Good Grief. Anyone else have HypOthyroidism??

pirulaMay 11, 2006

Yes indeed Ladies, no wonder Ivette has been having trouble taking off the weight. No wonder it took six months to lose 13 pounds and one month to gain it back. No wonder I'm tired alot, cold alot, shed like a cat, and a few other things.

Someone at work posted a list of 29 low thyroid function symptoms, and I had 11. So, I had it checked, and whatayaknow. The doctor believes mine was caused by pregnancy, most specifically by my long nursing (two years) of my son and the prolactin production.

Anyway, it's borderline, but it's there. I have to decide now whether to medicate or not. I go see him on Tuesday and will let him know then. I've been to Web MD, read all there is to read there.

Would appreciate anyone's experience with these meds. It seems like in my case, any potential side effects are overuled by the potential benefits.

Like I need this?


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Everyone I know with hypothyroid has decided to medicate and been THRILLED with how much better they feel.

Having your hormones 'off' is just one of the most subtly awful things... I recently starting taking a prolactin-inhibitor to get mine back in balance, and have lost 11 pounds in six weeks, have more energy, and am just in a much better place.

I hope your results are as good or even better --

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 7:06PM
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Ivette -- It is interesting, this weekend at little league all the moms were talking and 4 of the moms that were at the game were on thryoid medicine. We were a little startled at that statistic. BUT the good news is that all of them talked about how much better things are with their medicine. PLUS a new study demonstrates that women taking synthryoid have a much lower risk of breast cancer. Some doctors are suggesting that ALL women over 50 take 25mg of synthyroid as a precaution aginst breast cancer. Hopefully that is a little brght side to the news you recieved.

Now for long term effects -- (just anecdotal) My mom, who will be 68 this year, has taken synthryoid since she was 20 and she had a growth removed from her thryoid. She ended up having surgeries again at 30 and 40 when they finally took the whole thing out. She has been able to be on increasingly smaller doses of syntyroid medicine because medical knowledge is so much improved. She has had NO side effects from the medicine over all these years. She is very healthy and active.

It is always a little scary to get a medical problem diagnosed, but in this case I think you will be so happy to get your hormones regulated. The first few months may be difficult to get the dose right, but I think you'll feel so much better in the end.

Best wishes and hugs....

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 9:13PM
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Yvette, have you been losing your hair? I've been having the excessive hair shedding going on for months now, and can't seem to lose this extra 10 pounds I've been carrying around since my last DS was born (he's 6!). I mentioned it to the dermatologist, and she said the hair loss is caused by stress, which I have a lot of these days. But I'm wondering about the hypothyroidism, especially since I read that borderline for some woman is really low for others. Did your hair texture change also? Mine has gotten very brittle, and it's not as shiny as it used to be. I'm thinking maybe I should have my primary doctor test my thyroid, since I've never had it done before. I don't want to go looking for trouble for myself, but your symptoms definitely caught my eye.

What do you think about taking the medication, and must you take it for life once you start it?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 9:24PM
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My 26 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease, which is hypothyroidism.
She went on low dose meds, but is still having trouble losing weight.
Do you think she needs a higher dose???

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 9:37PM
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I consider myself an expect in thyroid conditions. I won't however, bore you with all the lovely details.
My best advice is to make sure the doc does a TSH test. Not just T3 and T4.

Also symptoms play an important role in diagnosis of Hypothyroidism. So even if your test is normal or borderline, it could be tremendously beneficial to be treated with thyroid hormone to see if symptoms improve.

ALso you need to have your doctor check for antibodies. You may have Hashimotos Thyoiditis-which is autoimmune and the opposite of Graves disease.

Finally, synthroid is not usually a magic bullet right away. It can take some time to discover the right dosage for you. The right dosage is one that makes you feel great.
You will start to lose weight, but only if you eat sensibly and exercise. It will NOT just melt off with out trying.

Good Luck.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 9:43PM
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Thanks everyone!!

I have it on my list to discuss Hashimoto with the doctor, I don't believe he did test for antibodies, but we'll see. He did do a TSH. Level was 3.4 or something.

Donna, no my hair isn't falling out per se. I just shed a lot. Of course, I also have a lot of hair. It's baby fine, but there's alot of it. And no it isn't brittle or dull. Well actually, it WAS. But trust me that was from two years of Cairo water, hot dry air, and pollution. Monte, the wonderhairdresseronlymanwhotouchesMYhead, brought my natural hair color/shine back with some kind of vegetable hair wash that just enhanced my own color. But that's another topic.

