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Old 10-02-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
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It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

This is my first post, so bare with me! I'll try to make it as concise as possible..haha.

I'm a 19 year old girl, sophomore in college, and unfortunately thyroid problems run in my family. My mom has hypothyroidism, and one of my aunts as well. The other aunt has hyperthyroidism. I've had some of these symptoms: fatigue, irregular periods, cold limbs. I guess I've always felt like it's hard for me to keep up with everyone, especially at my age. I actually love to be active, but constantly have to fight tiredness in order to do so.

It never occurred to me I might have a thyroid problem until my mom was diagnosed a few years back. ANYWAY I went in for blood tests:

HGB - 12.4 (12 - 16 range)
TSH - 2.1 (.46 - 4.68 range)
FT4 - 0.76 (0.8 - 2.19 range)

The FT4 was the only thing flagged low on the blood work, but I've read that a TSH of above 2 will cause you to be sluggish, or may be an indicator of developing hypothyroidism in the future.

I saw a nurse practitioner, and she didn't want to put me on any meds since I am so young. She advised me fresh air and exercise to combat the fatigue...but I am extremely active...I run about 15mi a week, and eat healthy, and clean (free of additives/chemicals/preservatives).

I was advised to go back in 2-3 months if I still feel cruddy, and they can run more tests. I'm just not sure why it would be so bad to put me on meds if they'll make me feel better...Would it really be bad for to seek medication? Or is it not that serious? Should I see a different doctor?

What are your guys' thoughts/experiences with being diagnosed with hypothyroidism?

 
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

I'm sorry for your feeling bad. I have had thyroid since 18 and have had to fight until I was in my 40's before anyone would listen. You need to INSIST that they run Free T3, Free T4, Thyroid antibodies and also check your Vitamin D at least. READ the posts on this board as they have helped me to finally know what to ask for from my Nurse Practitioner. She has finally started to listen. If she/he won't listen then go to a different doctor. You may have to change repeatedly until you find one that will listen! But fight you will have to so be prepared. Thyroid is a long haul but once its right it is well worth feeling so much better! I am sure there are MUCH more qualified opinions then mine, so hopefully they will weigh in.

 
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

Hi,

Sympathy on the tiredness. I fully agree it really is frustrating.

I can remember when I was a student (maybe a year or 3 older than you), a doctor mentioned to me that a blood test had indicated that I was at risk of hypo. (I now REALLY wish that I knew what the test was & result was - but they're lost in the mists of time & multiple moves).

Firstly - your FT4 result does look low - like that could easily be a reason for being tired. Your TSH is a bit higher than healthy people often have (but lower than people who are easily diagnosed with hypo ) - possibly at a level that could be "inconclusive but suggestive" of hypo - some people with TSHs of that level seem to be fine.

I suspect that the real issue could be whether or not your body will correct itself. The nurse could easily have wondered if given a month or 2 you'd end up with different lab tests. The reason for this is that the drugs given for hypo don't make the thryoid get "better" (the way antibiotics make a bacterial infection get better), instead they replace what the body can't do for itself (the way type1 diabetics inject insulin because their pancreas has stopped making it). When I got diagnosed I had to have 2 blood tests a couple of months apart before they started me on anything.

It's also quite a long haul to feel better -- if you look around this board you'll see it said that people can easily take 6 months (if they're lucky) or much longer to feel good. I've just begun to feel properly better after 15 months on them.

In the context of the time that it takes to feel properly better (& needing to take the drugs for the rest of your life afterward) I can understand why the nurse is wanting to double check that you really need the drugs & won't self-correct.

I'm not sure how it is in your area - but I suspect that you could wear yourself out searching for a dr who would give you a different answer & the easiest thing might be to use your energy in the next couple of months to doing keeping up with your classes (& extra curricular when you have the energy) - then rock on up to the nurse in 2 months time and say that you still feel cruddy (if you do) & you want more action.

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:49 AM   #4
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

Welcome to the board although I'm sorry for the reason you're here.

when your thyroid is not producing sufficient thyroid hormone it's important to correct that, despite the age. without correction symptoms will become worse and it might influence your educational performance (and other activities).

I'm not sure whehter the nurse knows what she's doing. TSH indeed is not all that high, BUT your FT4 is below bottom.

TSH is thyroid stimulating hormone produced by the pituitary gland and not an actual thyroid hormone. So TSH as such does not cause symptoms, does not nothing but stimulate the thyroid. TSH will rise when thyroid levels drop too low for the body's needs, so it will 'command' the thyroid to produce more.
FT4 and FT3 are the actual thyroid hormone levels, when those drop too low for the body's needs that will cause symptoms.
If one keeps in mind that healthy people/ in order to feel good most need their free levels (FT4 and FT3) at least midrange or higher (60-80% of the ranges), yours sure is too low.

So far I haven't encountered a perons who's thyroid got back on track when they had to wait a couple of months to retest.

