Thyroid Hormone Levels For Hypothyroidism

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    How long will it take for my thyroid medication (Synthroid) to kick in?
    I'm 19 and was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism yesterday and I was prescribed Synthroid. I've suffered the majority of symptoms associated with a low thyroid hormone level for about 3-4 years but the most bothersome have been the extremely low energy and stomach cramps. Would I see an improvement in energy with the first dose I take or could it take days or even weeks for me to see results?

    • ANSWER:
      Synthroid will be fully in your system between 3-8 weeks, it varies person to person. With that, you most likely won't see an improvement with the first few weeks, and definitely not the first dose. It will be a while, but you'll be feeling back to normal soon!

  2. QUESTION:
    Does hair grow back after it falls out from hypothyroidism?
    I have hypothyroidism and i've lost almost all of my hair, it's devastating, it upset me so much. Apparently my thyroid hormone levels are normal now and my tablets should be working but they aren't. I'm taking evening primrose oil, bioton, and i've just using certain shampoos, nothing is working, and i've had no new hair growth :(

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, hair can grow back after loss due to hypothyroidism. "Low thyroid function is one of the most common causes of diffuse hair loss. Problem is, most doctors are "strictly by the numbers" these days in terms of diagnosis. For example a TSH "normal" range could be .5-5.5. Therefore, anything between these numbers the doc dismisses as normal. This is wrong!

      There has been a recent change in thinking that even a TSH of 2 (well within "normal" range) when accompanied by hypothyroid symptoms is suspect. A course of thyroid hormone (starting at tiny dose) will not harm a normally functioning thyroid, and can only help a borderline or less obvious case of hypo." - Ann Smith

      I also blog about health issues and you can view that blog here:

      http://connectwithwellness.wordpress.com

  3. QUESTION:
    What are normal levels of thyroid hormones ?
    What are normal levels of thyroid hormones tsh, t3 and t4? and at what level do they start treating for hypothyroidism? My levels have been borderline for years and I have all the syptoms but my DR doesn't want to put me on medication.... Thank you!

    • ANSWER:
      The normal level for TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) according to the American Academy of Clinical Endocrinology the normal range is from 0.3-3.0

      If one gets to that higher level of beyond 3.0 the endocrinologist may start to treat.

      I also have the link to a site that may help you find even more information:

      http://thyroid.about.com

  4. QUESTION:
    Does adderall increase TSH levels in a blood test?
    I recently went to the doctor and she did some blood tests to check if I showed signs of hypothyroidism. The tests showed that my TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels are higher than normal. When these tests were done I was under the influence of adderall which I am not prescribed. Is adderall the reason for my increased TSH levels, or are these two things unrelated? Thanks.

    P.S. Please save any comments about adderall abuse. What goes into my body is my decision.

    • ANSWER:
      No comments on the adderall use except that it it is more likely to cause a decrease in TSH

  5. QUESTION:
    Can low thyroid hormone symptoms like hair loss be reversed?
    I'm a 19 year old guy, I recently found out that I have a low thyroid hormone level and I’ve had the symptom of hair loss for more than 3 years now, but it’s really starting to show now. Can it be reversed once I start taking the hormone pill that my doctor prescribed to me?

    • ANSWER:
      If the hair loss is indeed due to low thyroid (hypothyroidism), then yes, it can reverse when you take prescribed replacement therapy.

  6. QUESTION:
    Will i lose weight after being prescribed a thyroid hormone replacement?
    Been diagnosed with HYPOthyroidism and was prescribed a thyroid hormone replacement drug. Will i finally start losing this weight after i start using this medicine? I have been over weight for years (along with other problems due to this) and couldn't seem to loss any so i found out that its actually hypothyroidism. Will this hormone replacement help and begin to loss this unwanted fat?

    • ANSWER:
      You might. It will definitely make it easier to lose weight, but you may find that having increased levels of thyroid hormone will increase your appetite as well as your metabolism.
      Thyroid hormone is not a magic weight loss drug, but being hypothyroid will make it harder to lose weight.

      But now is a great time to start a new diet and exercise program - your thyroid medication should increase your energy and metabolism and help give you better results (and hence better motivation)

      Good luck!

  7. QUESTION:
    What could cause a Thyroid Level to be low?
    What could cause a Thyroid Level to be low for an adult or a child (both)?

    Thank you ahead of time. Serious Answers Only Please.

    • ANSWER:
      There are a number of causes for low thyroid hormone levels. Worldwide, but really mostly in developing countries, lack of iodine in the diet is the cause. Your body needs iodine to produce thyroid hormone.
      For most cases in the developed world however, the cause is an autoimmune disease, thyroiditis, when your own immune cells attack the thyroid gland in your neck.
      Sometimes the cause is a problem with a gland in your brain called the pituitary gland. This gland makes hormones that stimulate the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone. If you can't make the stimulating hormone then you thyroid level will be low. The thyroid blood tests can tell when the pituitary is the problem.
      There are other causes, like an inflamed thyroid after pregnancy, certain drugs can cause it and there are inherited forms of hypothyroidism (the medical name for low thyroid hormone). When babies are born they have a heel prick test to look for this condition. HTH
      this link may help
      http://www.ehealthmd.com/library/hypothyroidismchildren/HYC_whatis.html

  8. QUESTION:
    How does amiodarone affect patients with hypothyroidism?
    In hypothyroidism, it seems that the thyroid gland is so saturated with iodine that it interferes with further iodine uptake and thyroid hormone synthesis. But why does it matter where the iodine comes from? Shouldn't the overabundance of iodine simply lead to overproduction of thyroid hormones? Or is there some sort of iodine threshold where the thyroid stops functioning if the iodine levels are elevated past this threshold?

    • ANSWER:
      Amiodarone affect to the thyroid function beside it contain iodine,most important it's structure is similar to thyroxin. This similarly thyroid hormone product present in blood steam give negative feed back to the brain and reduce TSH secretion and result develop hypothyroidism.Because this patient taking this drug beside to monitor the FT4(free thyroxin) also need to monitor of TSH every 6 months.This type of hypothyroidism will show;low TSH and also low T4 ,because without enough TSH to push the gland to product T3 or T4 no extra hormone will product despite a lot of iodine around. Although amiodarone has similar in structure of T4 but do not carry T4 function in this case.Your explanation seems not the real mechanism.

  9. QUESTION:
    How does amiodarone affect patients with hypothyroidism?
    In hypothyroidism, it seems that the thyroid gland is so saturated with iodine that it interferes with further iodine uptake and thyroid hormone synthesis. But why does it matter where the iodine comes from? Shouldn't the overabundance of iodine simply lead to overproduction of thyroid hormones? Or is there some sort of iodine threshold where the thyroid stops functioning if the iodine levels are elevated past this threshold?

    • ANSWER:

  10. QUESTION:
    Anyone recently or trying to conceive with hypothyroidism?
    I have hypothyroidism and have fairly high hormone levels, which my naturopath has told me will make it difficult, if not impossible to conceive. Has anyone here conceived with hypothyroidism?
    I should add: I am not on thyroid medication, other than natural treatments.

    **Naturopathic medicine (also known as naturopathy, or natural medicine) is a complementary and alternative medicine which emphasizes the body's intrinsic ability to heal and maintain itself. Naturopaths prefer to use natural remedies such as herbs and foods rather than surgery or synthetic drugs.

    • ANSWER:
      I have conceived with hypothyroidism and am trying again. Are you taking thyroid replacement (such as Armour, the natural replacement or levothyroxine, the synthetic)? I conceived our first baby while I was on Armour. After he was born, my Integrative Med doctor added some levothyroxine in addition to the armour. My TSH, Free T4 and Free T3 are all in good ranges for conception again. A TSH around 1 seems to be good for a lot of women. If your TSH is too high and your Free T4 too low, then yes, it might be impossible to conceive. Until I started on armour, my cycles were quite uneven, and my BBTs were dismally low (they've improved by and average of .4 degree at least!) and etc, but I never actually tried to conceive until after I was put on replacement.

  11. QUESTION:
    Can alcohol in excess cause elevated thyroid hormones?
    If not, what can cause thyroid hormones to be slightly elevated?

