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  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default Underactive thyroid

    I think I may have underactive thyroid even though I've been tested once or twice in the past and the tests have come back okay. Do any of you have that and if so, what can you tell me about it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    hypothyroidism.

    The symptoms include cold hands and feet, a feeling of mental sluggishness, and general lethargy with slow weight gain.

    It happens slowly overtime but I recall upwards of 20% of women develop it. Almost 20% of women after childbirth develop HT for several months-likely contributing to the lethargy after birth. Of them about 5% become permenant.

    other symptoms-oddly your eyebrows become more sparse. Most notable is retention of "nonpitting edema". Folks note weight gain-but in reality most of it is water. Thyroxine stimulates clearance of a gel polymer in the interstitial space. As throxine levels decline, the gel fluid will accumulate. In normal water gain when you poke your finger in it-it pits and then the poked spot will fill in. In HT edema this is not true-it will not fit thus seem more like fat.

    It also will give your face a slight puffy look-especially around the eyes, but again looks like weight gain.

    test-TSH is cheap and common. Be very aware that ranges were changed recently to TSH normal being 1-3. However most clinical labs still use a range from 1-5, thus many folks will be quite hypo before being considered "hypo". Drs dont know this. The higher the TSH level, the worse off your thryroid level. A pretty typical HT patient will have a TSH level of 5-20.

    T4/T3 tests are also sorta useful. Also a more expensive test for anti-TPO antibodies to detect the actual autoimmune disease against the thyroid.

    Treatment is synthetic or natural T3/T4 hormone everyday, very straightforward.

    A few things to keep in mind:
    Synthetic T4 is the norm via a brand called synthroid. However this is one of the only cases where a generic and the name brand are NOT the same and should not be switched. You can stay on a generic but have to be wary the pharmacy does not swap them to another generic.

    Some people do much better at resolution of symptoms if supplemented with cytomel-T4. Many docs are very much against this.

    Many people rave about a biological formulation called Armour derived from pig thyroids as being much better than the synthetic versions as it is a mix of T4/T3/rT4 and rT3. Again many docs are adverse to prescribing but this is actually a scientifically legit issue given the combination of hormones in the natural formulation.

    If you cant get a response from your normal doc go see a natreopath and ask to be placed on a natural supplement-typically animal thyroid extracts. They are often okay with this approach.

    Every woman should have a TSH test run every year given the frequency of the disorder and how easy it is to treat.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Default

    Reading these links may be helpful too.

    Stop The Thyroid Madness
    - The Non-Diagnosis Club: This huge global group consists of those who have genuine or unrecognized hypothyroid symptoms, yet no accurate diagnosis. Why? Because of well-meaning but clueless doctors who fail to look at the entire cluster of your hypothyroid symptoms, or have a rigid reliance on two lousy labs: the TSH and the T4. You are then proclaimed “normal”.
    - The T4-Only Club: This also-gigantic global club consists of those who have been diagnosed with a thyroid problem, but treated with Synthroid, Levoxyl, Oroxine, Levothyroxine, Eltroxin, et al, T4-only thyroxine pills. But hypothyroidism and the body is not meant to live on a storage hormone alone and leaves most patients with their own brand or intensity of lingering hypothyroid symptoms.
    Iodine for Thyroid health.
    If you understand the following two points, then you know as much about hormones as any endocrinologist:

    1. Hormone production peaks around the age 25 and then declines by 1-3% annually thereafter.
    2. All hormones are related and interact with another.

    Restated, the older you are, the fewer hormones you have and this is why your body tanks as you get older. There are some cliffs you can fall off along the way – like menopause for women and “andropause” for men.

    Because hormones are inter-related with each other, when one hormone is deficient, then this can affect the proportion of the other hormones. Many hormones have feedback mechanisms on each other so that if one is up, the other is down. Similar classes of hormones can share protein carriers in the bloodstream. Relative amounts of one hormone can affect the protein binding of another hormone.
    And

    Metabolic Symptoms Matrix

  4. #4
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default

    I don't know - I've read a bunch on the internet. Some of it matches and some doesn't. I have dry, pale skin, have been chronically tired ever since I was about 12 or so (even with more than average amounts of sleep), and am freezing cold all the time to the point where even my nose is cold (this also dates back to when I was still a young teenager). The problem is that all of these symptoms could be explained in many various ways. I think I will go back to my doctor, but it takes quite awhile to get any kind of tests done here. I've heard some thyroid sufferers are missing enough zinc. Have any of you heard of that?