If I were you I'd also ask to have your thyroid antibodies tested, being antiTPO and antithyroglobuline. (which would indicate hashi's).

hang in there

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:55 AM   #5
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

Thanks SO much for your guys' support, it really means a lot to me. And I'm just glad for being one step closer to an answer...I always just thought I felt bad for no reason.

I'm visiting home from college this weekend, and have made an appointment with my home doctor. My mom was diagnosed by our home doctor, and actually was questions about her symptoms.

I was a little surprised that when I got blood tests I was never asked about hypothyroidism symptoms, except for depression. After I left I was wishing I would've told the nurse practitioner about my irregular menstrual cycles etc...but I hadn't done enough research at that point to know they were connected.

From past experience, is there anything nutritionally/naturally you can do to improve hypothyroidism? If there is a chance I could get better without meds, that would be optimal. But I guess family history plays a large role...and from what I've read, most people only get worse without treatment.

 
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

By all means talk to your mothers dr. That seems a highly sensible thing to do.

Yep, I would imagine that people whose thryoid got back on track by itself wouldn't generally make their way to this board. (Because after a short while they'd begin to feel better - so wouldn't really begin to investigate) or they wouldn't hang aroudn long if they did get here, because they'd feel better without doing anything.

But since some treatment guidelines, (especially for people with "subclinical" levels of TSH") recommend retesting to check that it hasn't righted itself, I wouldn't totally write off the nurse practitioner. If she is following guidelines & they have sensible suggestions for a dosing regimen once the initial diagnosis is confirmed (& you feel confidence etc in her) then sticking with her could also be a good option.

cheers

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 08:03 PM   #7
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

I'm so glad I just discovered this forum and came across your post! I'm also a college student, and facing a very similar situation to you. I've been exhausted since high school, with a strong family history of hypothyroidism and hashimotos. I got tested in high school, and the bloodwork didn't show anything, and now I went back last month to get tested again and same thing...both times the endos were dismissive of all the symptoms that I listed, but I know there's something wrong! I've now made an appointment to see a new doctor that has a lot of experience with hypothyroidism and has a more holistic approach, so I'm hopeful something good will come of that. I can tell you that I know how awful it is as a college student to have more fatigue on top of everything else, so don't give up even if one doctor tells you your results show nothing. I've been trying for the past year to try and beat my fatigue through supplements like B12 etc., and it's not working. I just wanted to let you know you're not alone, and definitely don't give up trying to get diagnosed!

 
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:07 PM   #8
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

Thanks Passportinhand! It is so encouraging to know I'm not alone! I will actually have my appointment this Monday, and hoping it will lead to some sort of conclusiveness. I was asked to bring in my blood work lab results from last week...anyway, I will definitely post on here and let you guys know how it goes. I am so ready to not always be yearning for a 2hr nap in the afternoon!

I am so encouraged by the information/support on this board!

I hope you are starting to find some answers yourself as well! It really is too bad all the hoops we have to jump through for treatment. Best wishes!

 
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:32 PM   #9
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

I saw my doctor at home today, and they ran more blood tests. She was thinking either hypothyroidism, mono, or diabetes. I basically had to beg the doctor to not send me away without any sort of help/medication again. I was actually in tears, just because I was so frustrated and tired of being tired!

Anyways, from the blood test we took today, my thyroid levels were actually in the middle of her reference. Although, I never did get to look at the actual results (maybe I should go pick up that lab work). She seemed to think I was an early case of hypothyroidism, and my thyroid levels are jumping around, which explains why I'm feeling crappy. She agreed, based on my symptoms, to put me on a low dose of levothroxin (only 25 mcg). So I start on that tomorrow, and will have blood work re-done in 6 weeks.

She seems to think my body will recognize the levothroxin as what it needs, and thus my FT4 levels raise back to normal, but then my TSH will also raise itself.

SO I was wondering when can I expect to start feeling the benefits of the medication? Does it usually take a week or so? Also, is 25 mcg a high enough dose to really see any affects?

 
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:26 PM   #10
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

Hi Just wanted to say, there's nothing wrong with taking medicine for hypothyroidism at 19, in my opinion and my doctors. I'm 19 also and take pills for hypothyroidism. Not sure when I started taking them, a LONG time ago though. I was diagnosed when I was 9. My mom and grandmother have it also. But yeah I'm not sure when I started taking pills for it, if it was when I was diagnosed or after that since I was young. But nevertheless, I started taking them way before 19 so I see no problem with it.

 
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:17 AM   #11
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Re: It is bad to take medicine for hypothyroidism at 19?

Hi ive had hypothyroid since i was born and started taking oroxine since i was 10 and im 19 now. Somehow we need to make people understand what it feels like to have thyroid. Im depressed all the time and restless. Really bad memory as well. My weight is also a problem. I go to the gym everyday and work hard there but instead of loosing the weight i gain. i have a healthy diet and try to rarely eat junk or fast food

 
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