    • ANSWER:
      First of all, what people sometimes call thyroid hormones include two categories:

      TSH, or thyroid stimulating hormone, is actually made in the brain. It's job is to tell your thyroid to make hormone; a normal thyroid only makes thyroid hormone in response to this hormone coming from the brain. Much less often tested, TRH is another hormone in the brain that causes the release of TSH.
      TSH is the "thyroid hormone" most often tested to screen for thyroid disease. TSH is high when the brain perceives there to be not enough thyroid hormone circulating, and it is low if thyroid hormone levels are too high.

      T3, T4, fT3, and fT4 are all measures of actual hormones made in the thyroid; they are thyroid hormones. These are often only tested if TSH is abnormal, but some doctors test these even when TSH is normal.

      In general, you will either have high TSH with low or normal (but low for you) T3 and T4, or else low TSH with high or normal (but high for you) levels of T3 and T4.

      When TSH is elevated (hypothyroidism), the most common reason is autoimmune hypothyroidism, wherein white blood cells misguidedly attack the thyroid and it becomes unable to produce as much thyroid hormone as it should. However, iodine deficiency is a leading cause in some countries (thyroid hormone is made from iodine- T3 is the thyroid hormone that uses three molecules of iodine, and T4 is the thyroid hormone with four molecules of iodine). Non-autoimmune damage to the thyroid is also a possibility.

      There is some evidence that drinking alcohol can cause reduction in T3 and T4 levels, but almost never into the abnormal range. Presumably some alcoholics are iodine deficient because they have a poor diet; that will cause an elevated TSH.

      When TSH is low and T3 and T4 are elevated, the cause is Grave's Disease 70% of the time. That is an autoimmune disease in which, because of autoimmune damage, the thyroid produces a maximum of thyroid hormone despite the lack of TSH (TSH in Grave's disease is often zero). The remainder of cases are a grab bag of unusual causes, but I am not aware of alcohol ever causing this.

  12. QUESTION:
    Are there good herbal remedies for central hypothyroidism?
    I just got diagnosed for certain with Central Hypothyroidism. It is different from regular hypothyroidism because the blood levels of the thyroid chemicals are less of a factor in healthy hormone levels than they should be. Does anyone know of some good, effective herbal supplements for this problem?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi Benjanin

      I suffered with an under-active thyroid and managed to get lots of improvement using the herbal guide found on http://www.naturalremediesforhypothyroidism.org, which has a kind of review about it. There are some good ideas on there and its not expensive.

      Ben x

  13. QUESTION:
    How does one live well with pcos?
    Ok, so I recently got diagnosed with pcos, and I feel awful. I have pretty much all of the symptoms, and I started on four new medications. (I also have hypothyroidism, and my my levels of thyroid hormone are apparently still low because I feel horrible. ) I'm scared that these medicines won't work, and I'll have to live the rest of my life like this. I'm trying really hard to not blame myself, and I have to remind myself to be nice to my self everyday. Does it ever get better? Also, does Metformin actually work?

    • ANSWER:
      Hi Rachel, this is a scary coincidence, as my name too is Rachel..and we seem to have similar health issues..PCOS+Hypothyroidism.
      My gynae diagnosed that I'm having PCOS after running ultrasound scan; I have all the PCOS symptoms i.e no monthly menstrual since puberty (shocking? yes..if there is, as far as I can remember,only once/twice a year, or when I am on birth control=hormone pills), excessive hairs on my legs and face acne. May I ask what are your symptoms and your age? I'm 31.
      As for hypothyroidism, I have a high TSH reading, and very painful symptoms of severe muscle aches on my fingers, hands, toes, feet, neck & shoulder. Also I am intolerance to cold temperature as the muscle aches will worsen. There are a few other symptoms like fatigueness and difficulty to lose weight but they are not as severe as the muscle aches.
      Please if anyone is having similar symptoms or can provide helpful guidance and information, I am truly appreciate and thankful. My gynae told me there is no cure for PCOS as it is a syndrome. What is the cure for my hypothyroidism symptoms? Please help :(

  14. QUESTION:
    What is the relation between amount of iodine in the diet and thyroidism?
    How hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can occur, and what is the relation of them with the iodine content?
    If TSH level is high, then are thyroid hormones released in excess (hyperthyroidism) or released in less amount (hypothyroidism) ??
    mam, i just love your answers. You always give so detailed and nice answers.

    • ANSWER:
      If there is an elevated TSH level in the blood, it can mean different things. If it is a problem with the pituitary gland and not the thyroid, then yes..the person will be hyperthyroid because the thyroid is being over-stimulated.
      However, sometimes TSH levels rise because the thyroid is not responding. There is a genetic disorder called Hashimoto's disease which is an autoimmune problem in the thyroid. The large protein thyroglobulin, which is needed for synthesis of T3 and T4 hormones, is never supposed to leave the thyroid gland. With Hashimoto's disease, the thyroid becomes permeable and allows some thyroglobulin out into the blood stream. Since this is not supposed to happen, the body's immune system regards the protein as foreign and produces antibodies which attack the source, the thyroid gland. This results in hypothyroidism, and the lower the plasma T3 and T4 hormones become, the more TSH is produced by the pituitary in an attempt to stimulate the thyroid.
      It is easily remedied with a tablet of synthetic thyroid hormone taken once a day, but the elevated TSH levels in this case are due to an underperforming thyroid.
      Iodine is necessary in forming T3 and T4, and if there is not enough iodine in the diet, the thyroid will again not be able to put out enough hormone so the pituitary will send out more TSH to try to stimulate it.
      In both Hashimoto's disease and low iodine levels, the thyroid swells up due to the excess stimulation of TSH which it cannot respond to. If the swelling becomes large enough, this is called a goiter.
      In hyperthyoidism, which can be caused by a number of things, TSH level may be elevated if the pituitary is the source of the problem, but TSH levels will decrease if the thyroid has gone into overproduction of hormones on its own. There are a number of ways this can happen, including a 'thyroid storm' after childbirth in some women. This too can be managed with medication if the cause is not a tumor on the pituitary or the thyroid gland. In that case, surgery might be the option, but again, it depends on the diagnosis and location of the tumor.

  15. QUESTION:
    How do I get a doctor to treat low thyroid hormone levels?
    My sister has been tested by 2 different doctors. Both physicians have told her that she is at the very bottom of the "normal" side of the scale, and they both admit she shows symptoms of hypothyroidism, but say they see no need to initiate treatment. She is now feeling worse. She is cold all of the time, her fatigue has worsened, and now she is experiencing numbness in her fingers and feet. I am so frustrated with doctors I don't know what to do. She has tried pushing herself to exercise more thinking that this would help (and after one doctor's comment that maybe she should try eating some salad), but then all she can do is sleep for hours afterwards because she is so wasted.
    I should also add that my sister never had a problem with her weight and then about two years ago she started to gain weight and had trouble losing it even after increasing her exercise and decreasing her calorie intake.

    • ANSWER:
      First thing your sister needs to do is find out the number result of her test. Also, if it was an afternoon test, it may be inaccurate. All thyroid tests should be done in the morning because TSH is at it's highest when we sleep, so if we test first thing i the morning it will be caught near it's highest point. The TSH is the test doctor's usually diagnose hypothyroidism with. If it's above a 2.0 it's suspicious, though most labs will have normal as high as 5.5. I had problems with this 6 years ago and it took anothr year before the TSH finally went above the 5.5 and I got diagnosed. Your sister really needs to research this, as it's the only way she will get the proper treatment. Once I finally read up on the topic I knew what tests to ask for and what medication would work best for me.

      The next time your sister gets testing. She wants a morning TSH, free t4, free t3, and an antibody test. I'll include a great thyroid link below for your sister. There are great thyroid message boards on yahoo groups. Check them out sometime.

  16. QUESTION:
    What are some natural remedies that will help with polycystic ovaries/Hormone imbalance?
    I have polycystic ovaries. I have too much testosterone and my FSH and LH hormone levels are also too high.

    I am looking for natural ways in which I can reduce thses hormones and get my kidneys, pituatry gland and ovaries working properly.

    • ANSWER:
      Ask the Doctor
      About Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

      "As I have often related in this column, "normalizing" hormones by simply giving the person synthetic hormone pills violates the basic principle of healing. Instead, whenever possible, the doctor or healer should strive to teach the patient a way to normalize the hormones on their own. In your case, by changing your diet you have started on this road to healing. The reason why changing to a diet based on the principles of Nourishing Traditions is the first step in the therapy of PCOS is that your ovaries need the animal fats, and yes, even the cholesterol found in food in order to make estrogen and progesterone, the correct female hormones. Swollen ovaries is a condition analogous to goiter, when the thyroid swells in response to iodine deficiency. Goiters often also result in a hormonal imbalance leading to hypothyroidism. In the case of PCOS, the starvation of the ovaries causes them to become cystic, swollen and eventually unable to regulate the synthesis of their hormones.

