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Old 10-22-2012, 09:12 AM   #1
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Bio Identicals and weight loss/ UPDATE

So, im scared to jink things but here goes. After 3.5 years and 3 doctors telling me my labs were "fine" and they didnt know why I was gaining weight despite diet and exercise, I had to research and go out of pocket to see a doc that specializes and bio identical hormonal replacement therapy. In short, 4 visits with her and all testing was $500.00.

We met, we talked about symptoms. I expressed the outrage Id been feeling at the doctors running thyroid and other labs to appease me and then calling and telling me everything was normal.. so frustrating.

This gyno gave me a home saliva testing kit and told me to collect in a specific 48 hour window, after ovulation and before the onset of my period. This was also frustrating because I met with her on the 6th of the month, couldn’t test until the 20th.. ugh. More waiting. I tested and then overnighted the saliva sample. She called me a week later. I went in and we discussed my results. DHEA (adrenal function) was perfect. Testosterone was perfect. Cortisol was perfect. Estradiol was low and progesterone was barely registering. Finally, an answer! Im not completely crazy! The dry, gritty eyes, the CMC excruciating pain, the hair loss, the mood swings..

She faxed the RX for progest cream while I stood there. I went the next day and got it, from the compounding pharmacy (only $25.00) and began using it a week later. Very, very specific as for testing/ treating…

The night I started the cream I had a few drinks.. (bad idea).. and decided no more alcohol until I was way in control of things.

Today is day 12.. no alcohol, no frankenfoods, no artifical sweetners, no fast food, no white stuff.. multi vitamin and daily workouts and this morning, I am down 7 lbs. I will take that. Im pretty excited.

I have found however that the cream at night disrupts my sleep BAD. I decided this morning, for the last 3 days on the cream for the month, to apply first thing in the morning. I will see how I do today/ tonight and update.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:53 AM   #2
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Oh and my blood work came back for thyroid.. they made a mistake and didnt test the Free T3 but the Free T4 was 1.8 (0.7-1.9) which is fine but my TSH was 0.07 (0.300-4.200) so it was very low, meaning im taking too much meds.. I told her yeah.. im still experiencing the hypothyroid symptoms and so she switched me up from generic levothyroxine to .125 synthroid. She said i'll get a better, constant, steady dose from the name brand synthroid vs the generic levo. She said her thyroid patients do SOO much better on synthroid.. no peaks and crashes in thyroid function...She also tested my thyroid antibodies and will call me with those results..

I cant start the synthroid though until the end of the week due to insurance.. again, i'll keep anyone thats checking, posted
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
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Tracy --You deserve it! I am glad you are down 7 lbs and putting such healthy things in your body. I am sure since you feel better you eat better. Goes with the opposite says, Eat like crap fell like crap.

I am trucking along. Up at 5 am doing laundry and cleaning. I feel so much better, weight has gone down. Energy is up. My daughter tried the progesterone cream 15 days before her period and she started immediately the next day. So we are waiting again to start the process. Wondering if I should start her on a estrogen dominate pill to flush some of the estrogen. Still waiting and watching.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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Is there an estrogen dominance pill?

Im glad you are feeling good.. who know we could get so messed up just from these little ol hormones
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:44 AM   #5
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So, today is day 14 on the progesterone cream and im actually a little sad that tomorrow morning is it, for 2 weeks
I hesitate to call it a miracle cream, but its pretty darn close.

I am still sitting at a 7 lb loss since using the cream and cutting out all junk/ artificial sweetners and alcohol..
I actually havent had any alcohol since last Tuesday night and thats when I had such a bad night with disrupted sleep, sleep walking, sleep talking
I can defienetly say, do NOT drink while using this. And for me, I cant take the cream at night as directed by my DR.. it really messes up my sleep. Ive been showering in the AM before work, and then applying alternating mornings between forearms and chest..
I have a 14 year old daughter and we never go this long without a blow out.. whewww.. its been 14 days of peace.. no kidding. No mood swings, no outbursts, no contemplating homacide.. this stuff truly "calms"...

Im expecting Aunt Flo 6-9 days from now.. and when that ends, I start up the cream again.
Im going to call my doc this morning though and make sure im not supposed to use up all of the cream.. i still have a half syringe left.

