Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Brief Thyroid Update

For the first time in years, I slept through a winter night without needing an electric blanket.  That was last night.  Since starting this Iodine trial three weeks ago, while still cold, I have definitely been feeling warmer.  The few times I took my temp, it wasn't higher, but I think I'm due for another trial.  This is also the first evening in three weeks that I've had that odd, weary, ill feeling (instead of twice a week) and I haven't been noticing as much hair falling out each morning.  Finally, I've been having no trouble falling asleep and that symptom had been getting particularly exasperating.

So, slight change in plans.  The endocrinologist offered me no assistance that appealed to me (still treating thyroid based on TSH labs and T4 only meds) except that she wants to figure out the cortisol issue (and she did do a quick ultrasound to confirm no change in my thyroid).  So, my plan is to work through the cortisol issue with her.  I have my regular annual appointment with my primary doctor tomorrow and I'll ask her for her help (lab test) to rule out out a reverse T3 issue and test iodine levels.  But, I don't plan to do any thyroid trials until I test my iodine level and I'm thinking that I'd like to give this supplementation another month.  If I keep getting cozier and my symptoms keep getting better, then maybe I just needed a bit of Iodine and I'll be hunky dory soon!


  1. I'm glad you are doing so well! Good luck with your doctor. I hate that dealing with doctors is such an uphill battle for so many people. Yay for iodine!!

  2. Thanks for the friendly notes! I actually had an awesome visit today. My primary care doc said yes to everything and she pointed out how careful one needs to be with thyroid hormones. She said that you can certainly make yourself feel really good, but the labs are a useful indicator of norms. She cautioned that treating beyond the labs to "feeling good" can lead to floppy hearts and weak bones later in life. She new about free T3/T4 and has attended naturopathic seminars to understand the claims. Her concern was that the "feel good" parameter can lead to over treating and feeling worse in the long run and she's seen it in her practice. Hmmm, food for thought.

  3. Just FYI, Mary Shomon says that the claim that TSH suppressed below 1 leads to osteoporosis is controversial, at best. She writes:

    "While the research is contradictory and sometimes confusing, the predominance of the evidence is pointing toward the conclusion that non-suppressive thyroid replacement does not dramatically increase the risk of osteoporosis, and that a key risk factor seems to be age and menopausal status. It does not seem logical for doctors to refuse to treat to lower-normal TSH level, or to provide supplemental and not excessive T3 treatment - both therapies which may help resolve major hypothyroidism symptoms for some patients - solely on the basis of concerns over osteoporosis. This is particularly true for patients who are pre-menopausal."

    Of course, if osteoporosis is a worry, you can always do periodic bone scans to test for that directly. The risks of failing to adequately treat hypothyroidism are pretty severe too, particularly for heart health -- and for making life worth living!

    That being said, to induce a hyperthyroid state from excessive doses of thyroid hormones would be very bad too -- and definitely a risk to the heart, from what I understand. So if you're on thyroid meds, you should definitely know the symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

    Symptoms of Hyperthryodisim (An overactive thyroid)

    increased perspiration
    thinning of your skin
    fine brittle hair
    muscular weakness especially involving the upper arms and thighs
    shaky hands
    panic disorder
    racing heart
    more frequent bowel movements
    weight loss despite a good appetite
    lighter flow, less frequent menstrual periods

    And for the heck of it:

    Symptoms of Hypothyroidism (An underactive thyroid)

    fatigue, exhaustion
    feeling run down and sluggish
    difficulty concentrating, brain fog
    unexplained or excessive weight gain
    dry, coarse and/or itchy skin
    dry, coarse and/or thinning hair
    feeling cold, especially in the extremities
    muscle cramps
    increased menstrual flow
    more frequent periods

  4. Oh, just one more thought: It's perfectly reasonable to be a bit conservative, as your doc seems to be. So long as you get to where you want to be!

  5. I completely agree. It was really good to hear her experienced perspective and I think she was focused more on watching T3 than TSH. The whole hormone thing is so complicated; I'm looking for the Dr. Eades post too!

  6. In my personal opinion the blood test for thyroid levels is routine and not very costly - of course you need to check it out too. Hypothyroidism is a very simple thing to handle. Together with thyroid supplements natural , hypothyroidism can get you out in a world of trouble a lot quicker!