Hello. I am a 46-year-old male, and I have autoimmune hypothyroidism.
I've posted to this forum a lot during the last 10 years. For the last 8 years, I've had an endo who believes that keeping the TSH within the reference range is the best way to treat hypothyroidism.
Some people on this forum have advised me to find a new doctor, telling me that my current doctor and her obsession with TSH will keep me ill.
Well, I went ahead and found a new doctor. This doctor is not an endo per se, but she does treat hypothyroidism and she accepts my insurance.
I had my initial meeting with her, and she mentioned some things that I had never heard of before. So, I thought that I would come to this forum and get some additional opinions on what she said.
First of all, unlike the previous doctor, the new doctor actually has an interest in vitamins and minerals (Vitamin E, Selenium, etc.) and their effect on hypothyroidism. However, the new doctor does not like the traditional blood tests that are used to measure these vitamins and minerals. She dislikes blood tests like Selenium (serum) and
Vitamin E (serum). She believes that these blood tests simply measure the amounts of these vitamins and minerals that are in the blood.
The new doctor likes a blood test called the Micronutrient Test Panel, which is processed by SpectraCell Laboratories. This Test Panel is described at the following link:
According to the new doctor, this Test Panel measures the amounts of vitamins and minerals that are in the actual cells, not in the blood. Also, the Test Panel will cost almost $400 and will not be covered by my insurance. (The doctor accepts my insurance for office visits, but this particular Test Panel will not be covered by my insurance.)
So, have any of you gotten this Test Panel? Do you believe that this Test Panel is a good, valuable blood test?
The new doctor also mentioned some over-the-counter (OTC) thyroid-related supplements that she thought might be helpful to me. These supplements are GTA, GTA-Forte, and Thytrophin PMG.
I asked the doctor whether these supplements could be used *instead* of prescription Synthroid. I thought that it would be nice if I could find some OTC treatment for hypothyroidism that would eliminate my dependence on prescription medicines and doctors. She said that these supplements could be used *with* Synthroid, and that it was *possible* that they could be used *instead* of Synthroid.
I did some research, and I found out that GTA and GTA-Forte contain some porcine glandular material.
I found the following thread on this forum:
This thread is from 2015.
In this thread, a poster named goolarra states that, by law, an OTC product like GTA or GTA-Forte can not contain a measurable amount of T4 or T3. To get around that law, the makers of GTA and GTA-Forte do not reveal the amounts of T4 and T3 (if any) that are present in these products. Basically, how much thyroid hormone is present is anybody's guess.
In 2012, I tried Liothyronine (the generic version of Cytomel). The Liothyronine caused me to have heart issues, and I discontinued the Liothyronine after only a few days. This year, I've had the heart issue called bradycardia from time to time. So, I'm thinking that taking GTA or GTA-Forte (something with unknown amounts of thyroid hormone) would probably be a bad idea. What do all of you think?
I did some research on Thytrophin PMG, and I am still unclear as to what this supplement is. Is this supplement similar to the GTA supplements? Does Thytrophin also have mysterious amounts of T4 and T3?
The new doctor also spoke to me about my circadian rhythms (specifically, my sleep-wake cycle). I told her that I eat dinner and go to bed very late (4 AM or later), and that I wake up at about 12 PM or 1 PM. She told me that my sleep-wake cycle is off and that this bad cycle may be contributing to my hypothyroidism, Vitamin D deficiency, bad bone density (osteopenia), etc.
Also, this new doctor is not obsessed with TSH.
In February 2020, I had the following test results:
FT4 = 1.55 (normal range = 0.82 - 1.77)
FT3 = 3.0 (normal range = 2.0 - 4.4)
TSH = 0.075 (normal range = 0.450 - 4.500)
Because my TSH was too low, my former doctor lowered my Synthroid dose from (137 mcg, 2 times per week) (125 mcg, 5 times per week) to (137 mcg, 1 time per week) (125 mcg, 6 times per week).
In May 2020, my TSH went down even further, and my FT4 and FT3 went up.
FT4 = 1.60 (normal range = 0.82 - 1.77)
FT3 = 3.2 (normal range = 2.0 - 4.4)
TSH = 0.057 (normal range = 0.450 - 4.500)
The former doctor wanted to lower my dose even further (to 125 mcg, 7 times per week). I refused to obey her instructions, and she was not very pleased.
In September 2020, I had the following test results:
FT4 = 1.40 (normal range = 0.82 - 1.77)
FT3 = 3.3 (normal range = 2.0 - 4.4)
TSH = 0.077 (normal range = 0.450 - 4.500)
Once again, the former doctor wanted to lower my dose to (125 mcg, 7 times per week). Once again, I refused.
However, the new doctor went ahead and gave me a prescription for my current dose (137 mcg, 1 time per week) (125 mcg, 6 times per week).
So, please give me your comments on what my new doctor said and did.