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Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Totally Lost and need help please

Hi Everyone!

This is my first time posting to this group. I was hoping to get some clearer answers and/or clarification for what's going on with me.

I was diagnosed a year ago (May 2013) with hypothyroidism by a non-Endocrinologist even though my results came back in the low normal range. I was initially put on 30 mg of Armour Thyroid at that time and have remained on this dose for approximately 10 months before it was increased to 60 mg this past March.

I am SO confused because my lab results are all over the place (I get tested every 8 weeks). My doctor (a Lyme Literate MD) is confusing me because his explanation of what's going on seems to contradict my results (even though what he says makes sense).

For example, he said results on the lower end (tsh, t3, t4) indicates I'm not getting enough of the hormone which means I need to increase my Armour Thyroid, which we did. HOWEVER, at the time of the test we were reviewing he had already increased my Armour Thyroid from 30 mg to 60 mg which appears to me, threw everything out of whack.

These were my results:

Armour Thyroid *60* mg

TSH: 3.00 Reference Range: 0.40 - 4.50

T4 Total: 4.0 L Reference Range: 4.5 - 12.0

Free T4 Index: 1.2 L Reference Range: 1.4 - 3.8

T4, Free: 0.7 L Reference Range: 0.8 - 1.8

T3, Free: 3.1 Reference Range: 2.3 - 4.2

T3, Total: 99 Reference Range: 76 - 181

T3 Uptake: 30 Reference Range: 22 - 35

vs

Armour Thyroid *30* mg

TSH: 2.07

T4 Total: 6.9

Free T4 Index: 1.9

T4, Free: 1.0

T3, Free: 2.9

T3, Total: 96

T3 Uptake: 28

vs

No thyroid med ~~~> Most Recent Results

TSH: 1.85

T4 Total: 5.7

Free T4 Index: 1.8

T4, Free: 1.1

T3, Free: 2.6

T3, Total: 70 L ~~~> Doc says I need to start back on Armour 60 mg!

T3 Uptake: 31

****Reference Range listed under 60 mg is the same for the others****

So....

When I chart out the above values side by side....both TSH and all T3's are on the higher end of the reference range while on 60mg of Armour Thyroid BUT all of my T4's are in the out of range.

TSH. T4 Total. Free T4. T4, Free. T3, Free. T3 Total. T3 Uptake.

60 mg. 3.00. 4.0 L. 1.2 L. 0.7 L. 3.1. 99. 30.

30 mg. 2.07. 6.9. 1.9. 1.0. 2.9. 96. 28.

No med. 1.85. 5.7. 1.8. 1.1. 2.6. 70 L. 31.

****Sorry, I can't get the values to align correctly****

Should I be taking a different thyroid medication because the higher the dosage of Armour, the lower my T4's! Another thing I noticed is today is day five of being back on Armour and I'm very irritable and intolerant of others. I remember feeling this way prior to stopping 7 weeks ago. Is this a sign of something?

p.s. I stopped the Armour because I was having an allergic reaction to something I was taking and since I had also increased my dose at the same time as starting two new meds, I had no idea what was causing it so I stopped everything (doc ok'd). Turns out it wasn't the Armour so I just re-started it last Tuesday.

The other thing that was weird is my Glucose came back 122 H which has NEVER happened before AND I have put on at least 10 pounds over the course of three months which no matter what I do, I can't lose it!! I am very upset about this as my weight had been stable for YEARS. In fact, it took a lot for me to gain even 2 lbs so I'm at a loss on this one. Did the Armour increase cause this?

I thought I should also mention that my Cortisol = 6.4 Reference Range 3.0 - 17.0 (prior test was 5.0) which was taken at approximately 1:30 pm. My doc suspects an adrenal issue and wanted me to start Hydrocortisone but I was fearful. He told me to take 500 mg of Licorice twice per day instead. I've read many bad things so now I'm afraid to take this too. Does anyone have any experience to report?

I also had a slightly elevated Candida test: 1.0 H Reference Range < 1.0

I don't know if this has any bearing but my hormones were also tested. I'm a 46 year old female:

FSH = 1.5 Reference Range Luteal Phase 1.5 - 9.1

LH = 1.0 Reference Range Luteal Phase 0.5 - 16.9

Progesterone = 4.6 Reference Range Luteal Phase 2.6 - 21.5

Estradiol = 85 Reference Range Luteal Phase 56 - 214

*Symptoms*

Sudden weight gain and unable to lose it, especially around the waist.