My symptoms are all pretty mild really, so much so they could be attributed to anything. But taken together, I got really curious. So dry skin, brittle nails, cold hands and feet, things I've lived with for a long time. But then SUDDEN exhaustion for no apparent reason (going to bed at 8pm and sleeping till 8:30am). Blamed it on the remodel. Sudden anxiety attacks (blamed it on the stress of the remodel). The whole weight "thing". Not too bad, but bad enough that I feel like crap, and look worse. Oh yeah, and a much lower sex drive (what the hell, we're among friends). This is serious stuff, I adore my husband, I couldn't figure out why suddenly I just didn't "want it" as much anymore. Again, tired? remodel? stress? maybe. But taken in unison, I got tested.

I've never had to be on medication in my life, blessed with terrific health. I find the whole notion of "being on medication" really disconcerting. But I realize I need to suck it up. I think I owe it to myself and my husband to try the medication and see if there is a real improvement.

I had NO idea about the breast cancer thing. That is terrific news! It's also supposed to be good for your cholesterol levels, but mine are very good as it is.

Nope, I think it will be primarily an issue of getting back to normal and just feeling BETTER.

I just hope the adjustment period isn't too bad. And as to the weight melting off, the doctor kills me. "It's not about the weight." LOL! The HELL it isn't! LOL! But I know what he meant. Believe me, I put on the weight eating healthy food AND while exercising. So hopefully the medicine will make a difference. The doctor can say it's "gravy" that's fine.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 11:13PM
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Hi Ivette,
I've been hypothyroid forever. My father noticed a goiter in my neck when I was 13, but the blood tests came back normal and my neck continued to swell. After I had my first child, I was so exhausted I felt I didn't have the strength to shower. My now X-AHH (figure it out) told me that if I couldn't take care of the baby with energy then he'd find someone else that could. I made an appointment that day to see a doctor. I went to the same doctor that had diagnosed my sister. We had different last names so he didn't have a clue. Within just a few minutes, he was asking me if there was anyone that could come get the baby and take me to the doctor. Apparently, I had some kind of zoning out episode that he wasn't sure what was going on with me. Turned out that I was almost in a coma. I was so tired that sometimes I would have to pull off the side of the road or sit in the parking lot to nap before I went in a store or drove further. I thought I was just tired from having a baby. I was only 21 or 22 and didn't know any better.

Well, my goiter was five times normal. My pituitary was working overtime to produce thyroid hormones. Once I got regulated on levothroid/synthroid .2 mcg, then life became bright again. It was like I was in a hideous fog until I went on medications.

I can honestly say that when I went on medication, it was not dramatic. However, I'm falling apart if I don't take it for a few days. I've found that I function better taking it at night for a few reasons. First, my face turns beet red and it is calmer by morning. Two, I get 'hot' when I take the medication and it's better I'm not awake! Three, I don't forget taking it at night.

My life is so much better on medication. I cannot function long without it. As for helping you lose weight? Uh...not so true. It will be easier, but it isn't a 'magic pill'. As a matter of fact, it's almost like a tiny little candy pill. Almost make believe. YOu can even chew it.

Within about six weeks of taking the meds, my thyroid SHRUNK to normal. I never knew my neck was so long!

Anywho...I hope it helps. My sister and I take the same meds and are absolutely psycho if someone monkies with the dosage.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 1:37AM
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I'm saddenned to hear this news. I would imagine the good part (if there is one) is to have a diagnosis to your symptoms, so that you can find appropriate treatment. I'm sure the fatigue, hair loss and inability to lose weight has been unsettling! I'm sorry I can't add anything too helpful, as I'm unfamiliar with the disorder ~ but I'm sending you lots of positive thoughts and a big virtual hug. (((Be well my friend)))

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 7:35AM
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Back in the early 1980s, the right lobe of my thryoid was removed because it was cold (non-functioning) and the endocronologist recommended its removal to reduce the risk of thyroid cancer. The doctor couldn't say for certain why my right lobe went cold, but he said it might have been caused by a prolonged period of higher production associated with two pregnancies and two miscarriages during a 4-year span.

I don't have to take artificial thyroid because my left lobe is currently producing enough thyroid. Every few years, I have a thyroid uptake and scan to check my thyroid function and thus far, knock on wood, I am doing fine. This whole thing started when a doctor, whom I went to see because I had walking pneumonia, found a lump on the right lobe of my thyroid during his examination. It was sort of funny because I went there to be treated for walking pneumonia and it was the unexpected thyroid lump that garnered the most attention. I was fortunate because I don't recall experiencing any adverse symptoms and kept telling myself, throughout the treatment, if something has to go wrong, this isn't that bad. Perhaps my problem was hyper-thyroidism and not hypo-thyrodism? It happened so long ago that I have forgotten many of the particulars.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 9:10AM
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After my second child was born, I lost a great deal of weight (woo hoo!) in several months while nursing, so I didn't think much of it. However, I constantly ran a low-grade fever and was very 'antsy'- felt like an electric current was runnng through my body all the time. I also had a swelling in my neck- looked like a junior cheeseburger didn't quite make it all the way down. Turns out I had a hyperthroidism related to pregnancy/childbirth- and was assured that it would swing back DOWN as far as it had peaked.

