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  • Thyroid Mess? Labs, Scan, Help please?

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    Old 05-13-2015, 06:19 PM   #1
    WackyJacky1
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    Unhappy Thyroid Mess? Labs, Scan, Help please?

    Hello.
    I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism several years ago and given Naturthroid to take daily. My doctor did not at the time, impress upon me how very serious thyroid issues are, he simply breezed past it and said, take this.

    I did, but then my levels became HypO-thyroid and he changed the dose. Then upped it again when levels became high.

    Meanwhile I became very distracted and busy, and didn't take the Naturthroid for afew months. Then guiltily went back on it each day...for about 5 months.

    Now my labs have come back poorly and he wants to do a thyroid sonogram.

    I feel like this is partly my fault for not educating myself about this problem and of course, his, for not expressing himself more clearly about the severity of thyroid issues.

    My labs are:
    TSH...0.31 (low)
    T3 Free...4.6 (high)
    Thyroid...36 very high?

    I will again be seeing him shortly but am panicked by these results, and in the week or so until my appointment I would love not to be as stressed as I am right now.

    I am 57, not overweight and I exercise frequently. No gluten in the diet either...for many years, by choice. And yes, sigh...menopause has paused.

    I would very much appreciate it if someone who is familiar with these types of numbers might be able to interpret them for me, as I am worried. I do not understand the results and wonder how far off normal they are?

    I am vegetarian and prefer to utilize only natural medications (when possible) and the dr I go to uses Naturthroid as his preferred thyroid med, as it is naturally compounded.

    Thanks so much in advance for any information.

     
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    Old 05-14-2015, 06:07 AM   #2
    Harri3t
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    Re: Thyroid Mess? Labs, Scan, Help please?

    First take e deep breath and relax. Things are probably not as bad as you think There is certainly no need to panic. That said, the beginning of your post doesn't make much sense. Naturethroid is thyroid hormone replacement and is given for HYPOthyroidism. HYPOthyroid means an underactive thyroid that doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone for your needs.

    The test results you posted need ranges since ranges vary by lab. The results are not as meaningful without a range for interpretation. There is also no test named simply "thyroid" so you'll need to go back and clarify which test was done then come back and repost the missing info. But that said, a low TSH and a high FT3 usually indicates HYPERthyroidism, an overactive thyroid. In your case imho your labs are more likely due to your Naturethroid dose and timing.

    It would help to know when your labs were drawn in relation to the time you last took your naturethroid. Your free T3 level may be influenced by the timing of your last dose. You may just be tending toward the HYPERthyroid because of your Naturethroid dose and may just need a dose reduction. Or the timing of your dose and lab draw may be the culprit and nothing much needs to be done.

    I'm not certain why your doctor thinks a scan is needed unless something was felt on palpation or you have complaints of neck discomfort or difficulty swallowing.

    Anyhoo, please relax. Your time would be better spent doing some reading about the common symptoms of hypo and hyperthyroidism. You'll gain a better understanding of how your meds influence your thyroid state and when a dose change might be in order.

     
    Old 05-14-2015, 04:01 PM   #3
    WackyJacky1
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    Re: Thyroid Mess? Labs, Scan, Help please?

    Thank you so much Harri3t, for your kind, calm and detailed response. It is much appreciated.

    I have seen much devastating illness in my family and as a result, whenever I have an issue I am immediately fighting off panic in my mind.

    I did do some reading as you suggested!
    But I found it quite confusing. I will need to educate myself further.

    I think for the last several years, my thyroid tests bounced between hyper + hypo-thyroid, never balancing, and always depending on how much Naturthroid I was taking (and if I was being compliant in taking it all).

    I never understood the importance of proper thyroid treatment, as foolish as that sounds. I run my own business and am otherwise a detail-fanatic who RESEARCHES, but somehow my doctor's relaxed attitude seemed too good not to latch onto. Our discussions of length were usually about other things...which actually, are far less serious I see than thyroid issues can become.

    I did recheck the values from the lab and their ranges. If you have patience to look, here we go:

    TSH/ 0.31 (range: 0.40-4.50) Low
    T3, FREE/ 4.6 (range 2.3-4.2) High
    Thyroid Peroxidase AB/ 36 (range: lower than 9) Really High!

    I will see my dr on Monday and he can feel for issues then. I think he ordered the sonogram just to "see" and "rule out" (receptionist's lingo for: I'm not telling you anything more!)

    I think perhaps taking Naturthroid daily is too much so for now, I am continuing to take it every OTHER day, until I see him.

    As I looked at the symptoms for hyper + hypo thyroidism, I was struck by how similar they are.

