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Old 04-24-2011, 09:11 AM
 
7,843 posts, read 11,137,853 times
Reputation: 10079

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I'm 54, overweight. Went in for a bi annual physical.
For several years my Dr said my thyroid was on the high side of normal which is fine. This last test was a little higher? I don't know the numbers from before, 4 something I think.
But the nurse on the phone said this test was 5.9. Which still isn't very out of normal right? But the nurse said my cholesteral was up too.
They prescribed Levothyroxine Sodium 50 MCG Oval Tablet (they sent the scrip in the mail, I haven't actually talked to my Dr. since the physical).

I looked up thyroid symptoms and I do have weight gain issues, feel like my memory is a problem and am tired. But I don't get cold, not constipated or any of the other symptoms.
But...
I don't exercise, haven't slept well for years (pre any thyroid issues) which isn't being helped by these dang feral kitten/cats I have to get up and let in and out all night and have been having a McDonalds sausage egg burrito for the past 6 months so there are other things to attribute my symptoms to.

Is this about the lowest dose available?
If I give it 4 months or so and don't see improvement can I go back off or is it once on forever on? Can it make my thyroid quit producing on its own?
Understanding the number seems sort of complex but 5.9 doesn't seem that bad from what I can gather.
And I did have an ultrasound of my thyroid, no nodules, and I believe normal size.

When I was younger I never gave a thought...whatever the Dr. said, I did. Now that I'm older I've gotten a little more cynical.
Seems to me the longer you can stay away from Dr.s and meds the better off you are.

So if you have been dealing with thyroid and understand the numbers, the meds etc. Thanks for any info.
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 12,544,110 times
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If I'm not mistaken, 25 mcg is the smallest dose available, followed by 50 mcg. This is still considered a small dose, it goes up to many times that level. The fact that you don't have all the symptoms of hypothyroid is normal, no one will display all of them. They will test your thyroid more frequently in the beginning when you are taking the medicine, so don't worry about your levels going too high. And side effects to levothyroxine are extremely rare. I don't think you have anything to worry about, and hopefully you'll get help from it with your weight and energy levels. I know many people, including myself who've been taking thyroid medicines for many years and never had a problem.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,070,616 times
Reputation: 6183
Thyroid is an odd organ. Mine is swollen. I've had every test I am aware of to date and they all come back normal. I am under a lot of stress.

PS: I neutered my cats and slept peacefully ever since.
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Old 04-24-2011, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,468,042 times
Reputation: 18533
A higher TSH reading, which is what I think you are talking about, means your thyroid is not producing enough so the ?forget which gland - is trying to stimulate it. levo is a thyroid replacement med so it makes sense. The trouble is that both hypo- and hyper-thyroidism have a huge overlap of symptoms. You should see an endocrinologist who specializes in thyroid problems (not all do) and get a full thyroid panel run. One TSH test doesn't tell the whole story.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: state of procrastination
3,487 posts, read 6,124,525 times
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TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels can go up and down based on other factors as well, like if you were recently sick your body will need to make more thyroid hormones so your TSH will rev up in an attempt to meet your body's demands. Many older people have higher TSH because their thyroid isnt' as responsive to TSH. You should not prescribe levothyroxine (replacement hormone) unless you diagnose hypothyroidism with T4 levels.

Thyroid Panel

Check your labs! Ask for a copy of them. Understand what it means.

It should not affect your thyroid function from baseline, and you might not need it forever. However, there can be side effects even at low doses. You should definitely make an attempt to question your doc every time you aren't sure why something is being done. It could just be that you have clinical hypothyroidism but the nurse/doc didn't explain your condition and test results to you very well. However you still need to ask them so you can understand it for yourself. What if you switch doctors and you aren't sure about your past history?
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:44 PM
 
7,843 posts, read 11,137,853 times
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Well looking at this it seems like you can start at really small doses. 50 high to me considering my low number.

