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I was diagnosed with graves in 2011. Have been on methimazole since then. Dr. Said my pituitary is asleep. May have to have an MRI. Anyone else with this issue?

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    If you google "Pituitary and Graves Disease" you will see sites that explain the interaction between the Pituitary gland and Graves so you can understand the disease. I personally have never known anyone who had an MRI for Graves in particular. It may be that your TSH blood test is continuing to be low despite being treated with medication for Graves and perhaps this is the reason your doctor wants you to have an MRI. Many Graves patients (including myself) have had that problem of low TSH despite being treated with meds. If this is the case, there are things you can do to help normalize this test.

    You need to ask him why he thinks an MRI is necessary. I believe an informed patient is a proactive one and being proactive means that you will have the best outcome. Doctors are not Gods. They are educated mortals.

    I am sure you are followed on a regular basis with thyroid blood tests. I always obtain a copy of the blood tests that are done on me and keep my own medical file.You can too. Ask for a copy of your blood results every time you have them done. This is part of being proactive. You can become an educated mortal too and make your own decisions after you have all information at hand..

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    What does a low TSH mean in real terms; ie what effect does it have for a graves sufferer. I ask because I seem to also have a consistently low TSH reading but feel reasonably well on carbimazole so was wondering why this could be a concern if the patient felt well?
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    I recently asked my Endocrinologist the same question because I told him that no matter where my TSH is, low or higher (that is higher but within the normal range), as long as my T3 and T4 are normal and I am on even a very low dose of meds, I feel normal. He said the TSH is indicating how active your disease is.

    TSH stands for thyroid stimulating hormone. A low TSH result indicates an over functioning thyroid gland (producing too much thyroid hormone) and a high TSH indicates an under functioning gland, producing too little thyroid hormone. I know I found that confusing when I first heard of it because with most blood tests and diseases, it is just the opposite.

    In the treatment of an overactive thyroid (which most commonly results from the autoimmune condition Graves' disease), it is critical to slow down the gland's excess production of thyroid hormones, especially the hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). You feel normal on meds because even though the TSH is indicating that your disease is active, the medication you are taking is blocking the thyroid gland's ability to produce excess thyroid hormone.

    An excellent source of information about this is Mary Shoman's site called You can google that sentence or the name Mary Shoman and it will give you the site address. Mary is a very active advocate for thyroid patients because of her own experience with thyroid disease.

    I believe that patients who take responsibility for becoming educated about their disease become empowered and are partners with their physicians in their health care. I believe they make better treatment choices and have better outcomes as a result.

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