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TSH is 13

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Old 06-14-2005, 08:20 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
cassiehenderson HB User
Unhappy TSH is 13

Hello, I just found this site and am in need of some support. I'm trying to understand this hypoactive thyroid business. Three months ago I had a blood test and my TSH was 8, six weeks later after being on thyroid meds it was 12.5, six weeks after that still on meds it was 13. I've gone from 25mcg to 50mcg and will have another blood test in about five weeks. Anyone having gone thru this have any advice (sympanthy is always appreciated) I have the fatique and in the last few months the weight gain and talk about feeling cold in 80 degree heat. Is there a non script alternative to being on synthroid meds the rest of my life?. This is the first time I've had to be on long term/permanent medication and am feeling my age and sorry for myself. I'm not bullet proof after all. Well I feel better all ready just whining on this really works ..


Last edited by cassiehenderson; 06-14-2005 at 08:25 AM.

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Old 06-15-2005, 06:03 AM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 190
diatron HB User
Re: TSH is 13

I'm sorry you are feeling so bad, but glad you found this forum. Welcome.

Thyroid disease can be very frustrating and we all need a big dose of patience to get through the bad times and back to feeling great. It is possible, hang in there.

It sounds like you have been put on such low doses of thyroid medicine that your own thyroid is taking a rest. That would cause your TSH to rise and you to feel worse even though you are on medications. You will feel better when you get a larger dose of hormones in your body. The replacement dose of Levothyroxine can be anywhere from 100-300 mcg. Each person's body is different. And it does take 6-8 weeks for Levothyroxine to build up to a steady level in your bloodstream--that's why it is recommended that you wait 6 weeks between blood tests.

And yes, it is for the rest of your life. Some lucky individuals come down with transient thyroiditis from pregnancy, say, but for most of us it is forever. Our thyroid glands just do not function the right way.

The worst part is getting to the right level of thyroid replacement hormones. I'm luckier than some, I've done it in about a year and only had to fire two doctors. Others spend years and go through a dozen doctors to get diagnosed and treated properly. I hope it works quickly for you.

Is your doctor running Free T3 and Free T4 tests in addition to your TSH? That is the only way to tell how much hormone is available to your cells. You will probably feel your best if the Free T3 and Free T4 levels are in the top 1/3 of their ranges. I also hope your doctor is treating you based on your symptoms and lab reports. That's the best combination to have.

Come here and read as much as you can about the rest of us and how we treat our disease. The more you know about it, the better you will be able to get the best treatment you can from your doctor.

Old 06-15-2005, 07:19 AM   #3
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Re: TSH is 13

Welcome to the group, Cassie. If you must have thyroid disease, this is a good place to come to get help through it.

I wanted to address your concern about non-script alternatives to Synthroid.
I'm a person who loathes Big Pharma and the drugs it peddles ... the ones that are advertised all over the media... the ones that have a list of side effects far worse than the conditions the drugs treat. But Synthroid and the other meds for underactive thyroid aren't like those drugs. The active ingredients are simply the hormones that your own gland would make if it could. They replace the natural hormone you must have for good health. They don't alter your body's natural function in any way - the way that statins or allergy meds or stomach acid blockers do. That's comforting to me; maybe it will be to you, too.

Compared to those 'designer' drugs-of-the-moment, thyroid meds are cheap. My script costs me about $7 a month with insurance. At full cost without insurance, the cost would be only $10. You can't beat that price.

Another thing ~ We who have fought to get diagnosed and treated, and who finally feel normal and healthy again, treasure that prescription like gold. If anyone would try to take my Armour away, they'd be cruisin' for a bruisin'. Once you regain your health through that tiny, cheap prescription pill, you'll probably feel the same way.

This is a great place for whining, great at support... but it's even better for education... For letting you know when your doctor's doing the best for you, and when he's flubbing up. If you read here long enough, you'll see just how few doctors are really successful at thyroid treatment. But you'll also learn what to look for in a new doctor if you ever have the need to switch.

Old 06-15-2005, 11:17 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
cassiehenderson HB User
Re: TSH is 13

Thank you so much for your posts. I do feel better knowing that I can feel better. Actully just in several days of the 50mcg doses I've noticed that I'm not having as many nap attacks, and am down to one sweater (they keep my office like a meat locker anyway)
I do need to find out more about T3 and T4, the only reports I've seen show TSH. It was feeling cold and having anxiety attacks that let my doctor to do a blood test. I was very suprised to see that my dosage is quite low compared to the 100-300mcg dosages. I'll see what the next blood test shows.

Yes, if I have to have thryroid disease, I'm glad I found this place.

Big Smiles

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