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Great Concern about Wife and Hypothyroid Problems
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Great Concern about Wife and Hypothyroid Problems

Greetings:

  My wife has been sick for about three months now and I am very concerned. Here is the sequence of events.

1) This summer she was in very good physical shape and feeling great. Due to ongoing PMS problems ( worse in the last 5 years ), she decided to see a Doctor specializing in this problem. This doctor is a strong believer in natural treatments.

2) The doctor placed her on natural progesterone cream and a whole series of vitamin suplements in August. This cause heavy bleeding in the second month. This has gone away.

3) My wife developed sinusitis in late september and had a bad time getting rid of it. She took one antibiotic and it worked but she stopped taking it too early and got the sinusitis back. She took a full course of another antibiotic and then a full course of a third antibiotic before she finally put this at bay, although I am not completely sure it is all gone even now.

4) During this time of sickness, the doctor said her thyroid levels were wrong and started her on a natural thyroid suplement.  There is also talk of antibodies being too high and the term hypothyroidism used. She has been off work for 5 weeks, went back to work for one week, then has taken two more weeks off, and now still feels poorly and does not feel she can go back to work at this time. She is constantly week, has constant yeast infections, and is tired and sleepy. Here weight has been stable through all of this.

CONTINUED .......
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CONTINUED ....

The thyroid medication does not seem to help, doctors are never easily available, an endocrynologist doing her a favour and booking her early will not see her until the end of February.

I cannot help but think the doctor she is seeing is the cause of the problem and that maybe she should stop all of the progesterone cream and the vitamins and just concentrate on the thyroid.

She just stays at home, week, yeast infections, colds , tired and getting depressed.

Is it possible that even after taking the natural thyroid supplement for two months that you do not feel better yet?? The doctor, who vacations a lot, seems to think that the levels and antibodies are still high. She is taking another blood test now and we are awaiting results.

My wife is 43 and up until September was doing great, aside from bad PMS. I am taking care of the kids and so far they are ok, and she is doing her best just to do a few things around the home. I am very worried !!!!!!

There is no help just questions and uncertainty. Please help her LORD.

I will try to get all of her tests and post all of the levels.

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Antibodies are not curable or treatable and they wax and wane for no understood reason. They are seen in other thyroid conditions, other autoimmune disorders and people with normal healthy thyroids.

Get her on antidepressants.  Depression is no stranger to thyroid conditions.  A lot of us here are on one form or another of antidepressants. It helps us get over the rough spots of thyroid disease and for some of us its just a temporary thing.

Make sure thyroid panel: TSH, FT-4 and FT-3 are done, get copies with Labs reference range.
FTs because estrogen will not affect them as it does the totals (T-4 and T-3).  Post the test when you get them.  Also the name of the natural medication.  Some thyroid people have to change medication because they do not do well on them.

No matter how many symptoms can be cured by treatment, that little pill, tiredness seems to be a permanent situation in thyroid.

If you are in the States, not a HMOer,  and you are not satisfied with the doctor then fire him and get another.  Its your money and your wife's body and health.

Also keep in mind that there are a lot of other health conditions that share some of the same symptoms of thyroid and some times this makes it difficult for doctors to find answers, solutions, and treatments.

Hang in there, with proper treatment she should be back to at least 95% of her self again.

Good luck to the both of you and your family.



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Please find a good endocrinologist and schedule her for an appointment.  Keep a log of everything that she has been through (dates, vitamins, supplements, symptoms, etc.) to give to the endocrinologist.  When calling endocrinologists, make sure that he/she specializes in thyroid conditions (most specialize in diabetes).

Thyroid conditions are not something to be messed with!  Most regular physicians will not attempt to work with thyroid conditions (let alone someone who is a "PMS Specialist" dealing in natural cures).  How did this doctor determine that she has antibodies?  If she truly does, she needs to be seeing a specialist.

Thyroids are part of the endocrine system - so are ovaries and the pancreas.  Your wife's ongoing yeast infections could be a symptom of antibiotic overload and/or a blood glucose problem.  A good endocrinologist can check for glucose problems too (make sure to log those symptoms too).  Meanwhile have her take acidophilus which is available from health food stores and in most grocery stores.  Yogurt with active cultures will help too.  Too many antibiotics will kill off the good flora in the body as well as bacteria - this can upset her entire system.  She should also avoid carbs while doing this (breads, beer - espeically things with yeast).

Another problem with the endocrine system can be ovarian problems and thyroid levels being off can affect "PMS" type symptoms (moodiness, hot flashes, fatigue, etc.).  Many of us with thyroid problems also experience ovarian cysts.

Your wife needs a full workup from an endocrinologist - when you call them mention she has been unable to go to work for weeks.  Maybe you can get her in quicker.  Your hosptial may be a good reference source for a thyroid specialist.

