TSH level was 24.8 but I'm 18 lbs underweight. Had a baby 7 months ago. I feel terrible-exhausted, irritable, short term memory, swaying feeling, cold, dry skin, hair, etc. can anyone help me understand my levels TSH high but T3 and T4 were in normal range??I haven't started any meds yet. Once I do how long does it take to start feeling a little better? I'm scared, confused, and just feel so off
Just diagnosed as hypothyroid...once I start meds how long till I feel better?
Added 24 Aug 2012:
I've been referred to an endocrinologist and told I will be in medication probably forever... Just curious how lOng it usually takes to notice a difference- weeks? Months?
30 Aug 2012
This is from mayoclinic.com
"At first, you may barely notice the symptoms of hypothyroidism, such as fatigue and sluggishness, or you may simply attribute them to getting older. But as your metabolism continues to slow, you may develop more obvious signs and symptoms. Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms may include:
Increased sensitivity to cold
Pale, dry skin
A puffy face
An elevated blood cholesterol level
Unexplained weight gain
Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
Heavier than normal menstrual periods
Brittle fingernails and hair
When hypothyroidism isn't treated, signs and symptoms can gradually become more severe. Constant stimulation of your thyroid to release more hormones may lead to an enlarged thyroid (goiter). In addition, you may become more forgetful, your thought processes may slow, or you may feel depressed.
Advanced hypothyroidism, known as myxedema, is rare, but when it occurs it can be life-threatening. Signs and symptoms include low blood pressure, decreased breathing, decreased body temperature, unresponsiveness and even coma. In extreme cases, myxedema can be fatal."
It can also show up during or after a pregnancy. Karen
25 Aug 2012
The T4 is ignored by us non medicals. This is important to know. It remains a snap shot for that day. Another day another reading. Stay focused on your extremely high TSH. The physician looks at it for trends. Just forget about it unless you have extensively studied Endo.
Calcium drops for nursing moms. Be sure to eat plenty of dairy and calcium rich foods. I believe nursing moms are to have 1800mg calcium per day with vitamin D3. Caltrate chewables work very well. They dissolve in the mouth and give a better response than tablets which often do not dissolve. Have them with food, yogurt, milk, something containing calcium as the calcium absorbs better then.
Water, water water, nursing moms need tons of fresh water.
The heart trouble is due to calcium too low, thyroid too high, dehydration, just to name a few problems. With your strong weight loss your body is going into a starvation mode just like any anorexic does.
Time to fight your way out. The anxiety of wondering but not doing is the thyroid. Please trust us and your doctors and get going on the meds, ok? Truly, once you are getting the med you will start feeling better. Otherwise that cute little Declan is not going to have a mom around as you will be in a hospital. Really this is that serious.permanent heart damage, organ failure, brain issues, not a good idea for a happy mom or a long and healthy life.
Got it? I hope so for your son and husband. By the way, what is your husband saying? He can help you keep track while your head is fogged. Wish I could sit with you and help. This is all up to you. My thoughts are with you that this turns around very swiftly. Karen
25 Aug 2012
Darling- by not taking the meds as prescribed it made your new lab work sort of useless. They were expecting to see in your lab work how the medicine is working. Be honest with the doctor and tell him that you didn't take the meds and why. If you don't tell them this, they probably will give you something much stronger than what you need, and more than your body can handle.
This is the reason I only worry about my TSH-and don't like some doctors that blather about everything else. You are in danger of having heart damage from your metabolism being slowed down so much. When you get your thyroid level straightened out, you'll feel much better, I'd say about 3 months based on my experience-sometimes the feeling of health happens in less than a week, but it takes a bit for the skin and hair to catch up. You probably will have energy in two weeks. I sat in front of the running heater with a sweater or coat on; it was a summer heat wave in Los Angeles, CA. I think that I supported Avon by buying skin care products. The best of luck to you-hang in there-you aren't alone. OK?
24 Aug 2012
You need to see an Endocrinologist. She will check your bloodwork and ask you questions and go from there. You need meds for sure I would think. It can take awhile before you stabilize. She will check your bloodwork every 6-8 weeks to make adjustments until all is well for you.
I wish you good luck and take care.
25 Aug 2012
Hi declansmom. I really never congratulated you on your child. How wonderful to have a baby. Does his dad know what you're going through, uh husband? This is where dads are really important to take over. Just having a baby and being healthy is a huge demand on us. Hope he is bringing you joy to help get through this rough patch.
I have also learned that the brain fog and anxiety can be a part of the thyroid problem. I am actually losing words in speech and having a kind of aphasia. My doctor says it happens at the higher TSH. He also said once i am back down it will go away. As Meyati says, we act differently to the condition as well as the meds. This will get better and life will be better in general once your medication kicks in. Hang in there a bit longer.
Blessings to you and your child. Karen
30 Aug 2012
I have had hypothyroidism since I was a teenager. I can't really explain it, but for some reason after both pregnancies I was really skinny too... and the 2nd was a twin pregnancy! I had only gained about 20 lbs w/ that and only 12 lbs w/ the singleton pregnancy. Somehow/someway my body lost a ton of weight, all I can gather is the the hormones from the pregnancy mixed w/ the issues w/ my thyroid caused it all??
Anyway, I finally went back to normal about 5 mos. after pregnancy (even though I'd rather be skinnier again lol). I do know it is very common for a pregnancy to follow with thyroid problems, so what you are going through is pretty common. You will notice a HUGE change once the medication kicks in. It should take anywhere b/t 1-2 mos. It's VERY important that you take the pill at the same time every day (morning is a good time since it's on an empty stomach, the medication absorbs best on an empty stomach), you take the actually name brand 'synthroid' not generic, and NEVER miss a pill... this is VERY important b/c missing one pill can throw off your levels all over again. Everything will get back to normal, just make sure you take your pills as directed... you will follow with bloodwork ever so often, and the dr. will adjust your dosage if needed, but no matter what just follow doctors orders and you should be fine.
