High Thyroid Numbers? What?

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Tame
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 12/13/2011 8:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone, so I had blood drawn as a part of my physical for the nursing program, and my doctor told me that my numbers for my thyroid were a bit high. I have no idea what that meant and he didn't spend any time on it, he just filled out my physical and scooted me out.

I know my mom has a thyroid problem, although I don't know of what...I don't know what meds she's on either, but I'm guessing it's hereditary?

I'm only 21 years old, I don't want to deal with a lifetime disease. Everything else came out fine. I'm at a normal weight for my height.

Just wondering, what would it mean if a doctor told you that your numbers for your thyroid is high??

Judy2
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9646
   Posted 12/13/2011 11:02 PM (GMT -7)   
Unfortunately, "a little high" isn't very meaningful. It could mean high end of the normal range which is no problem, or really high. I had an internist tell me my numbers were "a little high" and refer me to an endocrinologist; my numbers were astronomical and my heart rate had doubled from my usual.

If you don't have hyperthyroid symptoms (see http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=37&m=1505000), try to get a copy of your lab results to see how high it is. Then if you do have significant symptoms, consider consulting an endocrinologist for a better evaluation.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin

Moderator, thyroid forum

Tame
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 12/14/2011 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for that. I know the info I gave was vague, but that's just how vague he gave it to me. I'm seeing my doctor again Monday so I'll ask for a copy of my results and maybe ask you guys here.

I called me mom and she has hypothyroid problems. But my doctor is saying I may start having hyperthyroid problems. Is that possible? I guess it is.

Thanks for answering me Judy :)

cfs
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 80
   Posted 12/18/2011 8:18 PM (GMT -7)   
It's certainly possible for you to be hyper. It's especially important to get copies of your labs and not be rushed into making an informed treatment decision.

Tame
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted Yesterday 5:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay so I got my lab results and here's what they say:

TSH Normal Range: 0.40 - 4.50
My number is 4.59

My doctor doesn't seem worried about it cause he just glossed over it. What do you guys think?

cfs
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 80
   Posted Yesterday 5:44 PM (GMT -7)   
What I say is, you need to know what your FT3 and FT4 are as well, and consider what if any symptoms you're having. Think hypothyroid and not hyper. Just for the fun of it you may want to google "The TSH Wars".
Some people do fine with such a high TSH if their T4 and T3 hormones are normal. I would still say that even if you're one of them, you should have more frequent monitoring.

Tame
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted Yesterday 5:49 PM (GMT -7)   
So having high numbers would make someone have hypothyroid not hyper?

I looked at the stickies and looked at the symptoms but I'm not experiencing any.

Thanks for the quick reply. I have no idea what my FT3 or my FT4 are at, he didn't test those so I'll have to look into a lab and see if they will for me.

cfs
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 80
   Posted Yesterday 5:54 PM (GMT -7)   
This is very simplistic but I understand med stuff on a simplistic level. When the thyroid's not producing enough hormone, the hormone numbers - T3 and T4 - will be below range, maybe borderline, at the border. Meanwhile, the thyroid's sending a message somewhere (hypothalamus? not sure) that it needs more hormone; the message sent is actually, get me more thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Hence the high TSH number.

OTOH, when the thyroid produces too much hormone, the T3 and T4 will be above range, and the TSH will be below range, maybe non existent, because it's saying, no thank you, I don't need my thyroid stimulated to produce more hormone.

It's kind of a see-saw. Occasionally the numbers won't make sense, both might be elevated, e.g. and a good endo can get to the bottom of this by monitoring carefully, checking other numbers like antibodies, etc.

Tame
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted Yesterday 5:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Blaaahh this sucks. Is it hereditary? Cause I know my mom has a hypothyroid problem and she gained all this crazy kind of weight. I don't want to go through that.

cfs
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 80
   Posted Today 10:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Tame, with decent monitoring and a proactive attitude that kind of weight gain isn't inevitable. The moderator will probably have some good ideas for further research. Some books that looked good to me are
Mary Shomon's Living Well with Hypothyroidism (I have an issue with her hyper book)
Thyroid Power by the Shameses
The Thyroid Solution by Ridha Arem

There may well be others. I don't know too much about hypo.

Judy2
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 9646
   Posted Today 11:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Tame, with your lab results and no symptoms you're likely not hypothyroid, or only very mildly so. Hypothyroidism is usually one of the easiest things to treat - you take a pil every morning, and get a blood test two to four times a year.

The weight gain that comes with significant hypothyroidism is water weight, easily lost by cutting back on salt. Because people who are severely hypothyroid are tired all the time, they tend not to exercise and that can also cause weight gain. So weight gain isn't inevitable, you can control it.

I had Graves disease and had my thyroid treated to basically kill the entire organ, so my body isn't producing any thyroid hormone at all. I take one levothyroxine tablet every morning and have absolutely no symptoms of thyroid problems. I eat and exercise normally, and haven't gained any weight as a result of losing my thyroid.
Ulcerative colitis diagnosed in 2001; symptoms as early as 1992. In remission since 2006 with Remicade.
Inflammatory osteoarthritis; osteonecrosis from steroids
Grave's disease successfully treated with radioactive iodine and now on Levothyroxine.
Type II diabetes induced by steroids.
Meds: Remicade, Colazal, Levothyroxine, Mobic, Metformin

Moderator, thyroid forum

Tame
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 42
   Posted Today 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
So if I wanted to know for sure and wanted to go to a lab on my own, what should I ask them to look for?

Thanks for the help, this all came to me as a shock

cfs
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 80
   Posted Today 5:57 PM (GMT -7)   
A full thyroid panel: TSH, T3 and T4 (best tested as Free T3 and Free T4). It might be useful to have the TPO anitbody level tested though AFAIK that just indicates autoimmune thyroid stuff going on and might not necessarily impact treatment.

You really won't have a full picture till you have the T3 and T4 tested too.

Thyroid replacement is one of the safest, easiest meds to take if you have to. BUT, and this is a big but, you need to be proactive, get copies of your labs and hold onto them, and understand the process to be sure you're getting optimal care.

JJonah
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 5/16/2013 9:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I just had my TSH checked at the ER the other night. It came back as 3.61 the ER doc said it was a fine reading. But reading on many thyroid sites the norm seems to be all across the board from .3-6 how is anyone supposed to know what is normal with all the different ranges??? If I follow the .3-3 range, I'm way above that. And I have some symptoms. Ugh....so frustrating :(

hypoHashimoto
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 339
   Posted 5/16/2013 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
Some people find that when diagnosed there TSH is in the hundreds, mine was at 11, so yours is borderline,
what symptoms do you have ?do you take any thyroid meds?the TSH set by the AACE is 0.3-3.0, but most labs use much wider range, such as 0.45-4.5 or something like that.

You can check your levels of FREE T3/4, and see where these fall, you can ask for TPOab and TGab, those are the thyroid antibodies responsible for hypo/hyperthyroidism, if positive you can ask your doctor for a trial dose of thyroid medication.

Good luck,
S
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