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Low thyroid connection & undermedication

Posted by Ardell R. on 7/02/00 at 12:19 (022776)

Recently while browsing the site http://thyroid.about.com/health/thyroid , I was struck by a thread on plantar fasciitis in patients who are hypothyroid and the number of prompt responses. It was a big 'Aha'!
I was diagnosed with hypothyoiditis in 1997, about the same time my plantar fasciitis appeared. I have been through orthotics, the heel splint, physiotherapy and ultrasound, stretching, and massage. The last three seemed the most effective, particularly massaging my foot over a golf ball. I now wear normal shoes, and note only the occasional stiffness in my foot and calf. However, I recently have had a tendency to carpal tunnel syndrome and flashes of heat in my other foot. I quit working six months ago because I could no longer handle the stress.
The second big 'Aha' at the site was an article on possible undermedication and recent controversy regarding the 'normal' ranges for the TSH test, which has been the standard for testing hypothyroidism since 1973. Two doctors wanted to treat me for depression. I believe I have been undermedicated, and have been suffering from what is called 'subclinical hypothyroidism' since recovering (not) from a summer 'flu in 1992, when I first began to notice a slowing metabolism, fatigue, weight gain, and episodes of muscle stiffness (the list of symptoms is actually much longer). Fortunately, I now have a doctor who is open-minded about the 'normal' TSH range and willing to treat my symptoms. She is gradually increasing my medication and testing for the way my body utilizes same.
Any similar stories? Any success stories?



Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

alan k on 7/02/00 at 13:11 (022778)

I have some vaguely similar symptoms surrounding a flu, but my doc said my thyroid-- the first thing he checked (not mentioning pf or perhaps I should stay off my feet)-- was normal. I wonder if I was on the low end of normal, though.

I never felt cold and don't feel low on energy anymore, but certainly still wonder about this. Looking forward to other replies.


alan k


Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

wendyn on 7/02/00 at 17:30 (022785)

I do know that low thyroid can cause PF problems and TTS like symptoms. Anyone who is having problems with their feet should have systemic problems ruled out by a qualified doctor (I know I sound like a broken record)...they usually check for things like

Diabetes
Rhematoid Arthritis
Lupus
Low Thyroid
Low B12



Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

john h on 7/02/00 at 19:04 (022786)

my health club offers a blood screening twice a year which is very comprehensive. it includes a thyroid check. the normal reference range for TSH is 0.47 - 6.90.

the thyroid gland is very important in several chemical actions that take place in the body. it helps unite proteins to form compounds, produces body heat, regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and helps regulate the chemical processes of the brain, muscle, and nerve cells.

symptoms of Hypothyrodism are tiredness and lethargy, muscle weakness, cramps, a slow heat rate, dry and flaking skin, hair loss, constipation, and a dry and husky voice.

sympotoms of Hyperthyrodism may include weight loss, increasedf appetite, heat intolerance, emotional instability, excessive sweating, heart palpitations, loss of strength, and visual problems.

a simple blood test will let you know!


Re: Is normal TSH .47 to 6.90 or 1.0 to 2.0

Ardell R on 7/02/00 at 21:34 (022792)

Therein lies the controversy. Many people (not all) who have a TSH reading over 2.0 are symptomatic and do not feel well until they get it below 2.0. Even then, some patients do not respond until they are medicated with a combination of T4 and T3. If your doctor says your thyroid is normal, get the numbers. If your TSH is between 2.0 and 6.0 you could benefit from thyroid treatment. There are no known side effects from the synthetic T4 supplement . The only risk is overdosage, bringing the TSH below 0.5. Most doctors increase thyroid supplementation in very small increments and monitor the result to prevent overdosage.

Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

Stephanie S. on 7/03/00 at 07:15 (022802)

You know what I have to say about that??.....AAHH!! That's
what....I pulled it up and surfed all around the site...
that's it...you've helped me make my mind up....I'm going
back to the doctor.

I have so many other symptoms...I myself have been trying
to figure out 'What my problem is' and I think it's a definete
possiblity....and the others...diabetes..etc.

Not a bad idea to get an overall review,huh?

Thanks for posting......Steph


Re: Is normal TSH .47 to 6.90 or 1.0 to 2.0

john h on 7/03/00 at 08:37 (022806)

the reference range for TSH according to the Arkansas Medical Laboratory is .47 to 6.90. My TSH on 2/5/00 was 1.88, on 9/12/98 it was 3.24. Both were indicated as normal.

