Thyroid Problems leading to weight loss

Posted by suzy37 @suzy37, Dec 14, 2018

I have been sick for several years without knowing what the cause was, lost abt. 50 lbs (weigh 69 lbs now) anxiety attacks and panic attacks too at times, bad stomach for yrs which stress aggravates , gas builds up in stomach and chest until I can barely get a breath. I am 81 yrs old and it seems like everything I do makes it worse. I started thyroid pills in August which they just changed the dosage on by half. I had started getting an irregular heart beat which potassium seemed to help,this may have been caused by the too high dosage I was taking.Also the thyroid pills take potassium out of your body so that didnt help. I would like to hear from others who might have similar problems and see how you are coping.

I was diagnosed with hashimotos thyroiditis in August 2015. My tsh was not terrible at 15.23, but I was exhausted. I had an ultrasound and they found nodules and they did a biopsy. I was put on levothyroxine. It was awful. I felt so much worse in less than 4 weeks. I complained and was ignored. By February 2017 I couldn't stand it anymore. I stopped taking levothyroxine. I was still hyper several months later. I went back again to the endocrinologist. I was diagnosed with Graves. I was put on methimazole. My tsh went from .06 to 44.06 in a few weeks and I was miserable again. I was put back on levothyroxine. Then I went hyper again and was put back on methimazole. I've been getting my tsh checked every month since August 2015 and it's now June 2019. I stopped taking all thyroid meds in October 2018. Somehow my tsh tested normal from January of this year through April. I've just recently gone slightly hyper again. I am not sure which is worse: hypo or hyper. Both extremes are exhausting mentally and physically. The endo retired and my thyroid issue seems to be something other local medical professionals would like to avoid treating. I have never been given any other option other than methimazole.

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@dawn123 I've had Hashimotos for a number of years and I see a functional medicine specialist for this. I've learned a lot about what causes my thyroid function to get worse and have increased antibodies against it. On advice from my physician, I had all the old silver amalgam fillings replaced in my mouth because the mercury that they leach causes Hashimotos. Before removal, my antibodies against my thyroid were off the scale and could not be measured. With all of the silver filings gone, the levels were low and could be read again and my needed dosage was reduced because my thyroid worked better. The other thing that has raised the antibody levels a little bit has been a dental problem from old root canals. My doctor said that having a cavitation in the jaw bone can affect the thyroid, and my levels went up a little bit from an infection that moved into the jaw bone. These teeth had a lot of trauma and were broken when I was a kid which is the cause of these problems many years later. Now, I am requiring more thyroid hormone to feel good than before. I have never taken synthetic thyroid hormones and my doctor has had me experiment with multiple small dose pills to help figure out my correct dose. Recently he changed my schedule and wants the 2nd dose 12 hours after the first because the body needs thyroid hormones while you sleep to carry our important functions like detoxing. (It used to be a morning and noon time dose and I feel better with the 12 hour dose schedule.)

I take desiccated pig thyroid. TSH is a thyroid stimulating hormone and your body's way of saying that it wants the thyroid to produce a little more. My doctor tests my TSH, T3 and T4 levels as well as antibodies against my thyroid. When a person needs thyroid medication because of low thyroid function, there are 2 choices, the natural pig thyroid or synthetic thyroid medication that does not have all the components of the natural. With the synthetic version, some patients cannot convert the T3 to T4 (which is a normal thyroid function), and their doctors increase the dosage, but the patients don't feel better. My doctor told me that happens with Graves disease, and these patients should only be on pig thyroid. This is something to keep in mind if and when you need prescribed thyroid hormones. They can both work, unless you are someone who can't convert the components correctly. Two manufacturers of desiccated Pig thyroid are Naturethroid and Armour. Sometimes the availability of these is scarce. I have had to use mail order with a pharmacy in Tennessee (DCA) that is the distributor for the manufacturer of Naturethroid. At one time, my compounding pharmacy could compound pig thyroid, but for some reason, the materials have been restricted and unavailable.

