Thyroid testing and test results that many doctors consider as "normal" are frequently far from being adequate to relieve symptoms, which also frequently include symptoms such as yours. If you will post those so-called "normal" results, and reference ranges shown on the lab report, members will be happy to help interpret as to their adequacy.
I have hyothyroidism. My eyebrows and lashes fell out. I also am a fitness trainer and saw wieight gain no matter how much I worked out. My doctor told me my test was just slightly below average. I insisted on the med levothyroxine.and am now slim, trim and active with eyebrows and lashes. We have to be our own advocates, Also hormones may be atttributing. Good luck.
Hi Gimel, thank you very much. I will get the results and post them. I appreciate your help and advice. Thank you :-)
Hi Hoopingwithjpy, thank you so much for sharing. After the baby is born I will approach my Doctor about Levothyroxine and I will also post my current Thyroid numbers as Gimel suggested. I really appreciate you sharing.
Hi Gimel, I'm the lady with eyebrows that completley fell out. I just phoned my doctor to ask what my TSH score was as per your advice and it was 1.5 in October of 2010. I believe the range is 0.27 - 4.2. If you have any thoughts on a TSH score of 1.5 I'd love to hear them.
Confused & Concerned
My first thought is that you don't have nearly enough info to make any decisions about the possibility of thyroid problems. TSH is a pituitary hormone that is totally inadequate to use as the sole diagnostic for thyroid. At best it is an indicator , to be considered along with more important indicators such as symptoms, and also the levels of the biologically active thyroid hormones, free T3 and free T4.
If you look through this link, do you notice any other typical hypo symptoms that you have?
Hi Gimel, thank you so much. I've done so much research on hypothyroidism since my brows fell out but I went to the link you suggested anyway and I have between 4-5 (out of the total 14) of those symptoms which makes my condition all the more elusive e.g. if I had 10-12 I would think it's a slam dunk hypothyroidism case.
My other issue here is getting doctors to actually test for free T3 and free T4 since they insist that my TSH is bang on normal they don't want to go further.
As I've been to so many specialists in the past two years I'm going to check and see if any of them tested for free T3 and free T4. If not I guess I have to insist they check for it.
Could it be possible that I simply have an autoimmune response e.g. that my body is attacking my brows as an enemy for whatever reason and has nothing to do with my thyroid? If so do you know of or have you heard of any effective treatments for this topical or otherwise. As I'm pregnant I'll have to wait awhile before trying any of them but I'd like to know if you have any advice here.
Thanks again Gimel, I really appreciate your help.
Regarding those symptoms, hardly anybody ever has all of them. Four or five qualifies as indicating hypothyroidism. Also, since I have little regard for coincidence, why should we think that the eyebrow problem just happened to come along at the same time as the other symptoms? I tend to think that until proven otherwise, that they are related.
As for TSH, don't forget that it is affected by many variables. Since it has a Circadian rhythm, variation includes the time of day when blood is drawn. We also hear from members with mid-range TSH, yet their FT3 and FT4 is also low, which is indicative of potential issues with the hypothalamus/pituitary signal.
In view of your symptoms, the doctor should never just dismiss the possibility of being hypo, based on TSH alone. That approach is referred to as the "Immaculate TSH Belief". It is just wrong.
You can learn a lot about this by reading this link.
So, I think you need to discuss all this with your doctor and request testing for free T3 and free T4 (not total T3 and total T4). If the doctor resists, then just insist on it and don't take no for an answer. Remember that you are the customer (with the symptoms).
Concurrently with this I expect that you are going to need to find a good thyroid doctor. By that I mean one that will treat you clinically by testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels.
Hello. I've been hypothyroid for many years. Your tsh is normal and I actually would love to have mine at your level right now but im actually at 0.34for tsh. That tells me that I need a little adjustment because I feel my body is feeling hyperthyroid right now which coincides with my levels. I can tell when im low or high. Since my tsh levels are telling me hyprthyroid, I am loosing a lot of hair every day. Keep up with levels and adjustment. Good luck
Sorry, Shuga, but you should not be allowing a doctor to adjust your meds based on TSH. Please note this quote taken from the Sept. 1986 edition of the British Medial Journal.
