hypothyroidism

For those of you who are just beginning this wonderful process, here we can narrow down the symptoms and ask questions like "am I starting perimenopause?"

hypothyroidism

Postby KayB » Mon Sep 18, 2006 12:18 pm

Is anyone here dealing with both perimenopausal issues and hypothyroidism?
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Postby CathyW » Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:39 pm

Hi KayB

I have hypothyroidism and am in peri. I have been taking meds for the hypo for approx 7 years. The symptoms of hypo and peri are so similar that when peri first hit I was sure my thyroid med needed to be made stronger. I actually marched myself into the Dr's and made that announcement LOL well I was wrong :lol: The fatigue, muscle aches and menstrual irregularities was peri this time. The hypothyroidism was so much easier to deal with. Have you already been dx with hypothyroidism? If I can help in any way let me know.

Take Care
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Postby colopam » Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:48 pm

Yep!!

Have been diagnosed hypo for probably 12 yrs or so. There's a great source for info at "about thyroid.com". Also if you use the search function at the top of the message board you'll link up with some conversations already held and may have alot of your questions answered!!
Hugs Pam
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Hypo & Peri

Postby mgr » Tue Sep 19, 2006 9:19 am

I also am hypo & presently going throug peri-menopause. What fun! I have been diagnosed with hypo for about 2 years now and having peri symptoms for approx. 1 year. I do have a hard time knowing which symptoms are which. Fatique, aches, anxiety, pins & needles, crawly skin, the list goes on & on. I have been dealt with a bad deck when it comes to menopause. Anyway, I am now taking Alesse b/c , it has somewhat helped but I still feel far from normal. I think the anxiety has to be the worst, I have been prescribed Ativan for when it gets really bad, but I only take them If I can't handle it anymore, that means that for the most part I am dealing with the anxiety from day to day, it's terribel!
Whay are your symptoms?

Good Luck,

MGR
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Postby psexypsychic » Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:09 pm

I've been hypo for the last 19 years. When the peri symptoms hit, my thyroid went out of whack again and the docs I was dealing with wouldn't change my dose of synthroid because I was "in the normal range". Luckily (albeit 60+ pounds later) the doc convinced the higher-ups to pay attention.

I'd been hypo for so long, that when the peri hit, I knew it wasn't my thyroid acting up.

Funny thing: When I got the new doctor just over 2 years ago, he did the routine physical and when he checked my thyroid gland, he said, "Wow, your thyroid is quite atrophied." I replied, "Well, if you laid around for 17 years and did nothing, you'd atrophy too!"

*~my MySpace~*

diagnosed perimeno at 36 years old
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Postby KayB » Tue Sep 19, 2006 1:44 pm

Thanks for the input, am going to use the search function and see what's up.. I've been to about.com and it's a fabulous resource.

As someone else on this thread stated, perimenopause and hypothyroidism are so similar... Hypothyroidism runs in my mom's side of the family-my mom is taking synthyroid as a matter of fact. I get tested every year and am told it's "normal" but I know they revised the levels somewhat, and I need to make sure I'm not above that.
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Postby colopam » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:00 pm

Kayb

They have changed the "normal" range, you can find that on the "about" website. I had one doc that went with "how are you feeling at this level...???" thinking, but then again he was the one that said I'd only feel tired if I stopped my meds how wrong he was!!!! I developed hypothyroid heart and my TSH was at 112 (yes, 112) my cardiologist (wonderful man) has been watching my TSH closely and got it down to 8 quickly and then down too far to about 2 so he's tweaked my meds and I feel fabulous right now (have to go be tested again). On LoEstrin bcp for flooding and cramping and love it, gonna try to talk my doc into letting me stay on it. I had been very weepy and my cardiologist said that by "normalizing" the TSH this should level out some, I don't know if it's that or if my new job (less stress lots more pay, better hours and weekends off and NO jerk of a boss) but I think it's a combo of both. Whatever I'll take it!!!!

HUgs Pam
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Postby DLJones3423 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:21 pm

I'm 40, and I've had problems with my thyroid on and off for years. I finally was able to link the problems directly to my female hormones. Whenever I was pregnant or on a progestin-only birth control (Depo Provera or the mini pill), I became almost deathly ill after a time because my thyroid pretty much stopped working. After I gave birth or stopped using a particular birth control, my thyroid kicked back in, and I went from feeling like death to feeling completely normal.

