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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Apr-02-05, 12:55
Jeninaustr Jeninaustr is offline
New Member
Posts: 9
 
Plan: Adkins
Stats: 150/144/130 Female 61 inches
BF:
Progress:
Default Please tell me I'm not nuts

I'm looking for some direction here - does anyone have some experience with a normal TSH (on the extreme low end), low FT3 and a normal FT4. I've been putting on weight since the fall despite regular exercise and some degree of dieting. My doctor said if my TSH is normal then I don't have a thyroid problem - I have other hormone problems (PCOS), but these newer symptoms are getting worse/changing. Hypotension, anemia, night sweats, some type of hot flash during the day when under stress, consitipation, fingers falling asleep, unexplained fatigue - daily, and major major mood swings, very tense and on edge. I can sleep 12 hours at night and take a 2 hour nap anytime. I've been told it's depression since I'm living in a foreign country, but honestly, it's almost 8 years here in Austria, I know the language and we actually really like it here. As I've adjusted, have friends, a great marraige and healthy kids, and my symptoms have only worsened. I also had a real bad phase of allergies - had never had them before, and let me say, hives everyday, asthma, the running nose, itching eyes etc. - that lasted over a year, 5 doctors and 24 prescriptions later with no named cause except stress (2 years ago); now better. I tried to see if it was hormone related and my doctor again said - just stress. This is just not normal - on prozac I feel emotionally better, but the physical symptoms don't change. I sought out a different doctor and will have a TRH test this week - what else should I pursue - could this be a secondary hypothyroid problem - a pituitary problem?? I'd appreciate any answers

Jen in Austria
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  #2   ^
Old Mon, Apr-04-05, 14:49
fridayeyes's Avatar
fridayeyes fridayeyes is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,044
 
Plan: low glycemic
Stats: // Female jkl
BF:
Progress: 69%
Default

Hi, Jen,

You're not nuts and even if your numbers are 'in range' you can still have problems. Could you post the exact numbers for us? Unfortunately, all of my resources for docs are in the US, plus one in Denmark. Your doc's statement about TSH and 'normal' was dead wrong, btw. Let me know if you want the contact info for the doc in Denmark.

Cheers!

Friday
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Apr-04-05, 16:53
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 45,303
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

You said you have low FT3, that would explain a lot. As a woman, our FT3 should be in the upper 1/3. But most doctors don't know, care, or recognize that, they simply treat you by your TSH numbers. You'll have to seek out a doctor that will look at other things, like symptoms.
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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Apr-04-05, 19:19
CindyG's Avatar
CindyG CindyG is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,894
 
Plan: PSMF
Stats: 328/255.0/150 Female 5' 6"
BF:52%/43%/20%
Progress: 41%
Location: Northern California
Default

Yep.. I had a "normal" TSH, normalish FT4 and very low FT3. I felt like utter crap! I was not losing weigh depsite vigourous exerise and serious dieting. I was freezing constantly. The worst symptom by far was the fatigue. I never felt rested, ever.

I finally found a doctor who would treat based on FT3 and not just TSH. I've been on armour for about 6 weeks. Within 45 minutes of my first dose I felt better. I don't think I'm optimized yet, but I feel 90% better than I did six months ago.

I'm not sure where to refer you as you're not in the states. But if you can find a doc who prescribes Armour, treats based on Free T3 and Free T4 AND symptoms, you should be able to get some relief.

Good luck!
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  #5   ^
Old Tue, Apr-05-05, 06:59
Jeninaustr Jeninaustr is offline
New Member
Posts: 9
 
Plan: Adkins
Stats: 150/144/130 Female 61 inches
BF:
Progress:
Default Low FT3 legit

Ok - I'm hearing this is legitimate, that I can actually have a reason to think I need treatment. For the record - here were my results:

TSH (.4-2) .44
FT3 (3-6) 1.8 - Is that low or what??
FT4 (.8-2) 1.2

So today I had a TRH stress test - waiting for results. Does anyone know why I have a low FT3 - my last doctor just plain said, nope, not hypothyroid or my TSH would be high and not low. Am I not converting T4 to T3 - if so, what kind of treatment am I looking at? Anyone with experience with Secondary or Tertiary Hypothyroidism?

Thanks for listening - now I need a nap
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Apr-05-05, 08:40
Nancy LC's Avatar
Nancy LC Nancy LC is offline
Experimenter
Posts: 45,303
 
Plan: Paleo 99.5%
Stats: 210/170/160 Female 67.5"
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: San Diego, CA
Default

Low FT3 can be caused by anorexia, actually I think just plain old dieting can do it or make it worse. I think there were a couple of other causes but they're not popping into my head just yet. Oh yes, there's a syndrome where seriously ill people, like in the hospital, don't properly convert T4 to T3. Probably it is the bodies mechanism to slow down the metabolism when it is stressed. But frankly, the state of knowledge about thyroid is deplorable. I think 50 years ago, they treated people correctly for thyroid, but they've since changed how they treat it now and really screwed it up. Its a case of them believing they know how to treat it, but they really don't. Unfortunately most doctors don't listen to their patients and are unwilling to learn from their patients.