"We consider that biochemical tests of thyroid function are of
little, if any, value clinically in patients receiving thyroxine
replacement. Most patients are rendered euthyroid by a daily dose
of 100 or 150 ,tg of thyroxine. Further adjustments to the dose
should be made according to the patient's clinical response."
The reason for this conclusion was that all their testing showed that you could not reliably use any of the 5 main thyroid tests to predict which of the groups (hyper, euthyroid, or hypo) a patient should be placed in. This is because of the variability found with each of the 5 tests, TSH, TT3, TT4, FT3, and FT4.
This is only one of the many studies and reasons why it is best to treat a patient clinically by testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels.
Just because TSH may have been somewhat successful as a diagnostic for you does not mean that it is universally true. I suggest that you read this link also.
Gimel, thank you so much for all you're help. I will endeavour to get my free T3 and T4 levels and will let you know what they are. Do you mind if I ask how it is you know so much about the thyroid?? Are you a specialist in this area?
The bits that I know are due to my own long term experience with being hypo, along with what I've learned from fellow Forum members. I also do a lot of surfing of the 'net, trying to find out about the validity of some of the things we hear from our doctors. The 'net provides us with almost limitless opportunity to learn about these things, much to the chagrin of our doctors, who used to be the unquestioned authority on these matters. Now we can learn enough on our own to distinguish fact from fiction, and ask the right questions about our diagnosis and treatment..
Hi Gimel, I went to my GP today to request a "free T3" and a "free T4" test and she really gave me a hard time about it. She finally gave me the requisition to have the blood work done but it wasn't easy. I've been seeing her for 15 years but I think it's high time to find another GP especially after the way I was treated today...being scolded like a small child.
Anyway, as soon as I get my results I'll post them. Thanks again.
Hi Gimel, I'm the lady with no eyebrows but I did get the results of my "free T3" and "free T4" results:
Free T4 is 13
Free T3 is 4.0
I'm not the best at interpreting lab results but under a colum called "PN" which looks to be the range the T4 range is 12 - 22 and the T3 range is 2.6 - 5.70 so it would appear that I fall in the "normal" range. My GP also called me to tell me that my results were normal.
I'd love to get your opinion.
Hi Anne. The reaction of your doctor is exactly why we have so many members as we do. The first problem is that many doctors only want to go by TSH. If they do test beyond TSH, then any result that falls within the range is interpreted as "normal" and they don't want to go any further. Unfortunately the ranges have never been corrected like was done for TSH over 8 years ago. The result is that just being in the low end of the ranges is inadequate and you end up being hypo.
A good thyroid doctor will treat a patient clinically by testing and adjusting FT3 and FT4 as necessary to relieve symptoms, without being constrained by resultant TSH levels. Symptom relief should be all important, not test results. Many of our members have reported that symptom relief for them required that FT3 was adjusted into the upper part of its range and FT4 was adjusted to at least midpoint of its range. If your doctor has a problem with treating you this way, then you will need to find a good thyroid doctor that will do so.
Meant to also give you this link. It is a form letter written by a good thyroid doctor. It is sent to PCP of patients consulting with the author of the letter, to help guide treatment.
Hi Gimel, thank you so much for both your information and your support. I have just printed the letter you recommended and will read it tonight. I know you are not a Doctor but in your opinion do you think my T3 and T4 are "off"??
Free T4 is 13 (range is 12 - 22)
Free T3 is 4.0 (range is 2.6 - 5.70)
By the way I'm Canadian living in Toronto so in order for me to be referred to a thyroid doctor or endocrinologist I have to be referred by a GP which as you know is no easy feat. Unless you have something seriously going wrong with you (and my eyebrows are not deemed "serious") most GP's don't like to refer you a specialist as apparently it sheds poor light on their professional credentials to tie up a specialist with non-urgent items. Arrgggh.
It doesn't have to be an Endo. Frequently they are more difficult than regular doctors. Even though they generally know more about thyroid, they seem to be more prone to going "by the book" and don't want to treat patients clinically.
I suggest that you take a look at this listing of Top Thyroid Doctors in your area and read the patient reviews and see if there is one that sounds like what you need.
By the way, it is not just your eyebrows. You mentioned 4 or 5 other symptoms as well.