Thyroid Disorders Community
Hypothyroidism in Men
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This patient support community is for discussions relating to thyroid issues, goiter, Graves disease, Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, Human Growth Hormone (HGH), hyperthyroid, hypothyroid, metabolism, parathyroid, pituitary gland, thyroiditis, and thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

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Hypothyroidism in Men

This morning I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism (male, 35 y/o). My TSH was at 5.16 with lab ranges of 0.450 - 4.500.  The labs did not include T3/T4 results or ranges.  I have a long history of hypothyroidism in my family, including my mother, grandmother and elder brother.

In discussing this with the doctor, I felt that the TSH level wasn't super high and wondered if medical intervention was necessary at this juncture.  I am very reluctant to take medication for the rest of my life, but my doc was pretty convinced that I should start the meds. As the conversation continued and the doctor began explaining some of the symptoms of hypo (fatigue, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, etc.), I realized that I had many of these issues for years, but certainly not all of or even most of the symptoms.  

I was able to lose weight rapidly (40 lbs in 2.5 months) with a VERY strict diet and exercise plan, but gained most of the weight back within a few months after ending the strict diet and reducing my exercise from 7 days a week to 3.  

I filled the prescription this morning and took the first pill, but still wonder if a life commitment of medication is worth it.  Can anyone provide me with their own stories/experiences/opinions?  
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Avatar_m_tn
TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that it is inadequate as the sole diagnostic for Thyroid issues.  At best it is an indicator to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms and also levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4.  Of these Free T3 is the most important test because it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.   Scientific studies have shown that Free T3 correlated best with hypo symptoms while Free T4 and TSH did not correlate.  

Your TSH level does suggest the possibility of being hypo.  Your symptoms are the best evidence of being hypo.  You really need to be tested for Free T3 and Free T4 (not the same as Total T3 and Total T4), to provide further confirmation.  If the doctor resists, I suggest that you should insist on it and don't take no for an answer.  I would also suggest that you should be tested for thyroid antibodies, associated with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.  Hashi's is the most commonly identified cause of hypothyroidism.  

When lab tests are available, please post results and their reference ranges shown on the lab report and members will be glad to help interpret and advise further.

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Avatar_m_tn
Just noticed that I did not mention the specific tests for the thyroid antibodies.  They are TPO ab and TG ab.
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Avatar_m_tn
I am sure I gad Thyroid disease in my thirties also, I never had any symptoms other than a slightly elevated cholesterol level, but when I hit 58 things really started going down hill, I started out with insomnia and had to quit work because I could not sleep, and that made the fatigue worse, but everyone is different as far as symptoms go, some get most of them and others only a few, it seemed in my case, I had all of them hit me at once, it then took a year before I found an MD that diagnosed me with Hashimoto's. Then it took another two years to get close to being stable. I wish I had been on medication earlier and saved a lot of misery and mental stress. it is not just a matter of taking a pill every day, it is a change in life style. Good Luck and Best Regards FTB4
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you both for your thoughtful responses.  I will ask for the TPO ab and TG ab tests when I go in for the next round of lab work.  I really appreciate the feedback.
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Avatar_m_tn
You wonder if a life commitment of taking a pill is worth it.

Well the choice is to feel like crap the rest of your life.  To me the choice is clear.  But everyone has to make their own decision.

And if you have Hashi's the question really isn't WILL you take medicine. But WHEN, depending upon how bad to you have to feel before you start taking the medicine.
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