Test results

The endocrinologist says my TSH level is still high, but lower than it was. So I’ll be on a trial run of synthetic thyroid, even though he says it’s “unlikely” that I’m going to actually feel better. The main purpose in treating it, he says, is for all the other problems low thyroid can cause, like cardiac problems. Whatever.

2 thoughts on “Test results

  1. My wife had a hyperactive thyroid and it took a while to “balance” things so that she felt “normal” but she’s been fine for years and lives a healthy, athletic life now, no pills, no operation. i sincerely hope your journey through this (brief) set-back is quick and painless and affords you every opportunity to live a full life. Keep up the good work. Eat right, exercise when you can (try for 7 hrs a week) and laugh as much as possible.

  2. New recommendations for TSH levels came out, but it’s been taking a long time for them to be promulgated to all docs, much less acted on.

    Old range: .5 to 5.0
    New range: .3 to 3.0

    Mary Shomon is a thyroid patient who had many problems getting to feeling healthy, and she has become a lay expert and advocate/educator for thyroid issues and patients. She writes on About.Com on thyroid issues (current post), in case you’re not familiar with her site. She’s also been excoriated by some endos who believe there is no reason in the world for using naturally derived thyroid hormones and who will prescribe only the synthetics, which, for some patients don’t always work as well.

    (My endo post thyroid surgery was like that, and my arriving with info “from the internet” drove him crazy, as did my surgeon’s recommendation to put me on T3 initially. I was put on 100mg of Synthroid and kept wanting to just slip down to the floor or ground, wherever the massive fatigue hit me, I was so tired. I might even have been a danger while driving, but I didn’t know that.)

    Shomon is hypothyroid, meaning that her TSH levels naturally are higher than “normal”; hyperthyroid means the TSH levels are lower than normal.

    QUOTE from” My TSH Test Results Are Normal, But I Still Have Symptoms”
    URL* shown as:
    http://thyroid.about.com/od/hypothyroidismhashimotos/a/tshnormal.htm

    Knowledgeable doctors know that a TSH of around 1 – 2 — in the low end of the normal range — is the normal level for people without thyroid disease, and they aim for this range in treating thyroid patients. Keep in mind that a doctor telling you your TSH is “fine” is not enough, because if your doctor is using the standard normal range of .5 to 5.0 , you could have a TSH of 4 and be told that you are “normal.” (Note, some doctors are following a new, recommended TSH range of 0.3 to 3.0). In my own situation, I know I feel terrible at a TSH of 3.0 or above, and I get hyperthyroid symptoms at .1, but I feel well at around 1.5 or so. (NOTE: this TSH is usually kept even lower than 1-2 for thyroid cancer survivors to help prevent recurrence.)

    END QUOTE

    It’s vitally important to get copies of all your test results and to keep them. You can then compare what “normal” or “fine” means to the doctor giving you vague results, and you also have records at hand if you see other doctors. Some endos ask for a more complete breakdown of thyroid levels than others and can see what was or was not tested for you.

    For Shomon it took years, and lots of dogged research, to find what worked for her. And it’s being what some endos would consider “hyperthyroid.” However, for her, that’s the only level where she feels healthy. Thyroidism and reactions to treatment are highly particular to each individual.

    When I began, back in the 90’s, to have really noticeable hypo symptoms (a former runner unable to complete more than one or two passes pushing my mower in a postage stamp sized front yard, unable to lose weight, hair loss, extremely dry skin, trouble keeping warm in the cold), I was finally tested by my GP. He told me I was “normal, right in the middle.” I was actually, by the new recommended levels, well above and into hypo land. And, as shown by Shoman’s experience, the new rec’d levels don’t fit everyone. And that doesn’t even get into T3 and T4 ratios, which may differ among patients.

    In fairness to my GP, the new levels had not been released at that time — I spent at least a decade being hypo. Only my thyroid cancer led to me getting any help. Bitter irony, eh?

    *I gave the title in case the URL just goes to a main subject heading — About.com isn’t the most easy to navigate site.

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