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Alternative?

I've recently been diagnosed with Graves. Unfortunately I don't have insurance and can't afford it. I'm stuck with a doctor whom I don't feel has my best interest at heart. My last visit with my PA (who pointed out concerns that prompted testing) I was told my levels were low, the same day, saw my endo doc and she tells me (from same lab results, that my levels were normal) and immediately suggested removal as soon as possible. She said there were nodules present but were less than a centermeter and didn't pose any threats (all in the same conversation). Medication isn't an alternative to her. Is there a way the levels can be regulated through medication?
12 Responses
Avatar universal
Please post your actual thyroid test results and include reference ranges.  Ranges vay lab to lab, so you have to post them with results.

Interpretation of thyroid test results can be a bit subjective.  Even though results may be "in range", it doesn't mean we can't have symptoms.

Many of us have nodules, and they're just monitored for changes.  Suggesting removal for nodules less than 1 cm that don't "pose a threat" seems a bit extreme.

Yes, medication is often the first option tried in treatment.  Anti-thyroid meds include methimazole, tapazole, carbimazole, PTU.
Avatar universal
I should also have asked about your symptoms.
Avatar universal
Fairly new to this so don't have my acutal results. I have been having symptoms for almost 13 years and they were brushed off as being out of shape. I was in the military when I first noticed changes. I was athletic running five miles a day and an hour in the gym after PT (rountine for about 6 years). The first things I noticed was exhaustion just from standing, shortness of breath, palpatations that lasted months, severe hair shedding,extreme weight loss and then gaining and heat intolerance. I can't stand being outside when it's hot (severly Vitamin D deficient)
Avatar universal
Are you working on the D deficiency?  Many people find that D has to be well up in the reference range to feel well.

Your doctor (if you're in the States) has to provide you with a copy of your labs on request.  One of the best things you can do is get in the habit of asking for a copy and keep your own history.  If you jot down meds and symptoms immediately preceding labs, you will see patterns emerging.  

Can you get a second opinion?  Do you know what the doctor based her Graves' diagnosis on?
Avatar universal
I have two sisters and both were diagnosed years ago with hypo. The younger one was originally hyper and due to mistreatment, she's now forever hypo. Both are on meds,not sure which. Upon learning of them I requested testing six years ago and never had level changes until a few months ago.My levels were extremely low and my PA questioned my ability to function properly and said she couldnt believe I was able to stand on my own. In addition to Graves, and D deficiency, I'm also severly B12 deficient ( I have both forms of anemia). Most symptoms don't feel overwhelmining except for the exhaustion, insomnia and mood changes. I'm depressed a lot and until I got my results, felt something was abnormal about me. The depression is an ongoing thing and I find myself coaching my thoughts. Without insurance, I don't feel I'm getting adequate care. Don't know what to do at this point.
Avatar universal
Hugs to you CocoMaxx!  I know how awful going through this with is insurance so without it would be even worse.   To deal with this the lowest cost way would be to order your own labs from somewhere like healthcheckusa.com every 4-6 weeks for about $75 and take methimazole or PTU which are pretty cheap.   You would have to have a doctor willing to prescribe that medication but it doesn't have to be an endo, even a nurse practioner could, and you'd have to spend a lot of time learning as well to interpret the labs and dosing.  This board and many others have experienced people who can advise you.  Since your nodules are under 1cm you can just ignore them, maybe get an ultrasound followup every couple years.   Good luck!
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