      The other main dietary trigger for this imbalance is that when the proper dietary fats are missing, they are inevitably replaced by excessive carbohydrate consumption. This results in excessive insulin production, weight gain, abdominal bloating, and eventually will itself cause hormonal shifts. The biochemistry of this process is well described in the book The Schwarzbein Principle which also suggests a diet based on the principles in Nourishing Traditions, along with a restriction to about 75 grams of carbohydrates per day. More good fats and fewer carbohydrate foods should help in restoring your hormones to their proper balance.

      In addition to the dietary program I have outlined, there are many natural medicines which I have seen, and which have been shown in the medical literature to help PCOS. The first is the protomorphogen extract from Standard Process called Symplex F. This medicine is a mixture of specially processed glandular extracts from the four organs that make up the so-called pituitary axis--the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands and the ovaries. It was the insight of Dr. Royal Lee to suggest that it is far more productive to work on the entire system rather than trying to normalize one gland. For we now know that these glands compensate for each other, and that they all get ill as a group. I usually give a dose of 1-2 tablets per day for one whole year to help normalize the function of these important organs.

      The final therapy that I use for PCOS is a 50/50 mixture of the herbal extracts of Peony lactiflora and Glycyrrhiza uralensis (commonly known as licorice). There have been three studies in the literature showing that this combination of herbs can result in a complete remission in PCOS, and that it does so by normalizing adrenal function and reducing testosterone levels. It is important to use the correct dosages, which were also indicated in these studies.* I use the Mediherb extracts and give them at a dose of 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the mixture, 2-3 times per day. I usually use this mixture for six months with breaks of a week or two every 4-6 weeks. "
      http://www.westonaprice.org/askdoctor/pcos.html

      This is a sample traditional diet, this one is for pregnant/nursing mama's, so you would just have half portions or so.
      http://www.westonaprice.org/children/dietformothers.html

      I know this is what my body needed, it increased my breast milk supply and got rid of my gall stones!

  17. QUESTION:
    Which choice describes how surgical hypothyroidism would likely affect prolactin levels?
    Which choice describes how surgical hypothyroidism would likely affect prolactin levels?
    a. Thyroid hormone levels decrease, TRH levels decrease, and PRL levels decrease.
    b. Thyroid hormone levels decrease, TRH levels increase, and PRL levels decrease.
    c. Thyroid hormone levels increase, TRH levels increase, and PRL levels increase.
    d. Thyroid hormone levels increase, TRH levels increase, and PRL levels decrease.
    e. Thyroid hormone levels increase, TRH levels decrease, and PRL levels increase.

    • ANSWER:
      In a rapidly occuring hypothyroidism, which occurs as a result of surgical thyroid gland removal, without immediate supplementation,there would be a natural rapid decrease in T3 and T4, the hormones produced by the thyroid. Thyroid regulatory hormones, such as TSH would climb, as if to scream to a non-existent thyroid that it was necessary to produce thyroid hormone. Prolactin levels are opposed by thyroid hormone, and without their opposition, prolactin levels would increase, causing potentially, menstrual irregularities, infertility, decreased libido and possibly osteopenia with osteoporosis.
      The answer to your question would therefore be:

      C.) Thyroid hormone levels decrease, TRH would increase, and PRL would increase.

      Focus not on the answers but on the interactions and opposition of the hormones themselves.
      Best wishes.

  18. QUESTION:
    Is there a way to create an artificial Thyroid?
    A friend has a malfunctioning Thyroid and she is constantly have to go for treatments and medicine adjustments. She remains nauseated and weak most of the time, and feels life is not worth living any more. Surgery will not repair the thyroid, and removing it will cause her to have to get shots on a regular basis, ruining her work and family time. Is there a way to create an artificial thyroid, some device that can be implanted, that monitors her hormone levels, and adjusts the dose as they change?

    • ANSWER:
      First, make sure she knows that life IS worth living... God gave it to her for a reason. Many of us w/ thyroid disorder, have felt this same way.

      What is she diagnosed ... hypOthyroidism, most likely from Hashimoto's disease?

      She should be taking thyroid hormone replacement everyday ... the meds are VERY slow-acting (results of what you take today will not be seen for 6 wks). If she is having CONSTANT adjustments, she may just need a new doctor!

      Also, treatment requires a gradual increase in dose until YOUR correct dose is found. That 1st yr is usually the worst.

      Here is info & good links:
      You need testing for thyroid ANTIBODIES as well as TSH. TSH ‘norm’ should be .3 – 3 (w/ most feeling best at < 2) but, for diagnosis, may not mean much if ANTIBODIES are present which is indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis (cycles between HYPER & HYPO at start)…it is the main cause of eventual HypOthyroidism but worse (...OR Graves Disease – HypERthyroid from beginning).

      You will have to INSIST they test for the antibodies. [anti-TPO and TgAb] They can code so that ins will pay.

      WARNING: Doctors seem not to want to find/treat thyroid disease. You may have to go to more than one doctor before you get the right tests, interpretation, and treatment. Best wishes.

      Ck these:
      http://thyroid.about.com/bio/Mary-Shomon-350.htm
      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/
      http://www.thyrophoenix.com/index.html
      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/newsinfo/l/blguidelines.htm

      ALWAYS GET COPIES OF YOUR LABS.

      God bless you

  19. QUESTION:
    Hypothyroidism: How abnormal does your thyroid hormone have to be to get it removed?
    I have this disease, and have really bad side effects. I have an appointment next month to get my levels checked. I've been taking levothyroxine.

    • ANSWER:
      You need to find out the root cause of your problem, not just treat the symptom! Doctors are very lazy and many are just plain ignorant of how to treat hypothyroidism. Most of these problems come from an iodine deficiency. Doctors do not believe this, but that's why they want you to take drugs for the rest of your life. Drugs damage the body, make you dependent, and that is "MAKE BELIEVE HEALTH."

      There are other possible reasons for a thyroid being insufficient, but iodine deficiency is the number one cause. You can check your level in your body yourself easily. Get some Tincture of iodine from the pharmacy and paint a patch about 2" x 3" on you forearm early in the morning. Then watch it during the day. You should be able to see it 24 hours later. If it disappears in a few hours, BINGO, you are deficient. Now you can get supplements that will solve the problem. Since your thyroid only uses 4% of the iodine you consume, the rest of your body will be deficient as well. So when you take the medications, you are not only not giving your thyroid what it needs, but you are depriving the rest of your body of the iodine it needs.

      The thyroid is part of the pituitary axis and that consists of thyroid, pituitary, adrenals, and testes (if you are a man) and ovaries (if you are a woman). All these glands get sick together. If one gets sick, they all get sick. This is why women have all those problems with birth control pills; they get fatigued easily (adrenals), gain weight (thyroid slows down), hormone imbalances (pituitary), etc.

      good luck to you

  20. QUESTION:
    What foods can you eat in order to raise the level of the TSH in your blood?
    What foods can you eat in order to raise the level of the TSH
    (thyroid-stimulating hormone) in your blood?

    • ANSWER:
      hi,The thyroid takes in the iodine, obtained through food, iodized salt, or ... hypothyroidism, he or she will order a TSH (thyroid stimulating hor

  21. QUESTION:
    I have a lot of symptoms of a slow thyroid, but every test I take comes out negative. What do I do next?
    I have a family history of slow thyroids and, frankly, thyroids that quit. My metabolism is SLOW. I've had depression and a lot of other symptoms. My mom's thyroid just gave out and they've put her on replacement thyroid hormone. She's lost a ton of weight and she's much happier.

    I've taken every blood test that I know to ask for. They agree my thyroid is on the sluggish side, but that's it. Should I see an endocrinologist? What do I do next?