I'll keep you posted! I start name brand levo tomorrow vs the generic. Hoping to see improvement in wrist pain, dry eyes..etc.

Im on a total elimination diet right now.. im liking it..
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:08 PM   #6
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Good for you Tracy! I am weaning myself off of red wine as it has been messing with my sleep and hormones. Weird dreams and feeling like I have had 1 hour of sleep in the morning. I asked myself, really......red wine is the only thing that calms you! So I made a long list up for my "Inner Indulger" that takes care of everyone and wants a reward. Baths, movies, books, creative projects. I can survive. My weight has budged but I think that is due to the wine and cheese. So like you, I am on the elimination diet. If I went to all this time and money to get in balance, I am not going to let a hoho and a bottle of merlot derail me! So there
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracy210T View Post
Oh and my blood work came back for thyroid.. they made a mistake and didnt test the Free T3 but the Free T4 was 1.8 (0.7-1.9) which is fine but my TSH was 0.07 (0.300-4.200) so it was very low, meaning im taking too much meds.. I told her yeah.. im still experiencing the hypothyroid symptoms and so she switched me up from generic levothyroxine to .125 synthroid. She said i'll get a better, constant, steady dose from the name brand synthroid vs the generic levo. She said her thyroid patients do SOO much better on synthroid.. no peaks and crashes in thyroid function...She also tested my thyroid antibodies and will call me with those results..

I cant start the synthroid though until the end of the week due to insurance.. again, i'll keep anyone thats checking, posted
Maybe not. Mine is always that low while I'm medicated. Are you having hyper symptoms?

You need your free t3 and reverse t3 tested. My free t3 was on the low end and reverse t3 was on the high end, but those two things combined left me almost no t3 to use. I felt like a zombie. If you take t4 (your meds) and you have a problem converting t4 into too much rt3 a t4 med may make things worse.

YMMV of course, this is just my experience and I don't have hormone issues (knock on wood) complicating things.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:44 AM   #8
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Good for you Tracy! I am weaning myself off of red wine as it has been messing with my sleep and hormones. Weird dreams and feeling like I have had 1 hour of sleep in the morning. I asked myself, really......red wine is the only thing that calms you! So I made a long list up for my "Inner Indulger" that takes care of everyone and wants a reward. Baths, movies, books, creative projects. I can survive. My weight has budged but I think that is due to the wine and cheese. So like you, I am on the elimination diet. If I went to all this time and money to get in balance, I am not going to let a hoho and a bottle of merlot derail me! So there
Im WITH you! So, when you have some wine while doing the bio idents, do you notice your sleep is wonky? Weird dreams? Cravings, sleep talking, any of that? It was so weird for me..
I was moving things around in the middle of the night .. so weird.
See.. i think alcohol, if you stick to one, maybe two drinks, CAN calm (at least we think that) but once you go past that, the central nervous system is supressed and thats when things start getting jacked up.. IDK..
I am on day..9, no alcohol and honestly, havent missed it. This coming from someone who's relied on alcohol as a crutch to relax too, only it usually went the other way and made me terribly irritable.
Hang in there hunny, im in this with you! Please update me as much as possible
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Maybe not. Mine is always that low while I'm medicated. Are you having hyper symptoms?

You need your free t3 and reverse t3 tested. My free t3 was on the low end and reverse t3 was on the high end, but those two things combined left me almost no t3 to use. I felt like a zombie. If you take t4 (your meds) and you have a problem converting t4 into too much rt3 a t4 med may make things worse.

YMMV of course, this is just my experience and I don't have hormone issues (knock on wood) complicating things.
I havent had any hyPER symptoms, racing heart, nervousness.. sweating.. i honestly feel fine, but yeah, the doc said with my TSH number that low but my T4 perfect, shes suspecting the generic levo..
I started on name brand synthroid today. NOT covered by insurance $32!!




Now.. heres another interesting update about the progesterone. I have for many years, had a very regular period. I usually start on the 5th of the month and have about a 28-29 day cycle. Minimal cramping, very predictable, 2 heavy days, 2 medium days, 2 light days, done. I use a Diva cup, so no pads or tampons.. barely even know i have my cycle.


