Thyroid Disorders Community
Rookie with a 5.7 TSH?
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Rookie with a 5.7 TSH?

I think the doctor said my TSH was 5.7 (if that makes sense).  i was put on 25 mcg of thyroxime (sp??)  i went to the doc because my bald spot that we thought was alopecia for the longest time, now think it may be a result of my thyroid.  if my thyroid gets put back in order, will my round bald spot FINALLY grow back???? do you think?  just wondering. now after reading these posts; i think i may have had a few other symptoms, feeling out of it, a little over weight and the weight wouldn't come off.  so i am hoping to feel better in the near future.  if anybody has any insight on what i can expect; it would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks
20 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, 5.7 makes sense for a TSH, and it's a little on the high side, indicating hypothyroidism.

25 mcg is a very small dose of thyroxine.  Did your doctor test FREE T3 and FREE T4 as well?  They are the actual thyroid hormones and much more important than TSH (ascreening test at best).  Without seeing those, it's hard to say what 25 mcg might do for you.  Your should request FT3 and FT4 along with TSH next time.

Once meds are adjusted properly (seldom the initial dose we're prescribed), hair loss, inability to lose weight, brain fog and fatigue should disappear.  

When do you follow up with more blood work?
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Avatar_m_tn
First welcome!

Second I have to ask if you were tested for more than just TSH?  Please post any lab test results you have so folks here can help you sort things out.

If you have not been tested beyond TSH, then you must seek out and maybe even DEMAND that you also be tested for at least the two Thyroid hormones themselves which are "FREE T4 and FREE T3".  Please note the adjective "free" This is to distinguish it from TOTAL T4 and TOTAL T3".

As a basic lesson in thyroid.  

TSH is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone.  the pituitary is like a thermostat and measures the amount of thyroid in the blood. If the pitutitary thinks it needs more thyroid, it produces more TSH telling the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone.  TSH stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  If the pituitary senses too much thyroid in the blood it will cut back on TSH and thus telling the thyroid gland to produce less thyroid hormone.

TSH is extremely vaiable, and the reference ranges are too high so TSH alone is a screening tool at best.

The Thyroid produces both T4 and T3. But vastly more T4 is produced.  T4 is "storage" hormone which is NOT directly used by the body but remains in the bloodstream.  Your body's cells ONLY use t3 hormone. So when the body's cells need thyroid hormone, the T4 in the blood is converted (mostly in the liver) into T3.

To complicate it a bit further.  The hormones floating in your blood some of both T4 and T3 become bound to a protein.  Once the hormone molecule is bound to a protein it is biologically inactive.  In other words, your body can not use the boundT4 to convert to T3 and the body can not use bound T3 at the cellular level.

The reason why I explain the bound and unbound is back to the difference between "free" and "total" tests.  TOTAL as you might expect counts ALL of the hormone whther it is bound to a protein and usable by your body or not.  While "FREE" only counts the hormone that is unbound or "free" from the protein and is available for your body to convert (t4 into T3) or use.

You will see on this site often these tests shortened to FT4 for free T4 and FT3 for free T3 tests.


As to hair loss.  Yes being hypo (low thyroid = higher TSH) can cause hair loss.  There is no gurantee that your bald spot will be eliminated once you get your Thyroid balanced.  But it is also possible that it will fully come back.  Only time will tell.

What are your other symptoms?
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you so much for your quick response. ... Wow.  this is greatly appreciated.  I don't have any paper work on me about what the doctor saw on my blood results.  he just told me it was 5.7 and he gave me meds.  I will call my doc now and see about getting that info.  i am supposed to get my blood work in like 8 weeks to see where my levels are again.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the insight.  my main symptom was my bald spot on my head.  i have had it for a while. . but after reading about this condition; i started thinking, yeah, i do feel foggy sometimes.  so, i an curious to see if i start feeling better besides HOPEFULLY getting my bald spot to grow back.  it's like a decent size chunk in the back of my head. .. i always have to run my fingers through, to make sure that it is covered. ...
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Avatar_f_tn
Ask for reference ranges along with results of your tests.  Ranges vary lab to lab, so you have to get them along with results.
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Avatar_m_tn
Here is what my blood work says:

TSH  5.67   High   0.450 - 4.500

Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab     <6      0 - 34

Antithyroglobulin Ab                  <20     0 - 40
  Siemens (DPC) ICMA Methodology

(hope this all makes sense to you)
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Avatar_m_tn
I guess i didn't get my FREE T3 or FREE T4 tested.  Here is my blood test results:

Here is what my blood work says:

TSH  5.67   High   0.450 - 4.500

Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO) Ab     <6      0 - 34

Antithyroglobulin Ab                  <20     0 - 40
  Siemens (DPC) ICMA Methodology

(hope this all makes sense to you)
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Avatar_f_tn
Your TPOab and TGab are both within range.  That indicates that you do not have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, which is the most prevalent cause of hypothyroidism in the developed world.  

Your TSH is high, though, and that does indicate you might be hypo from some other cause.  

TSH is very volatile (can change as much as 70% just with the time the blood is drawn).  It's a very unreliable indicator of thyroid status.  If I were you, I'd request FT3 and FT4.  Those will give you a lot more information about what your thyroid's doing and will help you evaluate what the meds are doing for you.

When are you supposed to go back for more blood work?
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Avatar_m_tn
The doctor said 8 weeks. I just started the 25 mcg two days ago. So on Monday I will call the doctor to request the FT3 and FT4 test to be done. Is it just more bloodwork? Will I need to fast or anything for these tests?