You definitely need to find a different doctor, one that understands the importance of FT3/FT4 numbers, not one hidebound by TSH. Have you looked over the FAQ? It might help explain some of the mechanics and perhaps can give you some pointers on finding a doctor in your area that will prescribe T3 (hopefully natural thyroid).

You could try to educate your doctor, bring him rafts of articles and so on, but most are not receptive to that. Probably the best thing to do is to try to find a thyroid advocacy group that operates in your area and see if they can recommend a doctor. Or, if you make a trip back to the states we can probably find a doctor for you to see.

Last edited by Nancy LC : Tue, Apr-05-05 at 08:47.
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  #7   ^
Old Tue, Apr-05-05, 12:10
jende jende is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 129
 
Plan: Schwarzbein Principle
Stats: 165/152/150 Female 67 inches
BF:
Progress: 87%
Default

Jen, I don't think you are crazy because you sound alot like me, (although these problems can definitely drive you crazy). Your problem is definitely hormonal. I'm not sure why doctors will say your problem is "stress" and then not connect that to the effects of stress on your endocrine system. Your hypotension makes me question the function of your adrenals. Adrenal fatique and thyroid problems often go together, an imbalance in one throws out the other. Your allergies and asthma also would lead me to thinking you need to take a serious look at your adrenals. I assume from your low blood pressure that dizziness is also a problem? How about other things such as hypoglycemia, digestive problems, headaches and pms. Not everyone has every symptom, but these are common. I don't have allergies, but allergies and asthma are very common with adrenal fatique. If you go to the Schwarzbein board and look at the sticky which describes her program, you could scroll down and find some adrenal questionaires. There is a survey in there that lists symptoms for adrenals, hypothyroid, or a mix of hypothyroid and low adrenals. I fall into the mixed catagory. As for your constipation, numbness, moodiness, anemia, strange body temperature problems, tension, etc, you're not alone, I've had all those things too.

By the way, when I talk about adrenal fatique, I don't mean Addison's disease. Unfortunately, your doctor only considers Addison's with adrenals, so if you mention them, you'd probably just be sent home with a pat on the head and more Prozac.

Jen in Canada
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  #8   ^
Old Tue, Apr-05-05, 12:19
Slavoie Slavoie is offline
New Member
Posts: 3
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 205/180/135 Female 5'0"
BF:
Progress:
Thumbs up

I am on 2 different kinds of medication one is for T3 and one is for T4. or at least that is what my doctor has told me.. lol.. I am glad I found this thread since I would love to learn more about my disease.
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  #9   ^
Old Tue, Apr-05-05, 12:27
CindyG's Avatar
CindyG CindyG is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,894
 
Plan: PSMF
Stats: 328/255.0/150 Female 5' 6"
BF:52%/43%/20%
Progress: 41%
Location: Northern California
Default

Jeninaustr,

I'm totally convinced I did this to myself with excessive dieting and exercise. It really sucks to think I was "doing everything right" and making myself very sick. Nancy mentioned anorexia, but I don't even think it has to be that drastic. I was eating 1500-1600 cals a day and exercising 6 times a week (I weighed about 280 at the time). 7 months at those levels resulted in no weight loss and put me close enough to starvation for my body to hold to every single ounce! I was not converting T4 to T3. No wonder I felt so bad. But the end result is that I'm doing a lot better on Armour and I'm hoping with moderate diet and exercise I can actually lose some weight now. And the best part, all my terrible symptoms, brain fog, fatigue, freezing cold, have greatly diminished.

Here are my test results from Jan 05:

TSH: .4
Free T4 1.5
Free T3 222 (range 210-410)

Look familiar?

My original doc told me my thyroid was fine. I still felt terrible! If you can find a doc to treat based on symptoms and Free T3 and T4 you should be able to get some of those symptoms under control.

Good luck!
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Apr-06-05, 10:08
Jeninaustr Jeninaustr is offline
New Member
Posts: 9
 
Plan: Adkins
Stats: 150/144/130 Female 61 inches
BF:
Progress:
Default

Thanks Cindy - hang in there with your challenge too. You know, if nothing else, I'm glad to "meet" some great people that are truly kind in taking some time to encourage and drop a few lines that might help someone else.
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  #11   ^
Old Sun, Jul-03-05, 10:19
KSMorris KSMorris is offline
New Member
Posts: 15
 
Plan: none
Stats: 147/147/147 Female 5'10"
BF:
Progress:
Default

Jenin,

You're not nuts. haha

"What Your Cells Need to Produce T3 Hormone"

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/grou...ada/message/263

"Why Some Patients Don't Do Well on T4 Hormone Alone"

http://health.groups.yahoo.com/grou...ada/message/264



Karen Morris
Organizer
"Thyroid Patients Canada"
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  #12   ^
Old Tue, Oct-17-06, 15:12
missmelis missmelis is offline
New Member
Posts: 4
 
Plan: no gluten and raw foods d
Stats: 130/130/120 Female 5'2
BF:
Progress:
Lightbulb jen form austria!!!!!!

