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Your thyroid - hypothyroid
What do you wish you knew before getting diagnosed
loti
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loti  Friend of PR
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Date: 7/7/13 1:55 PM

I am only guessing that when you hit 50 all sorts of lovely changes start happening to your body, but recently I was told that my thyroid is sluggish.

I was under the impression that the symptoms I was feeling was just the normal getting older process. Now that I've had time to read a bit more about hypothyroid symptoms, it's becoming clearer to me that the issues I've been facing were related to the thyroid.

Here's my question, for those of you that have managed to get to the proper levels of medication, how long did it take?

I'm also surprised at what I am finding like...

Flouride is bad for your thyroid
Tea is a natural source of flouride
Raw cruciferous vegetables slow your thyroid function

At this point, I don't even know what to eat to avoid feeling badly. I have been trying to simplify my diet recently and before the testing had been eating a lot of raw cabbage and broccoli. I'd like to manage this without medication but confused about where to start. Although, with all of the difficulty I've had losing weight, I'm hopeful that if I did start I might see some results in that area.

Has anyone's cholesterol level improved after taking synthroid?



I'm making some notes based on everyone's feedback to bring with me to the Dr.

Tests
TSH - preliminary
T3
T4
Vitamin D
Calcium
Selenium

Medication
Natural
Synthetic generic
Synthetic brand


-- Edited on 7/9/13 8:13 PM --

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"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
Coco Chanel

Stash Sewn in 2011 148.5 Yds
Stash Sewn in 2012.... counting...

http://adonising.blogspot.com

shana707

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Date: 7/7/13 3:57 PM

I have Graves disease (hyperthyroidism) which is treated by totally or partially destroying the thyroid. This leaves the patient with hypothyroidism. I was on the same dosage of synthroid for many years. As I recall it worked very quickly to "reset" my thyroid levels--perhaps a matter of a few of weeks. The trick is to monitor it regularly. I have blood work done every six months. I don't think it's a good idea to try to treat this on your own without medication. When your thyroid levels are "normal" you'll feel so much better! Synthroid (levothyroxine) doesn't seem to have any terrible side effects. It works and works well once you get your levels stabilized. Keep in mind, however, that if you use the generic levothyroxine, you should try to use meds from the same manufacturer for each refill. It seems that the additives differ from one manufacturer to another. This affects the absorption rate so they may not all be exactly the same.
Where did you learn about tea, etc? Did your doctor tell you this or did you read it somewhere?

-- Edited on 7/7/13 3:59 PM --
-- Edited on 7/7/13 4:00 PM --

Elona
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In reply to loti <<


Date: 7/7/13 4:37 PM

There are several different kinds of hypothyroidism, and it's good to know your lab values for TSH as well as the results for any Antithyroid Antibody Tests (if the doctor thought your hypofunction is due an autoimmune disorder).

Did you tell your doctor you had been eating raw cabbage and broccoli? He should know about this, because these are, of course, raw cruciferous vegetables and they can indeed be what's called 'goitrogens;' that is, things that can slow down thyroid function. In fact, they are among the few food type items that can have this effect. Water with too little iodine is another cause. My mother and several of her sisters had this problem, living at the foot of mountains whose water was low in iodine.

There are a few reputable studies like this one, done on rats, indicating that extremely high levels of fluoride may depress thyroid function. There is nothing reputable indicating that normal levels of fluoride in water or toothpaste will do the same thing in humans.

It is true that tea concentrates fluoride. This is fairly new info, but it is important to note that the four people with high levels of fluoride referred to in this study drank 1 to 2 gallons of tea daily for the past 10 to 30 years.

Apart from stopping cruciferous veggies and getting enough iodine, there is no way to manage true hypothyroidism with diet. Although trying it probably won't really hurt you, at least in the short term, you will continue feeling tired without real medication.

About blood cholesterol and thyroid meds, yeah, taking synthroid, etc, should lower cholesterol in those with diagnosed hypothyroidism.



-- Edited on 7/7/13 4:41 PM --

loti
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Date: 7/7/13 5:27 PM

Shana707- The flouride and tea connection is something I read online. My Dr, I find really doesn't tell me much except, these are the numbers and you need to take this.

Thank you Elona "That's because conditions associated with a malfunctioning thyroid are often masked, appearing as part and parcel of other factors, such as menopause or normal aging." This was exactly what I was thinking. As I read all of the information on the symptoms of hypothyroid, quite a few pop off the page for me.

On my heaviest tea days, which is usually Sunday I drink about a pot of tea or 3 cups - 24 ounces, daily is about 10 ounces. If I could drink tea all day, I would but I find it keeps me up at night :)

My dentist however has recommended that I use a flouride toothpaste and mouth rinse. I might venture off and get some non flouride versions of both, and just brush and floss more often.

I also feel better when I eat less refined carbs and sat fats, and when I get sun and exercise. So that's my plan for the moment. I'll pull out the South Beach diet cookbook and start cooking the larger portioned recipes that can be frozen and get organized that way.

I didn't tell her about the broccoli or cabbage because I didn't know there was a connection at the time.

In terms of iodine, I had read that with the popularity of sea salts people had stopped buying iodized salt. I am one of them but have started using it again this past year.

