... help b/c she only always tests my TSH only and since it is normal that is it. So my question is this: can you have a TSH within normal limits (0.5 - 1.0) but still be hypothryoid? Can nodules in the thyroid cause the higher TSH but still be hypothyroid?? I have 3 known nodules all under 1cm, TSH is always around 0.7 and my thyroid is slightly enlarged. The last endo I saw said I didn't need ultrasounds on it regularly anymore and they also only looked at TSH. I don't have insurance so I can't afford to go to another doctor at this time or I would. But while I am saving up money for that, I was just wondering why I have all the symptoms of hypo, yet my TSH is always on the high end of normal. Also note that I have and 4 pregnancies and in my 3rd pregnancy I was hyper the first 2 trimesters but it normalized during the 3rd trimester. My 10 year old daughter also has been exibiting the signs of hypothyroidism as well. THanks for any comments
Just a bit of information, TSH levels, TSH meaning thyrioid stimulating hormone, shows a snapshot of your thyroid function at the time your blood was drawn. Wait 5 minutes and have another TSH drawn and the results would be different. Your TSH works on a negative feedback loop. If your T3 should get out of whack, signals are sent to your pituitary (the master gland) which in turn releases TSH to tell your thyroid to step up production of T3. The endocrine system is a little, no a lot confusing.
For instance, I had my blood drawn for my yearly physical. My thyroid hormones showed that I was hyperthyroid. Drew a repeat thyroid function test drawn and made an appointment with an endocrinologist. Finally got to the endo's office, and when he opened my new chart to look at labs, he looked over his glasses and asked why I was there. I told him my whole story, just as I am relating or forwarding to you, and the doc told me there was absolutely nothing wrong with my thyroid and that I could leave, he had sick people to take care of.
So, unless the doc tells you to worry, don't. One of my husbands developed a goiter. After making sure it wasn't cancer causing the baseball size of his thyroid, he was put on Synthroid to replace hormones not being produced by his messed up thyroid gland. I noticed no change in his behavior when he started taking the med from when he wasn't. Since he was on replacement, I figure he was hypothyroid. Caused him nary a problem. Don't know what hormone he was deficient in, I'd have to look it up. I will if you want more information. Another thing to remember is that embedded in your thyroid are parathyroid glands. They have a different job than your thyroid, think it has something to do with calcium and it's action in the body. I need to look that up also. Oh my, I seem to have developed CRS.
Anywho, that's the best I can remember without my Essentials of Internal Medicine book. Might need to read it again.
So I guess what I'm saying is, one needs to correlate lab findings with the clinical picture you present.
You say you have nodules in your thyroid gland and that the doc is no longer doing frequent ultrasounds to check for growth, if nothing has changed in size, no need to keep checking them with the ultrasound, more unnecessary cost to you.
That's all for right now, unless I remember something else.
Have a good day,
The accepted normal limits are now 0.3-3. Oh dear. Does your daughter have medical coverage of any kind? You probably both need to see a good endocrinologist(note the word good), lol. The endocrine system is complex and it seems many things effect it, and someone that really knows what he's doing needs to evaluate you. What signs of hypothryoid are you showing?
Hey ruthy - Believe me... this could be a difficult situation if you cannot get your endocrinologist to get on-board with you and do further testing. The tests beyond TSH are many and expensive. The normal range is 0.4 - 5.0. However, the tyranny of the test is what makes the doctor draw the line. The goal is supposed to be to get the patient feeling better but at a range that feels bad to the doctor. It almost seems they don't care how you feel... it is all in the numbers. There is fear that too much thyroid medication will cause osteoporosis. This is characterized by bone loss especially in the hip and spine with increased risk for fractures.
But here you are only talking about TSH levels. You are not talking about symptoms you are having or perhaps none at all. You can't just look at the numbers, ruthie. Can you talk about symptoms you feel you are having that would suggest to your doctor that further testing is needed??? Because the tests are so expensive... maybe that is why your doctor is reluctant to do further testing because they are going by the numbers alone. How are you really feeling?
You should expect numbers to be all over the place when you were pregnant. You cannot use that as a determining factor in your case.
There is a book that I swear by and one my endocrinologist also likes. It is called, "THYROID POWER... 10 Steps To Total Health by Richard L. Shames, M.D., and his wife, Karilee Halo Shames, R.N., PhD." When I was diagnosed with Adrenal Insufficiency that began my research into what the heck had happened to me and how was I ever going to feel normal again. My adrenal glands were not producing cortisol or adrenaline.
But after I read this book and came up with new questions I wanted answered, my doctor was not only receptive to the suggestions I was giving her but there is a section in the back of the book written for doctors and she took the time to read it and then we talked. You might need to do something like that, ruthie, so that your time spent with your doctor is optimal and doesn't leave you more frustrated than when you started. Lots of varies tests are discussed in this book as well as different numbers and levels for various conditions all relating to the thyroid and adrenal glands. You might have better luck if you do more research and write down your questions and concerns and you have a reference point for your questions. I did have much better results with my doctor when I brought in this book and was more prepared to have a discussion than being talked at by the doctor and being told what they were going to do for me and that was that. As a result of my own research, I was placed on hydrocortisone at 5mg in early a.m. and again at 12 noon if I was sick or having surgery. I have tests twice per year now and have been since 2005. The endocrine system is so complicated that it seems unless you are severely ill or have diabetes... endocrinologists don't want to be bothered. It is all in the numbers instead of having a patient who is feeling well at their designated doses. I have only been adjusted once since being with this newer doctor. Before 2005 I was with a doctor who told me I wasn't there to ask questions, I was there to learn and following directions... B. S. I finally said to him when I was feeling like crap and had already found another doctor who would treat me... I am on 2.5 grains of compounded armour thyroid now. I was originally on 2 grains or 120 mgs. 60 mgs is one grain.
