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  • Confusing labs, feel awful

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    Old 04-24-2018, 12:10 PM   #1
    ladybud
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    Confusing labs, feel awful

    I repeatedly have very low TSH levels, but low to midrange free T4 and T3 levels. I have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism, not hyper, but my Dr. keeps insisting on lowering my doses of L-thyroxine and Cytomel. I am gaining significant weight and can barely function because of fatigue. My bowels would move once a week if I didn't take a laxative daily. My hair is dry and wirey, brittle, my memory is shot, I feel like a sloth trying to just move around my house and function. My current doses are L-thyroxine 88 mcg, Cytomel 15 mcg/d. I have documented hypothyroidism since 1990. Current labs on these doses: TSH: 0.018 (0.45-4.5), free T4 1.10 (0.82-1.77) and free T3 3.1 (2.0-4.4). Does anyone have any ideas why my TSH runs so low? I do have autoimmune disease, systemic lupus and RA. I have no symptoms of pituitary insufficiency, but have not been checked for that.

     
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    Old 04-24-2018, 02:52 PM   #2
    midwest1
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    Re: Confusing labs, feel awful

    Your TSH is low because you take exogenous T3 in the form of Cytomel. Doctors simply will not believe the fact that T3 suppresses TSH with a four-fold effect above that of T4-only (levothyroxine). For that reason, TSH is no longer a dependable gauge of thyroid status and should be ignored.

    I'm in the same boat as you, but I'm in the low end of it as it sinks. I take desiccated thyroid med and can't find a doctor who will allow me the dose I've been used to and done well on for 14 years. They insist on getting TSH into normal range, but that keeps my T3 far below range. I don't even know what my T4 is like, because latest doc doesn't test it. Since my dose was cut about a year ago, I've lost 1/3-1/2 my hair, have only 2 BMs a week, and my resting pulse is just 56. My mood, energy, and appetite are all in the tank, and anxiety is in outer space. They think everything's just ducky, because TSH has risen to a happy 5.0. Heaven help you and me, ladybud.
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    Old 04-25-2018, 07:24 AM   #3
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    Re: Confusing labs, feel awful

    I'm so sorry, ladies!

    If my TSH were 5 I would be comatose from hypothyroidism. My TSH must be suppressed to just above 1 or I can't think or function.

    What I do is talk to pharmacists and get names of doctors that prescribe natural thyroid meds, then check the names out on Yelp. I have moved around a lot so I use that method to find the knowledgeable doctors. True, that just because they prescribe natural hormones doesn't mean they know how to prescribe, but if they cannot listen to what works for me I find someone else. Don't let doctors under treat you. There are enough doctors around to find someone that actually helps.

    Years ago just a little thyroid did wonders. Now I have become 'thyroid resistant', so I need T4 and T3. It is always symptoms that tell what we need, not a chart. If a doctor fears thyroid hormone he/she will be inept at treating it.
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    Last edited by yayagirl; 04-25-2018 at 07:25 AM.

     
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    Old 05-04-2018, 07:03 AM   #4
    ladybud
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    Re: Confusing labs, feel awful

    Thanks ladies for responding. As common as thyroid disorders are, you'd think there would be more Drs. who understand its nuances. I appreciate the straightforward explanation, Midwest, and I am so sorry you are in the same boat. I hope you find someone who will give you the dose you need to feel well. I will just not even get TSH measurements done in future, as they are meaningless for my situation, being on Cytomel. I think a new Dr is also in my future! Thanks for your insights.

     
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