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TSH Level 3.86 - now what?

By April 3, 2009 - 3:35pm
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I have much going on.

I will be 42 in May.

In a few weeks I will be undergoing pelvic floor reconstruction.

I had a complete hysterectomy 7 years ago (removal of uterus and cervix). I still have my ovaries.

May 4 marks two years since I quit smoking.

I have Coronary Artery Disease ( I was diagnosed with blocked arteries that cauterized themselves, however, I have resulting tissue death about the size of a nickel in that area).

Diet and exercise is a regular part of my routine. I just completed my first round of the P90X Home Extreme Workout.

I am on a strict 1200 calorie per day diet. I make every calorie count.

I am unable to lose weight. I have many signs of Hypothyroidism. I had my OBGYN test my TSH and FSH levels.

My FSH came back at 8.0. I assume that is within normal range. I don't know.

My TSH - 3.86. My doctor says that is within normal ranges. However, according to AACE I should be considering treatment at 3.0 or 3.4 (I've seen two different numbers).

He did not test my T3 or T4.

Anyway, I know I need it to be treated due to my signs and symptoms but do not know what my next step should be. Do I see an endocrinologist? There are no Naturopathic Physicians around here.

I do not want to take any synthetic anything. I don't want to take anything that will harm my heart.
I certainly don't want surgery. Most importantly, I don't want to treat the symptoms. I want to treat the cause- whatever that may be.

SOME of my symptoms include (but are not limited to):
Vaginal dryness
Dry skin
Dry course and brittle hair
Hair is falling out.
Rigid brittle fingernails
I feel run down.
Can't lose weight- even with hardcore exercise and a strict diet.
I sometimes get dizzy (usually when lying down).
I am cold quite often.
I am constipated (but that could well be due to my pelvic floor collapse).

Any information provided will be greatly appreciated. I am lost.

Add a Comment6 Comments

Hey there Christine,

We asked Dr. Ridha Arem, author of The Thyroid Solution and here's what he had to say:

"Some but not all of your symptoms point to low grade hypothyroidism. A TSH of 3.86 is very highly suspicious for low grade hypothyroidism and this may be contributing to the dry skin, brittle hair, hair loss, fatigue, cold intolerance and constipation. The underlying condition is likely to be an autoimmune attack on the thyroid called Hashimotos thyroiditis. If your cardiac condition permits, thyroid hormone treatment in a small dose would probably be recommended by an Endocrinologist. If you prefer natural thyroid hormone, Armour Thyroid at no more than 15mg daily would be my favorite. You also need to take care of your immune system with antioxidants and vitamins, such as the ones found in ThyroLife and take adequate amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids. A patient suffering from Hashimotos thyroiditis and complaining of dizziness and fatigue also needs to have their adrenal glands checked to make sure they dont have an immune mediated adrenal insufficiency. In patients with a TSH in this range and these symptoms I also often recommend checking thyroid anti-bodies which are markers for Hashimotos thyroiditis and perhaps an Ultrasound of the thyroid."

April 23, 2009 - 11:31am
EmpowHER Guest

Thank you, Diane. I do appreciate it.

April 9, 2009 - 4:53am


Hang in there. We have submitted your question to an expert and hope to hear more back this week.


April 8, 2009 - 9:51am

Hi Christine. Please read my posts on my struggle with TSH. You can find them by looking at my profile. I went the naturopathic route.

April 5, 2009 - 7:42pm

Hi, Diana. Thank you for responding.

I am close to Mobile, Alabama.

April 4, 2009 - 4:08am


Thank you so much for writing. I hear your frustration and worry. It's really difficult to be trying to balance symptoms and treatment for several conditions at a time, especially when we know that hormones are so important to our quality of life.

Can you tell me what city you live in?

At Empowher, we have many experts that we can refer questions to. Let me submit yours and see what we can find out.

Hang in there, Christine. We will see if we can get you some answers.

April 3, 2009 - 6:46pm
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