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TSH is 16.49

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Old 01-03-2008, 09:28 PM   #1
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TSH is 16.49

Hi all
My husband was diagnosed as hyperthyroid about 3 years ago. He was put on Methimazole and they kept increasing the dosage from 2 a day to 4 a day to 6 a day and still he couldn't seem to get into normal levels. He was last tested about 6 months ago and I'm sorry to say we didn't get the results just the doctor's word that the results were "normal". Last week he had a pulmonary function test and blood work was ordered as part of the test. We had to ask him to please check thyroid too since it hadn't been done in a while. It turns out he only asked for TSH and it came back at 16.49. The doctor just told him to stop the Methimazole for a month and then they'll recheck it.
He has had increasing symptoms the worst being terrible depression which has been getting worse. He has been on Cymbalta for months so the doctored also added Wellbutrin. He cannot seem to stay warm and his skin is extremely dry to the point that his finger tips are cracking. He has gained some weight, but was too thin to begin with.
From everything I am reading it sounds like 16.49 is an extremely high number. Do you think it would be a good idea for him to take thyroid for a while? If so, how long would it take him to feel better? Should we ask them to do more detailed testing now or would it be ok to wait a month?
I have a call in to the doctor and he is supposed to call me back tomorrow night. What should I ask him for? Thanks for anyone's help.

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Old 01-03-2008, 11:06 PM   #2
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Re: TSH is 16.49

I'm sorry your husband has been neglected for so long. His overmedicated state is surely to blame for a large part of his depression. You ought to consider riding herd on that doctor for his shameful neglect... or perhaps even consider switching to another MD if this one continues to ignore what can be a most serious condition. The only good thing I can say about him is that he hasn't pushed radioactive iodine therapy on your husband, the way most do.

That said, your idea about giving him thyroid for a short period won't help. Thyroid is a slow-acting hormone, and by the time it got into his system, his own thyroid will have picked up again. The combo of his own hormone plus that in the pill could push him hyper again. Don't want that.

Graves Girl (who responded to your other thread) is an expert on hyperthyroidism, and she is the one to advise about how often to get labs done. I bow to her expertise on that subject.

Old 01-04-2008, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: TSH is 16.49

I agree with Midwest that this doc is creating issues for your hubby. I just wanted to add that yes your hubby's TSH is elevated but it is not outrageously high. Some people can be very sickly with a TSH of 3 (me) and some people with a TSH of 30 might not have many symptoms at all (my niece). We've even had some people post on here in the hundreds. It does seem like men can tolerate a higher TSH though, without as many symptoms as women.

I don't know much about bouncing from hyper to hypo but I also agree that I would not throw more meds into the mix as he would most likely go hyper again. Stopping the meth for a month and retesting sounds like a good plan.

I hope your hubby finds a happy medium soon and that getting his thyroid optimized helps with the depression issues as well!

Old 01-04-2008, 01:37 PM   #4
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Re: TSH is 16.49

I have hypers in my family.. all due to Graves. Many have managed their hyperT with anti thyroid meds for years.. but all but one have had their thyroids just collaps and die from years of over use. This is a common occurance from what I can tell in many hyperT's that are not managed optimally and closely.

My Aunt that is still holding has to get blood tests taken every two month or when she feels a shift in here state and she has to carefully monitor vit levels and natural supplement care on top of the anti-thyroid drugs. It is a constant battle for her.

I wonder if your husband's thyroid has over run itself into a collapse. The only way to tell for sure is to get a thyroid uptake scan done to see if you have hyper active or dead node zones.

So for his care I strongly recommend continual FT3 and FT4 checks as well as an uptake scan of the thyroid proper. If the thyroid has died.. then he is hypoT now and needs to be treated as such.

If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.

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