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Old 01-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #1
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Question Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Hello all..
I'm new to this, not sure where to start :-)
I went to my G.P. for advice re- menopause symptoms. I don't sleep well, tire easily, have sweats at night...etc etc.
i was given a blood test to check my Thyroid. My TSH level came back as 4.8 and I was told i should have another test in a couple of months.
I have since had that test and my TSH level is now 5.77 but my Serum free T4 level came back normal at 13.8.
My doctor although helpful was unsure as to whether to give me medication and said I could have another test in 6 months.
I really don't know whats best, and hope to get some advice/ help from here... Pleeease :-).
Thanks in advance
Sophie

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:31 PM   #2
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Sophie:
Normal TSH should be around 1.4, so TSH at 4.8 to 5.77 would ordinarily indicate that you are very hypothyroid. But FT4 at 13.8 pmol/L is actually pretty close to median (13.4) for normal people. So we have conflicting results. But odds are that you are hypo.

The only way to resolve it is to get a Free T3 test - which should have been done in the first place, because T3 is the active thyroid hormone. But your doctor is trying to save money for the health care system.

By hook or by crook you need to get a FT3 test. Median FT3 for normal women under 60 is 4.44 pmol/L.

Good Luck...

Last edited by telus; 01-17-2013 at 07:32 PM.

 
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

What is the reference range for FT4 in your lab? If it's 12-22 or so (which is quite common in the UK) FT4 of 13.4 is clearly on the low side and would also indicate HypoT. Results should always be compared to those reference ranges that are used by the lab that tests the sample. FT3 may not useful when looking for hypoT as it often is "the last to drop" and can be well within range even when the patient is obviously experiencing hypoT symptoms.

Last edited by FinnMaid; 01-18-2013 at 07:55 AM.

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:45 AM   #4
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Hello
Thankyou so much for your reply.
My serum free T4 level was in fact 14.0 The reference (9-23)..It's a difficult decision as to whether to take medication I often feel tired and sleeping is a problem. I question if it is my Thyroid causing these symptoms or just getting older etc etc
I appreciate you getting back to me, as talking to my doctor I didn't really get much info/advice :/...

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:52 AM   #5
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

So your FT4 is close to low third of the range which is too low for most. It is very likely that your symptoms are caused by low functioning thyroid. It can be hard to get treatment with these type of levels especially in the UK but I'm sure if wouldn't hurt if you got a trial period of meds at least to see if that'll help with those symptoms.

Last edited by FinnMaid; 01-19-2013 at 12:15 PM.

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Thankyou again for taking the time to reply to me .
My doctor did tell me to go away and think about whether I would like to start taking a low dose of medication.. Now I have researched a bit, and with your help I feel a little more knowledgable.
... Unless Im feeling much better soon, I think I will give the medicine a go.
Thanks again

 
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:35 PM   #7
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

No problem If you got thyroid antibodies (TPOAb and TG Ab) tested and they (or one of them) would come back positive the likelyhood is that things will only get worse - high Abs indicate Hashimoto's thyroiditis which is the most common cause for (permanent) hypothyroidism.

Last edited by FinnMaid; 01-18-2013 at 10:36 PM.

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:49 AM   #8
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Me again
If I request these tests is it likely my doctor will refuse them? She more or less said that if she starts a low dosage of medication I will be in it for life, it put me off :/..
Do you suffer with a Thyroid problem? You seem very knowledgable.
I am now on a mission to get things sorted, as My gut is telling me I do need to sort this before things get worse.
Thankyou...you really have helped

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 02:27 AM   #9
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Quote:
Originally Posted by telus View Post
Sophie:
Normal TSH should be around 1.4, so TSH at 4.8 to 5.77 would ordinarily indicate that you are very hypothyroid. But FT4 at 13.8 pmol/L is actually pretty close to median (13.4) for normal people. So we have conflicting results. But odds are that you are hypo.

The only way to resolve it is to get a Free T3 test - which should have been done in the first place, because T3 is the active thyroid hormone. But your doctor is trying to save money for the health care system.

By hook or by crook you need to get a FT3 test. Median FT3 for normal women under 60 is 4.44 pmol/L.

Good Luck...
Yes I really liked your answer here.

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:55 AM   #10
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiered View Post
Me again
If I request these tests is it likely my doctor will refuse them? She more or less said that if she starts a low dosage of medication I will be in it for life, it put me off :/..
Do you suffer with a Thyroid problem?
Those Ab tests are common tests when trying to get to the bottom of things, it would be quite odd if your doc refused to take them (ask for TPOAb at least, it seems to be the most commonly used and more likely to be elevated). If you have Hashi's (= an autoimmune disease that aims to destroy your thyroid) there's really no way you can avoid life long hypoT treatment at some point so prolonging the agony doesn't make sense. I believe I've been hypoT for 21 years but got treatment 8 years ago, thyroid issues have been a hobby of mine ever since

Last edited by FinnMaid; 01-19-2013 at 03:59 AM.

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:26 AM   #11
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Thankyou... I will make a doc's appt and request some more tests. You have been a great help. After all those years you must be pretty expert on Thyroid issues! I hope yours is under control.
Will keep you posted

 
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:03 PM   #12
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiered View Post
I hope yours is under control.
Will keep you posted
Mine has been tricky to manage so doing my research and taking active initiative has helped me greatly. I've been pretty stable for some months now so I'm happy about that (haven't been lucky enough to stay pretty stable for years but this too gives me some perspective ). Looking forward to hearing from you

Last edited by FinnMaid; 01-19-2013 at 12:16 PM. Reason: Typos again...

 
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:09 AM   #13
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Hello
I hope you are still on here?? I remembered how you had put my mind at rest before and am hoping you can give me some more advice? pleeeaaasseee .
I have been back to the doctor as I wanted to ask for the thyroid antibodies test, and also as my symptoms seem worse.
Im not sleeping well/tire easily/and sweat loads at night ;(. I went back for results but she said the antibodies tests werent back yet, but my TSH level has now increased to 7.18 I also have a slightly high Prolactin level and my fsh level is off the scale at 148 (menopause)...
She has given me a percription for Levothyroxine 50mic each day. My dilemma is whether to go with them? Do you think I should wait for the other test results?
She seemed vague in her explanations and im reluctant to take medicine if nor needed, but obviously want to feel better . Do you have any advice?
How are you keeping? Are you still managing your health probs? I hope so, and am really grateful for your help..
bye for now )

 
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #14
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Hello
You have waited long enough so I think you should start levoT. It's not medication per se but hormone replacement and you can always quit taking it if it doesn't help at all (but I'm sure it would).

I just broke my record of being able to stay on the same dose (the new record is 7 months) but it didn't take much longer to need a small dose adjustment and I'm doing pretty good again (I'm just sewing an evening dress for my daughter but this recent heat has really taken it's toll - clearly my head's not working 100% but I'll get it done by Friday)

Last edited by FinnMaid; 07-03-2013 at 09:35 AM.

 
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:45 AM   #15
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Re: Do I need treatment for hypothyroidism...

Thankyou soooo much for such a quick reply... I have the persciption here and will go to chemist today...feels like a massive step, but it might help . Some days i feel 'normal' and think Im imaginining the symptoms and making a fuss, then I have an awful night/day and realise Im not!!..
I will take the plunge :-))... Good luck with thje sewing and congrats on the 7months ))....
x

 
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