That 'down' period was as you described- tired, piling on weight and dry skin, freezing extremeties. All resolved over time without medication, but if faced with a life-long continuance of those issues, I'd go for the meds, no question.

I know the lowest effective dose is important to ascertain. A good friend is facing serious problems and has had two hip replacements because her doctor upped her thyroid at her request to help her lose weight. She continued at the elevated dose for years, and now has terrible osteoporosis- bones like honeycomb.

You are conservative and prudent, Ivette, and you do your research. Wishing you the best of health and hope you are feeling 100% soon!

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 11:13AM
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Thanks everybody!!

Yes, the doctor mentioned the osteoporosis risk immediately. I figure, if I start doing things like taking calcium supplement and not drinking caffeine, I may actually come out even or a little ahead. Will discuss with Doc.

Talked to my Dad today, turns out my Grandmother had hypothyroidism most of her life. Hers was caused by a goiter. The first thing doc asked me was "is there any history in your family?" Didn't know, now I do.

Thanks again! I will keep you all apprised of how it goes.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 5:52PM
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I had Hashimoto's thyroiditis in my 30s. Please please please take this seriously. It is serious. It needs attention. The side effects are minimal -- there are bone building drugs that are extremely effective.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 5:58PM
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Just so you know, Pirula-- A goiter is the result of hypothyroidism and not the cause. But unless the cause is autoimmune, I don't really buy into the family history thing so much.

I do, however, feel that for is hormonally related and possibly environmental also. Obvious, iodine deficiency is a common cause, but in this country, that's not really a problem.

And I wouldn't worry about osteoporosis. The hormone is being given to you to replace what's missing. The side effects of hypothyroidism are a much more pressing concern.

Your doctor should shoot for a TSH level between 1.00- 2.00

If I go above 2.00, I feel like crap. 1.5-1.8 is optimal for me.

Please forgive me if I sound bossy and presumptious. I would hate to come across as rude. Sometimes when I read my words back, I don't like how they sound in my head.
I really am just trying to help.

Oh.. I should add that I am not a doctor, just a hypochondriac who has research to death her thyroid disease. I am doing very well now.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 9:54PM
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All the woman in my family (mother, aunts and sister) have had hypothyroidism. I had put on about 12 pounds that even 5 months of major Weight Watchers wouldn't budge. I had all of the other symptoms, including an ongoing feeling of sadness (which is not me, a terminal optimist). My doctor noticed that my throid was enlarged, yet my blood tests came back low normal. He started me on a low dose and when my symptoms began to go away (sadness gone first, then hair loss decreased and dieting (yes I still have to diet) began to work, he realized we were on the right track and he upped my synthroid a bit more. My husband has been on synthroid since he was 22 (he's 64 now). His doctor took him off one year because his blood tests were up - in that year he became exhausted, lost a ton of hair, had dry itchy skin, was cold all the time, and became very very depressed. We finally figured out the connection (which a blood test verified) and he's never been off synthroid again.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:20PM
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Well, I've got Graves disease--and I'm currently hyPERthyroid--though I expect I'll be hyPOthryoid eventually. Had RAI therapy in mid-march--still feeling pretty crummy and WIRED. Find yourself a good endocrinologist--the right docotr makes a WORLD of difference. See if you can find one who does a lot of thyroid stuff--many endos do mostly diabetes.

I've linked a site I found helpful!


Here is a link that might be useful: American Thyroid site

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 10:49PM
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mlaj mentioned iodine deficiency. In this country, we get a lot of our iodine from iodized salt (as well as from seafood), but maybe salt isn't iodized in Egypt.

DH has been taking levothyroxine for years---no biggie. It's just something you live with.

Hope you feel better soon!


    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 11:37AM
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mlaj: You're not at all bossy or presumptiuous. I appreciate your input and the time you take to give it.

all: Thanks again for all your continued thoughts. That was a good point about salt in Cairo, but we bought our salt at the commisary, it was iodized. That's not it.

I'm ready for Tuesday to come so I can start taking care of this thing.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 4:04PM
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I've been hypothyroid for a number of years. My internal medicine doctor looked at my blood tests and insisted I was fine. My D.O. LISTENED to me talk about my symptoms, did some more testing, and agreed I was hypothyroid.

I take desiccated thyroid tablets. I'm warmer, more energetic, happier, and my hair has grown back and my skin is softer again.

My dose was a little high at first, and I felt nervous, twitchy, paranoid, and my heart thumped funny. They adjusted the dose quickly and now I'm doing a lot better.

Some people do better dividing the medication and taking it twice a day, but that made it hard for me to sleep.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 7:55PM
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dessicated thyroid tablets? ARe you taking Armour?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 9:11PM
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