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  • Help understanding lab results and info on Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

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    Old 01-06-2010, 04:43 AM   #1
    LaurieAnn70's Avatar
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    Newbie & needing help understanding lab results & info on Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

    Good Morning,

    I am new to this message board and looking for help with my lab test results and just any information I can get about hyper/hypo active thyroid and Hashi/Graves. I recently had some labwork done after experiencing symptoms of hypothyroid/Hyperthyroid for years. I've had tests done before - just a very general one (TSH I think) and they always came back in normal range according to my Dr.'s. I insisted something was wrong and finally found a Dr. who made out a lab requisition for a more complete test. My results came back high, not low so I am really confused. If I have most of the symptoms of an underactive thyroid, how can my ranges be high? The Dr. I saw said I needed to see an endocrinologist that he couldn't prescribe medicine to me because my situation was a tricky one. Here are my results:

    TSH - 2.48 ( lab range is 0.4 - 4)
    TOTAL T4 - 7.69 (lab range is 4.5 - 12.5)
    FREE T3 - 4.8 (high) (lab range is 1.8 - 4.2)
    FREE T4 - 1.43 (lab range is 0.8 - 1.9)
    THYROID UPTAKE - 44.80 (high) (lab range is 21-38)

    Hypothyroid runs in my family (maternal and paternal grandmothers) as do various autoimmune diseases ( i have Psoriasis, my dad has Vitiligo) I have no idea if those play any part - I know some thyroid conditions can be autoimmune related. I have been feeling this way for a good part of 9 years. (mild at times, worse at others) It all happened after I had my son. I couldn't loose any weight, and when I did try diets, it took me twice as long than the average person to loose anything. Once I would stop a diet,the weight would come right back on in the blink of an eye. I also have had 4 misscarriages due to low progesterone and I think this thyroid issue played a major role. For years I have been trying to tell the Dr's I think it's my thyroid and none of them listened. I do have some symptoms of Hyperthryroid on occassion too, the heart palpitations - thought I had a heart condition there for a while - and anxiety. Overall, more symptoms of Hypothyroid but it seems to go back and forth. Someone mentioned to me it's possible I should get checked for Hashimoto's Thyroiditis?
    Any information and help interpreting my results and more information on Hashimoto's would be greatly appreciated, I am so, so confused right now!

    Last edited by LaurieAnn70; 01-06-2010 at 06:50 AM. Reason: more info

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    Old 01-06-2010, 06:49 AM   #2
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    Re: Help understanding lab results and info on Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

    The high TSH and high free T3 and free T4 point to either Hashi's or maybe a pituitary problem. You need to have some antibody tests run to see if it's Hashis', which with your family HX it probably is. When the antibody attacks happen there is a die-off of the thyroid and a dump of hormones in your system, frequently called "Hashi's swings". This cause hyper symptoms along with hypo and can be a real roller coaster.

    Ask for TPO and TG antibodies testing and get your ferritin, vitamin D, B12 tested. The tricky part is getting treatment. Since your hormones are high most docs won't want to treat you and will tell you to just wait it out. Many disagree with this approach and follow a protocol to take thyroid hormones (preferably both T3 and T4-- desiccated thyroid hormones are my personal favorite) to a level where the thryoid is shut down (with sub-range TSH and relief of symptoms) and this stops the antibody attacks. In your case I would retest your free T levels and initiate treatment when they fall to hypo levels (below 50% of range). Finding a doctor to agree with this might be a bit of a challenge though.

    Long term untreated hypo states and autoimmune disease will stress adrenal function too. The best way to test your adrenals is with a 24 hour saliva cortisol test you can order online or some alternative practitioners will provide. If you have adrenal fatigue thyroid hormone treatment will not be effective because low cortisol levels interferes with transporting T3 into the cells.

    There's a lot to learn about this and becoming the best informed patient you can be will serve you well. Do some research and read up on as many posts here as you can. Most of us have found that doctors and endos especially have limited knowledge or are practicing outdated clinical guidelines regarding thyroid disease. It will be up to you to do the research and make informed decisions about your treatment.

    Hope this helps!

    Old 01-06-2010, 07:26 AM   #3
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    Re: Help understanding lab results and info on Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

    Hi LaurieAnn70,

    Recently, I have been going through some Hashi swings that are terrible. I can switch between hyper and hypo in a matter of hours. But mostly, I am either one or the other for about 12-24 hours.

    I have yet to be diagnosed officially, but I started developing a goiter on or about 12/23/09 and have some pretty severe symptoms especially during these swings. I see a new doctor today that is supposedly well versed in this field.

    I too have a family history of Hashimoto's and I am fairly certain that is what I have too, but am waiting for confirmation.

    Hope you get the treatment you need!

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