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Newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism

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Old 11-13-2008, 03:11 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Springfield, MO US
Posts: 1
pdmgtal HB User
Newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism


I apologize for newbie questions, but I'm hoping to find some information to better understand what I should expect following a hypothyroid diagnosis.

My primary care doctor diagnosed me with hypothyroidism in late september based on TSH and free t4 labwork. She currently has me on 25 micrograms of Synthroid daily. My initial TSH levels were 8.5 and then 6.7, and after being on the synthroid for 6 weeks, my TSH is 3.6

After I was diagnosed, my older sister went to have her thyroid checked as well (she went straight to an endocrinologist--she's in another part of the country) and was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Hypothroidism based on an antibody test (?).

I have noticed a definite improvement on memory, concentration, and mood, but I'm still cold, tired, and sometimes my throat feels funny--the best way I can describe it is I used to have a kitten who would try to sleep on my throat, and it's a similar sensation.

So that's the background for my question. My most recent labwork, about a week ago, had the TSH of 3.7, today I called my doctors office asking for a referral to see an endocrinologist because I have a lot of questions and don't really understand my treatment. My doctors nurse called back to say the doctor disagrees about having me see an endocrinologist, and based on the most recent lab work my thyroid is now fine.

I'm frustrated and confused. Is it unreasonable of me to want a referral? I am seeing so many conflicting pieces of information about what is "normal" tsh (I have seen the 3 cutoff that is supposed to be more recent), and it doesn't make sense that if my TSH is responding to synthroid that I'm now no longer hypothyroid. The doctor doesn't seem interested in asking how I am feeling, but just responding to the lab work. I'm not even sure if she will refill the synthroid at this point.

So, after all that. Here's my question. SHould I push for the referral to a specialist? If she refuses I'm not opposed to changing doctors, as I'm not thrilled with her for a couple other reasons. Does her argument that since my TSH is down to 3.6 that I don't have a problem make sense? I don't want to be a problem patient, but I'd really like my questions answered and for whatever reason it's not happening with her.

I appreciate any advice you can give me.



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Old 11-13-2008, 06:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Orlando, FL USA
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calail HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism

Amy - i'm a newbie to the board, and have just had a recent hypoT diagnosis. but honestly, i don't think your question is really a hypoT question.

you asked for a specialist referral - your MD could have said you didn't need one, but LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL! in ANY situation where a doctor isn't listening to you, then i think you need a new doctor. however, maybe you didn't give the doctor a chance to answer your questions.... i'm not accusing just saying you might want to give the MD an opportunity to answer your questions - let her know how you feel, what's still going on, and maybe a TSH of 3.7 isn't good enough if you're still having symptoms. see how she responds - then decide if it's time for a new doc.

Old 11-15-2008, 12:34 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Worthing Sussex UK
Posts: 2
manager62 HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism

I've just joined. This seems daunting at first and takes a while to understand the figures. <removed> If you are feeling better you are on the right road. Personally I tweak the dose until I know I feel ok, whatever the numbers. So many docs just go by the TSH but everyone is different. e.g. I was diagnosed when TSH was 7.17 but one of my daughters was diagnosed with a TSH of 1.34. She felt much worse than me with just about every symptom on the list. Also every lab is different, even within your own area, never mind country. Here they still go from 0.1 - 5.0mU/L and the feelings of lots more knowledgeable than me is to get as near the bottom as possible. Also if you were tested after not taking thyroxine for 24hrs you would probably be much higher again. So if your doc stops the prescription, you will simply go up again! Like stopping insulin for a diabetic! So you do still need the thyroxine.
That you are now 3.6 doesn't mean a thing. <removed> At least where you are your doctors are sort of working for you, here that is not the case, so we are naturally a bit more careful of 'rocking the boat'. Also, take it on an empty stomach, then leave half to 1 hr before eating,some find taking it at night makes them feel better the next day. Experiment.

Last edited by mod-anon; 11-15-2008 at 12:42 PM. Reason: do not instruct members on how to find websites.

Old 11-15-2008, 12:47 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Worthing Sussex UK
Posts: 2
manager62 HB User
Re: Newly diagnosed with hypothyroidism

apologies to mod-anon

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