new diagnosis of hyperthyroidism and borderline graves

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I am 54 and have just been diagnosted with subclincial hyperthyroidsim.  I have absolutely no symptoms.  I am cold most of the time, I have minor consitpation, my resting heart rate is 70 beats per minute and I have not trouble sleeping.  Here are my numbers:  

Free T4: 1.60 ng/dL normal(.80-1.9) 

Free T3 3.6 pg/mL    normal(1.5-4.1)

TSH:  Less than 0.00 

TSI:   1.3                    normal(Less than or equal to 1.3)

Mild osteopenia in hips -1.8 DEXA scan osteopenia runs in my family.

I would like to try to treat this without drugs since I am not thin, and need to lose 10 lbs. and I don't want to have less energy or get depressed.

Here is what I am doing:  Acetyl-Lcarntivine 3000 mg and I am taking thyrodex which is a chinese herbal mixture from evergreen that my acupntcurist swears by.  I am definitely feeling slower but am still waiting to get tested for about 1 month.  I am also trying to eat cleanly eating as little gluten as possible and staying away from sugar.  

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Does anyone know if it is possible to get my thyroid back to normal with my current plan, or is it inevitable that I will need the prescription medicine.  The conventional endo is willing to let me try these measures for 3 months but feels like I cannot let this go.

I would love to hear anyone's experience.  I have read that I can increase acetly-L carnitine up to 6 grams per day.  I am currently taking 3 grams a day and definitely feel like I am slowing down in terms of energy and desire to excersize.  My weight is stable though.

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  • Posted

    6 grams of Acetyl-L-Carnitine is the highest dose I have heard anyone be on.  For most of us, we use it along with a small dose of meds (I was on 5 mg of meds) and then it really works to increase your TSH.  The diet and herbs sounds great and should help.  Also adding vitamin D supplements might help.
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  • Posted

    Hi -  My daughter got her thyroid back into balance herself by self medicating because she did not like the feeling of her thyroid going underactive.  not sure what thyrodex contains but Im sure zinc, selenium magnesium and copper support will help - the first three especially,  I understand copper is more a complex issue.  there are nutri support tablets that contain these -  also vit D is useful.   there are natural thyroid support sites on the internet.    Hope this helps. 


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  • Posted

    The way the feedback loop is supposed to work with the thyroid is that the hypothalamus near the brain secretes Thyrotropin Releasing Hormone (TRH) which signals the pituitary gland, located just below the hypothalamus, to release Thyrotropin also known as Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which, in turn, stimulates the thyroid to release Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3) which are used throughout the body for cells to function.

    It is not good to have too much or too little of the thyroid hormones, but the amount that is in the blood is monitored by the glands near the brain and the normal pituitary should secrete enough TSH as needed or stop secreting TSH if there is enough thyroid hormones in the bloodstream.  Therefore, low TSH is interpreted as High Thyroid function and high TSH is interpreted as Low Thyroid function.

    The tests of the thyroid, are said to have differing degrees of reliability.  The TSH test is considered to be the most reliable.  When that pituitary hormone is nearly zero, the question the doctors usually have is:  Just how high are the thyroid hormones?  

    The Free T3 is the most effective in the cells in doing its job, but the test for it is the least reliable.  For one thing, it is measured in picograms which is an incredibly small amount.  For another thing, it fluctuates the most, having a half-life of just 24 hours.  Sometimes Total T3 is measured because there is more of it, but it is only the "free" (not bound) part that is very useful to the body.

    The Free T4 has a longer half-life, and it is converted to T3 through a deiodinization process.  T4 means there are 4 atoms of iodine attached to the hormone molecule, but when 1 atom of iodine is removed it becomes T3.

    Anyway, when your TSH is very low but your "free T's" are not high, the question is, where is the thyroid at in its cycle, and is the immune system involved.  You had a TSI test done.  That is Thyroid Stimulating Immunoglobulins.  In other words, if it is high you have an auto-immune attack causing hyperthyroidism, and your TSH doesn't need to be raised to produce the thyroid hormones.  The TSI will not respond to any feedback loop in the body, however, and it can result in having dangerously high levels of the thyroid hormones.

    It can definitely be the case that you can change the attack by treating your body right, or it can just whimsically change on its own.

    I didn't learn about acetyl-l-carnitine until after I had gone into remission with the GD, but I suspect it is one of the reasons I have not become hyperthyroid again since taking it.

    You are definitely better off if your TSH will rise.   For me, that happened when I was decreasing the Anti-Thyroid Drug a little faster than what my doctor would recommend, but he saw that it worked out after the fact.  Later, (from a different doctor), I was able to take L-T3 in very small amounts, like 1/8 of the smallest dose made (5 mcg.) and building up from there.  Either way, it seemed that having a variable amount of T3 in my body is what helped the pituitary get more involved in the balancing act.  That is my own opinion, and I am not a medical professional, or even a college graduate, so take it as you will.

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