General Question

SSS911's avatar

How does one cope with an over-active Thyroid?

Asked by SSS911 (115 points ) June 28th, 2014

I just completed my annual physical and blood tests. I was very surprised to find out from my doctor that I had a TSH of 0.009. He called me to tell me he had ordered Methimazole at my pharmacy and for me to start taking it. This is scary stuff for me. Since this past December I have been dieting and lost over 40 lbs. and feeling wonderful. Exercising daily and lifting weights. My last TSH a year ago was 1.630 and normal. How could something like this happen in just 12 months?

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30 Answers

snowberry's avatar

I’d get a second opinion. And while you’re at it, make sure your test comes from a different/better lab. In addition, you should have SOME sort of negative physical evidence other than those lab tests. I’m sure there’s a way to find out which pharmacies produce bad lab tests. Find a lab that is top notch and have them do your test. Then go from there.

gondwanalon's avatar

Repeat the TSH blood test. Lab analyzers do not always function properly 100% of the time.
Also anytime that you have humans doing something there will be mistakes made.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Get a new test.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
JLeslie's avatar

Get a second test done. Never trust an abnormal test without double checking is my motto. Make sure they run your T4 and T3 free also. They should not just go by your TSH when starting medication.

My TSH was a wonderful 2.2 at a regular check up and then 3 months later I walked into an emergency room freaked out and asking for a TSH test. My TSH was 94.6. I had it checked a few days later to confirm it (even though I was the one who walked in asking for the test originally) and it was still that crazy high number. My thyroid dropped like a rock! My thyroid moves with the mini smallest of medication changes.

When I am hyperthyroid I feel horrible, I don’t understand people enjoying that feeling.

Take the meds if your TSH is indeed that low, and your T4 and T3 is very high. It’s bad for your heart and even your mental well being.

Is your heart rate high? Do you have trouble sleeping? Is your skin and hair dry? Is your blood pressure low?

Also, when you start the meds I hope your doctor checks your hormone within a month, and then another month later again. It takes about 8 weeks for the drugs to level off, but you want to know within a few weeks if you are already getting overmedicated.

ibstubro's avatar

As @snowberry says, get a 2nd opinion.

My cousin jacked around with this and it turned out to be cancer. Mis-diagnosis followed by unnecessary treatment followed by 2nd opinion nearly cost her life. IMAGINE the her 3 year-old’s relief that she’s still alive.

The same Dr. will do the same test the same way and send it to the same lab and is invested in the results being the same.

snowberry's avatar

Yes! @ibstubro is right! Get a second opinion from a second doctor! People here seem to think that doctors are not given to greed, but, well, it happens.

JLeslie's avatar

The lab is more important than the doctor in terms of test results. My second test was run in a different lab. Sending it to the same lab can still be useful, because hopefully a mix up or mistake is not going to happen again to you if there was a mix up, but a different lab really would make you believe the numbers are right if they are the same.

Getting a second opinion on the results and best treatment is understandable. I would assume your GP ordered the test, you can follow up with an endocrinologist.

I definitely would treat a TSH that low, assuming your T4 and T3 are also very high.

I’m not a doctor.

Response moderated
JLeslie's avatar

FYI: I don’t know if you are a woman, but hyperthyroid inissan more often than people think in young women.

Don’t be panicked that it might be something like cancer, its very unlikely, although you will want to get an ultrasound to evaluate the thyroid itself more thoroughly. Did your doctor order one?

SSS911's avatar

I am a 63 year/7 month old male who is 6’ in height and currently weigh 167 lbs. Back in November and early December my weight kind of fluctuated between 210 and 212. Since then I started exercising and eating lots of veggies and fruit and chicken. My diet is between 1500 and 1800 calories per day. I couldn’t feel any better until this past Tuesday when the Doctors office called about my thyroid. Since I never had a problem with my thyroid, I automaticly assumed it was my diet. I checked the internet and could not find out if my diet had anything to do with it or not. My doctor has not mentioned any ultrasounds or x-rays or referrels. Why, I don’t know. I will call tomorrow a endocrinologist for their thoughts. Thanks for all your information and will keep you updated.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m surprised you are not hungry all the time with your thyroid so fast. Maybe it was a bad test? Your calorie intake is pretty low for your height, healthy thyroid or not.

Let us know what the endocrinologist says. Hopefully, it was just a bad test. The thyroid sometimes also can get a little unstable and then stabalize on it’s own, but your TSH is extremely low if the test is accurate.

Some people get “manic” from hyperthyroidism. In fact, when someone is diagnosed bipolar, thyroid is tested to make sure it is not simply a thyroid problem. Meaning the proper medicine is thyroid medication and not bipolar medication. Some people have both things going on at once. My point in telling you this is many people in a manic state feel awesome. I’m not telling you so you go see a psychiatrist. They have tons of energy, get stuff done, society rewards them for needing less sleep and having tons of energy. The person might feel more confident, more sexual, etc etc. Because of this people in a manic state often don’t want help, they feel the best they have in a long time. Hyperthyroid can produce some of the same symptoms, and so I just warn that feeling great can actually not be a good thing.

SSS911's avatar

Intresting stuff JLeslie :) I didn’t even know what a thyroid did or where it was this past Monday.

JLeslie's avatar

@SSS911 Why did your doctor test it?