This morning.. i awoke at 6am to what appeared to be a crime scene
9ish days early.. very heavy. Straight to the shower. Didnt see THAT coming.
So, ive circled todays date on the calender and thrown out my extra progesterone. 12 days from today, I start the cream up again. That was odd because I didnt get the "15 days" OFF the cream..

I am still on an elimination diet.. no sodas, no fast food, no alcohol, no white stuff, no artificial sweetners.. loads of water, multi vit, 1 cup of coffee in the morning.. little crystal lite with dinner..
I wonder if this is my poor body trying desperatly to "correct" hormonally what has been so messed up..
My husband and I had planned some, ahem... quiet time tonight. THATS out!
Oh the joys of being a woman!
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:53 AM   #10
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Ladies.. come tell me whats going on with your hormonal issues.. im feeling all alone here again

So, day 3 of TOM here, no progest in 3 days.. feeling like my good mood is waivering just a little.. making sure to get in a workout everyday (despite feeling like a mother nature induced bloated cow) i still pulled of an aerobics workout yesterday and the endorphine rushed floated me through most of the boring friday afternoon..
Went out with DH last night for non-alky drinks (for me).. he had coke and whiskey.. listened to our fav band, came home early (usually when drinking and able to find our fav band, were out all night)... im liking this sobriety thing.. so is my wallet...

I feel like this month, my cycle is nowhere near as tretcherous (sp) as usual...the cramps are gone, no surprise overflows (like usual) no desire to maim anyone..
So, im curious to see if i'll go the whole 6 days as usual, or if the hormones will shorten things alittle..

I'll keep updating. OH and the scale is holding still.. thats the cool thing about an elimination diet while doing this, its easy to see what is causing weight fluctuations.. i lost 5 lbs in 7 days.. then shot up 1, then down 3 more lbs, then TOM so the weight went back up 4 lbs.. then came right back down on day 2.. still claiming my 7.5 loss in 11 days hoping to hit the workouts hard and see a whoosh once TOM leaves.
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Old 10-28-2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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Hi Tracy! It sucks feeling alone in this! My last TOM was not fun. There was several moments where I just wanted to crawl out of my skin. I have noticed some small changes since being on the progesterone cream, and hopefully I see more improvement.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:35 AM   #12
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Hey Erin, are you on the bio identical progest from a compounding pharmacy? I hope you see improvement soon..

So today is day 5 of my cycle and i think im pretty well done.. which means that my cycle came 10 days early this time but the severity was nothing compared to usual.. not that my periods are usually too rough but this time, not one overflow, no accidents at all.. and I think i actually only bled about 3 days this time (sorry if TMI)..
My weight stayed steady through TOM.. it shot up a few lbs the first day, then went right back down..
Pretty pleased that i havent had a mood swing/ melt down in over 2 weeks (knockonwood)
DH has been very sweet, holding my hand, opening my doors, even commented on me looking nice for work Guess he might be seeing a nicer side of me.

I ate VERY clean all weekend, no fast food, no soda, no alcohol, biked 8 miles on saturday and ran for 30 minutes yesterday at home on the treadmill and no loss this morning.. im starting to think my scale needs to be buried.. my beloved Tanita..
Ive had it..8 years...

On the upside, just for kicks, I tried on a pair of jeans I bought months ago that I couldnt even get completely on.. and today , I could zip them up I guess I could be losing inches.. still.. i want the scale to MOVE already.

