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Thyroid Test

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#1 miocean

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 05:00 PM

I have some questions about thyroid test that were run recently. First, please note that in my mid teens and overweight I was diagnosed hypoactive and took medication for a short period of time. In my early 30's I was diagnosed with Euthyroid Graves Disease with Exophthalmos Eye Disease (hyperactive but extremely overweight), also treated with medication for a period of several months. This was way before I knew to keep any records so I have no idea what my labs were or the medication I took. Although I have questioned symptoms I have that are signs of thyroid issues, T3 and T4 tests come back in the normal range and the doctors tell me I don't have thyroid issues. I have just had a more extensive panel and am hoping for help in interpreting them or suggestions for further testing of if more testing is necessary. 

 

Thriidothyronnine                               T3                   110          Range    58-159            Normal

Thyroxine                                           T4                   7.43                        5.41-11.66      Normal

Thyroxine Free                                   T4 Free          1.27                         0.70-1.24        High

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone             TSH               0.33                         0.32-4.05        Low Normal

 

I know you are not doctors and cannot diagnose but perhaps you can guide me. Thanks for your help.

 

miocean


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#2 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:00 AM

Hi Miocean,

 

I'd be really interested in hearing your doctor's analysis of the tests, as of course their interpretation would be about a thousand times more likely to be accurate, than mine.  I am *still* studying for my First Aid certificate <sigh>.

 

I know just enough about this to be dangerous, as I have had Hashimoto's for nearly a few decades now.  Please keep in mind that I may be wrong, I often am, and absolutely correct me if I have misinterpreted this! 

 

It looks to me like your thyroid is running at "high normal" which means that your body should be great at burning off calories at top notch capacity, without yet quite tipping over into the realm of Grave's, but coming close enough to it that you should probably have regular monitoring of all these levels (probably annually, unless your doctor has a different recommendation).

 

Also, look up the symptoms of Grave's and if/when you experience them, you may want to see your doctor for another thyroid test.

 

In the meantime, though, you are probably "good to go" and you are currently (the day the test was taken, at least) likely to be able to eat whatever you want at a buffet, without accumulating more weight.

 

This is the flip side of Hashimoto's, where the mere fantasy of eating a small stalk of celery can cause a weight gain of 10 pounds.  I'm exaggerating, of course -- but not by much!

 

The bad part of Grave's is that it can wreak all sorts of havoc, including anxiety, insomnia, diarrhea, and even bulging eyeballs.  And anxiety, fatigue and lack of sleep all usually cause people to overeat, too, and any sort of thyroid dysfunction is dysfunction, so it is also possible to gain weight, even with Grave's.

 

Please let us know what your doctor's take is on this, okay?  Mine is nothing much more than a poorly educated guess!

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


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Shelley Ensz
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The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#3 Joelf

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 11:36 AM

Hi Miocean,

 

Well, I do have a first aid certificate, but it's now out of date and I'm sometimes hopelessly off the mark with interpreting medical test results! I've no experience of thyroid problems (thankfully!) but I've found a link to information about Thyroid Blood Tests which I hope you will find useful.

 

I'll be really interested to hear what your doctors' have to say about the test results.

 

Kind regards,


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#4 miocean

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 04:35 PM

Thanks Shelley and Jo,

 

I have about half of the symptoms of Grave's. However, I am cold most of the time and have difficulty losing weight. Even at the height of my fitness with dieting, running, swimming and working out I could not get to the upper range of my BMI. I can easily gain 3 pounds overnight so is it pulmonary hypertension, fluid retention, congestive heart failure, all things I have been diagnosed with. Scleroderma is so complicated and based on my experience makes other conditions extra difficult to diagnosis. Let's take another issue I have suffered with for years: diarrhea. Is it caused due to GI damage from the scleroderma, side effects of medications I take for anti-rejection, Grave's Disease, food sensitivities, irritable bowel syndrome or a combination of all, having been diagnosed with all at one time or another?

 

Does it matter? Do I want another disease and another specialist?

 

I will also be interested in how a doctor interprets these. So far doctors wave them off and say I do not have any thyroid disease. I am just curious ....

 

miocean

 

 

 


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#5 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:00 AM

Hi Miocean,

 

Did the diarrhea begin in earnest before, or after, your transplant?  The timing could be crucial to figuring out the cause, or should I say, one or two of the causes that could possibly be rectified and alleviate some of the suffering.