I'm sorry you and your wife have been through all of this but the right medical professional should have her back on track.  Be patient though, sometimes it can take months to stabilize a thyroid condition.

My best to both of you!  Please keep us posted.
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Thank you UtahMomma and GravesLady !!

I have been away for a few days with one of my children and have just returned. Coincidentally while away, I got into a discussion with a woman who has suffered for 7 years with problems until she discovered she had a thyroid problem and got help from a good endocrynologist. She gave me the name of the endocrynologist and thinks that I may be able to fast track an appointment with this doctor because she has become a very good friend of the doctor and the secretary. I will try to call when they reopen Jan 3.

To UtahMomma:

  1) Funny you mentioned ovarian cysts. My wife has polycystic ovararies. We have know about this for many years and it caused us quite a bit of problems getting pregnant the first time. I was always convinced that this was the root of the PMS problems as well.

  2) Diflucan was fixing the yeast infections, but seems to be losing its effectiveness when she takes it now. As well, my wife does not want to take it because she is worried about its effects and I don't blame her. My wife eats a probiotic yoghurt every day. One side note, my wife loves grapes and eats a lot of them, I have often asked her to stop because I think this promotes the yeast infections, but she thinks that I am wrong.

I am still working on getting all test results and will post when I have everything and can coherently post a proper profile.

How a person can go from excellent health ( asside from the PMS ) to this weakened state in such a short time is sure upsetting. The sinus problems still seem to be there as well and are causing some discomfort, we will have to continue checking on that as well. My wife has simple allergies ( cat hair, etc ) which for all I know could also be contributing to the general cold like symptoms or malaise.

I still wonder if the progesterone cream which she started taking along with all of the supplements caused all of this, even though I have read that it is exactly what a person should be taking in conjunction with thyroxin to stop both the thyroid problems and the PMS problems. Perhaps she had the paradoxical effect of the intended effects of these medications. I don't know ???



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Funny you mentioned grapes.  I'm Type II diabetic too (happened after my thyroid problems - it's all related) and grapes are my weakness.  I have found that if I have too many (more than 20 at a time) my blood sugar goes through the roof.  It's one of the few fruits that diabetics have to watch for.  Another sign of diabetes (or glucose problems, I should say) is recurrent yeast infections.  Fresh blueberries are a great (but more expensive) substitute for grapes and are loaded with antioxidants.

Please have the endocrinologist check her antibodies and glucose levels too.  There is a HUGE correlation between PCOS, thyroid conditions, and Type II diabetes.  Not sure if it's an unaddressed autoimmune syndrome or an endocrine problem but it often all shows up together.

I'm glad you may be able to fast track the endo - sometimes it can take months to get in to one.  Please tell your wife to be careful with the progesterone cream - hormonal imbalances often lead to a surge in ovarian cysts.  The PMS symptoms she may be experiencing MAY all be thyroid related and the progesterone cream is just aggravating the PCOS.  One good thing about PCOS is many doctors will use Metformin (glucophage) to control it and that is the same oral medication Type II diabetics will be put on.

Also be careful with the natural thyroid supplements (oh, I'm going to get flamed over this one) - many doctors and medical web sites will warn that the natural supplements aren't predictable and the strengths vary from batch to batch.

I know this is a lot to digest.  Have your wife write down all her medical history, prescriptions, other medications (OTC, vitamins, progesterone cream, etc.), and ALL symptoms - whether she sees a correlation or not (including any body aches, depression, etc.).  It might lead the endo towards a diagnosis.

Keep close tabs on her depression. If she is suffering from thyroid issues she could go from "blue" to frighteningly depressed very quickly.  Many of us here are on antidepressants - it seems when one system goes haywire it messes up the brain chemistry too.

Hang in there, this can be a bumpy road but she's really going to need you right now.  And you've got us to lean on because you're going to need support too!
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My wife saw the Endocrynologist today and he was not impressed at all with the fact that the Natural doctor had her on the progesterone cream, all of the supplements, or the natural thyroid drug. He says she has Hashimoto's and has suggested the following:

  Stop  1) Stop taking Progesterone cream
        2) Stop all supplements and iron
        3) Stop Natural thyroid medication

  Take 1 tablet of synthroid  .1 Mg  each day and come back in 6 weeks.

I both agree and disagree with this stance. On the one hand, I am concerned about suddenly stopping all of the supplements and the progesterone and going cold turkey. As well, maybe the progesterone was helping.

On the other hand, his basic approach is: I can only treat one problem and do not want all of these other things mucking things up and clouding the underlying problem of Hashimotos.

I am quite unsure, but my wife want to follow this advice.

BMR
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It sounds like sound advice. Physicians who want to uncloud a picture and see what is really going on (and what to do about it) are far more trustworthy than the ones who willingly hand over two or three or four prescriptions at once, just to keep their patients happy (or at least, such physicians assume that their approach will keep people happy). Furthermore, quitting the supplements cold turkey may make your wife feel quite a bit better, not worse. As for the natural thyroid medication, it is of the highest importance that she NOT take it while taking Synthroid.