I found the connection to female hormones by accident when I felt so terrible that I forgot to pick up my prescription for the mini pill one month. For the week or so that I wasn't on anything, I didn't feel quite as bad. Soon after I took the mini pill again, I felt again as if I was dying. I think I did this a couple of months in a row before a little light bulb came on in my head. I remembered feeling sicker and sicker after each Depo Provera shot several years earlier, which is why I had stopped on that type of birth control. By the time I took a fourth shot, I spent a week feeling as if I was going to die. And I had pre-eclampsia with my first pregnancy and terrible edema with my other two. What do the mini pill, Depo Provera, and pregnancy have in common? A high level of progesterone/progestin.

After I stopped taking the mini pill altogether, I didn't need Armour Thyroid any more either (my doctor encouraged me to stop taking it if I didn't need it so my thyroid didn't atrophy, as another poster found happened to her). And I did stop taking it and felt fine--until now, that is.

I spent the last 2 years happily on the Nuva Ring, and I haven't needed thyroid medication at all. Unfortunately, I slacked off in getting to my gynecologist to renew my prescription this time around and I had to mail order my prescription, so I've spent over a month without the Nuva Ring. Now that I'm without the hormonal stability of my birth control, I'm experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, headaches, a 12-day-long period after only 2-1/2 weeks (I usually average 3 days every 4 weeks), a frequent rapid heart beat, occasional dizziness, and a bunch of other symptoms that scream perimenopause. I had been having some of these symptoms mildly before going off the Nuva Ring, so I was suspecting perimenopuase anyway. My body's reaction to being off of it pretty much confirms that for me.

After having a hot-flash-filled day yesterday and waking up in the middle of a hot flash last night, I took a small amount of thyroid hormone today (1/2 of one tablet rather than the 2 a day I was taking before), and the symptoms subsided. Could it be a coincidence? Possibly. All I know is that I haven't suffered through a single intense hot flash since I took the pill, and I don't feel as crummy today as I did yesterday.

So why am I rambling on like this? Because I want *someone* out there to know that there is a connection between thyroid function and the presence or lack of female hormones. If you're already on thyroid medication, you may need more while going through perimenopause. If you weren't on it before, you may need a low dose to keep you feeling well.

Several years ago, after over a year of bouncing from doctor to doctor and being told that there was nothing wrong with me, I finally went to an intelligent doctor. He understood that, for me, a TSH number of only 3.0 made me feel almost deathly ill because my T4 level was fairly low. Even when my TSH was consistently hovering around 2.0 (considered "normal" by almost all doctors), I still felt bad because my T4 was still below "normal." After I went on a low dose of Armour Thyroid, my TSH number came down to about 0.9, my T4 went up to a "normal" level, my hair and eyebrows grew back, and I felt better for the first time in more than a year.

Listen to what your body tells you, ladies. No one knows your body better than you do.

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Postby KayB » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:01 am

Donna, thank you for your very long post...I appreciate all of it.

I have a dr. appt tomorrow and am going to ask them review the last TSH testing I had at my annual exam. I am also going to ask to be retested and to have all the others done such as T3, T4, free T3, free T4, etc....

Hypothyroidism runs in my mom's family and I strongly feel there is a corrolation as you said....
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Postby KayB » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:24 am

PS One more thing I wanted to mention--I've heard the highest level of normal TSH is now considered to be 3.0 but some labs and some doctors still hold to the idea of 5.5 being the highest level of normal.... Has anyone else heard that or dealt with that?
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Postby DLJones3423 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:53 pm

Hi Kay,

Sorry for my rambling post yesterday, but I wanted to get it all down and maybe help someone else avoid some of the hell that I went through a few years ago.

The "normal" TSH range changed to 0.3 - 3.0 several years ago, I believe, but many labs and/or doctors still don't acknowledge that tighter range. You have to know what to look for on your own test results, and you may need to shop around for a doctor who's particularly familiar with thyroid problems. And you're correct that you'll need a full thyroid panel rather than just a TSH test. Even if your TSH is somewhere in or near the normal range, your T3 or T4 could be low. A knowledgable doctor will test for all of them and try to get an idea of exactly what your thyroid is doing.

Good luck! Keep us posted.

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Postby colopam » Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:05 pm

The About Thyroid site can help find a Dr. (endocrinologist specializing in thyroid) in your area as well as alot of info on the "norms"

Let us know how things go!!

