Inquiring minds are wondering . . .

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In a recent post, I shared a little bit about myself.  I'm a 51 year old wife, mother of 5 grown children (yippee!), personal trainer, USA Swim Coach, and an athlete at heart.  I love competing, especially in the pool at swim meets.  But with that said, it hasn't always been that way.  Sure, I was a lean, athletic girl until I got married and began having kids.  I took great care of my husband and kids, but not myself.  My weight ballooned to over 260 lbs.  I was miserable, but wasn't motivated to change.  It wasn't until our oldest announced that she was getting married that a lightbulb went off that NOW was the time.  I'll tell you one better . . . I have never heard the audible voice of God, but if I had it sounded like His voice that day.  "Now is the time to make some lasting changes to your life.  You never know when the opportunity will come around again."  Friends, I took this seriously.  Long story short, it took 4 years of learning to eat right and regular exercise, but I lost 115lbs.  The sad side of this story is the unexplainable weight gain (along with other thyroidish type symptoms) that I have experienced in the last 24 months.  I have gained around 25lbs and YES, I'm terrified and depressed.  Doctor after doctor treats me like I'm crazy.  I have been offered a sleep study, anti-depressants, and the latest . . . a prescription for weight loss pills with a note asking me if THESE will make me happy.  So, what is my inquiring mind wondering about??  Can losing significant amounts of weight like I did OR menopause cause or trigger our thyroid to not operate properly?  Maybe can cause an interference with a T4 to T3 conversion?  First, my TSH is 2.2, but my T4 is high normal and my T3 is low normal.  I won't mention how horrible I feel, but it's been a gradual horribleness.  I was giving some thought to my weight loss journey and my hubby reminded me of how strange it was.  My body would just hold on to weight big time, and then "all of a sudden", I would drop 10lbs.  It was weird and I remember the trainer who was working with me was always baffled.  So, what does everyone think??  Can changes in our bodies produce crazy issues with our thyroid?  Could I be a vicitim of this?  

Jamie

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  • Posted

    Hello Jamie:

    My name is Shelly and I am a nurse in the USA.  I have Hashimoto's thyroid disease since 1987.  I am 55.

    Hypo symptoms are: weight gain, feeling cold, bruising, brittle nails & dry skin, hair loss, fatigue, periods that stop or are late, brain foggy, having low pulse and low body temp, muscle aches and pains, there are more these are common.

    it can come from a myriad of things, a family trait, menopause, puberty changes, lack of iodine in the diet, a nasty virus or germ/infections, Epstein Barr virus also called mononucleosis. Some other diseases like Lupus or Diabetes, and major stress on the body.

    You need to see an Endocrinologist who knows the thyroid gland well.  If your TSH is okay and yours is, you can ask for a low dose Levothyroxine.  The starter dose is 25mcg.  Most doc's won't have a problem with it.

    Now you should have extra blood work, there are certain antibodies that can attack the gland and you can get a few tests done to check to make sure they are. TPOA, TGab and ESR.  They work differently and if can pick up any thyroid autoimmune or inflammation in your body this is all done by blood. Also a FT3 and RT3 and FT4 and Reverse T4 tests are important.  Some other blood work you should get is potassium, sodium, calciu, ferritin, iron, Vit D and B-12.  As we age we do not have enough Vit D in us, and it can make you feel awful.

    It can take years for the thyroid levels to go way off and getting on  a low dose will help stop the bad effects. So ask your GP or IM doctor for Levo 25mcg.

    Explain the symptoms and ask for a trial.

    Any questions just ask,

    Shelly

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    • Posted

      Hi Shelly

      I meant to say that I did not know that it can take years for the thyroid symptoms to disappear, sorry.

      ​Is there a reason for these symptoms to take so long in 'disappearing' well hopefully disappearing anyway!

      All this is very difficult to comprehend because there is so much to it not to mention the multiple complications that come with thyroid conditions.

      ​It must be one of the most misunderstood and complicated conditions known to medicine.

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    • Posted

      Hello Cindy

      In the terms of autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto's Thyroid disease, the disease is slow and can take years before thyroid levels change and symptoms can take a while to appear.

      This does not apply to Hypothyroidism in general or from a lack of iodine in the diet, only to autoimmune problems.

      Shelly

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    • Posted

      Hello Cindy:

      Autoimmune is harder to control and symptoms can come on slowly and over a period of time.  Many of us have no idea we have it and are misdiagnosed as depression, or fibromylagia, etc...

      Hashimoto's is autoimmune and runs in families.  The symptoms once proper blood levels of T4 and T3 happen should fade away as long as the hormone levels are good.

      Thyroiditis and other Hypothyroid conditions that are NOT autoimmune symptoms can appear faster and once treated, symptoms will subside faster.

      I know the endocrine system is complicated as it is quirky and hard to regulate as other factors can damage it.

      Shelly

       

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    • Posted

      Shelly

      So what is the treatment for Hashimotos if it is an auto immune disease?

      Are the antibodies specific for Hashimotos disease?  