    • ANSWER:
      See an endocrinologist and bring some knowledge with you. Find out your test scores, including your TSH. A TSH above 3.0 indicated hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), but most labs use an older standards and a TSH may need to be as high as 5.0 to be considered underactive.

      http://www.aace.com/newsroom/press/2003/index.php?r=20030118

      Until November 2002, doctors had relied on a normal TSH level ranging from 0.5 to 5.0 to diagnose and treat patients with a thyroid disorder who tested outside the boundaries of that range5 . Now AACE encourages doctors to consider treatment for patients who test outside the boundaries of a narrower margin based on a target TSH level of 0.3 to 3.04. AACE believes the new range will result in proper diagnosis for millions of Americans who suffer from a mild thyroid disorder, but have gone untreated until now.

  22. QUESTION:
    Does anyone have a thyroid problem and its affecting the patuitary gland?
    I was just recently told that my thyroid levels are low and it's possibly affecting my patuitary gland which is why I have gained so much weight recently and can't lose any. I am going to see a specialist on Monday, but I was wondering if anyone else has this problem and what is being done...Also, have you lost weight?

    • ANSWER:
      It is much more rare to have a problem with your pituitary than your thyroid. Your pituitary sends hormones to your thyroid (TSH), and tells it to produce hormones. This is called secondary hypothyroidism. Taking care of hypothyroidism will make it easier to lose weight, but you will still need to work at it.

      I do not have a pituitary problem related to my thyroid, but for me they suspected a problem and I was given an MRI in addition to the previous blood test.

      I suspect you will get some type of hormone therapy, for primary hypothyroidism (problem is with thyroid), you are given thyroid hormones for the rest of your life. It appears the same treatment is given for secondary hypothyroidism by looking online.

  23. QUESTION:
    How common is it to get diabetes from having hypothyroidism!?
    I had my son 7 months ago, ever since then ive been gaining weight depression the whole nine yards. In november I had a routine physical an found out that the hormone levels from my thyroid were low are first it was good they said it wasn't bad justa little low. I had to go back to get it checked out an my lebels had skyrocketed an I was told it was hypothyroidism. I've been hearing many stories that people get hypothyroidism after a pregnancy but it turns to diabetes. Needless to say I'm 20 years old an I don't want that imscared.!!

    • ANSWER:
      There are cases where conditions that are believed to be autoimmune cluster - meaning that type 1 diabetics may also develop a form of autoimmune hypothyroidism. Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance, is also more common in type 1 diabetics.

      However, in type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism is usually unrelated. It may be comorbid (occurring in the same person) because weight gain is a symptom of uncontrolled hypothyroidism, and weight is closely associated with diabetes. But that does not mean that the diabetes caused the hypothyroidism or vice versa. The two are in cases of T2DM unrelated.

  24. QUESTION:
    how long does it take for ur body to adjust to thyroxine medicine?
    i started taking thyroxine pills in order to adjust my thyroid hormone because i have a mild case of hypothyroidism. how long does it take for the pills to start working on your metabolism and to regulate it?

    • ANSWER:
      You will feel the full effects of starting thyroxine, or making a dosage change in about 6 weeks. This is why you need to have new blood tests, and plan to adjust your dosage every 6 weeks until your hormone levels are normal, steady, and you are symptom free. Then you can cut back to testing every 6 months or so.

  25. QUESTION:
    What does it mean if I'm trying to conceive and my temps are on the low side, even after ovulation?
    Before ovulation, my temps were around 97.2 and after, they are between 97.5-97.7. It was hard to even tell when my ovulation spike was. I don't exercise much, but am fairly thin - and I had my hormone levels checked when I went to the gyno for a prenatal check-up and everything was fine. I am starting to get frustrated! I am 30, ttc for a year now and had a chemical pregnancy in September. Help!

    • ANSWER:
      Low thyroid function--hypothyroidism!!! I have the exact same problem and it was diagnosed when my dr saw my charts and ordered blood work.

  26. QUESTION:
    How did you feel after taking synthetic hormone for hypothyroidism?
    I've got a low thyroid function but I'm unsure about the safety of what the doctor suggests, namely synthetic t4, otherwise pig-thyroid extract. Can you get off it? Do you feel much better, in what way? Has anyone got an alternative that has helped?

    • ANSWER:
      I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and take Synthroid ever since. You will need to take it every day for the rest of your life. When they finally found the correct dose to use on me I felt great! I felt like my old self again. I had more energy, I went back to my old weight, my skin and hair became healthy.

      Very important: the doctor and you must find the correct dose to use on you and this is done by trial and error and shown through blood tests of your hormone levels. If you feel like nothing has changed after taking it for several weeks the dose is too low. If you feel like your on speed and your heart races and you lose weight your dose is too high. There are herbs and vitamins you can use but none of it should be in the place of the medication since this is a hormone replacement therapy, and no plant or vitamin can do that except medication and your own thyroid gland. Also, you must take it on an empty stomach!!

      Nice part: Synthroid or any levothyroxine have fairly long half lives which mean they build up in your system and take a while to leave, meaning if you forget a dose it isn't too difficult to get back on track

  27. QUESTION:
    I just found out my thyroid hormone is low?
    I have been trying to get pregnant and heard from a lot of people that getting your hormone levels right will help the chances of concieving. Is this right?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, hypothyroidism can affect your ability to conceive. But the level of the disease must be pretty severe. When you have your initial fertility profile done, a TSH level is included. If it is low, it can be treated with medication. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism a few years ago, my doctor monitors my levels on a routine basis. As long as it is regulated, there should not be any reason why this condition should hinder conception. Lots of luck to you and all the other ladies here ttc!!!

  28. QUESTION:
    I'm on a new medicine, when will it start working?
    I discovered I have a low acting thyroid.(hypothyroidism) And am currently taking a new medicine for it. When will I stop feeling tired? I started it about 2 weeks ago.

    • ANSWER:
      What you are taking is a thyroid replacement hormone... probably a synthetic T4 in tablet form. It's already working...

      You will be getting gradual increases which should be about every six weeks, after they have run blood tests to see how your body is processing, absorbing and converting the replacement hormone that you are taking.

      Once your hormone levels build, and your body starts shifting things around to be working better, then you will start to feel better...

      The hard part is being patient during this adjusting period, until your levels are where they need to be.

      www.thyrophoenix.com/adjusting_doses.htm

  29. QUESTION:
    Does anyone have any information about hypothyroidism?
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism as a child, but grew out of it during my teenage years. Unfortunately, I grew out of it just enough to not be medicated anymore, but my hormone levels are still below normal. This is all the information I have from approximately ten years ago. How might I know if I should be retested? Furthermore, might this have any affect on my voice, as I am a professional singer? I am concerned about the reoccurance of the condition due to some of the typical symptoms (fatigue, unexplainable weight gain, etc....). Thank you so much!

    • ANSWER:
      The only sure way to see , is to have a COMPLETE thyroid panel done. If you think your levels are already below normal, you would need meds. And keep in mind that everybodys' "normal" is not the same. My sister has a low "normal and shes not on meds. I have NO thyroid now, and don't do good unless my levels are in the UPPER range of normal.

  30. QUESTION:
    How many hormone tests do you need before you get accurate results?
    Regarding estrogen,cortisol, thyroid or progestrone. These levels change so sometimes they can give you a false negative. How many before u can be sure there's no issue?

    • ANSWER:
      With thyroid, sorry to say but you may go many yrs & through many tests before you get a doctor that has a clue about thyroid & does the full tests ... ANTIBODIES as well as TSH!

      TSH ‘norm’ should be .3 – 3 (w/ most feeling best at < 2) but, for diagnosis, may not mean much if ANTIBODIES are present which is indicative of Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Thyroiditis (cycles between HYPER & HYPO at start)…it is the main cause of eventual HypOthyroidism but worse (...OR Graves Disease – HypERthyroid from beginning).

      WARNING: Doctors seem not to want to find/treat thyroid disease. You may have to go to more than one doctor before you get the right tests, interpretation, and treatment. Best wishes.

      Ck these:
      http://thyroid.about.com/bio/Mary-Shomon-350.htm
      http://www.stopthethyroidmadness.com/
      http://www.thyrophoenix.com/index.html
      http://thyroid.about.com/cs/newsinfo/l/blguidelines.htm

      ALWAYS GET COPIES OF YOUR LABS.

      God bless you

  31. QUESTION:
    What would the implication be of low thyroid hormone level....?
    I have been bad coz I didn't take my 'Thyroxin' tablets though the doc prescribed them. I just don't feel comfortable taking them.

