I just recently had some blood work done and came back with a TSH of 3.23 which my doctor said is just over where they would like it. She has prescribed medicine for me but I wanted to find out if there are other options for this than medicine. My mom does have hypothroid and has been on medicine for years so it does run in the family. But with my numbers so low is there anything else I can try?
PS. I have been feeling symptoms of tiredness and iritibility but my biggest concern has been dizziness/lightheadedness. Just wondering if anyone has any advice or info about anything I could try first.
Is TSH the only test your doctor is doing? You need to be tested for the actual thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4. If you are truly hypo, you will need to take the hormones. There is nothing natural, or dietary you can do to keep from having to take the medication.
Do you know what caused your hypothyroidism? Has your doctor tested you for Hashimoto's? You should have antibody tests done to confirm this.
Do you see a specialist? I just went to my regular doctor who order the basic blood test and we got these results. Should I schedule another appointment with her or would you recomment a specialist of some kind?
Yes, I do see a specialist, but that's not always necessary if your pcp will work with you to do proper testing and prescribe adequately. Even some specialists don't do that.
TSH is a pituitary hormone that varies widely, even within the same day, so it's not a good diagnostic tool, used on its own. More important than TSH, are Free T3 and Free T4, which are the biologically active thyroid hormones, and should not be confused with Total T3 and Total T4.
The thyroid produces both T3 and T4, but mostly T4. Some of that will be bound by protein, which makes it unusable. Testing for total T4 shows both usable and unusable amounts, which is obsolete and pretty much a waste of money. The individual cells can't use Free T4 directly; it must be converted to T3 prior to use. Testing for Free T4 tells you how much is available for conversion to T3.
Once the FT4 is converted to T3, again, some of that T3 will become bound by protein and will be unusable. Again, testing for total T3 will give both the usable and unusable amounts; this, too, is considered obsolete. Free T3 is the amount of T3 actually available for individual cell use.
If your doctor will test for both FT3 and FT4, and prescribe accordingly, you may be okay letting her treat you. The problem is that many doctors thing that testing only TSH is adequate or, if they are willing to test FT3 and FT4, they think that just being "in range" is good enough, when it's not, for many of us.
I would suggest that you schedule another appointment with her and ask for the FT3 and FT4 tests, along with tests for antibodies to determine whether or not you have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, which is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the developed world. Antibody tests for Hashi's are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOab) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TGab). You need to have them both, because some people have only one or the other, some have both, so if you don't test them both, a proper diagnosis could be missed.
I'd also suggest that you try to get tested for vitamin B12, which, lack of, can cause fatigue/exhaustion and other symptoms. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause some hypo-like symptoms. Selenium has been shown to help in the conversion of FT4 to FT3.
Okay, that's kind of jumbled........lol Tests to ask for are: Free T3, Free T4, TSH, TPOab, TGab, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Selenium.
There are some other vitamins/minerals, but these will be a good start.
This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.