Still trying to figure out why my rT3 went up and symptoms came back, feeling SO lousy and have gained 20 lbs. The endo I saw in Nov. suggested bi-polar medications. That oughtta work, seeing as how my FREE labs are in the toilet and my TSH suppressed. Good call. My PCP is concerned that after going off T4 for 3 months and lowering the rT3, as soon as I went back on a small amount, my rT3 went right back up. She dismisses anything the endo said but still wants me to find a new specialist. She has no idea what to tell me to do with my medications for something so arcane...So, off the thyroid top doc list, I found a D.O. (doctor of functional medicine) whose office said she is an expert in rT3 and thyroid.
I took her all my labs but she hardly looked at them. She kept insisting that I had an auto-immune problem even though I kept telling her I didn't....I've been tested 4 times including last month and neither test shows my antibodies elevated.
She talked the new party line : gluten sensitivity / leaky gut / food allergies / heavy metal toxicity blahblahblah
Having not really studied my labs, I didn't get the feeling she was tailoring this analysis particularly to me. She seemed to has a sads face when she saw I was already taking all the supplements she wanted to sell me...then she started to talk to me about "cobalamin chelation therapy" when I stopped her and pointed out that, as prescribed for pernicious anemia I had been taking methycobalamin B-12 daily for 8 years and that my blood levels for B-12 are perfect. "Oh" she said.
So then she told me I must have food allergies, especially gluten, and probably candida too. When I told her I'd been tested every which way from Friday for them, by prick test, by RAST, by other very sensitive immune system tests (because after mold exposure I get respiratory infections all the time and have a rash) and that the only thing I'm allergic to is very mild dust mite like every other person in America, she told me I hadn't had the right tests and insisted I had to have expensive IgG testing not covered by my insurance. I told her i'd had both a colonoscopy AND an endoscopy with no GERD etc.....though I was very bloated like this and had edema THEN too, before I was put on thyroid meds (which fixed it in about 10 days after T3 was added) She insisted that I could have developed new food allergies even within the last month.
Anyway, bottom line, against my better judgement I shelled out $190.00 for her special test from Great Plains Laboratory in Lenexa, Kansas. Coincidentally I had an appointment with my gynecologist the following day and my immunologist the day after that. When I got home I'd done an internet search about the validity of IgG testing for food allergy and everything I read said it wasn't valid. As if I didn't feel stupid enough, both my gynecologist (who believes in the book Wheatbelly etc. and will only prescribe bio-identical hormones) and the immunlogist said the test has no meaning. The immunologist (who is also a doctor of Chinese medicine and Chinese himself) told me that at best the test would show me which foods I'd eaten in my life, period, and that patients come in dragging this kind of expensive testing with them every day to him, saying they must have food allergies when they don't. In the meantime I've had recent inflammation tests...not inflamed. Natural killer cell tests all normal. Immunoglobulin tests all normal. C-reactive protein test normal. Hemoglobin A1C test normal. And not just sort of normal. REALLY GOOD.
So today I get the results of the IgG test back and guess what ? All the tests, including for candida and gluten, failed to show anything but not significant or low reactions except for ONE thing : coffee, which was off the charts. And I haven't drunk coffee since 1983 and don't drink colas or anything else containing coffee either. So go figure. SAVE YOUR MONEY, people. I'm debating whether to go back to the D.O. just to see what she has to say. In the meantime, my hypo symptoms are worsening. Thoughts ? Only thing LOW from all that immune testing was :
DHEA-SULFATE 25.09 L ( 34.50 - 568.92 )
Todays lab results :
50 mcg. levothyroxine (going back on it for the last 2 months, was taking 150 mcg. before rT3 reaction, titrating up)
30 mcg Cytomel (usual dose)
CORTISOL Total ( draw at 2:30 pm, fasting since 8pm previous day) 10.2 (pm 3.0 - 17.0 )
TSH .02 L ( .40 - 4.50 )
FREE T4 .9 ( .8 - 1.8 )
FREE T4 Direct .8 ( .8 - 2.7 ) these are w/ the "new" reagent, so test shows higher !
FREE T3 2.9 (2.3 - 4.2 )
Reverse T3 21 ( 11 - 32 ) ratio to FREE T3 is 1.4, should be above 2.0
Reverse T3 is climbing on same dose of T4 and T3. Cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure climbing, near top of ranges whereas before rT3 were in a good low part of the range. Tinnitus and edema out of control, foot spasms and hair loss and quick weight gain.
Yes, had it done last October, when I had been off T4 for one month and hadn't taken T3 for 32 hours :
FERRITIN 115 ( 20 - 288 )
(Losing my mind, no lie. Can't think of anything else to test for. Maybe I'm one of those people who can't take T4 ? I found a test I had way back in August of 2009 for rT3, but they only tested T3 uptake, so I don't know how to factor the ratio. At that time, the rT3 was 186 with a range of ( 90 - 350 ) and my TSH was .012. sigh.)
