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Newly diagnosed low thyroid. Confused about levels.
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Newly diagnosed low thyroid. Confused about levels.

The doctors office called me and just said I had a low thyroid and I need to start a medication.  I didn't know anything about low thyroid so didn't ask much.  I only wrote down the two numbers.  The first one she said was high and I think she said TSH 7.68 and the other was borderline low "free" something 7.65.  Can anyone tell me what they might think these numbers are....tsh..free t4 etc?  After researching this after I got off the phone I realized I needed more info.  They are out until next Wednesday.  I am nervous to start these meds.  Once you start aren't you on them for good?  Any help would be great.
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tsh range is from .04-3 (that is newest range) it was .05-5 until recently.  the smaller the number the closer you are to OVER active thyroid.  the larger the number the closer you are to UNDER active thyroid.  HYPERthyroid is overactive.  HYPOthyroid is underactive.  From your tsh reading you are underactive/hypothyroid.  I'm assuming this is not caused by thyroid removeal or radio active iodine.  Your doc probably will prescribe synthroid which is a synthetic t4 med.  Our bodies convert t4 to t3 naturally(supposedly anyway)  t3 is active hormone. many many people seem to do quite well with a natural hormone called armour which is a combo t4 with t3 that was converted before the pig died. the ratio is set though... i dont understand any of this but its set. the t3 appears in some people to kick up the metabolism and improve mental function.  There is also a synthetic counterpart to armour, a t4 t3 mix. also there is a synthetic t3 called cytomel that some docs add to the synthroid.  most docs dont give you a choice.. synthroid is the most well known.  I would find a endo that Thyroid and autoimmune graves or hashimotos is their study of interest.  It would seem endos care least about the thyroid.  be careful and read and ask many many  questions and get antibody tests and complete thyroid panel.  Print out articles from Dr. Lowe's website and Mary Shomon articles. keep those in your purse and when seeing doc present them so your doc doesnt treat you like an in out patient.  make them earn the money you are paying them!!!
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Amen, that post cannot be improved upon!!
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Wow thanks.  That really helps me.  I am going to get researching on a good endo.  That explanation helps as well.  I am frustrated because I have been going to the doctor off and on for 6 years with complaints of low energy, insomnia, weight gain and loss, skin issues, chest pain, memory loss, endometriosis and I have had infertility and have spent thousands to achieve pregnancy.  I can't believe it is just being caught.  I am convinced it has been there for a while.  I have been so down feeling like a loser that I can't accomplish hardly anything compared to others.  Just getting my son to the park wears me out.

Anyways, the doctor prescribed levothyroxin (levothyroxine).  Is this a commonly used drug?  How long until this kicks in?

The doctor said my chest pain was fine.  Anyone else have this?  It is kind of scarry and it just doesn't seem normal to have pains in your heart.  I had an ecco. and ekg 5 years ago.  Both fine.
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97953_tn?1193367871
Clarification: the lower end of normal for TSH is 0.4 not 0.04 - I think that was what katchetab intended to write.  

Levothyroxine is the most common way to start treatment, but I would insist on a brand (eg, synthroid or levoxyl) and not the generic.  

The TSH you reported suggests hypothyroidism - if that is the only test you have had, I may suggest repeating at least 2 months after the initial test to make sure there was not a transient thyroiditis from which you would fully recover and then NOT need lifelong thyroid treatment in many cases.
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A related discussion, What do my numbers mean? was started.
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Mark Lupo, M.D.Blank
Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
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