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Old 09-26-2013, 06:49 PM   #1
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Really need help with thyroid

Hoping someone can help me as Iím so frustrated and donít know what to do anymore with my thyroid problem. Sorry this is so long but its been a long, complicated road.

About 2 years ago I stopped having periods (at age of 36!) and gained 30 pounds almost overnight (okay really it was 2-3 months but no change in diet or exercise that's a LOT ). I went to my OBGYN & was told I was in "early menopause" and just had to deal with it as my body wasnít making any progesterone, testosterone or estradiol. I kept seeing various drs trying to find an answer as I could not understand why an other wise healthy female would go in premature menopause--with no luck.

Then in April of this year I finally found a great holistic MD who tested my full thyroid panel included free T3 and T4 and found them to be low. He also tested my cortisol and found it to be normal. To fix the thyroid, he started me on Armour and unbelievably for the first time in 2 years I had 2 periods in a row! The weird thing is otherwise, I felt worseóI was so depressed, fatigued, continuing to gain weight.

When I returned to him in early June, upon hearing of my symptoms he saw from my labs that my free T3 and T4 had actually gone DOWN & so tested my Reverse T3 and found it to be high (19). He said that must mean I must have trouble "converting" so added 20 mg slow release compounded T3 (SR T3) to my 60 mg Armour. After about a week, I finally began to feel better, and lost about 2 pounds as a lot of bloating and swelling seemed to lose my body!

Since I felt better but not great, at my next appointment 6 weeks later we then upped my meds to 40 mg of SR T3 and 90 mg of Armour. I did great on that for a while and finally felt normal for the first time in yearsóI lost about 10 pounds, all bloating/swelling disappeared and I had great energy. Only problem? My period stopped again. (He did not do labs at this time).

Then all of sudden after about 6 weeks on 90 mg Armour & 40 mcg SR T3, I started having heart palps. B/c of this my dr cut my SR T3 and told me to just take 90 mg of ARmour. He then re-checked my labs after I had been on 90 mg of Armour for a few weeks (so the SR T3 was out of my system). My Free T3 and T4 werer still too low! So at my last appointment 2 weeks ago he upped my Armour to 120 mg, where I am now.

But I feel awful! Right after I stopped the T3 about a month ago I gained back all the pounds I lost (7 pounds in 2 days!! ), now that my Armour dosage has gone up, I've started gaining even MORE (another 3 pounds!), for a total of 10 pounds in a month! In additiona, my stomach is so bloated I look 7 months pregnantóeven my legs are so swollen they feel like sausages. Yet at the same time I am having awful ďhyperĒ symptoms of heart palps, sweating and anxiety. My heart rate is at like 85 bpm from a usual 65-70 bpm, so not crazy, but stilll really noticeable and uncomfortable.

Iím at my wits end b/c I donít understand where to go from here. When I was severely low on my thyroid hormone I actually got my period for first time in years, but felt crappy. Any time I am on just Armour I can never seem to feel good. On T3 I do okay but donít get my period.

Iím ssitting here, now a big fat messs not sure what to do. Iím still taking 120 of Armour, having HYPO sypmtoms of weight gain, swelling, fatigue with simulatneous HYPER symptoms of heart palpitations, anxiety and no period. My reverse T3 or adrenals do not seem to be the problem either. My doctor said I need to give it time, and let my body adjust to Armour, but I don't know if I can keep at this another 2 weeks. I just want to be normal and don't even know what to do.

Any suggestions on where to go next? I'm terrified my dr will just up my Armour dosage again, and my heart will shoot through the roof. Yet my labs seem all over the place and the only time I felt GOOD was on low Armour and higher T3, but my doctor seems adverse to keep me at that.

I really appreciate any help as it seems like I have a fairly unusual situation. I've posted all my lab results since I've been treated below.


April at diagnosis
TSH: 1.42 (range: 0.3-3.0)
Free T4: 1.0 (range: 0.8-1.8)
FreeT3: 2.9 (range: 2.3-4.2)
RT3: 19

Mid May(60 mg Armour):
TSH: 0.74
Free T4: 0.7 (L)
FreeT3: 2.4
Mid June (60 mg Armour, 20 mcg T3):
TSH: 1.91
Free T4: 0.7 (L)
FreeT3: 2.7
RT3: 10

Mid-July: 90 mg Armour, 40 mcg SR T3: no labs done

September 5: 90 mg Armour (taken off T3 after developing heart palps)
TSH: 0.01 (L)
Free T4: 1.0
FreeT3: 2.7
RT3: 10
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #2
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Just a thought but perhaps the heart palps were caused by low progesterone/estrogen and not the thyroid meds? If I understand correctly lowering your meds has not helped the palps etc. but the hypo symptoms are back correct? If it isn't the adrenals than I would definitely think about looking into the sex hormones and possibly replacement. I know a lot of women have found relief through bio identical progesterone and or estrogen if needed.
So sorry you are going through this! You will figure it out!
Have you read "Stop the thyroid madness?"
The author Janie really helped me figure out some stuff. She does phone consultations that are really reasonable and might be able to give you some guidance with this.
Good Luck!

