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  • I need some guidance (Long 1st post)!

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    Old 03-23-2009, 05:12 PM   #1
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: Manchester, NH
    Posts: 5
    BetseyD HB User
    Unhappy I need some guidance (Long 1st post)!

    Listed below are my Thyroid Panel results as of 02/18/2009:

    TSH 4.007 (.358-3.740)
    TT4 10.1 (4.8-13.9)
    FT4 1.06 (.76-1.46)
    TT3 56 (70-190)
    FT3 2.9 (2.18-3.98)
    Thyroglobulin Antibody <1.8 (<4.0)

    In 3 to 4 months time, my test results went from "normal" to the above. As you can see, my TSH was high, and my TT3 was low - with everything else falling within a normal range.

    After receiving these results, I immediately went to my PCP, with the understanding that I would be referred to a specialist. No. He wanted to treat this latest development himself by upping my Levoxyl to 100 mcg. (from 25 mcg.)

    After I was on this new, higher dose of Levoxyl for a few days I actually started to feel a lot better! Things were finally starting to look up - then - after the first week of treatment, they started to go into reverse! [B]Not only did I start feeling worse than before - I had the brand new symptom of constipation! Really nice, huh? Add to this a feeling like my body was made out of lead.

    This brings us to last Friday, 03/20/2009, when I went to my PCP for a follow-up visit. I was practically in tears with trying to explain how horrible I felt, and my doctor started to go down the road of "Well, these medications take MONTHS to take effect, you know. We discussed my Blood Test Results and appropriate Medication.

    I flat-out asked my doctor why my Levoxyl was upped, when it was only my T3 that was low. He explained that the body will (usually) convert T4 into T3 as needed. Well, I asked, seeing as how this medication is not working for me - and seemingly making things worse - why can't I try a T3 supplement instead? After some hesitation, my doctor looked in his prescription reference book to see what was available for T3 Medications; he came upon Cytomel, and stated that he did not usually prescribe this to his patients. I argued that I could not feel, or look, any worse than I currently do, and asked him if I could try Cytomel. He agreed and started me on a dose of 25 mcg. He also told me to stop the Levoxyl.

    Now, here it is, four days into dropping the Levoxyl and now taking 25 mcg. of Cytomel daily. The only real difference, so far, that I have noticed is that I have an almost constant Headache - I wakeup with it, and manage it with Advil throughout the day, but it never completely goes away. Other than that, the only other physical changes that I have noticed is a total reversal of the constipation, and I have been peeing - A LOT.

    Other than these few "side effects", I have not seen anything significant in terms of energy, mental alertness, etc... I also realize that it has only been a few days, but most importantly, I do not feel any worse!

    Anyway - my questions are:

    Has anyone here ever pursued the Cytomel only course of treatment?

    Should I INSIST on seeing a specialist?

    Should I have stopped my Levoxyl cold turkey (could this be the cause of the never-ending headache)?

    Any comments and/or insights would be more than welcome at this point, as I really want to get this straightened out before I feel any worse - or get any fatter!

    Thank you for your patience!



    Last edited by BetseyD; 03-23-2009 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Post too long

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    Old 03-23-2009, 05:42 PM   #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: Washington
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    zhope HB User
    Re: I need some guidance (Long 1st post)!

    Darling, my goodness. I think you're giving too much credit to those of us on these boards!!! Your post reads like a medical history. I have hypothyroidism and so wished I could help you, but it's much beyond my medical comprehension. I can only say that if you are having troubles, then going to a specialist, getting other opinions is ALWAYS a good idea. Remember, they call it medical "practice" for a reason!!

    Old 03-23-2009, 06:49 PM   #3
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: Manchester, NH
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    BetseyD HB User
    Re: I need some guidance (Long 1st post)!

    Hmmmmm - True!

    And - sorry for the long post - I think that I needed to vent! I also think that I will go and edit it down considerably!

    I have another appointment to see my PCP in two weeks and I guess that I am going to have to push the issue of a Specialist Referral!



    Old 03-23-2009, 09:58 PM   #4
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    Location: Ozarks in Arkansas
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    Oleander53 HB UserOleander53 HB UserOleander53 HB User
    Re: I need some guidance (Long 1st post)!

