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Hypothyroid? Confusing labs

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Old 09-10-2012, 08:25 AM   #1
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Hypothyroid? Confusing labs

Hi all,

Like many people on here, I suspect I have hypothyroidism, but I'm confused by my lab results. I also wonder if my lab results are being skewed by my young age (23) and my medications (Adderall and hormonal OC).

To get right to it, my labs were:
4/8/2011, Non-Fasting:
TSH- 1.14 (0.450-4.500 uIu/mL)

5/12/2011, Non-Fasting:
Free T4- 1.1 (.08-1.8 ng/dL)
Free T3- 4.0 (2.3-4.2 pg/mL)
TSH, 3rd Generation- 1.67 (0.40-4.50 mIU/L)

3/19/2012, Non-Fasting:
TSH- 0.85 ( 0.34-4.82 mIU/mL)
Free Thyroxine- 0.81 (.59-1.17 ng/dL)

The 5/12 labs were ordered by an endo. She said there was nothing wrong with me. I asked her to put me on thyroid medication or even a placebo just to see if it made a difference, but she refused "because medication will hurt your thyroid". The 3/19 labs were by a rheumatologist- he said there wasn't any point in going to another endo because my numbers are fine.

I've heard so many conflicting things about ranges, being in top/lowest quarter of a range- what do you guys think?Is it worth it to see another endo? Should I go off medication before being tested again?

Long version/Symptoms:

When I was a child, I was diagnosed with RA and treated with steroids. When I hit puberty, I felt like I went from a happy, energetic child to a lethargic, irritable teenager. I was constantly falling asleep in class, freezing cold in the middle of summer, wandering attention, miserable for a week due to heavy periods. I was told I had ADD and 'most girls feel sick with their periods', so I was put on the Adderall and OC. These seemed to help for a few years; I was also put on several anti-depressants in succession, but those never seemed to make a difference. No matter how much Adderall I'm prescribed, I feel like my body is awake and my mind is drowsy.

All of the same symptoms have been getting worse in the last two years. I'm exhausted and gained 10 lbs (still normal weight, but I used to be a size 0), but the worst is the 'brain fog'- I can't remember how to spell words, I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence, I walk into a room and I'm not sure why I'm there. My voice is so hoarse that I sound like I'm whispering when I mean to speak loudly. I'm not warm unless it's 85F.

Even my best friend, a doctor in training, said I am just a hypochondriac. My partner suggested I am "one of those people who needs 12 hours of sleep", but I can't live life that way. I'm afraid I'll never be able to advance my career or have children because I'm so exhausted!

Both of my grandmothers have hypothyroidism, and my mom has always had the same symptoms. She thinks she is hypo, too. I feel like all of my symptoms fit... but with so many medical professionals telling me that I can't be hypothyroid, I don't know what to think. Please tell me whether I am off-base here.

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Old 09-10-2012, 08:33 AM   #2
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Re: Hypothyroid? Confusing labs

Your Ft4 looks a bit low but your Ft3 looks good. Everyone has their setpoint in the ranges where they feel their best.

I have to have both Ft4 and Ft3 in the upper 1/3 of their ranges.
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Last edited by Lady50; 09-10-2012 at 08:37 AM.

Old 09-10-2012, 02:13 PM   #3
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Re: Hypothyroid? Confusing labs

Yes, I would say with your family history and your symptoms from childhood seem to point to hypo. You probably have Hashi's but your labs aren't too bad yet. They have probably been treating you for the wrong thing for sure.Try to see if you can get antibody for Hashi's testing. Most docs won't prescribe meds till your tsh is up. (stupid). Your Ft4 is probably too low for you. .81 is way low in the range. My range for FT4 is .80-1.90. In March yours went that low. Sometimes the FT3 is elevated at first too. Just keep getting tested I guess till your labs look bad enough or find another more open minded doc who will run the right tests all the time. Sorry but this seems to happen a LOT.

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exhaustion, fatigue, hypothyroidism, lab results, tsh

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