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  • thyroid medication...should I quit during Leptin Reset?

    Hi, I posted this question over at the J. Kruse site, but can't seem to find the answer. I also feel like someone has already asked it and it is buried in the Monster Leptin Reset thread, but have not had any luck finding it, so I apologize if this has been asked and answered already. I have spent weeks reading these blogs and forums and feel I am getting more confused instead of better educated! But I will keep trying as I truly believe in the primal lifestyle.
    Facts about me:
    I am a 44 yo female, 155 pounds, 5í3″ tall
    have been on synthroid (actually generic version Levothyroxin) 125mcg for 14 years.
    I am about 25 pounds overweight. I have been struggling to lose weight for a long time, discovered primal/ paleo eating a year ago, I love eating this way and feel better, but have seen very little success with weight loss or increased energy. (I have lost 5 pounds (yes, that is all!!!), donít sleep well, donít wake up refreshed). Typically eating only good fat, protein and vegetables and limited fruit and dark chocolate. I do drink wine occasionally.

    I believe if I do the leptin reset, it will be my answer, to this resistance to weight loss and sleeping issues.

    more background:14 years ago, I complained to the doctor of being fatigued, they did a TSH test and started me on synthroid. Have been getting annual TSH test and kept on medication. From what I have been reading, the TSH test is pretty useless by itself and I wonder if I really have hypothyroidism, I could have just been fatigued from the diet of high sugar high carbs I was eating at the time. I have an appointment with an endocrinologist in 2 months (first available appointment). I have not been able to get any information from his staff on which blood tests he will be using for assessment, but hope that it will be the ones you recommend (free T4, free T3, reverse T3, cortisol).

    Fwiw, here are my thryroid test results:
    11/1996-TSH= 6.5 (.4 Ė 5.5)
    1/1997- TSH= 7.9 (.4-5.5)
    T-4(Thyroxine), free= .7 (.8-1.5) Put on .05mg synthroid
    2/1997 TSH = 3.7 (.4-5.5) Synthroid changed to .1mg

    Ödonít have records for 1998-2001 but tested annually
    7/2002 TSH = .84 (.27-4.2) Continue current dose synthroid 125mcg
    11/2003 TSH=.65 (.27-4.2) Continue current dose synthroid 125mcg
    10/2004 TSH = .44 (.27-4.2) Continue current dose synthroid 125mcg
    3/2008 TSH = 4.3 (.34-2.5) (donít have record but assume she adjusted med)
    4/4009 donít have results, just letter saying TSH is off, and upping med to 125mcg
    6/2009 TSH = 1.442 (.358-3.74 new range) Continue current dose 125mcg
    4/2010 TSH= .74 (.34-2.5 new range) continue 125mcg
    8/2011 TSH= .8 (.3-5.0 new range) continue 125mcg

    OK, here is the QUESTION:
    Should I stop taking the synthroid, and do the reset to see if I can reset the leptin and fix the thyroid at the same time. Then when I go to the endo appointment, I will be at a good starting point?
    Or should I continue on my synthroid while doing the Leptin Reset, then get the blood tests done?

    thanks so much for reading the long comment and look forward to any help that is out there.

  • #2
    I would say to stay on the Synthroid, you'll get more answers if the correct tests are done. It won't be completely out of your system in 2 weeks anyway (I've heard 6 weeks to 3 months). You'll know how well you're converting if you see your free T4, free T3, and reverse T3 numbers on synthroid.

    I would caution you to make sure that your new doctor is going to request the correct tests and treat your symptoms. You might want to ask the office if he prescribes natural thyroid hormone (Armour or equivalent). Most endocrinologists are more versed in diabetes than thyroid issues and often are TSH worshipers. I had to go to a naturopath to get the correct tests and NTH. There are a few places on the 'net to search for good thyroid docs--they seem to be few and far between.

    BTW--the new range for TSH is .3 to 3.0, so you were definitely hypo when you got diagnosed!

