to make occasional notes only if something questionable was going on. I found that there could be many days when I didn't make entries.

There were times when I found the need to make more entries because my digestion was slowing down or my sleep quality had deteriorated. Sure enough, those upcoming labs showed my FT4/FT3 levels to be lower in the range than the levels I had when I was symptom-free.

I had two times during the meds titration process when my levels optimized and I was symptom-free for about 3 months.

By sharing my journal with my doctor as it related to my labs and the times I felt best, she accepted my determination about my optimal levels.

Since my thyroid has been somewhat erratic, my doctor has me get labs every 6 wks. She has adjusted my doses (I take T3 & T4) to maintain my optimal levels.

This has kept me symptom-free and I feel awesome.

I look forward to celebrating the same with you.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #12
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweetzer View Post
Many nights after being in bed for awhile, my legs and feet get a very strange heavy pressure type ache that last a half hour or so - a couple times per night. This is just since being on thyroid meds.

Also, lately have been having a few small headaches, which is not common - and have had a couple of 'auras' or optical migraines (flashing zig-zag lights pulsing in my field of vision for 20 minutes or so). Opthamologist says no eye problem - not to be concerned. But wondered if this might be another med/hypo side effect...

Looking forward to better days...
These both could be caused by moving thyroid hormone levels. Glad you've had things checked out - always better to be safe rather than sorry.

Better days will come!!!
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:53 AM   #13
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Re: Switched To NP Thyroid - Feeling A Bit Better!

Thank you so much - your journal approach really provides a clear history and picture of what is going on for reference and doctor visits! :-)

 
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