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Posted by Tina on August 25, 2000 at 18:51:43:

In Reply to: Re: WHAT CAN EFFECT A TSH TEST? posted by JR on August 21, 2000 at 08:36:23:

: : : : : I had another appt with my endo. She said my symptoms sound like Graves but would do more blood work. I had not fasted and took all of my meds that morning. It was about 11:30 when they took blood. Does time of day effect your TSH level and can any prescription meds effect your TSH level? Also, I read an article recently that said a calcium supplement could skew your TSH levels. Is this only if you are already on thyroid meds, or is this anytime? Any info would be helpful, I think I'm dealing with an uninformed endo.

: : : : Hi JR,

: : : : Here is what I've been able to find... "hormone replacement therapy,or in birth control pill, can affect thryoid test results........Thyroid test can end up showing falsely increased total T4 levels.
: : : : and the list goes on... good idea :-), get the book "Living Well with Hypothyroidism" by Mary J. Shomon it will list just about everything. What the book says about Calcium supplements.."A 1998 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that the timing of the dosage of thryoid homone replacment and calcium pills could be a prolem. The report indicated that some patients taking levothyroxine (T4) experienced an increase in TSH levels after they started to take calcium supplements. When they changed their pattern and began to take the calcium and thyroid hormone at least four hours apart, the TSH returned to the initial level."
: : : : Have you had RAI or Surgery for the Grave's yet? If not you probably don't have to worry about it since you wouldn't be taking Snythroid or any other T4 drug yet.

: : : : One thing that I remember finding out after I was found to be HyperT is that some OTC's can exaserbate the condition. One is Pseudoephedrine, which is found in a lot of decongestants such as NyQuil and many sinus medications, so check all OTC drugs before using them. I was using sinus OTC drugs on a daily basis and have often wondered if I could have avoided all the complications I've had, if I hadn't used them.

: : : : Another thing I've heard is that it's not important if you take or don't take your medication just before a test, the important thing is to be consistant. If you didn't take it the day of a test then never take it before the test, if you did take it then always take it at the same time.

: : : : I don't know about the time of the day, hopefully someone else here will.

: : : : Are you on an Anti-thyroid drug now? Which one?
: : : : Tina

: : : Dear Tina:
: : : Thanks for taking the time to follow-up. So far, even tho my TSH is .53 on a scale of .35-5.5, the endo I've seen twice is reluctant to do anything. It is my understanding that to feel really o.k. my TSH should be between 1-2 and maybe she thinks .53 is close enough but I don't feel well. In addition, I take Claritan, have been for many years, and before that a variety of other antihistamines. Did not know that they could exerbate an existing Thyroid problem. But according to the doctors, I don't have a thyroid problem. Will check book stores for Mary Shoman's book but that's about Hypo and I think if I'm anything, it's Hyper. I check her web site regularly. Thank's for the info.

: :
: : Hi JR,

: : All the book on thyroid appear to deal primarily with the Hypo side of this disease more than the Hyper side of it, unfortunetly. I quess because the treatment for HyperT almost always renders us HypoT so they just exchange our problem for the one they believe to be the easier of the two to treat (just one little pill for the rest of your life, ha!) Does work for some but the rest of us have been left to suffer needlessly and without a care. Sorry to sound so bitter.
: : Have you gotten the results back on your blood work yet? Hopefully if you test postive for Thyroid anti bodies your endo will then treat your boarder line HyperT. Did you read Mary's interview with Dr. David Derry "Should We Rethink the TSH test" in this months newsletter? What a great interview, makes me want to move to Canada so I could see him!

: : Let me know how the test results go, ok? Tina

: Dear Tina:

: As I have said, I think I'm dealing with a marginal endo. To date, and remember I had the test on 8/1 and it is 8/21, I have not heard a word on my test results. I even called to request copies of all of my test results, signed a release and everything, and they have yet to call me with the results of my latest round of tests. The last time I had tests done by her, it took three weeks to get any results. And that was a biopsy. Their rational was, if you don't hear from us you are O.K. Well, seeing how efficient every other facet of our society has become, you worry that you fell thru the cracks!
: As soon as I get all of my test results, I'm going to try another doctor. Dealing with this one is hopeless.

Dear J.R.,

You hit the nail on the head! "Well, seeing how efficient every other facet of our society has become, you worry that you fell thru the cracks!" This is something that irritates the living daylights out of me. Doctors attitudes about getting back to their patients with news on tests that they've done! They shouldn't consider their job done until that is complete and they should be able to bill for their service until the job is complete! They know, more than any other professional about the consequences of stress on a person and yet they are often the cause of one of the worse stress factors we can undergo, worry! Especially when you consider that they can easily and quickly resolve it most of the time by getting back to us in a timely manner. I always check the dates on my lab copies and the lab has the results within a day, but it takes 3 to 6 weeks for it to get from the Doctor to me! I've even had one Doctor take 4 weeks to get back to me on a heart echogram that she insisted that I have. And three weeks seems to be the going wait for a mammogram nowadays (I used to have the results within 5 minuets) which is excruciating for me since I've already had breast cancer once. I think it's time we let Doctors know that this is unacceptable! Don't return to them and let them and the insurance companies know why! With what we pay for medical insurance now we should be getting better service not worse! And GRRR…. I'm off on a tangent again. ;-)

Hope by now you have the results and a new Doctor. Keep in touch, Tina

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