SSS911's avatar

I had a blood test because of an annual physical exam. I’m surprised he even noticed it. Usually I have to question him about everything even though his main answer is “your just old”. As a matter of fact, I had stopped taking Lisinopril 20mg tablets several month ago since I had lost weight and started exercising. He never asked me about it and I really forgot to tell him about not taking them anymore. My blood pressure in the morning is around 112/66. Don’t think I would want it any lower then that. Even with my over-active Thyroid, it was 90/66 with a 70 heartbeat just this morning.

snowberry's avatar

Whichever prescription you end up filling, make sure that the person writing it knows ALL your current medications first.

JLeslie's avatar

Overactive thyroid usually causes low blood pressure and high heart rate.

SSS911's avatar

Went and seen the Thyroid specialist the other day and he sent me for a second blood test. The results were 0.274 TSH. Rather LOW they say. Tuesday I go in for a Thyroid Uptake & Scan. It is kind of a 3 part Thyroid Nuclear Medicine Test. Should be interesting. I guess the Doctor doesn’t have a clue either why my test was so low. Anyway, besides the Thyroid mess, he said I was in great shape. :) Although he already has a Thyroid Ultra-sound planned for August 5th. Will get back to you all later.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for the update. That is a low TSH, although it did come up a little from your last test. I’m glad your doctor is being thorough. I think of you treat it you will feel much better.

SSS911's avatar

This past Tuesday I went for my Thyroid biopsy at my doctors office. The pathologist was was there. My doctor took the first biopsy which the pathologist just said nothing there. The second biopsy was taken in a different part of the nodule. The pathologist said nothing there. The third biopsy the doctor went in horizontaly and the pathologist said still nothing. I have no idea what this means, they did not explain anything to me. The pathologist said when he gets back to his office, he will look into it and let my doctor know in a couple weeks. I thought that is why he was there, to determine if it was cancerous or not. What do you think? Anyway, the nodule is one centemeter (about the size of a penny) just below and to the left of my adams apple and just above my collar bone.

snowberry's avatar

Sounds like what they call “a fishing expedition” to me.

SSS911's avatar

Went for my checkup. My Doctor received all the results of my biopsy which were extensive. They found absolutly nothing at all. Where does that leave me? Well, in three months he wants me back for another ultra sound to see if there are any changes. He said I should not take any medicine. Just continue like everything is fine. The problem is, its not fine. I have an hyperactive thyroid and nothing is being done about it except tests after tests after tests. Oh, and I can have surgery to remove the nodule on my Thyroid but it really has no effect on my hyperactive thyroidisum. But he left that up to me. Anyone else have a hyperactive Thyroid that goes untreated? I would sure like to know.

snowberry's avatar

Regardless of whether you have a “diagnosis” early or late, there are things you can do yourself to help your health. Here’s a link to alternative remedies (I know that doesn’t go over well here), but I’m focusing on the foods to avoid and foods to eat, as well as supplements to take to support your body’s unique needs. Scroll half way down the page. It’s good stuff.

SSS911's avatar

Thanks Snowberry..good read’n. First thing I did was give up all caffine before my next blood test in December. Curious to see if it changes anything.

snowberry's avatar

@SSS911 Sorry I didn’t include the link. Since I couldn’t find my first link, here’s a different one. You still need to scroll down to find info about diet and ways to cope. http://www.nativeremedies.com/ailment/hyperthyroidism-symptoms-information.html

SSS911's avatar

OK..Happy New Year Everybody!! For the past several months, I have been dealing with an over-active thyroid. Everything I have read and what the Doctors told me, said it will never go back to a normal thyroid. I went through every test there was to confirm this. My family Doctor gave me pills to take (for the rest of my life according to him). I didn’t take a single one. My speciality Doctor said they could operate and remove my thyroid. I thought I would wait a while. Seems like everyone is in a hurry to to something. Well I just had my first blood test of the year for my thyroid and my Tsh & Thyroxine (T4) Free & Stim immunoglobulin all fall well within the norm. Can’t wait to see what my Specialist has to say about it. This has been a very happy New Year so far. Hope it is for all of you too.

JLeslie's avatar

Yay! I hope it stays normal. Sometimes thyroid problems self correct. It’s usually not the case, but it does happen. I would recommend getting it tested every three months though for a year. Also, if you still have symptoms right now I would retest right away.

SSS911's avatar

Not sure why it went back to normal. My last visit to the Specialist, he actually told me it would never be normal again without surgery and medication. Although there was NO cancer detected during the tests, he also told me to come back in three months for a scan. I did read somewhere to give up all caffine, which I did since my last visit. Who knows, maybe that helped.

JLeslie's avatar

I have had different TSH numbers within 3 days. Varied 5 points, which is a lot. That’s why I say test it with some regularity for a while. I was sure the norrnal one was the result that was incorrect, but the doctor decided that one was the right one. I had it tested again a week later and it was the abnormal number again. I knew, because I was so incredibly symptomatic. I had requested the test to begin with because of my symptoms.

I worked with a woman who was diagnosed hypothyroid, took meds, and she was really hard to stabilize. Then she was hyperthyroid for a while. It went on for around a year. Then she went off all meds, and hasn’t taken any for 10 years. It was a really strange case.

SSS911's avatar

Just one more thing..My family physician also put me on Calcium pills. Calcium 600/D Tab Rugby. Once in the morning and later at dinner. I did this for several months before my Thyroid test. I also stopped taking these after finding out my Thyroid was Hyper-Active. Maybe the Caffine, maybe the Calcium pills or both. If the Doctors can’t explain it after seeing hundreds upon hundreds of patients, I can only guess it may of had something to do with it.

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