I have exactly what you are explaining and am on the hunt to find a doctor who will help me. Let me know if you come across anything as I will let you know as well......Missy from Arizona USA---I have to tell you it is somewhat a relief to know I am not alone!
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  #13   ^
Old Wed, Oct-18-06, 06:05
Jeninaustr Jeninaustr is offline
New Member
Posts: 9
 
Plan: Adkins
Stats: 150/144/130 Female 61 inches
BF:
Progress:
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by missmelis
I have exactly what you are explaining and am on the hunt to find a doctor who will help me. Let me know if you come across anything as I will let you know as well......Missy from Arizona USA---I have to tell you it is somewhat a relief to know I am not alone!



Hi Missy -

Well, this thread was started a long long time ago, but I'm here to tell you not to give up because you can eventually get the answers you need to reCLAIM your health! I've been on a tiny little half a pill a day (thyrex here in Austria - I can't evben remember what that is! I think T4 actually)and I am a different person than 2 years ago, but at any rate, do not give up until a doctor listens to you! I finally found a specialist and after showing him all my information, he said "Numbers are just numbers, it's time to look at the patient"!! What is a normal range for the general public is not necessarily normal for you. (ie. my gyn hormones come back "normal" but I can go months without a period, so am I "normal"?? No.) You are not crazy, you are not clinically depressed, you are not alone - thyroid problems can cause all of that, but I'll bet that is not your root problem. Hang in there and make yourself enjoy what you can of each day, and take a nap if you need it. Be good to yourself and don't be afraid of establishing your limits - and do not give up on it. Keep me posted! I'm praying for you. Jen in Austria
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Oct-18-06, 06:26
DrH's Avatar
DrH DrH is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 2,185
 
Plan: Atkins (Strict Induction)
Stats: 183/120/115 Female 5'7.5"
BF:21.6%
Progress: 93%
Location: Jupiter, FL
Default

I am not a medical doctor, but your TSH is great, but your T3 is low. I was put on Cytomel, which addresses the T3 and Synthroid for the T4.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeninaustr
Ok - I'm hearing this is legitimate, that I can actually have a reason to think I need treatment. For the record - here were my results:

TSH (.4-2) .44
FT3 (3-6) 1.8 - Is that low or what??
FT4 (.8-2) 1.2

So today I had a TRH stress test - waiting for results. Does anyone know why I have a low FT3 - my last doctor just plain said, nope, not hypothyroid or my TSH would be high and not low. Am I not converting T4 to T3 - if so, what kind of treatment am I looking at? Anyone with experience with Secondary or Tertiary Hypothyroidism?

Thanks for listening - now I need a nap
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  #15   ^
Old Wed, Oct-18-06, 08:52
rissa's Avatar
rissa rissa is offline
Chaos in the flesh!
Posts: 1,725
 
Plan: custom
Stats: 386/218.2/167 Female 69
BF:
Progress: 77%
Location: Colorado
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeninaustr
I'm looking for some direction here - does anyone have some experience with a normal TSH (on the extreme low end), low FT3 and a normal FT4. I've been putting on weight since the fall despite regular exercise and some degree of dieting. My doctor said if my TSH is normal then I don't have a thyroid problem - I have other hormone problems (PCOS), but these newer symptoms are getting worse/changing. Hypotension, anemia, night sweats, some type of hot flash during the day when under stress, consitipation, fingers falling asleep, unexplained fatigue - daily, and major major mood swings, very tense and on edge. I can sleep 12 hours at night and take a 2 hour nap anytime. I've been told it's depression since I'm living in a foreign country, but honestly, it's almost 8 years here in Austria, I know the language and we actually really like it here. As I've adjusted, have friends, a great marraige and healthy kids, and my symptoms have only worsened. I also had a real bad phase of allergies - had never had them before, and let me say, hives everyday, asthma, the running nose, itching eyes etc. - that lasted over a year, 5 doctors and 24 prescriptions later with no named cause except stress (2 years ago); now better. I tried to see if it was hormone related and my doctor again said - just stress. This is just not normal - on prozac I feel emotionally better, but the physical symptoms don't change. I sought out a different doctor and will have a TRH test this week - what else should I pursue - could this be a secondary hypothyroid problem - a pituitary problem?? I'd appreciate any answers

Jen in Austria


Defintitely have the TRH test. Just because your levels are "normal" doesn't mean you don't have a thyroid issue. Seek out an internist if possible. Are you on any prescriptions now? A lot of allergy medications are steroids and will cause you to gain weight, change your hair color and even affect your vision. There's lots of strange things that steroids can do.
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