I also need to look for another Dr. mine seems obsessed with what the insurance will cover and what they won't. When I first went to see her, I asked her to check my vitamin D levels and she said that the insurance wouldn't cover it and didn't order the test. This is an entirely different topic. She also didn't call in my prescription for Synthroid. So I'll have to call the office tomorrow.


-- Edited on 7/7/13 5:35 PM --

------
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
Coco Chanel

Stash Sewn in 2011 148.5 Yds
Stash Sewn in 2012.... counting...

http://adonising.blogspot.com

LLW

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Date: 7/7/13 5:35 PM

I've read that selenium and vitamin D are also important, along with checking for antibodies. My NP certainly thinks so. I've only read of diet as a support for medication, not as a substitute; but she, the NP, does encourage a low carb, moderate protein, Paleo type diet. I've done really well with this, with small amounts of corn and rice occasionally - of course, YMMV.

I ended up on a natural thyroid product, inexpensive, called Acella after 3 months of weight gain on the synthetic. (ugh!) It did take awhile for me to feel 100%, but I had a lot of other things going on (tons of work, and work travel, anemia, ill spouse, eldercare, etc) so I am not sure I could say. I can tell you, that based on symptom resolution, I had thyroid issues for many years before it was dealt with. Another thing that helped was some progesterone. So I can't be sure what gets the credit for this or that. One thing I wish I had known beforehand was that my feet were going to get 1/2 size smaller - I would have saved some cash on shoes.

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loti
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Date: 7/7/13 5:46 PM

Quote:
feet were going to get 1/2 size smaller - I would have saved some cash on shoes


I could totally get excited about this as well.

I took care of my parents in their declining years so I understand how stressful it is even under the best of circumstances. Just remember to take care of yourself. I'm glad that the diet helps, I managed to have a very healthy dinner this evening, so I'll take it one day at a time.

The first thing this Dr treated me for was high cholesterol but Lipitor generic did not agree with me. I struggled through it for 3 months until I couldn't do any hand sewing because my eye sight had gotten that bad. I decided to go off it and the following day my eye sight returned. I hope that the cholesterol improves with the thyroid medication.

------
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
Coco Chanel

Stash Sewn in 2011 148.5 Yds
Stash Sewn in 2012.... counting...

http://adonising.blogspot.com

poorpigling

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Date: 7/7/13 6:49 PM

Oh golly.. my family has fought thyroid issues so long I think I may know more than the endos on this subject.. BTW.. Just search Thryroid discussion boards ... for loads and loads of info..

This is no small thing .. your thyroid function is of major importance .. Don't try to waste time messing around with herbs, diets etc.. Have your PCP do a thyroid panel.. then a referral to an endo.. If you have not had your levels checked you may be sluggish due either to being hypo.. or hyper.. Hyper can make you sluggish just by keeping your heart at too fast a pace.. and some people can swing back and forth..

I will say this. I did not do well on synthroid. .too harsh somehow. I can't exactly explain it. but I seem more level on the generic..

I am telling you right now.. go get checked.. If your PCP won't run a panel.. fire him.. I darn near lost Mr. P due to a Dr. .who ''thought he should just eat more'' Kid you not..

At the very least you need to know what might be going on for sure. then you can make a more informed decision on how to deal with it..
Not unusual for thyroids to slow down in our older years.. and moreso with females then males. so I don't want to scare you. . only frighten you enough to see the Dr..

poorpigling

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In reply to loti <<


Date: 7/7/13 6:54 PM

Sorry.. I just finished reading again all your posts.. Lots of levels should be checked with you periodically.. including a calcium level.. potassium levels can be important too..
If your Dr. is not taking a thyroid issue seriously. have them refer you to an endo..

loti
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In reply to poorpigling <<


Date: 7/7/13 8:43 PM

I think getting a referral to an endo is an excellent idea. The only test she has run is the TSH which is 4.9. I haven't felt like myself for a long time but just struck it up to getting older. I'm reading a lot about the different tests that are available T3 / T4, none of which has been done. So it seems to me that getting to know my thyroid is my future.

------
"A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.
Coco Chanel

Stash Sewn in 2011 148.5 Yds
Stash Sewn in 2012.... counting...

http://adonising.blogspot.com

Sonoma33
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Date: 7/7/13 10:41 PM

The TSH test is only ONE test to really see what is happening. It is important to have other thyroid related tests as well.

Vitamin D is very important for people who are hypo. Vitamin D helps your body utilize thyroid more effectively. It would be good to ask your Dr. to also test your levels of D. Even living for over 20 years in sunny California my levels are barely into normal range, and I have to take supplements.

I highly recommend the book "Thyroid Power" by Dr. Richard Shames. He is a Harvard trained MD who became interested years ago in thyroid issues when his wife (and later one of his daughters) had hard to diagnose thyroid issues. He is now my Dr. because I am lucky enough to live near his practice. I love his info because he believes in both eastern (his daughter is an acupuncturist) AND western medicine. He also treats on more than blood tests--looking for other signs of low thyroid in addition to how you feel.

My cholesterol did come down once I started on thyroid. I've taken meds for about 7-8 years. A good Dr. will work with you on levels--often you will start on a lower dose and then gradually take more until you reach the correct dosage. Also, it can change over time, so you may change the dose in the future.



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