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    Old 12-27-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
    lulu511
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    Need help understanding my test results

    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post here, so forgive me if I am rambling and repeating what others have already said

    I am a 27 year old female and I have had a lot of symptoms related to hypothyroidism. I even went as far as talking to a psychotherapist because I thought I was going crazy. After talking to a co-worker, she suggested I have my thyroid checked since she has hypothyroid and had "similar" yet not as severe "anxiety and irritability" that I am suffering from. I am irritable, always cold (especially my feet), ZERO sex drive, depressed, no energy, mentally exhausted, OCD symptoms, anxiety, very moody, etc. All in all, I just feel like I'm losing my mind and I have no control over it.

    I made an appointment to have my TSH level tested on December 16th, 2011 and it came back at 2.93 (and I was of course told this was "normal" seeing as though the range at my doctor's office is between .4 and 4.0). Thanks to this forum, I have begun to understand that a lot of doctors are not going by the updated range of .3 to 3.0. So frustrating.

    I then wanted to get my Free T3, T4 and Vitamin D level checked. When I called to make this appointment the nurse had NO idea what a Free T3 test was and had never even heard of it...this scared me. I told her what it was but she still didn't know what I was talking about. So she said that she would just write "Free T3" on the bottom of the lab test in which the person drawing my blood never saw (don't blame her), so I never got results for that...

    My results from December 22nd, 2011 were as follows:

    TSH = 2.32 (.4 to 4.0)
    Free T4 = 1.34 (.70 to 1.80)
    Vitamin D = 30.9 (20 to 50)


    I spoke to my therapist yesterday about my thyroid and she kind of "lit up" when I brought it up...she thinks it makes total sense (from my symptoms, etc) and she even gave me names of 2 endocrinologists in the area. I am waiting for a referral from my doctor's office which I feel like will be a nightmare since my results are "normal".

    Like a lot of people on here, I am just looking for some answers and to put my mind at ease. Since reading these boards, I've felt so much better knowing that I'm not the only one feeling like they are losing their minds. It looks like a long road, but I feel comforted in knowing that there is help out there.

    Thank you for reading and ANY feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Last edited by lulu511; 12-27-2011 at 10:29 AM. Reason: More information provided

     
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    Old 12-27-2011, 12:14 PM   #2
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    Welcome!

    Sorry for the reason you're here but, glad you found us.

    Unfortunately, all too many doctors seemed to either forget what they learned in thyroid class...or they slept through the entire *one* class they get on the thyroid.

    Endocrinologists are often the worst with thyroid disease (sorry). We have yet to figure that one out.

    Anyhooo, you are correct that you are dealing with hypothyroidism.

    TSH > 2.0 often indicates hypothyroidism.

    Your ever-so-slightly-above-mid-range FreeT4 level along with your symptoms confirms this.

    Most healthy people have FreeT4 levels in the upper third of the range.

    If you were to get that FreeT3 level checked, I bet you it, too, is low in the range. By the way, FreeT3 is listed as "triodothyronine, free, serum" on lab slips.

    Unfortunately, the nurse's ignorance about the FreeT3 test often reflects the doctor's ignorance. So many doctors just aren't thyroid-savvy.

    You might get lucky and discover that one of the endos you'll be seeing actually "gets thyroid".

    But, if he/she sends you on your merry way and tells you that your levels are "normal" and you don't have a thyroid problem, it's time to find another doctor.

    One way to find a thyroid-savvy doctor is to get contact info from local pharmacists (including compounding pharmacists) for doctors that Rx Armour and/or Cytomel. These are two types of thyroid hormone replacement that thyroid-savvy doctors Rx.

    In the meantime, you might want to read "What Your Doctor Doesn't Tell You About Hypothyroidism". The book was written by an endo and he mentions people in your situation - "normal" (aka in-range) thyroid labs yet, suffering with raging hypothyroidism.
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    Last edited by sammy64; 12-27-2011 at 12:17 PM.

     
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    Old 12-27-2011, 12:37 PM   #3
    lulu511
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    Do you find it strange that my TSH level on 12/16/11 was 2.93 and on 12/22/11 it was 2.32?

    Thank you for your post, it is greatly appreciated!

     
    Old 12-27-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lulu511 View Post
    Do you find it strange that my TSH level on 12/16/11 was 2.93 and on 12/22/11 it was 2.32? !
    Actually, no.

