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    Old 07-16-2007, 07:57 AM   #1
    MaggieMolly's Avatar
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    Are these connected?

    I'm hoping someone might have answers for me. I have outrageously high LDL cholesterol (220), just recently diagnosed, paired with another recent diagnosis of undertreated hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto's. My general practitioner upped my levothyroxine dose while at the same time putting me on a statin (Crestor) to bring the LDL down. Here are the questions:

    1) Is the undertreated thyroid responsible or contributable to the high LDL? My HDL is phenomenal, as are my triglycerides.

    2) Is my closed comedore adult acne (I'm 38, no history of teenage acne, on birth control to reduce it, but it wasn't working) due to the low thyroid? I've been on minocycline and retin A for 3 months and it has cleared very nicely, but I am wondering if the original problem was the thyroid.

    3) Could my 3 years-running back pain (really, it's mainly buttock pain) be attributable to the low thyroid? I initially pulled every buttock muscle when my dog wanted to go one way but I was already going the other (called a torsion something). See, the pain travels. I think it is the glute, so I stretch that muscle, only to find it becomes the pitiformis. So I stretch that one ... never ending cycle. The pain is intermittent, I am on anti-inflammatories for it, but isn't 3 years a long time to be in pain for a pulled muscle?

    4) I've been asking the doctor for about 4 years to up the thyroid dosage but each time I fell in the normal range. Could I possibly need more hormone than normal? You see, I had Grave's in my teens and twenties (hence, why I had no acne) and have always enjoyed that I have way more energy and vibrancy than others. I like the edge. I know what overtreatment feels like and whenever I have (without doctor's consent - maximum time 2 weeks) doubled my dosage, no symptoms appeared. Meanwhile, I do have symptoms like hypo (fatigue, mild depression, constipation, hair falling out, etc.).

    5) Is my acid reflux connected? It was diagnosed about 3 years ago when I lost my voice (I am a teacher and one can't not have a voice).

    6) Should I be going to my endocrinologist for this maintenance stuff, or could I continue to see the GP? He's really quite a good doctor, even if he is a bit conservative in his hypo treatment.

    Thanks for any or all of your help ... yes, I intend to ask the doctor about all this, but I wanted to see if my commodious research in the web might help narrow the focus of my questions. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

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    Old 07-16-2007, 08:32 AM   #2
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    Re: Are these connected?

    Un- and undertreated hypoT is so connected to elevated LDL, that cholesterol measurement was used to diagnose it before specific thyroid lab tests were developed. In those days, if a person's cholesterol was elevated, they were given a trial of thyroid hormone automatically. HypoT is the second-leading cause of elevated LDL following poor diet.

    The elevated LDL cholesterol levels in hypothyroidism may occur as a result of increased cholesterol manufacture and absorption, a decrease in the liver enzyme which breaks it down, and/or, and defects in the process that breaks down and clears the LDL from the body. More good news - - The LDL in a hypo person is probably more oxidized, leading to a higher probability of atherosclerosis than in a non-hypo person with high cholesterol. drat

    The signs and symptoms you ask about may or may not be caused by your low thyroid. It would be hard to attribute any one of them directly to it, but any of them could be. When your thyroid levels are optimal for you - and not just "in range" - you'll know what was attributable, because it will go away.

    To find out if your levels are optimal - not just "normal" - the free T4 and free T3 must be tested, not just TSH. If your MD treats only according to an in-range TSH, you probably are not being treated optimally. If your free Ts are being tested, they should probably be at least mid-range or higher. Levels in the bottom of the range are hardly ever optimal. TSH above 1.5 in a treated person is hardly ever optimal. Keep these things in mind when you peruse your lab reports.

    Personally, I don't like endos for treatment of uncomplicated hypothyroidism. A few members I've seen here have had good luck with theirs; but far, far more have had abysmal luck with endos. Endos treat according to the book and rarely think outside the box, but hypoT often needs to be seen outside the box. Osteopaths are the most mainstream of the so-called alternative practices, and are often better at treating thyroid than medical doctors because they are more holistic. If I didn't have the great MD I have now, I would shop for a DO to treat my thyroid.

    The bottom line is that whoever treats you should provide you with a hard copy of your labs. Then you need to learn the basic interpretation of them and how to discuss the results you get and the treatment you'd prefer. An educated thyroid patient gets far better treatment than one who leaves it all up to the MD.

    Good luck to you!

    Old 07-16-2007, 08:41 AM   #3
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    Re: Are these connected?

    Hello Maggie,

    It could all be connected.

    You need to find out if your thyroid levels are just in "nornal range" or optimal. I bet they are no where near optimal.

    Also, you need to find out if they are testing your free T3 and free T4 or just relying on your TSH.

    This is what you need to do...

    Call your doctors office asap and request copies of all your lab reports, going back as far as possible. You want to see what your levels are, your numbers. Do NOT ever again settle for being told they are in "nornal range", always get copies of your lab reports!

    The TSH: you want this number low, around 1.0 OR at least below 2.0 (though many docrors still think any that up to 3.5 or even 5.5 is "normal" it is no where optimal). Get copies and see with your own eyes what your number is!

    Also, see if they ever test your FREE T3 and FREE T4. These are actual thyroid hormones. You do NOT want these numbers low. These numbers should be in the middle to upper range of the "normal" range.

    Call your doctors office and get those copies and post your results here. We will help you. If your thyroid hormone levels are far from optimal, you need to see about getting them optimal and then see if you still have those other problems. They may be gone or at least lessened!

    That's what happened to me. I spent over 2 decades feeling lousy on Synthroid with my TSH in "nornal range" and my FREE T3 in the lowest of the "normal range". The doctors consider all this just fine and the other symptoms are often blamed on anything else and prescription meds are prescribed to take care of the other problems (that are actually caused by way less than optimal thyroid levels).

    Best wishes.
    25 years feeling worse every year on Synthroid & 13 months feel good on Armour Thyroid.

    Old 07-20-2007, 10:30 AM   #4
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    Re: Are these connected?

    Are there any complications with taking levothroid with a cholesterol lowering drug?

    Old 07-20-2007, 10:36 AM   #5
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    Re: Are these connected?

    Maggie555 - Think of the thyroid prescription as a supplement rather than a medication. It's a synthetic form of the same hormone a "normal" healthy body would be producing for you. You're just supplementing because your body will not produce the hormone properly. Therefore, it's really less like a drug that would have side effects and interactions with other medicines.

    Please keep in mind that the effectiveness of the thyroid supplement can be reduced by your failing to take it properly (Synthroid, Levoxyl on an empty stomach, same time each day; Armour split into two doses each day) or if you take it with some other pill or food that binds to it and keeps it from absorbing into your blood stream. So, check with your pharmacist and/or doctor about whether or not you should take the two pills at or near the same time.

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