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Thyroid and swollen legs
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Thyroid and swollen legs

My mid-30s daughter had RAI about 4 years ago.  I am not sure what level of medication (Levothyroxine) she takes daily but since having the treatment she has developed very swollen uncomfortable legs.  Is this a side effect of the medication or is it a symptom of being hypothyroid?  Would adjusting her medication levels help, does anyone have experience of this which has been resolved?  Also, I stupidly had a chest xray when I was pregnant, I don't remember wearing a protective apron.  I have always wondered whether this could have caused my daughter's thyroid problems?  I would appreciate anyone's knowledgeable advice.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with Stella that edema is a symptom of hypo.  When I was hypo, my legs, ankles and feet were very swollen, especially in the heat.  Your daughter most likely needs a meds adjustment.

When she sees her doctor, she should make sure that he runs free T3, free T4 and TSH.  Make sure the "free" is before each of the first two, otherwise you will get total T3 and total T4, obsolete tests.  Just because any or all of these is "in range" or "normal" does not mean that her meds are adjusted properly although many doctors are of that belief.  Many of us have to be in the upper part of the ranges.  If she gets results, she can post them here (get reference ranges when you get results as these are lab specific), and members can comment on results and whether or not her doctor is ordering adequate testing and interpreting results properly.  

If your daughter cannot convert T4 to T3 properly, she might have to add a medication with T3 in it in order to feel well.  She and her doctor can only find this out by testing FT3.  If you do post her labs eventually, please also find out which meds she is on and at what dose.

Best of luck.

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393685_tn?1325870933
inflammation, water retention and bloating are all signs of her being hypothyroid.

My suggestion since she had RAI would be for you and her to dig heavily on learning more on conversion issues she could be having with her T4 medication.

Many RAI hypos (over 85%) have a tough time converting the T4 medication into the T3 ( Free T3) hormone needed to optimalize her.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for your reply.  Just to put me on the right track - would she need some other type of extra medication to assist with this?
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1324194_tn?1274725445
Thyroid diease is a genetic issue that sometmes triggers itself by diet, stress, or coming of age thank god your encounter with an xray did not configured her in any way this diease is livable she must be strong mind over matter as long as she takes her medication every day and moves around she will be okay. I wont let it take me my diet consists of low carbs high protein and eat 6 times a day palm size meals alot water and some vitamins like c,d,multivitamin. dont eat after 7pm and start eating at 9am if possible cardio more than 45 mnutes will burn the fat under that time nothing will burn i have a teadmill and stair master trust me i look like a normal person no superstar reaction yet good luck if her legs r swollen due to weight it ay be pinch her nerves in lower part see your MD to see salt should be minimal and raw sugar if necessary should be use no dyes especially red.
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with Stella that edema is a symptom of hypo.  When I was hypo, my legs, ankles and feet were very swollen, especially in the heat.  Your daughter most likely needs a meds adjustment.

When she sees her doctor, she should make sure that he runs free T3, free T4 and TSH.  Make sure the "free" is before each of the first two, otherwise you will get total T3 and total T4, obsolete tests.  Just because any or all of these is "in range" or "normal" does not mean that her meds are adjusted properly although many doctors are of that belief.  Many of us have to be in the upper part of the ranges.  If she gets results, she can post them here (get reference ranges when you get results as these are lab specific), and members can comment on results and whether or not her doctor is ordering adequate testing and interpreting results properly.  

If your daughter cannot convert T4 to T3 properly, she might have to add a medication with T3 in it in order to feel well.  She and her doctor can only find this out by testing FT3.  If you do post her labs eventually, please also find out which meds she is on and at what dose.

Best of luck.

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649848_tn?1357751184
I had a lot of issues with edema as well.  One of the main things I was instructed to do was stop eating salt.  Very hard for me because that's my passion.  I've not stopped completely, but I do use "lite" salt, which has 1/2 the sodium of regular table salt.  I don't have the swelling in my feet/legs like I used to; however, I'm still struggling with in my hands/fingers.  

I agree that she may need a med adjustment and possibly a small dose of a T3 med.  

When you post the labs, please make sure you get a copy of the report, then post the reference ranges, along with the results, since these are lab specific.

Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
Hello, Thank you all for the helpful information and dietary advice.  Unfortunately I won't be able to get my daughter to post her lab test results because we are not communicating at the moment and we live in different cities for now.  There are a lot of reasons for this but I know  this condition makes her feel rotten, especially when trying to hold down a full-time job, and so it doesn't make for the easiest of relationships.  I will pass on your comments and hope she will act on it with her doctor.   I just want to help her and I feel so guilty for allowing the doctors to rush her into the RAI treatment. She doesn't blame me for that.   Maybe it might have been inevitable in the end to have this treatment but we will never know now.  I feel I have neglected my role to protect her in not researching this whole thing in depth.  We live in New Zealand.  It is a shame that some doctors don't take the time to explain things more fully so that we can make more enlightened choices.

One interesting thing I have been thinking about.  My daughter is also ADHD and has been since birth.  When I think about her growing up, she never slept of course, could not keep still, always wanted to be carried because walking was just too tiring and when a teenager she was like a hibernating bear when it came to getting out of bed in the morning.  You will say this is normal for a teenager but she just could not wake up even when I physically tried to drag her out of bed.  She should have had her thyroid tested then but, of course, I didn't know what these symptoms could mean, doctors should be more pro-active and link these symptoms with thryroid disorder and do a simple test just in case.  Especially with girls as they are less prone to ADHD than boys.

I do appreciate your positive support and I hope you are happy to continue to answer my concerns on behalf of my daughter and I will pass the info to her in the hope that things will improve for her.
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393685_tn?1325870933
You doing what you need to now regardless of the past. I can imagine how you feel.

Let it be...

Feel free to give here this link.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Thyroid-Disorders/Thyroid-and-swollen-legs/show/1248179#post_5715747

Also let her know - many here can give her more information



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Thank you for your kind support.
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