    TSH fluctuates a lot (as much as 200% throughout the day) in the body's attempts to maintain stable thyroid hormone levels.

    This is yet another reason why doctors should not be looking at TSH to judge thyroid status.
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    Old 01-12-2012, 06:09 AM   #5
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    Well I had my appointment yesterday with the endocrinologist....sure enough she said my thyroid is FINE. I asked about my low sex drive and cold feet, etc. and she had me tested for my hormone levels. I get those results in a couple weeks or so.

    I am so frusterated and sad about the entire experience. She was very nice, but insisted it was NOT my thyroid. She said since I don't wear sweatpants and sweatshirts in the summer and haven't gained a ton of weight while dieting and exercising, that I am not hypothyroid. I hope she realizes that you don't need to have ALL THE SYMPTOMS of hypothyroidism to be considered hypothyroidism. She also would not test my Free T3.

    Thoughts? Suggestions please?

     
    Old 01-12-2012, 06:16 AM   #6
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    I'm SO sorry to hear thus but, I think you know I'm not surprised.

    The first 3 endos I saw couldn't recognize hypothyroidism if it slapped them in the face.

    I think you'll find Dr. Right in the form of a DO, internist or holistic doctor.

    I actually found my current doctor (an internist) as a result of a conversation with my nail tech who said this doctor was the first, after several, to get her feeling great thyroid-wise.

    Obviously, asking around could help.

    Some thyroid forum members have had success by getting contact info from local pharmacists (including compounding pharmacists) for doctors that Rx Armour and/or Cytomel. These are two types of thyroid meds that thyroid-savvy doctors Rx.

    And, I'm not sure where you live in MA but, Dr. Blanchard, the endo-author of the book I recommended practices in the Boston area.....you might try to get in to see him.

    The more doctors you meet, the better your chances of finding Dr. Right.
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    Old 01-12-2012, 08:07 AM   #7
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    Sammy, thank you for your quick reply.

    I am about an hour and a half from Boston. I downloaded and have read a little of Dr. Blanchard's book. Very interesting stuff in that book. I actually called a pharmacy this morning to find out local doctor's that prescribe those 2 medications and they would not give me any information...basically they said it was "against the law." They told me to call my health provider and they should be able to point me in the right direction.

    My co-worker that has hypothyroidism told me about her doctor a few weeks ago, so I tried her but she wasn't accepting any new patients. I gave it another shot today, and now she is accepting new patients. I am currently in the process of sending my records over to the new office; FINGERS ARE CROSSED.

    If this does not work, then I will definitely consider Holistic approach.

    Meeting with the doctor yesterday almost makes me WANT to believe that it isn't my thyroid, and that it's all in my head. But with these symptoms, I don't know what else it could be.

     
    Old 01-12-2012, 08:12 AM   #8
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    Some forum members have had similar responses from pharmacists but, they continued contacting other pharmacists and found some that were helpful.

    Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that your friend's doctor will see what is obvious to us.

    And, I understand your feelings after meeting with that doctor. I've researched thyroid disease extensively and, my former endos used to dispute what I had read in thyroid textbooks! They had some twisted spin on things - I think it was ego since they were truly clueless.

    Please be comforted in knowing that it is NOT in your head, it's your thyroid!!!
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    Old 01-12-2012, 08:37 AM   #9
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    For whatever it's worth, you just might want to read this thread - you might find comfort in knowing that your symptoms indicate hypothyroidism....and your labs confirm it.

    http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=876498

    I have lots of other information from medical references to confirm what we say on here so, if you are interested, I'll gladly share it.
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    Old 01-12-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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    Re: Need help understanding my test results

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sammy64 View Post
    For whatever it's worth, you just might want to read this thread - you might find comfort in knowing that your symptoms indicate hypothyroidism....and your labs confirm it.

    http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=876498

    I have lots of other information from medical references to confirm what we say on here so, if you are interested, I'll gladly share it.

    I would greatly appreciate any other information you may have. I have read parts of the above mentioned thread, which did put me at ease. I just don't want to say (when I can't find a doctor willing to help) "I give up, I'll just continue living this way", because I feel like I've been living this way for a loooong time, just thinking "this is the way I am....moody, irritable, etc." I mean it took me this long to find out all these symptoms really do coincide with one another.

    Thank you for your help Sammy, really!

     
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