If you are interesting in a functional or environmental medicine doctor, there is a provider search at https://www.aaemonline.org/find.php I hope you can find a doctor who will figure out your optimal dose to improve your health. This is what regulates all your other body functions and metabolism, and if you don't have enough gas in your tank, you can't go very fast. It's really important. If a doctor doesn't want to help you, they probably don't understand the problem, so keep looking. Some patients can take the synthetic hormone, but the dosing is entirely different than with the pig thyroid. With synthetic, it has to take into account the conversion of the components presuming a patient's thyroid can do this.

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In September of 2018 I had my multi-nodular goiter removed. In surgery it was discovered to be completely inflamed – nothing showed in my blood work nor sonograms to indicate this. Since the operation I take 0.1 mg Eltroxin every morning. I used to set my alarm and take it in the middle of the night but now I take it whenever I wake early in the morning. Occasionally I am not sure if I have taken it. Once my surgeon added to my dosage because I had such a lack of energy but then my TSH dropped way too low, so I went back the dosage above.

Below are my TSH, free T3 and free T4 levels since the operation. I have noticed that along with my TSH being suppressed still, my fT3 is now the lowest it has been and my fT4 is now the highest it has been.

I meet with my surgeon on Thursday. He told me at my last meeting that as I was feeling good and more energetic he would let my TSH stay surpressed for awhile but not if it dropped any lower. No cancer was found in my thyroid – I am almost 55 and was diagnosed with Osteoporosis at 50 when I tripped and broke my wrist. The surgeon feels that my thyroid played a part in my development of Osteoporosis.

What do you think about my blood values listed below? Why do you think my fT3 is dropping and my fT4 is rising? Is this a good or a bad thing? What questions do you recommend I ask my surgeon when I see him? If he insists on lowering my dose, what do you think about that? I am afraid of losing my energy levels.

Thanks in advance… Carmen in Zurich

TSH fT3 fT4
mlU/l 0.25 – 5.00 pmol/l 2.63 – 5.70 pmol/l 9.01 – 19.1
1.22 3.31 15.7
0.04 3.59 15.3
0.34 3.85 15.9
0.04 4.13 16.0
0.23 3.87 14.7
0.20 4.26 13.5

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Hi @crenhov you may have noticed I moved your post to this existing discussion on thyroid problems so that you can connect with others who have similar thyroid issues. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

That must be so confusing and worrisome having this two numbers go in opposite directions. I wanted to tag fellow Connect members @jenniferhunter @mcmurf2 and @lioness as they all have experience with thyroid issues and may be able to offer you support.

Back to you @crenhov how are your energy levels right now?

Liked by crenhov

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@crenhov Your surgeon is correct about the thyroid causing the osteoporosis. Have you had your parathyroid tested? I had a parathyroid gland removed last fall because my levels had gone way up. I had also developed osteopenia, was very fatigued, and had memory problems. I had also started putting on weight. After the surgery I lost 10 lbs. within a week and was doing well. Now my TSH levels are rising. My surgeon found a large benign growth on my right thyroid gland so I suspect that is playing a part in the elevated TSH levels. I anticipate more surgery in the not too distant future. My TSH levels have fluctuated for years.

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@crenhov

In September of 2018 I had my multi-nodular goiter removed. In surgery it was discovered to be completely inflamed – nothing showed in my blood work nor sonograms to indicate this. Since the operation I take 0.1 mg Eltroxin every morning. I used to set my alarm and take it in the middle of the night but now I take it whenever I wake early in the morning. Occasionally I am not sure if I have taken it. Once my surgeon added to my dosage because I had such a lack of energy but then my TSH dropped way too low, so I went back the dosage above.

Below are my TSH, free T3 and free T4 levels since the operation. I have noticed that along with my TSH being suppressed still, my fT3 is now the lowest it has been and my fT4 is now the highest it has been.

I meet with my surgeon on Thursday. He told me at my last meeting that as I was feeling good and more energetic he would let my TSH stay surpressed for awhile but not if it dropped any lower. No cancer was found in my thyroid – I am almost 55 and was diagnosed with Osteoporosis at 50 when I tripped and broke my wrist. The surgeon feels that my thyroid played a part in my development of Osteoporosis.

What do you think about my blood values listed below? Why do you think my fT3 is dropping and my fT4 is rising? Is this a good or a bad thing? What questions do you recommend I ask my surgeon when I see him? If he insists on lowering my dose, what do you think about that? I am afraid of losing my energy levels.