    It's in my third trimester of pregnancy that doc detected slightly low T4 level.

    How will this likely affect the labour and baby..

    God bless

    34 weeks now.

    • ANSWER:
      Thyroid is a really important hormone for fetal development, and potentially also for brain development. We know that after birth, we screen all babies in the U.S. for congenital hypothyroidism. Untreated congenital hypothyroidism leads to mental retardation and short stature. Treated, the kids are completely normal.

      Not taking your medicine won't affect your labor, but the thyroid hormone does cross the placenta and get to the baby. The 1st 12 weeks are probably the most critical. At some point (like about now), your baby begins making its own thyroid hormone, but still depends on yours to some degree.

      If you don't want to take thryoid hormone, at least make sure you're taking enough iodine so the baby can make its own thyroid hormone.

  32. QUESTION:
    What can you do naturally to enhance your thyroid hormone production?
    Ok I have asked this question once but I want rewrite. I went to the dr last year and my thyroid level was very low. They say it should be between a 2 and a 7 and I was 1.3. He didnt prescribe me any meds and said next time I came in he would recheck and decide what to take. Now... I have lost my insurance which means I cant PAY for a prescription nor GO SEE a doctor as I am BROKE.... I have to take care of my kids and dont have 5 + whatever the new blood work would cost to have done.. Any serious suggestions would be appreciated. I just cant bare the weight gain any longer.. I have gained around 60lbs in a year and a half...

    • ANSWER:
      Many hypothyroid patient was due to lack of micronutrient IODINE in the diet.

      I personally seen hundreds of patient with hypothyroidism due to Iodine defficiency especially people who live at mountain places which iodine was not incorporated in their diet. Another reason is they are fond of eating GOITROGENS food like cabbage, Broccoli and others...

      Goitrogen containing food inhibit the reabsortion of Iodine in the thyroid galnd.

      Iodine is important on thyroid hormone synthesis (T3&T4).

      Therefore without Iodine there will be no production of thyroid hormones leading to HYPOTHYROID state.

      I suggest to add Iodized salt on your diet.

  33. QUESTION:
    Is it possible to control an underactive thyroid through diet and exersisie alone?
    I don't want to go to the doctor but my thyroid is not working real well. Just curious if it could be controlled with out medication? I heard that iodine and selenium were both good for your thyroid. Want to know if that is true? I've never been on the medication for it and i'd prefer not to start if I can help it.

    • ANSWER:
      Not usually. A rare few might be able to be helped with iodine if it was an iodine deficiency that caused the thyroid condition and it was caught early. However, most will need thyroid medication. If your body does not priduce thyroid hormone, it will continue to cause symptoms until you cannot stand it any longer. It can even cause heart problems if left untreated, as hypothyroidism causes elevated cholesterol levels. If you want a natural approach, you could try Armour or Nature-throid.

  34. QUESTION:
    Is it ok to take Niacin with an underactive thyroid?
    I have an underactive thyroid (Hypothyroidism) Would Niacin harm me or help me?

    • ANSWER:
      Niacin has been hypothetically linked to lowering the levels of thyroid hormones and thus close medical control is suggested when taking niacin (or any vitamin complex containing niacin/B3), although there are few studies suggesting a direct link between the two. You can reference to pub med for some. If you are taking sodium levothyroxin (or similar for your thyroid condition) you may need an adjustment in the dose when concomitantly taking niacin. Is there a particular reason why you have to take Niacin? Do you suffer from pellagra or another niacin-deficiency condition? If not, and as long as you have a healthy diet, then there is little need to take in extra niacin.

  35. QUESTION:
    How long does it take thyroid medication to work?
    I just found out my thyroid is slow and has been for many years which explains the weight problem iv had. My question is after they start me on the medication to correct the problem how long does it take my body to make up for lost time and start removing the weight. I know I have to work out thats already taken care of my question is how long until the meds start aiding the situation.

    • ANSWER:
      It will take a couple weeks for the medication to fully absorb into your bloodstream and for you to notice the effects. I noticed some minor effects within a day or two. It will still take a while for the weight to come off, but when your thyroid levels are normal, the weight will come off more easily. With diet and exercise, you should see noticeable results within a few months.
      The doctor also starts you on a low dose, based on your thyroid and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormones) levels. At first, your dose may need to be adjusted until the doctor finds the correct dose. Regular monitoring will also be needed, because thyroid levels can change. Keep on top of this, and this will help you manage your weight as well.
      I have been there; weight loss with an under-active (hypothyroidism) thyroid is almost impossible. I started taking Levoxyl, and within a few weeks I started to notice that I lost a few pounds. I am not the type that likes to go to gyms or work out, but the weight did come off more easily after starting my thyroid medication. I have to keep getting checkups because my thyroid levels are constantly changing.
      Your doctor likely will have you returning to the office routinely for lab work to make sure you are taking the correct dose of thyroid medication.

  36. QUESTION:
    Does Levothyroxine affect your ability to orgasm?
    I don't know whether it's because I'm not exactly comfortable or experienced with sex, but I never feel orgasms during sexual penetration. Is this because of Levothyroxine? I understand having hypothyroidism reduces my hormone development so the tablets make up for it, but is my body making enough oxytocin? If not, are there anythings I could try to improve my hormone levels, drugs/medicines ect?

    • ANSWER:
      It shouldn't make a difference. If your thyroid hormones are low, then you may have sexual dysfunction, but when the hormones go back to normal, you should be OK. 70% of women don't orgasm through penetration, so you're normal in that regard.

  37. QUESTION:
    What does your thyroid have to do with body hair?
    I was reading a question, and someone had answered that your thyroid is responsible for hair on your body. What is a thyroid and what exactly does it do? What are its responsibilities in females?

    • ANSWER:
      You need your thyroid for the hormones it produces. The thyroid—a butterfly-shaped gland in the front of your neck—makes hormones that control the way your body uses energy. Your thyroid controls your metabolism, which is how your body turns food into energy, and also affects your heart, muscles, bones and cholesterol.

      While thyroid disorders can range from a small, harmless goiter (enlarged gland) to life-threatening cancer, the most common thyroid problems involve an abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Too much of these vital body chemicals results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Too little hormone production leads to hypothyroidism.

      Hyperthyroidism happens when the thyroid becomes overactive and produces too much of its hormones. People with hyperthyroidism have problems that reflect overactivity of the organs of the body, resulting in symptoms such as sweating, feeling hot, rapid heartbeats, weight loss, HAIR LOSS, and sometimes eye problems.

      Unlike hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism stems from an underproduction of thyroid hormones. Since your body's energy production requires certain amounts of thyroid hormones, a drop in hormone production leads to lower energy levels, causing you to feel weak and tired. Hypothyroidism will also cause HAIR LOSS.

      Pretty much, if your thyroid produces too much or too little of the T3 hormone... then you will suffer the effects of hair loss.

      If you need more information regarding thyroids (what they do and how they contribute to hair loss)... then check out a few of these links.
      http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/health/wellnessandprevention/slideshow1_ss_soh_200803/1
      http://www.wilsonssyndrome.com/ThyroidAndHairLoss.htm
      http://www.thyroid.ca/Articles/EngE9B.html
      http://www.zrtlab.com/Page.aspx?nid=20
      http://symptoms.wrongdiagnosis.com/cosymptoms/reduced-body-hair/thyroid-problems.htm

  38. QUESTION:
    What is thyroid disease in childen around one year to two years old?
    This one year old's soft spot has not healed over and he has some dry skin problems and a small loss of weight. This is some signs of thyroid disease. Hopefully it will turn out to be just a coincidence.

    • ANSWER:
      I would assume this child has been tested for thyroid disease. In the US, mandatory thyroid testing of infants has taken place since 1976. If this child has not been tested, then get him to a doctor as soon as possible. He may have congenital hypothyroidism. Even if he had been tested, it may be a good idea to test again. Hypothyroidism in a child can be devastating.

      Congenital hypothyroidism is a disorder that affects infants at birth, and occurs in about 1 in 4000 live-born babies. It is characterised by the loss of thyroid function, due to the thyroid gland failing to develop normally. In some cases, the gland is totally absent. About 10 per cent of cases are caused by an enzyme defect leading to deficient hormone production, iodine deficiency and a brain pituitary gland abnormality. If the diagnosis is delayed, and immediate treatment is not given, congenital hypothyroidism can lead to growth and developmental defects, and severe mental retardation (cretinism).