So this is my week long break off TOM and off the progest..i'll start back up on monday..
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Old 10-29-2012, 02:30 PM   #13
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Hi Tracy...I've been using Life-flo Progesta Care for the last 4 cycles, and my ND prescribed an oral form of progesterone that I have been on for the last 2 weeks. I've seen a little bit of improvement, but it's been slow going. I've read that it can take 3-6 months or longer for some women to start feeling 100%. I've noticed the acne on my face has gotten a lot clearer. I don't know if it's the combination of the progesterone and the DIM, but I'll take it. I'm just ready for the more debilitating symptoms to go away...fatigue, anxiety, depression, and insomnia to name a few.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:26 AM   #14
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Erin, i've read tons of research that says progesterone, taking orally, is a waste of time, effort and money because the progesterone has to go through the stomach AND liver in order to reach your cells..?
Have you tried the cream, injections or supositories? They are designed to reach the blood and cells pretty much on contact..
Maybe you are only getting a little of the progest..?
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:45 AM   #15
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Ive also read that it will take a few cycles to get things on track.. so im with you there!
Im still doing the total elimination thing to determine what is causing problems.. still no alcohol, fast food, white junk, sodas.... splenda.. none of that..weight is still sitting at that same 7lb loss.. but at least i didnt gain through TOM.

I will start the next 14 day cycle of progesterone next monday..i plan to step up my exercising (im getting in at least 1 workout a day now, sometimes 2).. something is still majorly jacked up though for me to still be sitting at this weight..
Id drop 20 lbs in a month doing this exact same regime, 5 years ago.. sigh...
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:02 AM   #16
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Hi Tracy, I use the cream in the morning, and the pill form at night. The pill is supposed to help me sleep at night, but doesn't really do anything for me.
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Old 10-30-2012, 10:47 AM   #17
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ah.. i see..

The progest cream at night gave me wild dreams.. i was waking up exhausted.. i cannot use it at night..

BUT, first thing in the morning after a quick shower.. golden

I know that my progesterone levels are up but not where they should be because of other signs.. my eyes are still dry and hot.. my CMC joints are still aching.. my hair is still coming out but these have improved.. thats why i think round 2 or round 3 should get me on the right track to improved health and weight loss..

Its been a while though since ive gone this long without a melt down and fight with someone in the house.. thats positive..
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:44 PM   #18
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #19
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I'm right there with you Ironicwoman!

I'm wondering if I need to switch brands? Have you ladies also read anything about doing a loading dose the first 2-3 months to override the estrogen dominance?
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #20
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aww..no.. im sorry girls
Ok, lets here more..

Im sorry if you guys already told me, but are you using a DR for this? Did you do the saliva testing?

Id hoped to hear some good news
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:48 PM   #21
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Thanks Tracy...I hope to report good news soon.

Does DR mean doctor? If so, yup I am currently seeing one. I did the saliva tests, and here were my results:

Estradiol: 6.7
Progesterone: 21
Ratio of the two: 3
Testosterone: 71
DHEAS: 48.5

My cortisol is a little low in the morning, fine during the day, and is high at night. The doctor thinks the issue is just due to very low progesterone, and the possibility of having PCOS since my testosterone was through the roof.
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Old 10-31-2012, 06:27 AM   #22
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Ok, so i dont have my test results at work with me to compare the ranges.. but im glad you are using a physician and you did the saliva testing.. are you using the progesterone from day 12-26 of your cycle?

What are your symptoms again? Are you having problems with weight?
What about your thyroid?
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:43 PM   #23
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I am using a Dr. will check my numbers as well. Did Salvia test.


Hugs, it sucks to have these symptoms!
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Old 10-31-2012, 02:16 PM   #24
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Yeah...it does suck having these symptoms! So ready for this to be over. Tracy, my symptoms include: general malaise (just don't feel well), fatigue, a little bit of weight gain (10-15 lbs over, and my thyroid turned out fine), fluid retention, headaches, insomnia, mood swings, cry for no reason, anxiety, depression, foggy thinking, acne, PMS.

I had an appt today with my doctor, and she decided to up my dose of progesterone (the pill form) since I wasn't really seeing any changes with the cream. I have been using the cream the last 4 cycles, and i have seen little change.

Right now, I guess it is a guessing game with me, and trying to find the right dose. She is wondering if I'm among the ladies who needs more progesterone then usual. I also asked if feeling crappy everyday was a sign of low progesterone, and she said yes.

Here's to being patient, and praying I start to see some positive changes.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:06 AM   #25
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Ok, how old are you?

Do you have dry, brittle, splitting nails? Hair loss, cold hands and feet? How do you know your thyroid is ok? I was told the same thing for years and it wasnt fine..

