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  • Autoimmune thyroid disease? Help?

    Hi All, I also posted this is my journal where you can find out more information about me (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...-the-beginning!), but this has to do with my thyroid, specifically. Wasn't there a great thread going about a month or so ago about the thyroid? Any help is much appreciated! :-)

    Thyroid.

    Some of the test results have come in (today!), and we are waiting for others.

    Here they are:

    TSH 1.74
    T4 13.1
    T3 3.5
    Thyroid peroxidase antibody level POSITIVE

    So far the diagnosis indicates consistency with autoimmune thyroid disease, from those last two readings. Not surprising, since I have celiac disease.

    We’re waiting for the Thyroglobulin and anti THS antibody test results to come in. I don’t know what those are.

    I’m hoping that once we get my thyroid under control I will feel 100%. I know I’m doing all the right things. Please, anyone, if you know more about how to interpret my thryroid results, let me know. My doctor admitted she hardly knows anything about them.

  • #2
    I'm crappy at reading the results too, but here's some good go to places where people know what they're talking about:

    http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/
    http://thyroid.about.com/

    Also, If you join SparkPeople.com and go to their forums page, there is a Hypothyroid forum (has a butterfly as a symbol). Those folks know EVERYTHING. If you post your results you'll get a lot of good info that can help you, plus ask questions along the way.

    I will say one thing... It's not as easy to get under control as doctors will pretend it is. Most people with thyroid issues have to carefully monitor things (i go every 4 months to get tested). And you will sometimes need to up your meds or lower them depending on all kinds of factors. And you may never lose weight exactly the same way as you did (depends on the type of medication and your body and individual situation). Most people always have to fight extra hard to lose, and will have sudden inexplicable weight gains. Not trying to make you scared, but a lot of people get frustrated because they finally get diagnosed and given medications... and they don't feel better, or do feel better but don't lose weight. It's a trial and error type of thing... so just be prepared and if things aren't getting better, make changes (or convince your doc to, depending).

    Also, if you ahve any adrenal issues, those need to be treated before your thyroid can be successfully treated or the medications can actually make you feel worse. Cruise around the sites above and take a look... it should give you some info to start.

    Congrats on even having a doctor that will run tests!!
    sigpic "Boy I got vision and the rest of the world is wearing bifocals" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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    • #3
      I have Hashis... and although there is something to the T4 and t3 #'s I don't even pay attn. to them (so, def. check to see what the experts have to say about those.).. So, when you make these antibodies at levels that are off the charts, you are ATTACKING your own thyroid. Which based on your TSH is working, and working reasonably well. HOWEVER, you are constantly attacking your thyroid. Is your enlarged? The thyroid responds by growing. It can be difficult to swallow and such.

      I would compare this activity to say lifting a 10 lb dumbell. You can probably easily curl that. But for how long? Day in and Day out? At what point does your arm just fail, and can't take it anymore. Wouldn't it be great of someone stepped in and did the curling for you? Just a little bit?

      So, I take a low dose of thyroid medicine. This allows my thyroid a little break. It doesn't have to work so hard to work... and in theory it won't fail... and go full swing hypothyroid. (which is probably how you feel... and what keeps making them test you... and then saying that you're "normal".)

      Pretty simple explanation. Hope that helps...

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      • #4
        Thanks Minxxa for those resources. I probably would have found them eventually, but it would have taken days or weeks! And Twinmama thanks for the explanation. I like the dumbell analogy. I'll use it on my doctor if she has trouble understanding thyroid function! :-)

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        • #5
          It would be helpful to see lab ranges for each test. Are you taking any thyroid meds? If so, what are they and when were they taken in respect to having your blood drawn for these tests. Also are the T4 and T3 totals or frees?

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          • #6
            Hey Beauty!
            I have the best resource for you! There is a Dr. who specializes in treating the root cause of Hashimoto's and he has an excellent book. You can also email him to see if there are any Dr's in your area trained in functional endocrinolgy under him. It will take him a little while to get back to you, but he will:-) http://www.thyroidbook.com/

            He says that most Hashi's patients don't need meds- that instead, they need to determine whether it's their T-cell or B-cell pathway that is attacking the thyroid (and then use supplements like certain herbs and high-dose D3 to balance this), they need to reduce inflammation (with transdermal glutathione cream) and they need to eliminate gluten, as 95% of Hashi's people are gluten intolerant (and many are casein intolerant too). Exposure to gluten for a Hashi's patient can cause an inflammatory response and immune system attack that lasts up to 8 months.
            So, that lines up with your Celiac diagnosis.

            He also advises against any iodine supplementation or high-iodine foods, as they increase TPO and then the immune system attacks the TPO molecules (mistaking them for gluten!) and destroys the thyroid.
            So, the main underlying factor in Hasimoto's is actually gluten intolerance. Go figure!
            http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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            • #7
              Hazy... that's an awesome sounding book... thanks for posting!!!

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              • #8
                It really is an awesome book!
                My boss was diagnosed with Hashi's last winter and she was feeling absolutely awful all the time. She was initially put on meds, but she and I read the book together and I helped her wade through all the info and she's doing great now- off the meds, eating Primally, using the glutathione cream and supporting her adrenals. Her brain is working again, she has energy and she's feeling much more even-keel (the meds were further stressing her adrenals- she would wake up in the a.m. with anxiety!)
                http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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                • #9
                  And is that the basic recipe? Or are their other options??? How does she support her adrenals...