Thanks in advance… Carmen in Zurich

TSH fT3 fT4
mlU/l 0.25 – 5.00 pmol/l 2.63 – 5.70 pmol/l 9.01 – 19.1
1.22 3.31 15.7
0.04 3.59 15.3
0.34 3.85 15.9
0.04 4.13 16.0
0.23 3.87 14.7
0.20 4.26 13.5

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@crenhov I have a thyroid condition (Hashimoto's) and I take desiccated pig thyroid hormones. My doctor did say that patients with Graves disease are unable to convert the T4 to T3, and that when taking synthetic thyroid medicines, patients don't feel better and it doesn't help to increase the dosages. He said these patients need the pig thyroid because it has all the components needed where the synthetic pill does not. Graves disease has the thyroid producing too much T4. In Graves disease the TSH levels are low. TSH is Thyroid stimulating hormone that comes from the pituitary, so your body is asking the thyroid to produce more hormones. I am not a medical professional and can't interpret your lab results, but it might be worth asking your doctor about trying the natural hormones and see if you feel better.

This is an excerpt from some literature https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500006/

"Graves Disease

Graves disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism. It is an autoimmune disease caused by the production of TSH receptor antibodies that help stimulate thyroid gland growth and thyroid hormone release. Patients will have abnormally increased T4 and T3 levels and a decrease in TSH, with a positive TSH-receptor antibody test confirming the diagnosis. Patients will often present with weight loss, tachycardia, heat intolerance, palpitations, proptosis, and a diffusely enlarged thyroid gland."

The natural thyroid brands that I have taken are "Armour Thyroid" and "Naturethroid". I'm not sure if these are available in your area.

Here are some other links about the thyroid
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hyperthyroidism/symptoms-causes/syc-20373659
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500006/
https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/hyperthyroidism/hyperthyroidism-overview-overactive-thyroid
https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/hypothyroidism-too-little-thyroid-hormone
https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/thyroid/all
This article had some interpretation of lab numbers
https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/87/3/1068/2846746

Liked by NiceHat

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@jessear

My daughter and I both have Hashis. We had regular blood work done last week. We got our results but our Dr. is stumped on hers and wants her to retake it.

The problem is that her TSH shows her to be Hypo (which she was diagnosed with a couple years ago) but her Free T3 shows Hyper.
Both came back high. Total T4 was normal range

I am worried, anxious (I have anxiety and my mind is racing) has anyone ever dealt with this and might know what it could be?

I told the doctor that around that time, maybe a week or so before we took our blood work, my daughter had just had her very first period. Could that have alter it?

Please Help. Feeling confused.

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Hi @jessear — Welcome to Connect. I'm tagging our moderator @ethanmcconkey to see if we should move your post to the following discussion where it will have more visibility and you can meet other members discussing thyroid problems.

> Groups > Diabetes/Endocrine System > Thyroid Problems
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/thyroid-problems-1/

I did find some information that explains the thyroid blood tests and may help — Medical News Today – What do TSH levels mean?
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324096.php

Did your doctor think your daughter having her period may have affected the test results?

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My daughter and I both have Hashis. We had regular blood work done last week. We got our results but our Dr. is stumped on hers and wants her to retake it.

The problem is that her TSH shows her to be Hypo (which she was diagnosed with a couple years ago) but her Free T3 shows Hyper.
Both came back high. Total T4 was normal range

I am worried, anxious (I have anxiety and my mind is racing) has anyone ever dealt with this and might know what it could be?

I told the doctor that around that time, maybe a week or so before we took our blood work, my daughter had just had her very first period. Could that have alter it?

Please Help. Feeling confused.

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@jessear

My daughter and I both have Hashis. We had regular blood work done last week. We got our results but our Dr. is stumped on hers and wants her to retake it.

The problem is that her TSH shows her to be Hypo (which she was diagnosed with a couple years ago) but her Free T3 shows Hyper.
Both came back high. Total T4 was normal range

I am worried, anxious (I have anxiety and my mind is racing) has anyone ever dealt with this and might know what it could be?

I told the doctor that around that time, maybe a week or so before we took our blood work, my daughter had just had her very first period. Could that have alter it?

Please Help. Feeling confused.

Jump to this post

@jessear – does your daughter take any thyroid medication?

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