just found out I have high levels of TSH according to my bloodwork, I will knw exactly what levels they are at tomorrow but I have checked google and I do have 90 percent of the symptoms of hypothyroidism except for the yellow skin, in fact mine is pale according to alot of people lately lol. So this explains the sore lump feeling on the lower left side of my neck Im assuming? Since Im new to all this, I have to ask, should I be panicking as I seem to be extra sensitive to depression lately and become irritable and scared all at the same time when it comes to my health lately. I am scared and dont know if I should be, I dont feel sick but am extremely tired most of the time, my hair is brittle and almost no luster to it and it falls out alot and I figured it was due to stress. I know these are questions I should ask my doctor but Im plian old scared and find myself starting to tremble now typing this. Is this common in people, can it be treated or managed? I have a healthy appetite but gain weight like mad. Take in mind Im on morphine and gabapentin for my back pain, could this have anything to do with my high TSH levels? Sorry to drone on and on, btw Im a 38 year old female :) how rude not introducing myself :) nice to meet you all
Welcome to the Forum. Glad you found us. There are lots of members here with a wealth of knowledge and experience they are willing to share and also to support you in any way possible.
TSH by itself is inadequate as a diagnostic for thyroid issues. TSH is a pituitary hormone that is affected by so many variables that at best it is only an indicator, to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms, and also levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, Free T3 and Free T4. 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.
With all those hypo symptoms, and your description of having a high TSH, it seems that you are hypothyroid. It is nothing to be scared about. It just means that you have to find a good thyroid doctor and get thyroid medication adequate to relieve all those hypo symptoms. I think the most difficult part is finding a good thyroid doctor. By that I mean a doctor that will treat you clinically, for symptoms, 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, not just test results.
You can gain some insight about clinical treatment from this link to a letter written by a good thyroid doctor for patients that he sometimes consults with from a distance. The letter is sent to the PCP of the patient to help guide treatment.
So the first thing I suggest is that you make a copy of this following list of 26 typical hypo symptoms, and mark the ones you have. Then take a copy of it to your doctor and discuss it with him. Ask the doctor if he will treat you clinically by testing and adjusting free T3 and Free T4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels. Also ask if he is willing to prescribe T3 type meds, if required. If the answer to either is no, then you will need to find a good thyroid doctor that will do so. While there you should at least get tested for Free T3 and free T4, along with TSH that they always test. Also, since Hashimoto's Thyroiditis is the most common cause for hypothyroidism, it would be good to get tested for the thyroid antibodies, TPO ab and TG ab. That knowledge will help in determining treatment.
Thanx so much, I really appreciate it alot :) I will check out the link and hope my doctor will do as I ask, will let you know as soon as I hear anything, in the meantime is it okay if I have a question I can ask away and not seem like a pain lol? Im usually full of questions
Also do NOT be fooled once you get your Free T4 and Free T3 test results that if you are "within range" that it is sufficient for you.
MANY people need to have their FT4 in the MIDDLE of the range AND, that means in addition, they need their FT3 to be in the UPPER 1/3 of the range in order to feel well. Simply being in range means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Depression and anxiety are fairly common symptoms for Thyroid imbalance.
With pain in the base of your neck you may also want to ask about having a Thyroid or ultrasound done to check for enlargement or nodules etc.
The good news is that generally low thyroid can be controlled and balanced with the PROPER dosage of medication. The key here is to find a good Dr who will treat you with symptoms and also based upon Free T4 and Free T3 as gimel points out. If you find one that #1 treats ONLY based upon TSH. Find a new Dr immediately. You will almost assuredly be kept sick. It is impossible to adjust medication dosage based upon TSH. #2 if you have a Dr who is "reference range endocrinology" that is treats only to the point that you get "somewhere" within range. Again find a new Dr. You may get somewhat better but you will never get fully feeling well unless they treat you until your symptoms are alleviated and then you will know what the blood levels of FT3 and FT4 are when YOU feel well.
Free T3 is the ONLY thing your body uses. And surprise, surprise is the ONLY thing that best correlates with symptoms. So you can see why that is so important to test. Yet many Dr's seem stubbornly blind to this simple obvious fact. FT4 is a storage hormone that stays in your bloodstream until you body says it needs more thyroid and then it converts the T4 (mostly in the liver) into T3 that your body actually needs. Thus you can see why it is important to have enough of this storage hormone available to be converted as your body needs.
TSH is merely a signal sent out by your Pituitary gland in your brain to turn your Thyroid on and produce thyroid. A lot like a thermostat in your house signals the furnace or air conditioner to kick on/off. TSH itself does nothing else. TSH is thus at best a screening gauge to see if your body is calling for more Thyroid or trying to shut it down. But it is virtually if not outright completely useless to adjust dosage of medicine.
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