I am a very fit for my age 64 year old. When I was a young child I remember my doctor examining my neck, making the comment that I had enlarged thyroid glands, and saying that I seemed to have a mild form of goitre. I have never received any treatment for this condition and I have performed at an international level in swimming from the age of 16 and as a masters competitor including a world masters record at the age of 35. When I turned 50 I started to alternate both swimming and running because I love running so much, and I am now still capable of setting masters swimming records in my own country.
At the age of 50 I first started to have annual checkups that included a full set of blood tests, and that was when I was first diagnosed as having the condition of hypothyroidism. I chose not to take medication for my condition even though a series of doctors have pressed me to do so. It was only by surfing the Internet that I became aware that I had sub-clinical and not clinical hypothyroidism. My Free T4, Free T3, and TSH levels have remained at more or less the same levels over the last 14 years with the following recent changes over the last six months.
My Free T4 level has dropped from 12.1 to 10.0 – (reference range 10.0 – 24.0).
My Free T3 level has remained stable over the last three years at 4.5 – (reference range 2.5 – 6.0).
My TSH level has increased sharply from 16.0 to 31.0 – (reference range 0.4 to 4.0).
Some readers of this posting may be aghast that I have not take medication when my TSH levels over the past 14 years have well exceeded the reference range. A number of my doctors did not seem to fully appreciate the difference between sub-clinical and clinical hypothyroidism and did not recognise that a stable and within range T3 level is far more important than a high TSH level.
Over the last six months I have been under financial stress which will be relieved when I reach the retirement age of 65 and I have access to my superannuation funds. Stress can elevate TSH levels. I do allow the possibility that I may now be at a tipping pointing from a sub-clinical to a clinical condition of hypothyroidism. From now onwards I will monitor all of the following on a more regular basis: resting heart rate, weight, level of depression, mental alert
ness, memory lapses, constipation, sleep patterns, performance level in running and swimming, recovery after exercise, and body temperature. I will be the first to know should my thyroid system start to collapse at which eventuality I will have no hesitation in starting medication for my condition.
I have posted the above because it seems to me that many people have a knee jerk reaction to taking on unnecessary medication. I am of the firm belief that the body is best able to regulate its required levels of thyroxin, even under duress, and my history so far is an example of this. Many years ago I made the decision not to take medication for my condition and I have had an excellent quality of life so far. I appreciate that everyone is different, and should make their decisions on this basis as to whether to take medication or not. My above history may help with that decision.
Post Edited (MAC1949) : 4/15/2014 11:45:23 AM (GMT-6)