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Old 06-01-2005, 05:46 PM   #1
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Help Please

What is the current correct range that is considered to be dx for an underactive thyroid?

Also is it correct that in order to have a correct reading it is important to have your tsh, FT-3 and FT-4 all done at the same time?

Can you have an "in range" tsh and either or both your FT-3 and Ft-4 can be out of wack?

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Old 06-01-2005, 05:52 PM   #2
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Re: Help Please

....also do you need your T-3 and T4 test to be done as well along with your tsh, FT-3 and FT-4 tests? Sorry for so many questions.

Old 06-02-2005, 06:20 PM   #3
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Re: Help Please

I am asking these questions for my grandmother's sake. She is already on 100mcg of synthroid. She is seeing an internist not an endo.

She has suddenly started feeling depressed and to tired to do anything. She wants to do so many things but that lively woman she once was is no longer there. She is in her early 70s but never acted her age.

Today she had a little accident at the dr's office. She had an extra change of clothes with her so I am assuming this has happend before. I feel really bad for her.

I want to be able to help her and I want to know what I need to ask her dr and that is why I came here. She is also being treated for diabetes. She is far from being overweight. (unlike me who is 30lbs heavier than I used to be)

I am 32 yrs old and I have been on 100mcg of synthroid for about 3 yrs now. I am only assuming that I am inheriting my grandmother's ailments. I want to do whatever I can possible to recognize things in advanced so that I know which route to go and what to do in order to help slow down any diseases.

I have read many of your posts and you all give out better information than a dr would. I have used some of your replies to help me talk with my endo and she has been wonderful about listening.

Old 06-02-2005, 09:20 PM   #4
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Re: Help Please

Since your GM has already been diagnosed, her TSH level is irrelevant now. Or are you asking because she recently started to take Synthroid and you want to make sure she actually is hypothyroid?

Yes, a person can have an in-range TSH with FT levels that are too low. That isn't to say that the FTs will necessarily be below the range; they can be low-normal - in range - and still be too low for that person. Most healthy people have FTs above the middle of the range. For a person in treatment, the FTs should ideally be tested to see if they are high enough. The TSH doesn't matter, because the pituitary automatically decreases the output of TSH when it senses enough circulating hormone is present.

The starting treatment for hypoT in the elderly is slightly different than in people under 65. It needs to be more conservative to protect the older cardiovascular system. It's possible that a patient who started treatment at a younger age could need some adjustment in her later years, but usually, the dose needs to be lowered rather than raised to compensate for an older, slower metabolism.

It's quite possible that your GM is having some health problems unrelated to her thyroid. We all wish that we could age so gracefully that we will never notice any decline in our health; but realistically, that hardly ever happens. At 55, I am nowhere near the same physical person I was at 32; I expect I'll be very different at 70. The most I shall hope for is to still have most of my mental faculties until I die.

If your GM is starting to have continence trouble, she should see a urologist. There are newer treatments for it that can be very effective. If all else fails, there are excellent hygiene products that will keep embarrassment in check.
Make sure she eats well. If she lives alone, it could be that she skips nutritious meals simply because she hates eating alone. Or cooking may be too much effort. If this is possible, maybe you could have dinner with her a couple nights a week. An occasion like that to look forward to may help her depression, too.

Clearly you love her very much. I don't know all the specifics of her situation, but there are a lot of resources available to the elderly today that were unheard of only 20 years ago. I hope you can find simple solutions to her problems.

Two things that are stressed over and over in health news these days is the importance of good nutrition (in the right amounts - not too much nor too little) and enough regular, moderate exercise. In my opinion, those are the most important things that can guarantee you the most healthful old age possible.

Last edited by midwest1; 06-02-2005 at 09:27 PM.

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