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                  • #10
                    There's more to it than that, but those are the major things. She's also getting medical qigong treatments (a type of Chinese energy medicine- like acupuncture w/o needles;-) and doing neurofeedback treatments (we both practice neurofeedback).
                    As far as supplements, I put her on a coenzyme B complex, Natural Calm cal/mag powder (it's a higher mag-to-cal ratio in ionic form), Natural Factors AdrenaSense, and liquid D3.
                    http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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                    • #11
                      marcadav, I will try to get the lab ranges for my results. I'm not on any meds: this is the first discovery that something is awry! I believe the T3 and T4 results were the 'free' levels.

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                      • #12
                        If you have a hard copy of your results the lab ranges will be next to your results. For example: Test, your result, range
                        TSH 1.74 (.35-5.0)

                        It's a good idea to get copies of all test results. You can then compare how things change over time. You also have records handy if you change doctors or move.

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                        • #13
                          If your doctor is unfamiliar with treating thyroid disease, it's imperative that you find a doctor who does treat it--and that's not easy. As another poster has noted, just getting medicated is the beginning. I'm tested every 4 months. My meds were fine during a 3-year span, and then suddenly I had to have 3 changes within the following year. So it's important to be monitored by a good doctor who understands thyroid treatment. It's also important for you to become pro-active and learn about this.

                          Unfortunately, I've seen a lot of erroneous information on the Internet, so please don't accept everything you read as true.

                          I'm uneasy about the book that was previously mentioned here. The author is NOT a medical doctor, and if there's one thing I know about thyroid disease it's that when your hormones are low, there are NO supplements that can help. You need to be taking the thyroid hormones that your body is no longer producing.

                          As another poster mentioned, get copies of your blood work. Your T4 should be at least half of the lab range, and your T3 should be in the upper half--2/3 to 3/4. Most endos like to control the TSH to 1.0 or slightly lower.

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                          • #14
                            Emmie, I hope you won't be offended (because it's not my intention to be offensive- yikes!) but if someone has positive antibodies and their Dr. is giving them meds to control their TSH and using that as the standard of care, they are not being adequately treated. That is why there are so many people with Hashimoto's who are on meds, whose lab tests are now in the normal range yet who continue to suffer hypo symptoms. They are being treated according to CW.
                            The real, underlying issue is not being treated at all. That's why the book was written. I want to help spread this info because it can help so many people!

                            I hope you would be willing to read the book, Emmie, and show it to your doctor. I've been familiarizing myself with thyroid treatments and research for years and the info contained in the book is paradigm changing.

                            It's true that the author isn't a doctor- he's not an MD or an endocrinologist (which isn't saying much, since most MD's and Endo's aren't even familiar with functional blood work ranges and don't even order all the pertinent tests) but he has several degrees in nutritional science and neurology and a doctorate in neuroendocrine-immunolgy and he teaches functional endocrinology to other health professionals (including MD's). He knows his stuff.

                            It's so important for Hashimoto's treatment to be successful, i.e. to address the ROOT cause and stop the immune system from attacking the thyroid and mitigate the symptoms- not just manage blood scores, (which is what docs are doing when they put Hashi's patients on meds) because Hashimoto's is not a thyroid disease - it's an immune system disease and it doesn't stop at the thyroid- it can also destroy pancreas cells, gut lining, brain tissue, etc, all while you THINK it's under control because your thyroid seems to be taken care of with meds.

                            Can you see why I feel this info is so important? It's so much more than just the thyroid at stake. Once you have one autoimmune condition, you're at risk for more to develop, like Lupus, scleroderma, vitiligo, Sjogren's, antiphospholipid syndrome, etc. I know a number of people with Hashimoto's who do indeed have one or more coexisting autoimmune issues.

                            I'm going to go ahead and post the functional thyroid ranges just for reference. They are narrower than the regular ranges:

                            TSH: 1.8-3.0
                            Total T4: 6-12
                            Free T4: 1.0-1.5
                            Free T3: 300-450 (or 3.-4.5)
                            Resin T3 Uptake: 28-38
                            Reverse T3: 90-350
                            Serum TBG: 18-27
                            In addition to TPO Ab tests, TBG Ab and TSH Ab tests are important, too.

                            Also, Hashimoto's patients need to have their TH-1 and TH-2 pathways tested to find which immune system pathway is imbalanced and dominant. Their Dr. will then be able to help them balance the immune system reactions by stimulating the opposite pathway. This works and people have had their antibody levels drop to nothing and all their symptoms disappear without being on any prescription meds. They also need to determine if there are antigens and/or haptens causing the immune reaction and deal with those.

                            As for people who don't have autoimmune thyroid issues, there are specific patterns of imbalance that will be indicated by the blood tests, which will help the doctor to determine how to treat the patient, because some hypothyroid is secondary to adrenal fatigue, while others are secondary to things like estrogen dominance, metabolic syndrome, hypopituitary conditions and thyroid hormone resistance/high testosterone.
                            If your Doc can't tell you exactly why your thyroid isn't working right, they just haven't been properly educated. If you still have symptoms and have to keep adjusting your meds, you're not dealing with the real issues.

                            I just want to convey that no one should have to settle for outdated treatment that doesn't even address the real issue- the immune system. I want people to feel better and heal!
                            http://www.prettyinprimal.blogspot.com

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                            • #15
                              Thanks hazyjane, I've ordered the book. I just hope my doctor is receptive to sending me for all those tests. I suppose I should be prepared to switch doctors until I find one who will go for it. I'm moving countries in 5 weeks to complicate that matter, but while I'm in an English-speaking land, where I can at least try to convince doctors, I should try my best to get the tests done so that I can bring the results with me to Finland. Any tips on communicating with doctors (appointments here in the UK are only 10 minutes long!).

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