I have two pieces of advice to offer in addition to what the physician has provided. One: Your wife (or you, if she is not up to it) should keep a daily log of symptoms and any factors that seem to be related. A day-by-day detailed log can be a big help in a situation like your wife's. Maybe the progesterone WAS helping her. I take progesterone (the one that is chemically identical to what the body produces) in pill form. It has turned out to be highly important to my ability to sleep. When I went off it for a week and then showed my endocrinologist my symptoms logs, he suggested I start the progesterone again.

I see from previous comments that you have been given the "keep a log" advice before. It is important to keep a log going in order to get the best help possible from the endocrinologist.

My other piece of advice: If your wife feels crummy enough to want to go back to the endocrinologist before six weeks are "up," she should. I needed to have my dose of levothyroxine (same as synthroid) increased sooner than six weeks after I started taking it. This was my endocrinologist's judgment, after looking at my symptoms logs (sorry to be a broken record about this!) and then ordering a blood test. It would have been too bad if I had waited six weeks no matter how I felt, because I would have suffered needlessly.

If your wife wants to follow the endocrinologist's advice, then I hope it means that she felt comfortable with him and with what he said. Having a good feeling about her endocrinologist is highly important in her situation. If she feels that she will get good care from him, then she should lead the way in deciding whether to follow his advice. It does sound like good advice with a couple of additions. ;o)
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My wife has decided to take the Endocrynologist's advice and go off everything but the synthroid. She has being doing this so far for the last 6 days.

So far, she seems to be ok, although not unexpectanty, she has began a period in the middle of her cycle, due to the not taking the progesterone.

As for the log idea, she has been quite good about doing this for some time now, due to the pms problems, and thus is doing so in a more detailed fashion now.

I sure hope that she gets better, I am keeping my fingers crossed and praying for her.

BMR
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Thanks for the update! It is good news that your wife is doing okay after six days of Synthroid alone. I am sure that she WILL get better. It will be a somewhat slow process, however; most people cannot hope to notice even a small improvement for at least two weeks (bare minimum).

In addition, you both should be prepared for some ups and downs in how well your wife feels. I may not be typical, although with thyroid problems, it sometimes is difficult to figure out whether there IS a typical in some areas. I only know that the surprise to me during the process of getting established on medication (the same one your wife is taking) has been how much I have felt as if I was on a slowly moving roller coaster ride. A day during which I feel wonderful and back to normal again will pop up in the middle of several days of feeling pretty blah.

I also have been surprised by the effect that a thyroid problem can have on emotions. It is easy to worry about something that is not worth worrying about. No matter how often I have read the comment "You WILL get better," I have had a secret fear that I would somehow get stuck in my unwell state and have to live this way forever. It was only my thyroid struggles making me feel this way, I am sure. Now that I have been on medication for many weeks, I am seeing light at the end of the tunnel, and I am understanding: If a person has to have a medical condition, an underperforming thyroid gland is not a bad one to have. The problem can be repaired.

A lot of patience is needed, however, along with supportiveness from the thyroid sufferer's nearest and dearest. I am glad that you are concerned and involved. It is very important, because your wife may be feeling as if she has had the rug pulled out from under her emotionally. Her story and mine are highly similar, in that I went from feeling great to being almost flat on my back, and oh, the depression that an inadequate thyroid gland can produce. I have been fortunate in having caring people around me who provide lots of sympathy and support. It makes a huge difference during a process that requires a lot of patience and sometimes a lot of time.

Three cheers for your wife for being diligent about keeping a symptoms log. It sounds as if both of you are doing everything you can do while waiting for the medication to begin doing its job. I am keeping my fingers crossed for you both, and I will keep you in my prayers.

Wishing you well,
Jenny
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My wife has just returned from the Endocrynologist and is very upset. She has been taking the synthroid for about 6 weeks now and has been taking .1 mg. Slowly over time she seems to again be losing more and more energy and not feeling very strong. She is weak, tired , cold feet and hands, dizzy, and of course depressed by this all. This weekend she took a double dose on the sat and the sun and seemed to have a boost and felt a bit better.

Thus when she saw the endo she assumed he would say that she just needed a larger dose. The endo went over the latest blood tests that were taken last tuesday, and keep in mind that she took the .1mg every day up to that point. He says that her thyroid is now showing normal, that she should be ok, that he cannot identify the reason for her weakness and problems and that she should have been back at work 6 weeks ago and does not even know why she needs him anymore. He did comment that her iron was low. Thus he gave her a prescription for iron medication and vitamin D and sent her on her way quite abruptly.

Please help !!!   I am most concerned

BMR
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