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    Old 02-06-2004, 09:28 AM   #1
    GracesMomMom
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    Question What's normal for changes in TSH?

    I was just curious. Knowing I need my Free T3 numbers, and having a possible ear infection, I went to a prompt care facility yesterday in the hopes that they could run the thyroid panel in their lab. Turns out they don't do that kind of thing, but did run a tsh test again. 11/16 my TSH was 1.61, yesterday it was 1.83 - well within the "normal" range so they say. My question is, how much does TSH change over time, normally?

    Now that I think about it, I'm getting tired of answering the "Are you depressed" question. I don't feel like I'm depressed. Is it possible to have thyroid problems and not be depressed? I'm subdued for sure, but don't think I'm depressed. I have been very briefly in the past, so I think I know that I'm not

     
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    Old 02-06-2004, 10:23 AM   #2
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    Re: What's normal for changes in TSH?

    TSH can change a couple of full points within a day, so you can see yours is a pretty insignificant difference. I encourage you not to let that "normal" pronouncement be the end of this. I just reread your first post here where you mentioned that your free T4 was .7 on a .6-1.6 range. That's low. Low enough that you can feel pretty ill no matter what your TSH is.
    Even though the test you had for T3 turned out high, that means nothing either, if it was a total T3 test and not a free T3. That's because T3 can be bound up in protein, which makes it unusable to the body until the protein is broken down; some is unbound, which means it's available to be readily absorbed by the cells. Total T3 measures both bound and unbound, so if most of it is bound and only a tiny fraction is unbound, you can see how meaningless that test is.

    Did you see my post "Back from OV..."? It will show you how most doctors evaluate thyroid problems, and why they can very often be wrong. Also read some of the stories in the "...Our Stories..." thread at the top of the subject page. You can see how dozens of us were told in the beginning that our tests were "normal", and how we had to fight to get a diagnosis and help with our illnesses. It's inspiring.

     
    Old 02-06-2004, 03:05 PM   #3
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    Re: What's normal for changes in TSH?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwest1
    TSH can change a couple of full points within a day, so you can see yours is a pretty insignificant difference. I encourage you not to let that "normal" pronouncement be the end of this. I just reread your first post here where you mentioned that your free T4 was .7 on a .6-1.6 range. That's low. Low enough that you can feel pretty ill no matter what your TSH is.
    Even though the test you had for T3 turned out high, that means nothing either, if it was a total T3 test and not a free T3. That's because T3 can be bound up in protein, which makes it unusable to the body until the protein is broken down; some is unbound, which means it's available to be readily absorbed by the cells. Total T3 measures both bound and unbound, so if most of it is bound and only a tiny fraction is unbound, you can see how meaningless that test is.

    Did you see my post "Back from OV..."? It will show you how most doctors evaluate thyroid problems, and why they can very often be wrong. Also read some of the stories in the "...Our Stories..." thread at the top of the subject page. You can see how dozens of us were told in the beginning that our tests were "normal", and how we had to fight to get a diagnosis and help with our illnesses. It's inspiring.
    Thanks. I suspected as much about the TSH. Just looking for any ammunition. Having a hard time finding an open-minded doctor here in the midwest. I realize that about the Total T3 test. Wasn't sure which test they'd done until I'd called back. Then I noticed that my T4 was at the low end of the "normal" range and figured there's still a definite possibility this is a thyroid issue - beyond the range of my symptoms. Very interestingly, my mother was diagnosed yesterday with hypo. Her doctor isn't treating it, he's treating the depression and other symptoms. I tried telling her it could all be due to the hypo, but she likes this doctor and won't listen. He said she was just a "little" hypo. I've read a little in your stories and it's very encouraging. So glad I found you all. My husband doesn't even believe me. And he's usually a supportive person. I don't think anyone will even believe me if I come up with a diagnosis. So frustrating. But I'm certainly not the first, won't be the last, I'm sure.

    At any rate, I guess I'll just listen in and continue to be educated until I can get back with the doctor (2 hrs away) who is willing to try to diagnose a thyroid problem for me.

    Thank you very much for checking my situation out so thoroughly and answering so completely. Good health to you.

     
    Old 02-07-2004, 04:53 AM   #4
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    Re: What's normal for changes in TSH?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GracesMomMom

    I'm getting tired of answering the "Are you depressed" question. I don't feel like I'm depressed. Is it possible to have thyroid problems and not be depressed?