Please tell us how you are "feeling" and not just numbers... the numbers aren't everything. I would highly recommend this book so that you can relate how you are feeling... to your numbers... to the testing involved to check various levels. I know you are frustrated and I can hear it in your question. You have got to have a doctor on board with you who will listen but you also need to know what questions to ask. That is why I recommend reading this book. It is cheap, too! Just a couple of dollars... could be the best $3 or $4 dollars you ever spent and much cheaper than those tests your doctor doesn't want to do. It took a long time to get me straightened out. The endocrine system IS the most trying and most difficult area of study for a doctor. Nine systems of study... and more time involved for them.
Thank you all so much for your replies. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. Wow, my symptoms, well they are many. I did forget to mention in that post that I am also iron deficient anemic too and am taking niferex and also vitamin D deficient and taking rx form supplement. But I have the hair loss, extreme fatigue, weight gain and I can't lose weight even with food intake changes or excersise, I can't be in cold for long period of time, and my legs keep getting cramps and that is driving me crazy. I also take a multivitamin/mineral too. I have also started back taking BCpills even though I only have one ovary and tube and have had a tubal ligation, anemia due to blood loss. I have no memory either, and my husband gets angry b/c I forget things. I have 4 young children and I just want to feel better to be able to play with them more.
I also have dry skin and itchy skin.
I do know how endos are with only wanting to help those with severe issues. My 4 year old was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes back in Feb. and I can tell the endo pretty much likes to just deal with those patients.
I also have PCOS and I know that alot of women with PCOS have thyroid issues as well. My thyroid is only enlarged a little bit, I can look back at my report if giving the dimensions would help. As for the nodules, they haven't been checked in a year and I can actually feel one now. Quite disturbing to feel that lol. I really feel bad at a TSH level of 0.5 and I always have and my TSH pretty much has always been that range at every blood draw, and I know that it changes daily. But somehow I get it checked when it is at that level, lol.
I had 3 iron infusions back in April that didn't really help me. But I am feeling much worse now than I did before having those and I just think that something within my hormones are messed up. I wanted to blame my ovary for the longest time b/c it is enlarged as well. But with taking BCpills I thought it would help since I wasn't having much blood loss, but no such luck. I do have depression and anxiety disorder and was taking zoloft. But I was better with the anxiety but zoloft does nothing for depression so my doc had me try wellbutrin, and no change on that either. It just seems I am doomed until some body function or organ gets me in trouble. Again thank you all so much. Sorry this is so long.
Thank you Meyati. I am not taking any thyroid medication. I have an enlarged thyroid and nodules but I am not taking anything. Because my TSH is always normal, the lab won't do the full panel b/c these docs say TSH is accurate, where I have read they aren't. I am waiting for the nurse to call me back, hopefully tomorrow, b/c I asked for a referral to an endo outside of her practice. Hopefully I can get something done.
Thank you again.
Hi there Ruthy,
Are you seeing an Endocronologist? The reason I ask is because my Tsh numbers were ok but I had the symptoms of hypo. I asked my doctor to refer me to one because of the way I felt. He was reluctant at first but did anyway. Thank God he did because I told her what I was feeling tired, cold, could not loose weight, sore muscles to mention a few. She said I was hypo and did some blood work too. She mentionned that the regular doctors don't really know the Endo system and don't know if someone is really hypo sometimes. After 3 years I developed a small goiter and a nodule. She sent me for an ultrasound and biopsy. It came back positive for Cancer. I had a thyroidectomy and am fine now. She had trouble stablelizing my meds. I always had to go up in mcg in my Synthroid. It is very important for you and your daughter to be seen. I asked about my kids too but they have no symptoms of hypo at all.
Good luck and take care,
I did want to add that I have had nodules since 2002. One got to 1cm and a biopsy was performed but the doctor couldn't get enough cells so it was an indeterminate diagnosis on what it was. I had a couple of smaller ones too. Then all of a sudden they disappeared on their own in 2007. And after getting pregnant, they came back. Last time I had ultrasound, there were about 3 or 4 and they were about 3mm each. My thyroid itself was slightly enlarged as well. I only had 2 ultrasounds and I guess since the nodules didn't change much in size between the 2 is the reason why the endo didn't want to see me anymore. I need another ultrasound for sure since it has been a year. Thanks again.
Well I saw my pcp and she wouldn't order me a full thyroid panel blood test b/c she says my TSH was tested in March and it was normal so they won't do anymore testing. I also asked the gyn and she said the same thing. So I now have to go somewhere else to get a test and pay out of pocket. I did have another ultrasound last week and haven't received the final report yet, but the images show many nodules, some are small and there are 2 that are of a nice size. I am having the symptoms of hypo so I don't know. Hopefully can get some answers soon.
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