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  • Hypothyroid craziness

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    Old 04-24-2013, 08:13 AM   #1
    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Posts: 2
    Mona21 HB User
    Hypothyroid craziness

    Hi everyone, I am new to this board.
    I was diagnosed last week with hypothyroidism. Here are what the labs showed:

    T4, Free 0.5 L Reference Range 0.7-1.8 ng/dL
    TSH 65.5 H Reference range 0.3-5.0 uIU/mL

    Two months ago I mentioned to the doctor that I was having irregular menstrual cycles, so she decided to check my thyroid. My TSH came back at 0.28. My doctor told me that it was borderline low and I should recheck it in 6 weeks.

    Six weeks later when I went back in, my doctor informed me that my lab work was abnormal. I was expecting her to say that I was hyperthyroid, but she said I was hypothyroid. My TSH had jumped up to 55.0. So I asked her to recheck, just to make sure. The next day my TSH had jumped up to 65.5.

    I am so confused. Why would my TSH level fluctuate so much in such a short time? Was it a fluke that they tested my TSH when they did and happened to catch the onset of my hypothyroidism?
    I have been having thyroid symptoms for over 15 years. When I first started having symptoms my then doctor checked my TSH and it was normal. She diagnosed me with depression and put me on antidepressants.
    I don't think my TSH has ever been rechecked since then. I have suffered from extreme fatigue and exhaustion for years but every doctor I saw diagnosed me with depression and put me on antidepressants. A few gave me trazodone, which they thought would help me sleep better. Well, it just made me want to sleep even more, and never helped.
    I have had a lot of vague symptoms over the years. Most recently I have had abnormal weight gain, joint/muscle pain and weakness, my hair is falling out, digestive problems, brain fog, memory loss, to name a few. Oh, and the fatigue, Which right now is so severe I am having a hard time getting out of bed and functioning.
    On top of that, she ran hormone tests on me that shows I am post-menopausal. She didn't say whether or not it was caused by the hypothyroidism. I don't know how many of the symptoms I'm having are post menopausal or hypothyroid or both. I am only 40 years old.
    I am so disgusted with the medical care I have received so far. I was basically given these diagnoses with no real explanations or education on what to expect.
    The doctor was going to put me on 100mcg of levothyroxine but when my second TSH came back higher she changed my dosage down to 75mcg. Wouldn't I need a higher dosage if my TSH is higher?
    I have an appointment next week for a complete work up with a new doctor, but right now, I am totally going crazy!!!

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    Old 04-24-2013, 10:26 AM   #2
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    midwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB Usermidwest1 HB User
    Re: Hypothyroid craziness

    Welcome to the board. I'm glad you found us.

    The most common cause of hypothyroidism in developed countries is an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis. It gradually attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to fail slowly. The process probably began for you all those years ago when you started having thyroid-type symptoms. Usually, the thyroid fails long before the TSH reflects it. But because MDs are trained to believe that TSH tests are never fallible, we go untreated for years to decades before TSH goes 'wonky'. Your medical care hasn't been particularly bad at dealing with this; unfortunately, most medical care is bad about it. I'd venture to say that most of us have had MDs try to mask this disease with Big Pharma potions at one time or another. You aren't alone in that.

    TSH fluctuates wildly in cases of Hashi's. The main and most important indications of thyroid failure are low levels of T4 and T3. Your free T4 is below lab range. In the 10 years I've been a member on the board, only a handful of people have had it so low. Most get diagnosed when the free T4 is still within range, but at the bottom end of it.

    If you've been hypothyroid for years, your adrenal glands may be weak. That will prevent your cells from making use of large doses of thyroid hormone. It would have been much better for your MD to prescribe a "starter" dose of hormone, no more than 50 mcgs, to be increased gradually over the coming weeks and months. Throwing a whopping 100 mcgs at it all at once might backfire. Even the 75 mcgs is a large starting dose. If you feel much, much worse in the next few weeks, contact your doctor about reducing that dose back to 50 and proceed more slowly to find your eventual, optimal dose. The hypoT can't be reversed fast without causing more problems. Slow and steady wins the race.

    Thyroid deficiency definitely can have an impact on the reproductive hormones. Hopefully, those levels will straighten out for you with proper thyroid replacement.

    I hope your new MD will be thyroid-savvy and smart... One who will help you properly regain your health. Stay in touch to let us know how things go!
    "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." Abraham Lincoln

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    Mona21 (04-25-2013)
    Old 04-24-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
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    Join Date: Jan 2013
    Location: Atlanta, GA
    Posts: 11
    frazzledinptc HB User
    Re: Hypothyroid craziness

    I was diagnosed in January with a TSH of 55 at a routine checkup. I complained of mild fatigue and hair loss and so my doctor decided to check my thyroid. He started me on 50 mcg of Synthroid and I wasn't able to get out of bed for 2 days due to crushing fatigue, so I agree with midwest1 about starting slowly. It took a couple of weeks for me to get back to feeling reasonably normal. I felt so much worse on the Synthroid at first than I ever did before being diagnosed. I am now on 75 mcg with a TSH of 2.2. I would like to see that lower, but my endo isn't changing my prescription at this time.

    I just wanted to let you know that I had similar numbers and started at 50 mcg and moved to 75 mcg and feel relatively OK. I will be checked again in a couple of months and if my TSH hasn't lowered or my T3 risen, I will ask to increase my dosage. There are no quick fixes, so be diligent about your own health, but be patient also.

    Old 04-25-2013, 12:30 PM   #4
    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Posts: 2
    Mona21 HB User
    Re: Hypothyroid craziness

    Thanks, this helps out a lot. I basically feel like the nurse practitioner who diagnosed me more or less just gave me a prescription and sent me on my way, without really explaining anything to me. She seemed confused by my fluctuations in lab work and told me that she had to "double check" with the medical director of the clinic to make sure that I was hypothyroid and not hyperthyroid. Maybe not the worst care ever but definitely not the best.
    Anyways, I am glad I found this board. I at least don't feel like I'm alone!

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