Auto-immune Thyroid disease....

Kathy_in_DelawareFebruary 27, 2004

I just got back from a new doctor appt and he said he suspects Autoimmune Thyroid disease. I cant find any good info on the web about this. Does anyone here have it or have any knowledge theyre willing to share?


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This website is a good starting point - it gives a clear definition & has links to many publications & organizations. I myself do not have firsthand experience, but have known people with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis & Graves Disease. I wish you luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: The National Women's Health Information Center

    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 11:31PM
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Virginia mentions the most common forms of thyroid disease, but I think that Hashimoto's disease is the one most commonly referred to as autoimmune thyroid disease.

What tests is your doctor doing to pin down the diagnosis? Are you having any symptoms? Common thyroid disease symptoms are things like not tolerating cold or being hot all the time; gaining or losing weight, fatigue.

I had Graves' disease in 1987, and was hyperthyoid. Everything was running fast. My resting pulse rate was 113, I was losing weight while eating ravenously, I had the heat at 50 in a New England winter.

Initially, the doctors treated me with a beta-blocker, to slow down my heart rate and see whether my thyroid would recover on its own. When that didn't happen, I was treated with radioactive iodine (you just swallow a bit of fluid) that killed the thyroid. Now, I take a replacement thyroid hormone daily.

For me, it wasn't a big deal. Well, the beginning, when I thought I was going nuts, was a big deal, but all the rest was pretty easy.

Here's another site you might like. Don't look at the pictures - your doctor will never let you get to that state, and they'll only scare you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hashimoto's disease

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 2:19AM
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Did he say you were HYPERthyroid or HYPOthyroid? What are your symptoms?

I was diagnosed 12/23 with Grave's Disease; which is (autoimmune) hyperthyroid. I was immediately scheduled for a thyroid ablation (taking radioactive iodine to kill my thyroid) but did some reading and decided to try medication first.

Overall, if I had to pick a chronic disease, Grave's ain't that bad ;)

Post here and you can also email me, just click on my user name.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 11:45AM
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Thanks everyone for your responses.
Weed, he didnt say hyper or hypo. He did type out a page for me that reads as follows:
DX: Autoimmune thyroid diease possible. Thyroid not enlarged by exam. Probably normal function. Allopecia might be related to autoimmune thyroid diseas. Sleep dysfunction.
Plan: Theregran M or similar vit with minerals daily. OsCal 250 3 times a day. Mg oxide 400 every night. Remeron soltab 30 mg one quater at bedtime for a week, half at edtime for 2 weeks, whole tab at bedtime if needed to improve sleep/appetite. Doubt any effect on sleep apnea. Labs now-results over phone. Recheck thyroid levels yearly, return as directed.
I had shown him my thyorid uptake and scan results which are as follows:
The patient was given 210 uCi I-123 orally. The uptake at 24 hours is 31.7% which is upper limits of normal. Scanning reveals uniform distribution of activity in both lobes. No focal cold or hot areas seen. The gland is 2-3 times normal in size.
Immpression Mildly enlarged gland with normal uptake.
I have various symptoms including, major hair loss, fatiuge, palpitations, cold/heat intolerence,innabilty to gain weight,moodswings and difficulty swallowing.
I would assume this would be indicitive of hyper thryoid, but I dont know.
Thanks everyone again!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 12:31PM
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Yes that sounds like hyperthyroid to me. I had all those symptoms except hair loss and mood swings. I also had hand tremors - thought I was getting Parkinsons!

I am really concerned about them waiting a whole year to check your thyroid again! I am no doctor, but with your symptoms you need to be checked every 3 - 4 weeks to monitor and put on the appropriate medication once you're out of range. A thyroid 2 - 3 times normal size needs to be monitored! Even if your thyroid is currently within normal range, it could go over range quickly.

They take blood and measure levels of the following: Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3. They typically measure TSH, but that is not something they should judge medication by, from everything I have read.

Does your insurance allow you to see an endocrinologist? I really think you need to be on some type of medication, you may have caught it early and your levels are going to keep increasing. With my insurance, I can go to any doc in the plan without a referral, but it was going to take a month to get in. Luckily my sis is a nurse and got her boss to get me in quickly.

In the meantime: Don't take a multivitamin with Iodine or anything with Kelp in it. Cut back on your salt intake - Seasalt with no Iodide is excellent. Eat plenty of broccoli (forgot the other good ones that have anti-thyroid effects.)

If they put you on Anti Thyroid Drugs, do not take calcium or eat high calcium products two hours before and two hours after taking the medicine; it blocks absorption.

I will check to see which books I have that I can recommend to you.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 12:58PM
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Sorry, I was not trying to scare you in my previous post - the disease is very manageable with proper medication or you may even decide to get the radioactive iodine.

Untreated can be serious, especially with palpitations. I had those too (still do actually) and I take one beta blocker a day (Atenolol) that works like a charm. My resting heart rate was 130, now it is about 72.

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 1:01PM
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This was a endocrinologist! lol actually this was my second one, see my other post, the first was a real wacko!
This one at least listened to me and measured my eyes which he said something about borderline something.
Hes given me a crap load of blood work and urine tests to get done. He also agreed with the 1st endo that my scan was not correct, because the physical exam showed a normal size thyroid.
I suppose Im a canidate to autoimmune dieases due to my other past illnesses, : fibromyalgia, lyme disease and silicone immune hypersensitivity.
I just want to get to the bottom of this and fix it! aghh the frustration in seeking good health!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 1:42PM
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LOL, I told you I wasn't a doctor!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 4:14PM
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Well, hair loss, fatigue, and cold intolerance are all *hypo* symptoms. Maybe you have a bipolar thyroid... (sorry, that's probably not funny).

Seriously, maybe there's something other than your thyroid causing symptoms? Seems unlikely to have hypo and hyper symptoms all at the same time?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2004 at 5:20PM
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quirk, you can be hyper with symptoms of both....I experienced fatigue although I was very hyper. At any time of day, I would suddenly be *exhausted* and crash for a few hours. My husband said my body was probably wearing itself out being so hyper ;0

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 8:31AM
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thanks, weed, interesting, my new thing to learn for today. Now I can just go play in the sunshine for the rest of the day, right?

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 11:16AM
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Oh definitely! It is rainy and overcast here - wish I were there!!

    Bookmark   March 3, 2004 at 5:33PM
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don't be too jealous... it is rainy here too today...

    Bookmark   March 4, 2004 at 4:35PM
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Try this link:
It has a wealth of information.

Here is a link that might be useful: About Thyroid

    Bookmark   March 18, 2004 at 11:01PM
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