    I am indeed more tired but I've been busy, waking early + going to bed quite late.

    I often feel like when I swallow, it is somehow a more pronounced effort. But that too could be a result of the spring allergies I have, which this year, are extreme.

    I do appreciate your calm voice.
    Thanks for any additional insight you may have.

     
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    Harri3t (05-14-2015)
    Old 05-14-2015, 04:51 PM   #4
    Harri3t
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    Re: Thyroid Mess? Labs, Scan, Help please?

    The ups and downs you describe could very well be related to an autoimmune origin of your disease. Those ups and downs are common early in the course of disease. An autoimmune basis is most common cause of hypo/hyperthyroidism in our part of the world to the tune of about 80% of cases. The presence of thyroid peroxidase antibodies would support that. Those antibodies are an indication that your body may be destroying your thyroid. Think of a flickering light that has up and down periods as it burns out.

    FWIW- your AB levels are not particularly high. Many people have levels in the several hundreds and even thousands. Nonetheless it is a clue as to what might be going on with you. That said, whatever the cause, the treatment for hypothyroidism is the same, namely thyroid hormone replacement which you will need to take and monitor for the rest of your life.

    I would not make any changes in your dose without talking to your doctor first. S/he may want you to split or reduce your dose rather than skip days. You need your doctor to guide you and be in on the plan if only to better interpret your labs. I'd suggest giving the office a call especially if you are experiencing rapid or irregular heart beat or palpitations, all signs of possible overdose. Naturethroid is a combination drug that contains both short (T3) and long acting (T4) forms of thyroid hormone unlike more conventional thyroid replacement like Synthroid which contains only T4. T4 can last for several days. It is this combo of drugs that makes Naturethroid the drug of choice for many for various reasons especially where T4 conversion is a problem. T3 is the most active thyroid hormone and lasts just a few hours but is often responsible for heart palpitations. Those can usually be managed by split dosing from what I've read here. Those on similar meds can guide you better than I as my own hypothyroid state has responded well to T4 only.

    The bottom line is now that you are being treated you are on the way to better health. So keep taking those deep breaths, relax and keep reading. The more you know and understand the better able you'll be in understanding what your body is telling you. Especially in the case of thyroid dysfunction, how you feel is ultimately more important than your lab results.

    Good luck at your visit and keep us updated. I would make sure to ask whether or not you should take your thyroid med before labs are drawn and/or how many hours to wait before testing.

    Last edited by Harri3t; 05-14-2015 at 08:59 PM.

     
    Old 05-15-2015, 09:38 PM   #5
    WackyJacky1
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    Re: Thyroid Mess? Labs, Scan, Help please?

    Thank you again Harri3t!

    I do appreciate your calm and wisdom.
    My visit is Monday and I will update. I know these boards and the stories they hold really do help others, hearing people's stories, not just their questions, is a good thing.

    The autoimmune component is very interesting. I have terrible allergies, which are of course, autoimmune related. It's all connected. American medicine tends to address the body as segments, when actually it's all one and the same. I also have borderline high blood sugar, which I know is part of the whole package of thyroid problems sometimes.

    A friend I've gotten in touch with who has thyroid issues mentioned that her dr is monitoring her adrenal function, and then after the results are back, will treat that aspect of her health as it connects to thyroid (if there is poor adrenal function).

    Again, your help is much appreciated. More to come!
    Thanks.

     
    Old 05-23-2015, 11:44 AM   #6
    WackyJacky1
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    Re: Thyroid Mess? Labs, Scan, Help please?

    Just an update and a question:

    I visited my dr last week and he adjusted my dosage of Naturthroid to 5x a week (as opposed to 7x) as I am now testing as hyperthyroid.

    He also felt that my very low hormone situation in general could benefit from adding naturally compounded hormones, which he put an order for me from a natural pharmacy he works with. He indicated that perhaps adding some general hormone regulation could help with everything.

    He ordered a sonogram, which I had done last week. He then went away on vacation, so I was not able to get his interpretation of the sonogram.

    However, the place where I had it done posts the radiologist's readings on a patient portal, so I am able to view them myself.

    I am happy to see there are no nodules detected but I am curious about this:
    "Slight inhomogeneity of the thyroid echotexture."

    I am guessing (?) this means there is some slight inflammation?
    Because I am so nervous about all this I am wondering if anyone is familiar with this term, and what, if anything it might mean?

    Obviously, because my numbers indicate hyperthyroidism, I'd guess it means there is some minor inflammation being caused by this? I am hoping no further testing is needed?

    Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
    My dr does not return until next week and I know even then, it will be like waging war to get thru to him.

    Thanks in advance!

     
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