High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases and these symptoms tend to last longer than usual IF not taking immune enhancing supplements.

Tendency to tremble when under pressure/hungry/fearful.

Difficulty remembering things.

Lack of energy especially in the mornings.

Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.

Often feel tired from 9 - 10 pm, but resist going to bed.

Need coffee to get going in the morning.

Cravings for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.

Increased symptoms of PMS; periods are heavy and then stop, or are almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day sometimes.

Pain in the upper back or neck.

Feel better when stress is relieved, such as on a vacation.

Difficulties in getting up in the morning.

Lightheaded on occasion.

Mild depression.

Chemical/Seasonal allergies.

Lethargy and lack of energy.

Increased effort to perform daily tasks.

Decreased ability to handle stress.

Dry and thin skin.

Hypoglycemia if I don't eat on-time.

Low body temperature. Always cold.

Nervousness.

Occasional palpitations.

Unexplained hair loss.

Pretty regular but sometimes alternate between constipation and diarrhea.

What does this all mean? Please Help!
20 Responses
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
To explain very simply: Insulin resistance is caused by spikes in blood sugar, which in turn spike insulin levels.  After this happens time and again, the cells become resistant to insulin, so instead of sugar going to cells, insulin shuttles it into fat cells... Eventually, the pancreas can no longer produce enough insulin, so blood sugars climb higher and higher, thus Type II Diabetes is born.  I have insulin resistance (pre-diabetes), as well.  The "treatment" for insulin resistance is not eating a lot of carbs, but mainly simple carbs, such as those with white sugar, flour, etc.  Aim for more veggies and lean protein.  Limit fruit to 1-2 servings/day because even though the sugar in fruit is "natural", it still spikes the blood sugar.

Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease in which the body sees the thyroid as foreign and produces antibodies to destroy it.  The destruction, typically, takes quite a few years, but once it get going, it can go quite quickly.  Most of us actually have it, long before symptoms show up or blood work indicates an issue.  Hashimoto's is the most common cause for hypothyroidism in the developed world.  I believe I had it for at least 20 yrs before I was finally diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

There are 2 antibody tests you need to get to confirm/rule out Hashimoto's.  You do need them both, since some of us have one or the other, some have both, but without both tests you could be misdiagnosed.

The tests to ask for are Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOab) and Thyroglobulin Antibodies (TGab).  

It should be noted that even if you have Hashimoto's, your treatment won't change, but it's good to know what you might be looking at down the road.
1756321 tn?1547098925
I had to stop Armour as my T4 was too low in the range. I need T4 only. The weight around the belly is due to insulin resistance. And insulin resistance means you can kiss losing weight goodbye until you correct it! Hypothyroidism may cause insulin resistance.
1756321 tn?1547098925
I meant the weight around the waist but insulin resistance also causes belly fat.
649848 tn?1534637300
COMMUNITY LEADER
TSH is counter intuitive -- the higher it goes, the lower the thyroid hormones.

When you were on the 60 mg Armour, your FT4 was actually below range and your FT3 was only at 42% of its range.  Rule of thumb is that FT4 be at approximately 50% of the range and FT3 should be in the upper half to upper third of its range.

FT3 is hormone that's actually used by the individual cells, while FT4 is a storage hormone that has to be converted to FT3 prior to use.

It's not uncommon for those on desiccated hormones to have very low FT4 levels; many have to add an outside source of T4, such as Synthroid or generic levo.

It's also not uncommon for symptoms to worsen or for new ones to show up, when starting, changing or increasing a med, because it takes your body time to get used to each change.

You should ask to get tested for thyroid antibodies to confirm/rule out Hashimoto's.  If you have Hashimoto's, your thyroid function will steadily decline, until, eventually, it produces nothing.
Avatar universal
How do I correct insulin resistance and what is causing it?
Avatar universal
I meant to say...could taking Armour cause insulin resistance? The timing of my dosage increase matches my sudden weight gain and then I stopped taking it for approximately 7 weeks. Did I throw my hormones out of whack?
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649848 tn?1534637300
FL
Avatar universal
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1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
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