Hope this helps :)
31 Aug 2012
Let's keep this simple-a low TSH means that you have too much thyroid in your system-a high TSH means that you don't have enough thyroid in your system. We have a gland in our brain that makes an artificial thyroid when our thyroid gland isn't producing enough. The problem is that the gland is unpredictable, and its hormone doesn't help the body much. If it worked well, they wouldn't be testing the output of that gland.
It takes about 6 weeks for a thyroid supplement to work properly, which is why doctors wait 6 weeks to have another thyroid panel done. If side effects hit a person in the first week-second week, etc. That person needs to get into a doctor immediately-preferably the doctor taking care of the thyroid. Unfortunately eating lots of shell fish, taking cough syrup for a cold, snacking a lot on potato chips, and some other OTC medications can change the iodine and thyroid balance in a body. Again-mood changes, drastic weight change, swelling of feet, rages, acute depression, in the first week of a thyroid regime or the change of a thyroid regime requires the patient to see the doctor immediately. A person that doesn't do this can die- I mean die-not a month later- not a week later but die- I lived in a small uranium mining community-about 3,000 in the town- with out-lying pueblos. In 4 weeks-5 women died- the state medical examiner found they all had thyroid troubles. A few went to doctors in the area-or out to the big city. Several thought they had the flu- tired-depressed. Another woman began gaining weight big time-by that time the autopsy reports were in-She gained a 100 lbs in 3 weeks-she ran a dress shop. She had hypothyroid-and the pills settled her thyroid down, but she never lost the weight. My doctor ran a thyroid scan on me because of my dry skin, etc. He put me on synthroid-and I had negative side-effects in 3 days. I called him-he fit me in and he took care of the problem. Remember LET THE DOCTOR MANAGE YOU-LET HIM KNOW ABOUT NEGATIVE SIDE-EFFECTS IMMEDIATELY-IT TAKES ABOUT 6 WEEKS FOR THE HORMONE GLANDS AND YOUR BODY TO ADJUST TO A HEALTHY BALANCE. EAT YOUR NORMAL DIET. If a country doctor can handle things-like mine did, specialists can take better care of you.
24 Aug 2012
Hello. I had just talked with my Endo as my readings shot up. He said over 10 is a poor response. Over 20 needs immediate medical attention. You ought to be on meds as we speak.
Thyroid meds take about 6 weeks to adjust. A new TSH is taken and then may be adjusted again until you are in a normal range. The only TSH reading to look at is the composite score. This needs to be between .5 and 3.0. All other scores are a snap shot of just that day. A good Endo does not look at those to see how you are progressing. They are more of a diagnostic tool for their use.
When your TSH is down to a Normal level you will learn where you feel right. Then you and your doc will maintain it there. Periodically you may be readjusted as the body can change.
Please, get into the doc right away and start medication. Your level is at too high of a number. The physical symptoms with dry skin and all will change when you are more normal.
Ask if you have more questions. Let us know how you are doing. Karen
26 Aug 2012
Hi Declansmommy, congratulations. Having a new baby is wonderful and amazing. Your son is only 7 months and from what I have read women can have thyroid issues even after a year of having a baby. I have just found this website, stopthethyroidmadness.com, and I have learned some very interesting things. Mainly that the TSH doesn't mean anything when it comes to the thyroid gland itself. TSH is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone. Which is the main reason I have not gotten anywhere with my doctors while I sit here at home suffering with symptoms myself. My TSH is always around 0.5 when it gets tested, and because of being in that normal range they never test my free T4 and free T3 or anything else. So, I am stuck feeling like crap. All the information about the blood tests and what it all means does get confusing, so I don't want to confuse you more. But, the fact that you have more than TSH tested is a good thing.
After taking the med for a while, they will need to continue testing more than just the TSH as the TSH is not the correct way to dose or diagnose a thyroid problem. I think I would prefer now if doctors would treat you more by your symptoms than the TSH. Sadly for me, it is looking more like I have a pituitary problem than a thyroid problem, even though I have an enlarged thyroid and nodules. But I agree with the others to start the med and tell the dr when you started it and why. I wish you all the best in your treatment and hopefully your thyroid will normalize. Enjoy your baby because they grow so fast. HUGS.
28 Aug 2012
Hi there Declansmommy,
I joined this site well over a year ago, and I think you are the first I have responded to. When I went to my Dr. The first time, I too was very under- weight, and could hardly get out of bed in the mornings... etc, etc. I am now 50, and just thought it was menopause. My first TSH was 47 I think. Dr was amazed that I could even get out of bed! I started taked a low dose of levothyroxine(25),then having my blood checked every 6 weeks. I am going to tell you that of course everyone is different, but even on the meds I still did not feel well for weeks, or even months, and to top it all off, I gained about 20-25 pounds. Then I had a friend tell me to stop with the levothyroxine, it is a generic, and that for thyroid issues one should take Synthroid. Do some research on generic verses non. The results will amaze you. It was almost an immediate change for me. I started feeling better, had more energy, and the weight just kind of started to melt away... finally. Sorry for babblying on... but I do understand what you are going through, and never having had any health issues prior, I too was freaked out. It does take time and patients, but hang in there... there is light at the end of the hypo tunnel... my best to you and your family
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