      Fortunately, routine testing for thyroid function in newborns has been mandatory since 1976. Within the first week of life, a heelprick blood sample is taken to assess an infant's thyroid hormone level. If any abnormality is found, a repeat blood sample is taken. If this confirms congenital hypothyroidism, the infant is immediately given thyroid hormone replacement therapy (T4 — thyroxine). Normal growth and development should then continue, with no adverse effects on the child's mental capacity.

      Before newborn thyroid screening began, this condition was easily missed. Even within a few days, subtle symptoms would emerge, such as poor feeding, constipation, low body temperature, cool skin, slow pulse, prolonged jaundice, increased sleepiness, and decreased crying. After a few weeks, other physical signs would become more noticeable, such as poor growth and development, dry skin and hair, poor muscle tone, slow tendon reflexes, hoarse crying, enlarged tongue, umbilical hernia, and puffiness or swelling. By this time, there would already have been some devastating consequences. Treatment with thyroid hormone replacement would have resolved most of the physical symptoms, but the child would more than likely have had permanent brain damage.

  39. QUESTION:
    What foods are good for someone who has a low thyroid count?
    I have a low thyroid count and am trying to lose some extra weight that was gained, and I didn't know if there was certain foods that you should eat for a low thyroid count?

    • ANSWER:
      If you have hypothyroidism, you need to see a doctor.

      If you do not have hypothyroidism, don't monkey with your hormone levels because there is no such thing as a free lunch and if you screw with your thyroid, you can mess it up and bring on hypo/hyperthyroidism.

      If you cook with table salt, you are getting sufficient iodine. If you are cooking only with kosher or sea salt, you need to go out and get some table salt and use it in your cooking when you don't need a specific texture, as with kosher salt on meats.

      "They" put iodine in table salt because before they did that, the common person would not get enough and it leads to health problems.

      Humans consume a rather predictable amount of salt each day and it was for the health benefit of all that his became mandated.

      You obviously don't understand the damage you can do to yourself if you fu*k with your thyroid. Please, don't do it.

      Below is information on iodine deficiency and you can google "Hypothyroidism" for more info on that.

      Raw Foods That Hurt Your Thyroid
      http://ezinearticles.com/?Raw-Foods-That-Hurt-Your-Thyroid&id=418151

      Hypothyroidism: University of Maryland
      http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypothyroidism-000093.htm

      Iodine Deficiency
      http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/aha/umioddef.htm
      Iodine deficiency is caused by a lack of iodine, a chemical element essential to the body's physical and mental development, in a person's diet. It is the single most common cause of preventable mental retardation and brain damage in the world.

      Is iodine deficiency common in the United States?
      Iodine deficiency is now rare in the U.S. as a result of widespread distribution of foods from iodine sufficient areas. The incidence of iodine deficiency occurs in certain geographical areas at higher altitudes with iodine depleted soil - usually in areas away from the seacoast and in countries where salt is not fortified with iodine.

      Does iodine deficiency affect women more than men?
      Iodine deficiency is more prevalent in women than in men, and more common in pregnant women and adolescents.

      What is the role of iodine in the body?
      Iodine is an essential element for thyroid function, necessary for the normal growth, development and functioning of the brain and body. It also influences a variety of metabolic processes in the body (converting food to energy, regulating growth and fertility, and maintaining body temperature).

      What are the effects of iodine deficiency?
      When the body becomes iodine-deficient the consequences can affect a person both physically and mentally. After many months of iodine deficiency a person may develop a goiter (an unsightly swelling of the thyroid gland in front of the neck), hypothyroidism and reduced mental function. It also increases the risk of still birth and infant deaths.

      Iodine-deficient women may give birth to babies with severe mental and neurological impairment. If this deficiency occurs during infancy or childhood, it causes irreversible mental retardation, growth failure, speech and hearing defects, among others. Even mild deficiency may cause a low intellectual capacity.

      What is hypothyroidism?
      Hypothyroidism refers to any state in which thyroid hormone production is below normal. There are many disorders that result in hypothyroidism that may directly or indirectly involve the thyroid gland. Since the thyroid hormone affects growth, development and many cellular processes, inadequate thyroid hormone has widespread consequences for the body.

      What are the symptoms of hypothyroidism?
      The symptoms of hypothyroidism are often subtle. They are not specific, which means they can mimic the symptoms of many other conditions. And patients with mild hypothyroidism often have no symptoms.

      Symptoms of hypothyroidism generally become more obvious as the condition worsens. Common symptoms include:
      Fatigue
      Depression
      Modest weight gain
      Cold intolerance
      Excessive sleepiness
      Dry, coarse hair
      Constipation
      Dry skin
      Muscle cramps
      Increased cholesterol levels
      Decreased concentration
      Vague aches and pains
      Swelling of the legs

      As the disease becomes more severe, there may be puffiness around the eyes, a slowing of the heart rate, a drop in body temperature and heart failure. In its most profound form, severe hypothyroidism may lead to a life-threatening coma. This condition requires hospitalization and immediate treatment with thyroid hormones given by injection. If left untreated, hypothyroidism can lead to an enlarged heart, worsening heart failure and an accumulation of fluid around the lungs.

      How is hypothyroidism diagnosed?
      If a patient is experiencing the symptoms listed above, a blood test can confirm a diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

      How is hypothyroidism treated?
      Hypothyroidism is generally treated with iodine and or/medication to support thyroid hormones. A person with hypothyroidism may require life-long supplementation and follow-up care. Consult your doctor about treatment options available.

      How is iodine deficiency treated?
      Once iodine deficiency is diagnosed, consult your doctor about treatment options. Commonly, iodine preparations are prescribed. In deciding to use iodine preparations, the risks of taking them must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will need to make.

      What foods contain iodine?
      In the United States, iodine is added to table salt so it is the primary food source of iodine. Iodine is also widely available in the following foods:
      Seafood
      Cod
      Sea bass
      Haddock
      Perch
      Kelp
      Dairy products
      Plants grown in soil rich in iodine

  40. QUESTION:
    What does it really mean to be borderline for an underactive thyroid?
    I had what I'm pretty positive was a panic attack. I went to the DRs to get checked out, and they did some blood tests. I got the results back and they told me im borderline for an underactive thyroid. Are these two related? And for how long can someone be borderline, does it just change all of a sudden?

    • ANSWER:
      Borderline usually means that you are not diagnosed as having
      hypothyroidism...but, the test reveal that it may be a possibility.

      If someone is stressed, like you say you had a panic attack...this may be
      what has lowered your thyroid hormone in your body. The doctor needs to
      know that you had what you think was a panic attack.

      For now, your doctor may recheck your blood levels to see if it
      stills shows that you are low on the thyroid hormone.

      There are two glands that are involved in this problem:
      The pituitary gland makes a hormone known as TSH
      (thyroid stimulating hormone). When the thryoid isn't
      producing enough of the thyroid hormone
      (known as Thryoxine), the pituitary will release more
      of the TSH to signal the thryoid to make more.
      It is like a balancing act.

      There is a certain level of both of these hormones,
      that is considered to be a normal range, in the blood.
      If one or the other goes too high or too low than this
      normal range...then it means there may be either a
      problem with the pituitary or the thyroid itself.

      If you do happen to have hypothyroidism, you will
      be given medications like levathyroxine to replace
      the amount your body doesn't make.

      best wishes...hope this is of some help.

  41. QUESTION:
    What are the symptoms of an elevated thyroid?
    I got a blood test and it shows that my TSH is a bit elevated. My neck feels a lil swollen and I feel a bit hyper. Is this overreactive thyroid? I also have shortness of breath at night when I am going to bed. But not asleep yet.

    • ANSWER:
      Is you TSH elevated high (big number) hypothyroid or low (small number) hyperthyroid??

      I am currently hyperthyroid on purpose to suppress any cancer and the symptoms that I have is elevated heart rate/ pulse with a TSH of .26. When I was even more hyperthyroid (TSH .08) I had extreme anxiety/ nervousness, jittery/ hyper, every elevated heart rate at rest, fine hand tremors, increased sweating, sensitivity towards heat, insomia, and I felt like my breathing was heavier at night.

      Well symptoms of hypothyroidism usually include tiredness, weakness, feeling cold or chilled, dry hair and skin, brittle nails, depression, constipation, trouble thinking clearly, and for women, Heavy or irregular menstrual periods.