What is your diet like? Alcohol? Any herbal, over the counter or RX meds that might be causing issues?
Are you taking a good multi vitamin?

As for bedtime, do you watch TV or go to sleep with the TV on? I read recently that the light put out by TVs as well as the constant changing of pictures on the screen, can screw up our sleep.. the experts say to turn off the TV, get a sound machine.. make your room only for sleep (oh.. and play time with hubby) but no bill paying in bed, no news at 10pm, no wrestling with the kids, dont even read.. just use the bedroom for sleep only and make your room cool.. clean sheets and a fan to circulate air..
I was like.. pleezzzeeee.. whatever.. this stuff isnt going to help. I was shocked how much better i slept.. and how much more rested I felt (feel) when I wake up..

When was the last time you had your saliva profile done? That would tell you for sure if your progesterone was still low. I hope you find your solution soon.
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Old 11-01-2012, 10:08 AM   #26
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Sorry for the bombardment of questions! Ive been doing TONS of research the last few years trying to find out why I feel like do-do most of the time and *hope* ive finally found some answers..
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #27
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Hi Tracy...no worries about the questions. I'm 33 years old... my symptoms began about 5 years ago when I had a nervous breakdown, and haven't felt well since. I went to so many doctors, and they all said the same thing "everything looks fine", but I knew there was something going on. From wait I read, stress can induce hormone havoc, and I was under a lot of stress at the time. Also, I've had hormonal issues since I could remember, but it reared its ugly head after the nervous breakdown.

My doctor ran a blood test that reads your free T3 and T4 hormones to make sure the thyroid hormones are being used. It's not the normal blood test that just shows the TSH result.

My diet is descent, but I could cut down on sugar. The only supplements I'm taking are the ones my doctor suggested, and have been on them for about 2 weeks. I quit taking a bunch of them awhile ago, so I could start from the ground up to make sure they weren't attributing to the problem. I quit drinking alcohol almost a year ago. I noticed it was making me more sick then usual, and I've read that alcohol and disrupt hormones. I do miss a good beer or glass of wine though.

Yup, I hear ya about the bedroom situation. No tv on, dark, and cool..I also wear ear plugs and a face mask to keep noises or light from waking me. I just recently started taking tryptophan at night, and it has helped the insomnia issue.

I had my saliva test taken in July of this year, and it was super low. I'm just glad that I'm getting answers, and that this is treatable...that gives me hope.
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:47 PM   #28
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Oh yeah.. you are way too young to be feeling this damn old, lol (remember that song?)
All im saying as far as thyroid is make sure you always, always get a copy of your labs, take them home and look up your own results.. I had 4 doctors over 3 years tell me "everything looks normal" and it wasnt.. the lab ranges were so ridiculously huge that it appeared normal.. when I was actually suffering from hormonal and thyroid problems. Ive found this is a very, very long recovery.. but baby steps, baby steps.

Ive also found alcohol to be a huge hormonal balance disruptor.. however, have you tried the Coors non alcoholic beers? They are the bomb! You can get them at Publix, Winn Dixie and some liquor stores.. about $5.50 for a six pack of bottles here and I queeze lime into mine.. cant tell it from the real thing

I hope you get to feeling better soon. Please post your updates for us here ok?
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Old 11-02-2012, 11:51 AM   #29
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haha...that is a great song Tracy! So my thyroid readings are:

Free T3 is 3.3 pg/mL
Free T4 is 1.3 ng/dL
TSH is 1.16

Been looking online to compare with normal levels, and they seem fine..I think?

Thanks for the head's up about the Coors non alcoholic beers, and thanks for being so supportive and helpful!
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Old 11-02-2012, 12:15 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Erin~ View Post
haha...that is a great song Tracy! So my thyroid readings are:

Free T3 is 3.3 pg/mL
Free T4 is 1.3 ng/dL
TSH is 1.16

Been looking online to compare with normal levels, and they seem fine..I think?

Thanks for the head's up about the Coors non alcoholic beers, and thanks for being so supportive and helpful!
Anytime!
We're in this hormonal mess together
I do think your numbers seem fine..
I hope you get to feeling like your old self soon. I know how miserable it can be when you arent.
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