Last edited by maybell; 09-28-2013 at 08:58 PM..
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Old 09-29-2013, 09:56 PM   #3
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Thank you Maybelle! I did not know low sex hormones could cause symptoms like heart palps. My sex hormones were last tested about 2 weeks ago and my estrone was 300, estradiol 20 and progesterone 0.1, so I know I have a hormonal imbalance! Weirdly, the only time my sex hormones have been at "right" levels in the last two years is when I started taking Armour and my Free T4 & Free T3 levels tanked (due to high reverse T3).

I have read STTM, thanks for referring...maybe a telephone consult with Janie will help...this is all so confusing and I just want to feel well again and get back to a normal weight!
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Old 09-30-2013, 12:27 PM   #4
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PM me if you can.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:12 PM   #5
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Hi Pamzilla,
Assume PM is personal message? Apologize but I'm new here and don't know how to personally message--could you walk me through steps?

Look forward to "chatting"!
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:34 AM   #6
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WFT2013 I sent a friend request...I am not sure how these boards work. But if you go into the user control panel, or into your profile and accept, it may give us access to e-mail.

I am so sorry this is happening to you. It sounds similar to me. I wanted to ask some questions...
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:47 AM   #7
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I believe it's 30 days and 30 posts before being able to PM.
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:18 AM   #8
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Well WTH2013...you may want to copy and paste your dilemma on thyroidboards.com Those people know their stuff.
You will get quality answers and see some peoples situations are like your and what you are experiencing. Besides sex hormones...you may want to ask about getting a TPO test run for anitbodies. That could be creating a lot of issues and personally from my experience which is much like yours...jumping from 60mg to 90mg may be too high of a jump for a sensitive out of balance system. I increased by 15mgs each time and feel much better and I am only 6 weeks in. I am still retaining water but not as much and that should resolve when I reach optimal. That thyroid site is a wealth of info and they respond very quickly. Hope that helps some. Hugs!
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:34 AM   #9
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Thanks Pamzilla, I accepted your friend request but cannot PM it appears.

Glad to hear you are doing better--I have been on ups and downs with thyroid medicine for months and am so sick of the the ups and downs. I saw my doctor on friday and he thought maybe the Armour was making me have bad reactions so put me on Nature Thyroid and back on 20mg SR T3. However, since starting the Nautre Thryoid I feel extremely tired and fatigured...have been sleeping like 12 hours a night. I never had that with Armour! My doctor did test my TOP antibodies and came back and >10 (range >35) so he said that is not a problem?

This stuff is so confusing and frustrating...I just want to feel normal again and lose the 30 pounds I have gained!
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:14 AM   #10
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Wow! I still strongly suggest going to that thyroidboards.com and posting. They are much more knowledgeable than I am and may make suggestions for further testing or suggest a better way to dose or something...

I had a terrible experience with Naturethroid and the doc that prescribed it gave me too high of a dose and a rapid titration and I was in much the same shape you are in now.

Also my TSH and free T3 and free T4 are similar to yours....
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:18 AM   #11
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But I strongly suggest (like someone else posted) getting your progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen on the road to recovery. All of our hormones work together so if something is out of balance...crap will hit the fan...like you are experiencing now.

Vitamin D, iron, ferritin, B12 you may be deficient in those as well...I was and I am supplementing like crazy.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
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I know it is very hard to advocate for yourself when you are so ill. I am in the same situation. But in the meantime, I am researching. Any boards and info from reputable sites such as stop the thyroid madness are a great help. I haven't seen too much posted about low free T3 and normal TSH so that is why I replied to you. Euthyroid Hashimotos is something you should read about. It may be what is happening to you (or not). Perhaps you are in a flare and who knows how long that lasts...but anyway I know how you feel.

It really stinks that you have been like this for months...MONTHS!
I am just trying to help you get some info...or advice...I feel your pain!

Could it be a pituitary issue? I would ask your doc that.

Last edited by Pamzilla13; 10-01-2013 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:10 AM   #13
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I'm really surprised your doc didn't test after a change in dosage to see where you were.

Last edited by watcher513; 10-03-2013 at 02:13 AM..
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