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is secreted by the adrenal glands, and also produced in the gonads (testes and ovaries), and brain. DHEA is precursor for steroid hormones such as testosterone and estrogen, an important regulator of the thyroid and pituitary glands, and is shown to lower LDL and total cholesterol and improve insulin resistance.
Causes of low DHEA include age (DHEA peaks at age 25 then declines at a rate of about 2% per year); prolonged stress, depression or anxiety; disease; sugar; nicotine; caffeine; alcohol; nutritional imbalances; a vegetarian diet low in cholesterol and healthy fats. Studies suggest that low DHEA-S might be a prognostic marker and sign of exhausted adrenal glands (Hunt et al. 2000; Beishuizen et al. 2002).
Symptoms of DHEA deficiency include:
Loss of libido (especially in women)
Dry eyes, skin and hair
Difficulty in losing weight
Hair loss (including armpit and pubic)
Elevated anxiety and stress levels
Weakened immune system
Increased sensitivity to noise
Loss of muscle and bone mass
Less fatty tissue in the pubic region (flat mound of venus)
Natural way to raise low DHEA levels include eating healthy fats such as eggs, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds that are high in omega-3 fatty acids; avoid sodas, sweets, and other junk foods that can stress the body; moderate exercise and reduce stress. There is also DHEA supplements available.
Life Extension DHEA supplement protocol:
Men: 25 mg three times a day
Women: 15 mg three times a day
A DHEA blood test should be taken 3 - 6 weeks after beginning DHEA to help determine optimal dosing. If side effects appear, it may be possible to add 7-Keto DHEA and reduce the dose of DHEA.
Side effects that have been reported with DHEA use including acne, increased facial hair, excessive sweating, breast tenderness, weight gain, changes in mood, headache, oily skin and changes in menstrual patterns.
Do not use DHEA if you are at risk for or have been diagnosed as having any type of hormonal cancer such as breast or prostate cancer.
Excellent information, thank you !!! I'm seeing my gynecologist who ordered the DHEA test) next week and will discuss. I've been saying all along that this has got to be an adrenal/conversion problem. I'll print your information and take it with me, and also do some research too.
Your TSH is low along with your FT4 and FT3 , also, with Your DHEA being so low, I wonder if you might have a pituitary problem.
Those same 3 thyroid tests were all low together on me, also, as was my DHEA and my testosterone----evntually learned my progesterone was low, Vit D was low ferritin was low, etc. etc.
I take 30 mgs of DHEA daily because my levels had dropped so low. My own doctor had told me I was taking too much when i told him I had been taking 25 mgs--then he did blood work, saw how low it was, and raised it to 20, 3 months later, it had raised, but not enough--so now I take 30 mgs.
I just went through a bunch of allergy testing, also--not sure I trust it, either. I have atopic dermatitis and my sensitive skin is not supposed to be exactly reliable because it could react to things that I am not really allergic to.
I had the testing done because i have a condition called eosinophilc esophagitis---interestingly enough, I read somewhere that low cortisol can increase the amount of eosinophils you have and I have also heard that low thyroid can cause you to have more allergies-------wonder if my conditions are related to my central hypothyroidism--which is a form of hypopituitarism---I believe it was red star that pointed out to me what exactly central hypothyroidism meant---I just knew I had multiple endocrine issues and that it was related to my pituitary.
Thanks for responding, so interesting . I have been telling endocrinologists since 2009 (when I finally started researching after being told for 4 years that my TSH was fine at 1.89 while I had every hypo symptom) that I think I have a disruption in the hypothalamus/pituitary/thyroid loop and/or a conversion problem. I even lobbied my HMO to let me go to the pituitary center at Cedars Sinai here in LA...it took months to get permission and then (even though my cortisol was slightly high out of range) the endo there said I was fine because of my TSH. It's so frustrating. Not to mention that all the doctors would test T3 AFTER I had taken Cytomel and then say it was too high and lower it or take me off it and then I would quickly get a return of terrible symptoms.
I have a ba-gillion labs dating back to 2005 but I think this time if I find a new doctor I am only going to take these current labs and let them work from that. My Vitamin D is only 64 (30 - 100) though I am taking 20,000 units of D-3 sublingually, per day. I had to force my doc to even test it, and when she finally did, saying it was a superfluous test.... it was only 25. She was *shocked* I tell you. *shocked*
Rash and respiratory problems can both be related to low thyroid, and I have both. My eosinophil count is at the bottom of the range. Do you feel you're on the proper dose of thyroid hormones now ? How have you been tested for central hypo ? What thyroid meds do you take ?
Glad to help out. The info i've gathered is from numerous websites but there is a lot more info out there. :) My doctor said no action needed when vitamin D levels were still clearly deficient *rolls eyes*
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