I understand you don't have enough tests results from me yet; but what other possible reasons could my TSH be high? I am also waiting to hear back from the doctor about my MRI results. . ( I think that's what it is called, they took pictures of my thyroid)

Thanks again for your feedback.
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Avatar_f_tn
No, you don't have to fast for any thyroid blood work (and, yes, it's a simple blood test).  However, it is important to have your blood drawn at approximately the same time of day each time.  It doesn't matter what time, just try to be as consistent as possible.  TSH, for example, can vary as much as 70% during the day, and if that's what your doctor is primarily looking at (I hope not), it can set you on a rollercoaster of increases and decreases in meds.

TSH is a pituitary hormone, so it can be elevated even when FT3 and FT4 levels are good, due to pituitary dysfunction.  There's a whole complex feedback cycle...the thyroid produces hormones, the hypothalamus (in your brain) evaluates thyroid hormone levels and lets your pituitary know if they're too high or too low, and the pituitary responds by producing more or less TSH.  Any disturbance in that cycle can affect TSH.  However, I don't think I'd worry about any of that at the stage you're at in your treatment right now.

Did you perhaps have a thyroid ultrasound?  MRIs are sometimes ordered, but the more usual approach is to order the relatively inexpensive ultrasound first.    
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Avatar_m_tn
Oh sorry, I think that is what I got. I got an ultrasound on Tuesday, the 10th. So I still have yet to hear from the doctor about the results. I can be sure to get my blood drawn at same time, I go on my lunch break. I really think my doctor went off the fact that I have been having my bald spots in spots on my hair for the past few years AND those blood tests came back raised 2 different times. But I will ask to get the FT3 and FT4 bloodwork.

That all being said, about 20 yrs ago I had a bad head injury as a teen and as a result, I needed tracheal reconstruction. . . A ring of granular tissue was removed from my airway. Maybe my thyroid got damaged?!?
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Avatar_f_tn
That's a possibility.  Some people just don't know why their thyroids go bad.  If it was due to the trauma, you'd think it might have shown up sooner than 20 years, but who knows?  Also, as we age, demands for hormones change.  Perhaps your thyroid could keep up with demand when you were younger, but not as well now???  Just speculating...

Keep us posted...  
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Avatar_m_tn
I just spoke with my doctors office.  I am going to get the blood work for the FT3 and FT4.  I have a ? for you though; now that I am taking 25 mcg; will that have an effect on how my blood work reads?!?  
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes, the blood work will reflect both your natural thyroid function and the meds you take.  However, it takes meds 4-6 weeks to reach their full potential in your blood.  How long have you been taking them?  Of course, once that 4-6 weeks has gone by, that's exactly what we want to know...what effect the meds have had on our levels.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well I just got on my meds.... I have only been on them for a week or so. I originally got my TSH, and that was a 5.7.  So the doctor put me on the 25 mcg.  Since the TSH is very volatile, you suggested the FT3 and FT4.  So should I wait until after I am on the meds for 4 - 6 weeks before I get the blood work?
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Avatar_f_tn
If you can get in to get blood work real soon, I think I'd do it now.  The meds you've been taking (a very low dose) will affect your labs, but it's the closest you're going to get to unmedicated FT3 and FT4.  You'll still be able to see after 4-6 weeks the majority of the effect it's had on your levels.  If you can't get in within the next day or so, I'd probably wait until the 4-6 weeks is up.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Head injuries often times can mess up the Pituitary gland which is of course in the brain.  And as noted above the Pituitary plays a part in the entire thyroid complex system.  

it is the Pituitary that produces TSH.  Thus if it is not sensing things correctly it can cause all sorts of problems.  But with 20 years it would seem like other issues may have arisen but maybe you were always a bit hypo and just lived with it.  As you age thyroid hormone seems to be reduced. So it may have been just starting to show the signs now.

As I stated in my post above, you are taking a T4 medication. So that helps improve the levels of T4 in your blood.  The theory is that if you take by medication what your thyroid is no longer producing, then you'll have enough thyroid T4 to convert to T3 and you'll go along just fine.

Some people one pill once a day once they figure out their dosage and they are fine. Other people here on this forum things were not that easy or simple and their journey to wellness is a bumpy road.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have graves just for a few months, it use to be hypo last year. I just became hyper. I cant see anything at night when im driving the last couple of days just bright blury lights.and left eye is out just a little.im on mmi and just started prednisone for a week for immflamation.Does anyone have any suggestions. I have been on mmi for only 3 weeks now . It feel like im going blind.I couldnt go to work today be cause i couldnt see clear for abouty 6 hours. I dont know what to do
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Avatar_f_tn
I think you should contact your doctor about your vision issues.  That's nothing to fool around with.  What is it that you're calling "mmi"?
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1139187_tn?1355710247
Also, are you male or female?

If you are male, the bald spot could be from male pattern baldness, a imbalance in the testosterone system could cause this.  We have good testosterone as well as bad.  Drugs such at rogaine and propecia can help with this, but i personally did not do well on propecia.  It did weird things to me.

Propecia is a brand name but it is actually Finasteride.
Finasteride (Proscar) is used alone or in combination with another medication (doxazosin [Cardura]) to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH, enlargement of the prostate gland). Finasteride is used to treat symptoms of BPH such as frequent and difficult urination and may reduce the chance of acute urinary retention (sudden inability to urinate). It also may decrease the chance that prostate surgery will be needed. Finasteride (Propecia) is also used to treat male pattern hair loss (gradual thinning of the hair on the scalp, leading to a receding hairline or balding on the top of the head in men.) Finasteride (Propecia) has not been shown to treat thinning hair at the temples and is not used to treat hair loss in women or children. Finasteride is in a class of medications called 5-alpha reductase inhibitors. Finasteride treats BPH by blocking the body's production of a male hormone that causes the prostate to enlarge. Finasteride treats male pattern hair loss by blocking the body's production of a male hormone in the scalp that stops hair growth.

Have you ever had your testosterone tested?  (if you are a male)?
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