 

It turns out they had put Gene on magnesium supplements at transplant and then assumed his g.i. challenges were caused by the side effects of the other, admittedly very toxic but simply unavoidable, transplant medications. 

 

Finally this year, his doctor had him stop the magnesium, and his perpetual hobby of bathroom tours abruptly stopped.  Just for good measure, his doctor also put him on probiotic pills instead of (or in addition to) yogurt, to try to ward off side effects of the lifelong antibiotics that have to be taken after lung transplant.

 

It's really hard knowing what string to pull on to untangle a knot, isn't it?  Should you even try, because it might be hopeless anyway, or should you attempt another, perhaps useless, approach?

 

I am just as guilty as anyone else of simply shrugging it off and trying to live with things that most other folks would probably quickly find simply intolerable.  There just seems to be a limit as to how many symptoms can be juggled at once, so sometimes they get put on the back burner until we have the mental energy necessary to try to tackle them, again. And again. And again.

 

My guess is that you are just biding your time, hoping for a new actionable idea or two to emerge that might diminish or even stop the g.i. blues.

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


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Shelley Ensz
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International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
Hotline and Donations: 1-800-564-7099

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#6 msjess

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:01 PM

Miocean,

 

I have Hashimoto's and just from looking at those lab results (which yay for the doctor who did it, as they did ALL the labs needed not just simple TSH) I would tend to think you're running a tad hyperthyroid or, perhaps, there is some damage to your pituitary gland. The Free T4 is high and that is the truest test of your thyroid levels. This link explains a bit: Lab Tests Online: T4 Test

 

You said you were diagnosed with Graves' disease? Are you still medicated for that? If not, why?

 

My TSH levels at this time are extremely low as well (last checked around 0.18) and T4 was high last time they checked. In Hashimoto's, I have been told, fluctuations are possible (between hyperthyroid and hypothyroid states) as your body's immune system attacks the thyroid gland. Have you had antibody testing for thyroid disease done recently? It's possible you are active Grave's or Hashimoto's right now.

 

Also, I think I have read that scleroderma can do something similar to your thyroid gland as well, causing tissue fibrosis? I also would ask your doctor or endocrinologist if they can do an ultrasound of your thyroid to look for any nodes.



#7 msjess

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:05 PM

Miocean - as I re-read through your above comments about diarrhea I am wondering if any gi doctors have tested you for gluten sensitivity or celiac? I am on gluten-free diet to help with my IBS symptoms, although I tested negative for celiac, because it helps my stomach feel better. Also, I read some interesting theories that tie the ingestion of gluten to aggravation of autoimmune thyroid disease. Apparently the gluten protein is very very similar to the thyroid gland, and ingestion of gluten causes a brand-new attack with antibodies against your thyroid gland. Here's a link to some of that info: The Celiac/Autoimmune Thyroid Connection on About.com



#8 Shelley Ensz

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 01:58 PM

Miocean, as usual, Msjess raises some good points.

 

Are you seeing an endocrinologist or simply relying on your other 'ologists to track your thyroid?  I know you have a zillion doctors and tests to do right now, but you might want to put it in your tickler file to see an endocrinologist, sometime down the line.

 

And of course there is all the usual correlation between scleroderma and autoimmune thyroid diseases and even for gluten sensitivity and Celiac disease

 

However, I think we'd all agree that you are in the midst of setting the world's record for number of medical tests and doctors a scleroderma patient can undergo within a single year, so this might all be info for you to set aside until you are up to looking into it.

 

I read an article this weekend about how many thousands of people have signed up for a one-way ticket to Mars. You know I'm jaded because my first thought was, how glorious, to never have to go to the doctor again! 

 

:emoticons-group-hug:


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Shelley Ensz
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The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is sclero.org.

#9 miocean

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 02:44 PM

All of this is very interesting...

 

After being diagnosed with Euthyroid Graves Disease/Exophthalmos (that is a very hard word to spell!) Eye Disease, intensive testing, Including looking for a brain tumor, and several months of medication the endocrinologist I was seeing wanted to radiate my thyroid. I went for a second opinion and that endocrinologist looked at all my labs and notes and said he didn't think I ever had the disease to begin with. So guess whose opinion I went with? :P  I was under a lot of stress at the time, eventually my eye returned to normal and through diet and exercise I went from 198 lbs to 145 lbs. after getting out of a toxic relationship. Again, I don't have any records from this and it was almost 30 years ago.