Synthroid (Levothyroxine Sodium) Drug Information: User Reviews, Side Effects, Drug Interactions and Dosage at RxList
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:00 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
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Dosage isn't dependent exclusively on your T4 level. It determined based on the level, PLUS your age range, PLUS your weight, your overall physical/medical condition, and nutritional habits. It's adjusted depending on your body's response to whatever dose you're initially given.

If your doctor gave you 50mcg to start with, he must have had a reason for it. How about ask him?

Also note on that link you provided, 50 mcg is the 2nd lowest dosage out of 12 dosage sizes, and the only dosage that doesn't have food coloring added to it. 50 mcg is a pretty standard starting dosage. I had to start on 100 because I only have one thyroid node. The other was surgically removed following discovery of a tumor.
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Old 04-25-2011, 02:22 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
8,874 posts, read 12,914,194 times
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To my mind, there is one top place to learn about the thyroid in layperson's terms. It's about.com's special forum on the subject, managed by the author Mary J. Shomon, a respected writer specializing in the subject of advocacy for thyroid patients. She deals with everything from goiters to Hashimodo's and Grave's Diseases to hypo- to hyper-thyroidism. She interviews physician specialists, can competently explain the controversy surrounding the test numbers that are bedeviling you, and allows sufferers to share their experiences.

Ms. Shomon has also written several books on the subject, including The Thyroid Diet: Manage Your Metabolism for Lasting Weight Loss, which has been personally helpful to me (and is NOT a miracle cure promise). On the about.com forum, she also invites you to subscribe to an informative free newsletter she publishes several times a month.

Check it out: Thyroid Disease Information - Hypothyroidism - Hyperthyroidism - Thyroid Cancer - Autoimmune Disease - Hashimoto's - Graves' - Goiter - Nodules
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:02 AM
 
7,843 posts, read 11,137,853 times
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Jukesgrrl, is about.com a forum with Q&A boards or more a compilation of info, articles, newsletters etc.? I could not find a Q&A board. I see there is a FAQ.

Thanks all
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Old 04-25-2011, 07:42 PM
 
12,620 posts, read 17,684,974 times
Reputation: 2988
[quote=Giesela;18864291]I'm 54, overweight. Went in for a bi annual physical.
For several years my Dr said my thyroid was on the high side of normal which is fine. This last test was a little higher? I don't know the numbers from before, 4 something I think.
But the nurse on the phone said this test was 5.9. Which still isn't very out of normal right? But the nurse said my cholesteral was up too.
High Cholesterol goes with Hypothyroidism

They prescribed Levothyroxine Sodium 50 MCG Oval Tablet (they sent the scrip in the mail, I haven't actually talked to my Dr. since the physical).

I looked up thyroid symptoms and I do have weight gain issues, feel like my memory is a problem and am tired. But I don't get cold, not constipated or any of the other symptoms.
But...
I don't exercise, haven't slept well for years (pre any thyroid issues) which isn't being helped by these dang feral kitten/cats I have to get up and let in and out all night and have been having a McDonalds sausage egg burrito for the past 6 months so there are other things to attribute my symptoms to.

Is this about the lowest dose available?
They have to start low and work your dosage us so they can monitor if you are getting to much they dont want you to get hyperthyroid

If I give it 4 months or so and don't see improvement can I go back off or is it once on forever on?
You will need to take this for the rest of your life. It will take longer than 4 months for your body to repair and replenish. It has taken years to get this way a good 6 months to a year is normal. The Thyroid affects everything in the body. Your heart everything.

Can it make my thyroid quit producing on its own?
You are taking it because your Thyroid has quit producing its own in the capacity that your body needs it to produce.


Understanding the number seems sort of complex but 5.9 doesn't seem that bad from what I can gather.
And I did have an ultrasound of my thyroid, no nodules, and I believe normal size.

When I was younger I never gave a thought...whatever the Dr. said, I did. Now that I'm older I've gotten a little more cynical.
Seems to me the longer you can stay away from Dr.s and meds the better off you are.

So if you have been dealing with thyroid and understand the numbers, the meds etc. Thanks for any info.

You also should be checked for Hashimotos, Pernicious Anemia (B-12 Deficiency)
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