Thyroid Cancer / Nodules & Hyperthyroidism Expert Forum
levothyroxine user for over 1yr. now i have to increase dosage
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Questions in the Thyroid forum are answered by Mark Lupo, MD. Topics covered include Goiter, Graves Disease, Hyperthyroid, Parathyroid/Calcium Problems, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroid Nodules/Cysts, Thyroiditis, Thyroid & Pregnancy, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH), Thyroid Tests, and Thyroid Surgery.

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levothyroxine user for over 1yr. now i have to increase dosage

i have been hypothyroid for over 1 yr, almost 2, recently they doubled my dosage because my blood tests came back worse then when i started. i have 6 children and am 36, i'm not over weight but my hair is falling out terribly, my mood swings are hard to cope with, i have male facial hair on my chin and neck yet my testosterone level is normal, i am taking birth control pills to help, but they aren't! my ana tests are very high and my pattern is speckled, doc thought i had lupus, but that test was neg. he thinks i have some sort of mixed connective tiss. disease, but he doesn't know what? i am always tired, and feel flu-like, i get bad leg cramps, and bad headaches. the skin under my eyes is very dry, i have pre-mature aging, my eye wrinkles and bags are horrible! also it looks like i have black eyes. i don't know what to do, or whats wrong with me? help!
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97953_tn?1193367871
Check DHEA, androstendione, cortisol and prolactin levels to look at other causes of the hair growth.

Regarding the thyroid - tough to say without numbers -- get the TSH to 0.5-1.5 and re-evaluate.

The positive ANA needs thorough eval (esp if very high) -- work with a rheumatologist until an diagnosis is established.  A trial of immunosuppression such as plaquenil or minocycline may be worth a trial under close rheumatologic evaluation.
5 Comments
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Hi mommie c.! Sorry to read what you are going through. I want you to know that many of us have found that T4-only meds like Synthroid, Levoxyl, etc. do NOT to the job, and leave most all folks with symptoms. I am assuming that is what you are on?? Of course, you may do a bit better because of doubling that dose. But overall, I found out personally that those kind of meds leave you with symptoms, and docs are not recognizing this!! Instead, we have switched to natural thyroid hormones, also called Armour, and it's working MUCH better. It contains exactly what your own thyroid gives you--T4, T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. I have also learned that once I got on Armour, I had to raise to find my optimal dose by the reduction of symptoms, and NOT going by the TSH. I got my free T3 at the top of the range, and voila--ALL my symptoms stopped. which were VERY similar to yours. Hope that helps.

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Has he checked to see if you have hypo because of Hashimoto's?  with thyroid antibody testing?  

Since the symptoms that you listed are associated with hypothyroidism, are you sure you just aren't undertreated?  If it were me, I'd be wanting to know what my Free T4 and Free T3 labs values were, and if Free T3 was low, I'd be demanding somebody give me some Armour Thyroid or Cytomel so i could get well.
cindi
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
Could you tell me the difference in having Hashi's and just being hypo? Is it important to know that you have Hashi's and do they medicate you differently?
Thanks,
Barbara
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Avatar_n_tn
Hashimoto's (autoimmune thyroid disease) is the most common reason for hypothyroidism, but there are other reasons.  Some docs (not all) say it doesn't matter what the reason for hypo is because the treatment is the same.  I disagree with that for several reasons.  

First of all, Hashi's is an autoimmune disease and in autoimmune disease some other factors become quite important...such as good nutrition, avoiding stress, enough sleep, supplements, etc...bringing the body into balance as much as possible.  Also, if you have an autoimmune disease, you have a 25% increase in developing another autoimmune disease and so I think it's important to know that so one can be alert to other symptoms that might be developing.  

Also, I believe that with Hashi's some folks are so miserable with the antibody attack that they have to totally suppress the thyroid gland by taking a full replacement of thyroid hormone...and that this is the only thing that relieves hypo symptoms.  Most docs (not all) of course, go wild on this, although it's sorta strange that that is what they do with cancer (total suppression) and evidently that's okay, so I sometimes wonder why they don't see the benefit with troublesome cases of Hashimoto's.  

Another reason for knowing if one has Hashi's is because of the genetic link.  If you have children, it would be very beneficial to them to know that they have a predisposition to developing thyroid disease and/or other autoimmune disorder.  This knowledge could save them years of suffering.

So - that's just some of my thoughts on why it is important to know if one's hypo is from Hashimoto's.
Cindi
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Thyroid & Endocrine Center of Florida
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