      Once the antibodies are eliminated then surely the condition improves? Or does it?

      Thanks.

       

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    • Posted

      Hello  Lucy:

      Hashimoto's is not Cureable but it is TREATABLE!  

      You take replacement  thyroid hormone which helps control the antibodies which attack the gland. The medication is for LIFE, and has to be taken each day.

      So you do not CURE it but keep it in control.  The antibodies are still there and the idea is to take the thyroid medication to keep your body in good health.  This keeps these antibodies under control.

      Avoiding FLARE up's by eliminating Gluten and poor eating habits do help keep it in control.

      You can improve the health of the immune system by vitamins & good minerals from the diet. Do this by eating good foods like fish and lean meats and vegetables and avoiding junk foods and soda and alcohol.  By doing this the immune system will get stronger and stay healthy.

      So you must take the thyroid medication to keep the antibodies down and keep the thyroid gland healthy.

      Any questions just ask,

      Shelly

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  • Posted

    I guess the continuation to my story is this.  After visiting with a number of docs that blew me off, I wrote a long letter of concern to a sports med doc that I had seen for a foot problem.  Honestly, I wish he could serve as my PCP but he cannot.  Anyway, by the time I saw him, the level of fatigue and brain fog I was experiencing was phenomenal, nothing like I have ever experienced - hands down. He began running every blood test in the book.  Everything kept coming back "normal" except for the RA factor - it was mildly elevated.  He did tell me that my free T3 was low, but still considered normal.  The man was honest when he told me that he was not well educated in various issues with the thyroid, but that it was possible that my thyroid levels were not at a optimal level - there's a difference.  Regardless, he referred me off to a rheumatologist.  I had my doubts that the RA factor test was accurate because I had exhibited no joint issues.  Within the 6 weeks before my rheumy appointment, I woke up one morning to  fingers that looked like sausages.  They were stiff, hot, and slightly achy.  I was THEN convinced that maybe the blood test was right.  Still, as the sports med doc told me, this doesn't account for the weight gain, constipation, hair loss, chilliness, and low body temp.  I've learned that most docs hate it when you educate yourself about things.  I began reading about Dr. Broda Barnes and his take on hypothyroidism.  I decided to implement his basal temp test.  Well, it certainly was interesting and answered alot of questions.  My average morning basal temperature is 95.8 (orally).  I recently had an appointment with another endo which ended with a quick in and out appointment and a prescription for weight loss pills.  He asked me if I thought the pills would make me happy.  What???  So I tell him about everything I mentioned above.  He looks at my blood work from a year ago and offers me weight loss pills.  Well, all I can say is that I'm a little unimpressed with docs right now, specifically endos.  Most of them base everything on TSH and yet, I have educated myself to know that TSH only is old school.  I did convince the doc to run a TPOA which came back negative.  I was just wondering if anyone else has had their thyroid effected by menopause (I take estrogen replacement as I had a partial hysterectomy in my late 30's) or is it possible that large amounts of weight loss can mess with the thyroid??  
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    • Posted

      I am sorry to hear that you are also going through all this. The endo et al reaction is oar on the course1

      This should not be happening in this day and age. It is unacceptable and inexcusable.

      I see Shelly has given a lot of info but I just wanted to offer my suport because we are vulnerable people in the hands of 'experts'.

      Take care don't let this grind you down.

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    • Posted

      Hello Jamie:

      You seem to have a lot of the symptoms so I would find a better GP or IM doctor.  Many of us have that problem that we look okay on paper but inside we feel bad or have symptoms. You need a doctor who listens, but having an RA test go elevated is a sign of an autoimmune condition and that can bother your thyroid also.  Losing lot's of weight can shock the thyroid esp. if you lost it rapidly or suddenly.

      I also saw many of Endo's and you need to keep trying to find one who will think outside the box.

      Menopause can bother the thyroid like I said above. Normally it hits ages 20 to 45 yr.olds mostly women,  but it can be later in life and as the hormones are changing it can bother the gland.

      If you can't find a decent Endo try your IM or GP doctor because they can prescribe all thyroid meds also.

      Keep us posted on how you feel and do,

      Shelly

       

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    • Posted

      I'm not medically qualified, but it sounds like a low dose of T3 (liothyronine) would help because it is your t3 that is low whilst your t4 is high, so there might be a conversion problem.
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    • Posted

      Anyone know what causes a body to have problems converting from T4 to T3
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    • Posted

      Hello Barbara

      A myriad of factors can occur to cause T4 not to convert into T3.

      First is Damage to the thyroid from autoimmune disease. Hashimoto's or another type of disease can damage the gland.

      Second is Adrenal issues can cause the meds not to work.

      Third is low ferritin levels can interfere with hormones being abosrbed

      Fourth receptor sites in the bowel can be damaged or won't allow the med to be absorbed well.

      Fifth  liver is slow or unable to process med, a fatty liver is common one.

      Many of this happens with the Synthetics and not the NDT's.  It can happen in both but seem to me to happen much more with the Synthetics.

      Good question,

      Shelly

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