Hugs Pam
It's never too late for a happy childhood!!
The more you live, the less you die!!
Well behaved women rarely make history.
DB: 1958
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Postby minniepauz » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:23 am

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Postby DLJones3423 » Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:07 pm

You still have to be careful, even with the doctors on that thryoid About site. I went to an endocrinologist in Chicago who claimed to be a thyroid specialist, and I had found him on that site. After examining me and looking over my previous blood test results, his words to me were, "I don't know what's wrong with you, but it's definitely not your thyroid." He also told me that he hoped that I wouldn't go doctor shopping until I found one who would treat me for a supposedly nonexistent thyroid problem.

I'm glad that I didn't listen to him on either count. I went to another doctor who examined me and took one look at my previous blood test results and said, "You need to be on thyroid medication." Dr. Mercola pulled out his pad and wrote out a prescription for Armour Thyroid. I was so relieved that I almost cried. He also recommended dietary changes--more red meat because my iron count was too low, more salt because my sodium count was too low, and no grains because they did nasty things to my blood sugar levels. The dietary changes were exactly the opposite of what a previous doctor (another endocrinologist actually) had told me to do--less red meat, less salt, and lots of whole grains. Guess what? The dietary changes recommended by Dr. Mercola WORKED.

I give Dr. Mercola credit for saving my life because I felt so bad because of hypothyroidism that I either would have died or may have been tempted to kill myself. He isn't seeing patients himself any more, but he's still involved with the practice he developed (http://www.mercola.com), and they have patients who come in from all over the world. Some of what he preaches is a bit extreme (no grains or sugar, for example) or even downright odd, but what he told me to do has helped me.

Kay, I hope your appointment today went well (assuming that you already went).

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Postby CathyW » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:15 am

Hi KayB

Just wondering how your appointment went? Hope all is well.


I found this check list for hypothyroidism and I thought it might help someone who suspects this could be their problem.


I HAVE THE FOLLOWING RISK FACTORS FOR HYPOTHYROIDISM:

___ My family (parent, sibling, child) has a history of thyroid disease
___ I've had a treated or untreated thyroid problem (i.e., hyperthyroidism, Graves' disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, post-partum thyroiditis, goiter, nodules, thyroid cancer) in the past
___ A member of my family or I have currently or in the past been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease
___ I am over 60
___ I am female
___ I am perimenopausal or menopausal
___ I have recently had a baby
___ I have a history of infertility or miscarriage
___ I am currently a smoker, or was a heavy smoker in the past
___ I am currently taking lithium, amiodarone (Cordarone), iodine, kelp, bladderwrack, bugleweed, or soy isoflavone supplements
___ I have had radiation treatment to my head, neck, chest, tonsil area, etc.
___ I had "Nasal Radium Therapy"
___ I consume substantial quantities of any of the following foods, frequently raw: brussels sprouts, rutabaga, turnips, kohlrabi, radishes, cauliflower, African cassava, millet, babassu, cabbage, kale, soy-protein supplements (i.e., protein powders)
___ I live, lived, work, worked or grew up near or at a nuclear plant

I HAVE THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS OF HYPOTHYROIDISM

___ I am gaining weight inappropriately or unable to lose weight
___ My "normal" body temperature is low, and/or I frequently feel cold
___ I feel fatigued, exhausted more than normal
___ I have a slow pulse, and/or low blood pressure
___ I have high cholesterol
___ My hair is rough, coarse dry, breaking, brittle, or falling out
___ My skin is rough, coarse, dry, scaly, itchy and thick
___ My nails have been dry, brittle, and break more easily
___ My voice has become hoarse, husky or gravelly
___ I have pains, aches, stiffness, tingling in joints, muscles, hands and/or feet
___ I have carpal tunnel syndrome, arm or leg tendonitis, or plantar's fascitis
___ I am having irregular menstrual cycles (longer, or heavier, or more frequent)
___ I am experiencing infertility, or have had one or more miscarriage
___ I feel depressed, restless, moody, sad
___ I have difficulty concentrating or remembering things
___ I have no or low sex drive
___ My eyes feel gritty, dry, light-sensitive
___ My neck or throat feels full, pressure, choking, lumpy, larger than usual, and/or I have difficulty swallowing
___ I have/may have sleep apnea
___ I have puffiness and swelling around the eyes, eyelids, face, feet, hands and feet



Cathy
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