Okay, I know I have Hashi's. I have been gluten-free for 5-6 weeks or so. I am still not 100% primal; I am working on it. I eat rice or rice crackers 1-2 times a week and sweet potatoes 1-2 times a week. I still eat dairy, but I am majorly reducing it.
Anyway, I got my blood test results and my TSH shot up to 52.08 (range: 0.4-4.50) It was 5.94 seven weeks ago. Prior to that, it was in the normal range. My T3 was previously normal and now it's low (1.9; range: 2.3 to 4.2 pg/mL). My doctor switched me from levothyroid to Naturethroid 7 weeks ago. She used the conversion chart to calculate the dose. When I first made the switch, I was hot for 3 days. Like hyperthyroid symptoms. Now I'm freezing all the time.
The peculiar thing is that I have greater peace of mind, am less anxious, and not any more tired. I am actually doing BETTER in school, don't feel as stressed, and am more patient. I'm not sure that's relevant, but that's what I'm experiencing.
So anyway, I have an appt with my doc next Friday and I'm sure she's going to up my meds. I seem to have been better controlled on levothyroid as far as TSH, but I feel better on Naturethroid. I know she will probably increase the Naturethroid, but I'm not sure if the hyperthyroid symptoms I first felt are going to be worse on a higher dose.
Does anyone have experience with this?
High TSH (which, for those who don't know means LOW thyroid function - it's an inverse relationship) is BAD. It stresses your heart, your other organs and creates "brain fog." For me, whenever I've had to switch meds, I've had the "hyperthyroid" feeling for a few days, then things settle down. IT takes a while for your body to get used to processing the hormone.
I would never stay at a hypothyroid state on purpose. Even a little bit. But that's me. With my blood tests I (and my doc) go by how I feel... not by what's "normal" i.e. I've had docs tell me they wouldn't do anything because my TSH was in the normal range... yet, I could hardly get out of bed, was losing hair, etc. The reason there's a "range" is because some people feel good at .1 and some feel good at 4.... but that's a wide range and each person has to find their own sweet spot. For me it took years (and switching to Armour Thyroid) but now I know what works for *me*. You might feel fine at 4 or 5; or you may not feel good until you get closer to 1... it takes a LONG time because you need a month or so in between meds changes to settle into it. How you feel the first week is very different from how you feel the fourth week.
Best of luck to you!!! You'll get there!!!
Fixing the adrenals with adaptogens-licorice, salt, ashwaganda, glandulars-subadrene, adrenal cortex, or steroids-PHYSIOLOGICALLY dosed hydrocortisone, fludrocortisone, or methylprednisolone, should be a concurrent goal.
Treating by TSH doesn't work. Once on thyroid meds, it should be disregarded completely. ONLY free hormone levels should be used to determine treatment, and those should only be referred to when symptoms aren't clear. Ferritin, B12, vitamin D, selenium, folate, heavy metals, and potassium/sodium levels and ratios can ALL affect not only each other, but thyroid hormone usage. In addition, there's DHEA, cortisol (too much/too little) and aldosterone (the sodium/potassium key) to consider as well.
Most people need between 3 and 5 grains of thyroid to be 'optimized'. You may be different-I know one very tiny gal-she's under 5' and 100 lbs-that requires 7 grains daily.
Treating to labs is a fools errand. The ink spots become more important than symptoms. Paper shouldn't matter if you feel good-or if you don't. Nothing worse than being blatantly hypo and being told "Nope, all normal! It's in your head!"
Just throwing some random thoughts out there:
Firstly, you must address the adrenals first, then circle back around and deal with the thyroid.
Secondly, many, many folks do GREAT on natural thyroid (Armour), not the synthetic stuff (Synthroid, Levothroid).
Shannon, I know you are in PA-C school, on a mainstream medicine track, but from what I've seen and personally experienced, mainstream medicine does not do a good job of truly dealing with this at its root. Half the time, they aren't even running the right tests! I'd quit jacking around with this and truly get things fixed (as opposed to slapping on Band-Aids with synthetics and completely ignoring the adrenals) with a naturopath.
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates
I truly believe in "alternative" medicine and do not think that mainstream medicine treats thyroid conditions well at all. In fact, after graduation, I already have some leads for integrative medicine practices.
My concern is that I had a normal TSH with synthroid 175 mcg. My T4 and T3 were also in range. Then my TSH increased seven weeks ago to 5.94. T3/T4 were still fine. My doc switched me to Naturethroid, which is similar to Armour. My new labs showed a TSH of 52.08 (high) and T3 of 1.9 (low). So obviously I'm hypothyroid at this point. During this time I cut out gluten and changed my diet, so I'm surprised by this response.
I know she will want to increase my dose, which is fine. I just hope the hyperthyroid symptoms in the beginning aren't worse that the last ones -- my hands and feet felt like fire and I was sweating. Then that went away in a few days, but now I'm hypothyroid, so I don't know what the heck is going on.
I read Dr. Datis Kharrazian's book regarding thyroid and it makes a lot of sense. I've contacted one of the people trained by him and will start working with him. It's functional endocrinology. They work with adrenals, thyroid, etc. That's actually what I'm hoping to do in practice one day, so there's no better way to learn than going through it.
For reference, TSH drives not only thyroid production but also the sodium iodide symport-increasing iodine intake will increase TSH. Very useful if you have a doc that uses only TSH...but I digress.
I had a TSH of 4 when I was diagnosed. However, my free's were below range-My T3 was virtually nondetectable. TSH isn't always reliable.
Your thyroid works on a negative feedback system.
You need 10 units of thyroid hormone. You're hypo, though, so you only make 7. So you add in three units of thyroid medication. You feel great for a day or two, until your body backs off production (decreasing TSH) and gradually you slide back down to having only 4 units produced, in addition to the three untis of exogenous hormone you take.
So you start feeling hypo, increase your dose, and voila! Back to 10 units again. Your body decreases the TSH a bit, and pretty quick, you're taking 6 units, and only making one. So you feel a little hypo, but not as bad as you once did. If you increase yet again, you'll get back up to 10. Which is why dosing by TSH is worthless once you are on thyroid medication.
Using free's works so much better.
The goal of treatment is symptom resolution and normalization of the body functions that use T3. The goal of treatment is NOT to get your test results in some nifty little range that was statistically determined 15 or 20 years ago, that has since been updated and changed, but the lab hasn't gotten around to utilizing the change. (2003 AACE, anyone?)
Probably time for an increase.
Read STTM and RTH. They. Will. Help.