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Severe Hypothyroid: memory loss
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Severe Hypothyroid: memory loss

I am a white, 38 year old, 106 lb female.  I was diagnosed by GP in September of 2001 with Hypothyroidism.  My level then was what they called a 4.27.  I was put on 25mcg of levothyroxine and went back for blood work in 6 weeks.  Levels had come down but not enough so i was bumped up to 50mcg of levothyroxine.  Went back in another 6 weeks and they told me I leveled out and would stay at 50mcg...see me back in 6 months.  I went back this past tuesday after forgetting an appointment I had made last month. I went in for bloodwork in the am and went back to talk to the doctor later that day...He had already gotten my bloodwork back and said it was at an 8.63 which was dangerous for someone of my age/size...and bumped me up to 75 mcg of levothyroxine. With a recheck in 6 weeks. I have been having severe memory problems, lost 10 lbs in less than 2 weeks, bruising on legs from the smallest touches, popped blood vessels on legs as well,severe heart palapatations, muscle pain right to my bones...can't get the shower hot enough and am freezing all the time(it's 90 plus outside right now and i am cold!)...the list goes on...I also; in between, have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder called vitaligo and am losing the color of my skin on my hands and face and elbows...and have had bumps on my fingers that i have had to have removed can't remember what they are called...look like cysts but they aren't...and have had a kidney infection and UTI's.  But my main complaint is the memory loss.  No goiters noted or any nodules.  Who knows how long I have been at an 8.63, could be 6 months.  My memory loss is conflicting with my job...I was let go early today with pay...and they will call me monday to let me know if I still have a job or not....this is ruining my life.  I don't know what to do.  As they tell me as I am walking out the door to "enjoy the paid day off and a long weekend...and don't worry about your job"...um... thats all i can think about. as a widowed mother of a 16 year old...that lives paycheck to paycheck!  I am in NY State, can I be fired for a health condition?  I've called and asked my GP to refer me to an Endo ...I think thats a good move.  Any insight please...no one understands what this is doing to me mentaly, let alone phyically.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Since it appears that you doctor is diagnosing and treating you based on TSH alone, you need to know that doesn't work.  TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that at best it is an indicator, to be considered along with much more important indicators such as symptoms (of which you have plenty), and also levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4.  Of these Free T3 is the most important, because it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.  Scientific studies have also shown that Free T3 correlated best with hypo symptoms, while Free T4 and TSH did not correlate at all.

So I think that your number one priority should be to get tested for Free T34 and Free T4 (not the same as Total T3 and T4), along with the TSH.  If the doctor resists and makes excuses that it is not necessary, just insist on it and don't take no for an answer.  You should also be tested for Vitamin A, D, B12, ferritin, and a full iron test panel.  


I would also suggest that you test for the thyroid antibodies to see if you have the autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is the most common cause of diagnosed hypothyroidism.. Those tests are TPO ab and TG ab.

When test results are available, please get a copy of the lab report and post results and their reference ranges and members will be glad to hlep interpret and advise further.  
15 Comments Post a Comment
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198727_tn?1352057982
I ment to say 2011 not 2001...
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Avatar_m_tn
Since it appears that you doctor is diagnosing and treating you based on TSH alone, you need to know that doesn't work.  TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that at best it is an indicator, to be considered along with much more important indicators such as symptoms (of which you have plenty), and also levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4.  Of these Free T3 is the most important, because it largely regulates metabolism and many other body functions.  Scientific studies have also shown that Free T3 correlated best with hypo symptoms, while Free T4 and TSH did not correlate at all.

So I think that your number one priority should be to get tested for Free T34 and Free T4 (not the same as Total T3 and T4), along with the TSH.  If the doctor resists and makes excuses that it is not necessary, just insist on it and don't take no for an answer.  You should also be tested for Vitamin A, D, B12, ferritin, and a full iron test panel.  


I would also suggest that you test for the thyroid antibodies to see if you have the autoimmune disorder called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is the most common cause of diagnosed hypothyroidism.. Those tests are TPO ab and TG ab.

When test results are available, please get a copy of the lab report and post results and their reference ranges and members will be glad to hlep interpret and advise further.  
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198727_tn?1352057982
Is it normal for the thyroid to make such a huge jump like that after is has been under control?
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198727_tn?1352057982
Thank you so much...I am still fairly new at this whole ordeal...and am so glad there are people like you out there to help guide me along!  I'm waiting on a call back from the doctor to get a referral to Edno...probably won't hear from them till tuesday.  Which does't help me and my job at all...but I will try to keep emotions under control as best I can...and I will ask for these tests you have told me about...Thank you! And will post results when I get them.
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Avatar_m_tn
TSH is so variable that is not really something to worry about.  Just focus on the Free T3 and Free T4 levels.  Many of our members report that symptom relief for them required that Free T3 was adjusted into the upper third of its range and Free T4 adjusted to around the middle of its range.