    Comment


    • #3
      You definitely have hypothyroidism. TSH above 2 suggests poor thyroid function, above 3 is frank hypothyroidism. If you go off your meds you will be denying your body a critical hormone required for LOTS of important biologic functions.

      There are some thyroid experts around here. I suspect they would suggest you get your T3, T4, reverse T3, ferritin and vitamin D levels checked. It is possible you are getting plenty of T4 from your meds but not converting it to the bioavailable T3. Have you seen the website stopthethyroidmadness.com?
      Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

      http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

      Comment


      • #4
        hi, thanks for the input, I feel better that both of you feel that I was properly diagnosed! I understand that they are going to be taking blood samples that day, and getting results and talking about them all in the same day (does that sound right? that the blood results will come back while I wait?). I am going to call the office and try to get better answers to my questions about the blood tests.
        So I should be asking for T3, T4, reverse T3, ferritin and Vit D? right? I thought saliva coritsol was one too?

        @jammies. do you think that if I am not converting t4 to t3 that would cause me to not lose weight (and I VERY easily gain weight)? I will also check out the stopthemaddness.com website

        @sweet tart. any advice on how to spot a good thyroid doctor???

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LeaB View Post
          hi, thanks for the input, I feel better that both of you feel that I was properly diagnosed! I understand that they are going to be taking blood samples that day, and getting results and talking about them all in the same day (does that sound right? that the blood results will come back while I wait?). I am going to call the office and try to get better answers to my questions about the blood tests.
          So I should be asking for T3, T4, reverse T3, ferritin and Vit D? right? I thought saliva coritsol was one too?
          the tests you want are:
          Free T3
          Free T4
          Reverse T3
          Ferritin
          D3

          Saliva cortisol can be ordered on your own through canaryclub.org usually for a lot cheaper then a doctor will do it for. most CW docs don`t believe in salivary cortisol anyway

          it is entirely possible you will get the answers back for most of the tests within 12 hours, Rt3 takes longer however.

          btw, do not go off your thyroid meds until you have tested and spoken to a knowledgeable thyroid doctor, jammies is right in both cases that your thyroid is super important AND it takes about 6 weeks to go from your system.

          @jammies. do you think that if I am not converting t4 to t3 that would cause me to not lose weight (and I VERY easily gain weight)? I will also check out the stopthemaddness.com website

          @sweet tart. any advice on how to spot a good thyroid doctor???
          not being able to convert from T4 to T3 or having limited conversion can indeed impede weight loss. but so can unoptimized reproductive hormones, this is why you need testing. If you can afford it you would also want to see estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and dheas as well.

          to find a good thyroid doctor check out Mary Shomon`s Top Doctors list About.com: http://www.thyroid-info.com/topdrs/armour.htm

          alternatively you can call a local compounding pharmacy and ask who is Rxing Armour thyroid and or which thyroid doctors they recommend (compounding pharmacies are brilliant for this)

          or you can go to yahoo groups and look up the yahoo thyroid group for your state or a nearby state and ask there as they keep databases of good thyroid doctors. If your state does not have a group or no lists go to one of the big groups such as California, Texas or Georgia and ask there the mods may know of someone near you. Be prepared to travel btw, good thyroid doctors are hard to find and many of us go through mulitple doctors before we find a good one.

          Comment


          • #6
            Make sure that they are testing free t3 and free t4. Total t3 and total t4 won't tell how much hormone is actually available to you. You're right about the cortisol testing, iron, ferritin and vitamin D.

            Since T3 is the active hormone, if you're not converting you can have lots of t4 and still be hypo. You can also have plenty of T4 and convert it to reverse t3 and be hypo. Some people need a combo of T4 and T3 to feel well (either natural or synthetic).

