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  • Hashimoto's and new Cytomel

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    Old 02-20-2013, 04:48 AM   #1
    noni7
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    Hashimoto's and new Cytomel

    Let me start by saying how happy I am to have found this board, it is comforting to see that I am not alone.

    I am 50 years old and was diagnosed with Hashimoto's in 2008, but not until I had suffered with the multitude of symptoms for probably at least 15 years, maybe longer.

    I had been misdiagnosed and treated for 6 years, which complicated my symptoms and baffled my doctors. I have seen many specialists - allergist for suspected gastro problems- cardiologist for suspected heart problems - internist for weakened lung problems - urologist for bladder problems, psychiatrist for depression and anxiety problems, neurologist for neuropathy and carpal tunnel symptoms - rheumatologist for joint pain and inflammation problems, I also saw a Chinese doctor and a Natural Doctor for a couple of years.

    I have had 2 carpal tunnel surgeries, bladder surgery, colonoscopies, cystoscopies, MRI's, CT scans. I have been diagnosed or misdiagnosed with depression, lupus, physioriatic arthritis, IBS, trigeminal neuralgia, wheat allergies, interstitial cystitis, MS, myasthenia gravis, and others. I have been on gluten free , lactose free diets. I was prescribed gabapentin, paxil, prednisone, naproxen.

    I appreciated my GP's attention to my health concerns, however I felt that maybe it was time to see a new doc for a second opinion. He asked lots of questions and listened to my answers. He then gave me a complete physical exam and sent me for all the blood and urine tests. 3 days later I received a diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

    It was comforting to finally receive a diagnosis. I wish this is when I could say that I was given a prescription, all my symptoms improved and that I lived happily ever after. I have learned that problems with the thyroid are complicated and ever changing, especially with Hashimoto's which I was eventually tested for and diagnosed with.

    I have learned that I probably know more about Hashimoto's and the effects it has had on my body than my GP and most of the specialists (excluding endos, as I have never seen one). GP's have a little knowledge about all health issues . Specialists have a lot of knowledge about a small area of health issues. An interesting thing is, I often ask the specialist if my symptom, for example my respiratory weakness can be caused by my hypothyroidism and I was told my 3 doctors, definitely not, 1 doctor said possibly, and 1 (an internist, said definitely yes (and subsequently ordered thryoid test - TSH 12.0). Bless his heart, for avoiding more unnecessary tests that lead down the path to more specialists and still no relief for my symptoms.

    For the first few years, I was on a prescription of Synthroid, which was adjusted according to my TSH level, which fluctuated between 2.5 and 12.3. There were months where I felt my symptoms were improving, but many months where I still suffered. My symptoms were complicated in that I had gone through an early menopause (40 years). I have a feeling that my untreated hypothyroidism caused this, but I haven't found a doc that agrees with me. In 2001, I learned that T3 and T4 levels need to be considered along with TSH in determining correct dosage . I learned that in Canada the acceptable "normal range" for TSH is from 2.0- 5.0, which is a different range than in other countries. I have heard a theory that it is all about cost saving to health care. A TSH level of 4.5 for me, may be in the "normal range", but is not "normal" for how I feel.

    A great resource for me has been my pharmacist, he is a compound pharmacist, and really has gone the extra mile for me. He told me to ask my doctor about adding Cytomel (a synthetic T3) to my synthroid prescription.

    My pharmacist explained to me that the pituitary gland produces TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), which stimulates the thyroid gland to produce T4 hormone, which is easily converted to T3 hormone (medical research does not know how yet). The T3 hormone goes through your body and establishes your metabolism. This affects all systems in your body. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid has trouble making the T4 hormone (for various reasons) so the pituitary gland keeps sending more TSH. Synthetic thyroid medications like Synthroid is like a T4 hormone which is easily converted by your body into T3. However, not everyone's body can easily convert T4 into T3, which means that the levels of T4 in your body can actually bring your TSH down into a "normal range", even though you don't have enough T3 in your body, this is why all the TSH level alone doesn't tell the whole story, and explains why you can still be suffering symptoms.

    My doctor was open to the suggestion from my pharmacist to adjust my synthroid and add Cytomel to my prescription. I understand from the forums I have read here that I am lucky to have an open minded physician. My pharmacist told me that we will closely monitor my levels and symptoms and he will adjust my prescriptions as necessary.

    Today is the first day I will be starting the Cytomel, I am cautiously optimistic.

    My advice to all thyroid sufferers is listen to your body, do research on good forums (like this one), talk to your pharmacist, don't listen to people and doctors who tell you that you are crazy, lazy or a hypochondriac. If your doctor isn't knowledgable about your condition or at least open to learning more about your condition, move on, get a new doctor. I wish there was a simulator machine where doctors and researchers could go in and feel the symptoms we suffer, even if only for a day, then I'm positive thyroid disorders would be taken more seriously.

    Thanks for the opportunity for sharing!

     
    The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to noni7 For This Useful Post:
    elisacook916 (02-21-2013),PyroPenguins (02-20-2013)
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