A good thyroid doctor will treat a hypo patient clinically by testing and adjusting Free T3 and Free T4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels.  Symptom relief should be all important for you, not just test results, and especially not TSH.

Based on your diagnosis and treatment so far, you may well have to find a new doctor that will treat you clinically as I described.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Also meant to mention that vitiligo can be associated with having the autoimmune disease Hashimoto's.  Note this.  "Other risk factors that increase one's chances of developing vitiligo include having autoimmune diseases, such as autoimmune thyroid disease (Hashimoto's thyroiditis)."
So that is why I mentioned testing for the thyroid antibodies.  Having Hashi's could also contribute to the changing TSH levels.

With Hashi's, the autoimmune system produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland until, over an extended period, the gland is destroyed.  This requires gradually increasing amounts of thyroid meds to offset the loss of natural thyroid hormone production.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I weight 100 lbs & my TSH was 10.0-8-13.0 for six months. The last TSH level was 3.74. (about 2 weeks ago).

My doctors/endo never said that was dangerous for my weight. I do however feel for you on the constant dosage change. I am up to 200mcg at the moment & go back in 6 months for blood work.

I don't know if aging has something to do with it on the TSH levels & being hormonal as we are women. Maybe my ovary being taken out 3yrs ago played a part, who knows...The doctors/endo sure don't..

I know my memory comes & goes, the fatigue is what kills me....Every other symptoms I can deal with, but not fatigue....
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1756321_tn?1377771734
I was in the mid stages of dementia due to severe vitamin B12 deficiency. The only word to describe it is was horrendous. :( I had spider veins (also called broken capillaries or telangiectasia) particularly on my upper thighs.  
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198727_tn?1352057982
Yup my left inside knee is getting bad...and there are all sorts of small bruises everywhere.  I wear pants mostly now, and my memory... horrendous would be putting it nicely! forget where I am going, forget where i have been, forget things i have bought, mix words up constantly...i am hoping work is going to bear with me till i can get my levels fixed...but im not too sure about it.
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198727_tn?1352057982
And I have had the vitaligo for YEARS!  It started in my fingers about 10 years ago...now is at my wrists(both sides).  Both my elbows have big "spots" the size of my fist....and my face well...I have to use so much make up to even out my skin tone its aweful!  I have probably had this Hashimoto's thyroiditis for years and didn't even know from the sounds of it!
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you seen an orthopedic for your knee?
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198727_tn?1352057982
No....posability though...
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198727_tn?1352057982
OMG...going by what my doctor said I couldn't imagine being at a 13.0!  I was ok the first few months of being diagnosed...but had been that way for at least a year...but to go back and be tested...then go down and way back up is scary. They have told me what it is...and what it does in an overview...but I am now digging deeper into what seems to me, a much more serious issue.And I hear it takes a long time to even get in to ENDO...I hope thats not the case here...even still if I don't have a job... I won't have ins...so it won't matter!
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Avatar_f_tn
The only symptom that bothered me was fatigue...Only reason I was tested was a fluke...this past Oct. 2011. Like I said, I can ignore or not even aknowledge the other symptoms, but NOT FATIGUE...

Now having thyroid storms are a different story....

I had my TT after RAI 18yrs ago. I am sure after the TT my TSH levels were way high for awhile until the dosage got adjusted (took a year)
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198727_tn?1352057982
Got results from 6 week thyroid check..They did TSH which is now a .32/ was 8.63. staying at 75mcg of Levothyroxine.  free T4 is 1.3.  They did a full CBC on me as well...it's all jibberish to me though.  Also had ultrasound of thyroid, Right side is "burning out" is what they said.  And they want me to repeat ultrasound in 6 months to see progression.  I am feeling ok.  Memory still a bit strange, forget what i am trying to say mid sentence.  Hot flashes like i have a fever and cough that is dry and persistant...I guess my body is just so far out of whack?  There are so many different things associated with this Thyroid problem and I have sooo many symptoms.  The Endo i went to I won't see again for 3 months...was not impressed.  My regular GP came back from maternity leave and she was the one that ordered ultrasound.  shes more concerend than the endo.  SHe also ordered chest xrays and refered me to a rhumetologist to see if my Sarcoid has flared back up...thank you for your info it was very helpful!
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