            Stop the Thyroid Madness has some tips for looking for a doctor. They have a list of doctors on their yahoo group if you join. Asking if the doctor prescribes natural hormone (not just synthroid) is a start. You can ask at compounding pharmacies which local doctors prescribe natural thyroid. Not the NTH is a panacea for everyone, but if the doc is prescribing it they probably have a more open mind to thyroid issues.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also test TPO Antibodies, that will tell if you have autoimmune Hashimoto's disease.

              The saliva cortisol test is best done with 4 samples, when you wake up, before noon, before dinner, and at bedtime. It comes as a kit that you will do at home. A single test done at the doctor's won't tell you very much. You need to see a pattern. Some people will have high and low readings in the same day. Most insurance companies won't pay for it either.
              Canary Club has a kit for $109: Diurnal Cortisol 4x (ZRT) Saliva Hormone Kit Tests for C1 C2 C3 C4

              Here's a site with top thyroid docs, scroll down and click on your state: Thyroid Top Doctors | Top Thyroid Doctors -- The Best Thyroid Doctors, Endocrinologists, Thyroidologists, Practitioners and Experts in the World as Nominated by Patients, from Patient Advocate Mary Shomon

              Another good thyroid info site: http://thyroid-rt3.com/

              Comment


              • #8
                I was on synthroid for about 6 years prior to PB. I was never diagnosed with anything like autoimmune, Hashimoto's, or anything other than high TSH. They kept me on synthroid and adjusted the dose until my TSH was around 2. After starting PB, it dropped to .55. Against docs advice, I started halfing the pills daily. After 3 mo my TSH was still .55. I quit them altogether and 3 mo later TSH was 2.5. So, I guess I'm cured.

                In retrospect, I think I was so metabolically deranged from years of bad food and no exercise that my thyroid was out of whack. I was also on high bp meds, high trig meds, and had gout. That all went away, along w/50lbs after 3 mo on PB.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It comes as a kit that you will do at home. A single test done at the doctor's won't tell you very much.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    thanks for the feedback everyone. sorry I have been long to respond (computer problems). I can see I have more reading to do. Thanks for the references.

                    I will be staying on the synthroid and researching more on the doctor I chose, and maybe rescheduling with someone else. I am doing the Leptin Reset now, hoping that will still give me some positive results even if the thyroid isn't totally sorted out yet.

                    kinda curious though, you guys reference tsh target should be about 2, mine is <1 but still in range. would I be taking Less synthroid to make the tsh number rise? sorry I am so thick, I really don't understand the science part of this very well....

                    @otzi. hope it is ok to ask, are you male or female? just seems like all of this works faster for males, and wonder if I can hope for such quick results. Also, interested in the gout thing. when I first started primal, I had a terrible pain in my foot, super sensitive spot right in the middle of the pad (don't know what you call that part up by the toes...) but not really the big toe. I couldn't even touch it. My husband kept saying it was gout. I 'researched' on the internet, and something I read made me think that if I took omega 3, it would help, and it did, the pain went away. Now, I find that I keep getting an overall achy feeling on the bottoms of both feet. I take some omega 3 and it helps. Is this gout? I thought it was a big toe thing. Am I nuts with the omega 3 helping? It's not a big deal, I don't like the achy feet, but I am much more concerned with losing weight but just curious if you knew anything about it since you mentioned that it took care of your gout.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm glad you're staying on the synthroid. Once you're taking thyroid meds (and they are actually supplemental hormones), your thyroid 'adjusts' to the incoming hormones and you could really do damage by stopping them on your own.

                      Your TSH at diagnosis was way high, but you should have been having your T4 and T3 levels tested subsequently. As you consider a doctor to monitor your thyroid condition, make sure the doctor tests T3 (many don't) because not testing T3 is a clue that the doctor is not current. This is critical because T3 is the 'active' hormone that actually controls our metabolism and affects how we feel. Normally, the person converts T4 to T3, but with some thyroid problems (Hashimoto's is classic) that conversion lessens, and supplemental T3 is needed.