SmithKline Beecham Labs indicate a T-3 Uptake range of 22-35 as normal and a T-4 (Thyroxine) range of 4.5-12.5, a Free T4 Index range of 1.4-3.8, and the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone range of .4 -5.5 as being in the normal range. This was data in 1996.


Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

john h on 7/03/00 at 08:39 (022807)

a thyroid profile cost about $35 and is simple and efficient. Some people who experience anxiety or other emotional problems are really experiencing thyroid problems.

Re: John H is normal

Ardell R on 7/04/00 at 21:42 (022863)

John,
If you have no symptoms, you have no problem. The issue is that some people have symptoms, which some doctors refuse to treat, because of exclusive reliance on the TSH test (the normal range was developed from a study of 29 subjects)!
Have you checked out the website in my original posting?

Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

alan k on 7/02/00 at 13:11 (022778)

I have some vaguely similar symptoms surrounding a flu, but my doc said my thyroid-- the first thing he checked (not mentioning pf or perhaps I should stay off my feet)-- was normal. I wonder if I was on the low end of normal, though.

I never felt cold and don't feel low on energy anymore, but certainly still wonder about this. Looking forward to other replies.


alan k


Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

wendyn on 7/02/00 at 17:30 (022785)

I do know that low thyroid can cause PF problems and TTS like symptoms. Anyone who is having problems with their feet should have systemic problems ruled out by a qualified doctor (I know I sound like a broken record)...they usually check for things like

Diabetes
Rhematoid Arthritis
Lupus
Low Thyroid
Low B12



Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

john h on 7/02/00 at 19:04 (022786)

my health club offers a blood screening twice a year which is very comprehensive. it includes a thyroid check. the normal reference range for TSH is 0.47 - 6.90.

the thyroid gland is very important in several chemical actions that take place in the body. it helps unite proteins to form compounds, produces body heat, regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism, and helps regulate the chemical processes of the brain, muscle, and nerve cells.

symptoms of Hypothyrodism are tiredness and lethargy, muscle weakness, cramps, a slow heat rate, dry and flaking skin, hair loss, constipation, and a dry and husky voice.

sympotoms of Hyperthyrodism may include weight loss, increasedf appetite, heat intolerance, emotional instability, excessive sweating, heart palpitations, loss of strength, and visual problems.

a simple blood test will let you know!


Re: Is normal TSH .47 to 6.90 or 1.0 to 2.0

Ardell R on 7/02/00 at 21:34 (022792)

Therein lies the controversy. Many people (not all) who have a TSH reading over 2.0 are symptomatic and do not feel well until they get it below 2.0. Even then, some patients do not respond until they are medicated with a combination of T4 and T3. If your doctor says your thyroid is normal, get the numbers. If your TSH is between 2.0 and 6.0 you could benefit from thyroid treatment. There are no known side effects from the synthetic T4 supplement . The only risk is overdosage, bringing the TSH below 0.5. Most doctors increase thyroid supplementation in very small increments and monitor the result to prevent overdosage.

Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

Stephanie S. on 7/03/00 at 07:15 (022802)

You know what I have to say about that??.....AAHH!! That's
what....I pulled it up and surfed all around the site...
that's it...you've helped me make my mind up....I'm going
back to the doctor.

I have so many other symptoms...I myself have been trying
to figure out 'What my problem is' and I think it's a definete
possiblity....and the others...diabetes..etc.

Not a bad idea to get an overall review,huh?

Thanks for posting......Steph


Re: Is normal TSH .47 to 6.90 or 1.0 to 2.0

john h on 7/03/00 at 08:37 (022806)

the reference range for TSH according to the Arkansas Medical Laboratory is .47 to 6.90. My TSH on 2/5/00 was 1.88, on 9/12/98 it was 3.24. Both were indicated as normal.

SmithKline Beecham Labs indicate a T-3 Uptake range of 22-35 as normal and a T-4 (Thyroxine) range of 4.5-12.5, a Free T4 Index range of 1.4-3.8, and the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone range of .4 -5.5 as being in the normal range. This was data in 1996.


Re: Low thyroid connection & undermedication

john h on 7/03/00 at 08:39 (022807)

a thyroid profile cost about $35 and is simple and efficient. Some people who experience anxiety or other emotional problems are really experiencing thyroid problems.

Re: John H is normal

Ardell R on 7/04/00 at 21:42 (022863)

John,
If you have no symptoms, you have no problem. The issue is that some people have symptoms, which some doctors refuse to treat, because of exclusive reliance on the TSH test (the normal range was developed from a study of 29 subjects)!
Have you checked out the website in my original posting?