    Go back to my first 2 years of posts.......they read like a novel, no more like a series.... Vent away my friend.....that is what we are here for.

    I take Armour and Cytomel........ I had a very slight headache when I first started Cytomel and my Doctor told me to cut it in half ( 25mcg ) take 1/2 in morning and 1/2 around 330pm.... I now just take the whole pill around 4pm each day....feel great on it. I take 3 Grains of Armour and Cytomel 25mcg.

    I have never taken just t3. I have always taken t4/t3 Armour and then added t3 due to feeling tired in afternoons and my t4 dropping.....

    I am sure someone else will come forward about this.

    I really like my Cytomel, I feel really good since it was added. But I have noticed my hair seems to be a little thinner......not sure where that is coming from since I always have a full head of hair... I hope it is not the Cytomel because I love how I feel on it....

    Let us know what is going on..........Oleander

    Old 03-25-2009, 08:00 AM   #5
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: Manchester, NH
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    BetseyD HB User
    Re: I need some guidance (Long 1st post)!

    Hi Oleander,

    Thanks for the reply, and I will take you up on your suggestion - about reading your history and experience!

    Well, after doing a LOT more research online, I came to a couple of conclusions.

    First, I need to insist upon seeing a specialist, and I do not care if my PCP agrees or not! It is my body, and everyone that I have spoken with in regards to my situation pretty much agrees, that I am crazy to not push the specialist referral issue! The only problem with this is that there are very few Endocrinologists here in New Hampshire, and you usually have to wait months to get in with one.

    Second, I have noticed that 99.9% of people taking Cytomel take it in conjunction with a T4 medication. I was on 100 mcg.of Levoxyl (T4), and my PCP told me to just stop it cold turkey, and start taking the Cytomel once a day (he did not specify what time of day, or how to take it). As of this past Monday (this is now Wednesday), I just could not take the darn headache any longer! I decided that I had nothing to lose, and popped in one of my 100 mcg. Levoxyls along with my 25 mcg. tablet of Cytomel that morning. What a difference!!!

    My headache went away, completely, within 20 minutes of taking both medications together! I couldn't believe it! I am now feeling pretty good, not 100% yet, but a whole heck of a lot better than I had been feeling! The only thing that is currently bothering me, and this is kind of gross, is that I have experienced a return to the constipation, and I have also ceased the large (and frequent) volume of urination - which leads me to believe that I am once again retaining water, i.e., I am once again feeling very bloated.

    So - both medications together does seem to be the way to go, but, I highly doubt that it is a cure-all, as I am experiencing a return of symptoms that had been alleviated with taking just Cytomel (T3). I love that I am feeling a little more energetic, and I know that these medications take weeks/months to reach their full potential, but, the continued weight gain (despite good eating habits, regular exercise, and vitamins) is really depressing! I would give just about anything to be able to wear something other than sweatpants, and to be able to fit back into my jeans - the same jeans that were loose on me just a few months ago!

    I was wondering if anyone else, who might be taking the same combination of medications that I currently am, has experienced these same problems - and how long did it take for your bodies to "right" themselves and get totally back to normal? I really do not want to go out and buy a whole new "fat wardrobe" for Spring/Summer - not that I can really afford to do that, anyway. I am wondering if, maybe, I asked my PCP to increase the Cytomel - if that would help with the weight gain, bloating and constipation? The reason why I ask this is because it will probably be months before I would be able to get in with an Endocrinologist - and I am just dreading having to drag my (currently) Fat Butt through the Summer like this!

    Anyway, that is the latest. Thank you, again, for the replies - you guys are great!


    Old 03-25-2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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    FinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB UserFinnMaid HB User
    Re: I need some guidance (Long 1st post)!

    I've been on T4/T3-treatment over 3 years now. Started with 5 mcgs then after a couple of weeks added another 5. T3 is about 4 times as potent as T4 so you need to be careful. Trying to drop T4 just a tiny bit made me even more HypoT than I already was (and I was a zombie) so I returned to my original dose. I would not advice taking T3 alone in long term use since your body needs T4 too - T3 gives you a "kick" but T4 gives "steady motion". It takes awhile for the meds to really kick in and big changes in your medication in a short period of time are not good for your body.

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