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What is secondary hypothyroidism?????

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Old 04-22-2010, 08:47 AM   #1
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What is secondary hypothyroidism?????

So I finally went to the endo this morning. After looking at my previous test results (TSH .8 & Free T4 .82) he said... Why would your obgyn tell you this is normal? Did she even look at these results and take into account your symptoms?.... Plus he felt inflammation in my thyroid. So off for a Thyroid Scan & uptake next week. Did other blood work today... repeat TSH, Free T4; cortisol; total t4; total t3; free t3; Thyroid Antithyroglobulin Antibody.

How long before I get those test results back?? And why cortisol????


Thanks for any help you can provide!

Last edited by andeflora; 04-22-2010 at 09:19 AM. Reason: added question

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Old 04-22-2010, 09:41 AM   #2
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Re: What is secondary hypothyroidism?????

Wow, and endo who actually takes symptoms into account, that's rare.

Labs usually take about a week or less to get back. You may have to call the Dr's office to ask for a copy of your results.

Any chance they also did a TPO (thyroperoxidase) antibody too? It's a more common marker for Hashi's than the TG (thyrogolobulin) that you've had done. Also the total T3 and total T4 he did won't be much use but it's good he's doing both free T3 and free T4. At some point I'd request ferritin, vitamin B12 and D levels too.

Cortisol testing will tell if your adrenals are functioning well. Unfortunately a serum cortisol is just a snapshot and doesn't tell if you've got adrenal fatigue unless the blood draw catches the fluctuating cortisol level in your body at the low or high point. Diurnal saliva cortisol testing is more effective and sensitive for this.

Secondary hypothryroidism is when your thyroid is not producing enough hormones due to a problem in the feedback loop, usually from pituitary dysfunction (as opposed to the thyroid itself malfunctioning, which is far more common). Low TSH coupled with low FT3 and FT4 levels is a good reason to look for secondary causes for your hypothyroidism.

Last edited by javelina; 04-22-2010 at 09:42 AM.

Old 04-22-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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Re: What is secondary hypothyroidism?????

What are some possible secondary causes??!? Could my endometriosis or previous gestational diabetes be the initial cause? The antibody test could have been that one I can't remember exactly which one it was. He just quickly told me the different test and I saw it on the lab slip. I couldn't remember which one it was.

Cortisol.. adrenal glands... I had precocious adrenarche as a kid. Could this be a trigger for the hypoT?

Javalina... thank you so much. I don't think I would be nearly as calm or educated about any of this if it wasn't for you! You are a godsend right now!!! Bless you!

Oh... and I was SHOCKED that he looked at my test results and said they are low, borderline low, but lets talk about what's going on with YOU and what symptoms you have. After we talked and he was on my side and on the same page I was, I almost passed out! lol I was scared he wouldn't even give me a chance to tell him my symptoms!

Last edited by andeflora; 04-22-2010 at 10:25 AM.

Old 04-22-2010, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: What is secondary hypothyroidism?????

You have lucked onto one of the very few good endos in the world. Great news for you! You've won half the battle.

The pituitary gland emits several different hormones which control the thyroid, adrenals, and sex glands. It's also the source of growth hormone. When the pituitary isn't working properly, none of those other systems works properly. It may have been contributing to your problems all along.

Sounds like you're on the right track! We're pulling for you to finally get what you need from an MD!

Last edited by midwest1; 04-22-2010 at 09:45 PM.

Old 04-23-2010, 07:27 AM   #5
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Re: What is secondary hypothyroidism?????

Midwest1... thank you! I am so excited that i didn't have to keep searching. I have dealt with these problems since I was 6... so 23 years! It's a huge relieve to know I am finally getting some answers and getting to the bottom of all of it. I would love to tie it all up in ONE little bow and be done with it. If I get my thyroid under control it will be easier to control my endometriosis and will mean NO TOTAL HYSTERECTOMY before the age of 30. I am beyond thrilled!

I am so grateful to have found this website and ALL of you! You guys have been so helpful and wonderful in explaining everything and helping me realize I am not alone in this madness we know as our Endocrine System. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!!!!

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