      I went into extreme hypothyroidism (TSH 162) after a total thyroidectomy and being off any thyroid replacement hormone for a month made me feel mostly lazy and my heart rate/pulse was lower/weaker.

      That shortness of breath you have is associated with hypothyroidism, some with the swelling. However, your hyperactivity is not associated with high TSH levels, lethargy is. A hyper felling is generally associated with hyperthyroidism (I'm am currently this) or an over dose.

      Sorry this is so long, I was confused if you are showing "hypo" or "hyper" symptoms. Hope this helps.

  42. QUESTION:
    Should I be taking thyroid medication with my numbers slightly elevated?
    I just got the results from a thyroid test and my free T3 is 3.0, my free T4 is 1.1 and my TSH is 3.1. I just started with a new doctor and I'm afraid to start taking the thyroid medication since you have to take it for the rest of your life. Can the medication harm me if I do not have thyroid problems?

    • ANSWER:
      I suggest getting you thyroid antibodies checked chances are you have Hashimoto thyroiditis. Have your doctor do a simple blood test to check many doctors dont check because they say it 'wont change how they treat you' but that is a sign that the doctor is not up to date on current studies. Check out Dr. Kharrazian. He has a great book and website loaded with information.

      A normal thyroid would not be elevated at all, your levels are. If you start meds they will test your levels again in about 6 weeks if your dont need the medication your blood work will show that. But yes if you have hashimoto or hypothyroidism like your tests indicate then you will be on thyroid hormone replacements the rest of your life. Do your self a favor and ask for natural thyroid medication, It will save you time and hastle since synthetics dont work for many people anymore and the doctor will make you feel like its your fault or like your crazy when you tell him its not working.

      www.stopthethyroidmadness.com

  43. QUESTION:
    What can I expect at my first thyroid doctor appointment?
    I have a doctor appointment in a couple weeks to get my thyroid levels tested, what should I expect at this first appointment? I've never seen a specialist before. I made the appointment because I googled hypothyroidism and I see a lot of these symptoms in myself. My mom had thyroid cancer at a young age so I thought it would be important to get everything checked out.

    • ANSWER:
      You can expect the doctor to listen to you, ask questions, feel your neck for your thyroid, possibly take your pulse, and take your blood to check for thyroid hormone levels.
      Different doctors are different and so are different doctors' offices. I have seen a lot of specialists. Some of them make me wait for a long time and talk to me very briefly; others take a lot of time with me.
      I had/have thyroid disease and when it was just a suspicion we did bloodwork, not really expecting it to be abnormal. After it came back abnormal, my endocrinologist (I already had an endocrinologist) spent a while explaining to me what was going on, what tests he wanted to do, etc. But I didn't have hypothyroidism, I had thyrotoxicity, which is generally a little more complicated to diagnose and treat.

  44. QUESTION:
    Can a fitness trainer help me lose weight if I have a thyroid problem?
    I have hypothyroidism and my body makes to much insulin, would a trainer be able to help me lose weight?

    • ANSWER:
      I have the same exact problem. As you know, hypothyroidism slows your metabolism wayyyyy down and insulin resistance makes you gain weight when you eat carbohydrates and/or sugar. You CAN lose weight with the help of a trainer, but it will be a lot more difficult than someone else doing the same thing, of course. I highly recommend, if you have not already, switching to a low carb diet. It doesn't have to be as drastic as Atkins; a diet like South Beach is fine. Unfortunately, you probably won't be one of the lucky ones that can eat as much as you want of low carb foods, because of the pesky thyroid problem. I didn't lose weight until I ate 1200 calories a day even eating low carb! Also, when you exercise you burn up more T3, so you may need to increase your thyroid replacement hormone. Make your endocrinologist aware that you are starting an exercise regiment and make sure he/she does labs every 2-3 months to make sure your levels are okay. Typically, someone with thyroid disease will not be able to lose much weight until the TSH gets under a 1.

  45. QUESTION:
    Does anyone know any vitamins or natural apart from exercise to increase the efficiency of the thyroid gland?
    My cousin has a thyroid issue and was wondering if anyone knew any vitamins or natural herbs apart from exercise and prescribed medications tht would help?
    b complex are there any specific brands..idk one a day or something that u know of"?

    • ANSWER:
      Interference with thyroid hormone is often an underlying cause of hypothyroidism, which, in turn, is responsible for more than 100 different symptoms. There are many undesirable effects which include weight gain and fatigue that cannot be controlled by diet or exercise.

      Commonly observed symptoms of Hypothyroidism include
      Fatigue

      Weight Gain

      Dry Skin

      Constipation

      Intolerance to Cold/Heat

      Muscle Weakness

      Indigestion

      Memory Loss

      Menstrual Disorders

      Infertility

      Sleep Disorders

      Swelling of Hands, Feet, Eyelids

      Loss of Hair

      Heart Palpitation

      Premenstrual Syndrome

      Emotional Instability

      Unopposed estrogen (estrogen dominance) can interfere with thyroid hormone activity and is often a primary underlying cause of thyroid dysfunction.

      Because estrogen and thyroid hormone have opposing actions (probably at the thyroid hormone receptor level) unopposed Estrogen will prevent the thyroid hormone from "completing its mission," resulting in "hypothyroid symptoms." This excess estrogen is often responsible for the symptoms of Hypothyroidism, despite normal serum levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH).

      Natural Progesterone, however, re-directs the activity of estrogen by increasing the sensitivity of estrogen receptors and, most importantly, inhibits many of unopposed estrogen's undesirable side-effects, which includes interference with thyroid hormone activity.

      Most women who are plagued by the symptoms of hypothyroidism have found that thyroid function has been normalized within a few weeks of using a properly formulated Natural Progesterone Cream, in conjunction with proven Dietary- Lifestyle modifications.

      Because natural progesterone most often has a normalizing effect on a sluggish thyroid, the use of thyroid medication may over-stimulate the thyroid gland. Consult your health care professional if you are taking prescription thyroid medication.

      In addition to a properly formulated Natural Progesterone Cream, many informed women have found that supplementing with ten kelp tablets per day has a nourishing effect on thyroid function.

  46. QUESTION:
    How long does a thyroid patient take eltroxin?
    Is eltroxin, the medicine for hypothyroidism, really for life? can patients take them for just a certain period of time? why or why not?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes, it does. Unfortunately, there is no "cure" for hypothyroidism I have been on the thyroid replacement mediation (one dose daily) for many years. I have regular blood tests every 3 or 4 months to determine if the dosage needs to be changed.

      I copied the following information for you from the website of the Mayo Clinic. It explains why it is necessary to continue your medication much better than I can.

      "Standard treatment for an underactive thyroid involves daily use of the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, Unithroid). The oral medication restores adequate hormone levels, shifting your body back into normal gear.

      Soon after starting treatment, you'll notice that you're feeling less fatigued. The medication also gradually lowers cholesterol levels elevated by the disease and may reverse any weight gain. Treatment with levothyroxine is usually lifelong, but because the dosage you need may change, your doctor is likely to check your TSH level every year or so.

      To determine the right dosage of levothyroxine initially, your doctor generally checks your level of TSH after two to three months. Excessive amounts of the hormone can cause side effects, such as increased appetite, insomnia, heart palpitations and shakiness."

      Note:
      As you can see, your thyroid medication can avoid complications. NOT taking your medication, on the other hand, can also cause problems such as osteoporosis. It is only a minor inconvenience to take one tablet a day and avoid any other medical complications that can be caused by a thyroid disorder.

      I hope this has helped you.

  47. QUESTION:
    what does it mean when your thyroid is producing antibodies?
    since i have history of thyroid problems in my family, i went to the doctor to get my blood tested and they said i'm beginning to produce antibodies against my thyroid...what does this mean exactly?

    • ANSWER:
      They probably checked your Thyroid Peroxidase or TPO level in your blood. This is a type of protein that forms to attack your thyroid and destroy it. It is called Hashimotos thyroiditis - named after the japanese doctor who first discovered the presence of antibodies. This is a common form of hypothyroidism - and shows an inflammation of the thyroid caused by the attacking antibodies. Depending on your other thyroid test results - and especially if you have symptoms and your TSH was above 3 you can ask your doctor for a low dose of thyroid hormone supplementation. Also - should retest your numbers often to see how the meds are working. Antibodies will decrease after years of being on thyroid medication and their level may not ever become normal, but I have heard that it is possible in some cases. Good luck to you!