                      Synthroid is only T4, and I did well on only T4 for over 5 years. But when my conversion problems began and my T3 'tanked,' it was quite dramatic. Fortunately, I have a great endo who tests well, and I simply needed to take T3 (Cytomel). As my conversion has waned, I've had to increase my Cytomel. Even my primary doctor tests both T4 and T3, but I know many people whose doctors either test only TSH or TSH and T4.

                      Keep in mind that hypothyroidism is a chronic condition--for life, so you want to find a good doctor who will monitor you well.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sorry, I didn't read your thread. But if you're having problems with your thyroid you should look into Lugol's Iodine and selenium.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LeaB View Post
                          @otzi. hope it is ok to ask, are you male or female? just seems like all of this works faster for males, and wonder if I can hope for such quick results. Also, interested in the gout thing. when I first started primal, I had a terrible pain in my foot, super sensitive spot right in the middle of the pad (don't know what you call that part up by the toes...) but not really the big toe. I couldn't even touch it. My husband kept saying it was gout. I 'researched' on the internet, and something I read made me think that if I took omega 3, it would help, and it did, the pain went away. Now, I find that I keep getting an overall achy feeling on the bottoms of both feet. I take some omega 3 and it helps. Is this gout? I thought it was a big toe thing. Am I nuts with the omega 3 helping? It's not a big deal, I don't like the achy feet, but I am much more concerned with losing weight but just curious if you knew anything about it since you mentioned that it took care of your gout.
                          I'm a 46yo male, and yes, I think the thyroid problems are different for men and women. I had my TSH tested last week and it was 3.82 (normal range .34 - 4.82), and my FT4 was .72 (normal range .59 - 1.61). So, with no Synthroid for over 8months, my TSH has trended slightly up, but is still in the normal range. If it is higher still in 6 mo, I will try to get all the thyroid tests done that others have recommended (T3, T4, antibodies). Unfortunately, the doctors I go to are of the 'minimal testing/maximal drugs' variety.

                          Gout - gout can take many forms, it's not just in the big toe. I've had gout attacks in my knee, heel, mid-foot. Any joint is fair game. The docs kept telling me my gout was from meat. After cutting sugar and grain while increasing meat, it went away. hmmmm. I was having gout attacks every month for years eating high carb, healthy grains, low fat--what a fool I was! But, if you want to know if you have gout for real, you need to get your Uric Acid level tested.
                          Last edited by otzi; 01-03-2012, 11:14 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Yep, I think I will get tested for uric acid if I am having a flare up during my endo appt or my regular physical coming up.

                            Another question: Is anyone having severely dry scalp issues? dandruff I guess(?) I have never had this before but the past month, when I have gone off and on attempts to Leptin reset I have noticed. Not sure if I should get some sort of medicated shampoo or if there is a way to 'treat' this paleo style with food! I don't know if there is a connection, or just coincidence. or has it got something to do with thyroid again...? I have been taking my medication WITH my breakfast, since I am supposed to eat within 30 minutes of waking, I see no other way of doing it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LeaB View Post
                              Yep, I think I will get tested for uric acid if I am having a flare up during my endo appt or my regular physical coming up.

                              I have been taking my medication WITH my breakfast, since I am supposed to eat within 30 minutes of waking, I see no other way of doing it.
                              I've been doing the LR since Jan. 1, and what I do is take my Synthroid the second I get out of bed. Shower, get ready (takes about 30 mins), THEN eat breakfast.

                              It's very important for Synthroid to be taken on a completely empty stomach and to wait the 30 mins to eat.

                              I too would LOVE to get off this darn stuff, but I know I have a super messed-up thyroid due to years of chocolate cake abuse. Sigh.
                              Truly Paleo since 1/1/2012 (Doing Leptin reset)
                              Turned 50 on 3/8/2012 !!!
                              5'2" Female
                              11/27/2011: 162.8 lbs.
                              7/15/12 : 148.6 lbs.
                              Clean Paleo diet: Lots of CO, Meat, Seafood, and doing CT 5x/week, 40 mins @ 50-52 degrees F

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