    Yes it is very possible not to be depressed. That was a symptom I did not have. We all can have different symptoms. There are some hypos who are as skinny as a rail, most people think that being hypo means that you must always be overweight. Everyone is different and goes thru different stages.

    Try to get thru to your mom, like the example I used the other day being "alittle" hypo is like being "alittle" pregnant. You are or you aren't. There really is no in between with hypothyroidism. I don't get people being in denial. Your mom will not get better,only worse as she is only masking her symptoms. That is very sad. This is not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last time I hear of someone not wanting to admit to a thyroid problem.

    She will have other problems and they could eventually kill her if she is left untreated. Good Luck trying to get thru to her!!

     
    Old 02-07-2004, 07:25 AM   #5
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    Re: What's normal for changes in TSH?

    Girly is right about problems getting progressively worse if hypo is not treated. It can lead to osteoporosis, clogged arteries, and/or dementia. Even if these things don't occur, there are huge "quality of life" issues to consider. Maybe the best example for your mom would be to find knowledgeable treatment for yourself... When she sees you improve, hopefully she'll want that for herself.

     
    Old 02-07-2004, 11:12 AM   #6
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    Re: What's normal for changes in TSH?

    Let me tell you what happens with un-treated hypo.

    My mother was Dx when she was 12 years old - in 1952. She was on and off medication. She took herself off of meds in her 30's - when I was very young. She is a musician and said the medication affected her voice.

    Anyway, for my whole life she has been obese - not just fat. She ignored her diet, gained and gained and gained weight. Developed diabetes. Ignored her diet some more, became insulin dependent. In 1995 she had a triple by-pass as she had 85% blockage in three arteries and her doctor said she was a couple of months away from a major heart attack. Her brother had died the previous year in a similar manner. The people on her side of the family don't just have small heart attacks. They have ONE and that's it.

    So now - it's 2004. She is disabled with recurrent infections in her legs and feet and I'm concerned about possibly/probably amputation. She is on oxygen and has poorly controlled diabetes. She SAYS her thyroid has been tested and that she has told her doctors about her hypothyroidism. Frankly, I just don't believe her - she is in such denial and lies about it to me. She is in a wheelchair at the moment because she can't walk on her foot. She has multiple "female" issues, terrible skin, and is losing her vision.

    THIS is what untreated hypothyroidism looks like. My doctor and I talked about it a long time - and I'm so grateful I'm getting treatment.

     
    Old 02-08-2004, 01:09 PM   #7
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    Re: What's normal for changes in TSH?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwest1
    Girly is right about problems getting progressively worse if hypo is not treated. It can lead to osteoporosis, clogged arteries, and/or dementia. Even if these things don't occur, there are huge "quality of life" issues to consider. Maybe the best example for your mom would be to find knowledgeable treatment for yourself... When she sees you improve, hopefully she'll want that for herself.
    Thanks everyone. Denial is her middle name. Stubborn is her last name. All I can do is point out symptoms and hope she gets curious, or hope that I get a diagnosis and get better so that she can see the results. Which I'm hoping will be fairly quickly. I should start my cycle by the end of the week and should be able to start the temperature checking for the doctor. yea!

     
    Old 02-08-2004, 02:53 PM   #8
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    Re: What's normal for changes in TSH?

    Please let us know how it goes. All of us here will be rooting for you!

     
    Old 02-08-2004, 03:16 PM   #9
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    Angry Re: What's normal for changes in TSH?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GracesMomMom
    Thanks everyone. Denial is her middle name. Stubborn is her last name. All I can do is point out symptoms and hope she gets curious, or hope that I get a diagnosis and get better so that she can see the results. Which I'm hoping will be fairly quickly. I should start my cycle by the end of the week and should be able to start the temperature checking for the doctor. yea!
    AND osteoporosis ... some people think that it's the drug that causes it but i'm here to tell you that it's not: a little less than a year before the DX (of hypo), my bones were fine -- with the help of some calcitonin, i'd gone from osteopenia to fine ... three months before my actual DX, my bone density had plummetted, i got be-fogged, depressed (suicidal, toward the end), i was constipated and bloated ... and then i was treated ...

    now i'm on actonal, but i'm sure if i'd been DX'd sooner (the symptoms had begun the year before, but my doctor just treated the symptoms, not the underlying cause), i'd be fine ... and that's only going un-DX'd for a year ...

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