 

These recent tests were done by the lung transplant center. I also had several antibody tests run but I wouldn't know which one is for thyroid. msjess, what would the antibodies for thyroid be? They drew 20 vials of blood.

 

My ANA came back 1:320 speckled. Originally in 2004 it was 1:180 speckled. My scleroderma specialist just ran this test a couple of months ago and it was 1:180 diffuse which she told me meant "undetermined." (?) She also told me if my thyroid tests come back normal then I don't have any thyroid problems including Hasimoto's. I see her next month so I will be asking.

 

I have often considered going to an endocrinologist but the wait to see one is long here and I haven't been able to find anyone who recommends one. I am currently seeing an Integrative/Functional Medicine Doctor and recently underwent a 21 day total elimination diet followed by reintroducing foods. I do seem to have gluten sensitivity as well as dairy.  I am still working on introducing things, so far shellfish and beef do not seem to be a problem. It has been about 65 days, I have lost 12 lbs. depending on the day. :D  I am eating much healthier, no sugar substitutes, healthy organic produce and meats, no carbonated drinks, no coffee, no processed foods. I still have an occasional problem with sugar, but I admit I am an addict and all things considered, I am doing very well with that. I see him again next week and I will be going over the lab work with him and looking for answers. 

 

Magnesium, oh my!! After my kidney transplant my magnesium was low so my nephrologist had me take 2,400 mg daily! Talk about becoming best friends with bathrooms all over the place.  Even with that dosage it never went up and I tried for months to tell him everything was passing out of my system too quickly to be absorbed and on top of that I had damage to my GI system from scleroderma.  It took over a year for me to convince him to let me stop taking it and see what happened. :emoticon-bang-head:  I am now back in the normal range, although it is low normal. In general, my labs are good for someone with a transplant.

 

I have also been reading about adrenal gland failure and plan to ask my doctor about that. He is new to me but if he is a true Functional/Integrative Medicine doctor he should be able to help. I was also diagnosed with parathyroid gland issues when on dialysis and was told that I might have to have surgery but that has never happened and it is tested a couple of times a year and my doctor says it is fine. Dialysis really screws up your body while it is keeping you alive. 

 

Tonight I have to organize pages of papers to fax to the transplant center, put my weekly meds in the boxes, tomorrow I go for blood work, pulmonary rehab, and a chiropractic appointment, the next day I go into the lung transplant center for a 6 Minute Walk Test and an appointment with a pulmonary hypertension specialist, who I looked up and is the top doctor there. I will continue to question the thyroid tests at the center and hopefully will get answers there. Pretty soon I get to have a 24 hour PH test on my esophagus and a gastric emptying series. :woohoo:  Oh, then an endoscopy and colonoscopy.   :happy-dance:

 

So Shelley, I would join you on that trip to Mars as I am sure they would have oxygen there, the only problem is there is not very much, if any, water on Mars and this girl needs to be around the water! Now you know why I go to the beach so much, no paperwork, no doctors, no phone (unless I am really expecting important medical calls.)

 

miocean

 

 

 

 


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#10 msjess

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:26 PM

For Hashimoto's, the antibody is the antithyroperoxidase antibody? It's abbreviated TPO-Ab. And then there's the Antithyroglobulin (Tg Ab) antibody. Wikipedia also lists anti-microsomal antibodies as indicating Hashimoto's.

 

For Grave's disease, on Wikipedia it says there are 3 antibodies:

  • TSI, Thyroid stimulating immunoglobulins:
  • TGI, Thyroid growth immunoglobulins
  • TBII, Thyrotrophin Binding-Inhibiting Immunoglobulins

Sounds like you have found a good partner in health with that doctor and good for you for having the willpower to do the elimination diet. Interesting about the parathyroids...were your serum calcium levels off at the time? I imagine if you were on dialysis that would've played a big part in that.

 

Adrenal gland failure is a biggie when talking autoimmune diseases. My son has Crohn's and has to take prednisone for weeks at a time to get flares under control, and we have to be very careful about withdrawing him from his dose to avoid adrenal crisis. If you've been off and on steroids to treat autoimmune stuff it is a very good idea to get your adrenals checked out. A year ago they checked mine with a ACTH stimulation test - it was relatively easy and took about an hour if I recall.

 

Sure seems you have your plate full with medical stuff right now. Take good care of yourself.