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    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    My sister has Hashimoto's disease (hypothyroidism). Get tested specifically for your thyroid, because a lot of doctors misdiagnose it. The doctor my sister had was very thorough, and if not for one test (don't know the name), it would not have been caught and she probably would have been written off as just being chronically depressed (which she is also). It tends to run in families, so check your family medical history.

    For my sister, big signs were:

    -swollen neck area (thyroid was enlarged)
    -always thirsty & a larger appetite
    -major weight gain (40 lbs in one year, followed by a gradual 10 lb increase everyear thereafter), when she was previously very skinny
    -new allergy to nuts, especially peanuts
    -moody, depressed, snappy, sluggish

    Besides taking the thyroid meds regularly, following a diet similar to a diabetic, regular exercise, and yoga specifically, are consistently "prescribed" by every endocrinologist my sister has had.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  6. #6
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    my mother has no thyroid, but when her meds are off on the low side she complains that she's always tired, sleeps a lot and gains weight... pretty typical
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  7. #7
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Happy Puppy View Post
    test-TSH is cheap and common. Be very aware that ranges were changed recently to TSH normal being 1-3. However most clinical labs still use a range from 1-5, thus many folks will be quite hypo before being considered "hypo". Drs dont know this. The higher the TSH level, the worse off your thryroid level. A pretty typical HT patient will have a TSH level of 5-20.
    Sounds like you know a lot about it!

    I just had a physical last week and my doctor wants me to come back in to get the thyroid re-done..I was on the 'high' end, although the number she gave me over the phone was super low, like 0.08. I was kind of confused because the person then said 'normal' range was from 0.04 - 5?? Something like that? It was a pretty large range, whatever it was. Well anyway, I think for me if I have an issue it'll be 'hyper', not 'hypo'. I have other things going on that would support the hyperthyroidism thing, and have had them for a handful of yrs, but whenever I've been tested they've told me I've been in the 'normal' range. We shall see.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  8. #8
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Sounds like you know a lot about it!

    I just had a physical last week and my doctor wants me to come back in to get the thyroid re-done..I was on the 'high' end, although the number she gave me over the phone was super low, like 0.08. I was kind of confused because the person then said 'normal' range was from 0.04 - 5?? Something like that? It was a pretty large range, whatever it was. Well anyway, I think for me if I have an issue it'll be 'hyper', not 'hypo'. I have other things going on that would support the hyperthyroidism thing, and have had them for a handful of yrs, but whenever I've been tested they've told me I've been in the 'normal' range. We shall see.
    I got pretty sick a few years back due to hypo/hashimotos of long duration. (I had a TSH of 200)

    Each lab will have slight diffs in the "normal" range depending upon who manufactures the assay they use and the standards they run to validate it thus the variations in the numbers

    The low number is a sign your thyroid maybe a bit too active.

    They will monitor your levels for a bit and likely do a quick ultrasound just to check out the shape, but hyper is really easy to treat as well. Let us know how it turns out!

  9. #9
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Sounds like you know a lot about it!

    I just had a physical last week and my doctor wants me to come back in to get the thyroid re-done..I was on the 'high' end, although the number she gave me over the phone was super low, like 0.08. I was kind of confused because the person then said 'normal' range was from 0.04 - 5?? Something like that? It was a pretty large range, whatever it was. Well anyway, I think for me if I have an issue it'll be 'hyper', not 'hypo'. I have other things going on that would support the hyperthyroidism thing, and have had them for a handful of yrs, but whenever I've been tested they've told me I've been in the 'normal' range. We shall see.
    What kind of pyhsical symptoms do you have?
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

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    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    ^^ Called the doctor yesterday to clarify my results...as I said above, my result was 0.084, with the 'normal' range being 0.4- approx 4-ish.

    So, yeah, at least on that day I was overproducing and pretty hyper-. I'll be going in in another couple of weeks to get it looked at again.

    Like I said, this is the first time I've actually tested out of the range, even though I've requested that it be checked on prior occasions, maybe 3 yrs ago and again 1.5 yrs ago. (Prompter was thinning hair, which was upsetting me. Genetically, it's a fact I'm disposed to thinning hair - runs in the family - but I always thought mine seemed to be even moreso than it "should" be, even given the fact it runs in the family)

    Other 'symptoms'...well, my entire life I've had an irregular period. And, the past 4-6 months I've had many more nights when I've had problems falling asleep .... the feeling of anxiety/ a lot of difficulty relaxing, without really an external cause for that. Also, in recent months I've been waking up more often in the night when I used to sleep straight through. More restless and I'd say 'jittery'.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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