  48. QUESTION:
    Is hypothyroidism related to Cushings Disease in dogs?
    My dog was diagnosed with low thyroid. Then we discovered that he has Cushings disease from the steroids used to treat his allergies. He has been off steroids for over 2 months now and is doing very well. Should I have his thyroid rechecked (0 test) or are these things unrelated?

    • ANSWER:
      You definitely ought to have his thyroid function reassessed- if he is truly hypothyroid, he will need to be given synthetic thyroxine (thyroid hormone) for life.

      It is a possibility, as Vet Tech said, that the low thyroid function was due to his Cushings- almost any illness can create a condition called Sick Euthyroid Syndrome, which basically means that although the thyroid gland is prefectly normal, less thyroid hormone is being produced as a direct effect of the illness.

      As his Cushings was caused by the steroids, rather than by his body producing too much cortisol, the Cushings should resolve over time. You've said that he's doing very well, which I'm taking to mean that the Cushings signs are resolving as expected.

      The important thing when you do have him re-tested is to make sure that it is done as a FREE T4 (FT4) test. This is really the only practical and accurate test to diagnose hypothyroidism.

      A Total T4 (TT4) test will detect low thyroid hormone, but cannot differentiate between sick euthyroid and true hypothyroidism.

      A TSH test is not overly useful either, and I wouldn't waste your money on it- while it should be higher than normal, up to 40% of hypoT dogs have normal levels, and up to 20% of normal dogs have elevated levels.

      I hope that makes sense. Please feel free to email me if anything I've said is unclear.

  49. QUESTION:
    Is there a meal plan that's benefical to hypothyroidism that can improve weight loss?
    I have hypothyroidism, and as a result have trouble upon trouble losing weight. I'm beginning to think it's a no win situation and it's very frustrating. Is there a meal plan that can help?

    I said MEAL PLAN not pill, fake diet fad, or advertisement, thank you!

    • ANSWER:
      Most people have hard time losing weight on synthetic hormones, but do much better on natural hormones (Armour brand)

      I advocate a low carb way of eating for optimal health. One thyroid specialist, Dr. Broda Barnes who did the metabolic studies on carbs/calories ratios, found that treated hypothyroid patients (not untreated) tended to lower their conversion of T4 to T3 when under 30grams of carbs per day or under 1500 calories. So would suggest keeping carbs over 30 grams per day (less than 9 grams per hour though) and calories greater than 1500 (low carb way of eating requires calories to be MUCH higher than 1500 for most people)

      You can lose more body fat eating protein & fat (don't eat protein alone) than not eating AT ALL. To lose weight fast, eat all you want, but nothing but meat, eggs, healthy oils, mayo, butter & half an avocado a day (for added potassium). Keep the calories high & the fat percentage high, at least 65% of calories. Green vegetables & some cheese will continue weight loss but at a slower pace.

      The first 2 weeks eat several cups a day of (mostly) lettuce & celery, cucumbers, radishes, mushrooms, peppers & more variety of vegetables thereafter - add 5 grams per day additional every week (30 grams day first 2 weeks, 35grams 3rd week, 40grams 4th week etc) til you gain weight, then subtract 10grams. That will be your personal carb level (everyone is different & depends on how active you are.)

      Start with meat, fats & salads for 2 weeks and then slowly add in more green veg, wk4 fresh cheeses, wk5 nuts & seeds, wk6 berries, wk7 legumes, wk8 other fruits, wk9 starchy veg, wk10 whole grains. You will learn how your body reacts to different foods.

      The first week is just water weight but fat is lost thereafter if you keep your calories high enough. Otherwise the body will strip it's own lean tissue for nutrition. Although that may look great on a scale it will make it MUCH easier to accumulate fat in the future (since all that pesky lean tissue burning up calories will be gone). The body won't release fat stores if you lower calories below what it needs. It will slow metabolism to compensate & store every spare ounce as fat. If you continue lowering calories, it will continue lowering the set point, til it can survive off nothing & store fat on anything. The body will only release it's fat stores if it knows there is plenty of nutritious food.

      Eating carbs while trying to lose body fat is terribly inefficient. When in glycolysis (burning glucose as fuel) you have to lower your calories (which slows your metabolism) & exercise heavily to deplete your glycogen stores before burning body fat.

      The core of Atkins program is converting the body from glycolysis (burning glucose as fuel) to ketosis (burning fat as fuel). Dietary fat levels need to be at >65% of total calories, if not, the body will still remain in glycolysis by converting 58% of excess protein into glucose (via gluconeogenesis).

      It takes minimum of 3 days to convert a body to ketosis, (but only one bite to convert back to glycolysis). People feel sluggish the first week but most feel better than ever thereafter.

      Simple carbohydrates (sugar, flour, bread, cereal, pasta, potatoes, rice) trigger insulin which can store the calories eaten into fat. The more protein the more the fat burning hormone glucagon is released. The more carbohydrate the more the fat storage hormone insulin is released.

      Simple carbs are addictive & can be disastrous to health. The best way to break the addiction is NO carbs for 3 days. Make a huge batch of deviled eggs, eat one every time you want "something" - have huge omelets with bacon, sausage, peppers, mushrooms & cheese. Pork chops smothered with peppers, mushrooms & cheese - pork rinds & dip or tuna/chicken/turkey/egg salad - steaks - a huge sugar free cheese cake. Eat so much you won't feel deprived of anything. By the 4th day, the addiction will be gone & you can start making healthy choices.

      High insulin levels promote inflammation, weight gain, hunger & unbalance other hormones. Controlling insulin levels will balance out other hormones & allow human growth hormone (HGH) to be produced naturally so lean muscle will be gained even without exercise. Any exercise will greatly increase muscle mass with high HGH levels.

      Ground flax seed (2 Tbsp) 1/4 cup water, artificial sweetener, mix in a raw egg - let sit 10 min. to absorb liquid, put some cream cheese in the middle & nuke 2 minutes. Suggested for daily fiber needs.

      As long as you have <9grams carbs per hour, you will maintain insulin control & shouldn't gain weight, no matter the calories. Many people gain weight on high carb, do low carb to lose weight & then are shocked when they return to high carb & gain weight. Many people can return to moderate carb levels but very few can really eat all they want of sugar & maintain weight or health.

  50. QUESTION:
    What are the most common diseases that affect both cholesterol and blood sugar levels?
    I'm looking for a topic for a research paper. I'm looking for some type of medical problem that can affect both a person's cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Preferably something that can be treated or at least controlled by medicine. Any ideas?

    • ANSWER:
      Hypothyroidism.

      "Your thyroid could be the CAUSE of your elevated cholesterol

      If you are like 90% of Americans, you are probably unaware of this link. According to a survey conducted by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, fewer than half of people diagnosed with high cholesterol had had their thyroid checked, and 90% of survey participants were unaware of the thyroid's impact on cholesterol. Thyroid hormone is necessary for the healthy metabolism of cholesterol."

      "How low thyroid function affects blood sugar
      We’ve seen now how both high and low blood sugar cause thyroid dysfunction. On the other hand, low thyroid function can cause dysglycemia and metabolic syndrome through a variety of mechanisms:

      it slows the rate of glucose uptake by cells;
      it decreases rate of glucose absorption in the gut;
      it slows response of insulin to elevated blood sugar; and,
      it slows the clearance of insulin from the blood.

      These mechanisms present clinically as hypoglycemia. When you’re hypothyroid, your cells aren’t very sensitive to glucose. So although you may have normal levels of glucose in your blood, you’ll have the symptoms of hypoglycemia (fatigue, headache, hunger, irritability, etc.). And since your cells aren’t getting the glucose they need, your adrenals will release cortisol to increase the amount of glucose available to them. This causes a chronic stress response, as I described above, that suppresses thyroid function."

      Cholesterol reduction:
      http://www.drgregemerson.com/fact-file/cholesterol-reduction

      Thyroid disease:
      http://www.sensible-alternative.com.au/metabolic-hormones/thyroid-article

      Thyroid, blood sugar & metabolic syndrome:
      http://chriskresser.com/thyroid-blood-sugar-metabolic-syndrome

thyroid hormone levels for hypothyroidism